Project management software makes it easy to plan projects, allocate tasks and keep teams organized so that deadlines and goals are met. With so many project management systems on the market today, however, choosing the right option for your needs can be difficult. To help, we analysed dozens of the leading providers and selected the best project management software in 2024, based on pricing, features, customer support and more.
Best Software for Project Management of 2024
Celoxis: Best for adapting to evolving project and portfolio needs
ClickUp: Best for agile development teams
Monday.com: Best for startups on a tight budget
Asana: Best for collaboration tools
Zoho Projects: Best for integrations
Smartsheet: Best for workflow automation
Notion: Best for content creators
Airtable: Best for data-driven companies
Teamwork: Best for client-facing service providers
Wrike: Best for artificial intelligence (AI) features
Jira: Best for product development teams
Why We Picked It: Celoxis stands out as a comprehensive tool in both the project management and project portfolio management categories. Whether you’re a team looking to manage a single project or an organization overseeing multiple portfolios, Celoxis offers an all-in-one solution that simplifies and optimizes the process.
For those just starting with project management or seeking a more consolidated view of their portfolios, Celoxis offers an intuitive platform. Its user-friendly interface ensures that teams can plan, track, and collaborate on projects without a steep learning curve.
But where Celoxis truly distinguishes itself is in its dashboard and reporting capabilities. With its customizable dashboards, teams can get a real-time view of their projects, ensuring they’re always informed and can make data-driven decisions. The reporting feature is robust, allowing for detailed insights into project performance, resource allocation, and financial metrics.
As your projects and portfolios grow in complexity, Celoxis is right there with you. Its adaptability ensures that as your needs evolve, the platform remains a reliable and comprehensive tool for all your project and portfolio management requirements.
In essence, Celoxis isn’t just another project management tool; it’s a holistic solution that excels in dashboard visualisation and reporting, ensuring teams and organisations can manage and oversee their projects and portfolios with unparalleled clarity and efficiency.
Who Should Use It: Teams and organisations that prioritize both project management and project portfolio management (ppm) should have Celoxis on their radar. It’s especially beneficial for businesses that want a unified view of their projects and portfolios and value detailed reporting. Whether you’re a project manager overseeing multiple tasks, a PMO head managing diverse portfolios, or a C-level executive seeking a bird’s-eye view of all projects, Celoxis is designed to cater to your needs. Its emphasis on comprehensive dashboard visualisation and in-depth reporting makes it a top choice for those aiming to streamline their project and portfolio management processes while gaining valuable insights.
- Customisable dashboards, tailor views to specific needs.
- Role-based access and permissions ensure data security
- Built-in time and expense tracking
- Effective allocation and forecasting
- Supports third-party app integrations
- Available as SaaS or on-premise
- No mobile app
- Default settings can be overwhelming
Gartner Rating: 4.5/5
Why We Picked It: ClickUp is best for teams that rely on Scrum for product development. While it includes all the features you would expect from a great project management app, it goes further with templates and features that allow for an Agile software development process.
ClickUp’s feature offering is robust. It offers collaboration tools, such as real-time editing, mentions, calendar sync, and role creation and permissions, preset and custom automation recipes, reporting dashboards, project-tracking tools, such as checklists, timelines, Gantt charts, Kanban boards and dependencies, and over 1,000 integrations. Use templates or customize dashboards so your team works on its own terms. It also offers advanced task management, making it one of the best task management software options on the market.
ClickUp’s Agile Scrum features put this project management software over the top. Scrum is popular with software developers but is also used by sales and marketing teams. It allows teams to create products that customers love by gathering and incorporating customer feedback after each iteration, or sprint. ClickUp makes this process easy via features such as task progress boards, assignments, checklists, automation tools and collaborative tools to gather feedback.
Who should use it: With robust features, ClickUp is great for any team looking for advanced IT project management capabilities. But it is best for companies with Scrum Agile product development, marketing or sales teams.
- Free forever plan for individuals
- Robust features
- Over 1,000 integrations
- Advanced task management
- Easily manage complex projects
- Pre-built templates
- Many views available
- Lots of automation options
- Top tiers can get pricey for small businesses
- Time tracking can be glitchy
- Can be overwhelming for new users
- Mobile app is not overly intuitive
Gartner Rating: 4.3/5
Why We Picked It: Regardless of budget limitation, monday.com offers something for everyone. Even if you are working on a team of two with no budget, monday.com can help you get your project done on time and with limited risk. If you are a small two-person team, you can enjoy monday.com for free. If you’re part of a growing team, use advanced project-tracking features, automations and integrations from $8 to $16 per team member per month, if billed annually (minimum of three seats per plan).
For small teams with little incoming revenue, the free version offers the ability to manage projects with customizable boards so your team works on its own terms. You can create custom boards using over 200 templates and unlimited docs. Your team members can even work on the go via monday.com’s iOS and Android apps. monday.com is one of the best free project management apps available. But, once you’re ready to move on to more complex, large-team projects, monday.com’s plans grow with your needs.
For example, automations help your team stay on track with little added effort. With a few clicks, you can set a notification to alert you if any task is over budget or a team member has fallen behind. Further, Gantt charts show you how your project is progressing, and what needs to happen next. Zoom, Slack, synced calendars, Salesforce, Google Docs and other integrations allow for seamless and intuitive team collaboration across your organization.
Who should use it: Startup businesses on a shoestring budget should consider monday.com. It offers a free version and free trials so users can test more advanced tiers as their companies can afford them.
- Free version available
- Free trials to test advanced features
- Mobile app version
- Lots of integrations
- Attractive, easily customizable interface
- Abundant templates
- New features constantly added
- Collaboration across organizations and external teams
- Gantt and Kanban charts
- Limited features in the lower tiers
- Frequent glitches with new features
- Steep learning curve with advanced features
- Cluttered boards for in-depth or complex projects
- Limited reporting options
Gartner Rating: 4.5/5
Why we picked it: Asana stands out as one of the best collaboration tools in the market. Whether you’re a small team or a large organization, Asana’s features are designed to enhance collaboration and streamline communication.
For budding teams or those just starting out, Asana’s basic version offers foundational collaboration tools. This includes task assignments, comments, shared calendars, and more, ensuring teams can work cohesively from the get-go. As collaboration demands intensify, Asana’s premium plans provide a plethora of advanced features. These encompass project timelines, custom fields, and integrations with popular tools like Slack and Microsoft Teams. Such integrations facilitate seamless communication across platforms, ensuring no team member is left out of the loop.
The intuitive nature of Asana’s interface is a boon for teams. It ensures that members can dive into collaborative efforts without facing a steep learning curve. Moreover, with mobile apps available for both iOS and Android, Asana ensures that collaboration isn’t confined to the office – it can happen on the go.
A standout feature of Asana is its customizability. Teams can craft their collaborative space, tailoring workflows to their specific needs, ensuring synchronised efforts across the board. In essence, Asana’s emphasis on collaboration, combined with its adaptability and extensive integration capabilities, positions it as a top choice for teams eager to elevate their collaborative endeavours.
Who should use it: Any team or organization that places collaboration at the forefront should have Asana on their radar. Its diverse feature set caters to small teams seeking foundational collaboration tools and extends to larger entities requiring intricate collaborative solutions. Asana’s adaptability and unwavering focus on collaboration make it a prime choice for businesses across a spectrum of industries aiming to bolster teamwork and communication.
- Free version available
- Advanced feature trials
- Mobile app present
- Regular feature updates
- Cross-organization collaboration
- Numerous templates
- Steep learning curve
- New feature glitches
- Limited reporting
- Excessive notifications
Gartner Rating: 4.4/5
4. Zoho Projects
Why we picked it: Zoho Projects emerges as a leader in the realm of project management, especially when integrations are paramount. Its prowess in seamlessly melding with a plethora of tools and platforms sets it apart. Whether you’re a startup just dipping your toes into project management or an established enterprise with intricate workflows, Zoho Projects offers a solution tailored to your needs.
For those just starting or with basic project management needs, Zoho Projects provides foundational tools that ensure projects remain on track. Task assignments, shared calendars, and document sharing are just a few features that facilitate smooth team collaboration right from the outset.
But where Zoho Projects truly shines is in its integrations. Being part of the Zoho ecosystem, it naturally syncs with other Zoho products. However, its ability to integrate with a vast array of third-party applications is what makes it a standout. This ensures that teams can maintain their preferred tools and workflows without any hiccups.In essence, Zoho Projects isn’t just a project management tool; it’s an integrative solution that bridges the gaps between your favourite tools, ensuring streamlined operations and enhanced collaboration.
Who should use it: Startups and established businesses that prioritise seamless integrations should have Zoho Projects on their radar. Its robust integration capabilities make it an ideal choice for teams that rely on a multitude of tools. Whether you’re already nestled within the Zoho ecosystem or seeking a project management solution that plays well with your existing software stack, Zoho Projects is the answer. Its adaptability, combined with its focus on integrations, positions it as a top choice for businesses across various industries aiming to streamline operations and bolster collaboration.
- Seamless integration with other Zoho products
- Built-in time logging and invoicing
- Task automation based on set criteria
- Clients can track progress and collaborate
- Available for both iOS and Android
- Some users find it less intuitive initially
- Can feel cluttered or outdated to some users
- While it integrates well within the Zoho suite, it might have limited third-party integrations.
- Advanced customizations can be challenging
Gartner Rating: 4.3/5
Why we picked it: Smartsheet stands out when it comes to streamlining tasks and projects, particularly in the area of workflow automation. Whether you’re a small team just starting or a larger organization with complex processes, Smartsheet offers tools that make work easier and more efficient.
For those new to project management or with simpler needs, Smartsheet provides basic tools that help teams stay organized and on track. Assigning tasks, setting deadlines, and collaborating becomes straightforward with its intuitive interface.
But where Smartsheet truly excels is in its automation capabilities. If you’re tired of repetitive tasks or manual processes, Smartsheet’s workflow automation is a game-changer. It allows teams to set up automatic actions, reminders, and updates. This means less manual work and more consistency in how tasks are handled. In short, Smartsheet isn’t just about managing tasks; it’s about making workflows smoother and more automated, ensuring teams can focus on what matters most.
Who should use it: Smartsheet. It’s especially useful for those who find themselves bogged down by repetitive tasks or manual updates. Whether you’re a startup wanting to streamline processes from the get-go or a larger organization looking to improve efficiency, Smartsheet offers the automation tools you need. Its focus on making workflows smoother and more hands-off makes it a top choice for businesses of all sizes that want to work smarter, not harder.
- Offers multiple views including traditional grid, card, Gantt chart, and calendar
- Users can customize sheets to fit various project needs
- Users can set up automated actions based on specific triggers
- A functional mobile app allows for task management
- Can be challenging for newcomers
- Might feel excessive for simple projects
- Relies on external integrations for chat.
- The mobile version isn’t as feature-rich as the desktop platform
- With many features, the interface can feel cluttered to some users.
Gartner Rating: 4.4/5
Why we picked it: Notion shines as a versatile tool, especially for content creators. Whether you’re an individual jotting down ideas or a team collaborating on content, Notion offers a space that’s both flexible and powerful.
For those just starting their content creation journey or with simpler organizational needs, Notion provides an easy-to-use platform. You can create notes, build databases, and even set up personal wikis, all within a clean and intuitive interface.
But where Notion truly stands out is in its offerings for content creators. With its modular approach, creators can customize their workspace to fit their unique needs. Whether it’s drafting articles, planning video content, or organizing research, Notion provides the tools to do it seamlessly. Its ability to blend different types of content, from text to images to embedded videos, makes it a one-stop-shop for creators. In essence, Notion isn’t just a note-taking app; it’s a comprehensive workspace tailored for content creators, ensuring they have everything they need in one place.
Who should use it: Content creators, without a doubt, should have Notion on their radar. It’s perfect for writers, bloggers, video creators, and anyone in between. Whether you’re an individual creator looking for a space to organize your thoughts or a content team needing a collaborative platform, Notion is designed with you in mind. Its emphasis on providing a flexible workspace for content creation makes it a top choice for those in the creative industry, ensuring they can produce, organize, and collaborate with ease.
- Offers a variety of templates for different needs
- Intuitive and visually appealing design
- Works offline and syncs when reconnected
- Easy rearrangement of content
- Not as robust as dedicated project management tools
- Relies on integrations or workarounds for a full calendar view
- Some users face challenges importing from other platforms
- The vast customization options can be daunting
Gartner Rating: 4.5/5
Why we picked it: Airtable stands out as a dynamic platform, particularly for data-driven companies. Whether you’re a startup managing customer data or a large enterprise handling complex datasets, Airtable offers a blend of spreadsheet simplicity with database robustness.
For those just beginning to harness the power of data or with straightforward data needs, Airtable provides an intuitive interface. You can easily input data, sort it, and visualize it without needing advanced database knowledge.
But where Airtable truly excels is in its capabilities for data-driven companies. It’s not just a spreadsheet; it’s a flexible database that can be molded to fit various needs. From CRM systems to project management boards to content calendars, Airtable can handle it. Its ability to link records, create complex views, and integrate with other tools makes it a powerhouse for data management. In short, Airtable is more than just a data tool; it’s a versatile workspace tailored for data-driven companies, ensuring they can manage, analyze, and leverage their data effectively.
Who should use it: Data-driven companies, big or small, should consider Airtable. It’s ideal for businesses that rely heavily on data for decision-making, strategy, and operations. Whether you’re a tech startup looking to manage user data, a marketing agency tracking campaigns, or a large corporation with vast datasets, Airtable is built to serve your needs. Its focus on blending simplicity with powerful data management tools makes it a top choice for companies that want to harness the full potential of their data without the complexities of traditional databases.
- Combines spreadsheet and database functionalities
- Automate repetitive tasks within the platform
- Offers grid, calendar, kanban, gallery, and Gantt chart views
- Functional app for both iOS and Android
- Not as robust as traditional databases or spreadsheets for complex calculations
- Larger bases can experience slowdowns
- The API has rate limits which can be restrictive for heavy integrations
- Limited Offline Capabilities. Requires internet for most functionalities
Gartner Rating: 4.5/5
Why we picked it: Teamwork emerges as a standout tool, especially for client-facing service providers. Whether you’re a boutique agency handling a handful of clients or a larger firm managing multiple client portfolios, Teamwork offers a suite of features tailored to enhance client interactions and project management.
For those just stepping into the service industry or with basic client management needs, Teamwork provides a straightforward platform. You can track projects, communicate updates, and ensure deliverables are met on time, all within a user-friendly environment.
But where Teamwork truly distinguishes itself is in its offerings for client-facing service providers. Its client portal feature allows for transparent communication, ensuring clients are always in the loop. Service providers can share updates, gather feedback, and address concerns, all while maintaining a professional interface. This transparency fosters trust and ensures smoother project execution. In essence, Teamwork isn’t just a project management tool; it’s a comprehensive platform designed for service providers, ensuring they can manage client projects efficiently while maintaining stellar client relationships.
Who should use it: Client-facing service providers should undoubtedly consider Teamwork. It’s perfect for agencies, consultants, freelancers, and any business that regularly interacts with clients on projects. Whether you’re a marketing agency coordinating campaigns, a consultancy firm delivering tailored solutions, or a design studio showcasing prototypes, Teamwork is crafted with your needs in mind. Its emphasis on transparent client communication and efficient project management makes it a top choice for service providers aiming to deliver exceptional value while fostering lasting client relationships.
- Tailored views for project updates and metrics.
- Allows for setting task relationships and dependencies
- Dedicated space for client collaboration and updates
- Set up automated actions based on specific criteria
- With many features, the interface can feel cluttered to some
- The free tier has significant constraints
- Some integrations aren’t as seamless as users might hope
- Default settings can lead to excessive notifications
Gartner Rating: 4.5/5
Why we picked it: Wrike stands out as a forward-thinking project management tool, particularly due to its innovative artificial intelligence (AI) features. Whether you’re a small team looking to optimize tasks or a larger organization aiming to harness the power of AI for project insights, Wrike offers a unique blend of traditional management tools with cutting-edge AI capabilities.
For those just starting to explore the potential of AI in project management, Wrike offers an accessible entry point. Its interface is user-friendly, ensuring teams can benefit from AI-driven insights without needing deep technical knowledge.
But where Wrike truly shines is in its advanced AI features. These capabilities allow for predictive analytics, task prioritization, and even resource allocation based on AI-driven insights. This means projects are not just managed but optimised using intelligent data analysis, ensuring better outcomes and more efficient workflows. In short, Wrike isn’t just another project management tool; it’s a platform that integrates the power of AI, ensuring teams can manage, optimize, and predict project outcomes more effectively than ever before.
Who should use it: Teams and organizations keen on leveraging the power of AI in their project management should have Wrike on their list. It’s ideal for businesses that want to move beyond traditional management methods and tap into predictive analytics and intelligent insights. Whether you’re a tech startup, a research team, or a large corporation aiming to stay ahead of the curve, Wrike is designed to serve your advanced needs. Its focus on integrating AI into project management makes it a top choice for those looking to optimize their workflows and make data-driven decisions with confidence.
- Detailed and customizable reports for insights
- Offers tools for tasks, projects, and long-term planning
- Offers a variety of pre-made templates for different project types
- Built-in feature for logging and monitoring work hours
- Can be overwhelming for new users due to its extensive features
- Some users report occasional lags or slowdowns
- Not all integrations are seamless as users might expect
- Premium features require higher-tier plans which can be costly.
Gartner Rating: 4.5/5
Why we picked it: Jira stands out as a premier tool tailored for product development. Whether you’re a startup building its first product or a large enterprise with multiple product lines, Jira offers features that streamline the development process and enhance team collaboration.
For those just embarking on their product development journey, Jira provides a structured environment to track progress, manage backlogs, and handle sprints. Its intuitive interface ensures that even those new to agile methodologies can navigate and utilize the platform effectively.
But where Jira truly excels is in its specialized offerings for product development teams. With its robust set of tools, teams can manage user stories, prioritize features, and track bugs with ease. Its integration capabilities mean that it can seamlessly connect with other tools in the development ecosystem, ensuring a smooth flow of information across platforms. In essence, Jira isn’t just a task tracker; it’s a comprehensive solution designed specifically for product development, ensuring teams can build, iterate, and launch products efficiently.
Who should use it: Product development teams, without a doubt, should consider Jira. It’s crafted specifically for those involved in building and refining products, be it software, hardware, or any other kind. Whether you’re a tech startup focused on software development, a company building physical products, or an enterprise with a mix of both, Jira is tailored to streamline your development process. Its emphasis on agile methodologies and its robust set of development-centric tools make it a top choice for teams aiming to bring products to market with efficiency and precision.
- Allows teams to design workflows that match their processes
- Supports Scrum, Kanban, and other agile methodologies
- Ability to edit and transition multiple issues at once
- Regularly updated with new features and improvements
- Setting up and customizing Jira can be time-consuming
- The cloud version has fewer customization options compared to the server version.
- Self-hosted instances can be resource-intensive
- Some users report lags in large-scale deployments.
Gartner Rating: 4.4/5
What is a Project Management Software?
Project Management Software helps people plan, organise, and keep track of big tasks or projects. Just like how you might use a to-do list to remember what chores you have to do, this software helps people remember all the things they need to do for a big job.
Now, imagine you have a big box of LEGO bricks, and you want to build a big, beautiful castle. But there are so many pieces, and you’re not sure where to start or how to keep track of what you’ve done and what’s left to do.
This software is like a magical LEGO instruction book. It helps you:
Plan: Decide which pieces to use first and where to put them.
Organise: Sort your LEGO bricks by colour, size, or type.
Track: Remember which parts of the castle you’ve already built and what’s left.
Work with Friends: If your friends are helping, it tells them what they can do so you’re not all trying to put bricks in the same spot.
See Problems: If you’re running out of a certain type of brick or if something doesn’t fit right, it’ll let you know.
So, just like how an instruction book helps you build a LEGO castle step by step, Project Management Software helps people work on big projects without getting lost or confused. And if they make a mistake, it’s okay! The software helps them fix it and keep going.
How to Choose the Best Project Management Software?
When deciding on the right enterprise project management software, it’s crucial to weigh factors like pricing, feature set, integration options, user feedback, and customer support. Here’s a guide to help you navigate this selection process.
Key Features of Project Management Software
While basic features are essential for the smooth operation of any project, certain specialized features can be more beneficial for specific teams or industries. Here are some of the most sought-after tools and functionalities:
- Budgeting Tools: These tools help you input your budget, monitor expenses, and compare actual costs against the set budget. Financial prediction tools can prevent overspending or project halts due to insufficient funds.
- Resource Allocation Tools: These tools assist in planning and monitoring resource usage, identifying overworked team members, and reallocating resources to avoid potential issues.
- Task Management: This includes automated features to streamline workflows, boards for task visualisation, calendars, and task tracking.
- Risk Management Tools: These tools help mitigate common project risks, such as going over budget or missing deadlines, through features like scheduling tools and cost variance reports.
- Visualization Tools: Digital charts like Kanban and Gantt charts offer a visual representation of project timelines and tasks.
- Mobile Applications: These allow team members to stay updated and make informed decisions on-the-go.
- Integration Options: Enhance software functionality with integrations like Slack or Google Drive for improved collaboration.
- Client Interaction Tools: Features like video conferencing and invoicing help maintain a professional relationship with clients.
- Team Collaboration Tools: Built-in features like shared calendars and group chats facilitate teamwork.
- Demos and Feedback: Test the software with your team to gauge its suitability for your needs.
- User-Friendly Design: Opt for software that’s intuitive and caters to your organization’s tech proficiency and size.
Ease of Use
For small to medium-sized businesses, the following features can enhance the user experience:
- Templates: Ready-made templates that incorporate best practices.
- Educational Resources: Knowledge bases, videos, and demos to help users understand the software.
- Automations: Features that simplify repetitive tasks.
Insights and Analysis
Effective project management software provides dashboards with graphs and tables for easy data interpretation. Identify the KPIs and reports essential for your projects, such as project health, risk assessments, and ROI. Ensure the software allows customization to adapt to evolving needs.
Feedback from Users
Reliable customer support is vital. Research the software provider’s customer service reputation and ensure they’re available during your working hours and through preferred communication channels.
Considerations Based on Business Size
Different business sizes have varying needs. While startups might require tools for local operations, large corporations might need features for global projects. It’s essential to choose software that not only fits your current needs but can also scale with your business growth. Demos can help identify the right tools for your business size, ensuring you don’t invest in unnecessary features but have room for future expansion.
What does Project Management Software Cost?
2024 Project Management Trends
The landscape of project management is undergoing significant transformation due to technological advancements and evolving perceptions about work and leadership, especially in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic. Here are the anticipated project management trends for 2024 that are expected to gain traction.
Embracing the Digital and Remote Work Era
The aftermath of the pandemic has solidified the role of remote and hybrid work models. According to Gallup, about 56% of full-time workers have the capability to perform their tasks entirely from their homes. The pandemic era showcased that efficiency and productivity aren’t necessarily compromised with a remote workforce.
For project managers, this new paradigm has both advantages and challenges. While co-location often fosters team cohesion and unplanned brainstorming sessions, many employees have expressed a preference for the flexibility and satisfaction derived from remote work setups. As 2024 approaches, project managers will need to adeptly handle team interactions and performance in a predominantly online space.
Integrating Project Management with Change Management
With businesses frequently introducing organisational changes, project managers are now tasked with blending these changes into their project strategies. It’s becoming imperative to develop adaptable methodologies that seamlessly incorporate change initiatives. This trend is set to persist, given the dynamic nature of modern workplaces.
Adoption of Mixed Methodologies
Historically, sticking to a single project management methodology was the norm. However, there’s a growing trend of blending various methodologies to cater to the unique demands of each project. This hybrid approach is particularly beneficial when aligning with new organizational change directives.
Linking Projects with Broader Business Strategies
Project managers are now expected to look beyond individual projects and understand the bigger picture. This involves recognizing how different projects interconnect and contribute to the overarching objectives of the organization. Such holistic understanding enables project managers to make decisions that resonate with the company’s broader vision.
Rise of AI and Automation in Project Management
The integration of technologies like artificial intelligence, automation, and machine learning is reshaping project management. As per PwC, project portfolio management tools, which often incorporates these technologies, is used by 77% of successful projects.
AI offers capabilities like performance analysis, predictive analytics, risk assessment, and resource allocation optimisation. Additionally, automation in project management tools can handle routine administrative tasks, allowing project managers to concentrate on more strategic aspects. Project managers who familiarie themselves with these technological tools will be better positioned to harness their potential.