While some businesses can get away using Excel spreadsheets or even sticky notes to manage projects, dedicated project management (PM) software can make all the difference. The best project management tools help you assign tasks, simplify team collaboration, handle recurring tasks, give you project data―and much more.
You have tons of options for project management software. With that in mind, we’ve put together a list of trending project management software, along with reviews of seven of our hand-picked favorites. If you don’t see the right project management tool for your team, check out our Project Management Software Guide for even more options.
In this article...
Top project management software
monday.com is best for project management across various teams with different functions.
Trello is best for companies that want a quick set up and an easy-to-use management tool.
Jira is best for software developers and other teams that stick to agile project management.
Airtable is best for viewing and manipulating project data in many different ways.
Asana is best for task management and breaking down a complex project into simpler parts.
monday.com: Best for project management across teams
monday.com bills itself as a “work OS” (operating system) that can meet most of your business’s software needs. monday’s suite of work software includes the following:
- monday work management (for project and task management)
- monday sales CRM
- monday dev (for software development)
- monday marketer
- monday projects (for portfolio management)
With all those options, you can use monday.com as a single project management system for your whole business. You won’t need to worry about your marketing team’s project management app integrating with your dev team’s management tool of choice. Whether you want a Kanban board for your dev team, automated recurring tasks for your sales department, or advanced resource management for your project managers, monday.com can do it all. That means easier collaboration between teams and fewer headaches for your project managers.
monday.com pros and cons
- Free read-only access on most plans
- Multiple project views
- 14-day free trial
- Excellent customer reviews
- Lackluster, cheap plans
- Above-average plan costs
- Limited storage
- Additional cost for each app
monday.com key features
Automation: Save time by automating recurring tasks and responses to certain conditions. For example, the Work Management app can create a specific task each Friday, or the app can notify project owners if a specific task goes past its due date.
Views: Project managers and team members can view projects and tasks in several ways. Choose from a table, Gantt chart, Kanban board, calendar, and more.
View-only and guest access: Save money on your monday.com paid plans with view-only and guest options. Team members can view assignments and project progress without a plan. Or get four guests for the price of one seat (perfect for collaboration with freelancers).
Trello: Best for quick setup
Trello offers a Kanban-inspired project management tool. Your virtual board has cards for each task and columns to track project progress. It’s a highly visual way to plan and track projects.
This simple setup makes Trello one of the simplest project management tools out there. Unlike other PM software that requires complex onboarding, Trello lets you get started in no time at all. Just name your new board and start adding tasks. Likewise, team members should have no problem picking up Trello. Its drag-and-drop interface and visual layout make Trello about as complex as a game of Microsoft Solitaire. In other words, it’s the ideal project management solution for teams that want to hit the ground running.
Trello pros and cons
- Feature-rich free plan
- Unlimited cards and users on all plans
- Pre-designed templates for many use cases
- 14-day free trial of Premium plan
- Limited views on most plans
- Lack of chat and other common features
- Lack of global task management
- Potential issues combining power-ups
Trello key features
Kanban board: Trello uses a virtual Kanban board to display your projects (though you don’t have to use the Kanban method). This visual display lets you see tasks and progress at a glance. You can choose to create a new board for each project, or you can track multiple projects on one board.
Power-ups: Use Trello power-ups (plugins that add features and integrations) to add more functionality to your board. For instance, you can get power-ups that let you easily copy cards to manage recurring tasks. Or you can add power-ups to integrate your Trello board with Slack, Google Calendar, and other software.
Templates: Pick from dozens of templates to create a thoughtfully designed workflow with no effort on your part. Choose from templates like a scrum board for agile project management or a work request form to create and assign tasks.
Jira: Best for software development
Jira is a project management app that focuses on agile project management. It uses Scrum and Kanban boards to break down complex projects. Plus, it includes plenty of dev-focused tools.
These tools make Jira a uniquely great PM tool for software development teams. It has features for bug tracking, version tracking, and other common development needs. Plus, Jira software includes all kinds of security and privacy settings. Tools like customized permissions, IP allowlisting, and data residency keep your code safe and compliant with any relevant regulations.
Jira pros and cons
- Bug tracking and resolution tools
- Over 3,000 integrations
- Advanced security and privacy features
- Affordable annual plans
- Scrum and Kanban boards only
- Required setup
- Complexity of management
- Discontinued server support
Jira key features
Scrum: Jira’s scrum board has all the built-in features you need for agile project management―like sprint points for project planning and burndown charts to monitor team collaboration.
Bug tracking: Spend less time worrying about bugs with Jira bug tracking. It can automatically assign bugs to team members, link bugs to relevant tasks, and prioritize bugs based on your project rules.
Roadmap: Project managers can get a bird’s-eye view of projects with Jira roadmaps. This PM tool lets you view projects across sprints and teams and helps you spot potential roadblocks.
Airtable: Best for data viewing
Airtable is a spreadsheet-based project management app. Its customizable tables let you add nearly endless data to projects and tasks. Then you can use Airtable’s many viewing options to visualize your data as needed.
In fact, Airtable’s visual project management software lets you visualize your project data in everything from a spreadsheet to a Gantt chart―whatever makes sense for your projects and your workflow. Airtable also lets your remember members focus on just the data they need with personalized views. Plus, Airtable has great reporting tools. You can learn more about your data with simple default reports or design the specific reports you want. In other words, Airtable makes it easy to view data from any angle you like.
Airtable pros and cons
- Multiple ways to view data
- Individual views for users
- 2-week free trial
- Code-free and code-based reporting
- Limited attachment storage
- Relatively few software integrations
- Limited records by plan
- High cost for more than 5 users
Airtable key features
View options: Airtable includes quite a few different view options, such as a basic table, Kanban board, Gantt chart, calendar, or gallery view.
Custom views: Users can sort and filter data with personalized views. These custom views won’t affect other users’ views. Plus, management can create and lock views for specific collaboration needs.
Reporting: Get everything from basic reports to complex analysis. Use Airtable’s default reports, use its code-free tool to create custom reports, or even code your own reports.
Asana: Best for task management
Asana’s project management app helps you manage specific projects as well as your team’s processes and workflow. It places a big emphasis on teamwork projects and collaboration between people.
We mostly love how Asana makes it easy to manage complex projects with its task management tools. Start by creating tasks and subtasks. Then you can group those tasks, show dependencies between them, create milestones for tasks, and more. Even the most complex projects can get broken down into small parts. That way, you can easily understand where a task is at any given time―and by extension, the project as a whole.
Asana pros and cons
- Personalized “My Tasks” page
- Simple workflow template creation
- Clean dashboard for at-a-glance project status
- 30-day free trial
- Inability to assign multiple users to tasks
- High starting price
- Lack of data export on most plans
- Overwhelming features for small teams
Asana key features
Task granularity: Asana lets you break down projects as much as you need. Create tasks and dependent subtasks. Then group tasks or create dependencies to keep your project moving forward as a whole.
Dashboard: Customize what you see on your Asana dashboard. Include the most important tasks or contributors to see where things stand without having to sift through project data.
Permissions: Project managers can choose who gets to do what with the Asana app. Protect your projects and workflow by assigning permission for viewing, adding, deleting, and managing projects.
Choosing the best project management software
Whether you need a powerful PM tool or a simple app for project planning, you can find plenty of software to help with managing projects.
monday.com offers project management tools that work across different teams with different workflows, making it a one-stop solution for your whole small business.
Trello’s simple Kanban boards and intuitive interface make it perfect for easy setup and adoption by your team.
Jira’s software offers powerful PM tools for software development, from bug tracking to sprint planning to version tracking.
Airtable gives you standout options for viewing your project data, with multiple displays, personalized views, and advanced reporting features.
Asana has tons of task management tools to help you break down complex projects and keep them on track.
Not sure those are the right project planning and management tool for your small business? Browse even more options in our Project Management Software Guide.
What are the types of project management software?
The types of project management software include individual productivity software, team collaboration tools, and software specifically for project managers.
Why do you need a project management tool?
You need a project management tool to easily assign tasks, track project progress, keep an eye on resources, and have a source of truth for your projects.
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.