To understand which project management apps are right for you, it’s worth thinking about project management more generally. A big part of project management is segmenting everyday business operations into smaller progressions, making it easier to track your operations.
Modern businesses are more concerned with efficiency than ever before. This applies to various projects, including product development, research, manufacturing and IT. The more efficient your processes are, the lower your costs will be.
This is why project management is such a growth area. More firms are investing in project management than ever before. One way to do this is to hire a dedicated professional or even a whole team.
Alternatively, you can automate many of these functions with digital project management tools. However, before we get to that, let’s look at some of the theories behind project management.
Project management apps provide teams with collaborative tools to organize tasks, manage schedules, track progress, and boost productivity. This guide profiles the top 10 PM apps in 2023 based on core features, user reviews, and value provided.
Table of Contents
What is Project Management?
A project, in essence, is a temporary process with a clearly outlined beginning and end that is carried out to deliver a result. This can be a product, service, or consumer commodity.
Projects involve people who usually have no professional interaction with each other and are often from different and widely varying organizations or geographic locations. These people all work towards a common goal, even if they aren’t aware of each other.
In other words, project management ensures that results are delivered on time and to the agreed standards.
Project management is factoring in all the skills, know-how, techniques and tools available to meet the project’s basic requirements and ensure its timely result. This can include anything from a new online marketing strategy, sales expansion into new territory or even a new business-oriented social media site.
Here are some of the skills necessary for successful project management:
The Four Ps of Project Management
A helpful way to understand project management is the 4 Ps framework. The 4 Ps attempt to describe the culture and environment of any Project and the way it’s managed.
- The first P is for a plan: Any actions conducted by the team that includes forecasting or planning represent the first stage of any project. At this stage, nothing tangible has materialized yet.
- The second P is for processes: the word Processes here describes all activities done by the team, the project management tools used and predetermined/well-structured tasks.
- The third P is for people: Any project’s first and most important building block is its team members—the most essential component of any endeavour and the heart of the project.
- The fourth P is for power: Power is represented through the management. The word power here represents the conclusive force, decision-makers and all other chains of command.
With that in mind, let’s look at some of the things project management apps can do.
Project Management Apps: What Are They?
If you’re reading this article and wondering, “What are project management tools?” you’re in the right place. Project management is a complex endeavour with many challenges and complex procedures.
Fortunately for project management professionals, several tools make life easier for all project managers and their teams. So, what exactly are project management tools?
Project management tools are techniques or aids that help the project manager schedule, organize and evaluate the tasks. Utilizing a skills management platform in conjunction with these tools can significantly enhance the efficiency and effectiveness of project management by aligning team skills with project requirements. Some require computer software, while others are simply scheduling and collaborating techniques that simplify workload division.
Moving on to what’s important here, what are the different project management tools one can use
Project Management App Industry Insights
- 93% of organizations rely on project management apps and software to plan and execute work (Wrike)
- Popular features include task management, time tracking, resource planning, Gantt charts, calendars (Capterra)
- The average user spends 3+ hours per week on project management apps (Mavenlink)
Best Project Management Software
Here are some of the best project management apps to ensure you stay organised. These tools will ensure that your project documentation is easily accessible and coherent.
This allows for better evaluation, risk assessment and decision-making. Consequently, using these tools will boost your project’s efficiency and improve the overall productivity of the team members.
Project is a project management platform created by Microsoft. This service is available for 7$ a month per user. Microsoft project focuses on the simplicity of documentation so that your team can focus on the project. Some of the primary features of this software include:
Allows you to manage tasks and objectives through simple to-do items. It allows you to assign certain tasks to certain members, and it allows those members to clock in the hours spent working. This project management software allows you to allocate resources to each task and create a more realistic budget. Comprehensive project resource management functionality is also critical for optimizing workflows. By tracking resource allocation across projects, managers can balance workloads and identify capacity risks. Effective project resource management ensures initiatives don’t end up understaffed or over budget. Prioritizing this capability leads to more accurate planning and efficient execution.
This is specifically useful when your business is working on multiple projects. This is done through creating a universal resource pool that may be shared between projects while avoiding conflicts in schedule.
By allowing you to store essential files on a central server, multiple members may work on the same file seamlessly.
This boosts overall productivity and omits the need to wait for others to finish their work before another member starts working. Consequently, this allows you to save valuable “downtime” where some team members would otherwise have nothing to do.
Introduced in Project 2013, this feature allows for the creating of various graphical reports without the need to export data into other programs. This automatic generation of reports and charts not only saves time but also allows for instant assessment of the current state of any project.
With the integration of Microsoft Lync, all users may communicate via text, audio or video. This can be done from within the app, simplifying meetings and saving much setup time.
Another great project management software, Zoho Projects, will cost you a flat fee of 50/month. Your subscription will allow you to manage 50 projects simultaneously. This solution will provide the necessary tools to plan, coordinate and create charts. Now, let us look at the program’s main features.
This feature allows all product members to view and log their working hours. Zoho can then generate automated invoices to save you time. Tasks can also be times to ensure they are completed on time while automatically logging those working hours.
Each user will have a generated calendar including all their tasks. This allows for easier collaboration between members where no schedule conflicts may occur. By seeing other users’ available time, scheduling meetings and collaborating on work becomes much easier.
Zoho also has interactive message boards where users can easily communicate with each other—giving your team members a boost towards productivity and collaboration. Instant messaging chat rooms are also available for real-time communication.
By sharing all kinds of files on Zoho’s servers. Team members can simultaneously work on the same file. This saves a lot of time as it negates the need for members to wait for others to finish their work before they may begin. Your basic subscription provides you with 100 GB of server storage.
Jira is one of the best project management software for digital products. It focuses on communication and tracking of tasks, making it one of the most powerful tools for boosting efficiency. JIRA uses a familiar user interface that is simplistic yet powerful.
You can choose their 10$ subscription if your team is smaller than 10 users. However, JIRA has various price points for growing teams depending on the number of users. Here are some of the unique features of JIRA
File Sharing and Collaboration
With their hosting solutions, users can work together on the same files. With their integrated comment system, team members can leave reminders for themselves or others to ensure that the job gets done.
Milestone Tracking and Task Management
By ensuring that your specified tasks are visible to all members of the team, there is no room for error. JIRA ensures that all your tasks and milestones are visible to your team, and it will track all previously completed tasks for later assessment.
Tracking of tasks is also not binary; a percentage completion is available so you can accurately give your customers a finish date.
Milanote is another tool for visualising creative projects. Inspiration can often strike suddenly, so it’s vital to be able to note your ideas down in a structured and accessible format.
This is the mission of Milanote.
The mobile app allows you to quickly take in-depth notes, save text from the internet, and store photos related to your project. These are stored in the cloud and can be accessed on all your devices.
Additionally, Milanote’s project visualisation interface is a thing of beauty. It utilises the familiar Kanban board format, but there is great flexibility to organise your project boards in a more free-form manner.
You can also next to different project elements or entire project boards, which is great for more complex processes.
Unlike many competitors, Milanote offers a usable free version, while premium plans start from $9.99 per month. It also has an edge over its nearest competitor, MeisterTask, as PDFs and images can be exported in the free version.
Asana – Best Overall
Asana is an intuitive project management app for teams to manage tasks, projects, timelines, communication, etc.
- List, board, calendar, and timeline views
- Projects, subtasks, milestones
- Comments and activity log
- Team inbox and messaging
- 100+ app integrations
- Great balance of simplicity and powerful features
- Improves clarity and alignment across teams
- Flexible workflows and interfaces
- It can be overwhelming for brand-new users.
- Reporting takes some customization.
Best For: Cross-functional teams managing multiple projects and workflows.
Best For Visual Teams Monday.com lets teams manage entire project lifecycles through visual dashboards, columns, swimlanes and boards.
- Customizable dashboard interface
- Kanban boards
- File sharing and time tracking
- Automation and integrations
- Analytics and reports
- Visual orientation is great for some teams.
- Easy to customize layouts and views
- Real-time updates across the team
- Can feel cluttered with complex projects
- Steep learning curve
Best For: Highly visual teams who take a flexible approach to project management.
Table Summarizing 8 Additional Top Project Management Apps:
|Kanban boards, lists, cards, attachments
|Intuitive and flexible
|Maximum 5 users on the free plan
|Issue tracking, agile boards, backlogs
|Powerful for tech teams
|Steep learning curve
|Software dev teams
|It can get messy with complexity
|Simple and straightforward
|Light on advanced features
|Small teams want an all-in-one tool
|Gantt charts, custom workflows, portfolio views
|Great for complex projects
|Can be overwhelming
|Enterprise project and portfolio management
|Task lists, time tracking, file sharing
|Interface tailored to PM
|It is not ideal for prescribed workflows
|Small and midsize PM teams
|Customizable fields and views
|Teams wanting a unified productivity platform
|Teams wanting flexible task manager
|Docs, tasks, time tracking, invoicing
|Great for agencies
|More focused on time tracking
|Teams who bill hourly
|Tasks, docs, spreadsheets, reminders
|Can be complex
|Teams wanting unified productivity platform
How to Choose a Project Management App
You should look out for several additional factors when choosing any project management app. These apply equally to organisational tools, time management aids, and communications platforms.
One of these is integrating project management apps with your existing software stack. This is crucial, as it allows you to make the most out of both your existing and new tools. This also makes your business processes considerably more efficient.
Additionally, when choosing project management apps, it’s important to plan for the future needs of your business as much as your present needs, for instance, in terms of the number of users or projects.
Consider that the best project management apps become fully integrated into how you run your business.
Because of this, you want to avoid project management apps which will become unsuitable for your needs over time. This helps you to avoid unnecessary training costs or disruption to your business.
Project Management App Frequently Asked Questions
Q: What are the main benefits of using project management apps?
A: PM apps improve task coordination, collaboration, resource planning, time tracking, and workflow automation. They provide visibility and align teams.
Q: Which PM apps are best for small vs large teams?
A: Trello, Basecamp, and Teamwork excel for smaller teams. Jira, Wrike, and Asana have features to support large, complex teams.
Q: Should we integrate our PM app with other workplace software?
A: Yes, integrating PM apps with communication, document, and productivity tools creates an efficient connected workflow.
Q: How do I get team buy-in on adopting PM software?
A: Involve team members in the selection process, highlight benefits specific to each role, offer training, and start slowly with key features.
Q: What makes a good PM app for remote teams?
A: Remote teams should look for apps with excellent collaboration features like messaging, document sharing, and video conferencing integration.
Project Management App Conclusion
With the right project management application, teams gain measurable alignment, efficiency, and delivery improvements. But the field is crowded with options. Define your team’s main pain points and evaluate solutions that directly address them. Look for apps that balance simplicity with the sophistication to scale as your needs grow.
Prioritize interfaces that make adoption frictionless across roles. Implementing a new PM app is a change management process. Get stakeholder buy-in, offer training, and drive consistent usage by showing the daily benefits. With smart selection and rollout, your perfect PM app match awaits.