Today, if we were to run a poll among project managers, we would easily get 7 out of 10 people affirmative on using Microsoft Project for their project scheduling and planning. Microsoft Project is still the default tool when it comes to project management. But, is that still good enough? While this may look to be a safe bet for organizations that prefer Microsoft products, We would still recommend proceeding with caution, especially with a lot of public reviews around the unfriendly interface, clunky logic and post-sales experience. The most preferred option for project management has lots of shortcomings. Today, there are alternatives to Microsoft Project, which not only expand on the capabilities that Microsoft Project offers but also do a whole lot more and are relatively inexpensive.
Why You Need a Microsoft Project Alternative
While Microsoft Project was the first project management software with an Excel-like interface and Gantt charts, over the years, it has become severely limiting. Proponents of the tool may argue that scheduling is powerful, and is packed with constraints, dependencies with lead or lag times, % allocation, split tasks, and other things. Thank you very much, but I have my reasons to differ. There are just too many rules, which only look great in textbooks and for PMP certifications, but not in the real world. And, without an audit trail, it is even more difficult to trace back the changes or believe in the plan.
In today’s cloud-based era, Microsoft Project fails to perform the tasks expected from a competent project management software.
Microsoft Project is a “strictly” project manager tool. Team members can’t go in themselves and update the status on their tasks. This means that more likely than not, your projects plans would be out of date.
Let’s not shy away from the truth. Microsoft Project is still meant for proper project managers, who are PMP certified and need more theoretically correct solutions. But in today’s times, teams need something that is flexible enough to manage project portfolios, track work and delivers successful projects.
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Celoxis is an online enterprise PPM and work management software for managing project portfolios, teams & processes. It is very customizable to suit a variety of business needs and brings everyone together in a centralized place. Over the years, Celoxis has steadily trodden the path as the best alternative to Microsoft Project. It excels at planning, collaboration, tracking and reporting with great agility and user-friendliness. Celoxis is a fully-featured solution for organizations that want to do more things in less time.
Why is Celoxis a great alternative to MS Project?
Celoxis is a comprehensive project management system that handles real-world project management issues, offers superior collaboration capabilities and integrates with hundreds of other business applications. This MS Project alternative offers more flexibility over the process-centric nature of Microsoft Project. Users of Celoxis vouch for its closest implementation of the Microsoft Project paradigm. Celoxis is available in SaaS and On-Premise deployment options and works smoothly on MacOS with no plugins or additional software.
Celoxis costs $25/user/month for SaaS users and $450/user for on-premise.
Celoxis offers a full-featured, no credit card free.
Ganttpro is online Gantt chart software designed for single users and teams who can create projects in different industries and spheres. Like MS Project, GanttPRO offers powerful features for the robust project and resource management. At the same time, this MS Project alternative way easier to understand and work in, you and your team will become advanced users in less than 10 minutes.
Why is GanttPro a great alternative to MS Project?
In our alternative to MS Project online, everything is easy to understand thanks to the intuitive UX/UI design. No features or buttons are hidden. You and your team will start benefit from using GanttPRO right away not wasting time on a learning curve.
Plan starts from $5.90 to $15/user/month
GanttPRO offers a 14 days free trial.
ProofHub helps both small and large teams to collaborate and communicate overs projects in a flexible manner making it easier for even remote team members to stay connected. It offers a number of tools that can make project management easier, faster, and a lot more interesting.
Why is ProofHub a great alternative to MS Project?
ProofHub is quite versatile as it offers features like that of Gantt charts, Online discussions, Notes, Reports, and more. These features help you stay on top of your projects and makes way for seamless collaboration with your peers and colleagues. Moreover, it is also available as a mobile app for Android and iOS users.
Ultimate Plan starts at $89/month (billed annually).
Proofhub offers a 30-day free trial.
nTask is a free project management software that has recently entered into the sea of project management tools available online. Coming with strong features of task management, nTask is the contender for a Microsoft Project alternative and makes it to our list. It’s a tool that caters a broad range of professionals with diverse project needs.
Why is nTask a great alternative to MS Project?
nTask makes sure that creating meetings, projects, and tasks are user-friendly. Visualize progress on projects and prioritize tasks that matter most with nTask. nTask’s flexible software allows you greater control over time management and reporting.
nTask comes with two plans, Free and Pro.
Pro plan is priced at $2.29 per user/month with an annual billing plan.
nTask has a Free to Use plan.
ClickUp is a productivity platform that provides a fundamentally new way to work. More than just task management – ClickUp offers notes, reminders, goals, calendar, scheduling, Chrome extensions and even an inbox to help you stay organized. Fully customizable, ClickUp works for every type of team, so all teams can use the same app to plan, organize, and collaborate.
Why is ClickUp a great alternative to MS Project?
ClickUp centralizes everything, to work effectively and efficiently from a single dashboard. People get different ways of viewing their tasks and projects. It offers machine learning capability. This helps project managers create accurate and realistic estimates and timeframes to manage their projects
Free to $17 per user/month
Clickup has a free to use plan.
Teamdeck is an employee-focused resource management solution. It helps to improve companies’ HR processes such as planning resource allocation, measuring the utilization and forecasting the capacity. It’s a tool for the employees to manage their availability, request vacations and track their time.
Why is Teamdeck a great alternative to MS Project?
Teamdeck is a modern tool necessary for successfully managing resources and tracking time accurately. Accordingly, it provides the big picture to help businesses make the right decisions to stay competitive, productive and profitable. Therefore, project managers are able to track the team’s performance and make future estimates.
Teamdeck has two plans free and Business Plan. For free, limited to 6 team members and business plan $3.99/member/month
Teamdeck offers 14 days of business plan.
Scoro is an end-to-end business management solution for professionals and creative services that help to streamline work and eliminate routine tasks. As a Microsoft alternative, its main features include work-scheduling, invoicing,time-tracking, and project management. You can also add tasks, link them to clients, grant different levels to users in this cloud-based software.
Why is Scoro a great alternative to MS Project?
Scoro is known for its budgeting and invoicing capabilities. Bring structure to your work with its ability to manage and sync multiple calendars in one interface. Moreover, it can be easily integrated with apps like MailChimp, Dropbox, Outlook, and more.
Its pricing plans start from $22 per month.
Scoro offers a 14-day free trial.
8. Project Insight
Project Insight gives your team a cloud-based solution for managing the entire project delivery lifecycle. It is one of the very few tools that leverage the power of artificial intelligence with their patent-pending bot known as VirtualPM™ to facilitate better communication, success and overall engagement. It caters mainly to the IT, marketing, research and development, and professional services industries.
Why is Project Insight a great alternative to MS Project?
With personalized dashboards, intelligent scheduling, time & expense tracking, resource management, collaboration, and customized reporting, Project Insight offers stiff competition to Microsoft Project. It provides a flexible project management solution that fits any team and any size.
Project Insight has unique pricing that is customized to different needs. Basic plans start free. PI#business: $45/power user/month, PI#enterprise: $65/power user/month.
Project Insight offers a 7-day free trial.
ActiveCollab is a great Microsoft Project substitute as an effective project management tool and software that fosters collaboration and teamwork. It brings all your data in one place accessible to every team member where they can easily communicate with each other. ActiveCollab, very smartly brings work management, time-tracking, and invoicing together with the help of cloud technology.
Why is Project Insight a great alternative to MS Project?
ActiveCollab runs in the cloud like most browser apps today, but you can also install it on your own server – this is what makes it a great Microsoft replacement. That’s the reason it’s been trusted by more than 200,000 teams.
Its monthly plans start from $25 per month.
ActiveCollab offers a 14 days free trial.
Teamwork software has been designed specifically to enable collaboration and teamwork among team members working together. The MS Project alternative, Teamwork Projects is a world-class project management and productivity tool that helps you to get organized and get stuff done. It allows you to define project tasks, assign them to people and track the progress of tasks.
Why is Teamwork Projects a great alternative to MS Project?
The main features of Teamwork include task lists, time tracking, file-uploads, and messages. High-level security is its another plus along with its compatibility with Web, Windows, Android, and iOS devices.
Premium plan starts at $15/month.
Teamwork offers a 30 days free trial.
While there are plenty of software alternatives to Microsoft Project out there, We have done our best to compile this list and remain objective in our reviews. What do you think we are missing? Do you think we have missed out on any MS Project alternative that you use and feel should be included on this list? Let me know in the comments below.
Wow! Excellent article. I really need this information. Thanks for sharing it.
Great list! I completely agree that MS Project is not an efficient solution for modern projects. I think I should try some of the tools from the article. For now, I can only say that I've been using GanttPRO for a long time and can say that this is very powerful Gantt chart software.