Want to jump straight to the answer? The best project management software for most people is definitely Zoho Projects.
Project management software is the difference between a team that crushes all of its objectives—and one that doesn’t really get anything done.
But it has to fit with the way you work. Everyone needs to buy in and depend on the software.
Some solutions are intended for large teams with complex projects, others are ideal for small teams and simple projects, and the rest fall somewhere in between.
No matter what type of projects you’re managing, this guide will help you find the best project management software for your needs.
The Top 8 Best Project Management Software
I looked for solutions you could start using today. Most of my top picks have free versions you can use forever, or free trials so you can test out premium subscriptions. Follow the links to learn more:
- Zoho Projects – Best overall project management software
- Wrike – Best for marketing and creative teams
- Favro – Best for small teams doing it all
- Teamwork – Best for remote teams and agencies
- Trello – Best free project management software
- TeamGantt – Best project management software for beginners
- LiquidPlanner – Best for complex projects
- Celoxis – Best for enterprises and large businesses
Below, you’ll find reviews of all my recommendations so you can get a sense of what each one can do. You’ll also find a short guide to help you think through your options.
Really, though, with project management software, you have to see how it “drives.” Do you like working in the interface? What about your team?
My reviews and will help you zero in on a few that should work, but you really have to sign up take these products for a spin before you’ll know which one is the best for you.
#1 – Zoho Projects — The Best Overall Project Management Software
- Starts at $4 per month
- Free forever plan available
- Great for simple and complex projects
- 10-day free trial
Zoho Projects is a cloud-based project management solution.
Their first on our list for their intuitive interface, and powerful set of tools to help you manage any project.
From simple to complex projects, this tool has everything you need to manage various workflows. You can even automate some routine tasks to save time.
Use the drag-and-drop interface as a visual way to set up new automations and deploy projects. Collaborate on the go using the Zoho Projects mobile app.
Another reason to like Zoho Projects is its timesheet module. You can easily track both billable and non-billable hours for tasks.
They also integrate with popular apps you’re already using like Slack, Zapier, G Suite, Dropbox, and other apps in the Zoho suite.
Zoho Projects is affordable, with pricing based on the number of people on your team.
Your plan will also affect things like how much storage you get, the number of templates you can use, and the extent to which you can track dependencies.
For simple projects or smaller teams, the Premium plan is more than enough. The Enterprise plan includes a lot of features, such as teams, custom user groups, and inter-project dependencies that are very helpful at scale.
Zoho Projects does offer a free forever plan for up three users and two projects, which is fine for individual use or a one-off task.
The free plan is a good way to figure out if you like the interface, but you can test-drive one of the paid plans risk-free. Sign up for Zoho Projects and get a 10-day free trial; no credit card required.
#2 – Wrike — The Best for Marketing and Creative Teams
- Starting at $9.80 per month
- Free for up to 5 users
- Perfect for marketing teams
- 6 month free trial
Wrike is an incredibly popular project management solution for marketing teams—and for good reason.
More than 20,000 businesses use Wrike for project management. It’s trusted by large organizations like Verizon and Airbnb.
Wrike gives you real-time reports and statuses for all of your teams’ projects. Easily enable and centralize your communication hub for everyone collaborating on a project.
This software is perfect for marketers and creative teams. Wrike has specific project management tools for campaign management where teams can collaborate on tasks, track progress, and review the results of each campaign.
Wrike also has project management templates designed for content creation. This pre-set workflow process includes everything from a creative brief to final delivery and reporting.
Wrike has a free forever plan for simple projects. But most of you will benefit from the Professional or Business plans, starting at $9.90 and $24.80 per user per month, respectively.
Once you select your base plan, you can add-on premium features depending on what types of projects you’ll be using Wrike to manage. It’s kind of a bummer that not every feature is all-inclusive. But it’s nice that you can pick and choose whatever you need.
Wrike offers product bundles for marketing and creative teams. For example, Wrike for Marketers comes with Wrike Proof and Wrike Publish add-ons. It also comes with a Wrike extension for Adobe Creative Cloud.
Contact the Wrike sales team for a quote on a project management plan for your marketing team.
For a limited time, you can get a 6-month trial of Write Professional. You can try the other plans free for 14 days.
#3 – Favro – The Best for Small Teams Doing It All
- Built for agility
- Great for ambitious small teams
- Easy collaboration between departments
- 14-day free trial
Just because your operation is small, it doesn’t mean you can’t be ambitious.
Favro is the project management software made for small teams whose agility is their greatest strength.
This platform provides a clean interface on both its desktop and mobile apps, providing easy access to boards and cards for planning and execution.
Within those boards and cards, it’s easy to share files, chart progress, assign tasks, and organize workflow. Action items can be given an estimated time-to-complete and priority status, plus they can be voted on by team members if there’s any ambiguity on what should be taken care of next.
And everything, from changes to your roadmap to writing up proposals together, happens on the platform in real time. No version confusion and no more worries that updates haven’t been pushed to the appropriate team members.
You can even tailor boards and roadmaps in Favro to the style your team is most comfortable with. Choose from Kanban-style, sheets, timeline, or a simple card list.
One of the keys to Favro’s usefulness is the ease of which work can be transferred and needs can be communicated between discrete boards. So, even if your team is spread across siloed departments or far-flung locales, collaboration between everyone is a cinch.
Favro also doesn’t skimp on automation features and integrations. It’s easy to build trigger events and automated portions of your workflow, which is only accentuated by Favro’s ability to integrate with the tools you’re already using, like Google’s suite of tools, Slack, Dropbox, and even GitHub and GitLab.
The pricing for Favro is much more favorable to smaller teams. Hence why, with its powerful capability, I’ve marked it as the best for small teams with ambitious members who may be wearing many hats.
Favro’s plans scale to the number of users on the platform and split into three tiers:
- Limited to 5 collections (Favro’s term for workspaces)
- Unlimited boards and backlogs
- iOS and Android app
- Google and GitHub OAuth
- Unlimited collections, private collections, boards, and backlogs
- Unlimited storage
- Unlimited apps and integrations
- Guest accounts
- 1,000 API calls/hour
- iOS and Android app
- Google and GitHub OAuth
- Everything in Standard, plus:
- Enterprise-level support (24-hour assistance on weekdays)
- Enhanced collection management
- 10,000 API calls/hour
- Timesheet reporting
- SAML single sign-on
- SCIM user provisioning
- DPA and GDPR support
Here’s a look at what those tiers would cost a team of five when paying annually:
The next step up is at 10 users, which simply doubles the price, followed by new pricing thresholds at 25 users, 50 users, then 100 or more. Paying annually saves 15% versus month-to-month billing.
If your small team knows it can take on the world, give Favro a 14-day free test drive today.
#4 – Teamwork — The Best for Remote Teams and Agencies
- Starts at $9 per month
- Free forever plan available
- Great for remote teams
- 30-day free trial
Team work is trusted by household names like Spotify, Disney, Panasonic, PayPal, and Netflix.
That’s because they make it easy for businesses with remote workers to collaborate on projects. It’s easy for everyone to communicate, stay connected, and have clear visibility over the progress of a project, no matter where people are located.
This software management tool has built-in chat, simple project boards, and custom templates. Teamwork allows you to balance your team’s workloads by viewing everyone’s real-time capacity at a glance.
Here’s a quick overview of the plans and pricing for Teamwork project management software:
With a free forever plan for small teams and paid plans starting at just $9 per month, Teamwork is an affordable solution.
Teamwork also has specific team management software for marketing agencies. This tool makes it easy for your team to manage their own projects in addition to client work. You can even add clients and third-party collaborators to your boards for improved visibility and communication. Take advantage of built-in time tracking tools to manage invoices and billable hours as well.
Pricing for agency software is not available online. You’ll need to contact the Teamwork sales team for a quote.
In addition to the free forever plan, you can try any Teamwork paid solution free for 30 days.
#5 – Trello — The Best Free Project Management Software
- Free for unlimited users
- Paid plans start at $9.99
- Trusted by millions
- Best for simple projects
Trello is one of the most popular project management software out there.
In fact, millions of users trust them to manage various projects. For small teams and simple projects, the free project management software from Trello will be perfect for accommodating your needs.
Trello leverages Kanban-style boards for work, side projects, and long term goals. You can even use it for managing individual projects, like organizing a family vacation.
Trello shines in terms of simplicity, which is one of the reasons why I use it to manage team tasks on my websites. Everything is organized with boards, cards, and lists.
Each card represents a task or small project. Those tasks can be assigned to specific team members for collaboration. Cards have subtasks that can be managed and completed in real-time to show progress towards completion. Assigning due dates, uploading files, and adding comments on a Trello card is about as simple as it gets.
You can move cards to different lists such as “in progress” or “complete” so everyone can see the status of a task at a glance. Trello has an exceptional mobile app for project management as well.
In most instances, Trello is better for simple projects. If you’re managing complex projects with large teams, you’ll run into some restrictions with this platform.
The best part of Trello? It’s free. Every user gets unlimited boards, cards, and lists at no cost.
However, if you’re thinking about using Trello for your company, I recommend going with the paid plans that start at $9.99 per month per user. This gives you access to advanced features like app integrations, calendar view, map view, advanced users, automations, and more.
Have your team give Trello a try today.
#6 – TeamGantt — The Best Project Management Software for Beginners
- Free forever plan available
- Starts at $24.95
- Discounts based on team size
- 14-day free trial
Gantt charts are more than one hundred years old. At the time, these revolutionary charts changed the way that tasks were performed. They are the foundation for many project management solutions.
As the name implies, TeamGantt is a project management software that leverages Gantt charts.
So for those of you who are just getting started and learning about project management, TeamGantt is a top option to consider.
More than one million users across the world trust TeamGantt for project management.
TeamGantt has a free forever plan for up to three users managing a single project. Paid plans start at $24.95 per month for one user.
That’s a bit pricey, especially for simple software. However, you’ll get a better rate per user with a larger team. For example, a team of ten starts at $114.50 per month, which is less than half of the per-user rate of a single person. That number drops all the way to $91 per month with an annual contract.
So while the initial price might look steep at first, it’s really not that bad upon further inspection.
For those of you looking for basic Gantt charts, I’d definitely recommend TeamGantt. If you have a complex project, TeamGantt will have restrictions. They do have an advanced plan with time tracking and hourly estimates, but it doesn’t go much deeper than that.
#7 – LiquidPlanner — The Best for Complex Projects
- Best for complex projects
- Used by 20,000+ businesses
- iOS and Android mobile app
- 14-day free trial
LiquidPlanner is a top solution for engineering teams, software teams, IT teams, and professional services.
Notice that all those teams typically require a wide array of tools to finish projects. That’s because LiquidPlanner is made for managing complex projects at scale with lots of contributors.
This project management tool helps you manage uncertainty with best-case and worst-case scenarios for the outcome. LiquidPlanner automatically adapts to change during a project, which is inevitable for projects with a high level of complexity.
LiquidPlanner gives you quick insight into the tasks, progress, risks, and budgets for every project that’s in progress. You’ll even be able to share the most relevant information with whoever needs to stay informed.
LiquidPlanner offers an iOS and Android mobile app, time tracking, advanced analytics, API access, unlimited internal dashboards, and integrations with cloud storage services.
You need at least five team members to be eligible for a LiquidPlanner subscription. If your team is scaling quickly, this is a fantastic option for you.
You’ll need to contact their sales team to request a quote if you want Enterprise pricing. Their Professional plan is just $45/user per month. They also offer a free trial for you to test it out risk free.
If you’re looking for a project management solution for something simple, like managing website content, LiquidPlanner is not for you.
But for those of you with complex needs, you can try LiquidPlanner at no cost with a 14-day free trial; no credit card required.
#8 – Celoxis — The Best for Enterprises and Large Businesses
Celoxis is another top option for managing complex projects. But this software is not for everyone. Celoxis is an all-in-one project management software geared towards enterprises and large organizations.
In fact, it’s trusted by companies like Adobe, LG, Tesla, Lufthansa, and Rolex.
Celoxis helps you manage your teams based on skills, availability, and demand. You’ll get real-time revenue estimates as well as automated costs for every project.
This software also makes it easy for you to share files and collaborate with both team members and clients. It even has a fully customizable client portal that you can take advantage of.
Celoxis is a bit more expensive than some of the other options on our list, but it’s actually more affordable than other enterprise-grade software solutions on the market today.
The cloud-based solution starts at $25 per month per user (with a five-user minimum). You can save some money if you commit to an annual or two-year contract.
Alternatively, you can install Celoxis directly on your servers for $450 per user. This option is also a five-user minimum, but it’s just a one-time charge as opposed to an ongoing subscription.
Celoxis really stands out in terms of the reports and data that it provides. You can easily send visual reports to your CEO or other decision-makers for specific projects.
Try Celoxis free for 30 days by taking advantage of a free trial.
How to Find the Best Project Management Software For Your Business
With so many project management solutions on the market today, it can be tough to choose the best option for your business.
This is the methodology that I used to pick the winners in this guide. Generally speaking, there is no “best for everyone” project management software. It all depends on your specific situation. I’ll break down the evaluation factors that you should be looking for in greater detail below.
Your most important consideration for project management software is what exactly you’ll be using it for.
Basic project management tools won’t always have the features required to manage complex projects at scale.
On the flip side, if you’re just doing something simple like managing website content or need a tool for a one-off project, you won’t need software with tons of advanced features.
Trello and TeamGantt are both excellent choices for simple projects and smaller teams. If you need advanced features for complex projects, LiquidPlanner and Celoxis would be better for you. Zoho Projects (as our top overall pick) meets that middle ground between simple and complicated projects.
The next thing you’ll need to look at is the size of your team. Is everyone on your team going to be working on the same project? Or will everyone be working on multiple projects simultaneously?
If you’re working on a simple project with just a few people, you might even be able to use a free project management solution. Lots of options on our list offer a free forever plan for two or three users.
Managing larger teams is obviously a greater challenge. The best project management software shows the real-time capacity of each team member at a glance. This feature allows you to properly allocate tasks, responsibilities, and resources, without overwhelming people who have a full workload.
Some project management software requires a minimum for the number of team members associated with a subscription. This usually starts around five users but varies from one platform to another.
Ease of Use
Simplicity is key when it comes to project management software.
From the initial setup to onboarding team members and managing tasks on an ongoing basis, you want to make sure that your solution actually makes your life easier. The only real way to determine how easy it is to use project management software is by trying it out.
Every option on our list offers some type of free forever plan or free trial. I strongly advise trying those out so you can get a feel for what works best for your purposes.
Some project management software will offer more advanced features and tools than others. But depending on your situation, you may not need anything too fancy.
Common features that you’ll see for various project management software include storage limits, mobile apps, third-party integrations, built-in communication tools, advanced reporting, and user permissions. You’ll find some solutions with agency features, time-tracking tools, automation, and tools for managing your budget.
It’s important to figure out what tools you’ll actually need as you’re evaluating potential project management solutions.
Pricing for project managing software is usually based on how many users you have on your team. Some solutions require you to pay for a minimum number of users to get started.
Plans are typically billed per month or on an annual basis.
The actual cost varies drastically, depending on your needs. Most tools have a free plan for basic needs and a handful of users. Paid plans start somewhere in the $3 to $25 per month per user range.
Some solutions, like Wrike, charge you extra for add-ons as you essentially start with a basic plan and customize it based on your needs. Advanced solutions, like Celoxis, charge a one-time fee of $450 per user to install the software on your servers.
With such a wide range of prices to consider, it’s important for you to choose something that fits within your budget. Project management software doesn’t need to cost a fortune.
Bottom line: Zoho Projects is the best overall project management software on the market today.
It’s affordable and checks off all of the boxes that we look for when evaluating prospective options.
With that said, this software isn’t for everyone.
Regardless of your team size, project complexity, and business type, you can find the perfect project management software to meet your needs using this guide.