Friday, May 7, 2021

5 Best Project Management Software in 2021

Last Updated on February 28, 2021 by Mandy Schmitz

Best Project Management Software title image
asana.com

Wouldn’t it be great if your projects would be running smoothly like clockwork? No problem with the best project management software.

No matter the industry you are in or the kind of projects you tackle, you can find a suitable project management tool.

The right tool will change the way you work as it will help you plan, organize, generate reports, and communicate in a single platform.

Stay on top of your projects and business operations with the best project management software.

What is the Best Project Management Software?

The best project management software will promote your teams’ productivity and efficiency by facilitating proper planning, scheduling, assignment, tracking resources and tasks, and ensuring projects achieve intended objectives.

To help you choose, I have reviewed five of the best project management software available on the market today. 

Read through for their top features, pricing, and much more to find what suits your business the best. 

Here is my top selection of the best project management software for small businesses in 2021:

1. Zoho Projects

Zoho Projects Interface
zoho.com/projects

Regardless of the sort of business and the kind of undertaking you are managing, Zoho projects will prove to be useful in helping you accomplish your work effectively and conveniently. 

This cloud-based project management software helps project managers and their groups plan projects, track work proficiently, and effectively collaborate between and inside teams. 

Read on to find out if it is the best project management software for your business’ needs.

Key Features

It comes with excellent features to aid in project management, including:

Management and planning: Zoho projects utilize task prioritization and time tracking tools, a great feature that ensures that all relevant activities necessary for successfully completing projects are covered.

Collaboration: This is an essential feature as it helps facilitate effective communication between teams. This tool presents various collaboration features, including team dashboard, chats, features, feeds, documents, forums, mentions, and emails.

Automation: The software allows for automation of the project processes through the use of blueprints. This feature helps ease management’s work, eliminate routine work, send notifications at the right time to the right people and ensure that the proper project implementation process is followed.

Documentation: This tool includes a centralized file storage system that will allow the entire team access to any relevant information, which helps t ensure that all team members are equipped with the necessary project information.

Pros

  • Facilitates easy workflow automation
  • Has multiple communication tools
  • Allows time-tracking of multiple tasks at once

Cons

  • Limited reporting features
  • Complicated task searching
  • No premade templates

Integrations

Zoho Projects is one of the best project management software because it has excellent integration capabilities. It integrates well with the Zoho Suite products, which include Zoho Books and Zoho CRM. It also has other great integrations, including Google Drive, Gmail, Microsoft Apps, Calendar, GitHub, and Slack which can be accessed via Zapier. 

Zoho Projects Integrations
zoho.com

Pricing Plans

Free Plan

The free plan comes with a 10 MB file attachment limit, allowing two projects, with three users and three client users. 

Standard Plan

At a yearly cost of $30 per person, it allows you to have up to ten users, six client users, 5 GB storage space, five project templates, and to manage ten projects.

Express plan

This allows for12-50 users and 12 client users at a yearly cost of $36 per person. It has a storage capacity of 20 GB, ten templates, and unlimited projects.

Premium

It comes at a yearly cost of $48 per person, accommodating a team of 15-100 people and 15 client users. It has a 100 GB storage capacity, twenty templates, and unlimited projects.

Enterprise 

The enterprise plan comes with 120 GB storage space, 30 project templates, and unlimited projects accommodating a minimum of 20 people with no maximum limit. It costs $60 per person yearly and allows 20 client users. 

Get started with Zoho Projects and start your free trial.

2. Wrike.com

wrike interfaces overview
wrike.com Interface Overview

Having a hard time managing multiple projects? Then consider giving Wrike a try. This project management software will allow you to prioritize tasks, align business goals, offer work collaboration, and manage resources across your business.

It comes with ready-made templates that can help standardize your business processes like defining dependencies and degrees, tracking delivery progress, resource scheduling, and performance monitoring. So what makes Wrike one of the best project management software products out there?

Key Features

The most significant features of Wrike include:

Project planning and tracking: The software offers tools that will help in planning, prioritizing, and allocation of resources before task assignment. This great feature helps ensure that tasks work towards a common goal.

Collaboration and reporting: An essential feature that ensures that all team members are equipped with the necessary information for successful task completion. The tool allows team members to share and discuss project and task details within their work context. 

Customization and automation: This feature helps improve efficiency by focusing on the more strategic and non-routine tasks that matter most. The tool comes with customizable workflows, fields, and folder structures, allowing flexibility.

Pros

  • Offers a comprehensive task designing
  • It comes with several customization options
  • Easy to scale 

Cons

  • Has no offline access
  • Difficult to choose the right plan without customer guidance
  • The free plan does not allow subtasks

Integrations

Wrike has powerful integration potential with over 400 integrations. This runner-up for the best project management software functions well with Google Apps, Microsoft Projects, Jira, Zapier, Salesforce, Marketo, and Dropbox.

Pricing Plans

Wrike has eight pricing plans to choose from:

Free plan  

It’s suited for small teams of five users and comes with a 2 GB storage capacity, limited integration features, file sharing, and mobile apps.

Professional plan

At a monthly cost of $9.80 per user covering teams of 5,10 and 15 users, this plan has full project planning and collaboration features, shareable dashboards, advanced integrations, 5 GB storage capacity, and 15 GB monthly video uploads.

Business plan

This plan can accommodate between 2-500 users and comes with all the features in the professional plan in addition to others.

wrike review pricing table part 1
wrike.com

The other plans are Wrike for Marketers, Wrike for Marketers performance, Wrike for professional services, and Wrike for Professional services performance.

Each of the plans comes as an upgrade from the previous category and allows custom pricing with the client. They also present specifically tailored tools that are relevant for each group.

Head over to Wrike.com and start your free trial.

3.Monday.com

monday.com interface
monday.com

This runner-up for best project management software comes in the form of highly customized spreadsheets where team members log tasks they need to complete and give status updates and other related information.

Although anybody can use it, it’s most suitable for medium size to large corporations with multiple projects to manage. 

Key Features

The most notable features include:

Team and task management:  This uses tools like time tracking, workflow automation, dependencies, integrated Kanban boards, multiple views, calendar integrations, and automated notifications. 

This is an important feature that helps teams achieve better and faster results for every project milestone.

Organized communication: This software presents a collaborative environment that facilitates communication between team members. 

This feature is great because it avoids confusion and miscommunication, which could result in delays.

Task Automation: This tool comes with an already configured list of automations that you can use and customize to fit your business’s specific details and needs. So this is a cool feature as it can help you save time and direct your attention to more critical tasks.

Pros

  • Supports various integrations
  • Great collaboration focus
  • Allows easy customization of boards and workflows
  • Offers in-app automation

Cons

  • Complex pricing and plans
  •  No option for creating recurring tasks
  •  It has limited project management features in the basic plan

Integrations

Monday.com lets you connect your account to other apps. It supports various integrations, including Slack, Google Drive, Gmail, GitHub, Trello, Google Calendar, Microsoft Teams, Dropbox, Typeform, Jira, and many others all accessible via Zapier.

Pricing Plans

monday.com pricing table
monday.com – Monthly Pricing for 10 Seats

These are the main plans for Monday.com:

Basic Plan

The basic plan costs $39 monthly for a team of up to five members, with 5 GB storage capacity, unlimited boards, and 24/7 support.

Standard Plan

This plan starts at $49 monthly for five people with all the basic plan features plus 50 GB storage space. You also get advanced search, Timeline, Calendar, and Map views. It permits two integrations and automation.

Pro Plan

Starting at $79 monthly for five people, it comes with all the features in the standard plan, unlimited storage space, unlimited guest accounts, time tracking, chart views, private boards, and 10 dashboards. 

Enterprise Plan

The enterprise plan has custom pricing and includes all the pro plan features plus 25 dashboards, audit logs, user session management, advanced account permissions, and a dedicated customer success manager. 

Check out Monday.com and get started with your free trial today.

4. Asana

best project management software - asana interface
asana.com

Asana made it onto our list of contestants for the best project management software because it is a versatile project management solution used to manage tasks effectively and meet deadlines within a single platform that promotes visibility. 

This highly flexible tool can manage different workflows with a collection of innovative features to enhance efficiency and productivity.

It uses a mix of project management elements, collaboration, and file storage in managing projects across teams without email.

This tool is compatible with various mobile devices, and it’s suitable for companies of any size and most especially those with remote teams.

Key Features

Some of its key features include:

Task, project, and workflow management: This feature allows you to arrange work in a visible way to all team members involved. It works by centralizing goals, tasks, and files to enable comfortable working and sharing from one application. The feature helps boost productivity and efficiency.

Real-time communication and reporting: This software comes with in-built conversions where team members can make discussions, post announcements, and even commend achievements.  This feature is helpful as it keeps you and your team members up to date on the project.

Customizable dashboards: Asana has a highly customizable dashboard that allows separate tracking for each member’s task and status display. The dashboard can equally be used for group discussions, leads tracking, and customer queries.

Pros 

  • Allows viewing of personal tasks in one place
  • It comes with excellent email integration
  • Easily accessible calendar fully synced with all your tasks.

Cons

  • It does not allow assigning the same task to multiple people.
  • It does not show projects that are due at the same time
  • No time tracking features

Integrations 

Asana works well with various other applications, including Google, Microsoft, Salesforce, Jira cloud, Harvest, Zoom, Gmail, and Slack.

asana integrations

Pricing Plan

This project management software has the following pricing plans:

Basic plan

The basic plan is a free plan with limited features, including Task lists, Kanban boards, Calendars, and App integrations, and allows up to 15 users.

Premium

The next tier, the premium plan, costs $10.99 per user monthly. It includes all the features in the basic plan plus a few others. 

Business

A license for the business plan costs $24.99 per user per month. It comes with workload, portfolios, automatic proofing, and adobe creative cloud integration in addition to all the features in the premium plan.

Enterprise

This plan is customized and allows for price negotiation with Asana. 

Try it and get started with Asana today.

5. Microsoft Project

Microsoft Project is one of the best project management software out there. It’s a powerful software that helps project managers track progress, manage various resources, and assign tasks efficiently.

Microsoft Project is most suitable for big companies managing multiple complex projects and with experience in project management. 

microsoft project interfaces overview (1)
Microsoft Project Interfaces Overview

Key Features

This project management software comes with various attractive features that help manage projects; they include:  

Timeline view: This feature presents the entire project with a top-down view of the whole work, allowing you to see it from different stakeholders’ perspectives. This helps provide the big picture of the project’s details in an instance.

Resource Management: This software has tools like heat maps that help track and monitor available resources to ensure they are used beneficially for the project. This is an excellent feature as it helps facilitate optimal resource allocation and minimize wastage.

Planning and scheduling: The tool uses prioritization, task management, and team calendar to define, allocate resources, and assign tasks to team members and establish task completion time. This feature is helpful as it facilitates smooth operation since everyone is aware of their duties.  

Pros

  • Flawless integration with all other Microsoft tools
  • Excellent tracking and management for all kinds of projects
  •  Excellent Gantt chart tracking

Cons

  • Has a steep learning curve
  • It’s relatively costly.
  • Not friendly for first-timers

Integrations

Microsoft Project has impeccable integration with all other Microsoft suite apps, including Word, Excel, and Access. However, it’s limited as it does not allow integration with other third-party apps.  

Pricing Plans

This project management tool has different pricing categories for its cloud-based and in-house solutions as follows:

Cloud-based solution

Plan 1

The basic plan costs $10 monthly per user and comes with limited features, including team access, task status updates, Kanban boards, and export projects.

Project 3

This plan comes at a monthly cost of $30 per person and has all the features included in plan 1 plus desktop application, Gantt charts, resource management, timesheet, project road mapping, and task project financials.

Project 5

It costs $55 monthly per user with project analytics and portfolio reports added to the features in plan 3.

microsoft project pricing plans cloud-based solutions
Microsoft Project – Pricing Plans cloud-based Solutions

In-house solution

Standard Plan

The standard in-house solution comes at a one-off payment of $620 with the installed desktop application, business intelligence, reporting, project, and costs schedules.

Professional Plan

It costs $1030 and features all the previous features plus project online syncing, track time, invoicing, and payroll.

Server Plan

The server plan allows for price negotiation with the client and has all the features in the professional plan in addition to advanced analytics.

Get started with one of the best project management software on the market and give Microsoft Project a try.

What is Project Management Software?

A project management software is designed to assist in planning, organizing, and managing various projects. It enables you to effectively collaborate, monitor a project’s progress and budget or several projects simultaneously in real-time.

A project management software improves a team’s productivity and efficiency. It helps perform any of the following tasks:

  • Task definition, planning, and allocation
  • Task scheduling
  • Resource planning and assignment
  • Tracking and allocation of project budget
  • Promote communication between team members and other stakeholders 
  • Help define project inter-dependencies and their interactions
  • Help predict possible project changes
  • Support project risk management and mitigation
  • Enhances the overall transparency of a project or a set of projects (i.e. a program)

To find out more about program management, check out our ultimate program management guide.

project management triangle
pixabay.com

Types of Project Management Software

Project management software usually falls into four categories, these are as follows:

Web-based

Web-based project management software is accessible from any web browser with an internet connection. This requires you to subscribe to it as a service. It allows users in different locations to access it via various devices, including tablets, personal computers, desktops, etc.

The software is managed and controlled by the vendor, and as such, you will need to share your data files. You, therefore, have no control of your information and related security protocols. This type can be expensive in the long run as a result of the recurring monthly fees.

On-premise Software

On-premise project management software is installed on a client’s server inside their data center and managed by the client’s information technology (IT) employees.

It requires you to pay a single on-premise license and make additional payments for any upgrades. That means the software can only be accessed via your server or computer; hence it has low mobility.

With this kind of software, you get full control of data storage and security measures to protect your data. You also get to control over when to schedule software updates and make arrangements to avoid the inconvenience brought about by automatic updates.

Integrated

This type of project management software combines project management functions with other aspects of the business like invoicing and Customer Relationship Management (CRM). With this, you get a unified solution that offers visibility, supports accountability, and enhances collaboration. 

Integrated software applications are installed on a client’s server or accessed via the internet. This type is best suited for projects that overlap with other business aspects.

Best of Breed

This type of project management software specializes in a single specific capability such as time tracking, scheduling, or Gantt charting

How Do You Use Project Management Software?

What is the essence of having a useful tool if it does not help you boost efficiency and productivity? After all, the reason why you may want to get software is to help you gain a competitive advantage, right?

The business world is highly competitive. Therefore, you need to ensure that you get the best software and learn how to use it correctly and efficiently. This can help you obtain optimal benefits and give you a higher margin than your competitors.

The following steps can help you set up and reap maximum benefits from your tool:

  • Identify your requirements: Find out your precise requirements for the tool and intended results to ensure it has all the features required.
  • Go for the right pricing plan: Select an appropriate plan based on your requirements, users, and budget.
  • Learn how to use the navigation panel properly: Practice and get experience on navigating through the tool for ease of use.
  • Design a new folder: This allows you to keep team members in the loop and storing details about specific projects.
  • Start a new or add an existing project to the new folder earlier created by defining a start and end date
  • Add team members to enable them to remain up to date on the project progress. 
  • Add tasks and allocate them to different members.
  • Provide details about the tasks including subtasks, members assigned, expected completion dates, etc.
  • Set priority levels to indicate which tasks require to be undertaken first
  • Define reports and dashboards to facilitate easy tracking of every member’s task progress
  • Use Gantt charts for quick visualization and collaboration.

Let’s Wrap It Up

So, what’s the best project management software for you? 

While there are various options to choose from, the best tool will perfectly match and help fulfill your business’s specific needs. First, you need to determine your desired results from the tool and then zero-in to the one with features that suit you.

Our choice for the best project management software goes to Wrike because it works well for businesses of all sizes and can tackle projects of any kind. Moreover, It is intuitive to handle, it lets you track time and manage projects on the go with its mobile app.

Besides that, it has a user-friendly interface with all the features necessary for project management, including a comprehensive task scheduling tool to complete your project successfully. Its powerful visualization capabilities are a plus.

Well, it’s up to you now. Need assistance in setting up or running your projects? Then do not hesitate to contact us today.

Mandy Schmitzhttps://mandyschmitz.com
Mandy Schmitz is a freelance consultant and project management expert with 10+ years of experience working internationally for big brands in fintech, consumer goods and more. Join me here on Changeaholic.com to learn how to optimize your business operations and find the latest software reviews.
Mandy Schmitz is a freelance consultant and project management expert with 10+ years of experience working internationally for big brands in fintech, consumer goods and more. Join me here on Changeaholic.com to learn how to optimize your business operations and find the latest software reviews.

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