Editor's Note
  • January 24, 2018 - We've updated our review by reformatting for easier reading. We also reworked our methodology to give a better picture of how we came to our top picks. In the next one or two months, we'll be taking a deep dive into project management software for a complete overhaul, so keep an eye out for more soon.

The Best Project Management Software

The best project management software is not easy to define, because projects themselves are different things to different people. Projects can refer to company-wide initiatives, ongoing day-to-day work, and even one-off departmental activities. It’s important to identify the types of projects you need to track and the size of your team before implementing any project management software. The key is to choose the one that best aligns with the scope of your particular projects and working techniques.

Easy Projects is the clear winner in our book among the 20 useful project management software options we reviewed, with its easy integration, guest portal, and solid customization options. In addition to its impressive paid plans, the software also has a well-rounded free version which is great for beginners. With a variety of tools and resources, Easy Projects will be a great match for most people’s needs.

For students who want to avoid the frustration of disorganized group projects Teamwork, is an excellent option. A strong messaging feature allows students to communicate and share information quickly, which is essential for coordinating times to meet and work. It also integrates with popular storage software like Google Docs, so that students can access any work they may need. It isn’t quite as easy or enjoyable to use as more robust options like Easy Projects. But for college students or even professionals who need project management software for a few unrelated projects, Teamwork is a great choice.

If you’re a beginner to project management, the structured approach of LiquidPlanner is the way to go. You won’t get the same level of flexibility or customization as the other picks, but the simplified interface makes it far easier to learn how to use the software. Experienced professionals who need more than the bare minimum will want to look elsewhere, but for those who are just getting started, choosing simple software like LiquidPlanner will save a lot of time and effort.

For the experienced professional, we recommend Clarizen. With excellent financial management tools, larger companies will be able to easily keep track of multiple projects and budgets. The software is a touch more expensive and a few features aren’t as efficient or effective as those offered by Easy Projects. But the specialized task and financial management tools make it a great fit for a larger enterprise.

Our Top Picks for The Best Project Management Software

Best Overall

Easy ProjectsIntuitive tools and quick customization for painless project management

One of the most appealing things about Easy Projects is that it offers a great free plan with services under 1GB. However, their paid plans are also affordable and bring with them a ton of helpful features. You can expect the ability to easily customize your dashboard and even create custom forms for streamlined project management and report writing. The software also easily integrates with popular add-ons like Microsoft Outlook which means you’ll be able to maintain clear communication between team members and clients. In short, Easy Projects does what its name suggests it will.

It isn’t perfect though. You won’t be able to create cross-project dependencies which means you can’t like two projects together — if one project relies on the other, you’ll have to manage them separately. But even so, the wealth of intuitive tools and features Easy Projects provides was enough to outweigh any flaws. For effective and productive project management, Easy Projects is the way to go.

Best for Students

TeamworkAffordable project management and easy collaboration

We recognize that project management is not only reserved for working professionals. Many students often need project management software to help them balance school and other life responsibilities. Teamwork eliminates all the frustrations of working in group projects by allowing students to communicate quickly and share information through messages. Not only that, students can integrate with Google Drive which makes group writing, editing, and resource management a breeze. Pricing is also based on the number of projects and storage desired instead of the number of users which often drives down costs — an important detail for many college budgets.

That said, the low costs still come at a price. The software isn’t the easiest to use and the interface can be difficult to navigate at times. However, with a little patience and exploration, Teamwork transforms into one of the more useful project management software options available. Whether you’re a student or not, Teamwork is a strong choice.

Best for Beginners

LiquidPlannerA no-frills interface for simple and straightforward project management

If you or your team has little experience with project management, starting with a more structured project management software can be incredibly beneficial. Unlike other software options, LiquidPlanner does not allow much flexibility when it comes to setting up your projects. Instead, it works more like a template forcing you to manage projects the way its designers envisioned. While constraints are often viewed negatively, our testers reported that the structured approach of LiquidPlanner makes it incredibly easy to learn and use. For beginners, that means less frustration trying to learn the software and more time actually using it.

However, the simple approach will not be a good match for those who have more experience. In order to streamline the project management process, LiquidPlanner sacrificed helpful features including financial management tools and the ability to assign multiple people to a task. If you have a more complex project, you’ll want to look at our other picks. But for those dipping their toes into the waters of project management, LiquidPlanner is a great resource.

Best for Larger Teams

ClarizenConvenient tools for balancing multiple tasks and expenses

Unlike LiquidPlanner, we find Clarizen to be a great match for those with more experience in project management. With excellent financial and task management tools, Clarizen makes it easy to manage multiple projects whether it involves assigning shared roles or tracking expenses. In addition, it offers a strong app integration feature to help you build the project management system that best fits your needs. For experienced project managers looking for an industry-leading resource and management tool, Clarizen is a solid choice.

Clarizen does have a few flaws. Compared to competitors that offer similar features, Clarizen is a bit expensive. In addition, its document management feature only allows you to upload one file to its system at a time — a strange time suck considering its otherwise efficient design. However, these flaws are more minor annoyances than dealbreakers, and you can still expect excellent project management experiences with the software.

The Best Project Management Software: Summed Up

Project Management Software
The Best
Easy Projects
Liquid Planner
Larger Teams