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Top 12 Project Planning Tools Every Project Manager Must Have

project planning tools, ntask

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-prem 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 set 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.

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 in efficient project planning, and at reasonable or no price at all. Let’s begin.

1. nTask

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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 helps 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 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 update 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 a Free and Pro pricing plans.

Paid Plan: nTask charges $2.99 per month per user with an annual billing plan.

2. Freedcamp

Another one of our recommended project planning tools is Freedcamp. Freedcamp is a cloud-based project management tool with 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 a project management tool that helps 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

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 Insight is an enterprise web-based project management software 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 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. Resource management
  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 tool 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 makes it to the list of our best project planning apps 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 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.

8. Avaza

Recommended for freelancers, consultants and small businesses, Avaza is one of the best project planning apps 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-d lists, timeframes or workflows. Avaza lets you even plan work for your entire week with a start and end 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 make 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 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 project planning apps. Easily create lists, customize them and share them with team. This tool easily incorporates elements of Agile project management through 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 plans.
  • Paid plans start from $ 3.99 per month

10. RingCentral Glip

Ringcentral Glip is another cloud-based project planning and collaboration tool 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 trainings or meetings). Plus, users have the option to write customized plug ins, 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 videoconferencing modules, Hibox allows for seamless team communication and collaboration with local or remote groups.

This also makes it an idea tool especially for freelancers or remotely based teams. The unique feature about 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

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 words really well for personal projects or projects with small teams. What’s more? You can save the 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 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.
  • Paid plan starts with $ 7 per month.

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.

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 the 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 on 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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