5 Best Microsoft Project Alternatives for Project Management Software

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Explore popular project management software that makes tracking project statuses, collaboration, and task management easier.

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Microsoft Projects is a popular project management platform. In Capterra’s 2018 Top 20 Most Popular Project Management Software list, it scored 75 out of 100, placing it at the top of the list.

But a high score doesn’t necessarily mean Microsoft Projects is the right choice for every user. Reviewers on Capterra mention that it can have a steep learning curve. You may want to look at simpler alternatives if getting started quickly is a priority.

Here we discuss five other popular project management tools that are highly recommended by reviewers on Capterra.

Selection criteria

We’ve analyzed data on more than 600 project management tools on Capterra and used the below criteria to identify the Microsoft Project alternatives we’re featuring here.

  • Core project management features: The product must offer the core project management features: task management, collaboration, and project tracking.
  • At least 20 user reviews published on Capterra in the past two years: This helps ensure there are enough reviews to analyze the pros and cons.
  • Likelihood to recommend: The product should have a minimum average recommendation rating of 8 out of 10 on Capterra.
  • Features and functionality rating: The product should have an average functionality rating of at least 4 out of 5 on Capterra.

5 Best Microsoft Project Alternatives for Project Management

Microsoft Project alternatives comparison chart: Asana, Basecamp, monday.com, Trello, Wrike

1. Asana: Work management platform for teams of all sizes

asana logo
Likelihood to recommend: 8.4/10
Features & functionality rating: 4.3/5
Reviews: 7,133+

Asana allows you to create multiple tasks and subtasks within different projects and monitor their progress. Users can comment on the tasks, share documents, assign tasks to team members, and track deadlines.

The tool’s dashboard provides an overview of different project statuses and lets you create project plans that can be viewed as flowcharts, timelines, and graphs. Asana offers integrations with more than 100 other tools, such as Dropbox, Zapier, and Microsoft Office 365.

Pros

Cons

Users praise the software’s open APIs, downloadable conversation history, and predefined project templates. Reviewers mention that some features, such as dashboards, take time to master and require many input values.
Users find the interface easy to navigate. Some users mention getting overwhelmed by too many automated email notifications.

How much does Asana cost?

Asana’s Basic version is free and accommodates up to 15 users. The Premium version is priced at $9.99 per user, per month, and the Business version costs $19.99 per user, per month.

Product development roadmap in Asana

Product development roadmap in Asana (Source)

2. Basecamp: Project management tool with to-do lists to manage tasks

basecamp logo
Likelihood to recommend: 8.0/10
Features & functionality rating: 4.2/5
Reviews: 10,033+

Basecamp offers features such as message boards, to-do lists, chat tools, and shared calendars. It allows you to embed files or images into your messages and track project conversations on a single page.

Basecamp also integrates with third-party apps such as G-Suite, iCal, and Outlook.

Pros

Cons

Users appreciate the ability to send notifications to multiple people with a single click. Users mention that Basecamp’s price makes it unaffordable for most freelancers and small teams.
Reviewers say that the software is easy-to-use and learn. Some users feel that Basecamp should incorporate more visual options, such as Gantt charts.

How much does Basecamp cost?

Basecamp has a single $99 per month plan that supports unlimited users and projects. Teachers and students get free Basecamp accounts while discounts are available for nonprofits.

Hill chart in Basecamp

“Hill chart” feature in Basecamp helps track project progress (Source)

3. Monday.com: Team management software that helps improve collaboration

Monday.com logo
Likelihood to recommend: 8.7/10
Features & functionality rating: 4.4/5
Reviews: 1,789+

Formerly dapulse, monday.com is a tool that helps manage teams and tasks. It provides visual charts to track project statuses, sales pipelines, HR tasks, etc. Monday.com also offers predefined project dashboards and workflow templates. You can invite new members, tag them, and track all your project conversations.

The tool integrates with other systems such as MS Excel, Trello, Asana, and Basecamp, which facilitates importing project data onto it.

Pros

Cons

Reviewers like that the tool allows them to share select project plans with clients. Users feel that the vendor could improve monday.com’s design and visualization capabilities.
Users mention that the software is easy to set up and configure. The pricing is not on a per user basis, but only for groups of two to five users, which many reviewers noted as inconvenient and expensive.

How much does monday.com cost?

Monday.com has Basic, Standard, Pro, and Enterprise versions. The Basic version costs $15 per month, the Standard version $25 per month, and the Pro version $37 per month (all prices are for two users; interested buyers must contact vendor for the Enterprise plan cost).

Task management in monday.com

Task management in monday.com (Source)

4. Trello: Project management tool with Kanban-style boards

Trello logo
Likelihood to recommend: 8.5/10
Features & functionality rating: 4.3/5
Reviews: 12,100+

Trello is known for its Kanban-style message boards that let you organize and group tasks, add people, and manage project or task statuses. You can tag team members to assign them tasks or to draw their attention to specific comments on a project.

Trello captures each task as a card. You create cards directly on the app or convert email requests to cards using Trello’s email integration capabilities. Trello’s “Power-Up” feature helps it connect with a number of other applications including Slack, Todoist, and Evernote.

Pros

Cons

Users mention that the tool’s drag-and-drop interface makes it easy-to-use. According to some reviewers, Trello is slow to load when there are many boards.
Users appreciate Trello’s integration with a wide range of other apps, such as calendars, maps, file storage tools, and videoconferencing apps. Some users mention that adding advanced features, such as the ability to create recurring tasks, would improve the product’s value.

How much does Trello cost?

Trello offers a free version as well as two paid versions—Business Class ($9.99 per user per month) and Enterprise ($20.83 per user per month).

Kanban boards in Trello

Kanban boards in Trello (Source)

5. Wrike: Online project management software with Gantt charts

Wrike logo
Likelihood to recommend: 8.0/10
Features & functionality rating: 4.2/5
Reviews: 1,448+

Wrike allows you to set project goals, assign resources, and track project progress. It offers interactive Gantt charts to track and optimize project planning.

Wrike’s drag-and-drop interface lets you quickly reprioritize projects and manage resources. You can create customized templates for different workflows and build iteration processes to plan sprints and manage backlogs. Wrike also integrates with third-party tools such as Tableau, Box, and Salesforce.

Pros

Cons

Reviewers mention that the tool helps them better organize tasks and assign teams/users to different tasks. Some users mention that the software takes a long time to set up and has a steep learning curve.
Reviewers appreciate Wrike’s quick customer support. Users want to see an expanded ability to customize project status terminologies, set deadlines, and search for different tasks.

How much does Wrike cost?

Wrike’s Professional version costs $9.80 per user per month and the Business version costs $24.80 per user per month. Wrike also has a free version that supports up to five users.

Gantt charts in Wrike

Gantt charts in Wrike (Source)

How to choose the right Microsoft Project alternative

How do you go about choosing the right project management software for your business? Here’re some tips:

  • Shortlist products based on their features and pricing: Eliminate solutions that fall outside your budget range and don’t offer features that your business needs.
  • Demo the products: Explore the free versions or check out free trials to get firsthand experience with how the software works and its limitations.
  • Read Capterra reviews: Capterra lists software reviews written by real users. Read the reviews to understand what your peers have to say about using the software.

To expand your search scope beyond these five alternatives, visit our comprehensive project management software directory.

In the comments section below, let us and other readers know which project management tools you’re using (if any), what’s working well for you, and what’s not.

For more, scroll through these articles on project management:

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

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About the Author

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Gitanjali Maria

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Gitanjali is a researcher for Capterra, a website that connects buyers and sellers of business software. She covers topics in a variety of markets including construction, rental, analytics, and others. In her free time, she enjoys reading, writing, traveling, or playing badminton. Follow her on Quora.

Comments

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Hi Rachel,
Its a nice article. We would be glad to see our name in the list. We have been helping some of the biggest enterprises in delivering an EPM solution.
Visit us at https://tiemchart.com/ms-project-alternative.html

Thanks!

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One more alternative to be considered Krosswall ( http://www.krosswall.com ). It’s design to bridging the GAP between Agile in THEORY and Agile in IMPLEMENTATION.

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One of the Best Microsoft Excel Alternative Tools which I know are
1. Google Sheets
2. Numbers (For Mac & IOs Only)
3. Microsoft Excel Online
4. Zoho Sheets
5. Smartsheet

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I believe the very best factor I love about Workzone may be the project and task tracker dashboard. I depend on it to manage my daily tasks. I additionally like their customer success team. They coach you to definitely be effective around the tool that is something that lots of another tool lack.

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Looks like a cool tool, but not a true MS Project alternative. I think most people here are interested in more traditional project management than a kanban tool.

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We use HEROGAMI (https://www.herogami.com) and leverage AGILE practices, KANBAN boards, work organization in SPRINTS and extreme clarity. Ended up ditching all Gantt tools altogether. Worth a try.

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Thank you for the thorough review, Dylan! I agree that Gantt charts aren’t ActiveCollab’s strongest feature, but I think most people use it for collaboration and project reporting. Teamgantt is definitely a standout Gantt chart software, though it definitely isn’t strong for task management.

I think what this ultimately reveals is that PM software should be divided into formal and informal tools, with Gantt/PERT/resource analytics/portfolio management in the former and communication emphasis, task management, and personal productivity in the latter. Definitely good article fodder. Thank you!

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After years of research, trial and error and frustration, I’ve concluded that task management and Gantt management are mutually exclusive. No single software app does these two things well. Your best bet is to give your PMs a great Gantt chart tool like teamgantt.com and your production staff (designers, coders, copywriters, etc) a good task management tool like Activecollab. If you’re savvy you can connect the apps together via API so when a new project is created in your Gantt app it creates the corresponding project in your task management app. By separating your Gantt app from your task management app, you reduce the number of screens / programs that your producers need to access which helps them stay focused. Finally, while I’ve been a happy Activecollab customer for 8 years I have to state that the Gantt (timeline) feature is weak. We don’t use it. Teamgantt gives us the best view for our project timelines and dependencies. Hope this helps.

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Definitely a great Microsoft Project competitor for MS 2013 on Mac, but its lack of cloud functionality eliminated it from this list.

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We used OmniPlan before switching to Seavus Project Viewer (https://www.seavusprojectviewer.com/) as we needed only a reader for Microsoft Project files. It’s comprehensive solution available for mobile and desktop, while recently they released online version, free of use for mpp files less than 2MB.

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The best alternative is Gantt Excel. It is a Gantt chart excel template very similar to MS Project, simple but at the same time very powerful. You can check it out at http://www.ganttexcel.com

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There is another alternative project software called creately . You can draw gantt charts and world break down structures easily. Its less pricier than project and there are many examples and templates to get started faster.

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Good post, thanks for sharing. I can vouch for OmniPlan on Mac although Project Plan 365 is also good. This is useful for Mac users: https://machow2.com/best-alternatives-microsoft-project-mac/

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I’d add ConceptDraw Project. This is an inexpensive crossplatformed app with MS Project integration and beautiful visual reports http://www.conceptdraw.com/products/project-management-software/

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You can try project planning pro.It supports Microsoft Project Plan Import/Export
It is the best Microsoft project alternative.
For more info visit : http://planningproapp.com/

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great post, thank you for sharing.

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Thanks for the comment Tiberiu. I do my best to remain impartial for who has what on Capterra’s directory because I’m doing my best to remain objective in my reviews. As I’m sure you know, there are an abundant number of high-quality MS Project alternatives, and I couldn’t include all of them on this list. These seven listed above do stand out as some of the best, but by no means is this list comprehensive.

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It is strange that you did not even noticed RationalPlan as an alternative to Microsoft Project although it has a good presence in the Capterra directory and all you have to do is to read the reviews to realize that… Where from do you get your sources when writing your articles?

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I would recommend the newly released MyWebtimesheets (http://www.mywebtimesheets.com) for project and time tracking. It has flexible timesheet settings, timesheet approval and analytics. Very affordably priced with great features. Has international date and currency settings and reporting options for multiple teams. You can manage your projects, tasks, clients and users on one web based platform. Integrated with free project management for unlimited users and projects (http://www.projecttoolbelt.com) and team leave planning calendar ((http://www.planmyleave.com).

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