Project Management

10 Best Free Project Management Software For Your Business

By | 12 min read | Published

Project management software helps you manage work, set targets and deadlines, and keep track of projects.

Back in the day, project management meant countless sheets of paper, a pencil to plan out tasks, and many mind-numbing hours of keeping track of projects and people as deadlines approached.

As a project manager, if this scenario sounds all too familiar even in 2021, it’s time to invest in a project management software tool. Project management solutions help plan and run projects predictably and accurately. They automate resource allocation, budget tracking, scheduling, time management, and many other tasks, allowing your agile team more time to brainstorm new project ideas.

For small teams with limited budgets, investing in a project management tool might seem financially intimidating. However, implementing free project management software is always an option in this type of situation.

This article highlights the ten best free project management software systems, sorted alphabetically.

/See the full list of free project management software in Capterra's software directory.
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1

Airtable: Offers 200+ pre-designed templates

Airtable is a cloud collaboration and project management tool that helps you plan and organize your projects as well as set a roadmap for you and your team.

The tool helps you distribute projects based on use cases and offers advanced filtering and sorting options to arrange unlimited tasks according to your preference. Airtable also contains built-in applications such as a scheduler, webpage designer, and an email marketing tool.

Additionally, you can also automate routine tasks such as sending and approving project requests, scheduling team meetings, and processing bills and invoices.

Airtable offers phone, email, and chat support. The tool has a mobile app for both iOS and Android devices.

*Analysis accurate as of September 2021
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Key Features:

  • Agile methodologies
  • Alerts/notifications
  • Asset categorization
  • Brainstorming
  • Brand management
  • Campaign planning
Trial/Free Version:
Free Trial
Free Version
Device Compatibility:

Screenshot:

Adding field types on your website in Airtable

2

Asana: Features a focus mode and individual task lists

Asana is a task management and project management software solution that helps you manage your daily tasks and plan strategic initiatives. The tool helps bring your team together to collaborate on projects and track independent assignments on a single platform.

With Asana, you can track your progress with projects and assign tasks to individual members of your creative team. It helps to map out goals and set deadlines so you can stay on schedule.

You can also submit work requests and review their completion status. The tool offers integration with third-party communication, payment, and cloud storage tools, making it easy to access important files and client data in one place.

Asana offers email and chat support for customers, and it has a mobile app for both iOS and Android devices.

*Analysis accurate as of September 2021
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Key Features:

  • Agenda management
  • Approval workflow
  • Audit trail
  • Backlog management
  • Budget management
  • Bug tracking
Trial/Free Version:
Free Trial
Free Version
Device Compatibility:

Screenshot:

Create Task Lists

Creating a task list in Asana

3

Basecamp: Creates automatic check-ins for teams

Basecamp is a project management software tool designed for freelancers, creative teams, and small businesses. It helps you organize your projects in one place and split work between team members.

The tool offers a message board that you can use to pitch ideas, as well as send and receive progress updates and project feedback from your team. With Basecamp, you can create checklists and to-do lists to assign items to team members and set due dates for projects.

Another convenient feature is the schedule manager which integrates with your calendar to automate setting up meetings and subscribing to events.

Basecamp offers phone, email, and chat support and has a mobile app for both iOS and Android devices.

*Analysis accurate as of September 2021
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Key Features:

  • Brainstorming
  • Calendar management
  • Collaboration tools
  • Customizable templates
  • Document management
  • Live chat
Trial/Free Version:
Free Trial
Free Version
Device Compatibility:

Screenshot:

Assign due dates to tasks

Assigning due dates to tasks in Basecamp

4

ClickUp: Integrates easily with third-party tools

ClickUp is a project management tool that brings all your projects into one single project management app. The tool helps you organize, view, and collaborate on projects with team members.

Tracking all your projects from start to finish and creating customized workflows becomes possible with ClickUp. You can also add and assign comments on any task or document and stay aligned with your team. The tool offers a global timer that automatically tracks how much time gets spent on each project.

With the ability to create mind maps, you can plan your project ideas and distribute tasks into different project phases. You can also create visual outlines of assignments for your team members.

ClickUp offers phone, email, and chat support. The tool has a mobile app for both iOS and Android devices.

*Analysis accurate as of September 2021
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Key Features:

  • Agile methodologies
  • Alerts/escalation
  • Audit trail
  • Billable and non-billable hours
  • Brainstorming
  • Budget management
Trial/Free Version:
Free Trial
Free Version
Device Compatibility:

Screenshot:

Box View

Box view of a project in ClickUp

5

Evernote Teams: Supports calendar integration

Evernote Teams is a collaboration software tool that brings your team together to work on projects. The tool helps you manage notes, tasks, and schedules in one place.

The system captures all your critical project information and stores it in one place. You can create notes about ongoing projects, send them to your team members, and assign tasks through the app.

Evernote also lets you create workflows for your team members. The tool makes remote work easier as team members can work from any device, even when they’re offline.

The software comes with an administration dashboard that gives you access to permission controls and detailed logs. Evernote also offers easy integration with third-party applications to conduct meetings and migrate data.

Evernote offers email support. The tool also has a mobile app for both iOS and Android devices.

*Analysis accurate as of September 2021
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Key Features:

  • Brainstorming
  • Content management
  • Document management
  • Project management
  • Task management
  • Version control
Trial/Free Version:
Free Trial
Free Version
Device Compatibility:

Screenshot:

Save and edit webpages

Editing a webpage in Evernote

6

Jira: Gives project access to remote teams

Jira is a task management tool for teams that plan and build products. The software helps you organize issues, track bugs, and follow team activity.

As a Jira user, you can create user stories and issues, plan sprints , and distribute tasks across your team. You can also organize tasks based on priority and assign tickets for them.

You can create workflows depending on the duration and complexity of a project, and the tool automatically notifies your team members if there are changes in the schedule or task dependencies.

With access control permissions and SSL encryptions, Jira provides you a safe and secure environment for project management.

Jira offers phone, email, and chat support. The tool has a mobile app for both iOS and Android devices.

*Analysis accurate as of September 2021
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Key Features:

  • Agile methodologies
  • Assignment Management
  • Backlog management
  • Bug tracking
  • Business process automation
  • Change management
Trial/Free Version:
Free Trial
Free Version
Device Compatibility:

Screenshot:

Common workboard to view tasks in Jira

7

MindMeister: Features an online mind map editor

MindMeister is a mind mapping and project management tool that helps you with team collaboration and project planning.

The tool lets you share mind maps with your colleagues that you can edit in real time. MindMeister also offers a built-in presentation mode that turns your mind map into slideshows.

In addition, you can then turn your mind maps into agile project dashboards and visualize progress for multiple projects. It provides a note-taking feature during meetings and brainstorming sessions, and you can store individual and collective data in a central database and share it with your team.

MindMeister offers email, phone, and chat support. The tool has a mobile app for both iOS and Android.

*Analysis accurate as of September 2021
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Key Features:

  • Activity/news feed
  • Brainstorming
  • Collaboration tools
  • Data import/export
  • Evaluation management
  • Presentation tools
Trial/Free Version:
Free Trial
Free Version
Device Compatibility:

Screenshot:

Project Roadmap

Viewing a project roadmap in MindMeister

8

monday.com: Monitors active workloads from a single dashboard

monday.com is a project management solution that helps you plan, track, and organize your project workflow. The software offers templates with custom fields you can use to create project plans.

Automate recurring tasks such as creating leads from outbound emails, creating customizable schedules based on project deadlines, and visualizing data with graphs and charts.

monday.com also lets you collaborate with other departments such as sales and marketing to bring teams together to work on project planning. You can access and share project progress updates, workflows, and budget approvals through the platform.

The software integrates with third-party communication and accounting software to help you migrate data between systems easily.

Lastly, monday.com offers email, phone, and chat support and has a mobile app for both iOS and Android devices.

*Analysis accurate as of September 2021
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Key Features:

  • 360-degree feedback
  • Account alerts
  • Activity dashboard
  • Activity tracking
  • Analytics
  • Approval workflow
Trial/Free Version:
Free Trial
Free Version
Device Compatibility:

Screenshot:

Tracking expenses in monday.com

9

Notion: Provides reporting and statistics on workflows

Notion is a knowledge management and collaboration tool that connects your people, project ideas, and notes to one platform. It helps you create and organize workflows for you and your team with the help of a drag-and-drop editor.

Additionally, it also helps you create roadmaps with customizable tags, and you can invite your team members to edit and add tasks and activities to the roadmap.

You can also use Notion to create a centralized knowledge base for your team. It offers a flexible Kanban board, lists, and tables to handle all kinds of processes. With advanced permissions, you can control who has access to company data and share assets with other departments if necessary.

Notion offers email, phone, and chat support. It also has a mobile app for both iOS and Android devices.

*Analysis accurate as of September 2021
Best Functionality
Visit Website

Key Features:

  • Activity/news feed
  • Brainstorming
  • Budget management
  • Calendar management
  • Create subtasks
  • Customizable templates
Trial/Free Version:
Free Trial
Free Version
Device Compatibility:

Screenshot:

Product Roadmap

Product roadmap in Notion

10

Todoist: Integrates with third-party voice command applications

Todoist is a task and project management software tool that helps you organize your workflow. The tool allows you to create work tasks and get an overview of your work schedule.

It first assesses your task list and highlights the day’s most important tasks for you. Additionally, Todoist lets you divide your tasks between team members and allot a timeframe for finishing them.

Todoist offers Kanban-style work cards that provide a “board view” of all the activities associated with your projects. You can group and label tasks and assign them to individual contributors on your team.

Additionally, you can integrate Todoist with third-party email platforms, and it will automatically create tasks from what you receive in your email. Review upcoming projects and add new ones from any device that you use this software on.

Todoist offers email and chat support. The tool has a mobile app for both iOS and Android devices.

*Analysis accurate as of September 2021
Most Affordable
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Key Features:

  • Collaboration tools
  • Customizable templates
  • File sharing
  • Gantt view
  • Kanban board
  • Notes management
Trial/Free Version:
Free Trial
Free Version
Device Compatibility:

Screenshot:

Weekly updates in Todoist

Read our project management software buyers guide to understand the benefits and common features of these tools.

How to choose the right free project management software

When selecting a free project management tool, price isn’t the only thing you need to keep in mind. You should evaluate these factors for each product you consider before finalizing the purchase:

  • Assess your needs before selecting a tool: Understand your needs before locking down a solution. Is your focus resource management, brainstorming, or workflow management? Each software specializes in a particular aspect of project management. Assess which tool aligns the most with your needs and go with the right one.
  • Assess the usability of a tool before selection: Does the software in question have a steep learning curve? Does it take a long time for you and your team to figure out how to use all its features? These are some aspects you need to look into before finalizing your selection. Go for a trial version and assess how easy it is to use a particular tool.
  • Evaluate the upgrade cost for your future requirements: As your business grows, so will your team. It’s smart to consider any upgrades to the paid version of the software you’re using in the future to accommodate more people and multiple projects. Therefore, when selecting a free tool, make sure to check the cost of upgrading to the paid version and whether it will fit within your budget.

Common questions to ask while selecting free project management software

Choosing a free project management software tool isn’t easy, but asking the right questions helps. Here are some key questions to ask software vendors before finalizing a decision.

What kind of limitations does the free software have?

Often free versions of a tool don’t offer access to unlimited users. Before investing in the software, make sure to check whether the user seats and functions they provide with the free version are something you can work with or not.

What kind of technical support should I expect?

Free tools often have limited support services, while paid users get priority support. Before selecting a tool, assess the obstacles you might face, such as server downtime and glitches in the software, and then find a solution that addresses such issues even in the free version.

What kind of deployment and access options are available?

Managing projects often involves quick iterations and updates. Ideally, the project management software you choose should be web-based to facilitate remote work and connectivity from any part of the world. Look for a web-based tool that is remotely accessible to provide the best work environment to your team members 24/7.

How did we choose these products? We didn’t—you did.

To find your ideal software match, you need information you can trust—so you can save time, stay on budget, and focus more energy on growing your business. It’s why we vet and verify all our user reviews and recommend only the tools endorsed by people like you.

In other words, our product recommendations are never bought or sold, or based on the opinion of a single individual—they’re chosen by your peers, reflecting the views and experiences of our independent base of software reviewers.


At Capterra, we objectively select and rank products based on a methodology developed by our research team. Some vendors pay us when they receive web traffic, but this has no influence on our methodology.

To be considered for this list, products have to:

  1. Have at least 20 unique product reviews published on Capterra within the past two years, with an average rating of 3.0 or higher. We selected the 10 products with the highest ratings to feature in this article.
  2. Offer a free, standalone version of the software (not a trial version of the software where you must purchase a product after a limited amount of time).
  3. Meet our project management software market definition: “Project management software helps project managers and organizations execute projects—unique initiatives with a set scope/deliverables, a set timeline, and set resources/budget. These tools help businesses plan, monitor, and control project costs, schedules, and resources so they can deliver value and meet project success criteria.”

Note: The content in this piece that provides opinions and points of view expressed by users does not represent the views of Capterra.

“Best functionality” tool is identified based on the highest user-ratings for functionality that a vendor received based on publicly available reviews.

“Most affordable” tool is identified based on the lowest pricing a vendor offered on their website in terms of cost to upgrade on October 1, 2021.


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

About the Author

Ashish Upadhyay

Ashish Upadhyay

Writer @ Capterra, helping digital Davids beat Goliaths. I cover small business trends in CRM, accounting, real estate, insurtech, and emerging tech. B.A English, University of Delhi. Currently pursuing my master’s in English Literature. When I’m not working, I’m planning my next trek, playing video games, or working out.

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Comments

Comment by CharlesEnterprise on

Great list.

Comment by Bassim Al-Rifai on

We use carrotcut.com
It really increased our PMO maturity in terms of project management, project governance using methodology builder, top management reporting using easy to use BI, automated status report amd team task board to uodate project and none project tasks.

It is provided from a project management consulting company and they automized their consulting into CarrotCut.

Hope this help you as it helped us 😉

Comment by John Schinnerer on

None of the apps you review are open source. Please don’t put “open source” in the title of a page that has no open source in its primary content. It clutters search results and wastes people’s time when they are looking for actual open source software.
If you don’t know what “open source” actually means – it is not the same as “free” – then please do a bit of research.
It is left to people to provide info and links to actual open source software in the comments, so thanks to all who did that.

Avatar

Comment by Eileen O'Loughlin on

Hi Jane, Thanks for your interest in our research! We actually have a section in the report that addresses the point you made (that several of these tools are collaborative work management solutions and not “true” project management software), and we call this out on the graphic as well. As you said, it’s important to distinguish between these tools so that someone looking for a traditional PM tool can find what they’re looking for, but also so non-technical business users can find what they need as well.

Avatar

Comment by Jane Smith on

Thanks for the effort! but sorry, none of them is a real PM tool! maybe GantProject is a bit close to MS Project, but has no real resource planning… all the others are mostly collaborative “to do lists”.
For someone looking for a PM, including tasks definition with dependencies, lead-time and resources availability, will nothing find here. I tested all the list and it was just a waste of time.

Comment by Chuck Bor on

Awesome list. Went with your Bitrix24 recommendation and loving it. Way better than Trello or Asana.

Avatar

Comment by Sarah Hill on

Many small businesses turn to project management software because they’re overwhelmed by working in email.

Comment by jim freeman on

Interesting reviews. I’m the chairman of a volunteer run NGO. We currently use Basecamp. The problem is that, like many of these tools, it offers features that are, in reality, way more sophisticated than the users. Our users get access when they are elected/volunteer for roles. Getting people to post in a number of different ‘projects’ has proved impossible, likewise ‘discussions’.
All we really need is somewhere to post comments & file documents, in one place, with notifications, to various members via, easy to edit, checkbox lists, which don’t show email addresses . The membership is around 50 people, many of whom tend to be ‘read only’, in that they’re very unlikely to post or comment.
I can’t decide whether to replace Basecamp, or ‘year zero’ with a very simple system, that can’t be randomised, by people who don’t understand how to use it effectively.

Avatar

Comment by Richard Foster on

Redbooth have revised their free plan, it’s now only 2 users (not 10)

Comment by Rich Nowa on

Thank you so much for taking time to compile the list. Finally found the solution I was looking for all these years (Bitrix24). You are awesome.

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