April 22, 2020
December 30, 2020
The essentials of effective project management do not only include a team of experienced and dedicated professionals. As much as they are critical for the success of any project, using professional project management software really does the trick. In this article, we will review the best Microsoft Project alternative.
With an overabundance of project management tools flooding the internet, it can become a nuisance to choose one for your organization. Luckily for companies, they have innumerable options to conveniently cherry-pick the one that fits perfectly with their team and organizational needs.
One such most widely used project management software is Microsoft Project. By far, it’s the first and most popular choice of around 67% of project managers. Coming with easy integration with Office 365 applications, Microsoft Project seems like a reliable choice for project management.
But, apparently, the most chosen option for project management has lots of shortcomings too, in terms of features and user-ease. These shortcomings make professionals look for a solid Microsoft Project alternative.
Microsoft Project is a great free desktop-based tool to manage projects and streamline workflows. However, in this era of cloud and availability, you cannot limit how you access your data and when. Besides, there are a few limitations that come with Microsoft Project out of the box. Some of these are:
Flawless collaboration is what every team is looking for when using a project management tool. Microsoft Project makes it hard to share data with stakeholders. Unless the other person also has Microsoft Project installed and running, the data cannot be accessed.
In Microsoft Project, the real-time progress of a task is hard to track. Where the task is at a particular time, and whether it is pending, in progress, or completed, cannot be identified.
For perfect project collaboration, communication within the tasks is compulsory. While using Microsoft Project, team members cannot communicate or comment on the activities within each task. Moreover, assigned task updates cannot be taken within the tasks.
Contrary to most of the project management tools in the market which offer free plans to users, Microsoft Project does not have any free features for its users. All the plans are paid and begin from $7 per user/month.
We have compiled a list of top 16 free tools that can serve as a Microsoft Project alternative. And they are all free – you can get your hands on these without paying a penny!
nTask is a free project management software that has recently entered into the sea of project management tools available online. Coming with strong features of task management, nTask is the top contender for a Microsoft Project alternative and makes it to the top of our list. It’s a tool that caters a broad range of professionals with diverse project needs.
Let’s go through some of the key features and modules this tool deals with:
See for yourself why MS Project users are switching to nTask. Create unlimited, tasks, meetings, risks, issues & more.
Bitrix 24 is one of the free project management tools that is adapted for social collaboration between you and your team members. The software primarily works on creating workgroups and centralized news feed for information exchange with the team members.
This Microsoft Project alternative lets you create personalized to-dos, and helps to manage projects and tasks through extensive features ranging from Gantt charts, task dependencies, and Kanban workflows, to more systematic tools like employee workload management.
Bitrix 24 offers you the following key features:
The free plan of the software comes with numerous features. Some of these are:
Zenkit is another free Microsoft Project alternative that is simple to use and provides easy task management. The software provides different tools for different teams to fulfill their overall business needs. Whether it’s project management, CRM, support or any other business solution, Zenkit caters all.
This Microsoft Project alternative is a cloud-based project management software that is designed for small and medium-sized companies. Through Zoho projects, you can easily divide your complex projects into smaller, manageable tasks and subtasks and share updates with the entire team through an interactive feed, featuring the activities.
The always-free plan comes with the following features:
The 5th free Microsoft Project alternative in our list is Teamwork projects. Working on the similar functions of tasks and subtasks, Teamwork Projects helps businesses to achieve group goals through smart workflows and streamlined communication among the team members.
Free forever version of the software provides the following features:
Freedcamp is a free web-based project management collaboration tool that is designed for solo users as well as teams to organize and manage projects effectively. It made to our list of Microsoft Project alternatives primarily because the software comes with a clean interface which makes managing projects quick and easy.
The 7th free Microsoft Project alternative of our list is Teamgantt. Teamgantt primarily works on creating Gantt charts for all the underlying tasks. The charts are highly organized and come with multiple interesting features such as separate colored bars for tasks and groups, and you can also easily add multiple resources to your tasks at any point.
Hygger is a product and project management tool which provides an impressive backlog prioritization features, because of which we added it to our list of Microsoft Project alternatives.
The tool helps teams to work on projects through the idea bank which stores all the ideas relevant to product and project development and once approved, these ideas can be transferred to relevant Kanban or Scrum boards for further development.
Mavenlink combines multiple project-based services together in a single application. It’s primarily designed for professional services and for teams to collaborate on large-scale projects. A full-featured project management tool that focuses on team task management, and supports multiple third-party application integrations too.
On #10 of our list of free Microsoft Project alternative, we have Pivotal Tracker.
Pivotal Tracker is an agile project management tool designed for agile software teams. The tool enables real-time project collaboration among the team members through a shared storyboard and a prioritized backlog.
Next up – Wrike.
You’ve probably heard about it as it’s one of the most popular choices of teams when it comes to project management. Being a flexible tool, Wrike provides a multi-dimensional project solution to teams of all sizes.
Coming with an elaborate set of robust features, Wrike enables teams to successfully execute each step of the project, starting from planning till final reporting. Furthermore, you don’t have to worry about losing track during team discussions, as the live activity stream and team member mentions make your work easy for you.
Celoxis provides a comprehensive web-based project management solution for midsize and large teams. This Microsoft Project alternative comes with an integrated set of tools that you can use to manage your projects, resources, expenses, and workflows, all in one place.
The software can be utilized to manage multiple project portfolios. You can create project schedules by defining dependencies and assigning multiple resources per task.
#13 spot in this synopsis of top Microsoft Project alternatives goes to LiquidPlanner.
If you have difficulty scheduling and updating your projects, LiquidPlanner might be best suited for you. With a smart scheduler, the tool automatically updates the overall task requirements when resources and priorities change. The updated timeline can then be easily shared with everyone.
With intelligent resource management features, the software allows you to manage your workload better and complete your projects on time.
Winding up the list with a platform coming with rich social collaboration features, Podio makes a great alternative to Microsoft Project. The tool allows successful project delivery by claiming to put content, context, and collaboration in one place.
The broad spectrum of collaboration features ranges from likes and file sharing within the system to instant messaging and audio/video calls.
Looking for another option as a Microsoft Project Alternative? We present Airtable…
The core guiding principle of Airtable is to provide customers with an app that allows them to dictate the app the way you need to utilize it.
Airtable is an easy to use platform, for keeping track of all your product records and your to-do list.
It’s UI/UX is beautiful and spot on. It has the power of a database, flexibility of an app, ease of use of spreadsheets, and user-friendliness.
It has a new block feature as well which makes Airtable not just an app with low-code.
Furthermore, building out a timeline for deliverables is really easy, especially for those who wear multiple hats within any blue-chip conglomerate or non-profit organization.
For small teams, Airtable is an affordable solution, especially for non-profits and startups.
ProjectLibre is powered by OpenProj. Or at least that’s what it was previously recognized for. Don’t worry; as a totally free Microsoft Project alternative, ProjectLibre offers tons of stuff without any cost.
What makes this program better is its compatibility with MS Project files. If you are transitioning from MS Project 2003, 2007 or 2010 from any OS, whether it is Linux, Mac, or Windows, ProjectLibre can be used for those files. The extensions will open fine – and that too without disturbing any files metadata etc.
This Microsoft Project alternative also supports multiple languages. Since it’s an open-source platform, the dev community put in a lot of effort to introduce all the juicy features that MS Projects users are used to!
You can create dependencies and issues. You can also manage resources and make full use of the native Gantt view. What else could you ask for? Take a look at some of the main highlights of this tool below.
Have you used any Microsoft Project alternative before? How was your experience? Join the conversation in the comments section below.
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