If you own a small business or hold a leading position in a project team, you’ve likely thought about how to improve your efficiency and productivity at some point in your career.
The simplest and cheapest way to achieve this is to use project management software. But not just any software will do — it has to fit the technical requirements and the workflow of you and your team. Otherwise, its effects will be counterproductive.
Fortunately (or unfortunately), there are dozens of project management tools you can choose from, but only a handful that will resonate with you — this text will help you find them.
To this end, we’ve selected 10 of the most highly acclaimed project management tools that are suitable for small teams.
Plaky is a simple and user-friendly project management tool that’s fit for all kinds of industries.
It’s also intuitive enough that all departments can benefit from it, such as:
- HR and onboarding,
- Sales and CRM,
- Software development, etc.
Best of all, it offers a comprehensive free plan that won’t leave you wanting. Some of its standout features include:
- 24/7 support,
- Unlimited boards, items, and views,
- Clean and intuitive interface,
- Time-tracking using Clockify,
- A rich library of customizable templates, and much more.
monday.com is a popular project management tool with loads of uses and features to get lost in. It also offers a number of editable templates board views users will definitely find useful, such as:
- Kanban board,
- Gant chart,
- Cards, and
Like Plaky, monday.com also offers a free plan. However, a lot of its most useful features remain locked behind a paywall.
If you’re interested in what the higher plans have to offer, you can opt for the 14-day free trial.
#3: Zoho Projects
Compared to Plaky and monday.com, Zoho Projects offers a more advanced feature set. As such, it’s best suited for managing larger and more demanding projects.
Some of its most prominent features include:
- Gantt charts,
- Critical path view built into Gantt chart reports,
- Estimates and actual performance comparisons against the project baseline,
- Dependency creation,
- Resource utilization calculations, and much more.
Zoho Projects is a great project management tool for those well-acquainted with traditional project management who want to digitize this process.
Wrike is a modern project management tool with a focus on forms, charts, and standardized procedures. To be more specific, it allows users to:
- Track timelines,
- Form Gantt charts,
- Share dashboards,
- Create standardized request forms,
- Submit files for approval,
- Customize the approval procedure, etc.
The software is fairly easy to use, but it may take some getting used to for those who have never used task management tools before. All of this said, its free plan is rather limiting.
Asana is among the most popular project management tools today. It markets itself as the best platform for cross-functional work.
The software boasts a plethora of features, views, templates, and a pretty appealing free plan to boot (for up to 15 people). Some of Asana’s highlight features are:
- 200+ integrations,
- Great automation,
- A variety of views,
- Ability to create forms, etc.
However, while Asana may be a great fit for cross-functional teams with experience in digital project management, smaller and less experienced teams could find it overwhelming.
TeamGantt is a simple and intuitive project management tool. It’s easy to use and offers 4 different views (Kanban, list, calendar, and Gantt chart).
True to its name, Team Gantt specializes in Gantt charts and they’re a bit more sophisticated than those you might encounter in other project management tools. In TeamGantt users can:
- Identify and track dependencies,
- Track progress against project baselines,
- Track time with an integrated time-tracker,
- Manage resources, etc.
It’s important to mention that none of these features come for free. But, Team Gantt has a per-manager, rather than per-user, payment policy, which is a little easier on the wallet.
There are few tools that can compete with Trello when it comes to Kanban. Thanks to this Trello, is perfect for small Agile teams that need a simple and intuitive interface for their fast-paced work.
Trello lacks some features you may be used to seeing in other similar tools, like form creation or dependency management, but it makes up for it with Trello Power-Ups, integrations, and customizability options.
Like Team Gantt, Trello also offers several different views:
- Calendar, and
However, these views are charged separately.
Going back to more classic project management tools, we have nTask — an intuitive piece of software for easy task and project management.
If we were to compare it to any other tool on this list, it would be Zoho Projects due to its heavier focus on traditional project management features. While not as feature-packed, nTask is definitely more intuitive and offers features such as:
- Tracking dependencies,
- Creating custom filters,
- Tracking budget,
- Tracking risks,
- Advanced reporting, etc.
The software also offers an appealing free plan for up to 5 people.
The only major drawback we’ve encountered is the slow customer support response time.
ClickUp is another popular project management software that offers a plethora of useful functionalities, such as:
- Guest members,
- Resource management,
- Advanced integration options,
- Sprint management, and much more.
So much more, in fact, that it can get overwhelming for those new to digital project management.
That said, ClickUp is popular for good reason and anyone who wants to try it out can do so using their comprehensive free plan.
Those who have used project management tools before might find Basecamp slightly odd due to its unique layout.
Instead of focusing on task and project management like most other software on this list, Basecamp combines:
- A collaboration tool,
- A team chat app,
- A calendar,
- A to-do list, and
- Cloud storage.
Seeing as it doesn’t focus on task and project management, it lacks many of the features other tools on this list have, but it makes up for it in simplicity and ease of use. This makes it a good choice for those looking to minimize the number of apps they’re using.
Basecamp is one of the more expensive entries on this list, but it has a 30-day free plan for those who want to try it out.
How to choose the right project management tool for your small team
Our list of the top 10 project management tools for small businesses has hopefully given you some idea of what features you’d like to have in your ideal software. But, if you’re still undecided, try this:
- Consider the type of business you’re running — smaller teams and simpler projects will likely work better with more straightforward software and the other way around.
- Plan for the future — if you plan to scale your business, choose a tool that can give you the upgrades you need for a reasonable price.
- Consult your team — a great tool that fits only one person is not a good tool for a team. Choosing one should be a team effort.
Conclusion: Project success doesn’t have to be pricey
Our aim for this list was to find the tools that would be a good fit for small teams, both functionally and financially.
If you’ve found something you like, give it a try (most of the tools have at least a free trial) and get a feel for what your team would like best.
This is just a summary of an article previously published on the Plaky blog. To learn more about the best project management software for small teams, we recommend reading the full article: