There’s a reason why project management is a career of its own: because it’s a very intricate and complicated task. Planning out projects to make the best use of all your resources (personnel resources and beyond), keeping every team member on task and on track, making sure the project is making the progress it needs to make to get all the deliverables out on time…it takes balance, organization, and patience. It’s far more manageable with the right tools in your toolbox, though.
You’ve heard of the common project management tool Monday.com, but if it’s not suiting your needs, there are plenty of alternatives that may be a better fit. Our experts are going down the list of the top choices for alternatives to Monday.com so you can keep all your projects on track.
Wrike is an incredibly featureful project management system that can help businesses and groups of any size to keep projects moving. It’s based around a folder organization system, making it easy to keep each project in its own self-contained folder so it’s easy to balance multiple ventures at the same time. Wrike makes task management, project planning, progress tracking, and team collaboration into one smooth flow.
Team members can keep up with the latest updates with Wrike’s real-time newsfeed. The range of project management tools and templates within Wrike, like Gantt charts, dashboards, kanban boards, and custom workflows, makes it an all-encompassing project management center.
To name a few, Wrike offers useful features such as:
- Time tracking for tasks, allowing for easier invoicing or productivity tracking
- Live editing capabilities for collaborative work
- Budget tracking for individual project components and for the project as a whole
- Email integrations
- Wide range of external integrations
- Extreme customizability for your optimal workflow
Of course, there are downsides to Wrike as well. As useful as the customizability is, it also makes this tool rather complex to learn, so onboarding new team members may be difficult.
Wrike has a free version available, as well as more customizable and feature-rich versions at about $10 per user per month and about $25 per user per month. There is an enterprise option as well with individualized pricing.
If you’re in the software or tech world, you’ve probably heard of Jira. This project management tool was specifically developed with software engineers in mind, so it’s designed for the workflow and needs of a software development team. While these types of teams find Jira to be a great fit, other types of projects may not be as well-suited for Jira.
Still, Jira has plenty of advantages to consider. At its core, it’s built around the Agile framework which is being used in many businesses across a wide range of industries. Jira has implemented multiple tools that fit Agile strategies, like scrum, Kanban boards, and lean development planning.
Among Jira’s most useful and impressive features are:
- Automated reports designed around the Agile framework to gauge and track performance
- Customizable scrum boards to make scrum meetings and spring planning more efficient
- Roadmaps for project planning that the entire team can access
- Custom project dashboards to fit any team’s workflow
- Issue tracking
- Task prioritization
Unlike many other project management tools, Jira doesn’t charge by the user. There is a free version of the tool, but there are also $75-per-month and $145-per-month plans depending on the number of maximum users you want to serve and the features you want. Jira offers an enterprise plan as well with custom pricing.
Asana is one of the most well-known project management tools thanks to its robust advertising campaigns. But does it live up to the hype?
In many ways, yes, it does. Asana’s primary interface is based on the Kanban board. You can customize the stages of your workflow and easily move tasks under their appropriate stages so it’s simple to see how each project is progressing.
Compared to some other project management programs, Asana is rather simple. This can be a positive or a negative – it’s not as featureful as some of the other options but it’s also easier to learn and less cumbersome to work with daily.
Still, Asana isn’t starved for features. Its top capabilities include:
- Chats within individual tasks so there’s no confusion about which task a team member is references
- Ability to handle multiple projects and groups simultaneously
- Library of helpful templates so you can easily fill in project requirements
- Integrations with hundreds of other tools and apps
- Agile-friendly features such as sprint planning tools and backlog management capabilities
Asana is, however, more limited than most when it comes to reporting, which can be an issue for data analytics and for keeping stakeholders up to date with projects’ progress. The good news is that you can scale Asana and add more features by adding new plug-ins and modules, but this can bog down the system and make the tool sluggish.
Fortunately, Asana is rather economical. The basic free version works well for small teams and small groups, but even the stepped-up plans at about $10 per month per user and about $25 per month per user are easy to fit into the budget.
If you’re in the project management world, you might be familiar with Gantt charts already. This chart looks like a timeline that lays out which task or deliverable each member of your team is working on for any timeframe within the scope of your project.
Unsurprisingly, TeamGantt is a project management tool that is primarily designed around Gantt charts. Not only does it allow you to quickly plan a project thoroughly with interactive and customized Gantt charts but it makes it easy to track your progress as well.
To name a few, TeamGantt offers these essential features:
- Recurring tasks for repeated project components
- Groups and subgroups for various projects, making it easy to manage projects across multiple departments or teams
- Project dependencies, linking tasks so that one particular task must be complete before a depending task can begin
- Numerous project planning tools within one platform
- Time tracking for tasks
- Collaboration channels to team communication
- Secure file storage for easy file sharing team-wide
- Availability views for each team member so you can easily who will be available when in order to assign tasks efficiently
- Mobile app for access anywhere
The chief limitation that can be a challenge for TeamGantt users is that this tool doesn’t allow you to easily upload projects you have planned or begun in other programs like Word or Excel. You’ll need to manually create tasks and project plans within TeamGantt.
TeamGantt has a higher price point than many of the tools on this list. While there is a free version, the next step up starts at nearly $20 per month for one user, and the advanced plan is about $25 per month for one user.
If you’re looking for the Swiss army knife of project management tools, Workzone is probably your top choice. Compared to most tools in this realm, Workzone is extremely feature-rich.
Customization is a key part of the package with Workzone. This tool allows you to custom-build your workflow and operation system for your project, and you can customize your security options as well.
Workzone aims to make it as seamless as possible for you to manage multiple groups and projects at the same time while keeping each of them separate and organized. Among its abundant features are:
- Deadline tracking with reminders and notifications for team members
- Expense tracking to keep each project on-budget
- Secure file sharing and file storage
- Time tracking for tasks
- Customizable systems for request forms and approvals within the platform
- Security permission levels that can be set for each user for specific projects and documents
- Interactive Gantt charts for effective project planning
On top of being a featureful product, Workzone is also known for its exceptional technical support and customer support. You can rest assured that your projects won’t go unmonitored for days while you wait for a resolution from support.
The price can be a downside for Workzone, though. There’s a free trial, but there’s no free plan. Prices start at $25 per user per month and go up to $43 per user per month depending on the customization level you want.
Of all the project management tools on this list, Trello is likely the best-known among them. It’s used by individuals and companies across nearly every industry.
Trello is a rather basic tool that revolves around a simple Kanban board. If you’re not familiar, a Kanban board is a board that allows you to create a different column or section of your board for each stage of a project’s progress – budgeting, planning, implementation, approval, or any other stages you might have. Each task is set up as a separate card that you can move between these columns depending on what stage it’s in.
While the concept is simple, Trello does have a variety of capabilities that make your Kanban board more useful and customizable. For example, these capabilities include:
- Creating a variety of boards for different projects, lists, or other purposes
- Setting access and permission levels for each board
- Inviting specific individuals to access each board, including clients, contractors, or other people who are outside your organization
- Creating checklists or task lists within each card so you can combine several small tasks into one task group
Of course, every tool has its limitations and drawbacks. With Trello, the Kanban board is the central component of the tool – there aren’t a lot of other features such as file storage, chat capabilities beyond card comments, or automated reporting. Trello also doesn’t allow for task dependencies or for linking multiple cards together.
One of the top benefits of Trello, though, is its price. The free version is suitable for most individuals and small teams, but even the paid versions start at just $5 per month per user. With additional plans priced at $10 per user per month and $17.50 per user per month, Trello is one of the most low-cost tools you’ll find across the board for project management.
Everyone functions best with different types of interfaces for their project management. If spreadsheets work well with your mental flow, Smartsheet could be the perfect tool for you.
Smartsheet is based around using Excel spreadsheets for your project management, but this tool is designed to get past some of the limitations and downsides of Excel. Think of it as a combination of a Kanban board and Excel. It integrates handy tools such as:
- Customized and automated workflows
- A real-time activity log so all team members can keep up with the latest changes
- A communication portal for team collaboration
- Downloadable reports on project progress
The primary challenge with Smartsheet, however, is that this tool is fantastic for people who like the interface of spreadsheets but not everyone works well this way. Depending on how large your team is, that could be a difficulty for some people. However, if your team has used spreadsheets in the past and you want to transition them to an online project management tool, Smartsheets could be a smooth middle ground.
The good news is that pricewise, Smartsheets is toward the lower end of the spectrum. While there isn’t a free plan, the tool’s plans start at just $7 per user per month. The catch, though, is that you have to select the number of users from Smartsheets’s options – 3, 5, 10, 15, 20, and so on. That means you may end up paying for more users than you actually have.
Choosing Your Project Management Software
There’s no shortage of project management tools available, and that’s no accident. Each manager and each team work better with different features, interfaces, workflows, and so on. If Monday.com isn’t the right fit for your team, don’t worry. Chances are that one of the alternatives above has the ideal blend of features and options to fit your priorities.