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Free Project Management Tools and Templates

A business is only as good as the information it keeps track of to deliver that product or service its market demands. This is why digital project management tools are gaining traction. There are both free and premium project management tools out there to help online marketers build efficient, effective websites with minimum hassle. WordPress comes pre-loaded with a robust one-page website builder called TwentyTwenty, but find yourself in need of something more? Try these free project management tools below to revolutionize your process.

Project management software helps you manage work, set targets and deadlines, and keep track of projects.

Back in the day, project management meant countless sheets of paper, a pencil to plan out tasks, and many mind-numbing hours of keeping track of projects and people as deadlines approached.

As a project manager, if this scenario sounds all too familiar even in 2021, it’s time to invest in a project management software tool. Project management solutions help plan and run projects predictably and accurately. They automate resource allocation, budget tracking, scheduling, time management, and many other tasks, allowing your agile team more time to brainstorm new project ideas.

For small teams with limited budgets, investing in a project management tool might seem financially intimidating. However, implementing free project management software is always an option in this type of situation.

What makes great free project management software?

To narrow down our list of the best free project management software, we looked for tools that met the following criteria:

  • Free for unlimited projects. The apps we chose let you manage an unlimited number of projects for free (and include at least 10 users for free).
  • Hosted. There are a lot of great, free, self-hosted project management tools, but they take longer to set up and manage. We’re featuring project management apps that are hosted by the companies that provide the tools. If you’re interested in free, self-hosted project management software, we recommend checking out TaigaLavagna, and Redmine.
  • Collaboration and sharing features. The apps we included make it quick and easy to add team members to your project management setup and control user types and permissions.
  • Integrations. A great project management tool should fit seamlessly into the rest of your stack, so we’ve only included apps that integrate with other popular software like email and Slack, calendars, document storage, and more.

We selected tools that offer web apps (though many offer synchronized web, mobile, and desktop apps). If it’s not important to you that your project management app is accessible online, you may also want to consider ProjectLibre and GanttProject in addition to the apps listed below. Both of these tools are powerful desktop-only apps that are designed to be alternatives to Microsoft Project.

Need more features and have a bit more flexibility in your budget? Check out our recommendations for the best project management apps.

Best free project management software for visually managing projects

Trello (Web, macOS, Windows, iOS, Android)

Trello interface

Trello is a simple way to organize your projects with Kanban boards. And with a free plan that allows for unlimited boards and users, it’s a tool that anyone can use. Freelancers can use Trello to plan their assignments on a personal board, and teams can use Trello to build a complete project workflow with visibility at every stage.

Start by creating a new board from scratch or choosing a template from dozens of options across marketing, sales, design, team management, and more. Add a handful of lists for your tasks (each list is a column), and customize those lists with the steps in your workflow (e.g., to-do, doing, and done) or as separate parts of your project (e.g., development, design, and distribution). Next, add your tasks as visual cards in each column—with labels, due dates, members, checklists, images, attachments, and comments to keep everything in one place.

As you start completing tasks, simply drag the cards to the appropriate list. You can keep track of all comments and tasks that mention you—or that you’re watching—from the activity menu.

For more features, Trello’s Power-Up options (now unlimited even on the free plan) let you view tasks on a calendar, add voting options on tasks, fade away old tasks automatically, and much more. And you can make Trello boards for everything—personal and work tasks alike—to get your work done in a way that best fits your needs.

For even more flexibility, use Trello’s Zapier integrations to connect Trello with your favorite apps, like Gmail and Slack. Or check out these 6 ways to automate Trello.Create Trello cards from new Gmail threadsUse this ZapCreate Trello cards from new saved Slack messagesUse this ZapSee more Trello integrations powered by

Trello Price: The free plan includes unlimited cards and members, 10 team boards, unlimited Power-Ups, and 250 automated commands each month; upgrade for $5/user/month (billed annually) to the Standard plan that includes unlimited team boards and Power-Ups, custom fields, up to 1,000 automated commands per month, and more.

Want to use Trello as a team? Learn how Trello uses Trello for its own project management needs. Want to use it as a personal to-do list? Here’s how to use Trello for GTD.

Best free project management software for teams

Asana (Web, iOS, Android)

Asana interface

Your to-do list isn’t bad—you just need a few more features to manage your team projects. Asana offers just that. It’s a project management tool that lets you break projects down into sections and sub-lists, along with dashboards to see how much of the project has been completed already. You’ll add, rearrange, and complete tasks the same way you would in a to-do list app, but with the collaboration and organization features you need to work as a team.

For your personal tasks—or the things at work that don’t fit into a precise project—you can make extra lists in Asana that are only shared with specific people. Your own assigned tasks will also show up in your My Tasks view for a quick way to see the things you need to take care of.

Whether you’re working solo or with a team, you can automate Asana with Asana’s Zapier integrations, letting you connect project information to other apps. Try one of the workflows below, or get inspiration from these automations from real users.Create Asana Tasks from new emails in GmailUse this ZapAdd new Evernote notes to AsanaUse this ZapSee more Asana integrations powered by

Asana Price: The free plan includes unlimited projects, tasks, and storage, up to 15 users, and basic search features; upgrade for $10.99/user/month (billed annually) to the Premium plan that includes project timelines, advanced search, and task dependencies.

Learn more about how to use Asana for GTD and how to take advantage of Asana’s hidden features.

Best free project management software for customized task views

ClickUp (Web, iOS, Android)

Mind maps from ClickUp

Most project management apps let you choose from only a handful of task views, like a list, calendar, or Kanban view. Additional views, especially Gantt charts, are usually a premium feature. ClickUp is different.

It’s a simple and free project management app that lets you choose from 11 different task views, including Gantt charts and mind maps. There are also four different page views: Chat (which displays conversations alongside your tasks), Doc (which lets you create docs, wikis, and knowledge bases), Embed (to add apps and websites next to your tasks), and Form (to add a form next to your tasks to gather, organize, and collect data).

ClickUp’s dashboards are just as customizable, letting you choose from more than 20 different widgets so you can only highlight the most important project information.

There’s a lot to parse when you’re first getting started with ClickUp. The onboarding process won’t be as simple as Trello, for example, but the extra customization is worth it—especially when it’s completely free. Plus, the company has done a great job with guided in-app onboarding to get you started.

With ClickUp’s Zapier integrations, you can connect ClickUp with your favorite apps. Try one of the automations below, or read about why ClickUp users love Zapier.Create ClickUp tasks from new HubSpot form submissionsUse this ZapCreate new ClickUp tasks from JIRA issuesUse this ZapSee more ClickUp integrations powered by

ClickUp Price: The free plan includes unlimited tasks and users, up to 100MB of storage, and up to 100 uses of Gantt charts, mind maps, dashboards, and timeline views. Upgrade to the Unlimited plan for $5/user/month for unlimited list, board, and calendar views, unlimited dashboards, and guests and permissions.

4. Nifty

Nifty is the do-it-all collaboration and management tool that allows you to run Agile, Scrum, Waterfall, Six Sigma, or whatever term you’d use to describe your team’s workflow! Nifty is the easiest PM tool on the planet that can be as simple as a priority tracker or a decked-out portfolio management tool.

Why do we love Nifty for project management:

It is the glue between planning and execution. 

Nifty is the award-winning project management tool that closes the gap between communication and action to serve as the all-in-one remote office you and your team have been looking for.

You no longer have to live in a world where all of your tools clutter up your screen as you try to manage planning new projects with executing existing ones. Nifty let’s you get down to business in one project management playground.

Standout Features on Nifty:

  • Milestones bundle tasks into larger initiatives that automate progress updates based on task completion
  • Project Discussions and Direct Messages means you can run your entire workflow in Nifty
  • Google Docs, Sheets, and Presentations can be created or edited within Nifty
  • My and All Tasks make it easy to see what needs to be done today, tomorrow, and the next day
  • Overview and Workloads give insights based on projects and teammates to identify resource bottlenecks well before they arrive
  • Mobile Apps takes your management and messaging on the go

Nifty Pricing:

  • Free trial
  • Starts at $39/month for the first 10 team members

Similar project management tools to Nifty: 

5. Toggl Plan

Work doesn’t have to be dull, boring, or tick in a checkbox.

Toggl Plan brings a fresh perspective to project management with a focus on macro-management and getting things done. It has simple, drag-and-drop features that help you plan work, track progress, and manage your team.

Why do we love Toggl Plan for project management:

It gives clear directions.

Toggl Plan gives your team clear visual overviews about what’s happening and what’s coming next. It comes with customizable timelines and boards that can be tailored to match your workflow. Plus, it makes collaborative work easy using task comments and file attachments.

All this comes together to help your team stay on top of work and get things done.

With it’s simple, drag-and-drop interface Toggl Plan makes it easy for your team to get started and keep it up-to-date daily.

Here’s what teams using Toggl Plan say:

“One of the things I like about Toggl Plan is that you don’t have to jump in and be fully committed, it’s a tool which can grow with you.”

“Before Toggl Plan, things were a lot more chaotic. I think it added a lot of structure to the business that we didn’t have before. When it was introduced to the company, it changed things around.”

“Seriously, you guys have saved me. I need to manage many time-sensitive tasks for myself and other artists. A deadline change? Boom, drag and drop, no morning headache!”

Standout features of Toggl Plan:

  • Improve work clarity with simple, intuitive, visual overviews.
  • Plan work with high-level or detailed, color-coded project plan timelines.
  • Set milestones and track work progress.
  • Manage team availability and workloads with team timelines.
  • Work closely on tasks with other team members. Discuss ideas using comments and file attachments.

Toggl Plan Pricing:

Similar project management tools to Toggl Plan: 

Conclusions

You might have heard about the importance of project management software for businesses, startups, and even freelancers. But I think it’s crazy to go without project management tools or templates. You can get decent results with Google docs, but project management software is necessary if you want to take your business to the next level.

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