If you’re running a small business and need help managing your team and projects, free project management software can help you dramatically. Manually managing your projects is both headache-inducing and highly inefficient. Luckily, there are plenty of options for free project management apps.
Best Free Project Management Software
- monday.com – Best Overall for Building Custom Workflows Across Teams
- ClickUp – Best for Fully Customizable Dashboards & Task Management
- Hive – Best for Collaboration & Messaging
- GanttPro – Best for Gantt Chart Creation & Project Planning
- Easy Project – Best for Visual Project Management for Large Teams
- Microsoft Project – Best for Microsoft Based Businesses
Free Trial Available
Storage Included at Price Listed
Members Included at Price Listed
Time Tracking Included at Price Listed
Support Included at Price Listed
From $0 monthly per user
Up to 2
24/7 customer support
From $0 monthly per user
24/7 customer support
From $0 monthly per user
Up to 2
Self-serve knowledge base
From $8.90 monthly per user
Personal account manager
From $24 monthly per user
Email & live chat support
From $10 monthly per user
24/7 customer support
monday.com offers the most features out of every free project management software. Along with project management tools, you’ll also find HR tools with the ability to clearly organize and see others’ availability.
With more than 125,000 companies on its roster, monday.com is one of the more popular projects management tools today. Used by big names like Zippo, Unilevel, Hulu, and Uber, monday.com offers intuitive dashboards with hundreds of customizable templates to depict project status, estimates, priority, and resources by start and end dates. You can view data in the calendar, timeline, Kanbatt, Gantt, and map formats.
Why we chose it: We chose monday.com as the best overall free project management software because of the number of features included in the free plan. With the free plan, you get unlimited boards, unlimited docs, 200+ templates, and customizable notifications. monday.com is great for any size business.
- Tracks assignments for multiple people per project
- Sends updates and reminders via email or Slack, depending on your preferences
- Offers multiple views for boards so you can manage up to C-suite level
- Limited reporting functionality
- Lack of a built-in chat function (can integrate with Slack)
- Higher learning curve as you dive into more features
Pricing: As for cost, monday.com offers five pricing plans – Individual, Basic, Standard (most popular), Pro, and Enterprise. Individual plans (free) allow up to two team members. The Basic plan ($8 per user per month) includes Individual features plus unlimited free viewers, unlimited items, and a dashboard with one board.
Standard ($12 per seat per month) and Pro ($27 per seat per month) plans add additional views (e.g. Timeline & Gantt) along with up to five boards and up to 250 automation and 250 integrations per month.
Lastly, the Enterprise plan features all of monday.com’s bells and whistles, including enterprise-grade security, advanced reporting, multi-level permissions, and premium support with the fastest turnaround times.
Over the past several years, ClickUp has made serious waves with its project workflow tools. Calling itself “one app to replace them all,” ClickUp works with the concept of “Spaces,” which are fully customizable dashboards based on a team’s needs. It also integrates non-project management-related items into the dashboard, such as emails (sending and receiving directly within the app) and document creation with a full-on document editor available within, easily replacing similar apps like Confluence, Evernote, and Google Docs.
Why we chose it: In short, ClickUp touts itself as a one-stop-shop where using separate apps like Google Docs, Smartsheet, Jira, and countless others is no longer necessary. Teams that rely tremendously on four or five third-party apps may decide to choose ClickUp over other free project management software options for this purpose. ClickUp is fully customizable for every type and size of team.
- Ability to create different views to track tasks/projects due in a specific time period
- Email integration for notifications and chat integration with Slack
- Ability to create multiple spaces or folders for simple organization
- Lack of dashboard customizability options
- Time tracking feature needs improvement
- The Free Plan features a limited amount of storage and goal-setting options
Pricing: With pricing, ClickUp is one of the more affordable options we’ve covered. There is a free version and an Unlimited version, costing $9 per user per month (paid monthly) and $5 per user per month (paid annually). The free version is good for 100MB of storage, unlimited tasks, unlimited members, and two-factor authentication. The paid version offers unlimited dashboards, storage, integrations, and dashboards along with the ability to invite guests.
There are also two higher-tier plans named Business and Business Plus. Business costs $12 per member per month (paid annually) and $19 per member per month (paid monthly. Business Plus costs $19 per member per month (paid annually) and $29 per member per month (paid monthly. The Business plan is for mid-sized teams whereas the Business Plus plan is best for multiple teams.
One of the most impressive features of ClickUp is its sheer number of available views. It offers more than 15 views in total, with list, board, box, and calendar views being the most popular.
Hive is the best project management software for collaboration and messaging because of its native email and group messaging features. Effective file sharing and resourcing capabilities enhance the collaborative nature of software even more.
Like monday.com, Hive offers a centralized workflow management system with powerful project and action templates for all kinds of tasks. It offers project calendar, Gantt, Kanban, Portfolio, calendar, and summary views, each customized to a work style preference (e.g. heavy drag-and-drop with powerful visuals over simpler linear formats).
Why we chose it: Hive is a beginner-friendly project management software that offers a robust amount of features in its free plan. These include unlimited storage, task management, project summary views, Hive calendar, and reporting. However, the easy-to-use communication and collaboration tools makes Hive stand out among all the free project management services.
- Integration with 1000+ apps
- Especially user friendly and built for beginners
- Ability to turn any action into a task
- Needs improved reporting functions
- Inability to create dependent tasks within project actions that recur
- Difficult to track edits and modifications made by users
Pricing: Hive has three pricing plans – Solo, Team, and Enterprise. Solo is free and is for individuals and small teams of up to two users, with unlimited storage, community support, and a robust list of project management and collaboration features. Teams ($12 per month per user) allows for unlimited users, phone support, and flexible a-la-carte options for an additional fee per user per month, such as reporting and analytics, approvals reporting, single-sign on (SSO), enterprise security, and controls.
The Enterprise version offers all of the benefits of Solo and Teams, plus a dedicated customer success manager, ongoing coaching/adoption training, and specialized offerings such as security contract & legal review.
GanttPro gives teams the flexibility to organize complex tasks in a convenient and intuitive way that’s easy to understand. True to its name, GantPro’s main function is to provide effective project planning through Gantt charts.
Dubbed the “Online Chart Maker”, GanttPro is based on Gantt charting. Used by more than 700,000 project managers around the world across well-known brands like Booking.com, Sony, Intel, and Amway, it relies on the highly popular Gantt system, which uses stacked bar charts to show resources, schedule status, and task/subtask activity dependencies.
Why we chose it: GanttPro is an excellent project management app for small teams that need to visually enhance their project planning process through Gantt Charts. Although many project management apps include Gantt charts, GanttPro takes them to the next level with a heap of customizability options and features.
- Convenient and intuitive user interface
- Easy to track the progress of the team, the workload of each member and the total budget spent
- Ability to share and export data
- Mobile version needs improvement
- Exceedingly large projects with lots of tasks can get difficult to show on the screen
- Kanban view has limited column options
Pricing: As for pricing, GanttPro offers three packages—Individual, Team, and Enterprise. Individual costs $15 per user per month. Chosen by roughly 74% of businesses, the Team feature offers unlimited functionality for $8.90 per user per month, whereas the Enterprise version offers advanced management and security features such as AML Single sign-on & 2FA, increased API limits, and priority level support.
Both the Individual and Teams plans have the option for a free trial.
Easy Project is the best free project management software for large teams because of its in-depth resource planning and reporting features. This allows managers to monitor employee and team workloads efficiently. Counting IBM, HP, and CenturyLink amongst its users, Easy Projects is one of the more popular project management tools today.
Like most elite project management software, Easy Projects offers all types of views, such as Table, Gantt, Kanban, and calendar views. Each offers its own benefits, in terms of visual layout with different ways of viewing task hierarchy, critical paths, and start/end dates. Its Kanban board is arguably the most intuitive, using quick drag and drop motions to move tasks from one phase to the next (updating team members in the process)
Another area Easy Projects is strong in is Integrations. It allows data, information, and files from 2000+ third-party apps such as Outlook, Slack, and Jira to become centralized in one place.
Why we chose it: One of our favorite features with Easy Projects is its robust machine learning suite. It uses a proprietary algorithm that processes all historical data to determine how likely a project is to come to completion, highlighting all pre-emptive corrective actions earlier in the process to make task, resource, and dependency changes. This software is ideal for companies with 100+ employees because of how easy it is to keep track of and organize different projects and portfolios.
- Auto notifications to keep projects on track
- Helpful and friendly customer support
- Effective charting and reporting features
- The user experience isn’t as strong as other free project management software
- Lack of documentation for different features
- Not very effective for small tasks
Pricing: Unlike Monday, Hive, and GanttPro, Easy Project’s pricing structure is a lot simpler, only offering the choice of Team and Enterprise options. The Team pricing tier ($24 per user per month) comes with most of its project management tools, including Kanban boards, milestone setting, time tracking, and portfolio management
The Enterprise pricing tier offers add-on project management features, such as resource loading simulations, payroll reports, and enhanced integrations and API functionality (e.g. 200+ integrations via Workato), and webhook compatibility. It also offers additional security and business intelligence services for larger businesses. No pricing is offered for Enterprise plans; a custom quote can be requested using its contact form based on your organization’s needs.
Microsoft Project is one of the most widely used project management software in the world. It is an excellent choice for businesses already integrating other Microsoft products into their workflow, such as Microsoft 365. Our favorite Microsoft Project features include its centralized home screen, support for multiple project management methodologies (Scrum, Kanban, and customized), and multiple views such as Kanban boards, and Gantt charts.
Why we chose it: Microsoft Project is one of the most powerful project management tools out today. In the right hands, this software is an excellent way to manage various company projects. However, the steep learning curve means that it isn’t for beginners.
- Offers customizable features and well-documented APIs
- Ability to select specific tasks or summary tasks for the timeline to see an overview of the project
- Great integration with Microsoft Office products and tools
- Advanced features require training
- Could improve its network diagram features
- Overall user interface needs improvement
Pricing: In terms of pricing, it offers an on-premise (software) or cloud-based solution, where projects can be managed using a web browser like monday.com and Hive. All plans include a Project Home centralized view per user, an ordered list of tasks in three views (Grid, Board, Gantt), and several collaboration tools for a flat fee per user per month with additional portfolio optimization, demand management, and enterprise resource planning tools.
There are tiered packages, starting with Project Plan one ($10 per user per month) up to Project Plan 5 at $55 per user per month.
Methodology for the Best 6 Free Project Management Software
We looked at 6 main criteria as we created this list for the best free project management app. In essence, we prioritized software that had user-friendly interfaces with additional features that improve productivity, communication, and organization. Let’s take a closer look at each essential rating criteria.
Scheduling and planning projects
The primary function of any free project management software is to plan and schedule projects. Each software on our list is equipped with comprehensive team and individual dashboards. Dashboards will state all assigned tasks, as well as start and end dates. For example, monday.com features more than eight view options and ClickUp offers more than 15. The scheduling and planning function of each software heavily impacted its rating and overall usability.
At a minimum, your free project management software should incorporate a minimum of three views (Kanban, Gantt, calendar). Kanban is a highly visual, drag-and-drop interface board that separates tasks into different categories, labeling them as “To Do,” “In Progress,” and “Complete” to oversee a continuous workflow. Gantt Charts are much more conventional, using a horizontal axis to depict the project timeline and a vertical axis to depict where individual tasks should occur. Each view offers outstanding benefits as it pertains to project management.
Integrations allow third-party apps to work within the project management software’s ecosystem. For instance, monday.com allows 1000+ app integrations, including examples such as Dropbox, Slack, and Outlook. App integrations provide even more convenience to your team in terms of managing emails, files, and important information. The best free project management software should act as the only place you and your employees need to visit on a daily basis because of the integration capabilities.
User Interface (UI)
User interface is the design, functionality, and intuitive nature of a free project management app. Effectively designed user interfaces require minimum effort on the user’s end to receive the maximum desired outcome. The best free project management app has easy-to-understand dashboards, a high-level view of project statuses, assigned team members, start, and end dates. This extends itself to a healthy mix of view and chart types (e.g. calendar, box, Gantt, Kanban). Interfaces should also be uncluttered and visually pleasing on each page.
Successful project management does not rely on a “set it and forget it” approach. In reality, effectively run projects require constant monitoring. Although monitoring is frequently overlooked, it’s an essential part of a project’s lifespan. The best project management software should allow you to create systems for monitoring and evaluating projects, including the ability to organize all data in a centralized view, keep track of different project phases (e.g. Initiation, Planning/Execution), assign responsibilities, and record project bottlenecks.
Another related aspect to monitoring is the ability to pull reports to measure performance against key performance indicators such as time spent, money spent, or resources dedicated. It’s the best way to understand why project deadlines might not be met.
All excellent project management software features real-time reporting capabilities, allowing quick exports of every success metric imaginable from time spent expenses, project budgets, overrun forecasts, and deadline completion percentages by team members. Many of the best project management apps already have pre-defined reports to choose from with lots of customization options.
Each software on this list has a free plan that offers limited functionality or a free trial. However, most economic options range from $5 to $9 per user per month with the potential for additional a-la-carte style add-ons such as enhanced security/encryption, reports, and the ability to create and access an unlimited number of dashboards. Paid plans usually fall under Standard, Pro, Enterprise, or a combination of these payment types and allow for many more users. Some offer a 14-day free trial, with the ability to extend in some cases with a quick note to the customer support team.
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) for Free Project Management Software
Here are a few common questions we frequently receive about project management software.
Bottom Line on Free Project Management Software
With the rise of remote teams and collaboration, you need project management software to accompany your business. The right free project management software can quickly change a disorganized and dysfunctional business into an optimized and effective one.
The best free project management software are monday.com and ClickUp. These two services provide a heap of free features that usually require a paid subscription. You’ll have more than enough tools to manage your team and business with these these two free project management software options.