Project management (PM) software for small businesses has the potential to assist project managers and their teams with meeting the requirements of their clients while staying ahead of project deadlines. PM software is often used to plan, schedule, and report on various projects and gives managers and their contributors the opportunity to track and update their work requirements and complete routine tasks. 

PM software can be effective when used alone, but can also be incorporated into a larger collection of existing software solutions to maximize its effectiveness. PM software is very useful for small teams that need to minimize the time it takes them to meet customer demand, while greatly reducing the risk for common errors. 

Selecting PM software that satisfies the unique needs of a company should also yield additional benefits that include time management improvements, staying within budget, and yielding better productivity outcomes.

Top 7 Best Project Management Tools 

  • ClickUp: Best for managing teams and projects under one dashboard
  • Wrike: Best for customization and preconfigured multi-purpose templates
  • Trello: Best for cross collaboration and simple file-sharing 
  • Asana: Best for cloud-based collaboration 
  • Miro: Best for visual collaboration 
  • Nifty: Best for task management 
  • Notion: Best for building and sharing workflows

ClickUp: Best for Managing Teams and Projects Under One Dashboard


Pros

  • Free plan available
  • Realtime chat option available

Cons

  • Steep learning curve
  • Lacking project message board

ClickUp is a management software solution that is a good choice for small teams. ClickUp includes time and task management tools and robust collaboration features. Managers have the ability to help organize tasks and track changes while managing their teams, and teams can use the software to create workflows, which are fully customizable and easy to view. ClickUp grants users the ability to create custom schedules, organize calendars with real-time updates and track the time it takes to see a project through to its completion.

ClickUp has a free plan in place, and paid plans start at $7 per month per user.

We chose ClickUp for its reliability and its position as one of the best PM tools on the market. Much of the software’s features included in its free plan serve as a good starting point for many small businesses. Should companies consider ClickUp’s tiered pricing and paid plans, they can expect additional tools and enhanced usability when upgrading.

ClickUp is one of the best available options for team management and project organization and allows businesses to get a better hold on managing various tasks, projects and teams all under one centralized hub. Users can share attachments and add comments to assigned tasks and documents to stay better organized, and managers can perform tasks such as creating schedules and calendars while providing actionable comments for their contributors. The list of features offered does come with a slight learning curve and while the software lacks some functionality when compared to the competition, ClickUp is still a solid option and one of the more affordable PM tools out there.

Wrike: Best for Customization and Preconfigured Multi-purpose Templates


Pros

  • Fully customizable workflows
  • Real-time updates and notifications 
  • Integration capabilities 

Cons

  • Steep learning curve
  • Costly for small teams 
  • Limited reporting capabilities
  • Dependency on Internet connectivity

Wrike is a cloud-based software tool that offers a range of key features that help teams manage projects and collaborate more effectively. Wrike gives managers the tools to create, assign, and track tasks. Managers and users can also set due dates, priorities, and organize tasks into folders and projects. Wrike provides task lists, boards and charts for visualizing and managing tasks, and with Wrike, teams can plan and schedule projects, define project milestones, allocate resources, and estimate project timelines. This feature helps with project scheduling and resource management. Wrike also supports customizable workflows and offers a central repository for storing and managing project-related documents. Integration with cloud storage services like Google Drive and Dropbox is also available.

Wrike has a free plan in place and paid plans start at $9.80 per user, per month, with a minimum of two users.

We chose Wrike because it presents a comprehensive set of features for managing tasks, projects, and teams. It offers tools for task assignment, scheduling, progress tracking, collaboration, and reporting. Whether a team works on small projects or complex initiatives, Wrike can accommodate most PM needs.

Wrike is highly customizable and allows users to adapt the software to meet their specific needs. Teams can create custom task statuses, workflows, and dashboards that align with their way of working. This flexibility helps them tailor the software to meet the requirements set by their project managers. Wrike promotes effective collaboration and communication within teams by providing a centralized platform where team members can share files, comment on tasks, and have discussions. Real-time updates and notifications keep everyone informed and ensure seamless collaboration.

Trello: Best for Cross Collaboration and Simple File-sharing


Pros

  • Visual organization
  • Flexibility and simplicity
  • Automation
  • Mobile accessibility
  • Free plan is available

Cons

  • Lack of advanced features
  • Limited reporting and analytics

Trello offers several key features that make it a popular choice for task and project management. Trello uses a board-based approach to organizing tasks and projects. Boards represent projects or workflows, lists represent stages or categories within a project, and cards represent individual tasks or items. This hierarchical structure allows users to visually organize and prioritize their work. Meanwhile, Trello’s drag-and-drop interface makes it easy to move cards between lists, change due dates, assign work responsibilities to team members, and reorder tasks. This intuitive feature allows for quick and effortless task management and workflow adjustments.

Trello has a free plan in place and paid plans start at $5 per month, per user.

We chose Trello for its visual and intuitive interface. Trello’s visual board, list, and card system provide a clear and easy-to-understand representation of a company’s tasks and projects. This visual approach makes it simple to organize, track, and prioritize work, especially for individuals who prefer visual organization methods. Trello is also highly flexible and customizable to fit your specific workflow and PM needs.

Trello is known for its simplicity and user-friendly interface. It doesn’t require extensive training or technical expertise to get started. With its drag-and-drop functionality and straightforward features, companies can quickly adapt to the software and start managing tasks more effectively. Trello may vary depending on the complexity of the projects and specific requirements that are presented. However, if teams value visual organization, collaboration, flexibility, and an intuitive interface, this PM software can be an excellent choice for managing tasks and projects.

Asana: Best for Cloud-based Collaboration


Pros

  • Workflow customization
  • Integration with other tools
  • Automation

Cons

  • Complexity for simple tasks
  • Steep learning curve
  • Mobile app limitations
  • Costly

Asana allows small businesses to create and organize tasks easily. Managers can assign tasks to team members, set due dates, add descriptions, attach files, and create subtasks. Tasks can be viewed in various formats like lists, boards, or calendar views. When using this software, managers can create projects and group related tasks. Asana offers features for team collaboration and communication. Collaborators can leave comments on tasks, start discussions, and mention team members to notify them. This allows for real-time communication, feedback, and collaboration within the context of tasks and projects.

Asana has a free plan in place and paid plans start at $10.99 per user per month, billed annually.

We chose Asana for its user-friendliness and its comprehensive set of features that cover the entire project management lifecycle. From task creation and assignment, to progress tracking, communication, and reporting, Asana provides the tools small businesses need to effectively manage projects and tasks.

Asana is a robust project management tool that offers numerous benefits for teams and individuals seeking to streamline their work processes. However, it’s essential to consider a company’s specific requirements and evaluate whether Asana aligns with its needs, preferences and budgetary constraints before adopting the software.

Miro: Best for Visual Collaboration


Pros

  • Real-time collaboration
  • Tool and platform integration
  • Visual organization

Cons

  • Limited offline functionality
  • Steep learning curve
  • Price

Miro offers a wide range of features that facilitate collaboration, visual organization, and communication, which makes it a small business PM software tool of note. Miro provides a virtual canvas where users can create and collaborate on visual content together. The canvas allows for free-form drawing, adding sticky notes, shapes, images, and text. Multiple users can work on the same board simultaneously, making it easy to collaborate in real time. Miro also offers a vast library of pre-built templates and frameworks that can be used as starting points for various purposes, such as brainstorming, project planning, user journey mapping, and more. These templates provide structure and save time for users.

Miro has a free plan in place and paid plans start at $8 per member per month, billed annually or $10 billed monthly.

We chose Miro because the platform continues to evolve and adds new capabilities over time. Its features are designed to enhance collaboration, improve visual organization, and streamline remote teamwork.

Miro excels at facilitating visual collaboration among team members. Its virtual whiteboard canvas, along with the wide range of drawing tools, sticky notes, and templates, allows teams to brainstorm, organize ideas, and work together visually. This can improve clarity, engagement, and overall productivity. Miro also enables real-time collaboration, allowing team members to work together regardless of their physical location. Additionally, Miro integrates seamlessly with many popular tools and platforms, such as Slack, Google Drive, Trello, and more. This integration allows for smooth information sharing, syncing, and streamlining of workflows. If a team already uses these tools, choosing Miro can provide a cohesive and integrated collaboration experience.

Nifty: Best for Task Management


Pros

  • Time-tracking
  • Customizable templates
  • Project organization

Cons

  • Rigid dashboard
  • Poor support options

Nifty offers a number of essential features that most businesses have come to expect from quality PM software. The ability to automate status reporting makes visualizing projects simpler and allows teams to stay ahead of their deadlines. The software also lets users and managers break down all of the tasks and goals that are required to see a project through from conception to completion. Additionally, Nifty features excellent time tracking functionality, which improves productivity, balances team workloads, and tracks the costs associated with planning and executing each project.

Free for unlimited users and two active projects; upgrade for $5 per user per month billed annually.

We chose Nifty for its inclusion of automated status reporting and the clarity it brings to project visualization. This PM software simplifies project processes and makes team collaboration easier.

Nifty is an extensive PM software solution that’s capable of serving several different industries and is especially useful for small teams due to its affordability and the array of diverse features that it offers. Features such as automated status reporting, time tracking for enhanced productivity, project visualization and reporting capabilities make Nifty a notable contender when stacked against other PM software on the market. Despite its many strengths, Nifty does possess limitations when it comes to dashboard customization and could be improved upon with the inclusion of additional integration options.

Notion: Best for building and sharing workflows


Pros

  • Flexibility
  • Seamless integration 
  • Versatile interface
  • Free plan is available

Cons

  • Steep learning curve
  • Lack of advanced features
  • Costly paid subscription model

Notion offers a range of features that make it a versatile piece of PM software. Notion allows users to create a customizable workspace where they can structure and organize their projects. Teams can create pages, sub-pages, and nested hierarchies to build a logical structure for their PM needs. Notion also provides task management capabilities, which allows managers to create, assign, and track tasks within company projects. They can set due dates, add labels or tags, create task dependencies, and assign tasks to team members.

Notion has a free plan in place and paid plans start at $4 per month, billed annually, or $5 billed monthly.

We chose Notion because it’s not just a project management tool but also a knowledge management platform. Users can create and store documents, notes, and files within Notion, making it easy to maintain project-related documentation and resources. Additionally, Notion can integrate with a variety of external tools and services, including Google Drive, Dropbox, Slack, and more, allowing teams to bring in data from other platforms and streamline their workflows.

Notion is a powerful PM software solution with a wide range of features and customization options. It offers flexibility, collaboration, and knowledge management capabilities, making it suitable for a variety of projects and teams. However, there is a learning curve associated with its extensive feature set, and its performance may be affected by large data volumes. Additionally, the pricing structure may not be ideal for all organizations. Overall, Notion is well-suited for teams and individuals seeking a versatile and customizable PM solution with integrated knowledge management capabilities.

Common Features Found in Project Management Tools

PM software typically offers a variety of features to support effective project planning, execution, and tracking. Some common features include task management, which is a fundamental feature that gives managers the ability to create, assign, and track tasks. Managers can often define tasks, set due dates, assign them to team members, and track their progress. Another common tool found in many PM software platforms is a project planning aspect that often includes tools for creating project plans, defining milestones, setting dependencies, and establishing timelines. Some PM tools also include Integration capabilities that enable PM software to connect with other tools and services, such as calendars, email clients, messaging apps, or document sharing platforms. This integration facilitates seamless data exchange and streamlines workflows.

Benefits of Using Project Management Software

Using PM software offers numerous benefits that can greatly enhance project planning, execution, and overall project success. PM software usually provides a centralized platform to store and organize all project-related information, including tasks, timelines, documents, and communication. This improves overall organization and ensures that information is easily accessible, reducing confusion and improving efficiency. PM software also has the ability to enhance collaboration among team members by facilitating communication, sharing documents, and assigning tasks. Improved communication is yet another feature often associated with PM software and allows for clear and timely communication, which helps to prevent misunderstandings, align expectations, and keep everyone informed of project updates and changes.

How Do I Choose the Right Project Management Tool for My Business?

Choosing the right PM tool for your business requires careful consideration of your specific needs, workflows, and project requirements. By leveraging the features and capabilities of project management software, teams can streamline processes, optimize resource utilization, and achieve better project outcomes. Remember to prioritize features that align with your requirements, while also considering factors such as ease of use, scalability, integration capabilities, and vendor support.Looking for the latest in Project Management solutions? Check out our Project Management Software Guide.

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Methodology and selection process

At TechnologyAdvice, we assess a wide range of factors before selecting our top choices for a given category. To make our selections, we rely on our extensive research, product information, vendor websites, competitor research and first-hand experience. We then consider what makes a solution best for customer-specific needs. By defining business needs, we can determine the essential features organizations in various sectors require, and select platforms that will cover all bases. Reputable providers known for their ease of use and customer satisfaction are added to our compilation list for further analysis. We then evaluate each solution on the list based on the features they offer, considering the platform’s usability, integration capabilities, customization options, mobile access, and any other relevant functionalities. Price plans, hidden fees, customer reviews, and customer support are also assessed in the selection process. Technology Advice writers will often take advantage of free trials and demos to get a first-hand user experience of available software. Finally, we curate a comprehensive list based on the previously stated factors, ensuring readers have the necessary tools to make an informed decision.

FAQs

PM software for small businesses typically offers features that are tailored to the specific needs and constraints of smaller teams. Features inherent to this software usually include real-time communication, commenting, file sharing, and team notifications. Other features include project planning and scheduling, document management and the inclusion of  integration capabilities.

Choosing the right PM software for your small business requires careful evaluation and consideration of your specific needs and constraints. Start by understanding your specific PM needs. Identify the key challenges or pain points you want to address with PM software, and consider factors such as team size, project complexity, collaboration requirements, and budget constraints.