The 13 Best Project Planning Tools of 2020



Software applications are a crucial part of every industry. Project management is no different. Especially when it comes to project planning and team coordination, online or on-premise project planning tools are a given for any project to take off.


However, with so many project management software and collaboration tools offering a multitude of feature sets and pricing plans, it can become a task on its own to make the right decision based on your needs. You need project planning tools that can help project managers cross essential project planning milestones with ease.


Best Project Planning Tools of 2020


In this article, we have compiled a list of extremely effective team management and project planning tools that you can adopt today to facilitate you to have efficient project planning, and at reasonable or no price at all. Let’s begin.


1. nTask


product and project_hero


The top of our list of project planning tools is the nTask  – a free, online project management tool designed and created for teams, freelancers and professionals in a host of industries. It offers a simplified interface in front of highly robust software application that incorporates powerful and sophisticated features to facilitate project management in all stages.


nTask entails a number of features that help you work with teams of all sizes, at all levels especially when it comes to project initiation and planning. Especially with a transparent and simple to use a channel for collaboration, nTask helps you set the basis for a successful project development lifecycle.


Key Features:


Here are some of the powerful features and modules nTask comprises to facilitate project planning:

  1. A simplified user interface with access to a wide range of modules.
  2. Dedicated task management and project management modules
  3. Multiple team-specific workspaces
  4. Create, assign, organize, prioritize and share tasks
  5. Create and manage tasks independently or assign to a project
  6. Create, assign and switch tasks between projects
  7. Add comments on tasks and convert comments to tasks and vice versa
  8. Gantt charts to easily monitor project progress
  9. Project reports and project timelines for monitoring project flow
  10. Meeting management for arranging and keeping updates on meetings and post-meeting task follow-ups. You can set meetings as one time or scheduled, recurring meetings.
  11. Dedicated issue management module to identify and list down potential issues. You can list issues with relevant details such as the Issue owner and issue status.
  12. Dedicated risk management module to help identify and keep track of potential risks along with details such as risk owner and risk status.
  13. Alerts, notifications, and reminders to keep teams on track.


Pricing Plan:

  • nTask offers Free and Pro pricing plans.
  • Paid Plan: nTask plan starts at $1 per month per user with an annual billing plan.
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2. Freedcamp




Another one of our recommended project planning tools is Freedcamp. Freedcamp is a cloud-based project management tool with an efficient collaboration channel that teams and individuals can work with alike.


Freedcamp offers a broad spectrum of features to assist in project planning, team communication and collaboration, time tracking and a lot more. It makes use of Kanban boards and facilitates in transparent task management through these boards.


Key Features:

  1. The key project planning features you can avail from this service include:
  2. Creation and management of tasks and subtasks
  3. Assign multiple statuses to tasks for task status update
  4. Assign tasks to teams
  5. Project templates for facilitating similar projects
  6. Kanban boards for easy visual access
  7. Team milestones and Gantt Charts for project planning and monitoring
  8. Messaging and discussion boards for team collaboration
  9. Calendar for scheduling tasks and meetings
  10. Issue management and time tracking
  11. Documentation store and shared file management
  12. Pricing Plan:
  13. Freedcamp offers free, Lite, Business and Enterprise Plans.
  14. Paid plans start from $ 3.99 per user per month.


3. Azendoo




If you are looking for project planning tools that help you with teamwork and project management albeit on a more reasonable investment, check out Azendoo.


With this project planning tool, you can organize tasks, collaborate with teams, and meet project goals efficiently. It has a simple and easy-to-use interface where you can plan projects, share information, and track work.


Key Features:


Azendoo helps you in effective project planning via the following features:

  1. Task management
  2. Task Assignment including public tasks
  3. Commenting on tasks
  4. Task views as Lists, Boards or Calendars
  5. Personal tasks lists
  6. Convert Email into tasks
  7. Project and task templates
  8. Report customization
  9. Team and personalized discussions
  10. Approvals and polls
  11. Notifications and reminders
  12. Goal priorities and permissions
  13. Time Tracking


Pricing Plan:

  • Azendoo offers a Starter, Business and Enterprise plan.
  • The paid plan starts with $7.50 per user per month. Starter and Business plans come with a free trial.


4. MeisterTask


Meister Task


MeisterTask is one of the best project planning tools for task and project management. It eases team collaboration and communication as well as makes project management more streamlined for project managers.


MeisterTask also makes use of Kanban project dashboards, which helps with tasks staying more organized, easily accessible and efficiently manageable.


Key Features:


Here is a comprehensive list of project planning features you can avail with Meistertask:

  1. Kanban Project Boards
  2. Customized Dashboards
  3. Tasks and sub-tasks management
  4. Organizing tasks and prioritization through stars and tags
  5. Task Relationships
  6. Notes and comments to ease workflow
  7. File attachments and information exchange


Pricing Plan:

  • Meistertask comes with free, Pro, Business and Enterprise payment plans.
  • Paid Plan: Meistertask Pro charges $8.25 per user per month.


5. Project Insight


Project Insights


Project Insight is an enterprise web-based project planning tool with powerful features in a simple user interface. This project planning tool is entirely web-based. Due to this, it is accessible by teams to access from anywhere at any time.


A good feature of Project Insight is that it is customizable allowing users to create custom fields, items, and workflows. Users can also customize form labels with a preferred theme without additional coding.


Key Features:


Here are key project planning features you can avail with Project Insight:

  1. Team collaboration and discussion channel
  2. Budgeting and costing
  3. Calendars for scheduling
  4. Cross-project resource allocation
  5. Customization capabilities for fields, forms, and other entities
  6. Intelligent project scheduling
  7. Interactive Gantt charts
  8. Project dashboard reports
  9. Built-in resource management tools
  10. Time and expense assessment
  11. Workflow and approvals


Pricing Plan:


  • Project insight comes with a Free, Business, and Enterprise plan.
  • Paid plan starts from $20 per team member ($45 for power user)


6. Hansoft




Hansoft is an agile project management and one of the top project planning tools that facilitates teams for both short-term and long-term projects. It has a swift user interface that can be altered to expedite workflows and processes. It also provides a single backlog for users to assess, prioritize, and customize other entities.


The great thing about this tool is that you can adopt a single method or combine two or more project management approaches for your project. These methods can include Scrum, Gantt, Kanban, Waterfall, or SAFe.


Key Features:


Hansoft makes project planning easier with the following characteristics:

  1. Insight and information sharing
  2. Works well with any project management framework including Scrum, Gantt, and Kanban
  3. Offers a common Product Backlog
  4. Flexible Release Tagging
  5. Facilitates program planning


Pricing Plan:

  • Hansoft offers a Free and Paid plan.
  • Paid plans start from $28 per user per month.


7. Teamwork


teamwork app


Teamwork makes it to the list of our best project planning tools due to the core modules focused on project management specifically project planning. Some of the core features such as Gantt charts, time tracking with a desktop timer that usable both on Windows and Linux versions, milestones monitoring, and task management along with a clean and sophisticated interface make this tool a winner.


Teamwork also comes with Teamwork Desk and Teamwork Chat, which are easily integrated with Teamwork projects. This gives you a wholesome experience in one place avoiding the need to make multiple subscriptions or purchases with entirely different tools.


With Teamwork Desk, as a module that facilitates you in managing inbound communication, measure traffic channels, team productivity, as well as customer satisfaction. Teamwork project facilitates documentation through a project notebook system that helps you keep notes, format them and export out.


Moreover, you can carry out project coordination and team communication through Teamwork Chat, which is a communication tool as an alternative to Slack. Teamwork Chat is a free app that lets you mobile chat, search for conversations and attach files.


Key Features:


Teamwork comes with the following robust set of features:

  • Task and subtask management
  • Task boards
  • Kanban board
  • Projects
  • Color themes and templates
  • Idea management
  • Budget management
  • Time tracking
  • Milestone tracking
  • Cost to completion tracking
  • Powerful search
  • 100 MB file space
  • Time tracking
  • Mobile apps: iOS and Android
  • Integration with multiple third-party apps


Pricing Plan:

  • Free Forever, Pro ($ 45 per month), Premium ($ 75 per month) and Enterprise (customized) plans.


See also:

The Best Scrum Tools of 2020 for Agile Project Management


8. Avaza




Recommended for freelancers, consultants, and small businesses, Avaza is one of the best project planning tools, especially, if you are not concerned with multiple features but instead want a tool with focused modules and smooth workability. You can break down your work into manageable tasks with to-do lists, timeframes, or workflows. Avaza lets you even plan work for your entire week with a start and end the day.


Project estimation and managing payments are a critical part of project planning. With Avaza you can manage and organize projects from submitting a quote to the client to accepting payment. Create and send detailed estimates for projects to corresponding clients, which can then be converted into projects with a single click.


Once the project starts, you can keep making communication with clients timely and efficient through the Questions tab.


Key Features:


Some of the features you can avail with Avaza include:

  • Task management
  • Time tracking (includes a timer for desktop for Windows and Linux)
  • Scrum project burndown charts
  • File sharing and collaboration
  • Project budgeting
  • Project management
  • Project progress dashboards
  • Conversion of project estimates into projects
  • Activity feeds
  • Business reporting
  • Cloud accounting
  • Project estimation preparation and delivery
  • Expense management and billing
  • Invoices and online billing
  • Multi-currency expenses, invoicing, payments and credit notes
  • Split payments across invoices
  • PayPal payment integration
  • Timesheet entry and billing
  • Mobile apps: iOS and Android
  • Integration with multiple third-party apps


Pricing Plans:

  • Avaza offers Free, Startup, Basic and Business plans.
  • Paid plans start from $ 9.95 per month


9. Allthings




Allthings is another one of our simple yet powerful among project planning tools. Easily create lists, customize them, and share them with the team. This tool easily incorporates elements of Agile project management by letting you customize your lists into backlogs and setting sprints. You can tag tasks with categories and monitor the tasks by group or status through the Kanban board view.


With its powerful search feature, you can search for various elements and even have the option to save searches in the form of customized sub-boards that highlight specific parts of your project.


Key Features:

  • Task and sub-task management
  • To-do lists
  • Create shareable lists
  • Kanban board
  • Group and List views
  • Comments
  • Attachments and file share
  • Project management including project templates
  • Monitor project progress through multiple reports
  • Percent complete tracking
  • Resource planning
  • Time tracking
  • Collaboration
  • Flexible and customizable lists
  • Personalization of views
  • Group collaboration tool
  • Real-time alerts
  • Multi-platform
  • SaaS
  • Mobile apps: Android and iOS
  • Integration with multiple third-party apps


Pricing Plans:

  • Allthings offers Free, Pro and Team plan.
  • Paid plans start from $ 3.99 per month


10. RingCentral Glip




Ringcentral Glip is another cloud-based project planning tool and enables collaboration that comes with an easy to use interface and robust feature list. You can create and assign tasks, share files, schedule project deadlines, and track project progress. This service also encourages and facilitates team communication through conversations and file sharing. You can keep notes and make use of the calendar to schedule work.


Glip also comes with features such as contact management, link extraction, configurable email and push notifications, progress tracking, link extraction, contact management and screen sharing (for training or meetings). Plus, users have the option to write customized plugins, annotate images and establish audit trails.


Key Features:


Here is a list of features you can make use of with Glip:

  • Task management
  • Task assignment through conversations
  • Conversation history
  • Project management
  • Real-time file sharing
  • Team messaging and collaboration
  • Video calls and meetings
  • Screen sharing
  • Contact management
  • Configurable email and push notifications
  • Mobile apps: iOS and Android
  • Integration with multiple third-party apps


Pricing Plans:

  • Glip offers Free and Standard plans.
  • Paid plans start from $ 5 per user per month


11. Hibox




Hibox is an optimum tool for project planning and task management. It offers a neat, intuitive interface that lets you grasp the working of the tool and helps you work your way around it. Modules and features such as task management, project management, and team collaboration are simple yet powerful with various options to choose from.


Project planning entails flawless team collaboration and unless the team is on one page, there is always a threat of miscommunication and project requirement ambiguities. With its team messaging and video conferencing modules, Hibox allows for seamless team communication and collaboration with local or remote groups.


This also makes it an ideal tool especially for freelancers or remotely based teams. The unique feature about the Hibox project planning and management tool is its AI feature that assists you through your project planning phase efficiently by analyzing user behaviors.


Key Features:


Here are some of the prominent features list Hibox has to offer:

  • Task management
  • Project management
  • Instant messaging and collaboration
  • Tasks/project time tracking
  • Videoconferencing
  • Personal AI Assistant
  • Search
  • High-grade security
  • iOS and Android mobile apps
  • Integration with multiple third-party apps

Pricing Plan:

  • Hibox offers a Free, Pro and Enterprise Plan.
  • The paid plans start from $4 per user per month


12. Casual


Casual PM


The last tool on this list of best project planning apps, Casual is a one-of-a-kind project planning tool that lets you plan, manage and track projects visually. Along with the option to write down the tasks as lists, you can also make use of flowcharts to plan an entire project.


With Casual, you can plan projects involving multiple teams and individuals by project milestones and devising the workflow. You can even draw correlations and dependencies between the tasks drawn.


This can be done by drawing tasks and applying causal relationships to those tasks along with defining the order of execution for each task in the project. Based on this defined order, each team member is sent a list of tasks relevant to them.


Despite being different, it is super easy to use and intuitive, so it works really well for personal projects or projects with small teams. What’s more? You can save projects and its elements. The projects and work processes can be revisited and the steps can be utilized for planning more projects.


Key Features:


Make use of the following features with Casual:

  • Create tasks
  • Assign tasks
  • Task management through lists and flowcharts
  • prioritizing
  • List of the task view
  • Board/ graph view
  • Create project milestones
  • Create sub-processes
  • Define project timelines
  • Re-use processes for new projects
  • Visual project summary
  • Color-coded project chart
  • Team notifications
  • Project workflows
  • Team management
  • Collaboration through messaging and file share
  • Automatic backup
  • SSL security
  • Summary reports
  • iOS and Android mobile apps
  • Integration with Google Calendar


Paid Plans:

  • Casual offers a Free trial and Personal, Group, Team, Department, and Enterprise plans.
  • The paid plan starts with $ 7 per month.


13. Inspire Planner


Inspire Planner


For companies using Salesforce, it might be a better decision to look into dedicated Salesforce-native apps for managing their projects.

Inspire Planner is one of the leading Salesforce project management apps available on AppExchange, which is ideal for customer onboarding, PSA, and projects of any shape and size. The app provides a lot of advanced features such as project templates and powerful automation, time tracking, resource planning, support of multiple predecessors, Gantt chart, and more.
However, Inspire Planner was designed in a way that it is easy to use via an intuitive drag and drop interface. The app is also highly customizable through standard Salesforce customization. If you are currently using Microsoft Project, Smartsheet, or a similar tool but want to utilize your Salesforce CRM, Inspire Planner can be an ideal transition.

Key Features:


Here are some of the main features of Inspire Planner, a Salesforce-native project

  • Integration with native Salesforce Tasks
  • Project Templates
  • Time tracking and timesheets
  • Gantt chart and Kanban board interfaces
  • Project portfolios
  • Project portal for non-Salesforce users
  • Analytics with Salesforce reports and dashboards
  • Attach and share project documents/files with version history
  • Task dependencies with Predecessors
  • Project team collaboration via Chatter
  • Project budget and expenses for billing and costing
  • Schedule baseline
  • Critical path map
  • Export PDF or Excel
  • Project task hierarchy with milestones
  • Manage risks and issues with Salesforce Cases
  • Resources skills management
  • Resource capacity and utilization planning
  • Task alerts and reminders
  • Project automation using process builder
  • Intuitive and easy to use drag and drop interface
  • 100% native Salesforce


Pricing Plans:

  • Inspire Planner offers monthly ($18/user/month) and annual ($21/user/month) plans
  • They also support nonprofits by offering them 10 free licenses and further discounts
  • You can try to Inspire Planner with a full 30-day free trial


According to the Project Management Book of Knowledge (PMBOK), project planning constitutes one of the 5 key stages in project management.


Although each stage of project management holds significant value, it is the planning phase that actually lays down the foundation for the project being built ahead. This stage plays a critical role in helping teams, project managers as well as stakeholders through other project phases.


Through project planning, teams can identify goals, assess and mitigate risks, reduce chances of missed deadlines that in turn lead towards timely and efficient project delivery.


If you are looking for a project management tool instead, take a look at these top project management software picks by Celoxis.


However, seemingly small inefficiencies in project planning can snowball into extraordinary large problems in later stages that can ultimately affect the overall project and team performance.


Did you know as per a study by PMI, lack of clear goals has been termed as the most common factor (37%) behind project failure by professionals?


Project Planning Phase


In essence, the project planning phase incorporates all the steps that define the objective, scope and activities a project incorporates. The team prioritizes the project, calculates a budget and schedule and determines the resources required.


The lack of effective project planning can incur high costs on projects and organizations. The Project Management Institute estimates that as of 2017, organizations have spent an average of $97 million for every $1 billion invested, due to poor project performance.


Katie Stricker is a marketing project management professional and is a contributor to the online resource “Projects@Work”. According to Stricker, some of the common activities included in the planning stage comprise:

  1. Communication plan for stakeholders
  2. Development of a detailed work breakdown structure.
  3. Identification of the critical path
  4. Resource plotting on the project plan and refining the sequencing of the work based on project dependencies and resource constraints.
  5. Detailed schedule creation
  6. Risk assessment, prioritization and mitigation plan.
  7. Project Planning Tools


What are some of your favorite project planning tools? Let us know in the comments below.


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