For our money, the best project management software you can choose is monday.com – it's ideal for small businesses, has a modern, easy-to use interface, and even has a brilliant free trial to let you give it a go first.
But, monday won't be the perfect solution for all teams. For digital and tech engineering functions, and agile teams who work in sprints, there's no better tool than Jira . Of course, each has different virtues that may help suit different business needs – monday.com is simple to navigate, utterly modern and user friendly, plus inexpensive. Jira, meanwhile, is perfectly suited to the needs of digital organizations, and can be personalized with thousands of third-party integrations.
About Our Product Chooser Tool
To help you choose the right project management software for your team, we’ve partnered with business software experts AppWiki. Using the AppWiki comparison chart above, you can click through to find deals and discounts on project management software and decide on the best suite for your business. AppWiki’s recommendations are based on features, value for money, and aggregated user reviews from across various feedback systems.
Managing budgets, documents, and administration tasks can be a hassle. That's why you need the best project management software available for your business. Choose the right one, and you'll breathe new life into your organization – and your bottom line. Choose poorly, and you'll be trapped with a clumsy, confusing interface.
Still, it’s a competitive field, with plenty of brands to choose from.
Here, we cover the top project management software providers, offering the prices, features, and support information you need to make an informed decision. Read on to learn everything about the best project management software.
We've logged the hours needed to test, research, and review each of the project management software providers listed below. We looked at the interface, infrastructure, standout features, pricing, and plan tiers, in order to determine the strengths and weaknesses of each.
While some of these brands stand out from others, all of them are valuable for their own reasons. We've ranked them according to the overall benefits we found they had to offer, but your business might find the perfect fit for its exact needs a little farther down the list.
Click each of the names here to jump directly to our mini-review, which lists that vendor's pros, cons, and core features. Otherwise, simply continue scrolling to read about them all.
- monday – best for modern design
- Jira – best for overall value
- Zoho Projects – best for a free tier
- Mavenlink – best for service-based businesses
- Asana – best for a comprehensive workflow
- Trello – best for a stripped-down service
- Wrike – best for a fast learning curve
- Smartsheet – best for individuals
- Workfront – best for large companies
- Microsoft Project – best for Microsoft fans
- Basecamp – best for mid-sized businesses
- Teamwork Projects – best for complex functionality
- Clickup – best for an okay-enough free tier
Here's a table offering a quick comparison between these 12 project management software providers:
BEST ALL ROUND
$14/mo for single-user; $25/user/mo for multiple users
M-F, 9 am to 5 pm, ET
M-F, 8 am to 6:30 pm, CT
M-F, 7 am to 12 am, GMT
A great task management system due to strong customizablity and support team, with a generous Free Trial period.
All-around great software, thanks to ease of use and a scalable pricing scheme.
A solid project management solution with an attractive free tier for small teams
Best for client-facing businesses, since it offers great service features.
A simple service with a strong feature set and a free tier.
A fairly-priced, stripped-down option best for small teams.
A feature-rich service with an unoriginal interface that's easy to learn.
A great service for web-natives, but with a high price tag.
An enterprise solution aimed at large companies.
A pricey service best for companies invested in Microsoft.
A feature-rich software with a pricing scheme best for mid-sized teams.
A management tool with a complex functionality.
A service with an above-average free tier.
Best for modern design, with advanced customization
Pricing from: $8/user/month
monday is a flexible project management tool with plenty of customizable features, thanks to a drag-and-drop functionality, editable columns, and an infrastructure with multi-use rows. However, third-party integrations are a little limited, and you won't find sub-tasks and task dependencies, which may confuse employees who are used to other project management services. That said, it does all come with 24/7 phone and email support across all tiers.
- Highly customizable platform
- A bit more affordable compared to other services
- Automation features save loads of time
- Missing more common project management features
- Limited third party integrations
- Higher tiers required for basic features
monday's price plans come in four tiers (Basic, Standard, Pro, and Enterprise), all of which are available for nine different monthly prices, determined by the number of users (up to 2, 5, 10, 15, 25, 50, 100, and 200 team members, with an additional 200+ tier available at a custom price). The per-month price is billed annually, and is determined by which tier and user number category you pick. For example, the up-to-10-users option costs $49 per month for Basic, $79 per month for Standard, $119 per month for Pro, and $238 for Enterprise. We'd recommend the Standard tier regardless of your team size, since it includes all the features we've listed above and removes a 5GB cap on storage and a one-week cap on activity logs that the Basic tiers imposes.
Read our full monday.com review
Best for overall value
Price from: $10/10 users/month
Initially developed by Atlassian as a tool for software development, Jira has become a popular general project management software service. If your IT department already uses it to report bugs, upgrading the rest of your team to its project management services will be a piece of cake.
The Jira name refers to a suite of services (Jira Core, Jira Software, Confluence, and Jira ServiceDesk), most of which can be mixed and matched to suit a business' unique project management needs. The core interface uses a category-based system: Users can easily drag and drop tasks into categories including “To Do,” “In Progress,” and “Done.” Jira also supports almost 2,000 third-party integrations, which help it address all the needs that its basic service can't.
- Very simple interface that's easy to use
- Lots of helpful integrations
- Scalable pricing structure - the more users you have, the more you save
- Missing more advanced project management features
- Integrations can be confusing
- Monthly rates are very expensive
The pricing for Jira's cloud subscription starts at $10/month for up to 10 users, and costs another $7/month for each user after that for the first 100 users. The next 150 users cost $5/user/month, and the users after that (up until the limit of 5,000 users) will cost just $1.10/user/month. This scalable approach makes Jira a particularly attractive option for businesses that plan to expand rapidly.
See our full guide to Jira Pricing
Jira Core Cloud
Jira Core Server
Jira Software Cloud (Standard)
Jira Software Cloud (Premium)
Jira Software Server
Jira Data Center
One time payment
$10.00 (donated to charity)
Free for a trial, $70 for continued use
$140 ($14 per user)
$500 ($5 per user)
$700 ($7 per user)
$1,400 ($14 per user)
$1,850 ($3.70 per user)
$2,850 ($5.70 per user)
$4,650 ($9.30 per user)
$6,350 ($3.17 per user)
$10,350 ($5.17 per user)
$15,150 ($7.58 per user)
$30,350 ($3.04 per user)
$50,350 ($5.04 per user)
$71,150 ($7.12 per user)
Best for a free tier
Price from: Free
Zoho is a software giant, covering everything from CRM and accounting software to performance and project management software. Of course, it's the latter we're here to focus on.
One of the most appealing things about Zoho Projects is there's a genuinely respectable free tier for smaller teams, or for new users to try out to get a feel for the software. There's plenty you'll find yourself able to do, even on the non-paid Zoho tier, and the “gamification” approach makes for a compelling and (dare we say it?) quite fun way to track team progress and tick off updates.
However, for the very best of Zoho Projects, you'll need to step up to a paid plan.
For the free tier, you're limited to just 3 users, and 2 projects. That's understandably limiting, so let's look over the further tiers:
- Standard: $3/user/mo (6-10 users, 10 projects)
- Express: $4/user/mo (11-50 users, unlimited projects)
- Premium: $5/user/mo (15-100 users, unlimited projects)
- Enterprise: $6/user/mo (from 20 users, unlimited projects)
As well as the number of projects you can track, stepping up tier by tier gives you additional project templates, levels of training and onboarding support, and file storage. Additionally, there are far more plugins and integrations available among the Zoho higher tiers, plus more refined analytics tools and global objective setting options for larger organizations.
- Free trial
- Flat fee payment structure
- Easy to use interface for everyone
- Built-in time tracking and gamification
- Pretty expensive for medium to large companies
- Gamification tools can be spotty
- Third party integrations exclusive to high tiers
Best for service-based businesses
Price from: $19/5 users/month
Mavenlink is a great option for client-facing operations, helping businesses streamline their responses to provide necessary support in a timely manner. It's Gantt charts are a key feature, offering a simple, high-level look at the tasks facing a business. Mavenlink's functionality also lets users easily send and track project-specific documentation via email.
The only notable downside to this sleek, useful service is that it replaces the third-party app store (common to project management software) with its own application programming interface, M-Bridge, which requires a little software development know-how to use.
The pricing scheme is terrific for any small business or startup operating with five or fewer employees – it'll only cost a flat $19/month, and includes access to the great features listed above. Exceed five users, and you'll start paying $4/user/month for each additional user, but even this doesn't work out to an onerous ongoing fee until you start hitting triple digits.
- Clean, stylish interface
- Great for any sized team
- Key features availabe in lower tiers
- Not as intuitive as Asana
- Bit of a learning curve
- Limited customizability
Best for a comprehensive workflow
Pricing from: $10/user/month
One of the most well-known names in project management, Asana delivers an easily-navigable interface and plenty of essential features. These include customizable task fields, task dependencies, third-party integrations, and a timeline view for a broad look at projects' histories and projected performance.
- Plenty of third party integrations
- Incredible clean and intuitive interface
- Free options available
- Most key features require Premium plan
- High prices for larger teams
- Limited customizability
The pricing structure isn't scalable like Jira's, however, and the lack of discounts at lower pricing tiers might drive away operations with larger teams. The main tier, Premium, charges $10/user/month – billed annually – although there is a free tier, if you're willing to forego a few of the more useful features (including the timeline, task dependencies, and an ability to customize).
Best for a stripped-down, simple functionality
Pricing from: $9.99/user/month
Trello offers a “category and task” approach, similar to the one Jira operates on – in fact, it was acquired by Jira's parent company Atlassian in 2017 – but has been designed from the ground up for project management. Each of the movable “cards” Trello uses to track tasks can be used to hold information, including the team members involved, subtasks, due dates, documentation, labels, and comments. Users must rely on a catalog of extensions called Power-Ups, which activate common project management functions like timelines and calendars.
- Intuitive, drag-and-drop interface
- Lots of add-ons available
- Free option available
- Very limited free option
- Too basic for larger teams
- Add-ons come at a price
It's a flexible interface that's almost too simple, particularly if you're using the free tier, which is limited to a single Power-Up per project category. Upgrade to the $9.99/user/month Business Class tier, and you'll get the unlimited Power-Ups and unlimited “boards” you'll need to pin your cards on. Scalable pricing is offered for the third tier, Enterprise, so Trello's pricing remains appealing for businesses of all sizes – even if the simple infrastructure it offers will always work best for small teams with simple needs.
Read our full Trello vs Jira guide
Best for a fast learning curve
Pricing from: $9.80/user/month
Wrike offers a fairly robust suite of features, all wrapped up in an unoriginal, but perfectly functional single- and double-panel layout interface. The simple hierarchy starts with teams and progresses through folders, projects, project phases and task lists, before finally reaching the most basic unit – tasks. It's a simple structure that makes the whole process of adopting new software relatively painless.
Features include task dependencies, Gantt charts, customizable calendars, a Document Editor that tracks edit histories, and at higher paying tiers, a time-tracking feature. Some features are missing, such as an internal live chat ability, but these can be patched assuming a third-party integration is available (Slack or Google Hangout integrations can help with the live chat issue, for example).
- No-nonsense, robust feature catalog
- Lots of customizability
- Integrates with Slack, Google Hangouts, and Adobe Creative Cloud
- Not entirely easy to use
- Nothing special that you wouldn't find in other software
- Mobile options are limited
Wrike Free Tier
Wrike also offers a free tier, though it doesn't include subtasks, and is capped at just five users and 2GB of storage. The basic tier comes at an industry-average cost of $9.80/user/month, and includes all the above features (save that time-tracking function).
Read our full Wrike pricing guide
Best for individuals
Pricing from: $14/month for a single-user plan; $25/user/month for multiple users
Smartsheet relies on a spreadsheet-like interface, paired with a Gantt chart. Users can create tasks, sub-tasks, and task dependencies, attach files where needed, and use a calendar or Kanban board view. The interface shares a few abilities with other services well known to web natives: For example, users can be tagged in the comments with the same “@mentions” feature used by Twitter and Slack, and can highlight essential bits of text just like in a Word or Google doc. There's no timeline feature, although a third-party integration can compensate for this oversight.
- Fairly easy to use, even for beginners
- Familiar, spreadsheet-like interface
- Great for any sized company
- Some features have limited functionality
- Very few third party apps available
Smartsheet's pricing is sadly a little higher than the project management software standard of $10/user/month. If you want just an individual plan, you'll pay $14 per month, but if you want an entire team on the service, you'll need to pay $25/user/month, with a minimum of three users. That's pretty pricey, and a ding on what's otherwise an intuitive, feature-rich software service that offers plenty of integrations which are particularly attractive to a web-native company.
Read our guide to Smartsheet pricing
Best for large companies
Pricing not available
Workfront's project management software is designed to centralize an operation's work. However, it doesn't list its pricing information, instead requesting that each business contact its salesperson for a custom quote. This – along with a few Workfront features that are only common at enterprise levels, such as a single sign-on ability – suggests that Workfront is designed for large companies, and that small businesses or startups should look elsewhere.
Workfront Tools and Data
The software service centralizes data supplied by a range of online tools into a single, easily searchable location. Further adding to Workfront's ease of use is one unique aspect of its infrastructure: Fusion, a tool that allows users to add third-party integrations with a simple drag-and-drop action, rather than a coding process. It also includes a time budgeting feature, a bar that appears in the calendar view and fills up to represent how much free time a user has on their schedule.
- Customization available for different teams
- Lots of enterprise level options
- Unique time budgeting features
- Not a transparent-focused platform
- Not good for smaller teams
- Limited storage options
Best for businesses using Microsoft-suite
Pricing from: $30/user/month
Microsoft Project is the software giant's take on a project management tool. If your business has long relied on Office 365, then adapting this tool should be a no-brainer. Unlike most project management software services, Microsoft Project is available as an entirely desktop-bound app as well as a web app, making it even easier for long-time Microsoft fans to migrate over to.
The service is easy to use, with interfaces covering all options – from timelines and calendar views to the familiar Gantt charts.
Microsoft Project Pricing
Sadly, the pricing is pretty far outside the norm for the industry, starting at a whopping $30/user/month in its cheapest tier. Large companies can still foot that bill, and since they're the ones likely to be the most heavily invested in Office 365 in the first place, Microsoft Project should be a perfectly fine fit. For everyone else, that price tag is likely to be a deal-breaker.
Read our full Microsoft Project review
- Huge catalog of project management features
- Perfect for teams already using other Microsoft services
- Familiar Microsoft interface
- Overwhelming feature catalog
- Not necessary for smaller teams
- Few lower price tiers
Best for mid-size businesses
Pricing from: $99/unlimited users/month
Why is Basecamp best for mid-size teams? It charges a flat $99 monthly fee, rather than the more common per-user pricing scheme. This allows larger businesses to save money, but makes it less cost-effective for smaller operations.
Basecamp is easy to use and offers a broad range of features, but enterprise companies will likely find that it lacks the custom features it needs. In other words, this is the Goldilocks of project management software: If your business is mid-sized, it'll fit just right.
Basecamp Features and Interface
Basecamp is powered by a tile-based interface. Standout features include an “Automated Check-in,” which sends users questions to answer in order to ensure their team members are updated on their work, and a built-in live chat feature. Third-party integrations can compensate for a few missing features: Gantt charts aren't included, for instance, but a Ganttify add-on can replicate them for an extra cost. For many companies, Basecamp is a valuable service to consider.
See our guide to Asana vs Basecamp
- Great price, especially for medium-sized teams
- Simple interface with quick learning curve
- Communication and transparency driven platform
- Limited customizability
- Few customer support options
- Not great for enterprise organizations
Best for complex functionality
Pricing from: $9/user/month
Teamwork Projects offers a good service, though the interface may be a tad complex and counter-intuitive for some. Task views include Gantt charts, calendars, and Kanban boards, while personal dashboards allow users to track work without bringing in the entire team. Milestones, sub-tasks, and notes can all be recorded when needed, allowing users to build a deep bench of resources (such as links and comments) that they can refer back to at the right time. Third-party integrations are available, but not in as large a quantity as other leading project management tools, and some require a higher price tier to access.
Teamwork Projects Pricing
A free tier is available, though it caps teams at five users, 100MB of file storage, and two active projects at a time. The $9/user/month tier is more workable, and includes third-party integrations with (deep breath) Google Drive, Box.com, OneDrive Personal, Dropbox, Slack, and Microsoft Office. A $15/user/month tier is also available, promising two-factor authentication, custom domain usage with SSL, and even more integrations. A fourth tier for enterprises requires a custom quote, and offers single sign-on and a dedicated customer service rep.
- A whole lot of communication options
- Kanban-style boards and Gantt charts available
- Affordable pricing and solid free option
- Limited built-in integrations
- Lacks software development and customer resource management features
An okay-enough free tier
Pricing from: $9/user/month
Created in 2016, Clickup is a relative newcomer to the world of project management software. The interface's hierarchy starts with teams, and includes spaces, projects, lists, and finally, tasks. This structure functions to keep different projects siloed from each other, reducing confusion while staying flexible enough to work in a range of different contexts.
- Competitive pricing options
- Somewhat robust free plan
- Very customizable
- Limited storage outside of Unlimited plan
- Better for small teams, few enterprise level features
- Customizability can be overwhelming to new users
Clickup Pricing and Free Tier
The free tier is better than most, offering unlimited users, unlimited projects and spaces, and most essential features, though storage is capped at 100MB in total. The next tier up costs $9/user/month, or $60/user/year when billed annually. This unlocks unlimited storage, integrations, and features, along with advanced reporting. Additional tiers cost $19/user/month and $29/user/month, and include two-factor authentication and custom perks. While Clickup's free version isn't perfect, it's among the best free project management tools out there – and the fact that its users aren't capped is great news for large teams who may not need a lot of functionality.
Read our full Clickup review
We'll be the first to admit: choosing a new software to install at your business can be daunting. The added costs, the in-depth training, and the over-arching feeling of the dreaded “change” is enough to induce flop sweat on the spot. Fortunately, we can help you make the right decision when it comes to project management software.
Below, we'll go over some criteria you should consider when it comes to choosing the right project management software for your business.
One of the easiest ways to narrow down your search for the right project management software is by the size of your company. Many tools cater to smaller businesses without a lot of team members, while others a tailor-made for enterprise-level organizations.
If you're a small business looking for project management software, there are a few things you should absolutely look out for before making a decision.
First off, you can likely avoid the more expensive plans and providers right out of the gate. Most of the high priced options are geared towards enterprise-level organizations than need robust analytics, vast customizability, and a whole lot of users. Smalls teams can typically get by with the free tiers or entry-level plans, as long as you don't require those advanced features for something specific.
Additionally, smaller teams should avoid some of the more complicated providers, like Jira, Workfront, and Teamwork Projects, as they can be difficult to figure out due to the massive feature catalogues that you likely won't even end up using. Stick to the easy-to-use options, like monday.com and Trello, so your whole team can enjoy the improved productivity without learning a confusing new platform.
Finding the right project management software for a mid-sized businesses is a bit more difficult than small or large businesses, because the needs can vary dramatically from company to company. Still, there are some guidelines to follow to make sure you end up with a solid platform for your business.
For project management software at a mid-sized business, it all comes down to what you want to use it for. If you just need a simple progress tracking platform, aim for ease of use, which you'll find in Trello or Wrike. If you're looking for more core features like collaboration and discussion, tools like monday.com, Asana, and Basecamp are a great fit. And finally, if you're looking for a robust, analytics-machine that can handle the unique requirements of your business, platforms like Teamwork Projects, Jira, and Zoho will get you there.
Not to be blunt, but enterprise-level businesses really do need project management software to keep track of everything going on. Fortunately, there are some options geared towards these larger businesses to help you monitor the wide range of metrics you likely want to keep track of.
For one, you'll almost certainly be looking at the more expensive tiers, if not the enterprise-level solutions, provided by each platform. They typically allow for more users, more metrics, and more support, so you can be sure everyone is on the same page.
You'll find enterprise-level solutions available through basically every provider on this list, but there are some that will truly improve your productivity. Zoho Projects, Jira, and Workfront are all geared towards larger businesses, but other mid-tier solutions like monday.com and Asana offer enterprise plans that are great if you need the users, but don't require all those advanced features.
As with any decision in the business world, cost plays a pivotal role in which project management software will be a good fit. Obviously, measuring return on investment isn't easy with this kind of software, but spending a lot versus spending a little can change what kind of platform you end up with and how well your team works together.
If you don't have a lot of room in the budget when it comes to adding new software, you're in luck. As long as you don't need robust analytics, advanced features, and a lot of users, many of these platforms offer free plans that can handle everything and then some.
If you're looking for a bit more, entry-level plans are typically only a few dollars a month, and they offer great free trials that can let you test them out before you make a decision. Monday.com, for instance, offers a great 14-day free trial of their easy-to-use platform to see if it fits your needs.
If you've got a lot of flexibility in your budget for a project management software, you're all set. Project management software typically doesn't cost too much compared to other business software, so it'll be hard to go overboard when looking for the best fit.
That isn't to say you should just throw money at the most expensive platform you can find. A big budget just means you get to focus on the important stuff, like user counts, feature sets, and support options, so you can get the perfect option for what you need.
Once you've reviewed all the best project management software services, it's time to take a look at your business needs. Which features do you need? How does the size of your team affect the price you might pay for each service? Will any future expansion bump you into a higher price plan?
We've whittled the top project management tools down to this list of twelve options. It's up to you to figure out which one is the unbeatable choice for your team.
Tech.co is reader-supported. If you make a purchase through the links on our site, we may earn a commission from the retailers of the products we have reviewed. This helps Tech.co to provide free advice and reviews for our readers. It has no additional cost to you, and never affects the editorial independence of our reviews. Click to return to top of page