So, the best free project management software.
Tough one. Mainly because there is not a free complete project management app or task management app. One is better as a collaboration tool, one is better as an overall project management tool, one is better for freelancers, one is better for big teams and so on.
The “How I came up with a best PM software list”
First thing is first. Disclaimer: the feedback for these apps is based on at least a 6 months of interaction with any app, setting up projects, teams, roles, pipes, resource allocation, you name it.
I have first tasted the benefits of a project management tool in 2006, from a not very known software called Mago, but extremely complex and powerful in the right hands. This experience has changed the way I look at projects and interacting with teams.
As a freelancer you work with people form other countries, you may have to outsource certain tasks of a project. So you definitely need a good pm app.
Since then I have tested and worked with a lot of project management apps. A lot. Over 40, free and premium.
But for now let’s stick to the free ones. So…
Free for 15 users
The race for first place, in my opinion, is tight. But I did choose Asana as my personal favorite due to the application’s user experience.
It’s extremely easy to use and has a lot of features in the free version that allow an individual or small team to effectively manage small-to-medium projects with ease. This is the keyword here: easy.
Asana can be used by designers, developers, freelancers and project managers to deliver better work faster. The software moves fast and they also provide useful apps for iOS and Android.
By the way you can find a lot of integrations for Asana. Which, trust me, is a big plus.
What I would like in the free version:
- Native time tracking
- Resource allocation
- Overview for all workspaces
Free for an unlimited number of users with all the main features included, but limited
Feature-packed project and task management app. And when I say feature-packed I really mean it.
ClickUp is more complete than Asana, that’s for sure. The only reason why it’s not no. 1 in my list is because it takes more clicks to achieve the same result.
If your are using it on a hourly-basis, navigating trough spaces, projects and lists becomes a bit annoying.
It can be a bit intimidating at first, but give it a week or so and you will come to love this app. Aside from that ClickUp has a beautiful interface, iOS and Android apps and lots and lots of useful features like:
- Work offline
- Recurring Tasks
- Templates for Spaces, Projects, Task and so on
- Task Dependencies
- Multiple assignees
- Time Tracking
- Time Estimates
- Resolve Comments
I recommend ClickUp for more complex projects / activities.
Free for 5 users
Another project management power-house, if I can say so. Many will argue with me, but the app’s UI can be improved… a lot.
The reason is not higher in my list is because a lot of key features are not available in the free version.
With the free plan you get a basic task/project management and basic integrations like Google Drive, Dropbox and One Drive. It does the job for simple-to-manage projects and daily tasks.
Free for an unlimited number of projects and members
If you like Kanban boards this is the software for you. I have used (and still using) MeisterTask for websites / apps development using the Agile methodology and for design teams. Worked like a charm.
Beautiful design, easy to use and intuitive. And that native time tracking feature. That’s where it all started, that almost perfect time tracking feature.
But you are limited to Kanban boards, no dashboard for all the tasks and projects, no subtask management and the list can go on.
The best kanban board project management app I’ve worked with and I would choose it anytime over Trello.
MeisterTask is a brand owned by MindMeister.
Free for an unlimited number of projects and members
It was not love at first sight, but FreedCamp did grow on me.
With useful dashboards and multiple views it’s quit a complete project management app. It also has a good collaboration component implemented even with a free plan.
I miss time tracking, even if the app has something called time task. I will not explain what this feature is all about because I think is useless. But with a redesign of their UI, FreedCamp can become a top contender.
Free for 1 user
Normally I wouldn’t include an app that is free for only 1 user. But Paymo is a great tool for freelancers. You can easily manage your clients, tasks and projects, keep track of total number of hours invested in an project or task and bill your clients accordingly.
Simple project and task management. You can view all the tasks as a list or a Kanban board. Nothing to fancy but it gets the job done.
What I really like about Paymo is the native time tracking feature and the possibility to create invoices based on the total number of hours. You can also create time estimates that automatically create cost estimates, which is also a big plus.
The features that come with the paid plans make Paymo even more interesting.
So, if you’re a freelancer check out their website, you might find your dream personal project management software.
Free for 12 users
The all rounder. You can find anything you need to manage your whole business (depending on the business), not just projects.
It has so many features I don’t know where to start.
- Project Mangement
- Advanced tasks management
- Kanban Board
- Resource Management
- Quotes & Invoices
- Product management
- Call center
- And so on and so on
It really is a feature-packed and useful software. I have introduced this software to 20+ companies that I have collaborated with and I can honestly say it was well received by all of them.
From the initial 20, 5 companies are now managing all their activities using Bitrix.
So why isn’t it no. 1 in your list ? You may ask.
With the free plan the app it’s slow. Painfully slow and a bit overwhelming at first.
Not recommended for simple project management but strongly recommended for business management (small and medium) and/or more complex project management, if you are a patient fellow that is.