Managing multiple projects at once, delegating tasks, and collaborating across teams is difficult on a good day — but can become downright impossible when unforeseen obstacles get in the way. The data proves that project management is no walk in the park for most of us.
When that impacts the business, it becomes an even bigger problem. Miscommunication and inefficiencies in your project management process can lead to confusing and stressful experiences for your employees. It can hinder your company's ability to satisfy your clients' needs or hit end-of-year goals.
Fortunately, there are plenty of free project management apps to keep your team on track without breaking the bank.
Project Management App
A project management app is a software that’s used to plan projects, track tasks, create to-do lists, automate workflows, allocate resources, assign project managers, and establish project timelines and deadlines in one unified, collaborative interface.
In a free project management tool, you’ll typically be able to create various projects, come-up with to-do lists, assign tasks to team members, and track a project’s progress until completion. Paid project management tools offer more storage, more projects, and more seats for the team. But for small teams, a free project management tool will do the trick.
The low buy-in makes it a natural choice. With free project management software, your team can collaborate much better, reducing the risk of miscommunications and keeping everyone up to speed on team-wide projects. It’s also helpful for individual team members. They can use it to boost their productivity and ensure they’re on track.
To streamline your process and ensure everyone on your team is on the same page, take a look at these exceptional free project management tools.
HubSpot’s project management tool includes task creation, task automation, and pre-made to-do lists. It’s specifically designed for marketing teams and integrates seamlessly with Marketing Hub. With this tool, you can keep track of tasks alongside your marketing projects — so that both are integrated and not managed on different tools.
Project.co is a client-facing project management system that connects your team with your clients' teams in one place. Each piece of work you do can be set up as its own project, with its own discussion feed, notes, tasks, team, and payments. You can also record time spent on each project.
A variety of different task and project views are available, including calendar, scheduler, and Kanban view — to give you an overview of the work that's happening within your team.
Ability to quickly add/invite both internal and external users
Discussion feed for each project — with email alerts (and the ability to reply by email without logging in)
Variety of task views — which can be filtered — giving your whole team, each department, and even individual users their daily/weekly task lists
Reporting tools that measure your most and least profitable or efficient projects
Ability to integrate payment solutions and quickly, securely take card payments through the system
Toggl Plan is an effective project management tool to automate your task delegation process and visualize which project tasks have been completed, and which haven't. If your team often collaborates with other departments on projects, this might be a useful tool for you.
Gantt-chart visualization to track important deadlines and projects
Integrations with Slack, Github, Evernote, and others
Team collaboration option through shared calendars and task notes
ClickUp provides a few impressive features to customize the all-in-one project management tool to suit your team members, including the option for each user to choose one of three different ways to view their projects and tasks depending on individual preference. If your marketing team overlaps with sales, design, or development, this is an effective solution, as it provides features for all of those four teams.
The ability to organize your projects based on priority, and assign tasks to groups
The option to set goals to remind teams what they're aiming to accomplish
Google Calendar two-way sync
An easy way to filter, search, sort, and customize options for managing specific tasks
Another free software that comes with a variety of features for project and task managers is nTask. This program has a couple of free-range tools for anyone looking to work as an individual or a professional project manager.
nTask supports multiple projects and task creation. Users can also define team leader roles, budget, milestone and time tracking criteria that are specific to relevant projects. Understanding the needs of advanced project managers, nTask also offers an interactive Gantt chart feature. It can be personalized by a simple drag and drop mechanism to align the project to ongoing real-life changes.
A powerful in-app collaboration system
Integration with Slack and many other third-party apps
The ability to invite stakeholders to view ongoing projects
Team management via an admin-controlled process
Multiple workspaces dedicated to different projects and tasks
Teamwork is a project management software and collaboration platform that helps in-house and remote teams stay organized and productive. Each project lets you easily upload files, assign tasks and deadlines, and chat with teammates. By centralizing your project information, you can help eliminate more misunderstandings and missed deadlines.
Freedcamp is a feature-rich project management tool that's designed for personal and professional use. Each project has its own tasks, milestones, files, discussions, and timelines, as well as an issue tracker and calendar. The dashboard gives you a clear, concise overview of what's going on in your team, including activity, projects, and tasks.
Message-board discussion feed, with the ability to create and carry out discussions on any topic
Powerful calendar view that lays out all upcoming events
Third-party integrations including Google Drive, Google Calendar, Dropbox and more
Asana, one of the most well-known project management solutions, has a clean and user-friendly interface. The all-in-one tool lets you create boards to visualize which stage your project is in, and use reporting to keep track of finished tasks and tasks that need your attention.
The ability to create templates to automate mundane tasks
The ability to collaborate and share information across the team, privately and securely
The option to set security controls and designate admins
Over 100 integrations for a more efficient start-to-finish process
The ability to create custom project fields, share documents, and filter tasks
Monday.com, a project management tool that also offers HR and IT tools, allows you to create team member status updates so your remote and flexible teams know their coworkers' schedules. It allows you to easily access project updates at-a-glance so that nothing falls between the cracks.
Customizable workflows to prioritize your team's needs and take care of menial tasks
Gantt chart for visualizing due dates and project timelines
Integrations with popular tools such as Slack, Microsoft Teams, and Google Calendar
Team member status updates for remote or flexible team members
Wrike stands out as an exceptional project management tool for teams who want the option to customize workflows and edit and revise projects from within the platform itself. The tool offers the ability to color code and layer calendars, and its mobile app allows colleagues to update project information on-the-go. You can add comments to sections, videos, or documents, and create custom fields to export data most relevant to your company.
Security measures to ensure only authorized personnel can access information
Activity Stream to allow project managers to micromanage small tasks, see activities in chronological order, and tag team members
The option to unfollow activities to declutter your own personal Stream
Paymo's free version only allows access for one user, but if you've got a small team or you're a freelancer, this could be an efficient option for tracking billable hours and invoicing clients. Along with tracking finances, Paymo also allows you to organize project timelines, create to-do lists, and stay on top of your budgets for multiple projects at once.
Kanban boards for easy, at-a-glance project updates
Time tracking to keep everyone on the same schedule
File sharing and Adobe CC extension for easy sharing of assets
Timesheet reporting to keep stakeholders in the loop
Project templates to jumpstart projects with a click
Trello is a drag-and-drop tool that lets you move projects — personal, or professional — through workflow stages, all the way to completion.
You define what those stages are — whether it's work project statuses like ‘On Hold,' or personal project categories like ‘Things to buy!' — with tasks represented as ‘cards.' Each card can be given a name, assigned to an individual, given a due date — and have files, such as images, attached to it.
Templates for a range of different project types, from business to education to personal productivity
Ability to add attachments such as images to any card on any board
Customise your workflow stages to reflect your actual process
Simple drag-and-drop movement of cards through workflow stages
Todoist is a simple but powerful tool that lets you create powerful, interactive to-do lists. To-do items can be assigned priority levels, assigned to people in your team and flagged — with customizable reminders (although these are a premium feature). Actionable items can also be categorised into different projects, making a simple, easily understandable structure where each ‘list' has a title (project name) and a series of actions. This all makes it an extremely flexible, customizable tool to get work done.
Template lists to inspire and guide you
Recurring due dates for regularly recurring tasks
Productivity visualizations and 'Karma' points for completed tasks and streaks
Labels, notification and discussion feeds to keep you organized
MeisterTask is a project management tool that allows you to create Kanban boards, set recurring tasks, track project times, and create custom fields. You can automatically import data from other tools such as Trello and Asana, allowing you to get immediately to work without losing time.
Up to 3 projects on the free version
File attachments for projects
Custom project icons to make tasks stand out
Time tracking so that no deadlines fall through the cracks
Britrix24’s project management software includes Kanban boards, Gantt charts, task counters for easy prioritization, and reports for analyzing the time intensiveness of different tasks. You can also create to-do lists within tasks.
Recurring tasks for easy task creation and automation
Integration with Billable Hours, which is especially useful if you work with freelancers
Airtable is a customizable spreadsheet and database app that can be used to create a project management tool for your team. Its project tracker template allows you to easily manage projects in a familiar spreadsheet-like environment, making it ideal for Excel and Google Sheets enthusiasts.
Subtask creation within tasks
Ability to assign tasks and establish time estimates
ProofHub is a project management and team collaboration software that allows project managers to maintain complete control over their tasks, teams, projects, and communication. Managers can assign tasks and deadlines to team members and easily maneuver between simple to-do lists and agile kanban boards that are customizable.
ProofHub has a notes feature and a dedicated discussions section to store your important information and carry out real-time conversations with your team members. Get real-time notifications whenever someone makes an update to a ticket.
Online proofing tool to review files and annotate design files using markup tools
In-built chat application to connect with team members
Various project views including Kanban boards, Table View, and robust Gantt charts
Time tracker and timesheets to keep track of your team’s timelines
Project reports with a detailed overview of overall project progress
Me-view and an activity tracker to keep track of your tasks and team activities
Project calendar with events, milestones, and deadlines
Streamline Workflows with a Project Management Tool
Using a project management app will empower your team to work more efficiently and collaborate more seamlessly. With hurdles out of the way, you can guarantee that your team can focus on what matters: bringing in more leads, selling to more prospects, and empowering more customers to grow alongside your business.
Editor's note: This post was originally published in August 2018 and has been updated for comprehensiveness.
Originally published May 5, 2021 2:00:00 PM, updated June 16 2022