In today’s fast-paced business world, project management is an essential tool for organizations to ensure the successful completion of their projects. With so many project management tools available in the market, it can be overwhelming to choose the right one for your team. That’s why we have researched and tested some of the best project management tools of this year to help you make an informed decision.
In this article, we will take a deep dive into the top project management tools of this year, highlighting their unique features and benefits. Whether you are a small business owner or a project manager in a large organization, we have got you covered. So, let’s dive in and explore the best project management tools that can take your team’s productivity to the next level.
Overall Best for Startups
Monday.com is a versatile project management tool that caters to businesses of all sizes and budgets. Whether you’re a two-person team with a limited budget or a growing organization with complex projects, Monday.com has got you covered. For small teams, the free version offers customizable boards, over 200 templates, unlimited documents, and the flexibility to work on-the-go through its iOS and Android apps. As your business expands, Monday.com’s advanced project-tracking features, automations, and integrations provide the necessary tools to manage risk, plan budgets, allocate resources, and track progress.
With its intuitive interface and user-friendly features, Monday.com simplifies team collaboration and communication. For instance, automations keep your team on track by alerting you of over-budget tasks or members falling behind schedule. Gantt charts provide a visual representation of project progress, while integrations with tools such as Zoom, Slack, Salesforce, and Google Docs ensure seamless team collaboration. Whether you’re a startup on a shoestring budget or a mature organization with complex projects, Monday.com is a reliable project management tool that grows with your business needs.
Best for data-driven companies
Airtable is the perfect solution for companies looking to elevate their project management capabilities beyond what Microsoft Excel or Google Sheets can offer. With its supercharged spreadsheet functionality, Airtable allows for seamless integration and management of traditional and rich data points, including photos, videos, and other files. Beyond its renowned spreadsheet interface, Airtable offers a variety of project views, from Kanban card stacks to gallery, grid, calendar, and Gantt/timeline views.
One of the key strengths of Airtable lies in its integration options, making it an ideal fit for any data-driven company. You can easily import data from Dropbox or Salesforce, or create a shareable form to collect data from project participants, target users, or project beneficiaries. With templates and drag-and-drop features, you can analyze data from different perspectives, track usage, and forecast resource needs. Additionally, Airtable’s ready-made extensions and scripts allow for intuitive project visualization, from virtual whiteboards for brainstorming to 3D models of your project. Pivot tables, flow charts, and other visual data and project reporting tools further enhance the experience, making Airtable the ideal choice for companies with spreadsheet-compatible data at the heart of their projects.
Best for solopreneurs
Trello is a project management tool built around the kanban card-based system that offers a simple and user-friendly interface. It is perfect for individuals and small teams who are just starting with basic project management. Unlike traditional project management tools, Trello is more flexible, free-form, and focuses on balancing work demands with available capacity to improve system bottlenecks.
The board and card metaphors are easy to understand, making it ideal for managing both individual projects and ongoing workflows. Trello offers powerful features, such as the ability to attach images and files, hyperlinks, custom dropdowns, due dates, and more. Once a card or board is complete, it can be archived to hide it from daily view while still being accessible in the future.
Trello’s basic free tier includes unlimited users and cards, up to 10 boards, and one Power-Up per board, while paid plans start at just $10 per month with few or no limitations. However, the tool lacks in detailed reporting, and some users have experienced difficulties reaching customer support. Overall, Trello is a great starting point for project management and is available on web, mobile, and desktop.
Best for virtual teams
Teamwork is the ultimate tool for client-facing professionals and agencies who value collaboration and client satisfaction. With its unlimited collaborators feature, service-oriented freelancers, consultants, and agencies can easily work with clients within the platform to deliver unique solutions that meet their specific needs and expectations. Although Teamwork’s plans are slightly more expensive than those of its competitors, the platform offers a 30-day free trial for all its plans, providing users with enough time to evaluate their options before making a commitment.
While the free plan offers limited features, upgrading to the paid plans guarantees the best possible client experience. Teamwork’s flexibility allows users to hire freelancers to help without incurring extra costs. With the paid plans, client-facing professionals can access team chat tools, collaborative document editors, intake forms, client-access controls, time tracking, and invoicing features. Clients can also provide feedback directly on project deliverables, task lists, and milestones, leading to more satisfied clients and increased chances of repeat business.
Overall, Teamwork is an exceptional platform designed for client-facing professionals and agencies that prioritize teamwork, collaboration, and client satisfaction. With its impressive features and unlimited collaborators, Teamwork is an excellent choice for service-oriented freelancers, consultants, and agencies looking to enhance their client relationships and take their business to the next level.
Best for big projects
Microsoft Project, the oldest project management tool on our list, has stood the test of time since its creation in 1984. Despite its higher pricing and steep learning curve, it remains the preferred choice for many experienced project managers who handle complex projects. The tool’s comprehensive features make it ideal for those with the expertise, time, and budget to maximize its potential.
While MS Project shares a similar look and feel with other Microsoft Office apps, its lack of tutorials and hints may intimidate newcomers to project management. However, professionals will appreciate the detailed information available for each task and resource, including specific people, roles, and physical materials.
Reporting is one of MS Project’s strengths, with both pre-built and customizable reports that can be exported to Microsoft PowerPoint for quick management summaries. However, integration with non-Microsoft tools is limited. MS Project is available as a standalone piece of software to be installed on a single computer or can be added to an existing Office 365 subscription at various price points.
In 2021, Microsoft replaced the tiered naming convention of Essentials, Professional, and Premium with Project Plan 1, Project Plan 3, and Project Plan 5, leaving the majority of plan features unchanged. While features vary between tiers, subscription prices for Plan 3 (formerly Professional) start at $30 per month per user. MS Project is a powerful tool that is ideal for project managers with large, complex projects and the expertise to make the most of its comprehensive features.
Best for content creators
Notion is the ultimate solution for freelancers and content creators who want to streamline their workflow. Instead of juggling multiple platforms, Notion offers a single interface to design, manage and share your creations. Whether you are creating written content or adding rich media, such as videos or images, Notion makes it easy to organize your work and stay on top of deadlines.
One of the most impressive features of Notion is its versatility. With the ability to switch between checklist, Kanban, gallery and timeline views, you can manage your projects in a way that suits your workflow. This software is more than just a writing tool, it’s a comprehensive platform that can handle all of your content creation needs.
As a freelancer, you can take advantage of Notion’s collaborative features to work with clients seamlessly. Invite clients to view or edit your work, and create a knowledge base that showcases your services and pricing options. Not only does this streamline the process for you, but it also creates a professional image for potential clients. With a free Personal plan and affordable small business paid plans, there is no excuse not to try out this game-changing software.
Best for interior designers
Ivy Project Tracker
Ivy is a comprehensive software designed to cater to interior designers’ business management needs. Although it provides some project management solutions, Ivy’s primary focus is on organizing business operations. While it offers a range of features to help interior designers manage their projects in stages, it may not be the best fit for short-term interior design projects due to its business-oriented nature. Ivy does not offer any free plans, and its paid plans are relatively expensive.
Despite its pricing, Ivy offers several features that make it an attractive option for interior designers. For instance, it allows designers to create and send branded proposals and invoices that clients can review and pay online. Additionally, it provides a 3D floor planner, integrates with QuickBooks for accounting, and enables designers to create project timelines and manage tasks. Ivy’s web clipper is its standout feature, allowing designers to clip products from any website into an Ivy Product Library and easily access and propose them to clients. Ivy also offers marketing solutions like email marketing and website creation. Ivy is compatible with iOS, Android, Chrome, and Safari platforms.
Ivy is a comprehensive all-in-one tool that can cater to the business management needs of any size of interior design business. Its range of features, including the web clipper, make it an attractive option for interior designers, although its pricing and business-oriented focus may not suit short-term interior design projects.
What are project management software tools, and who uses them?
Project management software tools are programs that allow teams, small businesses, and individuals to track projects throughout their various stages. These tools enable users to work collaboratively and remotely, add notes and deadlines, track progress, and make updates. Some software tools also offer search functions, email integration, and organizational tips.
Who uses project management software tools?
Project management software tools are used by a variety of individuals and teams, including work teams, small business owners, individuals managing multiple projects, remote workers, sales teams, contractors, and construction workers.
How much do project management software tools cost?
The cost of project management software tools can vary depending on the specific features offered. Basic versions may be free, while more complex versions with built-in integration and search functions may require a monthly subscription fee. The cost typically ranges from $10 to $99 per month, depending on the number of users and the specific features needed.
Are project management software tools worth the cost?
For teams and remote workers, project management software tools can be extremely helpful in facilitating collaboration, note-taking, and deadline management. While free versions may be a good starting point for those just beginning to use the software, larger companies and teams may find it worth the cost to invest in a paid version to ensure effective project management.