10 Best Free Project Management Software Tools

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What do we mean by best? These are the top-rated free solutions in our directory.

What is Project Management Software?

Project management software is now an umbrella term, encompassing a range of solutions from lighter work management tools up to robust portfolio management solutions. It’s important to understand the differences between these types of software so you can choose the tool that best meets your needs.
 
Project Management Buyers Guide

Missed deadlines. Bottlenecks. Conversation silos.

These issues are costing you time and money. Luckily, you don’t have to break the bank to find a solution.

If you have a small team, are on a tight budget, and are willing to compromise on some premium features, then a free or freemium project management product may be right for you. (Freemium products are free versions of paid software that offer limited functionality, users seats, or both.)

In this article, we’re highlighting the 10 top-rated free project management software options on Capterra and explaining each product offering and the cost to upgrade.

This article looks at 10 highly rated free project management software options. See the full list of free project management software solutions here.

Use this list to determine 1) if free software is the right solution for your organization, and 2) which free system is best for your needs.


Looking for open source project management software?


What does “top-rated” mean? Each of the 10 tools included in this piece have an above-average overall user rating compared to other products in the category. You can find our full methodology here.

The 10 free project management software options we’ll cover:

(Products are presented alphabetically)

A Features Chart of the Best Free Project Management Software Tools

Project management vs. work management—which do you need?

“Project management (PM) software” has become an umbrella term, encompassing a range of solutions from lighter, collaborative work management tools up to robust portfolio management solutions.

It’s important to understand the differences between these types of software, so you can choose the tool that best meets your needs:

  • Work management software helps teams manage workflows, organize tasks and activities (projects and processes), and collaborate in a shared workspace. These tools capture work execution, providing live notifications and views relevant to different stakeholders. Their target user is non-technical business professionals.
  • True PM software helps project managers and organizations execute projects: unique initiatives with a set scope (deliverables), timeline, and budget (resources). These tools help businesses plan, monitor, and control costs, schedules, and resources so they can deliver value and meet project success criteria. Their target user is technical professionals, i.e., project managers.

10 top-rated free project management software solutions

Airtable

Airtable is a cloud-based, collaborative work management solution. Teams can view tasks on a grid (similar to a spreadsheet), calendar, Kanban board, or gallery. Key features include task management, collaboration, reporting/project tracking, and time tracking. See detailed feature descriptions.

The central component of Airtable is bases, which contain all the data you need for a project. Bases are made up of a collection of tables, and each table covers a particular aspect of the project. Tables contain fields (file attachments, checkboxes, etc.) and records (relevant data points you’re tracking).

Airtable’s free plan includes unlimited bases, 1,200 records per base, 2 GB attachment space per base, and two weeks of revision and snapshot history, as well as real-time collaboration and commenting.

Paid plans include additional records per base, more attachment space, and longer revision history, as well as priority support and access to “blocks,” modular apps that extend the functionality of bases.

Screenshot of what a grid view looks like in Airtable project management software

Grid view in Airtable (Source)

Pros: Airtable offers prebuilt templates for multiple use cases, including content production, creative, HR and recruiting, marketing, and more.

Cons: Despite having a similar look and feel to a spreadsheet, several reviewers point out that it lacks some of the functions that Excel and other database tools are capable of. At the same time, novice users point out that there’s a steep learning curve in figuring out how the tool works, because it’s so flexible and not prescriptive.

Cost to upgrade: When billed monthly—$12 per user per month (Plus), $24 per user per month (Pro). Contact the vendor for enterprise pricing. Discounts available for annual subscriptions.

Mobile apps: iOS, Android

Highly rated by: In the past year, 81% of Airtable’s user reviews on Capterra came from individuals at small businesses across a variety of industries. The top five were marketing and advertising, computer software, higher education, design, and nonprofit.


Read user reviews of Airtable


Avaza

Avaza is a cloud-based PM solution. Key features include task management, project planning, project tracking, resource management, time tracking, and quoting and invoicing—and all this functionality is available in its free plan. See detailed feature descriptions.

While Avaza doesn’t limit functionality across product tiers, it does differentiate and restrict access by user role. Types of roles include admin/invoice user, timesheet/expense user, resource scheduling user, customer, and collaborator.

Avaza’s free plan includes access for one timesheet/expense user, one admin/invoice user, and one scheduling user, as well as five active projects (unlimited archived projects), 10 customers, five invoices per month, 100 MB storage, and regular email and chat support plus the online knowledge base.

Paid plans include access for additional users/roles, additional active projects, unlimited customers, a higher volume of invoices per month, more storage, and priority support.

Screenshot of a Kanban board in Avaza project management software

Kanban view in Avaza (Source)

Pros: Reviewers praise Avaza’s customer support (email and live chat) and its extensive online resources (knowledge base and video tutorials).

Cons: Some reviewers note that while Avaza is robust, it’s perhaps weakest when it comes to social collaboration features.

Cost to upgrade: When billed monthly—$9.95 per month, (Startup), $19.95 per month (Basic), $39.95 per month (Business).

Mobile apps: iOS, Android

Highly rated by: In the past year, 89% of Avaza’s user reviews on Capterra came from individuals at small businesses. The largest number of reviews were from users in the IT services industry, followed by marketing and advertising, computer software, and design.


Read user reviews of Avaza


Backlog

Backlog is a cloud-based work management solution for developers. Capabilities include Gantt charts, task/issue management, reporting/project tracking, collaboration, and version control (integrated with GIT and SVN. Set up private repositories, propose changes, compare changes, comment on pull requests, and keep track of commits). See detailed feature descriptions.

Backlog’s free plan includes access for up to 10 users, 100 MB total storage, email and live chat support plus an online help center and knowledge base, and one project workspace, as well as issue tracking and code review and collaboration (Git, subversion, and wiki).

Paid plans include additional users, projects, and storage, as well as Gantt charts, burndown charts, templates, and subtasks.

Screenshot of a user dashboard view in Backlog project management software

User dashboard in Backlog (Source)

Pros: Reviewers praise Backlog’s ease of use, noting that its simple UI makes it quick for novice users and expert users alike to learn the tool.

Cons: The free plan is fairly limited—in both features and storage. Teams must jump two tiers to purchase the Standard plan ($100 per month) to create subtasks and access Gantt charts and burndown charts. Additionally, the free plan includes one active project with no archiving, so teams must delete their project to start a new one.

Cost to upgrade: When billed monthly—$20 per month (Starter), $100 per month (Standard), and $175 per month (Premium). Discounts available with an annual subscription. Teams can also purchase a self-hosted version that costs $1,200 per year (Enterprise).

Mobile apps: iOS, Android

Highly rated by: In the past year, 70% of Backlog’s user reviews on Capterra came from individuals at small businesses, while 19% came from midsize businesses. The greatest number of reviews came from users in IT services and computer software industries.


Read user reviews of Backlog


ClickUp

ClickUp is a cloud-based work management solution, which bills itself as “productivity software.” It helps individuals and teams set goals, manage tasks, and organize work in “project spaces.” Key features include task management, collaboration, reporting/project tracking, time tracking, Gantt charts. See detailed feature descriptions.

The central components of ClickUp include tasks, custom fields, goals (defined objectives that are broken down into, and assigned, a measurable target), and portfolios (a high-level overview of your work, similar to a dashboard).

ClickUp’s free plan includes unlimited users, unlimited tasks and project workspaces, 100 MB file storage, 24/7 support (chat, phone, email, and an online help center), as well as 100 uses of custom fields, 100 uses of goals, 100 uses of portfolios, and limited reporting.

The paid plans include unlimited storage, integrations, full reporting options, and additional features such as Gantt charts.

Screenshot of what a board view looks like in ClickUp project management software

Board view in ClickUp (Source)

Pros: While most vendors offer a discount when purchasing their software on an annual subscription, ClickUp’s is the largest discount of any product on our list (users save 45% when paying annually, compared to other tools where savings are closer to 15% to 20%).

Cons: ClickUp’s free plan includes just 100 MB of storage, and also does not include integrations with either Google Drive or DropBox.

Cost to upgrade: When billed monthly—$9 per user per month (Unlimited), $19 per user per month (Business), and $29 per user per month (Enterprise). Discounts available with an annual subscription.

Mobile apps: iOS, Android

Highly rated by: In the past year, 87% of ClickUp’s reviews on Capterra came from individuals at small businesses across a variety of industries. The top five were marketing and advertising, computer software, IT services, design, and education management.


Read user reviews of ClickUp


Flowlu

Flowlu is a cloud-based business management solution that offers more than 10 tools for business needs including PM, financial management, and CRM. Key PM capabilities include task management, project planning, reports/project tracking, time tracking, and Gantt charts. See detailed feature descriptions.

Flowlu’s free plan includes access for two users (one admin), one project workspace, 1 GB file storage, and support via an online support center and knowledge base, as well as limited PM functionality (task management only).

The paid plans include additional users, greater storage, and more advanced functionality (e.g., recurring tasks, templates, project financial planning, time tracking, reporting.)

Screenshot of a project dashboard in Flowlu project management software

Project dashboard in Flowlu (Source)

Pros: Reviewers praise Flowlu’s ease of use and its range of business management functionality (CRM, knowledge base, etc.) in addition to PM capabilities.

Cons: The PM functionality in the free plan is fairly limited—teams will find it hard to do more than manage tasks before having to upgrade.

Cost to upgrade: When billed monthly—$39 per month, up to eight users (Team), $74 per month, up to 16 users (Business), $149 per month, up to 25 users (Professional), and $299 per month, unlimited users (Enterprise). Discounts available with an annual subscription.

Mobile apps: iOS, Android

Highly rated by: In the past year, 65% of Flowlu’s reviews on Capterra came from individuals at small businesses, 22% from midsize, and 13% from large. The most reviews came from users in the computer software industry, followed by financial services, higher education, and nonprofit.


Read user reviews of Flowlu


Freedcamp

Freedcamp is a collaborative work management solution that can be deployed in the cloud or installed on Mac or Windows OS. Key features include task management, collaboration, reporting/project tracking, time tracking, and Gantt charts. See detailed feature descriptions.

Freedcamp’s free plan includes access for unlimited users, tasks, project workspaces, and storage (10 MB per file), as well as standard support.

Paid plans include larger file size uploads, premium support, periodical backups, as well as additional features such as Gantt charts, project templates, reports, and invoicing.

Screenshot of a user dashboard in Freedcamp project management software

User dashboard in Freedcamp (Source)

Pros: Freedcamp offers unlimited storage with its free plan, an offering that only one other vendor on this list matches.

Cons: For teams needing more PM functionality than basic task management, they’ll need to upgrade to the Business plan ($8.99 per user per month).

Cost to upgrade: When billed monthly—$2.49 per user per month (Minimalist), $4.99 per user per month (Freelancer), $8.99 per user per month (Business), $16.99 per user per month (Enterprise). Discounts available with an annual subscription.

Mobile apps: iOS, Android

Highly rated by: In the last year, 87% of Freedcamp’s reviews on Capterra came from individuals at small businesses across a variety of industries. The top five were accounting/financial services, marketing and advertising, IT services, computer software, and design.


Read user reviews of Freedcamp


MeisterTask

MeisterTask is a visual work management solution that helps teams manage workflows and organize tasks on a shared Kanban board. It can be deployed in the cloud or installed on Mac or Windows OS. Key features include task management, collaboration, reporting/project tracking, and time tracking. See detailed feature descriptions.

MeisterTask’s free plan includes unlimited users, tasks, Kanban boards, storage, and file attachments up to 20 MB.

Paid plans include priority support and additional features such as recurring tasks, reporting, and custom fields.

Screenshot of a time tracking dashboard in Meistertask project management software

Time tracking dashboard in MeisterTask (Source)

Pros: There’s no limit to the number of tasks, Kanban boards, or internal collaborators on the free version of MeisterTask. Capterra reviewers praise the product’s simplicity and say it’s easy for new users to get up to speed.

Cons: While most of the task management functionality is free, workflow automation (setting recurring tasks) and full-text search through archived tasks and projects is not. This functionality, along with priority support and guest access, is restricted to paid plans.

Cost to upgrade: When paid annually— $8.25 per user per month (Pro), $20.75 per user per month (Business).

Mobile apps: iOS, Android

Highly rated by: In the past year, 76% of MeisterTask reviews on Capterra came from individuals at small businesses and 15% from large. The greatest number of reviews came from users in the computer software industry, followed by marketing and advertising, IT services, design, and education management.


Read user reviews of MeisterTask


Paymo

Paymo is robust PM solution, available for deployment in the cloud or installed on Mac, Windows, or Linux OS. Key features include Gantt charts, Kanban boards, task management, collaboration, reporting/project tracking, project planning, resource management, and time tracking. See detailed feature descriptions.

Paymo’s free plan includes access for one user, unlimited tasks and Kanban boards, community support plus online knowledge base, and 1 GB storage, as well as time tracking.

Paid plans include additional storage, free training, and priority support, as well as project planning, project tracking, and resource management capabilities.

project management in paymo

Project dashboard in Paymo (Source)

Pros: Reviewers praise Paymo’s customer service and support team, applauding how prompt they are in responding as well as the quality of their answers. Users also have access to Paymo’s online help center and knowledge base.

Cons: If you need PM functionality beyond task management, you’ll need to upgrade to a paid plan. If you need Gantt charts and resource management specifically, you’ll need to purchase the Business plan at $18.95 per user per month, which would be the most expensive upgrade out of the tools on this list.

Cost to upgrade: When billed monthly—$11.95 per user per month (Small Office), $18.95 per user per month (Business). Discounts available with an annual subscription.

Mobile apps: iOS, Android.

Highly rated by: In the past year, 80% of Paymo’s reviews on Capterra have come from individuals at small businesses and 14% from large. Reviewers come from a variety of industries, with the top five being IT services, marketing and advertising, management consulting, design, and architecture and planning.


Read user reviews of Paymo


Streamtime

Streamtime is a cloud-based PM solution designed for freelancers, creative teams, and agencies that do contract work for clients. Key features include task management, reporting/project tracking, project planning (called “job planning”), and quoting and invoicing. See detailed feature descriptions.

Note: “Time tracking” is listed as a feature on the vendor’s website, but the product does not track time using a timer or timesheet. Instead, tasks are set up with a time estimate and can be manually updated to reflect actual work time (you pull on the edge of a task card to increase or reduce time spent). Then, as you drag the item from “to-do” to “done,” the actual time is logged against the job.

Streamtime’s free plan includes five active jobs, storage for 50 archived jobs, and multiple support options (online knowledge base, chat, and one-on-one sessions), as well as the functionality listed above.

The paid plans include unlimited active jobs and unlimited archived jobs, as well as additional team scheduling options, purchase orders, and accounting integrations.

Screenshot of a time tracking dashboard in Meistertask project management software

Scheduling and team capacity in Streamtime (Source)

Pros: Streamtime is transparent regarding its product roadmap, highlighting what’s currently being built (e.g., ability to quote and invoice jobs in multiple currencies and languages), as well as changes that are being considered for future releases.

Capterra reviewers note that the vendor is quick to respond to and incorporate user feedback into their roadmap.

Cons: Reviewers seem split on Streamtime’s approach to time tracking, with some saying the adjustable time blocks are actually more intuitive, others saying they’d prefer a traditional timer.

Cost to upgrade: When billed monthly—$15 per user per month (Standard); $20 per user per month (Standard+); and $30 per user per month (Premium). Discounts available with an annual subscription.

Mobile apps: iOS

Highly rated by: In the past year, 95% of Streamtime’s reviews on Capterra came from small businesses. Reviewers were from four main industries: design, marketing and advertising, graphic design, and architecture and planning.


Read user reviews of Streamtime


Teamwork Projects

Teamwork Projects is a cloud-based work management solution that helps teams organize their tasks, collaborate, and deliver on time. Key features include Gantt charts, Kanban boards, task management, collaboration, reporting/project tracking, time tracking, and resource management. See detailed feature descriptions.

Teamwork’s free plan includes access for five users, two active projects, 100 MB storage, and multiple support options (email, live chat, phone, online knowledge base, and training guides), as well as a limited offering of the above functionality.

Paid plans include additional projects, greater storage, priority support, and more robust tracking, such as the portfolio view and risk register.

Screenshot of a dashboard mockup in Teamwork Projects project management software

Dashboard mockup in Teamwork Projects (Source)

Pros: Teamwork offers 24/7 email and chat support, 24/5 phone support, and extensive online documentation through its knowledge base.

The vendor also offers several other tools in its product suite, including Chat, Desk (help desk software), and Spaces (document management).

Cons: One specific issue is that users can only export Gantt charts to either Microsoft Project or GanttProject, which makes it difficult to share project timelines and progress against that timeline unless stakeholders have one of those two tools.

Additionally, reviewers note a significant learning curve to Teamwork Projects, and in fact, its ease of use rating is below the market average.

Cost to upgrade: When billed monthly—$11.25 per user per month, minimum of 5 users (Pro), $18.75 per user per month, minimum of 5 users (Premium), contact the vendor for Enterprise pricing. Discounts available with an annual subscription.

Mobile apps: iOS, Android

Highly rated by: In the past year, 75% of Teamwork Projects’ reviews on Capterra came from individuals at small businesses, 13% from midsize, and 13% from large. While reviewers came from a wide range of industries, the top three were marketing and advertising, computer software, and IT services.


Read user reviews of Teamwork Projects


Looking for open source tools?

To be included in this update, products had to have at least 20 reviews in the past year and have an above-average overall user rating compared to other products in the category (i.e., 4.5/5 stars).

Unfortunately, no open source tools were rated highly enough to make our list this year. If you’re looking for open source PM tools, here are the two highest-rated products with at least 20 reviews in the 12 month period we analyzed (Feb 2018-Feb 2019):

Want an affordable solution, but aren’t sure these products fit your needs? Check out our ranking of the Top 20 Most Affordable PM solutions, or click here to see the top-rated free task management solutions on Capterra.

Feature descriptions

Below are descriptions of the software functionality that’s referenced in the product write-ups above:

Key capabilities and features of PM software
Task management Create tasks, add descriptions, set start and due dates, set a priority, estimate level of effort (e.g., hours, points, etc.), and assign tasks to users. Users can add attachments, leave comments, and update the task status as they work on the item or move tasks through a workflow on a task board (either Kanban or Scrum). Additional functions include: convert emails to tasks, set dependencies, create subtasks, create recurring tasks, create task checklists.
Collaboration Provides a centralized workspace that enables multiple users to communicate, conference, and coordinate among themselves to facilitate group work. Create shared team and/or project task boards, calendars, wikis, dashboards, etc.; stay up-to-date with other users’ activity via activity feed; loop in team members via @mentions; share files; chat; video conference, and invite guests to participate.
Reporting/project tracking Reports and dashboards provide a quick, visual way for users to understand the status of a project, its costs, or other key information. View progress made against the project plan, track milestones, track active tasks, view completed tasks, compare estimated time to actual time spent, compare estimated spend to actual costs, and track team performance.
Project planning Define project scope, timeline, and resources/budget. Break projects down into milestones, identify deliverables, and forecast cash flow. Create the work breakdown structure, outline the critical path, identify dependencies and constraints, plan key resources.
Time tracking Track time spent on various tasks, report on estimated versus actual time spent working on tasks, measure billable versus nonbillable hours, pull time logged into a timesheet for invoicing clients.
Resource management Create resource chart/record with contact information, pay rate, role, and skill level. Allocate staff to projects and monitor workloads. Functions may include resource capacity planning and project prioritization based on demand for key resources.
Gantt chart Cascading, horizontal bar chart with dates that mark the start and finish of the interdependent parts of a project. Tasks are laid out in order of when each item needs to be completed. Often used to create the work breakdown structure and outline the critical path during project planning and then to compare current project status with initial plans during project execution.
Kanban board The digital equivalent of sticky notes on a white board, Kanban boards provide a visual representation of a workflow or process. The board is divided into columns representing stages in a workflow (e.g., “backlog,” “developing,” and “testing”), or a status (e.g., “to do,” “in progress,” and “done”). Tasks are represented as “cards” that can be expanded to show assignee(s), task details, and comments. Kanban metrics include cumulative flow diagrams and lead and cycle time diagrams.

Methodology

This article was updated 5/10/19. Products considered for this article had to:

  • Offer a free, stand-alone version of the software (not a trial version of the software where you must purchase a product after a limited amount of time).
  • Meet our PM market definition.

This definition includes PM software’s evolution to encompass a range of solutions, from lighter task/work management tools up to robust portfolio management solutions:

  • Work management software helps teams plan and manage workflows, organize tasks and activities, and collaborate in a shared workspace. These tools capture the work execution, providing live notifications and views relevant to different stakeholders.
  • PM software helps managers and organizations execute projects: initiatives with a defined start and end date, a defined scope, and defined resources/budget. PM solutions help businesses plan, monitor, and control project costs and schedules so they can deliver value and meet project success criteria (e.g., on time, on budget, within scope, and meeting business goals).

Software that met the market definition also needed a minimum of 20 user-submitted reviews published between February 15, 2018 – February 15, 2019, and have an above-average overall user rating compared to other products in the category.

  • “Top” free tools were rated at least 4.5/5 stars overall by users.

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

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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Eileen O'Loughlin

Eileen O’Loughlin is a Senior Project Management Analyst for Capterra. Her research helps small businesses leverage the latest technology and trends to solve key business challenges and achieve strategic goals. Her work has been cited in various publications, including CIO.com, ProjectManagement.com, ProjectsAtWork and DevOps Digest.

Comments

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Great list.

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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 😉

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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.

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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.

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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.

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

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

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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.

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

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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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