April 12, 2019
A desktop application that can help users create and manage projects using the familiar Microsoft Office Ribbon interface.
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.
At first, Project may seem overwhelming – indeed, it has just as many options as other Office products. Once you get the basics down, however, it's relatively easy to understand, with a wealth of interfaces including timeline, Gantt charts, calendar, and board views. Project also has a companion web app – like many Office apps – but the primary interaction is the desktop, which may not appeal to smaller, web-focused teams.
Desktop app and web app
Very expensive compared to other options
Familiar Microsoft Office look and feel
What is Microsoft Project?
A lot of the popular options for project management software are web apps that you access in the browser. Yet Microsoft is still making 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.
Microsoft Project first debuted in 1984, making it the oldest project management tool we've looked at. It's also officially part of Office, though you won't find it on the Office 365 landing page since it's geared towards enterprises and other large organizations.
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 or Trello. Project is much more expensive, however, with narrow pricing options – the lowest tier, for example, starts at $30 per user, per month.
In This Guide:
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.
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