monday reviews is our latest blog series where we provide the facts about different project management tools—no BS and no hyperbole needed. Keep scrolling for our analysis and to learn more about all the project management tools out there. Enjoy! 😊
Shopping around can be a major chore — especially when you’re buying something important like project management software. The market is absolutely flooded with options.
Some are really dynamic enterprise solutions, others are pretty simple task managers, and some aren’t actually worth your time (shh, you didn’t hear it from us).
So, what should you be looking for in your quest to find the best project management solution?
And more important still, how are you supposed to compare project management software to find that perfect solution?
The key is to break your search down based on critical factors like your team’s needs, style, and budget — and we’re here to help you do just that.
This article will explain what project management software is and then walk you through how to select the perfect project management platform for your team, based on your unique needs.
What is project management software?
When we talk about project management software, we’re referring to platforms or tools that have been designed to help project managers and their teams plan, coordinate, execute, and report on tasks and projects.
And when it comes to project management software, you can’t do any better than a Work OS.
A Work OS (operating system) like monday.com is a more complete project management platform than your ordinary, run-of-the-mill task management tool.
A Work OS is perfect for teams that want to build and customize their own workflows and apps as well as plan, manage, and complete tasks.
Translation: a Work OS will take your project management skills to the next level and help your team get the job done better and faster.
But again, not all Work OS solutions are built the same.
When looking for the best project management software, you should limit your search to Work OS platforms that have these functions:
- Organization-wide access to make sure everybody on your team can use it
- Customizable building blocks to make sure your Work OS fits your team like a glove
- Structured datastore so that you can find everything whenever you need to access it
- Integrations with existing apps so that you can keep using your current tools and the data they’ve got stored
- Automated workflow options to reduce manual entry errors and take care of recurring tasks to save you time
- Data visualization and analytics capabilities so your roadmap and task list are clearly visible and easy to read
- Secure permissions and governance to keep your work space safe
- Communication functionality to enhance collaboration and keep everybody in the loop
According to PMI’s 2018 Pulse of the Profession report, almost 10% of every dollar is wasted as a result of poor project performance.A Work OS can boost that performance by improving communication, visibility and efficiency levels. But not all project management solutions are created equal (we can’t all be winners, right?).
Researchers at Capterra found 30% of companies that invest in project management software aren’t satisfied with their choice. Ouch.
Of those that were unsatisfied, 43% of teams said their project management app was too tricky to use, 32% said it was missing key features and 10% said their software solution had bad customer service.
That’s why you’ve got to do your homework and compare the market to find the best project management tool for your team.
Which project management software is best?
Come on, it’s obviously going to be monday.com. But let us explain why.
monday.com is a super simple but incredibly intuitive Work OS. It’s designed for teams that need to shape Workflows and be able to adjust project trajectory as the needs of their team or project evolve.
Our platform does that by creating transparency, connecting team members, and helping you automate boring manual processes to save you time and money.
Over 100,000 teams use monday.com, so the proof is kind of in the numbers, here. This isn’t just us blowing our own trumpet, either.
But let’s break down some of our key features and you can decide for yourself.
- Choose from 8 visual styles including Kanban board and Gantt chart views to simplify project planning
- Tons of Integrations with other apps you know and love
- A wide range of Automation recipes
- Time tracking and file sharing capabilities
- Shareable boards with guests and clients
- Resource management for workload
- An apps framework for developers to create their own apps
monday.com is available as a web, iOS, or Android app — and you can try any of our plans through a free trial.
So, what are you waiting for? Check out how monday.com can take your project management to the next level.
What’s a good free project management tool?
If money is tight or you’ve only got a tiny team to manage, there are plenty of free project management software solutions out there.
Here at monday.com, we offer a free trial period for all our plans so that you can experience all of our functions before you part with a single penny.
But if you’ve got your heart set on a free ride with stripped back features, one place you can start is Todoist.
Todoist is a project management software for teams in any industry. It’s a freemium platform with 3 tiers: free, premium, and business.
With Todoist, you’re not going to get the same sort of functionality you can expect with a full-fledged Work OS like monday.com. If you want to see how real users compare us with Todoist, you can check it out on G2.
But we’re happy to walk you through a couple basic features Todoist does pretty well.
- Quick-add tasks
- Visual markers for favorite or priority tasks.
- Task list and Kanban board views (cough – monday.com has that, too – cough)
- Color-coded productivity trackers to see your progress
Want to check out more free project management software? Todoist isn’t the only option. Read our complete guide to project management software platforms in 2021.
What’s a good project management tool for onboarding clients?
Some teams can lose a lot of time with boring manual tasks like onboarding new clients into existing management systems. That’s why teams should be looking for project management software that can automate a lot of these manual processes to onboard clients as quickly as possible.
Here at monday.com, that’s our bread and butter. We’ve even got a handy Client Management template that helps you simplify your client workflows and import and export data at the drop of a hat.
But in the interest of branching out (aren’t we mature?), let’s talk about another decent tool that can be used to onboard clients: GuideCX.
GuideCX is one of the options for small teams that focuses on helping onboard new clients fast and simple. Tasks around this sort of work can then be completed and ticked off your to-do list via the online portal, email or in-app. GuideCX will then update the team view no matter where you are or what you’re doing.
- A range of templates (but if templates are your thing, you should really check out the 200+ we’ve got over here at monday.com)
- No login requirements for external clients
- Visibility controls
- A white label option for client-facing views
If you’ve got a small team and you’re looking for a comprehensive business solution, you should take a look at our guide to CRMs for small business.
What is the easiest project management software?
This is kind of embarrassing, because we’re pretty sure the answer is monday.com, too.
Our platform is intuitive, offers clear-cut visuals anybody can understand and offers round-the-clock customer support to make sure that any and all of your questions get answered lickety-split.
But again, we can be mature about this. You want to know what else is out there. We get it.
So, we’re happy to walk you through the 2nd place finisher where simplicity is concerned.
If you’re managing a simple project and the biggest concern you’ve got is ease-of-use, your silver medalist is going to be Google Tables.
Tables launched in 2020 and it focuses on simplicity and automations. You can trigger emails, update status or send weekly reports with automated actions called Bots (here at monday.com, we’d call that an Automation recipe — but it all amounts to the same thing).
Tables has a simple view function that looks a lot like Google Sheets or Microsoft Excel, but with the added benefit of loads of tags and automations.
- Unlimited collaborators and workspaces
- 10,000 rows per table
- 10 GB attachments per table
- 5,000 actions per table (per mo)
- 12 weeks change history
- 20 forms and bots per table
Looking for something easy? You’re going to want to consider monday.com, too. We’ll explain why.
How to compare project management software
OK, so we’ve covered some of the top project management tools and what makes them shine. But selecting the perfect project management software for your team shouldn’t just center around a few shiny features — especially when you’ve got a big project at stake.
So when comparing project management software, you’ve got to make sure you do your homework and know what your team needs.
Create a wish list
We all know that no 2 teams are alike. You’ve got unique projects being undertaken by a unique team with skills that are, well, unique (sorry about that).
Bearing that in mind, you’ve got to come up with a wish list of all the Work OS functionality that your team could benefit from before you start comparing the market.
What features should you be looking for?
Different software tools might have varying automation abilities or integrations that directly apply to your line of work.
But generally speaking, you should be looking for:
- Ease of use so that everybody on your team should be able to use your project management software (even if they’re a technophobe).
- Customization so you can adapt your project management software to match your roadmap, project goals, and team workflows. That’s why monday.com offers 40+ integrations, more than 200 templates, and low-code customization ability.
- Great customer support because let’s get real: accidents happen. That’s why your project management wish list needs to include reliable customer support that you can DM or dial up at any hour of the day to get your team back on track.
These are the foundational building blocks you need to bear in mind. By coming up with a wish list of all the critical functions you require alongside these bare essentials, comparing Work OS prospects is going to be a whole lot easier.
Find out more about the functions you should be looking for in your dream Work OS.
Try it before you buy it
We’ve already talked about some freemium project management options available on the market. But let’s be honest, if you want the best project management software that fulfills your functionality wish list, you’re probably going to have to pay for it.
Lucky for you, the biggest and best project management apps like monday.com offer a free trial period for every single paid plan.
That way you’ll get the opportunity to play around, acquaint yourself with each platform and give it a dry run with your team to find out if the option you’ve chosen is really as good as you thought it would be.
Think about it: you’ve got nothing to lose, here.
After all, if the platform you’ve picked really is the best — and monday.com is the best — you get peace of mind without spending a dime. And if it turns out to be a bad fit, you can cancel without any hassle. Either way, you win.
So, are you ready to try it before you buy it? monday.com has got you covered. Start your free trial now.
All things considered
We get it, at the end of the day, you and your team are super busy. That’s why you owe it to yourself to check out the best project management software.
Project management software is 100% business critical if you want to finish according to your project schedule, on-budget, and with a happy team intact. And if you’re comparing project management software, you should only be looking at Work OS solutions.
The best Work OS tools are going to give your team the flexibility, amazing customer service, and customization you deserve. That’s why all of these functions have got to be on your wishlist when you’re comparing project management software.
But pace yourself and tread carefully. There are some attractive free tools out there, but don’t be afraid to find out what separates the freebies from the pros by taking on a free trial.
They’re commitment-free, and you might fall in love with a platform you would have initially overlooked.
So, do you want to find out more about Work OS systems and the functions you should be looking for when comparing project management software? Try out our team task management template to see how monday.com can help you improve the way you work.