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11 Best Project Management Tools for Small Business in 2021

Project Management Board

Having a project management tool is essential to organize a successful team to perform at its best. 

These tools are specially designed pieces of software to manage projects from start to end. Project management tools allow you to manage priorities and delegate tasks to achieve a more efficient workflow, in turn increasing the team’s productivity.

Luckily, there are many tools to choose from. In this article, we show you the 11 best project management tools which are ideal for small businesses.

1. monday.com

monday.com is a versatile online project management app that features a modern user interface, making it beginner-friendly and appealing.

Like many modern team management tools, monday.com has a customizable board where you can see your projects in a table, timeline, chart, or kanban format. 

The automation feature lets you add code-free triggers to complete certain tasks like changing project status, sending notifications, or moving items. Therefore, streamlining your workflow and minimizing human error.

What’s more, monday.com supports over 50 integrations to enhance team collaboration and productivity. The integrations range from communication platforms (Gmail, Slack, and Zoom) to marketing platforms (Facebook Ads, Mailchimp, and Salesforce).

Keep in mind that the number of automation and integrations you can use will depend on your plan.

The pricing plans vary depending on the number of users. The following ones are ideal for a team of five members:

  • Basic ($39/month). Offers unlimited boards, 5GB storage space, one-week activity log, and whiteboard collaboration tools for remote working
  • Standard ($49/month). Increases the storage space and activity log duration to 20GB and six months respectively and allows up to 250 integration and automation actions per month
  • Pro ($79/month) Provides you with 100GB storage space, different types of views, and up to 25,000 integration and automation actions per month

The app offers a 14-day free trial, which comes with unlimited boards that work for unlimited users. 

2. Zoho Projects

Zoho Projects is one of the tools available in Zoho’s online office suite. If your business already uses other Zoho apps, the project management tool will let you integrate how you manage projects with your other office tools. 

It also supports integration with most of Google’s G Suite apps.

This tool offers among the best time-tracking feature to support its basic functionalities. The calendar module can display your schedule and timesheets as well as compare the planned and actual working hours per task. 

Businesses that charge hourly rates may use Zoho Project to make an invoice based on the billable hours on the timesheets. 

There are five plans to choose from:

  • Free. Provides a Gantt chart viewer and allows up to three users and two projects
  • Standard ($2.50/user/month). Offers 5GB storage space, 10 projects allowance, and the task dependency feature for 6-10 users
  • Express ($3/user/month). Increases the storage space to 20GB, provides the timesheets approval feature, supports an unlimited number of projects, and up to 50 users
  • Premium ($4/user/month). Provides one free training session, 100GB storage space, automation actions, and project budgeting functionality to accommodate up to 100 users
  • Enterprise ($5/user/month). Gives two free training sessions, upgrades the storage space to 120GB, and adds inter-project dependencies for customizable user groups

Each plan comes with a 10-day free trial and a selection of project templates to choose from. Most project management tools do not offer this much choice when it comes to billing. 

3. LiquidPlanner

LiquidPlanner is a web-based project management tool aimed at businesses handling multiple projects simultaneously. It offers various ways to look at projects, such as the Gantt chart and kanban card format. 

The automated resource reporting feature helps you monitor the workload each team member has ‒ great for helping project managers make sure no one is behind schedule. 

This project management tool offers two types of plans:

  • Professional ($45/user/month). Allows up to 2,000 active tasks, provides 100GB of storage, and accommodates up to 25 virtual members
  • Enterprise (tailored price). Comes with unlimited allowance for active tasks and supports automated resource reporting and single sign-on

A 14-day free trial is available for the Professional plan. 

4. Asana

Asana is project management software with a colorful interface. You have many template options to choose from, each featuring built-in tasks you can edit to match your workflow.

This project management tool also comes with a customizable automation feature called rules, which applies to its selection of integrated options like G Suite, GitHub, and Slack. 

The available plans for this project management app are as follows:

  • Basic (free). Supports unlimited tasks, projects, activity logs, file storage, and up to 15 users 
  • Premium ($10.99/user/month). Allows unlimited free guests, offers field customization, and task dependency feature
  • Business ($24.99/user/month). Provides custom automation rules builder, approval functions, and advanced integration with Salesforce and Adobe Creative Cloud
  • Enterprise (tailored price). Enables custom branding, SAML authentication, and data export

The Premium and Business plan comes with a 30-day free trial.

5. Basecamp

Basecamp’s project management philosophy aims to raise productivity through better communication.

This project management tool creates three sections for your team:

  • HQ. Connect all members to deliver company-wide information
  • Teams. Cluster team members based on their function or role
  • Projects. Unite team members who are working together in the same project

Each group equips chat rooms and message boards to support communication between users. The to-do and scheduling features help each person keep track of the ongoing projects and their responsibilities.

Basecamp has two different plans:

  • Personal (free). Provides 1GB of storage space and allows up to 20 users and three projects
  • Business ($99/month). Upgrades the storage space to 500GB, supports unlimited users and projects, and gives priority support

6. GanttPRO

GanttPRO is a project management software based on Gantt charts. This format allows you to see tasks’ dependency on the schedule. 

One of its highlights is the auto-scheduling system. The tool automatically adjusts any dependent task if there’s a change in the other interrelated tasks.

While GanttPRO mainly uses the Gantt chart format, this app still allows you to see the tasks in a grid, board, or portfolio view.

All features are accessible for every plan. What differentiates the plans is the number of users allowed:

  • Individual ($15/month). Ideal for a single user looking for basic project management functions
  • Team (starts from $4.5/month). Supports 5-100 users
  • Enterprise (tailored price). Accommodates more than 100 users

7. TeamGantt

TeamGantt is another project management tool that displays an overview of a project timeline in the form of Gantt charts.

The Gantt chart and workload allocation are on a single display, easing the task delegation process.

This project management tool also offers other functions like team collaboration, resource scheduling, and time tracking.

Pricing will depend on your number of team members. Below is the price for a team of five members:

  • Free plan. Allows three users and one project and provides you with task dependencies feature as well as phone support for the first 30 days
  • Standard ($64.75) Supports unlimited projects and offers a collection of custom templates and baseline view
  • Advanced ($89.75). Gives you access the time-tracking functions and omits the phone support limitation

8. Wrike

Wrike is a versatile project management tool with an intuitive interface.

You can view projects in a list, kanban board, table, or Gantt chart format.

It offers integration with more than 30 tools like Slack, G Suite, and Microsoft apps. If that’s not enough, you can expand the board’s functionality with over 400 cloud and on-premise apps courtesy of Wrike Integrate.

Another notable add-on is Wrike Proof, which gives the ability to create visual feedback on images, documents, or web content for easier editing. This is unique among project management tools.  

The available plans are as follows:

  • Free. 2GB storage space, task management, unlimited real-time activity stream, and cloud storage integration to Google Drive, Dropbox, and OneDrive
  • Professional ($9.80/user/month). Storage space of 5GB and offers Gantt chart view, sharable dashboards, and advanced integration with Microsoft Project or Excel
  • Business ($24.80/user/month). Offers 50GB storage space, custom workflows, branded workspace, and reporting functionalities
  • Enterprise (tailored price). Provides 100GB storage space, two-factor authentication, and advanced user access control

All plans come with a 14-day free trial.

9. ProofHub

ProofHub is a software that offers basic project management functions. 

It can show tasks in a kanban board, Gantt chart, or calendar format to keep track of the ongoing projects. There is also a discussion board and a real-time chat function to communicate between team members. 

The overview and reporting feature will come in handy for project managers as it can generate reports for a single or all projects and resource allocation. Although it’s not customizable, it lets you monitor the project’s progress and time allocation much easier. 

The pricing is fixed, so you pay the same amount regardless of the number of users who use it. There are two available plans:

  • Essential ($45/month). Provides ProofHub’s core features, 15GB storage space, and 40 projects allowance
  • Ultimate ($89/month). Allows unlimited projects and users and offers 100GB storage space as well as additional features like data export, custom workflows, project report, and advanced activity logs

ProofHub offers a 14-day free trial with all features unlocked.

10. Trello

Trello is a task management and collaboration program based on the kanban board. It provides a hand full of templates catered to various industries, saving you time from setting up from scratch.

It utilizes a user-friendly board interface, where you can drag and drop each task card to the appointed status column. Each task card may convey information about the task’s details and attached files. 

The background is also customizable to enhance the visual experience.

Trello offers a free plan and two paid plans to choose from:

  • Free. Allows unlimited personal boards, ten team boards, one power-up per board, and 50 simple automation actions per month
  • Business Class ($9.99/user/month). Offers unlimited team boards, power-up functions like automation and reporting, over 100 app integrations, and up to 6,000 automation actions per month
  • Enterprise (starts from $17.20/user/month). Gives unlimited automation actions, SAML authentication, and power-up administration access

11. Microsoft Project

Microsoft Project is an advanced project management software that allows any custom workflows required by the project. 

If you’re familiar with the Microsoft Office interface, you will find it easy to learn and use this software. Importing files from other Microsoft Office software is also hassle-free.

This software allows you to build interactive roadmaps, resource planning, and timesheets for invoicing and payroll monitoring purposes.

You can get the cloud-based subscription or to purchase the desktop app license to use this service.

The pricing plans for Microsoft Project’s cloud-based solution are as follows:

  • Project Plan 1 ($10/user/month). Provides different views, project planning and scheduling functions, and team communication using Microsoft Teams
  • Project Plan 3 ($30/user/month). Offers reporting and resource management functions and comes with a desktop app license eligible for up to five PCs
  • Project Plan 5 ($55/user/month). Enables portfolio optimization and enterprise-level resource management

Meanwhile, the PC-based solution comes in two different versions:

  • Project Standard 2019 ($620/PC). Covers tasks management, reporting, and business intelligence functions
  • Project Professional 2019 ($1,030/PC). Includes multiple built-in timelines, what-if scenario simulations, and synchronization with Project Online and Project Server

How to choose the best project management software for your small business

With the abundant options available on the market, choosing the best project management software can be quite challenging. Whether it’s time management, task allocation, or budget planning, you’ll need to understand the problems that you want to solve first.

We have outlined three essential factors to consider when choosing software for project management.

Features

Features should be your main priority, as they will be the backbone of your chosen tool. Discuss the type of functionality your team needs, then list down all project planning software that fits the requirements.

Here are several basic features that a project management software should provide:

  • Task management. Assign specific tasks to team members, set priorities, and deadlines
  • Scheduling ‒ visualize and adjust the timeline of your project with a Gantt chart or calendar
  • Resource management. Time tracking, member allocation, or budgeting functions that help you track resource usage
  • Communication. Board message or built-in live chatting function that enables you to communicate with team members effectively
  • Dashboard. Display an overview of your project’s progress, completion status, or other metrics for easy access
  • Reporting. Create reports on your project’s status, team performance, or resource allocation
  • Integration. The ability to connect with other business tools to enhance team productivity and communication

Cost

Each project management tool offers various pricing plans with different benefits and user capacity. Thus, it’s better to compare all the available options and go with the one best suited to your needs.

Pay attention to the tool’s scalability, particularly if you’re planning to grow your business. It will be too much of a hassle to migrate to another tool mid-project if your chosen one cannot accommodate your ever-growing workflow.

Support

There’s nothing more annoying than not getting help if there’s an issue. For this reason, make sure the tool’s support team is accessible through various channels of communication.

We recommend going with the one that offers 24/7 support via multiple channels. If you’re a non-English speaking team, make sure it’s available in your native language.

You can also check review articles to see its response time and accuracy in solving user problems.

Written by

Author avatar

Duncan

Duncan is obsessed with making website building and eCommerce accessible to everyone. He explains the best tools and the latest digital marketing trends in ways that are clear and engaging. His focus is on supporting the sustainable growth of small to medium-sized enterprises. When not writing, he enjoys deep sea fishing and endurance cycling.

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