March 27, 2020
May 11, 2021
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.
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.
Free project planning tools are few and far between.
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.
Here are some of the powerful features and modules nTask comprises to facilitate project planning:
Gantt charts, meeting planner, timesheets and more. Sign up today and organize work like never before.
Toggl Plan is a beautifully simple project planning tool. You don’t have to be a certified project manager to use it. That’s why creative, design, and marketing teams use Toggl Plan for managing projects.
With its drag and drop interface, this planning tool makes project planning and task management a breeze.
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 transparent task management through these boards.
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.
Azendoo helps you in effective project planning via the following features:
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.
Tools used in project planning are a lot but given the key features it offers; MesiterTask is a good value for value.
Here is a comprehensive list of project planning features you can avail with Meistertask:
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.
Here are key project planning features you can avail with Project Insight:
Hansoft is an agile project management and one of the top online project planning tools that facilitate 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.
Hansoft makes project planning easier with the following characteristics:
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.
Teamwork comes with the following robust set of features:
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.
Some of the features you can avail with Avaza include:
ProProfs Project is a top project planning tool that helps you create a project schedule and accomplish tasks like a pro. It is an excellent solution for budget management and resource management.
With this tool, you can assign tasks to the team members, set start dates and end dates, analyze project performance, and monitor task progress. You can also spell out dependencies, highlighting tasks or milestones that rely on completing other tasks.
ProProfs Project comes with a suite of advanced features that help increase efficiency and improve team collaboration. This tool’s major highlight is that you get to analyze and monitor the projects through various views, including list view, calendar view, Gantt chart, and Kanban board. These visual representations allow you to view milestones and meet deadlines faster.
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.
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.
Here is a list of features you can make use of with Glip:
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.
Here are some of the prominent features list Hibox has to offer:
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.
Make use of the following features with Casual:
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.
Here are some of the main features of Inspire Planner, a Salesforce-native project
Call it GoPlan, or Goplan, this is one of the coolest project planning tools on the block. To be honest, we recently discovered Goplan when we were looking to add more recommendations to this list.
The program comes with all the nifty features that are essential to planning and executing projects on time. – and that too via a remarkably simple user interface.
Goplan developers reportedly wanted their users to maintain focus on work, instead of visual intricacies. For that reason, the program isn’t too fancy on the latest Web 2.0 design standards. The clean user interface is effective for quick access to all the key features of the software.
Goplan services are offered in three packages. All three plans accommodate a 30-day trial period for the best user experience.
ServiceDesk Plus is another project planning oriented tool that doesn’t sell short on features. Beyond its project management capabilities, you can monitor and manage other business-related services.
For instance, ServiceDesk Plus has a powerful customer support module. It was designed specifically for businesses that rely on project management and service provision at the same time. In a nutshell, this software takes project planning to a whole new level.
By offering, Asset management, Trouble Shooting, Project Management, and a dedicated Knowledge Base, ServiceDesk Plus, eliminates the need for purchasing different software for the aforementioned platforms. To that end, this software is more of an all-in-one package with affordable pricing.
Workfront combines robust project management and project planning feature sets for users of various skill levels. It is remarkable software that dates back to 2001.
Since Workfront was developed by a Utah based project management and planning company, it is all the more reason to give this tool a try. The developers were well aware of project managers’ needs, long since they had the first-hand account of all the challenges that power level users reportedly faced in the industry.
Workfront’s UI helps with a smooth learning curve. The program is not the only ideal for complex Enterprise level project planning endeavors, but it’s also suitable for small businesses and teams. The only setback to this program is the long onboarding time. Workfront devs are reportedly in the middle of giving the program a new overhaul in the upcoming future build.
As one of the best free project planning tools, this one has to offer the appended key highlights.
Another amazing project planning tool on this list is Trello. The application is a great way to plan and track many different tasks and features related to the project, with the help of Trello boards.
These boards help display all of the information needed by the project manager to plan all of the activities that their team members have to perform.
TeamGantt is an amazing project planning tool that enables your team to plan and keep track of all the different tasks and activities related to your project.
The application is quite intuitive and wouldn’t make you read a whole lot of documents to understand its functioning and is quite easy-to-use when you get the hang of it.
The main feature that this application provides is the creation of efficient Gantt charts that keep track of all of the different activities associated with the project.
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?
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:
What are some of your favorite project planning tools? Let us know in the comments below.
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