The Top Project Management Software for 2022

By 3 weeks ago

So what exactly is project management software? The Project Management Institute defines a “project” as a temporary, one-of-a-kind endeavor with a “specific set of operations designed to achieve a single objective” that frequently involves the collaboration of diverse groups.

The project is then “managed” by applying knowledge, skills, tools, and techniques to project activities in order to meet project specifications.

The phases of the project management life cycle are initiation, planning, execution, monitoring/controlling, and closure. The primary objective of this entire procedure is to efficiently complete projects while producing high-quality results.

What Is Project Management Software?

Suppose you are constructing a home. It is a complicated procedure, and certain tasks must be completed in a specific order. You cannot install windows if the walls have not yet been constructed.

You likely have dozens of individuals working on the house, and you must know which days they are available to pour the foundation, lay the tile, etc.

Then you must schedule them based not only on their availability, but also on the proper sequence of each task. Using project management software is the way to manage a complex project such as this one, including all the tasks that need to be completed by whom and when.

The software for managing projects is a type of online collaborative application. Everyone who is working on a project logs in to see what they are responsible for and when.

These employees also record their progress on these tasks and add pertinent information, such as notes on any modifications. People with the appropriate permission level can also see what others are doing, what requirements must be met for them to complete a task, and when.

The project management app provides a clear overview of the project’s health to the person or people in charge of its management. Are all tasks on track for timely completion?

How does a delayed task affect the projected completion dates of other tasks? Is there someone who can assume responsibility for an urgent task if the person assigned to it becomes ill? In addition, if the project management app supports tracking finances, the app will also inform the project’s leaders if the project is on track financially.

How We Choose the Best Project Management Apps

For this roundup of the best project management applications, we evaluated and tested over 25 project management platforms and included the highest-scoring products.

Inclusion is determined by PCMag’s impartial testing and evaluation. When determining scores, we take into account the needs of a variety of business sizes, including small businesses on a budget and large organizations that must simultaneously manage numerous projects, people, and budgets.

This category contains only traditional project management applications. These applications are designed to manage projects, not ongoing work. A project is a collection of tasks with a beginning and ending date and a deliverable.

In order to be included in this roundup, the app must provide Gantt charts, a common type of timeline view used for project management. In addition to Gantt charts, each of these applications also includes other standard tools for tracking, organizing, and scheduling project-based work.

There are numerous other excellent collaboration applications that are sometimes referred to as “project management applications,” including Trello, Basecamp, and Airtable.

Despite the fact that some collaboration and work-management applications are exceptionally adept at managing specific types of work, they are not necessarily designed to manage the complexities of dozens or hundreds of projects and their schedules simultaneously. Therefore, they are not included here.

What Can You Do With a Project Management App?

Apps for project management allow you to track and manage almost any type of project, including the creation of a new product, the construction of a home or website, or the launch of a marketing campaign.

Teams that use project management applications typically track multiple projects simultaneously. The software helps them determine when to schedule work based on when tasks must be completed and the available human resources.

The very best project management applications anticipate potential issues. By monitoring the progress of work and individual tasks (such as having completed six hours of an eight-hour task), project management applications can sound an alarm when a deadline is in danger of being missed, but before it actually occurs.

The most effective project management software also offers automatic rescheduling of tasks that veer off course. They generate reports that provide managers with insight into which team members are assigned too much or too little work. Some also allow you to monitor project budgets and log billable hours so that you can bill clients for time worked.

The Best Free Project Management Software

Free versions of some of the best project management software systems are available. Free versions are typically severely limited in some way.

For instance, you may only be permitted to manage one or two projects at a time or invite a small number of people to work with you. In addition, the free version of an app typically lacks the best features. However, it could work if you have a small team and only need to manage one or two projects.

Free accounts are available from Zoho Projects, Teamwork, Wrike, TeamGantt, and ProofHub, as well as a few others, such as AceProject.

Redmine, which did make the list, is a free project management application that you must install and maintain yourself. It is not a commercially available product, but an open-source alternative.

The Best Project Management Apps for Small Businesses

If your team needs to manage and track a few projects but isn’t concerned with employee scheduling, collecting time sheets to bill clients, or comparing the progress of dozens of projects in development, a low-cost tool like Zoho Projects (which starts at $5 per person per month for Premium) is your best bet.

What we like best about Zoho Projects is how easily it scales as your team grows and requires more features. Zoho, the company, provides a variety of other business apps that can connect to Zoho Projects to expand its capabilities.

GanttPRO is another low-cost option that we like. It’s one of the simplest tools to use and is ideal for people with little or no prior project management experience.

There’s no need to spend more than $15 per person per month if you’re not going to use the tools that come with more expensive software, so go with something less expensive.

The Best Project Management Apps for Large Organizations

Large organizations’ requirements are vastly different from those of small businesses. Project management apps are used by organizations with hundreds or thousands of employees and hundreds of projects for scheduling, resource insights, budget tracking, revenue projection, and time tracking for billing purposes, among other things.

It is essential for a large company to be able to manage not only individuals, but also teams. You want to be able to see how much work each junior designer has assigned to them and whether you can free up one of them for the task if you have 15 hours of work for a junior designer and it doesn’t matter which junior designer does it.

For the same reason, all of your company’s managers and team leads should be able to see which tasks are high priority and which projects are in danger of falling behind so that they can triage accordingly.

We recommend Celoxis or LiquidPlanner if your organization handles complex projects and has many team members collaborating on projects.

The Best Project Management App With Special Features

Teams that aren’t quite small businesses but aren’t massive organizations may have unique requirements for their project management software.

Teamwork, which specializes in client work, is our top pick in this category. If your team primarily completes projects as billable work for clients, Teamwork is the app we recommend for project management.

It supports billing and invoicing, as well as the creation of intake forms for new projects. Another app with built-in billing and invoicing tools is Paymo, which didn’t quite make the cut for this roundup.

Of course, there are other areas of specialization for project management software. We recommend Wrike or Celoxis if you need a tool to manage both project and non-project work. (LiquidPlanner is also a good option, but it works best for large groups.)

ProofHub is an excellent choice if your team spends a significant amount of time discussing and iterating on visual assets. Smartsheet is useful for incorporating automation into your project management.

Choosing What’s Best for Your Team

Choosing the right project management software can be time-consuming, but it’s worth the effort to get it right before deploying it to an entire team.

Project management apps are typically expensive to set up. Even when they are simple to use and allow you to import data, it takes time to fine-tune the app to do what you need it to do and then get everyone on board with using it.

When deciding which app to use, consider the type of work your team does, the number of people in the organization, and how you want to run your business. There are numerous excellent options to suit any budget.

People can collaborate on project work more easily with the help of a reliable project management app. Furthermore, business owners and team managers can gain valuable insights into how their teams work, whether projects are on track, and how to guide them back to a successful place when they veer off course.

The Best Project Management Software for 2022

Below is a summary of the top project management software on this list, complete with screenshots, feature overviews, and pricing.

Project management software is a favorite among project managers. Without it, we risk drowning in a never-ending sea of spreadsheets, post-its, and paperwork. It could be the only thing keeping us from total destruction.

So you’re aware of the software’s advantages, and you’re aware that you require assistance with organization and collaboration. However, the frequently asked question, “What is the best project management software?”

Is probably the wrong one to ask. Rather, ask, ‘What is the best project management app for our project and team?’ It will be determined by the project, your workflow, your team, its size, your existing project management toolkit, and, of course, your budget.

To help you figure it out, I’ve put together this article as a comparison of project management tools you’ve probably already come across in your search.

I’ve noted what each does best, the benefits of the tools, links to in-depth reviews, and screenshots to show you how the interface looks. I’m hoping this relieves you of some of the grunt work and filters out some of the noise.

GanttPro Review

You need project management software if you’re juggling multiple projects and trying to keep track of what needs to be done before moving on to the next one.

Unlike other types of work-management tools or collaboration apps, project management apps almost always include Gantt charts (our PCMag criteria requires them) that show how all tasks in a project contribute to the end results, as well as what potential roadblocks are on your timeline.

One such app is GanttPro, which was released in 2015. Since its inception, it has evolved into one of the best options on the market for small businesses that require a core project management platform but do not require a plethora of extras such as reports or invoicing tools—though it does provide basic budget tracking. It is an Editors’ Choice winner because it provides everything a small business needs and is extremely simple to use.

What Is a Gantt Chart?

A Gantt chart is a graph that plots out all of the tasks that comprise a project on a timeline. Gantt charts depict project managers and team members as follows:

  • What tasks must be completed when?
  • How much time each task is expected to take,
  • Which tasks can’t be started until the previous ones are finished? and
  • Who is in charge of each task.

Teamwork Review

Project management is so complex that you can earn a master’s degree in it in two years. It doesn’t feel that complicated with Teamwork, one of our top-rated project management apps.

This excellent online platform alleviates many of the headaches associated with project management and all of its milestones and tasks by providing team members with a clear interface to all of the tools they require.

See Also: What is Digital Asset Management (DAM) Software?

It includes billing and invoicing, making it ideal for client-facing organizations. Project managers or business owners can monitor people’s time and workload, detect when deadlines are approaching, send invoices to clients for billable work, and much more.

Teamwork, along with Zoho Projects and GanttPro, is an Editors’ Choice winner for project management. Zoho Projects is ideal for small and growing teams on a tight budget. Because the app is so simple to use, GanttPro is also ideal for small teams, including those with little or no prior experience with project management.

How Much Does Teamwork Cost?

Teamwork has four account types: Free Forever (no payment information required), Deliver ($12.50 per person per month), Grow ($22.50 per person per month), and Scale (an enterprise plan) (custom pricing). When you create an account, you will be given a 30-day trial of the Grow service with no credit card required.

To obtain a Free Forever account, you must first sign up for the service, then begin the Grow trial, and then cancel Grow to downgrade to the desired tier.

The free account supports five people and two projects at the same time, with 100MB of file storage space. Most of the core features of the other account types are available, but not billing and invoicing, project templates, task templates, client users, collaborators, advanced team management features, the ability to invite clients to have limited access to projects, or a few other features.

Except for Zapier, no other apps can be integrated (an app that ironically enables you to connect Teamwork to other apps, such as Trello, Google Sheets, and Slack).

Zoho Projects Review

Project management software can cost a team tens of thousands of dollars per year. However, if you’re looking for the best project management app on a budget, you don’t have to spend that much.

Zoho Projects is a fantastic app that is reasonably priced for even the most cash-strapped teams. It has a diverse set of features, though it does not include everything under the sun.

For $10 per person per month, you get time tracking, resource management reports, and the ability to track project budgets at the highest tier of service. You don’t get invoicing or billing tools, but you can connect to other apps that do.

We have previously given two Editors’ Choice awards for project management software. One is Teamwork, which is more expensive but includes extra features that mid-sized businesses may want, such as invoicing.

LiquidPlanner is our top choice for large organizations managing hundreds or thousands of employees and projects. It’s better at managing multiple projects and shared resources, and it has powerful tools for automatic scheduling and conflict resolution.

What’s New in Zoho Projects?

Zoho Projects released a new version of its software in 2021, along with updated plans and pricing. Here are some of the most significant changes in the last year for paid account holders.

Workflow Regulations (Enterprise accounts only). Workflow rules enable you to manage workflows with automated steps more effectively. “When X happens, automatically do Y,” for example.

Here’s an illustration: “When a team member checks off a task to indicate that they shipped a project, update the Ship Status field to Shipped automatically.” Workflow Rules support webhooks, which means you can create actions that use tools other than Zoho Projects, such as informing someone about an action in another app.

Melissa Valentini

I am a journalist graduated from the University of New York. In addition, I write short stories and chronicles as a hobby. I currently write for the Techeneis.