Whether you’ve got 2 employees or 200, project management software can help your small business run more smoothly. The right software can simplify team collaboration and help you make even the most complex projects feel doable. You just need to find the best project management software for your small business.
You have lots of project management software options. With that in mind, we’ve covered our hand-picked favorites (including plenty of info on what makes them the best project management software options).
If none of these catch your eye, check out our Project Management Software Guide for even more choices.
In this article...
Top project management software for small business
|Software||Pricing (paid plans)||Selling point||Free trial|
|Trello||$5.00/user/mo.||Easy-to-learn interface||14 days||Try Trello|
|Airtable||$10.00/user/mo.||Data views||14 days||Try Airtable|
|Asana||$10.99/user/mo.||Task management||N/A||Try Asana|
|ClickUp||$5.00/user/mo.||Collaboration tools||N/A||Try ClickUp|
|Wrike||$9.80/user/mo.||Digital media proofing||N/A||Try Wrike|
Trello: Best for quick setup
Trello uses a kanban board as its primary project management tool. Just break down your projects into tasks, put those on virtual cards, and move them across your kanban board columns to track project progress.
If you’ve spent any time looking at other project management tools, you may be surprised at how easy it is to get started with Trello. With just a few clicks, you can create a new board for a project and add some tasks to cards. You can even pick from dozens of preexisting templates, giving you a carefully designed kanban board without much effort on your part. Plus, Trello’s drag-and-drop interface makes Trello simple enough for even the least tech-savvy teams.
- Free plan with most important features
- Unlimited users and task cards on any plan
- Lots of templates for different project types
- 2-week free trial (for Premium plan)
- Fewer project views than other software
- No chat, sub-tasks, or other common PM tools
- No native way to manage multiple tasks at once
- Possible conflicts between power-ups
Trello key features
Kanban board: Trello uses a kanban board as your primary project view. The highly visual task cards and project status columns make it easy to understand project progress at glance.
Power-ups: Trello Power-ups add new features to your board through software integrations. These features range from things like batch card editing to integrating Gmail and Trello.
Templates: Use predesigned workflow and project templates to create a new board and workflow in seconds. Trello has templates for work requests, agile project management, and other workflow needs.
Airtable: Best for data viewing
Airtable project management starts with spreadsheets. Each row represents a project or task, with each row cell containing important project data. You can customize column labels to match the project data that matters to you.
Once you have a basic spreadsheet, though, Airtable lets you view your data as everything from a kanban chart to a Gantt chart. Plus, you can filter spreadsheets to view just the data that matters in the moment―and team members can save their preferences as private views. Airtable also lets you easily build reports from your data, so you can avoid the common project management mistake of not reporting needed data.
Airtable pros and cons
- Chart, calendar, kanban, and other project views
- Customizable views for individual users
- 2-week free trial (for Pro plan)
- Basic and advanced reporting tools
- Less attachment storage than other software
- Just 30 software integrations
- Limited projects on most plans
- High costs for paid plans
Airtable key features
View options: Turn your Airtable spreadsheet into a kanban chart, Gantt chart, calendar, gallery, or timeline―whatever makes sense for your project data.
Custom views: Let team members focus on just the data they need for their roles. Each user can create personalized views using Airtable’s data filters and view options.
Reporting: Dig into your project data with Airtable reporting. Start with basic built-in reports, build a custom report dashboard, or even code your own project reports.
Asana: Best for task management
Asana is a workflow management software that lets you plan and track projects, tasks, and workloads. The free plan lets small teams set and track tasks, while paid plans add workflow automation for recurring tasks (and other advanced task tools).
Those tools let Asana excel at task management. It lets you take a complex project and break it down not just into tasks but also subtasks. Then you can group those tasks and subtasks, create task dependencies, and even add approvals to certain tasks. Plus, Asana lets individuals focus on the tasks they need to see. Contributors can customize a My Tasks page to focus their efforts, while project managers can monitor tasks across projects with portfolio management.
Asana pros and cons
- Customizable My Tasks page for each user
- Template creation for your team’s workflow
- Unlimited projects and tasks on all plans
- 1-month free trial (for Premium or Business plans)
- No option for multiple users on one task
- Above-average price for paid plans
- No data export (except on Enterprise plan)
- Potential to overwhelm small teams with tools
Asana key features
Task granularity: Asana helps your team break big projects into bite-size pieces. Start by dividing projects into tasks, and then divide those tasks into subtasks. Then add any task dependencies and approvals you need.
Dashboard: Project managers can quickly see task (and subtask) statuses for a project with project dashboards. For a more global view, they can even use portfolio dashboards that show groups of projects.
My Tasks: Individual team members can customize their own to-do lists with My Tasks―including changing views, organizing tasks, and adding task automations.
ClickUp: Best for team collaboration
While ClickUp includes project management tools, it wants to be much more than your typical PM software. It also includes features for team chat, word processing, goal setting, email, and more.
That variety of tools make ClickUp a powerful solution for team collaboration. Your small team can use ClickUp to chat about projects, brainstorm together (with virtual whiteboards), and collaborate on documents in real time. ClickUp’s project management system may even replace your usual Slack channels and Google Workspace apps. And unlike many PM tools, ClickUp lets you assign multiple users to one task―another way to encourage teamwork.
ClickUp pros and cons
- Free plan with unlimited users
- Built-in chat and whiteboard tools
- 24/7 customer support
- Regular software updates
- Sometimes slow software speeds
- Potential bugs with updates
- Reported sync issues
- Limited reporting tools
ClickUp key features
Whiteboards: Your team can come up with new project ideas and refine team workflows with ClickUp’s virtual whiteboards. When you’re done, you can make your whiteboard items into tasks.
Commenting: ClickUp allows for more advanced comments on tasks than other software. You can add attachments, paste screenshots into comments, and make comments into action items.
Docs: ClickUp includes a full-featured word processor. Your team can write and edit a document together, and then you can link the document to projects or tasks.
Wrike: Best for digital media
Wrike’s work management platform can scale from very small teams to some of the biggest companies around. It includes tools for managing projects, tasks, resources, and workflows―with an emphasis on marketing and creative teams.
Because of this emphasis, Wrike includes some great tools for digital media teams. For instance, its proofing software lets you add comments to images, compare versions, and get feedback from guests. And of course, it integrates with Adobe Creative Cloud and other popular create apps. Likewise, Wrike lets you create tasks that sit inside multiple projects―perfect for managing creative campaigns that may use common assets.
Wrike pros and cons
- Lots of customizability
- Multiple project views
- More than 400 integrations
- Unlimited users on free plan
- Time investment for setup
- Limits on users for lower paid plan tiers
- Cost of higher-tier plans
- Steep learning curve
Wrike key features
Proofing: Team members can give feedback on or approve images and documents with Wrike’s proofing tools. Link files and team feedback to the relevant task so nothing gets lost.
Cross-tagging: Want to see the same task in more than one place? Wrike lets you cross-tag tasks―perfect for tasks that contribute to more than one project.
Automated workflows: Save time on recurring tasks through automation. Just decide how you want your workflow to look, then create simple rules to automate your processes.
Choosing the best project management software for small business
Whether you’re a small business owner or just a team leader, you can choose the best project management software by thinking about what features or tools your team needs most.
Trello offers a simple PM tool you can start using right away, thanks to its ease of use.
Airtable gives you plenty of ways to record and analyze project data.
Asana has powerful task management tools for single projects and big portfolios.
ClickUp provides you with both project management and some great collaboration tools.
Wrike’s management tool is perfect for teams working on digital media and creative tasks.
If none of these brands quite fit your project management style, look at our Project Management Software Guide to see even more PM tool options.
What is the simplest project management software?
Trello is the simplest project management software for most people. Its drag-and-drop interface and simple display make managing projects easy.
Which is the best software for project management?
The best software for project management depends on your team size and needs. But Trello, Airtable, Asana, ClickUp, and Wrike share some of the best project management tools out there.
monday.com Work OS is the project management software that helps you and your team plan, execute, and track projects and workflows in one collaborative space. Manage everything from simple to complex projects more efficiently with the help of visual boards, 200+ ready-made templates, clever no-code automations, and easy integrations. In addition, custom dashboards simplify reporting, so you can evaluate your progress and make data-driven decisions.
Tackle complex projects with Wrike’s award-winning project management software. Break projects into simple steps, assign tasks to team members, and visualize progress with Gantt charts, Kanban boards, and calendars. Manage resource allocation and forecasting with software that’s easy to launch. Automation and AI features strip away time-consuming admin tasks so you can do the best work of your life. Streamline your practices, align your team, and ensure you hit deadlines and stay on budget.
ClickUp is one of the highest-rated project management tools today. Use Docs, Reminders, Goals, Calendars, Chat, scheduling, assigned comments, custom views, & more with this all-in-one project management tool.
Used by 800,000+ teams in companies like Airbnb, Google, and Uber, it brings all of your projects into a single app! Built for teams of all sizes and industries, Our fully customizable & proprietary features make it a must-have for anyone wanting to keep project management in one place.