Project management makes sense for all projects. Not just big ones. For very small projects, Excel spreadsheets and emails may still be sufficient for project organization. With increasing project complexity and team size, project managers quickly reach their limits: manage tasks, keep an eye on deadlines, manage communication and record performance. At this point, professional project management software is an extremely helpful tool.
Especially with startups, money is often the determining topic. A startup that is just starting out is usually not blessed with wealth. To make matters worse, important projects are pending for startups , which should be clearly presented. For this you need the right tool. That is why we present some of the best project management software with which you can implement for the projects in your company for free.
There are now many project management tools on the market that are very suitable for beginners. For small projects, management software for small business must have three properties: It must be inexpensive, easy to use and easy to install.
While in the past you still had to spend a lot of money on tools such as “MS Project” & the like, today there are already inexpensive solutions that often even offer a free basic version. You can start with the free version without a long-term contract. If you like a piece of software, you can choose add-ons to get additional functions.
Many modern tools offer simple and easy operation using drag & drop, so that you can start straight away without any training. Even without experience with project management software, the project management tools can be easily tried and tested.
Most project management software products are available as web and cloud-based tools. Cloud-based project management software offers many advantages. The software does not have to be installed first, but is immediately ready for use – at any time and in any device. Access is possible from different end devices and only requires an internet connection. A cloud solution automatically grows with your own needs and can be expanded accordingly.
Targetprocess is a visual software that help you optimize communication within the company and also better understand certain project data. With Targetprocess, both project management and information visualization are combined. As a user, you get a high degree of flexibility with regard to the processes that are depicted in the tool. The tool also impresses with instant solutions for Scrum, Kanban, marketing and many others. Above all, Targeprocess’s visual approach helps you understand the impact your work has on your company’s strategy.
Pivotal Tracker is a story-based product management tool. This makes it easier for you to work in a team and everything can be coordinated with one another at any time. With the Tracker’s Team backlog, you always get an optimal overview of your work – across several projects. You can also see the work of the other teams. It is also an advantage for you that the guided iteration planning makes it possible to break down the projects in a team-oriented manner at any time. With the integrated analysis tool, you can also have meaningful reports prepared. This tool therefore helps you adapt processes, develop them further and stay flexible.
Formerly known as Teambox, Redbooth is a combination of collaboration software and project management . The structure of the online service is strongly based on classic collaboration tools with ticketing functions. The user can assign tasks and sub-tasks to the managed projects, which can be commented on and attached.
For file attachments you can also use different cloud storage services like Google Drive, Dropbox or Box. Time recording for individual tasks is just as much a part of the functionality as reporting. In addition to the ticketing system, an important pillar of Redbooth is project-related team chat. The service also integrates a video conferencing solution.
The Nutcache project management tool makes it possible for you to increase productivity in a team through a number of collaboration functions. Working hours can be recorded directly with this tool and automatically invoiced to the customer. In boards you can organize joint projects and get an exact status of these projects at any time.
It is also very practical since possible expenses can be assigned directly to the respective projects. So you can include this in the internal accounting.
With Planio you can manage tasks and also make all recurring tasks standard as an automatic workflow. Planio is ideal for you if you work with an agile team and projects, such as Scrum and Kanban. The tool can also help you with classic project management processes. With Planio you can manage all data in one place.
If it is important to you to save data, you can create your own wikis or make other information visible. It could also be an advantage for you that you can record all your activities as part of a project so that you can then invoice them directly.
Basecamp is one of the most well-known tools in the field of project management. This tool gives you a rich set of functions at hand. It can be operated very intuitively and, with the features in the online solution, focuses on internal communication. You can leave messages on Basecamp on a message board or comment on messages from others. Data exchange including versioning is possible for many formats. So you can always track everything exactly. Unfortunately, as a standard tool you have to pay for it, but especially at the beginning and empty cash registers, the free version works great but only available for 30 days.
Clocking IT is a web-based open source tool and is aimed primarily at software developers. If you want to use this tool as a platform for your project work, Clocking IT provides you with a well-organized dashboard. Additional project management functions such as time recording, task management or Gantt graphics are also supported. Features that are not required can be easily deactivated to keep the software as compact and light as possible. Other features of Clocking IT include very extensive collaboration options and a wiki with which projects can be documented. There is also an instant messaging function.
Zoho Projects offers you a wide range of office applications. Zoho Project contains all the necessary applications for good project management. This includes task management and milestones, time recording, calendar functions and Gantt charts. It is also practical that all users can chat and exchange documents with each other. it is also possible to create a wiki. You can create a free account quickly and easily and link the tool with Google Apps.
In addition to the standard functions of project management, Bitrix24 offers many other practical applications: team chat, video conferences, calendars, Gantt charts, time recording, versioning and many more. The provider’s mobile app is available for both iOS and Android. With the free version, up to twelve users can get involved and create projects, tasks and sub-tasks without restriction. There are also five gigabytes of cloud storage. If you want to add more team members and use the function, you can also buy one of the three paid versions.
The free project management software Bitrix24 offers a whole range of useful functions, some of which go far beyond project management. In addition to team chat, video conferences and calendars, the solution offers document management, Gantt charts, time recording, versioning, CRM, task management, personnel management and other tools. Bitrix24 enables the integration of Microsoft Exchange servers, Gmail, GMX, and other services. Mobile apps are available for iOS and Android – desktop clients for Windows and OS X. Bitrix24’s cloud version as well as a version for self-hosting are available.
With Wrike you get an online workspace for your project management, which enables you to work on your projects in real time with your team. This is a great solution, especially for startups that are just starting out. If you want to use the tool with a maximum of five users for your projects, you can do this free of charge. If you need more than five accounts and want to use more extensive functions, you can choose between three different paid packages.
Wrike is a flexible online solution for project managers who need an extensive feature set. These include an unlimited number of projects, Gantt charts, revision history, file sharing with 50 MB per user, time recording, import and export options for Excel files and MS Project, iCal integration, templates, task management and RSS.
While many competitors try to replace the medium e-mail with different approaches, Wike integrates e-mails in an exemplary manner into the project management process. The learning curve of the online solution is considerable, so users should not underestimate the time it takes to familiarize themselves with the tool.
With the Clickup project management tool, all your to-do lists, project management tasks and notes can be saved effectively. You can exchange ideas with your colleagues within the individual main and sub-tasks and assign them to other tasks accordingly. In order to have a clear overview of your tasks, you can choose whether you want to display them as a board, as a list or as a calendar. You can also create reminders that always let you know when a task should be finished. Clickup is free in the basic version. If you want unlimited dashboards and storage among other things, you can use the Unlimited version.
Asana project management tool is a hybrid of task management and collaborative project management by a Facebook co-founder, which is particularly popular in the startup scene. Designed as a tool for the internal organization of Facebook, the service is now also used by companies such as Dropbox and Pinterest. The web service takes up some ideas from David Allen and his GTD methodology. Asana shines with a tidy and accessible interface, high usability, lots of keyboard shortcuts and a short training period.
The heart of project management with Asana is made up of three columns. Current projects are shown on the left, the related tasks are in the middle column and all detailed information such as notes, links, tags or comments are collected on the right. Structurally, Asana relies heavily on lists that can be structured very delicately. In this way, you can structure large amounts of information clearly and cleanly. Practical: individual project goals and milestones can be set as a checklist and arranged by date. Dependencies can also be specified in these checklists so that a higher-level milestone cannot be checked off before all subordinate tasks have been completed.
In addition, goals can be recorded in checklists and arranged by date. Up to 15 members can use the tool free of charge. The free version also offers all the functions that are available to users of the paid version. Only the team size, the better support and private projects within the team can be used with the paid version.
With the open source project management tool Libreplan, not only one person defines the projects, but the whole team. This means that people outside the company can also be involved in the projects. In addition, the tool offers the most important functions, such as Gantt charts, resource management and financial management. In addition, projects can be easily documented and comprehensive reports created.
In contrast to most other project management tools, Meistertask can add an unlimited number of users and create projects. The design is very simple and clear and yet all important functions of project management are covered. The boards on which projects can be created are ideal for agile project management and can therefore be individually adapted.
The tool includes all important features from time recording to collaboration between internal and external employees.Combinations of Kanban and Scrum, for example, are also possible in this way.
Openproject is an open source solution with which many different plugins can be installed. For example, there is an additional meeting and controlling plugin that you can add when you need it.The former is intended to assist in planning meetings and the agenda with links to work packages and schedules, while the latter enables the recording and evaluation of costs and times. Openproject runs on Ruby on Rails and stands out from the competition with a Scrum plugin that uses agile methods and Scrum teams. The range of functions includes milestone planning, bug tracking, a wiki, forums, document management and time recording. Adaptive timeline reporting is also available. The reporting is automatically generated from the OpenProject data and can be adjusted so that the recipient only receives exactly the information that concerns him. Possible filters include, for example, level of detail, responsibility or period.
If you use Kanban to manage tasks and projects, Trello can be the perfect project management tool for you. This simple project management software is clearly designed so that everyone can find its way very quickly. Various boards can be created for projects, which can be assigned to employees, commented on and enriched with information. However, you have to do without Gantt charts and time recording with this tool.However, if the project is complex and you cannot do without Gantt charts or resource management, the service reaches its limits. Trello is primarily suitable for anyone who has come to appreciate Kanban as a productivity method. The way it works is catchy: Different boards can be created for different projects.
Each board can be filled with columns and maps, which can be enriched with further information, commented on, assigned to employees and easily moved using drag & drop. Due dates can be assigned either for individual cards or entire card collections. Trello is also available for iOS and Android and works well on both mobile platforms.
The basic version of Trello is free of charge. The two professional versions cost around eight and around 20 US dollars respectively. Due dates can be assigned either for individual cards or entire card collections.
Airtable should be the ideal project management tool for Excel fans. This is structured similarly to Excel, but is more towards organization. Visually, it is also a little more appealing than Excel and also does away with complicated formulas. The tool offers a flexible user interface and various tagging and filter options. Various data, for example from GitHub, MailChimp and Meetup, can also be integrated here.
If you work a lot with G-Suite, the Kanbanchi tool can also be very suitable. This is a browser add-on that can be used to organize tasks and manage projects. The three different views of Kanbanchi are particularly practical . A Kanban, Gantt chart and list view are possible, in the free version unfortunately only the Kanban view works.
Despite the limited possibilities, the free model offers some features – such as the unlimited creation of dashboards and cards. The cards can be defined as in almost all of the tools we have presented: It is possible to link several cards, prioritize them, assign participants, set a deadline, define tags and add attachments.
As mentioned above, the main feature of Kanbanchi is the integration of G-Suite. All G-Suite apps are used with Kanbanchi: Dashboards are shared, for example via Google Drive, and reminders are output via Google Calendar. Trello boards can also be imported.If you want to organize larger projects, you can buy the paid version.
Freedcamp is a free alternative to the popular project management solution Basecamp. If you decide on the solution, you should first consider that backups at Freedcamp are not free. The solution can also be used to manage and carry out several projects at the same time. The project manager can not only record the time that individual employees have worked on the project but also deadlines, todo lists or document sharing. The Freedcamp communication system makes a mature impression and all users can see directly which tasks have been assigned to them without having to be logged on to the system. All communication within the project management solution can also be handled via mobile devices.
If you prefer to use desktop software instead of the cloud for project management – and are still looking for a free solution – it is not that easy. An admittedly older software is definitely recommended in such cases: GanttProject. GanttProject is one of the first open source project management tools since it entered the project management stage in the 90s and is available for Windows and OS X as well as Linux. As the name suggests, Gantt charts are the mainstay of this desktop solution. Considered as one of the best free gantt chart software, GanttProject includes a resource load chart for managing and assigning tasks and workload. The individual charts can be exported as PNGs and there is also the option of generating PDF and HTML reports. Projects can be imported and exported in Microsoft Project formats – the data exchange takes place with the help of CSV via spreadsheets. Individual projects can be shared with employees via WebDAV.
Podio by Citrix is a mixture of online project management and business social network. Every user can connect his account to other colleagues as well as individual projects. The solution offers basic functions known from social networks such as messaging and chat. Each user can assign tasks and responsibilities to other users and set deadlines. Podio shines particularly in the area of customization.
So-called workspaces can be created, for example, which makes it possible to work with a self-defined group. You can decide for yourself how to structure your own projects, workflows and teams. A variety of related apps expand the basic functions of the platform. In addition, you can also create your own apps without any programming knowledge. This makes Podio one of the most flexible project management solutions in our overview.
The free Lite version of Podio with limited functionality for up to five employees and five external parties appears to have been deleted. In the smallest version, the service costs $ 9 per employee per month. Prices for Podio Business are available on request.