When your project is poorly executed, it might be a consequence of poor planning and weak project management. Poor execution leads to drastic results ranging from, but not limited to, financial losses, resource wastage, and time wastage.
Project management is not a new term or a new concept. It has been around for eons, and the internet is flooded with project and team management techniques (both new and old).
Each day a new tutorial or a blog is there with insights into effective project management that one can utilize to minimize the project blunders. We agree it becomes a wearisome task to find the best solution, out of the clutter, suited to your project needs.
We read all the blogs out there on project management tools and it was noted that none of them add real value for users. Some blogs didn’t weigh in pros and cons, while others didn’t pay attention towards the nuances. Therefore, we decided to create our own list and try out some free project management tools to evaluate them.
So, without further ado, here’s our take on top 7 free project management tools of 2018 and how they make project management a smooth experience for you:
nTask is a new, yet most versatile project management tool available freely in the market. It’s an all-in-one tool that is packed with the most intelligent features providing a smart over-all coverage to all of your project needs.
With a carefully developed UI/UX design, nTask gives a user-friendly experience on the application, making it easily usable by everyone.
Let’s have a look at some of the core features that placed nTask at the top of our list:
nTask is a complete package that offers a wide variety of options for the users to manage and control their projects.
Whether you’re a freelancer, part of a small team, member of a big corporation, or simply a blogger with lots of tasks at hand, nTask is a tool that caters a diverse range of professionals.
Some of the key modules that nTask deal with are:
- Projects; a board essentially meant for adding new projects and following up on previous projects.
- Tasks; a sub-board of projects which makes adding each task in a project hassle-free.
- Meetings; organize and manage your meetings efficiently with this board.
- Timesheet; makes time tracking activities smooth.
- Issues; create customizable issues with reference to the tasks and projects
- Risks; high-risk activities can be added for timely management
These modules give the user freedom to choose from any one of the options, in accordance with their distinct needs. The complete range of options provide users with a highly organized look of the projects and tasks and portray a clear picture of all the activities.
There are numerous other interesting features available too that help the users to optimize their work with better efficiency and in an orderly manner, for example; nTask application comes with the multiple ‘view’ options. The user can switch from the available options of ‘list, grid, or calendar’ view, according to the personal ease.
The application comes with two main plans:
- Free; the basic version of the application is available for free. If you work alone or with a small team of up to 10 members, you can conveniently enjoy the free version and let nTask streamline all of your work for you.
- Pro; if your team has more members and you need more workspaces, nTask comes with an affordable pro plan of $2.99 per user/per month. Keeping in view the amazing features, like unlimited team members and unlimited storage space, this price doesn’t put a dent in your pocket.
The second tool to make it to our list of top free project management tools is ‘Trello’.
Trello is a project management tool that provides adjustable Kanban boards to the users. The boards are open-ended and can be edited in any way the user wants. The choice of making these boards private or public is also available for the users.
Trello comes with an option of drag-and-drop files in the respective panes of ‘to do’, ‘in progress’, or ‘done’ tasks. It greatly helps in easy tracking of all the tasks and activities that are in progress or have been done.
At the moment, Trello is one of the most widely used project management software in the market with more than 1.1 million daily active users.
Currently, the software comes with three plans.
- Free; coming with the option of unlimited boards and attachments, this plan is most suitable for small startups and for the basic planning.
- Business class; this plan is for teams and comes with upgraded or enhanced features. The price of the business class plan is $9.00 per user/month. Some of the key features of this plan are the private/public boards option, integration with other applications, and greater storage space.
- Enterprise; designed for big corporations consisting of multiple teams, this plan is elaborate in terms of specifications and the prices are charged according to the no. of users.
Asana is also one of the most commonly used project management tools in the market. Working on the similar principle of Kanban, Asana comes with the options of ‘in progress’ and ‘done’ tasks for easy navigation and tracking of workflows.
The timelines can be conveniently created for smooth time management and keeping track of existing activities. One of the key features is the integration of Asana with a diverse range of other applications like Gmail and google drive etc.
There are 4 pricing models of Asana:
- Free; basic version is free and is for small teams that are gearing up.
- Small teams; the second one is designed for small teams with a price of $6.25 per user/month. This package is essentially meant for startups and freelancers.
- Premium; with a price of $9.99 per user/month when billed annually, this elaborate plan includes wide array of features to choose from. The premium plans are usually available for entire businesses.
- Enterprise; a customizable plan that can be modified according to the user’s preferences.
The prices differ when billed annually or monthly.
Wrike is a free project management tool that can be easily downloaded online. The software fundamentally works on folders and sub-folders’ principle, which makes it a little complicated to understand.
The dashboard consists of multiple options like, my overdue tasks, due this week, and overdue by you etc. On the right-hand side, a navigation panel of Activity Stream is designed to get updates from the other team members regarding the tasks.
The folders and subfolders principle works in a way that the main folders act as projects, and sub-folders serve as tasks.
Some features of this free tool are
- Time tracking of how long each task takes to complete, and
- A visual table or graph showing the time of each task, and assignees of each task
Coming towards the pricing of this free project management tool. Wrike comes with a range of options to help users select the plan according to their need:
- Free; a simple plan that can accommodate 5 users at a time
- Professional; 5-15 users who can plan and collaborate on full project. $9.80 per user/month
- Business; 5-200 users. This plan can work for businesses at $24.80 per user/month
- Marketers; 5-unlimited. With unlimited users option, this plan offers customizable services in $34.60 per user/month
- Enterprise; the last plan is also for unlimited users, but comes with enhanced security and control options for the users.
If you’re more of a charts type of person, or your team relies heavily on visual tracking of workload, Teamgantt is the right project management tool for you!
Teamgantt primarily works on creating Gantt charts for all the underlying tasks. The charts are highly organized and come with features such as separate colored bars for tasks and groups, and progress of the task in terms of percentage.
There are multiple advanced options available for users as well, such as; adding multiple resources to the task at any point, creating dependencies among multiple tasks, and rearranging the tasks to denote the rescheduling.
The right plan for you can be easily chosen from the options of monthly and yearly plans. Teamgantt comes with 3 standard monthly plans:
- Free; just like all other tools, the basic account is free. It’s designed for one project and a team of 3 people.
- Standard team; for unlimited projects and up to 5 members, the standard team plan comes with a price of $49.75 total per month. An interesting thing to note here is that this plan can be availed for more people. The charges vary according to the number of people added.
- Advanced team; for greater team collaboration, unlimited projects, and hourly time tracking, Teamgantt offers this plan. The price for up to 5 team members is $74.75 total per month. This plan, too, can be customized to more team members.
Check out the list of best gantt chart softwares.
Meistertask is a cloud based task management software that also works on the Kanban concept of flowing boards. The boards are adjustable and can be edited in any way the user intends. To make tracking easy, the tasks in respective projects consist of multiple options like a checklist and focus for users.
‘Project Properties’ dialog box helps the users with a broad spectrum of options like who to add in a particular task and who can gain access to a specific task. Further options of add-ons and time-tracking can also be accessed from this dialog box.
One interesting feature ‘Project Properties’ dialog box comes with is the ‘Custom Field’ tab which enables all business users to add pre-defined elements into all of the tasks by just setting them up for once only.
Meistertask comes with 4 pricing plans for its users:
- Basic; for simple and easy task management, the basic account is free for all.
- Pro; for project groups and unlimited integrations, Pro plan can be bought for $8.25 per user/month
- Business; businesses can avail this account for $20.75 per user/month.
- Enterprise; according to the individual company’s needs, the enterprise plan can be customized.
The last free project management software in our list is Paymo. This simple to use tool provides Kanban boards for easy workflow management. If you do not want to use the Kanban boards for task tracking, there are multiple view options available for you as well.
For instance; if you want a Gantt chart view to evaluate the tasks’ performance, you can easily access it from the views option.
The Paymo application can be integrated with various other desktop or mobile applications as well. If you want to record the time you spend on various applications, just turn on the Paymo application and let it run in the background.
Each day a new tutorial or a blog is there with insights into effective project management that one can utilize tAt the end of the day, it will show you the recorded time being spent on each application for a particular task. This feature aids the users in tracking the time it takes for each task to be accomplished.
- Free; 1 user limit. Perfect for freelancers. This plan offers complete project management and time-tracking features
- Small office; this plan is meant for teams in the growth phase. In $9.56 per user/month, the plan gives the options of unlimited users, advanced reporting, and account integrations, along with other noticeable features as well.
- Business; especially designed for large teams, the Business plan can be bought for $15.16 per user/month. This plan offers a complete project management solution to the large businesses.
The Small Office and Business plans come with the offer of 15 days free trial for the users.
Project Management Tools Comparison
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In a nutshell, there are pros and cons associated with each type of project management tool available, with no single one being perfect. You just need to find out the one that caters to your individual and team needs and make the best out of the options available.