Update 3/20/17: After a year and a half of new products entering the market, we’ve updated this piece to reflect the true top project management software for Mac, and removed those that could no longer compete. There are now five recommendations instead of the original four.
Enthusiasts know that Apple products are slick, quick, and easy-to-use machines. Apple device users–be it an iPhone, iPad, or iMac–have been described as cool and creative trendsetters.
Businesses aren’t any different. Many high-profile companies, like Facebook, Google, Cisco, and almost half of U.S. enterprise-level corporations have bought into Macs for their business.
So it makes sense that when companies are shopping for project management software, they’re specifically looking for project management software for Mac.
The Best Project Management Software for Mac
Googling Mac-specific project management software largely leads to lots of cloud-based options. While programs like Wrike, LiquidPlanner, and Teamwork are fantastic tools for Mac, many companies are looking for a locally installed option.
With that in mind, I dove into the top five project management software for Mac to help buyers figure out what options are available.
While evaluating these tools, I looked for traits that Mac users tend to look for–intuitive design, mid-end pricing, and the “coolness” factor found in Mac’s brand in the form of easy functionality.
These Mac project management software options are arranged alphabetically.
If your small business is looking to find an all-in-one customer relationship management software and project management tool that’s designed for Apple products, check out Daylite. The software has almost 50 reviews on Capterra with a solid 4.5/5 rating, and users praising its “tight integration with Apple hardware and software.”
The UI should feel familiar to anyone who’s worked within Apple’s ecosystem—Daylite’s look and feel is similar to tools like iCal and Keynote and is similarly intuitive to use. Project managers can use Daylite to link all of their important project pieces together—from notes to tasks to emails to contacts. The result is a light project management software (or heavy task manager) ideal for client-focused small businesses.
- All related activities can be grouped together into projects, which Daylite automatically tracks and logs.
- Customizable enough to create your own pipelines and approval processes for new projects.
- Works on iOS, so you’re not tethered to your MacBook or iMac to use the tool effectively.
(Used Daylite? Share your thoughts with a review!)
FastTrack Schedule 10.2 knows its user base. Its whole interface is intuitive–one reviewer from Macworld said it best:
[FastTrack Schedule 10] sports the familiar Mac look and feel with easy-to-identify icons for layouts, filters, sorting, and more— all with a text label that matches what you see in iPhoto, et al.
In other words, if you’re used to working with Mac software like Keynote or Safari, FastTrack Schedule 10 will be easy to pick up.
- New project managers can jump right in with the program’s 30+ templates, which rely on a simple drag-and-drop UI.
- Project managers can see who on their team is working on what part of the project and when they’re doing so. Project managers can use these features to make sure they don’t overload their team members.
- Want to see the big picture? FastTrack Schedule 10 has a “master schedule” where users can see how all projects line up. This feature is great for bigger companies who want to invest in enterprise project management software.
(Used FastTrack Schedule? Share your thoughts with a review!)
One reviewer notes that iTaskX is ridiculously simple to use, saying that the software is, “easy to learn, has an intuitive interface, and it’s easy to work [sic] even when you have never touched itaskX before.”
iTaskX’s program is nicely laid out and simple to use. Its biggest claim to notoriety is that it fully integrates with Microsoft Project, the most popular project management software by a landslide. iTaskX lets users open Microsoft Project files and easily exchange information using XML and MPX files.
iTask is based around Waterfall project management–it runs off Gantt charts, tasks, and resources, and organizes all of these bits of information into simple graphics.
- iTaskX is robust enough to manage enterprise-level project management as it stays updated with everyone on the system.
- The project management software offers over 60 different calculators based off task fields, including slack time, cost accruals, and effort-driven scheduling.
- iTaskX also offers full customizability for layout and design. Project managers can adjust the aesthetics on all their projects, from custom fonts to custom layouts. And for those of us who are a little less creative, iTask comes with plenty of templates as well.
(Used iTaskX? Share your thoughts with a review!)
I couldn’t write this review without taking note of one of the most popular project management software options for Mac: Merlin Project.
The first thing that jumps out about Merlin is how intuitive it is. Don’t get me wrong, Merlin may have the most features available on this list, but the developers are careful to present the system’s options in an intuitive layout.
Instead of a jumble of menus and folders, Merlin takes all of its features and displays them simply. TechRadar explains,
Everything happens in one big window that’s divided up into a main panel plus one or more smaller ones that change according to the aspect you’re currently working on.
There are four principal views for the main panel…. Gantt chart with critical paths displayed as bold lines, a network diagram using the Activity on Node format, a list of resources involved in the project, and a time-based display of resource utilisation[.]
The smaller panels are where you’d enter detailed information on selected tasks, resources and so on.
All of that is to say that Merlin makes project planning simple, even when the project manager is relying on a ton of tools to do so.
- Merlin can double as a document management system, as users can upload files straight to tasks.
- The system offers instant reporting, including the ability to create entirely custom reports.
- Gorgeous Gantt charts and simple-to-use interface.
(Used Merlin Project? Share your thoughts with a review!)
Now this is a gorgeous project management software option for Mac.
OmniPlan is one of the most visually appealing project management applications out there, regardless of platform.
Simply drag and drop team members into tasks, set the task’s estimated time for completion, and voila! OmniPlan pumps out a beautiful Gantt chart.
Need to adjust a task because you have team members who have limited availability or because one task took longer than expected? No problem. Again, just drag and drop, and the program will fix estimates for you.
- OmniPlan has incredible filtering options. Project managers can narrow down their task lists by date, resource, effort, priority, dependency claims, and more, so they don’t get overwhelmed by all the information presented in the master Gantt chart.
- OmniPlan also offers Violation Resolution, which means that if something doesn’t look right to the program’s estimates, the software flag the task for the project manager’s review.
- The system is entirely compatible with Microsoft Project.
(Used OmniPlan 3? Share your thoughts with a review!)
I’m interested in your thoughts on these project management software selections. Have you used any of them? Was there a software worth reviewing that I missed (review it on the main Capterra site too!)? Please jot down your thoughts in the comments below–I’m looking forward to hearing from you!
Want more software recommendations? You may be interested in these articles:
- 10 of the Top Microsoft Visio Alternatives for Project Managers
- 7 of the Best Microsoft Project Alternatives
- 6 of the Best CAD Software For Mac
- Accounting Software for Mac: 5 Great Options
Looking for Project Management software? Check out Capterra's list of the best Project Management software solutions.