👉 Nowadays, online project management software is in, thanks to the customizable dashboards, third-party integrations, and routine tasks automation that help larger teams stay on the same page and enable real-time collaboration.
👉 In short, project management and planning tools are just like Santa’s little helpers; they streamline every repetitive task, prepare a project portfolio, and help track projects in seconds.
👉 Why does your business need an agile project management tool? Because it has a range of features, from automation features to customizable features, to support agile teams throughout future projects.
👉 Since there is a wide range of task management tools out there, this article introduces you to eighteen of them with their basic features and pricing plans.
It’s no surprise that the way we work is constantly changing.
Particularly, in the last three years (Yes, it’s been that long since the pandemic broke!!), there’s been a sharp increase in the popularity of remote work and flexible schedules.
This new way of working can benefit employees, but it also has its flaws regarding project planning and delivery.
Although it may seem challenging to maximize productivity, given how many people work remotely, there is no such thing as impossible! With the best project planning tools and techniques, you can revolutionize the way you and your entire team manage projects.
According to FinancesOnline, 77% of high-performing projects are managed with project management tools, and 40% of those plans deliver the expected results. Interesting, isn’t it?
As project management software keeps developing with emerging technologies and approaches, choosing one from the market’s large variety of choices can be challenging. This article highlights eighteen of the best planning software tools with an overall winner that your remote team needs to boost productivity in 2023, especially software development teams.
Many great functions are found in each of these apps that simplify the planning process and allow you to communicate better with your team.
In this article, you’ll find out:
- What simple project management software is,
- Why your business needs a project management tool,
- Best tools to plan projects in 2023.
What is a Project Management Software?
Project management software helps you plan your project, create schedules, allocate resources, and track changes effectively.
In addition to providing budgeting, quality management, and documentation controls, PMs, stakeholders, and users may use it as an administration system.
Each business has its approach to project management. For example, while some companies outsource part of the project or all of it, others use planning software. By using project management software, you can plan the resources required for each task and manage them effectively to meet company goals.
The project management life cycle is divided into 5 phases:
All of this revolves around determining critical path, completing projects efficiently, and producing quality results, and project planning tools assist you every step of the way.
Why Does Your Business Needs a Project Management Tool?
Project management platforms aim to help teams keep track of all their ongoing projects, tasks, campaigns, resources, and allocations.
Project management software ensures that everyone stays on the same page.
These tools can provide businesses with a clearer picture of their pacing and what needs to be done.
Using this method, project managers and team leaders can track all online work and project updates without holding meetings in person.
Whether you’re just starting a business or trying to adapt to a well-established organization, project management platform will be more crucial in 2023 than ever before.
Since remote work is here to stay, and the pandemic has made it difficult for teams to meet in person, project management software gives you the control you need. Using project planning popular tools benefits you in so many different ways.
Here are some more reasons why you should consider using project planning software for your business:
- It improves communication and teamwork within an organization.
- It provides leadership with an overview of project progress on a macro level.
- Keeps teams on track and helps them understand priorities.
- Controls costs and manages budgets.
- Facilitates resource allocation and prevents team burnout.
Best Planning Software for 2023
Read along if you want to see the best project planning software list of 2023, or just choose one below:
- Zoho Projects
- TimeCamp Planner
- Toggl Plan
- Microsoft Projects
monday.com is our top choice and the overall winner for project planning. Wondering why?
monday.com is one of today’s top project management tools, managing more than 125,000 projects for clients, including big brands like Hulu, HubSpot, Canva, and Uber.
This great planning software provides intuitive dashboards with hundreds of customizable project templates that show its cycle, estimates, priorities, and resources by start and end dates.
monday offers a sleek and intuitive user interface that makes project management simple. Its flexible features allow you to add custom fields and workflows to your projects and tasks.
You can integrate monday.com with a wide variety of tools like Slack, Dropbox, Outlook, and more, with no coding required.
Unlike other project management tools, monday gives you access to all of its features in the free version.
By offering an open platform and unlimited projects, monday is a project management tool intended to promote team collaboration, facilitate project progression, and align stakeholders.
Moreover, there are also tools for managing HR that are well-organized and let you track the availability of others.
The project management software that will actually work for your team
Manage simple to complex projects and everything in between with monday.com
monday.com Pros & Cons
- Activity Planning
- Multiple Assignment Tracking Per Project
- Emails or Slacks Reminders
- Provides Multiple Views for Boards
- Flexible Project Views
- Resource Management
- Bug Tracking
- Sales Forecast
- Limited Reporting Features
- No Dependency View
- Higher Learning Curve as You Explore More Features
- Free Plan: $0 Free Forever (Up to 2 seats)
- Basic Plan: $8/month per seat (Total $40/month billed annually)
- Standard Plan: $10/month per seat (Total $50/month billed annually)
- Pro Plan: $16/month per seat (Total $80/month billed annually)
- Enterprise Plan: To get the detailed price for all enterprise-level features, get in touch with sales.
Wrike is an application that helps big names like Google, Siemens, and Nickelodeon – so we can assume that it’s highly credible for what it does: project management.
Having multiple templates in its constitution, Wrike offers a platform that can help you display all of the required data in minutes as the templates I previously mentioned are already made and all you need to do is customize them.
Moreover, creating blueprints via Wrike is a lifesaver move since you’ll be able to use them whenever a recurring task comes back up. Saving you time while allowing you to spend it on more time-sensitive tasks, this one also helps you align your monthly goals with milestones and other dependencies.
Let me also mention that Wrike puts the utmost importance on the security of your data and users; thus, every process will go through the highest level of security measures.
Wrike Pros & Cons
- Project Resource Planning,
- Custom Item Types,
- Time Tracking,
- Gantt Charts,
- Dynamic Request Forms,
- Mobile and Desktop Apps,
- Kanban Boards,
- Mobile app might not be as convenient for some users,
- Lack of themes for the UI.
- Free Plan: Free for small teams.
- Team Plan: $9.80/user per month
- Business Plan: $24.80/user per month
- Enterprise Plan: For this plan, please contact Wrike’s sales team.
- Pinnacle Plan: For this plan, please contact Wrike’s sales team.
Smartsheet is a project management solution for teams that had their way around Microsoft Excel before.
It’s due to the fact that this platform is just like Excel but in a more fun form; you can handle projects with ease, thanks to the features Smartsheet provides you with.
These features vary from workflow automation to resource management, which helps teams deliver projects on time with the use of already-made templates.
Another use-case of this platform is bringing teams together by allowing a flexible platform where they can work and collaborate in real time. This way, no manager needs to check each task one after another as the project progress will show where your team has left off.
On a last note, Smartsheet has almost 100 integrations (including partners and native integrations), including your favorite tools, such as Salesforce, Microsoft, Jira, and Slack.
Smartsheet Pros & Cons
- Content Management,
- Task Automation,
- Resource Management,
- Work Insights,
- Forms and Filters,
- Time Tracking,
- Portfolio Management.
- Row Limitation in Sheets,
- Not Every Excel Function is Available.
- Free Plan: $0 for personal use.
- Pro Plan: $9/month per user
- Business Plan: $32/month per user
- Enterprise Plan: For this plan, please contact Smartsheet’s sales team.
4- Zoho Projects
Another cloud-based project planning tool example we’ve included on our list is Zoho Projects, which lets you manage your projects and monitor their progress, communicate with team members, and keep track of your projects.
Zoho’s online project management tool allows you to manage issues associated with projects and handle bug-tracking requests. Using various dynamic charts, such as Gantt and Resource Management, Zoho makes it easy to manage projects.
With Zoho’s Blueprint functionality, you can visualize and design your workflow for improved processes.
Zoho Projects Pros & Cons
- Reasonable Pricing
- Advanced Communication Features
- Numerous Integrations
- Separate Client Portal
- Effective Task Management
- Poor Dashboard Functions
- Weak Bug Reporting
- Poor Support Materials
- Hard to Configure
Zoho Projects Pricing
- Free Plan: For up to 3 users with two projects &10MB storage space.
- Premium Plan: €5/user per month
- Enterprise Plan: €10/user per month
ClickUp is a powerful project management tool that offers customizable views, including list view, board view (similar to Kanban), box view, and calendar view.
Toggl plan integration allows you to track time with this project management tool, stay on track with critical tasks, and sync two-way calendars.
ClickUp also allows users to track their progress toward goals through the “mission control center” feature. You can record your progress and create smaller action items as you work towards your goal.
ClickUp eliminates the need to use multiple apps like Google Drive, Smartsheet, Jira, and others. For teams who depend on four or five third-party apps, ClickUp could be a better choice than other free project management software options.
ClickUp Pros & Cons
- Super Easy Automation
- Great Technical Support
- Different Personalized Views
- Helpful Video Tutorials
- Email Integration for Notifications
- Chat Integration with Slack
- Limited Custom Dashboard Features
- Time Tracking Requires Improvements
- The Free Plan Offers Limited Features
- Free Forever Plan: With 100MB storage and unlimited tasks
- Unlimited Plan: $10/month per user with unlimited storage and integration.
- Business Plan: $19/month per user
- Enterprise Plan: For this plan, please contact ClickUp’s sales team.
As a popular project management software with powerful features, Teamwork is a platform that can help you accelerate the process of continuous planning for every team.
From task management to performance reporting, this tool has many tricks up its sleeve; you can break down your projects to obtain project insight in a detailed manner. Moreover, it has such a user-friendly UX that it’s relatively easy for new users to get used to it.
With automations you can use on a project template of your choice, Teamwork enhances what it promises: teamwork.
If you’re a remote team working across different zones, give this project planning software a chance!
Teamwork Pros & Cons
- Multiple Views
- Capacity Planning
- Custom Fields
- No Documentation Features
- Lack of Time-Tracking Features
- Incompetent Mobile Version
- Free Forever Plan: $0 (up to 5 users)
- Starter Plan: $8.99/user per month
- Deliver Plan: $13.99/user per month
- Grow Plan: $25.99/ user per month
- Scale Plan: For this plan, please contact Teamwork’s sales team.
Notion is a popular project-planning tool among students.
But it’s a lot more than that. Notion offers people in business a big world that they can build on their own – with the features teams need in an aesthetic they like in their own time.
It’s not only the visuals, Notion has many of the advanced features that teams should make use of during the project planning phase. For example, custom cards that present items based on your selection? ✅ Its time tracking capabilities? On another level. Roadmap opportunities? Several views to make it more painless.
One advanced feature that it lacks is analytics, but if you already have a reporting tool that works best for your business analytics, then worry not because reporting via Notion is the easiest way to display project insight!
Notion Pros & Cons
- Several Project Views
- Task Dependencies
- Drag and Drop
- Complex for Beginners
- Free Plan: Free forever for individual use.
- Plus Plan: $10/month per user
- Business Plan: $18/month per user
- Enterprise Plan: Custom pricing; please contact Notion’s sales team for this plan.
Trello is another popular and straightforward project management tool on our list. Using easy-to-use Trello boards, you can plan and track several tasks and features related to the project.
This allows your teams to spend more time actually doing work rather than learning how to use the tool. They can work on the same task simultaneously and share files and comments.
Meanwhile, Freelancers can also use Trello to organize and manage their work and report easily to their customers.
Using Trello’s famous cards and boards, you can organize your work and manage projects in real-time. Each card can have labels, checklists, deadlines, specialist assignments, comments, links, and files for maximum productivity.
Trello Pros & Cons
- Easy Collaboration
- Real-time Sync
- Email Notifications
- Multiple Supported Languages
- Developer API
- Overcrowded UI
- Low Storage
- No Gantt Chart
- No Integration with MS Project
- Free Plan: With unlimited cards and up to 10 boards per workspace.
- Standard Plan: $5/user per month
- Premium Plan: $10/user per month
- Enterprise Plan: $17.50/user per month (starting cost for 25 users)
Basecamp is another cloud-based project management tool that allows teams of any size to manage projects easily and collaborate.
A wide range of features in the software allows you to assign tasks, create to-do lists, schedule meetings, track progress, and more.
In addition, it has a real-time group chat feature as well as a tool that allows the client to view the project’s progress. Basecamp, like many of the other services on this list, can also be integrated with other products for reporting, analysis, and time tracking, among other options.
You can also stay organized on the go with Basecamp’s iOS and Android apps. A large number of its users appreciate Basecamp’s user-friendly interface and its key features at a low price.
Basecamp Pros & Cons
- User-Friendly Interface
- Developing Client-Specific Projects
- Integrations & Cross-Device
- Built-in Communication Tools
- Limited Customization Options
- Limited Chat Access
- No Time Management Feature
- No Advanced Analytical Tools
- Basecamp: $15/user per month
- Basecamp Pro Unlimited: $299/month when billed annually
10- TimeCamp Planner
Whether you’re working with a partner, a team of three, or a whole crew of coworkers, TimeCamp Planner, formerly known as HeySpace, has you covered.
Using TimeCamp Planner, you can manage your projects and communicate on one platform at the same time. This app allows you to create an unlimited number of “spaces,” and each space has its own board so the team can plan its custom workflow and keep track of progress.
Thanks to its intuitive interface, TimeCamp is easy to use, while combining many advanced features like chat, boards, calendar, and timeline. The integration options in HeySpace make planning and execution more efficient and effective.
In addition, TimeCamp facilitates communication between clients or external contributors, allowing you to quickly connect to have a conversation or collaborate on a project in one Space.
TimeCamp Planner Pros & Cons
- Effortless Implementation
- Built-in Communication Tool
- Kanban Board
- Limited Integrations
- Few Templates
- Inadequate Document Management
TimeCamp Planner Pricing
- Free Plan: $0 (up to 5 people)
- Pro Plan: $5/month per user
Last but not least, we recommend Asana, another popular project management software that allows you to organize your tasks in one place.
The Asana task list allows you to create large, scalable tasks and break them down into sections and sub-items, which can then be arranged into boards and lists.
This planning software allows you to keep track of daily tasks and organize your team’s workflow. Asana also supports integrations with tools such as Slack, Dropbox, and Google Calendar.
Asana Pros & Cons
- Budget Management
- Client Portal
- Expansive Integration
- Kanban Board
- Portfolio Management
- No Resource Allocation
- Limited Formats to Export
- No Time Tracking Features
- Confusing Features
- Basic Plan: $0 for small teams and individuals.
- Premium Plan: $13.49/month per user
- Business Plan: $30.49/month per user
nTask is a project planner that comes to project teams’ aid every time.
With key features like multiple sub-tasks, task dependencies, and resource allocation, nTask helps teams divide complex projects into smaller units, such as individual tasks, so that they can actually align with the strategic planning and the allocated project budget.
This powerful tool visualizes what you have in mind through Gantt charts and Kanban boards, enabling cross-functioning teams to stay up-to-date with each other without sending constant updates regarding a joint project.
Don’t forget that teams from Google, Walmart, Apple, and McLaren benefit from using nTask as well!
nTask Pros & Cons
- Multiple Task Views
- Task Dependencies
- Budget Tracking
- Lack of Advanced Reporting
- No Advanced Time Tracker Feature
- Not User-Friendly
- Slow Loading Time
- nTask Basic Plan: $0/month (up to 5 people)
- Premium Plan: $4/user per month
- Business Plan: $12/user per month
- Enterprise Plan: For this plan, please contact nTask’s sales team.
13- Toggl Plan
Toggl Plan is an online project-planning tool that performs any project-related action: project tracking, project timelines, project plans…
You name it and leave Toggl Plan the rest.
To get into more detail, this powerful project management tool can be the medium where you run individual projects or check the project progress and see each project task assigned to your team members without any hassle.
Trusted by names like Airbnb, Stripe, Netflix, Amazon, and Spotify, Toggl Plan offers a 14-day free trial that you can use to see its worth!
Toggl Plan Pros & Cons
- Resource Planning
- Mobile App
- Task Cards
- No Feature to Export Schedules and Task Lists
- Lack of Custom Status
- Mobile App Lacks Functionality
Toggl Plan Pricing
- Team Plan: $9/user per month
- Business Plan: $15/user per month
14- Microsoft Project
One and only project planning tool of Microsoft, Microsoft Project, also makes the list as an example of program planning tool that does wonders for active collab when used along with Microsoft Teams.
Simultaneously, this tool manages to visualize all aspects of your business while helping you create a solid product roadmap that will surely align the team goals with the business vision.
Also, the platform leaves no room for security concerns due to having been built on Azure, one of the most trusted enterprise cloud.
If you want to use this productivity application, no worries because you don’t need to purchase Microsoft 365; this product can be purchased as a standalone.
Microsoft Project Pros & Cons
- Resource Management
- Interactive Roadmaps
- Budget Tracking
- Not So-User-Friendly
- Steep Learning Curve
- Expensive with Add-Ons
Microsoft Project Pricing
- Project Plan 1: $10/user per month
- Project Plan 3: $30/user per month
- Project Plan 5: $55/user per month
Airtable is a great solution that will get teams throughout the whole project planning process.
From project schedule to project management plan, this software has all of the project proponents you might need to make actual progress; what’s more, this project management app secures all workflows and data together so that you can create an environment where all elements unite for teams’ convenience.
Back to the project planning process, Airtable allows you to create your own workflows as simple or complex as you want. While you can opt for getting notifications when a project objective is met, you can also go ahead and visualize the project scope with the use of pre-built templates to save some time.
Airtable Pros & Cons
- Detailed Reporting
- Multiple Project Views
- Shared View for Team Collaboration
- Long Loading Time
- Poor Customer Support
- Free Plan: Free forever for individuals or small teams.
- Plus Plan: $12/month per user
- Pro Plan: $24/month per user
- Enterprise Plan: Custom quote; please contact Airtable’s sales team for this plan.
Coda offers a sheet-like experience for lovers of Google Sheets on a different level.
Giving a nostalgic vibe with modern touches, Coda is a great support during the project planning phase, thanks to the features that help teams define project scope effortlessly.
Using documents left and right, this software manages all of your data in form of dashboards, tables, and templates. Moreover, it promotes team collaboration by offering a place where you can discuss project stages, leave comments on each other’s work, offer suggestions to accelerate the pace, and make use of integrations to create seamless workflows for teams.
What’s out-of-the-box for Coda is that you can pull any kind of element from any integration to make the sheet more comprehensive for all teammates.
Coda Pros & Cons
- Drag and Drop
- Task Dependencies
- Project Views
- Coda AI
- Response Time Issues
- Challenging Access Control
- Free Plan: Free forever for teams.
- Pro Plan: $12/month per user
- Team Plan: $36/month per user
- Enterprise Plan: Custom quote; please contact Coda’s sales team for this plan.
One of the things that come into mind when people say Jira is how customizable it is in general.
For example, teams can visualize team schedules thanks to the dedicated project boards of this centralized platform. Also, each team member can create project workflows from scratch and add assignees and reporters to keep productivity in check while making use of this collaborative tool.
Another robust feature of this powerful project management software is its insights section, which is quite valuable for planning tools to have an effective project management process.
With these reporting features, Jira helps business owners and managers to track employee and project performance and make more data-driven decisions for both future project planning and business growth.
Jira Pros & Cons
- Scrum Boards
- Kanban Boards
- Reports and Insights
- Customizable Workflows
- Drag and Drop Automation
- Complex for Beginners
- Limited File Size
- Free Plan: Free for 10 users.
- Standard Plan: $7.75/month per user
- Premium Plan: $15.25/month per user
- Enterprise Plan: Custom quote; please contact Jira’s sales team for this plan.
What ProofHub offers is a platform that can be used as a personal planning tool along with a planning tool for project management.
By bringing each essential feature together to accomplish this, PH enables teams to handle a project from A to Z on a single platform. Among these features, there are core ones like project templates, views, and task management- none of them are as noteworthy as the one that comes next: Discussions.
Boosting team collaboration, this feature alone allows teams to get in contact directly without needing a third-party messaging application; receiving feedback, giving recommendations, and sending updates have never been this easy.
Moreover, this isn’t all for the chat part: This platform has an in-built chat section for team members to contact each other or clients directly.
If your business needs planning software that needs no integration, then ProofHub could be it!
ProofHub Pros & Cons
- Custom Fields
- Mobile Apps
- No Advanced Notifications System
- Lagging App
- Steep Learning Curve
- Limited Integrations
- Essential Plan: $50/month (40 projects with unlimited users)
- Ultimate Control Plan: $99/month (unlimited users and unlimited projects)
Podio is a great solution for project planning since it offers a variety of features that can support larger projects.
Team members can focus on individual projects along with projects that need the collaboration of cross-functional teams.
This user-friendly platform facilitates any upcoming project while boosting team productivity with key project management features, including personal workspaces, data visualization, and unlimited storage.
Let me note that if you have a project management technique that you wish to pursue, you most likely can with this online project management tool. For example, teams can easily track task status on a Kanban view for agile project management.
Podio Pros & Cons
- File Sharing
- Task Management
- Mobile Apps
- Instant Messaging
- No Time Tracking
- Limited Customization
- Slow Data Entry
- Free Plan: $0/month
- Plus Plan: $11.20/month
- Premium Plan: $19.20/month
Used by names like Google, PayPal, and Apple, Freedcamp is a tool for project management that teams can make use of to manage their tasks.
Some popular features of this software include time tracking, milestones, and passwords. Also, there are a lot of add-ons that you can purchase to bring your A-game on.
This secure platform provides teams with project dashboards that can turn notes into tasks in order for you to create a comprehensive project plan. With this plan, teams will be able to build custom workflows without having to pay.
Yes, you heard that right! This platform is actually free, and all you have to do is pay for the additional features that you are willing to use.
Freedcamp Pros & Cons
- Issue Tracking
- Time Tracking
- Mobile Apps
- Limited Language Support
- Limited Number of Projects
- Poor Reporting Feature
- Free Plan: $0/month (unlimited projects)
- Pro Plan: $2.49/month per user
- Business Plan: $8.99/month per user
- Enterprise Plan: $19.99/month per user
One of the best ways to guarantee your project is completed on time is to have a plan before starting, and there are tools to help you get there.
Project management is a challenge, but it can also be a rewarding endeavor if you’re up to the task and use techniques in between for facilitation.
With the right tool, organizing, tracking, and monitoring all project goals and objectives can be accomplished more effectively.
Additionally, it makes it easier to get information from your teams regarding progress toward these goals. By doing so, you will not only be able to create better outcomes but also function as a well-organized project manager or team.
Now that you know what to look for in project management software, it’s time to start the search and explore your options.
Take a look at the tools we offered in this blog post and pick the one that aligns with your needs.
Frequently Asked Questions
What is the tool used for project planning?
A project management tool such as Monday.com or Basecamp is used to manage the project from the very beginning to the end. Most of these tools include boards and graphs that track progress, a repetition-based approach for testing and adjusting processes, as well as other methods organizations, can use to manage and improve specific projects.
What is the best tool for planning?
You can pick a variety of available tools that suit your needs as the best tool for planning. However, Monday.com stands out among the rest. Monday.com provides continuous support for a wide range of use cases, and its software is loaded with advanced features. For example, it offers collaboration tools, timeline views, calendar views, time tracking features, and integrations with dozens of apps.