11 Free Project Management Software Tools and Their Benefits

By Indeed Editorial Team

Published June 4, 2022

The Indeed Editorial Team comprises a diverse and talented team of writers, researchers and subject matter experts equipped with Indeed's data and insights to deliver useful tips to help guide your career journey.

For project managers and teams alike, having effective tools can help to manage projects efficiently and complete them within schedules and budgets. Having software tools that don't incur a cost to the business is also a financial benefit to project teams, as it means that funds can better serve the project or the individuals working on them. Understanding which free software is available for project management is key to finding the right tool for your project to help you create and assign tasks, communicate with colleagues, and share files.

In this article, we define project management, explain the benefits of project management tools, and list 11 free project management software tools available while explaining what makes each one unique.

What is project management?

Projects are isolated objectives that businesses set out to accomplish, allocating time, resources, and money to complete. They have a beginning and an end, usually related to a single goal. Project management is the process of overseeing a project to completion and ensuring it meets goals and stays within its allotted budget. For instance, a marketing agency working on a new advertising campaign may consider this objective a project. The agency's leadership may assemble a project team to perform various duties, allocate special funding, and establish beginning and end dates for this project.

Typically, projects have dedicated managers whose responsibility is to oversee the success and progress of the project. Project management tools may help these individuals and the project's team members work together efficiently and handle tasks.

Related: 22 Essential Project Management Skills

Benefits of free project management software

Free project management software can be highly beneficial to the progress of projects and helpful to the people who work on them. Project management tools help teams handle the communication processes and collaborative process tasks required to complete projects successfully. Projects typically have many components and interdepartmental contributions from a range of professionals, so powerful tools can be effective in coordinating the many elements on which projects rely. Here are some of the main benefits of using free project management software:

  • Encourage collaboration: Many project management tools enable teams to communicate with each other through the software's central platforms. Members can often share task-specific information, images, and documents through these channels.

  • Meet deadlines: Many project management tools help teams to break down broader deadlines into smaller, simpler tasks, helping the overall project to progress to schedule. Some software even features visualization tools to help members understand their progress in relation to the scope of the project.

  • Control costs: Projects require constant monitoring of their costs, which can make project management tools helpful. Many tools help users track and record costs to ensure that they aren't exceeding the project's budget.

  • Improve productivity: Project management tools can be effective for making sure the whole team is working as efficiently as possible. Software such as these tools helps individuals understand their current tasks and increase accountability.

11 free project management tools

Here's a list of 11 free project management tools you can use when managing or working on projects:

1. HiTask

HiTask is one of the most simple project management software tools available. This program allows users to set up projects, share calendars, and create tasks among the team. In this platform, it's possible to view tasks and calendars at the same time to help team members to categorize tasks and stay on schedule. HiTask's free plan supports up to five users, making it a practical choice for smaller teams.

2. ClickUp

ClickUp allows users to upload documents, initiate tasks, and message team members on the same platform. Users can also view projects on a calendar, on a Gantt chart, or on boards to ensure team members stay on task and meet deadlines. It's also possible to switch to an activity view to monitor progress or use the built-in mind map function to stimulate brainstorming. ClickUp also includes a workload monitor to make sure each participant can manage their tasks throughout a project.

Related: What Is an Agile Project Manager? (With Crucial Skills)

3. Flowlu

Flowlu includes collaboration tools that allow users to identify higher priority tasks, oversee projects, and adjust processes where needed. You can calculate costs and estimate each project's revenue to make sure that the project remains profitable for the business. Flowlu can help convert ideas into actionable tasks and assign them to the best team member. The dashboard allows members to message each other and receive instant updates.

4. Trello

Trello allows team members and project managers to plan projects by using digital cards, allowing them to add due dates, comments, and files. The platform's free version supports up to 10 boards, which can each include an unlimited number of cards and lists. Project managers can also increase productivity by applying commands to a to-do list, like adding calendar triggers, buttons, deadline automation. Board and card administrators can add colour-coded tags to label cards visually.

5. Airtable

This is a simple database tool that allows users to track a range of elements, including products, content, and events. Users can attach images, add notes, insert checkboxes and links, and include dates. It's possible to use it as a database or a spreadsheet, and also treat it as a product roadmap, event planner, or content calendar. Teams can toggle easily between the calendar, gallery, grid, or Kanban view to increase their productivity.

Related: What Is a Project Management Plan? With Tips and Examples

6. Toggl Pan

Formerly Teamweek, Toggl Plan allows users to plan and manage an unlimited number of tasks. Teams can set milestones and deadlines for projects and individual tasks, view timelines to visualize the workflow, and arrange colleagues into teams or departments within the platform. Toggl Plan allows users to share project timeline links with external consultants, clients, or important stakeholders. The app lets users save time by importing files directly into the platform.

7. PivotalTracker

This tool lets users write ideas or stories which they can then develop into projects, complete with tasks and timelines. An Agile project management tool, it's a good choice for software development teams, as it calculates velocity to help teams make progress consistently. PivotalTracker includes workspaces that allow users to track multiple projects simultaneously with analytics to help them understand what resources and time each task requires. A powerful feature of this app is the search tool, which can locate any file, task, label, or file in the software.

Related: Understanding Project Management Methodology (With Examples)

8. Zenkit

Zenkit is a popular productivity platform that includes built-in Kanban boards and Gantt charts. This tool helps teams to assign tasks, plan projects, and connect their data. With Zenkit, project teams can manage a range of tasks, including invoicing clients, designing workflows, and sharing files on its dashboard. The platform also includes Zenchat, a messenger app that makes managing tasks and communicating with team members more efficient.

9. Todoist

Todoist is a highly user-friendly productivity platform and works to help individuals stay on task throughout the workday. On the dashboard, users can generate one-off or recurring tasks and simple or multi-layered projects comprising several items. As a user, you can set up notifications, delegate tasks, and add comments to communicate with colleagues or yourself at a later date. The platform also awards points to users for completing tasks, which can help to motivate teams.

10. TeamGantt

For teams that prefer using Gantt charts rather than Kanban boards or to-do lists, TeamGantt is a free platform with all the necessary project management features. TeamGantt lets team members plan and schedule large or small projects, invite stakeholders and clients to collaborate, and set up task dependencies. The software also allows you to store any files and team discussions in one convenient place, which helps everyone in a team maintain manageable workloads.

Related: Why Project Management Is Important (And Tips for Success)

11. Wrike

This work management software provides customizable team workspaces. Wrike allows project managers and team members to prioritize tasks, assess colleague progress, and share calendars. The platform gives users total visibility of any ongoing projects and allows them to tag collaborators to contribute updates efficiently. Wrike even integrates with cloud storage solutions to further simplify sharing files.

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

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