The 20 Best Project Management Tools in 2022

Project management (PM) tools have evolved substantially from the era of sticky notes, spreadsheets, emails and conference calls. Today’s project managers employ a variety of digital assistants and software options to organize, manage and even automate their days.

Yet, this abundance of PM tools can be overwhelming, even for seasoned professionals. As a result, project managers of all experience levels have questions: What are the best project management tools? What types of online project management tools are available? What are the benefits of project management software? How can I learn more about project management tools and techniques?

Project managers who understand and use these available tools tend to be more successful, efficient and organized than their pen-and-paper counterparts. In this guide, we’ll introduce some of the many project management tools in the marketplace and discuss their value. By the time you finish reading, you’ll know some of the best tools to help you thrive as a project manager.

Want to learn more about project management and the essential tools of the trade? Consider enrolling in a project management boot camp, through which you’ll become proficient with these technologies.

The Basics of Project Management

Project managers weave many responsibilities into a typical day, all of which revolve around a core pursuit: delivering a project on schedule, within budget and to their organization’s highest standards. So before exploring the tools of project management, let’s cover what project managers do and why they’re important.

Put simply, project managers oversee a project from ideation to release. They create schedules and deadlines, develop and adhere to budgets, troubleshoot problems, anticipate and address changes and balance team needs with project goals. Successful project managers are leaders, motivators, problem-solvers and devotees to detail. Further, good project managers are in-demand.

So, how do you get your foot in the door as a project manager? Project management boot camps can help. Modern project management requires fluency in the methodologies of overseeing a project’s lifecycle, all of which comprise a technology project management boot camp curriculum.

Learning project management tools first requires a grasp of the industry’s primary terminology. Let’s start here:

The Project Management Body of Knowledge (PMBOK) provides the backbone of project management as its technology continues to change — and is where project management often begins. Successful PMs usually work on the foundation of these 10 project management knowledge areas, including managing a project’s time, scope, cost, quality, resources and risk. According to Adobe Workfront, applying these project management skills helps lead to better decision making and reduces the need for crisis management.

The agile methodology represents one of the most popular approaches to project management and is particularly useful in managing projects that require a series of iterations. In fact, project managers consider agile methodologies to be their industry standard for technology projects. It lays out the best practices for software development through a manifesto that prioritizes individuals over processes, collaboration over negotiation and change over a structured plan. Adobe’s Workfront site describes agile as a process that deconstructs projects into a series of manageable jobs.

Depending on a particular project’s structure and goals, project managers employ different agile development methods. The Scrum framework is among the most popular for iterative software projects due to the fact that it is lightweight, adaptive and simple to apply. The Scrum process centers around sprints, which represent repeated tasks (including planning sessions, daily meets and reviews) essential to maintaining a consistent workflow.

Another popular agile framework, Kanban differs from Scrum in several ways. Users consider Kanban more fluid than Scrum since it focuses on the overall workflow rather than concentrated task bursts in the sprints. Kanban also allows for change at any point during the project life cycle and uses boards to make team members’ work visible to all.

Project managers have been using Gantt charts for decades; they even were instrumental in building the Hoover Dam in the 1930s. Today, project management software incorporates Gantt charts into their platforms, as they remain indispensable tools for project managers. Gantt charts deliver visual representations of a project’s progress over time, and project managers use Gantt charts to track work within a project (start dates, durations and completion dates) along with the project’s overall schedule. Good project managers know how to build and maintain detailed, accurate Gantt charts.

What Are the Best Project Management Tools?

Tools for project management streamline the job, helping PMs coordinate and customize their teams, budgets, resources and deadlines. PMs apply these tools to a variety of project and job needs:

  • Delegating tasks across the team
  • Planning and updating schedules and calendars
  • Establishing and amending budgets
  • Encouraging consistent communication
  • Documenting project files and reports
  • Evaluating the completed project

Project management tools distill their features into a clear purpose: to drive project success rates.

If you’re wondering how to become a technology project manager, familiarizing yourself with some of these tools can deliver an edge and help set you apart from other candidates during the job search.

Project Management Tools List

Project manager tools range from simple spreadsheets to scalable solutions for managing large projects. With such a wide inventory available, PMs should match the proper tools to their needs.

Though by no means exhaustive, this list covers 20 of the best project management tools. Berkeley Technology Project Management Boot Camp incorporates several of these tools into its curriculum.

1. Jira

2. Wrike

3. Asana

4. Trello

5. Microsoft Teams

6. Basecamp

7. Monday

8. Scoro

9. ProofHub

10. Workzone

11. Slack

12. GanttPRO

13. Smartsheet

14. Hive

15. Celoxis

16. FunctionFox

17. Zoho

18. Forecast

19. ClickUp

20. Ravetree

The Benefits of Project Management Software

Project managers can’t afford to waste time, money or their team’s hard work. They need to know what work has been completed, what work remains and which team members are responsible for it. Emails, spreadsheets, paper files and digital documents disjoint this process, often creating even more work and frustration.

Project management software centralizes all these tasks, documents and schedules and delivers a single communication hub. That has become increasingly important with remote workforces contributing to projects from different locations.

Project management software is a vital component of successful project management. Learn to use these tools through hands-on application at Berkeley Technology Project Management Boot Camp.

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Project Management Tool 1: Jira

Jira is a multi-platform software solution that includes agile project management tools. With Jira, project managers can assign and manage workflow, create user stories, plan sprints and view their team’s progress in real time. Jira contains tools to create a communication hub and is extensible with more than 3,000 apps, and small teams can take advantage of the product’s free version.

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Project Management Tool 2: Wrike

Wrike’s user base includes Google, Lyft and Siemens, according to its website, demonstrating the software’s scalability. Wrike’s features include customizable dashboards, calendars, Gantt charts and performance-tracking options. It also helps prevent team member burnout through integrated communication and tracking tools, as Wrike merges with multiple email, chat and messaging services and includes apps for Android and iOS.

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Project Management Tool 3: Asana

Asana’s software suite includes solutions for project management (including agile management), campaign management, operations and marketing and even options for creative production. Its templates cover meetings, work requests and project planning. Asana also includes tools for remote teams to collaborate effectively and integrates with many apps. Like Jira, Asana also provides a free version for smaller teams.

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Project Management Tool 4: Trello

Trello’s visual interface begins on its boards, which organize a project’s overview. Users then introduce and update project details through lists and cards, which they attach to the boards. Lists and cards represent each task, meeting or deadline in the workflow. Trello includes some handy features, such as the ability to drag email attachments directly into a card, and can help project managers automate some of their more repetitive tasks by using a digital assistant.

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Project Management Tool 5: Microsoft Teams

Microsoft’s video-conferencing software is a robust platform for the remote-work era. Workgroups can chat, share screens and files and collaborate in real time with Teams. Microsoft provides free and paid versions of Teams, the latter of which can include desktop versions of Office software, Cloud storage, the ability to hold webinars and transcription services.

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Project Management Tool 6: Basecamp

Basecamp consolidates all the key tools (message boards, to-do lists, schedules, documents and more) into a project management system that utilizes smart organization. Basecamp further includes “hill charts,” representing a task through uphill and downhill visualizations, the company’s alternative to Gantt and other big-picture workflow charts. Basecamp provides a free personal version, markets its business version at a flat monthly rate and is free for teachers and students, making it a suitable tool for anyone practicing project management.

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Project Management Tool 7: Monday

Monday bills itself as a “100 percent customizable” platform, featuring solutions for software development, HR, sales, IT and other business needs. It covers a variety of workflows, including project management and inventory tracking, has cloud-based features for remote work and is scalable to any business size. For project management, Monday comes equipped with templates to manage single projects and portfolios. It also prioritizes managing project requests in one place and offers real-time notifications.

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Project Management Tool 8: Scoro

Scoro’s project management platform integrates a host of services into an easy-to-read format. It includes the essential tools of time, team and budget management while adding real-time Gantt charts that reduce the need for updates. Scoro further helps project managers not only monitor and adjust budgets but also compare them with fiscal results to develop accurate forecasts.

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Project Management Tool 9: ProofHub

ProofHub builds its software around four critical elements of project management: planning, collaborating, organizing and delivering. Each category includes a host of important tools: Gantt charts and Kanban boards for planning, discussion and proof spaces for collaboration, templates and calendars for organization and timesheets and report templates for product delivery. Managers, teams and clients have access to ProofHub dashboards, supporting communication among stakeholders. ProofHub bills at a flat monthly rate, depending on projects managed and storage used. Its user base includes Nike, Netflix and NASA.

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Project Management Tool 10: Workzone

Workzone pitches ease of use and strong technical support as two selling points of its project management software. Workzone’s dashboard generates a high-level view of where projects stand, giving managers quick recaps of those running on schedule and those lagging. Located within those dashboards are to-do lists, Gantt charts, workload reports, status alerts and all the necessary tools to manage workflow, and also includes file sharing, image markup and email alerts for collaborating on documents.

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Project Management Tool 11: Slack

Slack is a web-based communication platform that organizes conversations and promotes collaboration through various channels. Project managers, team members and stakeholders can share thoughts, documents and more in separate channels that focus on specific tasks or projects. Slack’s friendly user interface and robust set of tools have made it a popular hub for teams to stay connected.

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Project Management Tool 12: GanttPRO

GanttPRO focuses on one vital element of project management: Gantt charts. The online tool supplies a customizable interface for building charts to track tasks, resources, budgets, time and more. It provides templates, which can be exported to Microsoft Excel and Google Sheets, and allows users to customize their charts. GanttPRO also includes features compatible with agile methods.

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Project Management Tool 13: Smartsheet

Smartsheet frames its difference in scale. The cloud-based platform helps to manage everything from single projects to global enterprises with specific security needs. Project managers can automate workflows with Smartsheet’s “Bridge” assistant, take advantage of mobile apps and even manage digital assets. According to Smartsheet’s website, more than 90 percent of Fortune 500 companies use its software.

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Project Management Tool 14: Hive

Hive delivers all the necessary features of project management: task and project dashboards, Gantt charts and Kanban boards, even a “Focus Mode” that mutes notifications. In addition, Hive defines its difference through a design “built by the users, for the users.” Their site includes a Features Request page, in which users can suggest software updates.

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Project Management Tool 15: Celoxis

Celoxis’s platform provides detailed planning and tracking dashboards, accounting and portfolio management and RAG (red/amber/green) color-coded indicators to visualize the working health of individual tasks. On its website, Celoxis references the “scattered” marketplace of project management software and compares its product with others. Of course, the results favor Celoxis, but users can use the insights to compare options in determining the right solution for them.

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Project Management Tool 16: FunctionFox

FunctionFox seeks to deliver practical project management to those working in creative fields. It offers solutions for marketing teams, design firms and even freelancers who need to track multiple projects and deadlines. Users can customize dashboards with their most-used features, and timesheets come equipped with a stopwatch to count billable hours accurately.

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Project Management Tool 17: Zoho

Zoho provides the necessary management tools in its cloud-based software while tailoring solutions to specific industries. For instance, Zoho identifies unique challenges that construction companies, marketing firms and educational organizations face in project management. It then recommends solutions individually. Zoho’s other products support Scrum sprints, include a recruiting system for tracking job applicants and automate bug tracking for delivering software on time.

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Project Management Tool 18: Forecast

Forecast stresses the importance of “intelligent” project management, leveraging software that automates much of a project’s planning through an AI-enabled auto-scheduling process. Forecast can suggest how many hours users should spend on a task based on their working history, while another AI-based tool projects budgets based on a variety of cost estimates, allowing managers to address potential issues quickly.

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Project Management Tool 19: ClickUp

ClickUp includes features for project management, communication, goal-setting and visualization in one piece of software. The chat hub mirrors common apps and allows managers to tag team members and link projects. ClickUp has a robust import feature, through which team members can upload work from other project management tools. In addition, ClickUp maintains a comprehensive support system with webinars, a learning library and coaching.

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Project Management Tool 20: Ravetree

Ravetree supports traditional and agile projects, enabling managers to create repetitive tasks, build templates and customize workflows among teams. Agile tools — including user stories, epics and sprints — are built into the platform. Ravetree adds features for file management, billing and resource planning, all of which connect with the integrated CRM (customer relationship management) system.

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How to Become Proficient in the Tools of Project Management

Project management offers a unique career for diligent, creative and inspiring people who want to develop the next great piece of technology.

Are you eager to get started on your journey into the field? If you find project management appealing and want to strengthen your skills with in-demand tools, consider enrolling in Berkeley Technology Project Management Boot Camp.

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