Best Project Management Tools in 2021

Pick the right project management software for your team.

What is the best project management tool? The short answer is "it depends".

There are hundreds of various project management tools out there, with new ones launched nearly every month. There is a reason for that. Depending on the size of your team, the industry you work in, and your overall company culture, your project management process may look entirely different. A tool that works well for one team or project, may be a bad fit for another.

To select the project management tool that's right for you and your team, it's important to know what your options are and how to evaluate them.

Top 10 best project management tools

While there may not be a one-size-fits-all solution when it comes to project management tools, there are many great options to choose from. Some of them are fairly simple, while others are packed with complex features and customization options. Some are designed for smaller teams, while others are best suited for large enterprises. Some are dedicated project management tools, while others cover many additional use cases.

The best choice ultimately depends on your team's unique workflow and requirements. To make your evaluation process easier, we've put together a list of the 10 best project management tools, based on real reviews.

1. Nuclino

Best project management tool Nuclino

Nuclino stands out among other project management tools thanks to its exceptionally lightweight design. Its interface is clean and intuitive, lowering the learning curve and making it easy to get started with the tool and bring your entire team on board.

Yet despite its simplicity, Nuclino offers a range of powerful features. You can organize your projects in many different ways, including a Kanban board, a nested list, or a mindmap-style graph. Custom fields allow you to track additional information about every project, such as its due date, assignee, priority, and more.

Project management tool Nuclino fields

Another distinctive feature of Nuclino is how it brings together structured projects and long-form project documentation – it's essentially a project management and document collaboration tool in one. Every card on your board is its own collaborative document. This allows you to always keep your work in context, documenting the goals and decisions for every task, creating to-do lists, embedding files, and more. You can exchange feedback directly in Nuclino using comments and mentions.

Project management tool example

While Nuclino can be used exclusively as a project management tool, it can be much more than that. You can use it to onboard new employees, take meeting minutes, create employee handbooks, build your internal wiki or company intranet, and more. This balance between simplicity and versatility is one of the key selling points of Nuclino.

Project management tool Nuclino graph view

What users say about Nuclino:

"The way Nuclino is built makes the platform very flexible towards the way you work. I use Nuclino to document the projects I work on. It serves as a wiki for the project which helps anyone joining the project at later stages understand what was done during the design process, and why certain decisions were made."

Capterra review

2. Trello

Project management tool Trello

Trello has been around for a long time and is still one of the most popular project management tools. It is seen as one of the tools that originally popularized the Kanban approach to workflow management many years ago.

Trello's main appeal is its simplicity. It's not as feature-packed as many other tools on this list, but it makes up for it by being exceptionally user-friendly. It takes no more than a few minutes to get started with Trello, and even non-technical users can easily get the hang of it.

Overall, Trello is a great Kanban tool and doesn't strive to be too many things at once. It stayed true to this principle over the years and earned itself many loyal fans.

Looking for more tools similar to Trello? Check out this list of Trello alternatives.

What users say about Trello:

"Working with Trello can't be easier and is the natural first step for every idea and project. While you might outgrow Trello one day, there is no easier way than Trello to get started."

Capterra review

3. Jira

Project management tool Jira

Trello may not be enough to cover the needs of some teams working on more complex projects. If that sounds like you, you might find Jira to be a better fit. While both of these project management tools are owned by the same company (Atlassian), they are built with very different workflows in mind.

Jira is primarily designed to manage Agile software development projects. It's packed with specialized features not found in many other project management tools – burn down charts, sprint reports, velocity graphs, and more.

The feature set of Jira exceeds that of most of its competitors, but it's also what makes this tool so complex and challenging to adopt. While it can be a great fit for large, experienced developer teams, others may find the learning curve of Jira to be too steep. If you are considering it for your team, make sure to allocate enough time to thoroughly evaluate it together.

Looking for more tools similar to Jira? Check out this list of Jira alternatives.

What users say about Jira:

"We use Jira as a Kanban/Agile project management tool in software development. t's designed from the ground up for tracking user stories, tasks, epics, sprints, etc. in large organizations. It is overkill for smaller teams or products that are very early in their life. When projects and teams are very dynamic, Jira projects become bloated, cumbersome, and fragmented. This product really is suited for larger, mature organizations that already have strong procedural discipline and rather monolithic approval/decision making."

Capterra review

4. Asana

Project management tool Asana

Asana is nearly as flexible as Jira but comes with a much more elegant and user-friendly interface. It's a fairly general-purpose project management tool and can work reasonably well for teams and projects of all sizes.

The most notable features of Asana include advanced visualization options, task automation, work requests, workload tracking, and more.

Asana charges a higher monthly fee than most other project management tools on this list, and can be prohibitively expensive for some organizations. Nonetheless, many teams find that it's more than worth the investment.

Looking for more tools similar to Asana? Check out this list of Asana alternatives.

What users say about Asana:

"Overall, we've been very pleased with Asana for our agency. While working remotely during the pandemic, it's been an invaluable resource to make sure our team is all on the same page across clients and projects. Custom fields, statuses, and comments have kept us all connected and allowed us to continue to work just as if we were in the office together."

Capterra review

5. Taiga

Project management tool Taiga

Like Jira, Taiga is a project management tool designed specifically for Agile software development teams. Unlike Jira, however, Taiga is an open-source tool that is available as a cloud-based solution, as well as a self-hosted one.

Taiga offers a wide range of specialized features, such as customizable Kanban boards, WIP limits, burn down charts, performance dashboards, and more. Yet despite being fairly feature-packed, Taiga is not overly complex and keeps its interface clean and intuitive. While non-technical users may struggle with it, most developers should be able to quickly get the hang of it.

What users say about Taiga:

"Taiga is a good IT project management software. Open source and works nicely! Perfect for personal or small projects, if you don't have a very big budget. Includes all of the expected features like team management, support for epics, issues, sprints, and a backlog. You can define custom ticket/issue statuses. Also includes a built-in Kaban board."

Capterra review

6. Monday

Project management tool Monday

Monday, formerly known as Dapulse, is another robust project and task management software. Its colorful interface, various visualization options, and task automation features have earned it the trust of over 100,000 teams and individuals.

Note that Monday offers a tiered pricing model, as opposed to the per-user fees charged by most other project management tools. This means that, depending on your team size, Monday can be considerably more expensive than its competitors.

What users say about Monday:

"Monday.com is almost too good to be true. It's flexible, it comes with a ton of customizations and automations, and it lets you manage any type of project in whatever way you please. It's not cheap, and they charge by sets of seats instead of individual seats. So if you're a team of 6 – you have to pay for 10 seats, which can be pretty annoying."

Capterra review

7. Basecamp

Project management tool Basecamp

A self-described "all-in-one toolkit for working remotely", Basecamp brings together to-do lists, calendars, instant messaging, document and file management, and more.

Basecamp may not look like a project management tool in the traditional sense. It doesn't have some of the popular features most of other tools on this list have, such as a Kanban board. It takes a different, simpler approach to project management, without trying to overengineer your workflow – and its popularity speaks for itself.

It's also worth noting that Basecamp is one of the rare tools that charge a flat monthly fee rather than making you pay per user. That makes it a much more scalable option for large and growing teams.

Looking for more tools similar to Basecamp? Check out this list of Basecamp alternatives.

What users say about Basecamp:

"I signed up for Basecamp to work within a client's Basecamp processes, and now I use it to manage almost everything that I work on in collaboration with others. It makes a lot of sense and is intuitive once you accustom to how the projects and to-do lists work."

Capterra review

8. Wrike

Project management tool Wrike

Wrike is a powerful project management tool best suited for large companies and enterprises. Its interface is dense and packed with a variety of features, menus, and dashboards. Nearly everything can be customized and tailored to your team's unique workflow.

The capabilities of Wrike surpass many tools on this list and include advanced analytics, time-tracking, work requests, task dependencies, and more. All that inevitably comes with a steep learning curve. The app is not very user-friendly, especially for beginners, so be prepared to invest enough time in training your team to use it.

What users say about Wrike:

"Overall Wrike has made us much more organized as a company. Those of us who are process-oriented and organized love Wrike as a project management tool. However, there is a significant amount of learning and coaching required to get up and running properly in Wrike. You WILL need multiple sessions with a Wrike representative to understand all of the functionality and get your groundwork set up correctly to ensure success."

Capterra review

9. Zoho Projects

Project management tool Zoho Projects

Zoho Projects is a part of the Zoho suite and is a great project management tool for small teams operating on a budget. It's not the most feature-rich tool on the market but it covers all the basics, from tasks and milestones, to Gantt charts and time-tracking. It integrates well with other products in the Zoho ecosystem, such as Zoho CRM. It also makes it easy to collaborate on projects with clients and external stakeholders.

While the free version of Zoho Projects is very limited, the paid full-featured plans are more affordable than most other project management tools.

What users say about Zoho Projects:

"Zoho Projects is a rare project management software that does all of the things our marketing agency needs it to do at a great price, which is why we've kept it for as long as we have. We just wish it was considerably more user-friendly."

Capterra review

10. Redmine

Project management tool Redmine

Redmine is an open-source free project management tool. It may not be as visually appealing and intuitive as some of the other proprietary tools in this article, but it has all the functionality a team might need to manage projects and track issues. It's modular, extendable, and versatile, with a wide variety of plugins and themes to choose from.

Note that the initial installation process can be highly challenging for anyone with no technical background.

What users say about Redmine:

"We've been using Redmine for over a decade now and have tried several other project management tools that look nicer, load faster, and are easier to set up. However, Redmine is a solid product that allows you to fully describe project tasks, assign to team members, and keep up with project progress."

Capterra review

Other great project management tools

There are many other great project management tools that deserve an honorable mention, including Ora, Notion, Linear, Teamwork, Paymo, and more.

This list is by no means exhaustive – the market for project management tools is remarkably crowded and competitive. Any attempt to rank them from best to worst would certainly be subjective. At the end of the day, the only way to know for sure if a project management tool is a good fit for you and your team would be to test it out yourself.

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