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20 Underground Free Project Management Tools

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Update 9/25/2017: This piece has been updated to include 20 project management tools, and now includes screenshots of each tool.

I live in Washington, D.C., which means two things. One is that I spend an inordinate amount of time brunching, navigating through networking events, and living a life of “Southern efficiency and Northern charm.” The other is that my city is swarmed almost every weekend with tourists who misunderstand how D.C. works. Stand to the right if you’re not walking up the escalator! Stop pausing in the middle of the street to take pictures of trees! And most importantly, stay away from my local dive bars.

D.C., luckily, has a host of awesome and hidden bars that have yet to make the lists of tourist destinations where I can enjoy their excellent service and food without having to worry about overcrowding.

I feel similarly about a lot of project management software.

The old standbys tend to be great—I’m talking about software options such as Microsoft Project, Wrike, and Atlassian—but sometimes it can feel like bigger companies have so many users that their “personal touch” is lost.

As a software hipster, I’m always on the lookout for underground project management tools that have yet to make it big—especially free project management software, which is great for small businesses and individual users.  Check out my findings below, where we’ll cover:

  • Agile software
  • Gantt software
  • Task management software
  • Time-tracking tools

Free Agile software

While there’s a host of wonderful Agile project management software available on the market, my bet is that you haven’t heard of these. But they’re worth a look.

1. Hansoft

Studio-page

Different reports in Hansoft

Need a program that can run different project management methods depending on the project? Look no further than Hansoft, an Agile planning tool that can also handle SCRUM, Kanban, and Gantt scheduling.

Price: Free for up to nine users

Have you tried Hansoft? Please share your thoughts in a review!

2. iceScrum

IceScrum’s backlog view

Beyond its adorable name, iceScrum is a free and open source Agile solution for teams of any size. You can take advantage of their local option for free, and it runs on Linux, Windows, and Mac!

Price: Installed option is free. The web option starts at 9.90€ (roughly $11.80 USD) a month.

Have you tried IceScrum? Please share your thoughts in a review!

3. PROJECT in a box

PROJECT in a box Community Edition showing PRINCE2 templates list.

Based in the U.K., PROJECT in a box is built around PRINCE2 methodology, so it is best suited for users in Australia, England, and parts of Canada, where PRINCE2 is the standard project management certification. The free Community Edition includes a project planner tool and document management.

Price: The Community Edition is completely free to download.They also offer five different paid products.

Have you tried PROJECT in a box? Please share your thoughts in a review!

4. Scrumpy

Scrumpy’s My Portfolio view

As far as free and open source Scrum tools go, Scrumpy raises the bar by providing long-term story views and running entirely on Java. This is a locally-installed software made for Product Owners.

Price: Completely free.

Have you tried Scrumpy? Please share your thoughts in a review!

5. Taiga

Taiga’s Kanban boards view

This gorgeous free and open source tool offers what most paid Agile software provides: backlogs, Kanban boards, task management, sprints, and QA.

Price: Public projects are completely free; there are five tiers of paid plans for private projects

Have you tried Taiga? Please share your thoughts in a review!

6. YouTrack

YouTrack’s dashboard view

YouTrack excels at reporting. Need a burndown chart? QA reports? Issue distribution reports? Timeline reports? YouTrack has it all… for free.

Price: Free public projects for ten users and 5GB of storage. Plans for private projects start at $20/month.

Have you tried YouTrack? Please share your thoughts in a review!

Free Gantt chart software

If you’re more of a Waterfall project manager, check out these free Gantt chart software options.

7. Gantter

task_deadlines (1)

Changing task properties in Gantter

Have an enterprise-level team in need of some free Gantt software? Check out Gantter, which can be hosted with smartapp.com, Google Drive, Google Apps, or even locally.  “You can think of it as a web-based Microsoft Project,” according to Gantter’s web site.

Price: Free unless locally installed for $9.99.

Have you tried Gantter? Please share your thoughts in a review!

8. Ganttproject

Ganttproject’s Gantt chart view

Ganttproject is entirely locally hosted software for Windows, OS X, and Linux. It offers Gantt, Resource Load, and PERT charts, and integrates with Microsoft Project.

Price: Totally free.

Have you tried Ganttproject? Please share your thoughts in a review!

 

9. ProjectLibre

ProjectLibre’s Resource view

Okay, ProjectLibre might not be quite so hidden, but it’s a fantastic alternative to Microsoft Project—so celebrated that it won ComputerWorld’s “Best of Open Source” software award. ProjectLibre was actually built off of OpenProj’s code base when that open source project was abandoned in 2012.

Price: Zilch. They also have a paid cloud version “coming soon,” according to their web site.

Have you tried ProjectLibre? Please share your thoughts in a review!

10. Tom’s Planner

Filtering in Tom’s Gantt view

This gorgeous, cloud-based Gantt tool is all about the drag-and-drop—this software is so easy to use, you could teach a five-year-old Gantt in about 10 minutes.

Price: Free for personal use; starts at $9.95 month for 20 project schedules.

Have you tried Tom’s Planner? Please share your thoughts in a review!

Free Task Management software

There are lots of great free task management software options out there—but I’m sure you’ve heard of a lot of them. Check out these alternative options hiding from the mainstream.

11. Efficient To-Do List

Efficient To-Do List’s main interface

Efficient To-Do List is a simple task management app with some additional features such as task prioritization, progress tracking, and color labeling.

Price: Efficient To-Do List has a free edition with unlimited tasks. The Professional Edition, which adds data sharing, subtasks, attachments, and more, is $23.96 after a 30-day free trial.

12. Fleep

A conversation alongside a task board in Fleep

Fleep is a task management app for mobile, browser, and desktop built around a team messaging tool. You start conversations with your teams, and then create, assign, search, and track tasks alongside those conversations. It also has a file drawer for sharing attachments, a bunch of integrations, and a public API for additional customization.

Price: Fleep has a free version with unlimited messages, conversations, teams, and integrations, and 5 GB of file storage. The Business plan, which adds administrative controls, custom branding, premium support, and 45 GB of additional file storage, is €5/user/month (about $6).

Have you tried Fleep? Please share your thoughts in a review!

13. MeisterTask

A Kanban board in MeisterTask

MeisterTask is as feature packed as it is visually pleasing. Offering task relationships, lots of integrations, instant messaging among team members, and even a free mobile app, MeisterTask is a steal.

Price: Unlimited users and unlimited projects for zero dollars and no cents.

The Pro Plan, which adds workflow automations, project groups, search and statistics, priority support, and more, costs $8.33/user/month.

Have you tried MeisterTask? Please share your thoughts in a review!

14. Producteev

Producteev’s main interface

Producteev is intuitive, it’s collaborative, and it does everything you want a task management app to do—without overloading its users with useless features.

Price: Nothing. The Pro plan, for $99/month, adds personalized support and custom branding.

15. Twproject

The Gantt chart view in Twproject

 

Twproject doesn’t exactly roll off the tongue, but it does a lot of stuff. Now in its sixth iteration, Twproject can handle task management, project management, team management, issue tracking, time tracking, budget management, and document management.

Price: Twproject is free for unlimited projects and records for up to five users.

Have you tried Twproject? Please share your thoughts in a review!

Free Time-Tracking software

Sometimes, billable hours are the most important part of a project. For freelancers and small business owners, check out these intuitive free timetracking tools.

16. Due

The invoice dashboard in Due

Are you a freelancer looking for a free timetracking app that does more than just track your minutes? MakeSomeTimeDue offers invoicing, making it easy to translate your time to a paycheck. It also integrates with Basecamp for project management, and you can custom brand your invoices.

Price: Due is free, but you pay a 2.8% transaction fee when accepting payments on your invoices.

Have you tried Due? Please share your thoughts in a review!

17. Kimai

kimai08

Kimai’s main interface

Kimai is a completely free and open source timetracking solution that can run even when you close your browser. It’s made with the whole team in mind, and testimonials agree that it’s “super easy to use.”

Price: Goose egg.

Have you tried Kimai? Please share your thoughts in a review!

18. RescueTime

A RescueTime report

Download RescueTime to your computer and get going—this free time-tracking software logs your every movement on your computer and uses that data to ship out weekly reports.

Price: Free for the basic version— a substantially upgraded version with more reports and filters is $9 a month.

Have you tried RescueTime? Please share your thoughts in a review!

19. Slimtimer

It IS called Slimtimer

Clock in, clock out, share your hours, and break them down by task. It’s that simple. Oh, and as a bonus, Slimtimer offers reporting features so you know how everyone on your team is spending their time.

Price: Nada.

20. Toggl

The timer view in Toggl

Toggl is a little more well-known than the other time-tracking software, but it’s still worth mentioning. Built for teams, just touch and go to start tracking and reporting on your time.

Price: $0 for the basic version for up to five team members—which should suffice for most.

Have you tried Toggl? Please share your thoughts in a review!

What is your experience with free project management tools?

There are so many hidden and awesome free project management tools out there that it would be impossible to name all of them in this list. What did I miss? Did you have a good experience with the software mentioned above? Leave your thoughts in the comments below!

Looking for Project Management software? Check out Capterra's list of the best Project Management software solutions.

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About the Author

Rachel Burger

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Rachel is a content manager for Capterra, a free online resource that quickly matches businesses to their software needs. She specializes in project management tips, tools, and tricks . She also runs her own blog on content marketing. On the rare occasion Rachel isn't writing, she's reading, hiking, jogging, or spending time with her friends and family.

Comments

RationalPlan Single is free on Linux operating systems:
http://www.rationalplan.com/projectmanagementblog/rationalplan-single-is-distributed-as-freeware-on-linux-operating-systems/

Really nice product!

Hi Rachel, there is one hidden gem. I found recently. It is http://www.adaptrm.com/. It works on multiple devices as well.

This is a good list of project management tools and i would like to suggest one more. You can check here https://www.protacto.com/

We have used several of this software in the past, but in the end we chose Twproject, it is not free but its cost is very low and it worth the price. Task management is too important, it deserves a little budget 😉 http://twproject.com

Hi Rachel,

Good summary – the only one on the list I’ve used is RescueTime, so will have to check out some of the others.

Another 2 I’ve used that I can recommend:

1 – MyWorkTime – for Time Tracking, very easy and intuitive to use for tracking time.
2 – Basecamp – not free, but very low cost and a pretty comprehensive tool (https://basecamp.com)

Thanks for sharing these 🙂

Aidan
http://www.projectmanagementcourseshq.com

Great Article. I totally get you. I have used MS Project in the past and when i switched to Mac i started looking for alternative for this great app. While doing it i tried many such apps which were free or cost effective. One such app is Project Planning Pro (link below). I tried it on iPad for free and still using it on my Mac. It has most features of MS Project and Gantt charts to illustrate flow of my projects. Quite handy and waayy cheaper than most apps. Totally Recommend it! 🙂
http://planningproapp.com/

Hi Rachel, here is a black horse for you to consider to add soon—Efficient To-Do List:http://www.efficienttodolist.com/

I have search and compared many tools, and Finally I decide to use this one for my tasks management, it has free, Pro and Network version for personal or business use.
of course, if some want all in one software—Efficcess: http://www.efficcess.com/ is a good one~

Project in a Box provide a free community edition of their small team and enterprise level software. It is a download (although they have a cloud based option see)
http://www.yourpmo.co.uk/project-in-a-box

Hi. I just want to suggest another one good free project management tool
https://sourceforge.net/projects/rukovoditel
Unlike traditional tools it allows you build your own application. Maybe will be useful for not standard business.

Hi Rachel,
As a project manager that deals with clients in many different locations and industries I needed a universal toolkit for working with customers in a framework they can embrace.
Sometimes they are “creative” types who need a simple “file approval” system, some customers want a Calendar based system, others want an “agile” project management solution and the old school customers want a “waterfall” project management system.

Fortunately almost 8 years ago I found http://www.same-page.com . It has all those tools plus there is no charge for users and each customer only sees their project. Here is a link to an informative page on project management- http://www.same-page.com/Project-Management-Software-15a.html

BTW- they give free setup help!

I would also like to suggest several tools:
http://ubertesters.com/ – the best tool for mobile development companies. You can clearly track and manage your team and 3rd party co-workers activity, submit bug and crash reports
https://sourceforge.net/projects/rukovoditel – young, but powerful tool for those who are looking easy and simple solutions

Didn’t see Fleep in the list – check fleep.io – like Slack but not siloed.

BamBam is only a 14 day trial. It is NOT frè for personal use.

[…] Free Project Management Tools (Website) […]

I’m surprised you didn’t mention Kanban Tool (possible to find here: http://kanbantool.com/). It is free in the trial version but then the cost is really nothing comparing to what it offers. It’s very easy to navigate and organize all the work. I fell in love with the layout and extra features that make the work much easier. I really recommend you to try it!

[…] Source: 16 Underground Free Project Management Tools – Capterra Blog […]

Change in the business strategies create huge potential risks in a project. Your blog is very informative and it has covered almost all the risks involved in project management. You must also add communication risk to your list as well. As it is a major risk factor where certain misconceptions may occur between team members due to communication gap. And the apt solution to mitigate all these risks is by using a project management tool. It can make your work much easier and resolve various issues faced while handling different projects. I am using ProProfs Project management software from a very long time for handling various projects. It really solved my problem and helped me in various ways. It is very simple yet effective tool with great features that will help you to manage different projects easily while mitigating different risks. And I find your article a gem as it helped me to discover various risk factors involved in a project management that I am not aware of.

Thanks for a lovely post and keep sharing valuable information.

Hi Rachel,

Nice article covering almost good free PM tools to kick start you project.
Though there are few Pm tool listed above gives trial version for few days and these tools are particular for one software.

To a surprise a found a gem stone in project management templates.

Website is http://www.techno-pm.com which provides over 100 Free project management templates for different phases of a project life cycle covering all software and methodology (like agile, scrum, waterfall etc).

Website http://www.techno-pm.com focus area are Project Status Report Templates, Project Management Dashboards, Resource Plans and Project plans.

Try it and you will love for its simple and easy to use Excel, PPT, MS project templates.

Hi, Youv’e mentioned all the free project management tools, other’s also mentioned some, and I also would like to add one more, i.e. Findnerd Project Management Tool, which is one of the best free project Management Tools among others. Must try once!

Hi,
you can check http://www.freelo.cz it combines super-easy task management with time tracking.

Web based freemium..

Rachel,
Thanks for picking out our CE and Planner tools here. Planner just had a major feature review in Project Manager Today and is now used as the planning/project controls tool of choice by many organisations. Link to the review here: http://www.projectinabox.org.uk/webdocs/Planner_Review_2017.pdf

Best regards

Malc

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