Digital Marketing

7 Best Project Management Tools and What Makes Them Stand Out

By using project management tools, you can ensure most of your business processes run smoothly.

With them, you can enable your team to prioritize important tasks, avoid distractions, and ensure your budget doesn't get out of control.

What's more?

Project management tools can drive results that impact your revenues while also enabling employees to see how their actions contribute to the company goals.

Tracking project progress constantly is crucial because research shows that companies lose 11.4% of their investment from poor project performance.

If you don't want poor performance, you need project management tools that ensure you don't lose out on resources, time, or revenue.

So, which project management tools are the best in the market?

Discover them below.

Project Management Tools: Key Features, Pros, Cons, and Pricing

Which project management tools help you improve internal communications and keep your teams organized?

Check out seven best project management tools, including details on what makes them stand out and their pricing:

1. Microsoft Project

Image via Microsoft

Microsoft Project is one of the most powerful project management tools out there. It is ideal for companies with complex project management needs and those who are already using Microsoft products.

But what makes it stand out among project management tools?

It supports multiple methodologies, including Scrum, custom workflows, and Kanban boards. You can use it for hybrid methodologies, agile, and waterfall project management.

Key Features

  • Centralized view of projects and tasks
  • Customizable to suit various project management methodologies
  • Numerous project management views, including the grid view and Gantt chart view
  • Detailed reports with the ability to customize them to your needs
  • Timesheet submission feature to track how team members spend time on projects and non-project activities
  • Resource management feature to track your team's capacity, management-related costs, etc.
  • Project scheduling feature to help you define time frames and plan your task calendar

Pros

  • Rich functionality
  • Integrations with Microsoft tools
  • Different views and tracking options
  • Highly customizable

Cons

  • Challenging for beginners.

Usability

  • Moderately easy to use

Tool Level

  • Intermediate/ Expert

Pricing

  • Cloud-Based Solutions:
    • Project Plan 1: $10 per user/ month
    • Project Plan 3: $30 per user/ month
    • Project Plan 5: $55 per user/ month
  • On-Premise Solutions:
    • Project Standard 2019: $620
    • Project Professional 2019: $1,030
    • Project Server: Contact their sales team for more details.

2. Jira

Image via Atlassian

Jira can help you manage Scrum and agile teams, organize project tasks, and record software bugs. It's a project management tool that is ideal for startups, small businesses, mid-size companies, and enterprises. You can use it to manage entire project phases and collaborate.

Key Features

  • Customizable Kanban and Scrum boards that help project managers visualize workflows or view real-time progress of tasks
  • Numerous reports to help project managers gain insights into real-time performance
  • Customizable workflows to help the project manager extend functionalities
  • Supports other use-cases, including product launches, large-scale events, operational performance, and others
  • Control over what team members have access to for security purposes
  • Roadmaps that offer a clear vision of products in development plus APIs to help project managers automate processes
  • Developer tools and third-party integrations

Pros

  • Customizable workflows
  • Roadmaps with a single dashboard view
  • In-depth project reports and analytics
  • Numerous third-party integrations
  • Rich automation features

Cons

  • This project management tool has a steep learning curve.

Usability

  • Moderately easy to use

Tool Level

  • Intermediate/ Expert

Pricing

  • Free Plan: $0 for 10 users/ month
  • Standard Plan: $7 per user/ month
  • Premium Plan: $14 per user/ month
  • Enterprise Plan: Contact their sales team

3. Asana

Image via Asana

Among the many project management tools out there, Asana is the one of the easiest to use. It gives project managers control over how they view task lists and automate processes.

What's more?

Asana makes it easy to assign tasks, track, and manage collaborations. With this project planning tool, you can be sure that every team member knows their deadlines and responsibilities.

Key Features

  • Offers multiple project views you can switch between and the ability to customize your dashboard
  • Ability to automate processes, set up custom rules or triggers, and eliminate repetitive tasks
  • Enables team collaboration with numerous file management, group, and team communication options
  • Supports both Scrum and agile project management
  • Easily integrates with communications tools like Zoom, Slack, Dropbox and others
  • Offers portfolios to help your project manager track projects from strategy to execution

Pros

  • Flexible and easy to use
  • Numerous integrations
  • Feature-packed free version
  • Works great for different-sized businesses
  • Effective team collaboration tools

Cons

  • This project management tool can be overwhelming for new users.

Usability

  • Easy to use

Tool Level

  • Beginner/ Intermediate

Pricing

  • Basic Plan: Free forever
  • Premium Plan: $10.99 per user/ month
  • Business  Plan: $24.99 per user/ month

4. Wrike

Image via Wrike

Wrike is one of the online project management tools tailored for professionals and agencies. It has robust features that you can tailor to any industry or use across multiple projects and departments.

Most importantly, it's one of the cloud-based project management tools, meaning you can access it easily via desktop, web-based browsers, or mobile.

Key Features

  • Consolidated user interface with a 360-degree view of customizable options and detailed overview of important tasks and workloads
  • Project portfolio management to help manage projects from strategy to execution.
  • Offers real-time analytics into team performances, project statuses, approvals, pending task lists, etc.
  • AI-powered project risk prediction and smart automation to help project managers leverage advanced tools like voice commands, document processing, and smart replies.
  • Customization options for interactive Gantt charts, Kanban boards, and purpose-built project templates
  • Custom request forms to help your project manager gather details and auto-assign tasks
  • Has an automated approval process to ensure team members get notified and auto-assigned

Pros

  • Numerous integrations with email marketing tools, communication tools, productivity apps, and other tools
  • Automated insights and resource management
  • Enterprise-grade security
  • Rich functionality
  • Free plan with great features

Cons

  • This project management tool has a steep learning curve for beginners.

Usability

  • Moderately easy

Tool Level

  • Intermediate/ Expert

Pricing

  • Free Plan: $0
  • Professional Plan: $9.80 per user/ month plus free trial
  • Business Plan: $24.80 per user/ month plus free trial
  • Enterprise Plan: Contact their sales team

5. Basecamp

Image via Basecamp

Basecamp is one of the online project management tools that combine team communication and project management functionalities. It offers numerous team collaboration tools, including message boards, real-time group chat, automatic check-ins, and more.

Additionally, Basecamp offers Hill Charts — a functionality that makes it stand out from other project management tools. And unlike the Gantt charts, Hill Charts help you spot problems, see where projects stand, and make corrections before due dates.

Key Features

  • Offers to-do lists to help project managers assign tasks, set due dates, follow up, and add attachments or notes
  • Collaboration and real-time communication features including group chats, pings, and message boards
  • Customizable client access that makes it easy to share project progress with clients
  • Hill Charts to track project progress with ease
  • In-depth reports on projects and team members
  • A search tool that makes it easy to find items without having to scroll through your history.
  • Integrated calendar to sync meetings on Google Calendar and Outlook
  • Check-in feature to help project managers get updates from entire teams

Pros

  • Great collaboration and communication functionalities
  • Robust automation features
  • Unlimited users, projects, and clients at one flat rate
  • Numerous customer support options
  • Advanced client access feature

Cons

  • This project management tool has a high learning curve.

Usability

  • Easy to use

Tool Level

  • Beginner/Intermediate

Pricing

  • Basecamp Personal: Free with limited functionalities for light users, students, personal projects, families, and freelancers.
  • Basecamp Business: Flat fee of $99 per month with a 30-day free trial.

6. Teamwork

Image via Teamwork

Teamwork is a feature-packed online project management tool. It has intelligent workflows, comprehensive reports, time tracking, Gantt charts, task management tools, and more.

Additionally, this project management tool offers advanced features for complex projects and in-depth insights into resources.

Key Features

  • Customizable Kanban boards and Gantt charts to visualize workflows and project tasks
  • Time tracking to help you track progress and bill clients
  • Manage projects from one central workspace and determine project privacy for team members.
  • Numerous features to help you organize things like meetings, deadlines, updates, milestones, etc.
  • Workload functionality to help you manage team workloads and understand everyone's capacity.
  • Project management apps that work on mobile and desktop.
  • Portfolio project management tool to give you a panoramic view of multiple projects
  • Robust team collaboration functionalities

Pros

  • Numerous advanced features
  • Customization options
  • Multiple integrations
  • Easy collaboration options

Cons

  • This project management tool has very limited features with the free plan.

Usability

  • Easy to use

Tool Level

  • Beginner/ Intermediate/ Expert

Pricing

  • Free Forever Plan: $0
  • Deliver Plan: $10 per user/ month with 30-day free trial
  • Grow Plan: $18 per user/ month with 30-day free trial
  • Enterprise Plan: Contact their sales team

7. monday.com

Image via monday.com

monday.com is among the most used project management tools by teams looking for an all-in-one workspace. It offers streamlined workflows, syncs information to one central location, and helps businesses make data-driven decisions.

Customizable automation that reduces manual errors while also saving time by reducing repetitive tasks. It also offers advanced features to help with project planning and tracking.

Key Features

  • Gantt charts, Kanban boards, and Timeline views to track, plan, and manage project lifecycles
  • Intuitive user interface with unlimited boards to help you visually organize projects, tasks, to-do lists, etc.
  • Workload functionality for resource management and effective allocations.
  • Numerous integrations including Slack, Stripe, Gmail, Dropbox, Microsoft Teams, etc.
  • Ability to invite guests to view your board and access the app from mobile
  • Time tracking abilities to bill clients appropriately and track teams' productivity
  • Custom automation to help you stay up-to-date with projects
  • Checklists that help you split tasks into manageable versions for team members.

Pros

  • Customization options
  • In-app automation
  • CRM functionality to help you manage your pipeline, track sales orders, capture leads., and improve conversion rate.
  • Offers advanced search options
  • Customizable project templates for project planning, monitoring, managing, and streamlining work.

Cons

  • The free forever plan on this project management tool has limited features and only allows two seats.

Usability

  • Easy to use

Tool Level

  • Beginner/ Intermediate/ Expert

Pricing

  • Individual Plan: Free forever for up to 2 seats
  • Standard Plan: $10 per seat/ month
  • Pro Plan: $16 per seat/ month
  • Enterprise Plan: Contact their sales team

FAQs

Q1. Which are the key project management tools?

A. Project management tools with the best features include:

  • Microsoft Project
  • Jira
  • Asana
  • Wrike
  • Basecamp
  • Teamwork
  • monday.com

Q2. Which is the most commonly used project management tool?

A. The need for project management tools depends on your requirements.

For example, if you need a project management tool for team projects, you should opt for Asana. On the other hand if you need a project management tool for client projects, Microsoft Project might be a better choice.

Q3. Which features should you look for in good project management tools?

A. Great project management tools offer the following functionalities:

  • Customizable features
  • Task management features
  • Time tracking
  • Team collaboration and communication tools
  • Numerous integrations
  • Detailed reporting
  • Security

Q4. Which are the best project management tools for SEO?

A. Project management tools that you can use for SEO include:

  • Asana
  • Teamwork
  • Basecamp
  • Slack

Q5. What is the importance of using tools in project management?

A. Using tools in project management can help you:

  • Plan your projects in an organized manner
  • Collaborate easily
  • Set budget tracking
  • Allocate resources effectively
  • Create strong team workflows
  • Monitor projects online

Q6. Which are the best project management tools for designers?

A. Project management tools for designers include:

  • Asana
  • Basecamp
  • Wrike
  • Jira

Q7. Which project management tools are most useful for a small startup?

A. The best project management tools for startups include:

  • Asana
  • Jira
  • Wrike
  • Teamwork
  • Trello
  • Smartsheets

Q8. What is the importance of using project management tools and software for managing a large-scale project?

A. When used for large-scale projects, project management software can make it easy to plan, execute, and manage work. They make it easy for teams to organize work details, share progress, collaborate effectively, and meet deadlines.

Q9. Which is the best tool for project managers to manage their projects?

A. Tools that project managers can use include:

  • monday.com
  • Microsoft Project
  • Jira
  • Teamwork

Q10. Is Trello project management free?

A. Trello offers a free plan you can use for basic project management. It also offers paid plans with numerous advanced features.

Ready to Choose the Best Project Management Tools For Your Needs?

Choosing the best project management tools depends on your business needs.

It’s, therefore, crucial to consider your needs and budget. Most importantly, sign up for free trials to get a feel of the project management tools before choosing one.

Do you have any questions about any project management tools? Please feel free to share them in the comments section below.

Gaurav Sharma

Gaurav Sharma is the Founder and CEO of Attrock, a results-driven digital marketing company. Grew an agency from 5-figure to 7-figure revenue in just two years | 10X leads | 2.8X conversions | 300K organic monthly traffic | 5K keywords on page 1. He also contributes to top publications like HuffPost, Adweek, Business2Community, TechCrunch, and more.

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