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Project Management Software Reviews

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  • BrightWork Project Management

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    Brightwork is a project management software that focuses on three areas: Administrative, Project leaders, and Team members. It aims to not only give project teams the tools they need to get to work, but also the tools that will be needed as the team and company grows. Be cautious that the app is slow, cluttered, and complicated.

  • Clarizen

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    Pros Good customer support Customizable feature set Cons Expensive monthly cost Steep learning curve Not suited for small businesses Over-complicated pricing plans Overview Clarizen was designed to be more than just a project management tool. Currently used by more than 2,500 organizations across 76 countries, Clarizen claims to be the first and only software system […]

  • ClickUp Project Management

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    ClickUp is a highly rated project management app that has a low cost and a simple pricing plan. We like that the tool allows you to create any template you need to manage your team with plenty of flexibility to pivot as the project evolves.

  • Easy Projects

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    Pros Good customer support Customizable feature set Low learning curve Cons Outdated user interface Expensive monthly cost Overview Designed in 2003 by Logic Software Inc. of Toronto, Easy Projects was originally created with no intention of wide commercial release. Like many similar project management programs, this software was born out of pure necessity. For years, […]

  • EPM Live

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    Pros Good customer support Advanced features Varied Integrations Cons Expensive monthly cost No mobile apps Overview EPM Live is one of the world’s leading project portfolio management software programs. Focused primarily on work management solutions, this comprehensive software was created in 1999 by LMR Solutions, a rapidly growing enterprise project and work management firm. Business […]

  • Flow

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    So is the Flow redesign good? Should you consider trying this app out for yourself? Honestly, I was hoping for more. While the new Flow does offer some features not found in the previous version (Workload Management), it is also missing some things that the app used to do well (communication and reporting features).

  • GanttPRO

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    Pros Affordable monthly cost Low learning curve Good customer service Cons Limited Features Limited integrations Overview When shopping around for a project management app, one of the most-looked-for features is the Gantt chart. The timeline-like list of tasks, projects, and milestone events is an absolute standby of the industry; most major developers incorporate at least […]

  • Genius Project

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    Pros Suitable for large businesses Advanced features Cons Not suitable for medium or small businesses Difficult to use Poor customer support Overview Genius Project, the flagship product of Genius Inside, was originally created “to address a need for project management software for the IBM marketplace.” According to the company’s website: Genius Project is not only […]

  • Harvest

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    Though it started with a simple focus on time tracking in 2006, Harvest has grown considerably over the last decade and now encompasses invoicing and project management. Even after expanding into the invoicing world, the software is still focused on time and team management and has over 50,000 users. However, the software has limited invoicing features and is unsuited for product-based businesses.

  • Hiver

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    Pros Easy to use Good customer support Shallow learning curve Cons Limited features Rudimentary feature set Overview Hiver is a Google Chrome extension intended to “supercharge” your email. Or your Gmail, to be precise. Run by a team of only 17 individuals, Hiver wants to dramatically change the way you look at email communication between […]

What Is Project Management Software?

That’s a good question! And the answer is not as simple as you might think. The term ‘project management software’ could refer to anything from a rudimentary task manager to a complex tool with scheduling algorithms, workflow management, and highly sophisticated budgeting features.

At its most basic level, project management software helps you organize your work into discrete chunks, track time, and store files. These days, project management tools are mostly SaaS (software as a service)—that means they operate on a monthly subscription system and are accessible via the cloud.

How Can Project Management Software Benefit My Business?

Another good question! The answer? So many ways. More than I can easily enumerate here, actually. But let’s hit on two of the key ways that project management software can benefit businesses.

Project Management Tools Help You Communicate More Effectively

The modern workplace is crazy. With the advent and increased popularity of email, video conferencing, instant messaging, and cheap long-distance phone calls, the world has never had so many ways to be connected. But increased connectivity comes with increased chaos, and many businesses are still trying to operate with one foot in the old world and one foot in the new. If you’re relying on an unholy mixture of in-person meetings and Go-to-Meeting, sticky note memos and Outlook messages, phone calls and Skype calls, screen sharing and cubicle drop-bys, you’re doing it wrong. The more methods you use to communicate, the more information is going to fall through the cracks.

Project management software can help you do the unthinkable: streamline communication, simplify the exchange of information, and preserve a written record of memos and conversations. When all your means of communication come from one source—your project management solution—things will seem to magically fall into place. Your coworkers can’t pass the buck if there’s a smoking gun that shows the exact minute they agreed to take on a project. Likewise, you won’t have to experience the exquisite frustration of not knowing whether your email has been opened yet. Most project management tools offer email integration, live chat, and myriad other features that boost connectivity and communication between you and the rest of your office.

Project Management Software Organizes Work For You

Most of us don’t have the luxury of a personal assistant. At work, we’re expected to create our own schedules, track our own progress on tasks, and follow through on projects without being reminded. But that can be a big ask for most people, who are also responsible for remembering a host of other things (like when the milk expires, and which kids need to be picked up from which sporting event). Enter project management software, the modern business person’s best friend.

Project management tools, at their most basic level, provide a way to organize your work life. This type of software allows you to create tasks and task lists, assign projects to yourself or co-workers, store files in places they cannot get lost, and get frequent notifications about the progress and status of your workload. In other words, it allows you to free your brain of tedious details and focus on the task at hand.

Common Features to Looks For When Choosing Project Management Software

Not all software is created equal. However, there are certain features that are common to most project management tools:

  • Email integration
  • File storage
  • File management
  • Discussion channels
  • Instant messaging
  • Project creation
  • Task creation
  • Task dependencies
  • Contact management
  • Gantt charts
  • Notifications
  • User permissions

Higher-level project management software may also include the following, more advanced features:

  • Project budgets
  • Quotes and invoices
  • Automated scheduling
  • Risk/issue management
  • Iterations
  • Automated workflow
  • Video conferencing
  • Screen sharing
  • File editing
  • Image editing

How Much Will It Cost?

Not surprisingly, the answer to this question depends entirely on how many functions you need. Simple task management programs are often free for one user and can start as low as $5/month for more than one user. A typical mid-range SaaS project management tool might run anywhere from $19-$199/month, while locally-installed, enterprise level software suites can cost tens of thousands of dollars.

The price you pay will depend largely on what kind of subscription system your software vendor employs. Licensed, on-premise software comes at a hefty, usually one-time cost. But in general, the cloud-based project management software industry uses a few different pricing models:

  • Cost/person: In this model, the software’s features are included at every level and subscriptions are based on how many users you have in your organization.
  • Cost/feature: This model usually starts with a basic feature set and raises the price of the software as more features are added.

Often, these models are combined in some way. For example, if your organization has 1-10 people, you should be able to choose which plan you want to use. However, larger businesses may be forced to pay for plans that include more features. In fact, some vendors insist that businesses of 100 people or more use only the most premium plans.

There may also be additional costs to keep in mind. Some project management software companies charge extra for support services or for initial training and implementation. Others may charge yearly licensing fees, or impose fees for access to updates. As a rule, we encourage our readers to avoid software vendors that gouge their users for technical support or updates.

Choosing Specific Project Management Software

Now that you have some idea of what project management software brings to the table, which features to look for, and how much a system might cost, it’s time to get specific. At Merchant Maverick, we’ve spent countless hours researching and testing the best project management software programs on the market. Read our comprehensive reviews for more information, or check out this handy comparison table if you want a quick overview of the industry in general.

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The vendors that appear on this list were chosen by subject matter experts on the basis of product quality, wide usage and availability, and positive reputation.

Merchant Maverick’s ratings are editorial in nature, and are not aggregated from user reviews. Each staff reviewer at Merchant Maverick is a subject matter expert with experience researching, testing, and evaluating small business software and services. The rating of this company or service is based on the author’s expert opinion and analysis of the product, and assessed and seconded by another subject matter expert on staff before publication. Merchant Maverick’s ratings are not influenced by affiliate partnerships.

Our unbiased reviews and content are supported in part by affiliate partnerships, and we adhere to strict guidelines to preserve editorial integrity. The editorial content on this page is not provided by any of the companies mentioned and has not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by any of these entities. Opinions expressed here are author’s alone.

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