What are project management tools (with 15 examples)

By Indeed Editorial Team

Published 30 November 2021

Project management tools, such as computer software, can help to facilitate collaboration when working as part of a team. Using such tools makes it possible to create and assign tasks, share files and talk to colleagues remotely. Some of these tools require the user to pay a subscription fee, but you can use others for free. In this article, we explore 15 powerful free or freemium project management software tools and discuss the benefits and unique features of each.

What to look for in free project management tools

For project management tools to be useful, they require a user-friendly interface and a selection of features designed to increase productivity. By analysing the needs of your organisation and the objectives you want to accomplish, you can determine which of the following features you might benefit from:

  • the ability to create and assign projects with multiple tasks

  • calendars to help your team stay on schedule

  • time tracking options so your team can bill clients easily and accurately

  • file storage so you can upload and share project documents

  • multi-user access so you and your colleagues can sign in simultaneously

  • mobile apps so you can review projects from your tablet or smartphone

  • integrations with other apps to streamline your team's work

Related: How to become a project manager

What are the best free project management tools?

Here are 15 free or freemium project management software tools to consider:

1. Airtable

Airtable is an effective database tool that enables you to manage everything from products to content and even events. The software allows you to add notes, insert checkboxes, attach images, add links and include dates. You can use Airtable as a database or a spreadsheet and you can also easily turn it into a content calendar, event planner or product roadmap. You can easily switch between the calendar, grid, gallery or Kanban view to increase efficiency and productivity.

Related: Project management skills and how to improve them

2. Asana

Asana is another popular piece of project management software that enables users to produce and allocate tasks, monitor deadlines and share links and images. Using its built-in communication capabilities, you're able to collaborate on projects and speak to your team in a dedicated space. Asana is a free project management tool that enables you to alternate between list, calendar and board views, allowing team members to manage projects in their own way. Asana is also capable of integrating over 100 other applications at zero cost to the user.

3. Avaza

Avaza enables you to create tasks, set deadlines, allocate work to team members and communicate priorities. The interface can display a simple list view or you can change it to Kanban boards or Gantt charts if more complex project management is necessary. Using the free version, the software only supports five team members, but these five team members are able to manage all project-related files in the app and communicate with each other through it. Avaza also integrates with QuickBooks and Xero, enabling users to invoice through the app.

4. Backlog

Backlog allows you to break down projects into individual tasks, making it easy to view and manage tasks that your team is working on. Using this software, it's possible to streamline scheduling and review the progress of the team using Gantt charts and Kanban boards. You can also enable push notifications to alert team members about updates and discuss tasks through attached threads, allowing you to make quick progress. This brand also has good quality mobile apps that enable subscribers to manage projects using most devices.

5. Bitrix24

Bitrix24 is a dashboard that enables you to manage teams and projects. The provision of Gantt charts, programmable Kanban boards and templates allows you to visualise tasks and manage recurring responsibilities. With its incorporated workload management system, you're able to view which team members have availabilities in their schedules and, using the email integration, you can convert messages into tasks by clicking on them. It also provides time-tracking tools so that you can monitor how long it takes to complete each project and optimise future projects.

6. ClickUp

Using ClickUp, you can create and allocate tasks, chat with team members and upload work in one convenient location. The option to view projects on boards, calenders, lists or Gantt charts is available, which can help ensure that you don't overlook any deadlines. It's also possible to change to the activity view and monitor the progress of team members or you can use mind map tools for brainstorming. The workload viewer allows you to check how much work each team member is doing so you can allocate extra tasks when required.

7. Flowlu

With Flowlu's collaboration tools, you can oversee projects, identify high-priority tasks and adjust plans as necessary. You can also estimate the revenue from each project and calculate costs to ensure that your work is profitable. Flowlu also lets you turn ideas into tasks and assign them to the right person for the job. You can even chat and get instant updates in the Flowlu dashboard.

8. FreedCamp

FreedCamp comes with the typical project management features, like simple to-do lists that allow you to split larger projects into manageable tasks which you can view on Kanban boards. You're able to create private task lists, monitor milestones and raise issues with your team. You can also share documents with your team easily thanks to the integration of popular tools like Google Drive and Dropbox.

9. HiTask

Being one of the more simplistic project management tools, HiTask focuses on task lists, allowing you to set up projects and share calenders with your colleagues. You can view these at the same time, allowing you to allocate tasks and keep the team on track. The free version of HiTask supports up to five users, so it's perfectly suited to smaller teams.

10. MeisterTask

MeisterTask's free plan offers basic task management for up to three projects and lets you develop customized boards to organise your workflow. You can add unlimited team members to each project and you can upload files for quick reference. MeisterTask also connects to Zapier, which allows you to automate tasks and integrate additional apps with your project management tool.

Related: 18 skills of good managers

11. Paymo

Paymo comes with individual task management tools and is perfect for independent contractors and freelancers. You can schedule and manage tasks with ease using this free application and have the ability to track the time spent on each task. You have the option to group similar tasks together for ease of viewing and to help you keep an eye on the progress of the entire project more easily. The time tracking tool is also useful for proving how much work someone has done, which is perfect for freelancers who charge hourly rates.

12. PivotalTracker

With PivotalTracker, you can write down stories or ideas that you can later develop into projects with tasks and timelines. This Agile project management tool is ideal for software development teams, as it calculates velocity and helps you make consistent progress. PivotalTracker offers workspaces that let you track multiple projects at once and analytics that help you understand the time and resources that go into each task. This app also has a powerful search tool that can track down any task, file or label in the app.

13. Quire

Quire centres around collaboration between teams and enables you to digitally represent simple tasks or complex workflows. Quire allows you to reduce your major projects and big ideas into phases that are easier to manage. The availability of Kanban boards means you can prioritise tasks and improve focus, in addition to seeing the progress of your team at a quick glance. This app is also available on both mobile and desktop, so you can use this software flexibly.

14. Redbooth

Redbooth is a flexible project management tool with Kanban boards to encourage collaboration and visualisations. With Redbooth, you can plan projects, track progress and create multiple workspaces. You can also assign tasks, set due dates and upload files for team members to reference. The free version of Redbooth also has Gantt charts that you can export, reporting tools that give you a simple task overview and in-app conversations with team members.

Related: Teamwork skills: definition, types and tips for improvement

15. TeamGantt

If your team prefers Gantt charts over to-do lists and Kanban boards, TeamGantt has all the project management features you need for free. With TeamGantt, you can plan and schedule small or large projects, set up task dependencies and invite clients and stakeholders to collaborate. This software also lets you store your team discussions and files in one convenient place and helps you maintain reasonable workloads for every member of your team.

Please note that none of the companies mentioned in this article are affiliated with Indeed.

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