Microsoft Project is the classic project management application that is really unto itself since it is so unlike most of the competition, which is primarily web based. Project, meanwhile, is all about the desktop, and is part of the extended Office suite. Looking at Project, you are immediately reminded of Excel, with its spreadsheet-like task entry bar and a familiar green tone.
What is Microsoft Project?
As many businesses are being operated by workers within their own homes, it's now more important than ever to make sure that your entire business is operating through the same systems. That is where Microsoft Project can come into effect, as it lets you manage all of your business's projects under the same dashboard.
When used in conjunction with Microsoft Teams, these software platforms will allow business owners to see the broad scope of their business's progress.
Many popular options for project management software are web apps that you access through a browser. Yet Microsoft offers a desktop version of Microsoft Project, which is ideal for users who prefer a more traditional approach. Project does have a web app like the others, but the main focus (as with many Microsoft products) is an Office program that runs on the desktop.
If up until this point you've been organizing your projects in an Excel spreadsheet, then Project may be an easier transition than something that is purely web based, such as Asana ($10.99 per month) or Trello ($10 per month). For reference, the lowest Project tier starts at $10 per user, per month, putting Project right in the same pricing ballpark as its competition.
Microsoft Project alternatives
While Microsoft Project has its benefits, there are a couple of competitors that we believe have an advantage. Firstly, Monday.com is an affordable, highly customisable platform that offers great automation features.
There's also Wrike, which has an entirely free tier, allowing you to get to grips with the software with no added pressure. It has a very extensive list of features, and also integrates with Slack and Google Hangouts.
Check out some of Microsoft Project's key rivals, below, or see our guide to the best project management software.
BEST ALL ROUND
BEST FREE TIER
EASY TO LEARN
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.
Slick, simple software with a powerful core, plus a genuinely usable free tier for individuals, and great value plans for teams.
A feature-rich service with a plain interface that's easy to learn, and has a free tier option to try.
All-around great software, thanks to ease of use and a scalable pricing scheme.
A simple project management platform with a strong feature set and an impressive free tier.
A solid project management solution with an attractive free tier for small teams
A fairly-priced, stripped-down option best for small teams.
A great tool for spreadsheet-natives, which can take your Excel-based task planning to the next level, and there's a free trial, too.
Best for client-facing businesses, since it offers great service features.
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.
Microsoft Project Video Overview: Project Management in Action
This third-party video offers an excellent overview of how Microsoft Project works, including creating new projects, adding tasks, and viewing reports.
$10 per user per month
$30 per user per month
$55 per user per month
Frequently Asked Questions
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