The benefits of using project management software
Project management software is not only commonplace in most industries, it's downright essential. In 2021, 38 percent of employed workers did some or all of their work at home. This is up from 24% before the pandemic. As teams become globalized and projects become more collaborative, it's crucial to be able to digitally track, store, and analyze every task and workflow.
Whether you rely on an all-in-one project management app or a suite of tools, it's important to ensure the tools you use provide these major benefits:
Planning and scheduling
Project managers spend a ton of time making sure projects are well planned and tightly scheduled, and for good reason.
Making sure a project has a good foundation greatly increases the likelihood that it will remain within scope, budget, and time, leading to happier stakeholders all around.
Organization and work management
Great project management software will allow you to clearly and easily organize and locate resources, either through native database capabilities or robust cloud storage integrations.
Project managers must manage workflow features such as timelines and Gantt charts in addition to database and search functionalities, which are equally important to providing transparency and making work accessible.
Communication and collaboration
Ensuring transparency has become a necessity, and with the rise of remote teams, it's become harder than ever to keep teams and clients aligned without an effective yet easy-to-use tool.
Who uses project management software?
A common question in the world of project management software is, "Do I have to be trained in project management to use this platform?"
In the case of no-code easy-to-use tools, the answer is a resounding "No!" While an understanding of basic project management will help you manage larger, more complex projects, most no-code work management solutions offer a gentle learning curve. This means anyone can plan, organize, and collaborate on tasks, projects, and workflows, regardless of their level of tech or operational sophistication.
There are many popular tools out there such as Todoist, Asana, and Trello. The downside of many of these work management solutions is they tend to be too simple for larger cross-functional projects.
Conversely, there are project management software tools that are considerably more complex. Often, these tools are industry-specific. For example, while Jira is great for managing Agile teams, it tends to be difficult to learn and implement for non-development teams.
From startups to large corporations, project management software helps managers and teams work more efficiently together.
Which project management solution is right for you?
The 10 best project management software in 2023
Teams today are finding that no single tool or method always works for every project in a company. And since project management is not one size fits all, your project management software shouldn't be either.
Fortunately, there are a select few solutions that feature a variety of robust, flexible features and can easily integrate with the supplemental tools whose functionality they can't yet replace outright. Depending on your team's needs, the following project management tools can serve as the centerpiece in your team's productivity solution. Let's take a look at each.
ClickUp was founded in 2018, making it a relative newcomer to the project management software scene. In a short time, it's managed to become one of the most comprehensive, customizable, user-friendly work management solutions with new features and updates released weekly.
Simply put, ClickUp provides users with an all-in-one free project management software. It includes every tool you need to plan, organize, and collaborate on projects, with an easy-to-use interface. And with over 1,000 native and third-party integrations, you can sync virtually any app with ClickUp to truly "bring all your work into one place."
Highly customizable task management
Whether you're creating to-do lists or cross-functional projects, ClickUp's customizability means you'll be able to build tasks to suit your specific work needs.
ClickApps, for example, allow you to completely customize your team's Workspace by enabling or disabling specific features such as time tracking and estimates, tags, priorities, multiple assignees, and more. This means you can create a ClickUp Workspace for any kind of team or use case.
Excellent communication and collaboration tools
Communication is crucial to successful project management. As more and more organizations take the remote or hybrid work approach, communication and collaboration is increasingly conducted via apps such as Slack and Zoom.
ClickUp not only integrates seamlessly with these collaboration tools, but it also offers a suite of native tools to ensure transparency, communication, and privacy when it's needed:
Collaborative Docs & Whiteboards
Email in ClickUp
Comments and assigned comments
Audio and screen recording
Project views to visualize any kind of work any way
Different projects require different ways to visualize them: an event planner might need a timeline to plan and organize an upcoming gala whereas an industrial project manager might need a Gantt chart to visualize dependencies and critical path.
With this in mind, ClickUp has over a dozen ways to organize and visualize tasks and other work. That means any kind of team can manage projects and tasks in a way that works for them.
Robust hierarchy that scales with your work needs
ClickUp's intuitive UI and scalable hierarchy makes it easy to see the big picture without missing the details. Multiple customizable levels of organization allow you to arrange work by department, customer, project, and more, giving you the flexibility and control to organize everything from small teams to enterprise companies.
Learning curve due to the number of available features and level of customizability
No Table view in the mobile app
Free Forever: Feature-rich free plan
Unlimited: $5/month per user
Business: $12/month per user
Business Plus: $19/month per user
Enterprise: Contact for pricing
Customer Ratings G2Crowd: 4.7/5 (5,500+ reviews) Capterra: 4.7/5 (3,000+ reviews)
Monday.com is a popular project management software that helps teams manage complex projects, streamline workflows, and collaborate together. It offers a variety of project views to visualize work, and it offers powerful features for planning and tracking everyday work processes.
Robust native time tracking
Along with ClickUp, Monday.com is one of only a few project management solutions that offers native time tracking, which is a major plus for many teams looking to track and optimize productivity without adding another time tool.
Many and varied integrations
While integration tools such as Zapier and Integrately allow virtually any two (or three or more) pieces of software to talk to each other, native integrations are often easier and more powerful.
Monday.com provides its community of users with dozens of free templates for everything from personal to-do lists and event planning to support ticket tracking and product roadmaps.
Some of the most useful features are paywalled. For example, Gantt charts and timelines aren't available on the entry-level plan
Slow support response times, especially for live chat, despite it ostensibly being available 24/7
Unlimited boards & docs
Up to 2 team members
Basic ($8/month per user, billed annually)
5 GB file storage
Unlimited free viewers
Standard ($10/month per user, billed annually)
Timeline and Gantt views
250 automation actions per month
Pro ($16/month per user, billed annually)
Private boards and docs
Increased automation limits
Customer Ratings G2Crowd: 4.7/5 (6,700+ reviews) Capterra: 4.6/5 (3,400+ reviews)
Atlassian, which is comprised of Jira, Trello, and Confluence, has been around for over two decades, making it among the largest players in the project management software industry.
Jira is built for product and engineering teams; Trello is a simple yet effective project management tool for non-engineering teams; and Confluence is a comprehensive doc and wiki tool.
While these tools can come together to form a comprehensive project management solution, it's worth noting that each comes with its own price tag and learning curve. So be warned---choosing such a segmented approach to productivity is not for the faint of heart (or wallet, for that matter) and essentially requires you to set up, maintain, and pay for three or more tools.
Atlassian Pros, Cons, Pricing, and Reviews
Built for Agile and Scrum management
Jira’s project management software primarily focuses on Agile, offering features that are geared towards Scrum and Kanban methodologies.
Great for issue management
Jira was originally intended to be a bug tracking software, and that's where it excels.
It helps your software teams find, track, and record bugs in their software, and gives your team a view of all the items in your backlog, including bugs and project tasks.
Jira integrates with tons of popular third-party software, including Slack, Toggl, and cloud storage tools, and you can choose from a whopping 3,000+ apps in the Atlassian Marketplace.
Hard to set up and get used to
No collaboration or idea management features
Known for being slow with long query load times
No features for assigned comments or multiple assignees
No goal tracking features
Up to 10 users
Scrum and Kanban boards, as well as Agile reporting
Standard (avg. $6.25/month per user, billed annually)
Up to 20,000 users
Project roles and advanced permissions
Premium (avg. $12.08/month per user, billed annually)
99.9% guaranteed uptime SLA
24/7 premium support
Customer Ratings G2Crowd: 4.2/5 (4,200+ reviews) Capterra: 4.4/5 (11,000+ reviews)
Ideal for Agile workflows
Trello's Kanban board style makes it well-suited for agile methods and a place to build your scrum board.
Your Agile team can easily employ the Kanban method and use a Trello board to see tasks, bottlenecks, and more.
Effective communication with Trello cards
You can have conversations within cards and keep everything relevant to a specific task in the same place.
Useful power-ups for additional functionality
Each project task can be assigned a power-up depending on what's needed. Most of these power-ups are free and have paid upgrades for more functionality (similar to most freemium games.)
No reporting features
Cannot manage complicated projects
Relies on external integrations for functionality
Unlimited users and Power-Ups
Unlimited cards and up to 10 boards per Workspace
Standard ($5/month per user, billed annually)
Custom fields and advanced checklists
Premium ($10/month per user, billed annually)
Dashboard, Timeline, and Calendar view
Enterprise ($17.50/month per user, billed annually)
Organization-wide permissions and visible boards
Public board management
Customer Ratings G2Crowd: 4.4/5 (12,200+ reviews) Capterra: 4.5/5 (20,200+ reviews)
Excellent collaboration tools
Confluence features granular permissions, allowing admins to control who can view, edit, and create what, and collaborators get notified any time updates are made.
As with other Atlassian products, Confluence features a third-party integration marketplace filled with apps that work seamlessly with Confluence.
Thorough analytics tools
While understanding how your team uses Confluence might require some extra plugins and APIs, the analytics tools compatible with Confluence can give you some excellent insights into when, for how long, and what people within your organization are viewing.
The search feature often fails to bring up relevant results
As hinted in the "Pros" section, it is heavily dependent on integrations and plugins
It can prove costly to pay for a separate wiki/knowledge base software when many all-in-one tools have one built in
Up to 10 users
Unlimited spaces and pages
Standard (avg. $4.58/month per user, billed annually)
Page and space permissions and insights
Archive and unarchive pages
Premium (avg. $8.75/month per user, billed annually)
Bulk archive pages
Customer Ratings G2Crowd: 4.1/5 (3,200+ reviews) Capterra: 4.4/5 (1,900+ reviews)
Founded by two Facebook alumni in 2008, Asana's success is due in part to its user-friendly interface and its broad applicability for most teams and use cases. Due to its ease of use, Asana is especially popular for teams looking to manage simple step-by-step processes and projects.
So if you're looking for the best project management software with a gentle learning curve, Asana should definitely be on your radar.
One of the best things about Asana is its intuitive user interface. It's simple and easy to use for project managers. You get tons of flexibility over how it looks and can move your task list around very easily.
Visual Project Timeline
Asana's visual project timeline feature is a Gantt chart of sorts. It highlights your task due dates, assignees, and progress over time. However, if you're looking for a true Gantt chart, you'll need separate Gantt chart software.
Loads of Integrations
Asana can integrate with loads of applications to become a hub for all your business activities.
Limited features on the free version
No native docs or time tracking.
24/7 support only included in top-tier enterprise plan
No visual collaboration features such as mind maps
Unlimited tasks and projects
Collaborate with up to 15 team members
Premium ($10.99/month per user, billed annually)
Business ($24.99/month per user, billed annually)
Portfolios and Goals
Customer Ratings G2Crowd: 4.3/5 (7,800+ reviews) Capterra: 4.4/5 (10,100+ reviews)
Smartsheet is a spreadsheet-based project management software that lets you manage, track, and plan multiple projects in real-time.
Its real-time view of tasks across entire projects provides excellent transparency, making it a popular project management tool among spreadsheet enthusiasts and project managers alike.
Control and security to give peace of mind
Enterprise project management requires secure data. Smartsheet goes through annual security audits and assessment by third party contractors and protects data via transport layer security (TLS) technology from the most trusted providers.
Mobile apps to take your spreadsheets with you
Since spreadsheets aren't the easiest to work with on a mobile phone, Smartsheet has optimized the mobile apps for the best user experience. However, the mobile app only works well for proofing files or having a conversation with your team, not necessarily for creating a project planning schedule.
Simple, spreadsheet-based UI
Smartsheet's intuitive spreadsheet interface makes it easy to import files from Microsoft Excel, Microsoft Project, Google Sheets, and Trello.
Limited calendar view and scheduling tools
Limited team reporting and high-level dashboards
Lack of granular, native, automated time tracking
Pro ($7/month per user, billed annually)
Unlimited sheets, reports, and dashboards
Grid, Gantt, Card, and Calendar views
Business ($25/month per user, billed anually)
Forms with conditional logic
Customer Ratings G2Crowd: 4.4/5 (5,000+ reviews) Capterra: 4.5/5 (4,500+ reviews)
Zoho Projects is a popular cloud-based project management software tool for team collaboration, connecting with stakeholders, tracking tasks, and creating workflows.
This tool can also manage project issues and handle basic bug tracking requests, and the affordable pricing options make Zoho Project management a good fit for both large and small teams.
Zoho Projects provides a suite of tools for managing both simple and complex projects, including flexible tasks and subtasks, assignee management, and task dependencies.
This tool also caters to Agile teams with its Gantt chart and Kanban board features.
Zoho Projects supports team communication and collaboration with its Chat, Feed, and Forum features.
Project and task reports
The Zoho reporting tool allows you to view the status of your project, how resources are allocated, and hours spent by team members. Unfortunately, the free plan only has basic reports, and the advanced reports are limited to the paid plan.
No recurring reminders
No PDF annotation or image markup
No offline access
Limited integrations with non-Zoho apps
Zoho Projects Pricing
Free (free for up to 3 users)
Simple task tracking
Premium ($4/month per user, billed annually)
20 Project Templates
Enterprise ($9/month per user, billed annually)
Custom Roles and Profiles
Customer Ratings G2Crowd: 4.3/5 (200+ reviews) Capterra: 4.2/5 (200+ reviews)
Wrike is a web-based application for project management. It's especially popular among agencies and marketing teams.
It first appeared on the scene in 2003, making it one of the older tools on this list. And like its contemporaries (namely, Atlassian), it's developed a feature-rich platform that appeals to larger teams and corporations.
Good high-level visibility
Wrike has a three-paned interface geared towards accessibility and productivity. You can easily monitor every task dependency, team communication, and project progress report.
Wrike has powerful analytics to give project managers detailed insights about their project and team. Let's take a look at two of their most popular analytics reports:
Global report: Analyzes project data from your tasks for over eight different categories. It's useful for expense tracking and calculating future resource management
Performance chart: Graphical representation of your project's progress over time
Forms and Requests
With their forms and requests feature, you can assign tasks and communicate useful information easily. This can cut down on client back-and-forth since everything you need to know is on the form itself.
Mobile apps lack functionality
Not user-friendly, especially for beginners
Lacks advanced features like Docs and Mind Maps
Task and subtask management
Professional ($9.80/month per user, billed annually)
Interactive Gantt charts
Business ($24.80/month per user, billed annually)
200 automation actions per user per month
Customer Ratings G2Crowd: 4.2/5 (2,300+ reviews) Capterra: 4.2/5 (1,600+ reviews)
Basecamp is a team communication and project management software that can help you track project and task progress, store and share relevant documents, communicate with your project team, and facilitate project collaboration.
Basecamp is a basic project management tool that's best suited to small businesses that need features like simple task management, a message board for team discussions, and file storage and sharing.
To-do lists to create tasks and assign them
Like other project management apps such as Asana and Trello, Basecamp lets you create to-do lists for your work.
Turn to-do lists into tasks or sub-tasks, set deadlines, and then assign them to team members. Once you finish a task, click on the checkbox next to it to mark it complete.
Chat platform for real-time communication (Campfires and Pings)
Basecamp supports group communication and private messaging. Its real-time group chat (Campfires) is perfect for casual discussions, quick queries, and basic file sharing.
Hill Charts to help track project progress
Basecamp's Hill Charts help you track project progress in real time. You can use them to track large projects and eliminate the need for daily meetings.
Lacks common project management tool features like Gantt charts.
A heavy reliance on to-do lists makes it unsuitable for complex project management
Lack of advanced features means that many people use additional project tools alongside Basecamp
Free - 30-Day Trial
Basecamp - $15/user per month
Basecamp Pro Unlimited - $299/month, billed annually
Customer Ratings G2Crowd: 4.1/5 (4,900+ reviews) Capterra: 4.3/5 (13,200+ reviews)
Microsoft Project is a project management software with both cloud-based (Microsoft Project Online) and on-premise solutions.
Microsoft Project excels at project planning and scheduling. You can create summary tasks, subtasks, assign resources, balance workloads, and use its project portfolio management (Microsoft PPM) features to keep things on track.
Microsoft Project Pros
Connects to other Microsoft tools
If your company already uses a number of Microsoft tools (Word, Excel, PowerPoint, etc.) and you're looking to add a project management tool to the fold, then MS Project is a solid choice, as it will integrate seamlessly with any other Microsoft solutions.
Plenty of customizable templates
Microsoft Project offers users plenty of pre-installed templates, and each of these can be customized to fit your particular use case. This makes getting started managing projects much easier.
Excellent desktop and mobile accessibility
As one would expect from a Microsoft tool, Project provides a comprehensive desktop experience, but as an added bonus, it also features a robust mobile app, so you can view and update projects wherever you are.
Microsoft Project Limitations
It requires multiple additional Microsoft apps to be a full project management solution
Team communication requires Microsoft Teams
Note-taking requires Microsoft OneNote
Scheduling and organization tools require Microsoft Planner
Email management requires Microsoft Outlook
It's expensive, especially considering it requires additional apps to function as an effective project management software
No native time tracking
Microsoft Project Pricing (Cloud-Based Solution)
Project Plan 1 ($10/month per user, billed annually)
Grid, Board, and Timeline view
Project planning and scheduling
Project Plan 3 ($30/month per user, billed annually)
Desktop client (up to 5 PCs)
Project Plan 5 ($55/month per user, billed annually)
Portfolio selection and optimization
Customer Ratings G2Crowd: 4.0/5 (1,500+ reviews) Capterra: 4.4/5 (1,200+ reviews)
Airtable is an easy-to-use database and spreadsheet project management software. It lets you add "records," or cells of data, to a comprehensive data table. This grid view serves as your default Airtable workspace.
Its spreadsheets are especially well-suited to managing inventory data, tracking lists of reference items, managing projects, and functioning as a no-code relational database.
Adaptable to all kinds of businesses
Airtable's user interface follows a basic spreadsheet format that can fit almost any business. Airtable users can choose between the Airtable views that work best for them and even customize data values into several formats, including currency, dates, long text, and preset values.
A variety of useful integrations
Airtable allows you to integrate third-party app plugins via Blocks into your Airtable database to streamline your existing workflows. Alternatively, its Zapier integration can also be used to connect to many other apps.
Easy to share files and Airtable data
To make up for the lack of team collaboration features, Airtable lets users share files and data with ease. This feature is even offered in the free Airtable plan.
With desktop apps and a mobile app on iOS and Android devices, you can access your files from anywhere.
No organized commenting or communication features
Lack of high-level views make it difficult to see the big picture
A spreadsheet-like interface makes task and subtask project management difficult
Unlimited bases and 1,200 Airtable records per base.
2GB storage per base
Plus plan ($10/month per user, billed annually)
5,000 Airtable records and 5GB per base
Automatic table syncing
Pro ($20/month per user, billed annually)
50,000 Airtable records and 20GB per base
Personal and locked views
Customer Ratings G2Crowd: 4.6/5 (1,200+ reviews) Capterra: 4.7/5 (1,200+ reviews)
Choosing the best project management tool for the job
With so many options to choose from, you might be asking, "How am I supposed to figure out the best project management software for my particular needs?"
Here are some questions that will help inform your decision-making for the right project management software:
Is this project management software primarily for professional use, personal use, or a blend of the two?
How many people will need access to the software, and what kinds of access will they need (guest, member, owner, etc)?
What specific features and tools, if any, will I need to effectively complete my work?
What other tools will need to sync, integrate, or otherwise work with this project management software?
How will this project management app need to grow and change over time? (In other words, do you need a scalable solution?)
You'll want to make sure the project management system you select will still meet your work needs months or even years from now. After all, you don't want to be part of the "42% [of workers who] also feel their company is stuck in the dark ages when it comes to adopting new technology tools or apps."
We can't exactly peer into the future, but we can make some educated guesses about the future of project management software based on its evolution over the past couple of decades.
The future of project management software
Today'sbest project management software brands are beginning to position themselves as all-in-one work management solutions.
This trend is not exactly new but it is becoming the norm, and it's easy to see why: "43% [of knowledge workers] have been frustrated by the number of technology tools or apps they have to use for work."
Because many of the solutions we discussed above position themselves as "all-in-one project management," it can be challenging to distinguish the impersonators from the real deal (and the best deal).
Ultimately, you want a project management solution that's:
easy to implement
Of each project management tool we've discussed, the option that best ticks all these boxes is ClickUp.
While ClickUp's learning curve is a bit steeper than Basecamp's, for example, it remains easier to learn than other project management software like Wrike and Atlassian. Every feature and tool is customizable, so multiple teams within an organization can configure ClickUp for their specific project management needs and use cases.
However, no matter how comprehensive, it's unlikely for a single project management software to replace every tool in your tech stack. Fortunately, ClickUp offers 50+ native integrations, including Gmail and a 2-way Google Calendar sync, as well as over 1,000 integrations available through software such as Zapier and Integrately.
And unless your entire team consists of experienced developers, it's also good to look for a no-code project management software. ClickUp is a completely no-code platform, so anyone from developers to project managers can create and set automations, build databases and CRMs, and sync other tools with ClickUp without writing a line of code.
With all these benefits, it's easy to see why 88% of those surveyed felt that "having all of our solutions in one place saves time."
With this in mind, we've outlined some key project management software features to give you a better understanding of their utility.
Tasks in project management software
At first glance, project and task management might seem the same. But they're actually quite different.
Put simply, tasks are the building blocks of managing projects, and a project is an overarching goal that consists of many tasks. While completing a project can be a solo effort, most projects are executed by teams, with each member being assigned certain tasks that contribute to the project's completion.
If you decide that a task-management-centric tool is the best fit for you or your team, some excellent task management solutions include nTask, Proofhub, and Todoist. Each of these tools are affordable, easy to use, and include the basic views, tasks, and checklist features you need to manage simple projects.
If you need a platform that can handle both task management and project management, ClickUp includes everything a team needs to manage simple to-do lists, tasks, complex projects, and everything in between.
Let's look at a few of the key features you'll need (that ClickUp has) to manage both tasks and projects in one place:
- A customizable hierarchy to organize your tasks, projects, and workflows so you can see where projects stand at a glance, as well as granular project management tools like subtasks and checklists to manage all the details
- The ability to put routine work on autopilot with dynamic recurring tasks, and to connect tasks with relationships and dependencies
- The ability to attach files, Docs, and cloud storage apps to tasks to access outside work from within ClickUp
- Over a dozen totally customizable views that give you 360-degree visibility into your work and allow you to visualize tasks from multiple perspectives
Time tracking in project management software
Tracking time for work and projects has applications beyond calculating billable hours for contractors, accountants, and legal teams. And while requiring your team (or yourself) to track time might at first seem like extra work---after all, the act of tracking time takes a bit of time itself---it's very much worth the investment.
What's more, implementing time tracking software in your organization can help you and your team:
- Accurately bill clients or pay contractors
- Ensure projects stay within time and budgetary constraints
- Better manage bandwidth and avoid burnout
- Create accurate records of finished work and work in progress
Fortunately, if you're looking to implement time management software, you have a ton of options, including a variety of point solutions, such as Toggl, Timedoctor, Harvest, and Timecamp.
All of these tools automatically track time as you work, and some include basic to-do list functions to allow you to track work from within the app. Some of these tools, such as Harvest, include features to facilitate revenue tracking, invoicing, and billing.
Some project management software and productivity solutions, including Monday.com and ClickUp, include built-in automatic time tracking. For teams looking to centralize time tracking without relying on integrations, these all-in-one solutions present the best option.
Scheduling in project management software
Scheduling tools are among the most commonplace and indispensable types of management software available today. Not only are they instrumental in managing part-time work schedules in retail and service jobs, but they have also permeated virtually every other industry, from real estate to event planning to tech.
The bottom line is if you have internal meetings or customer-facing interactions, either virtually or in person, you rely on a scheduling tool like Calendly, ScheduleOnce, or Google Calendar.
Picking the right scheduling tool can be tricky because:
- there are many options on the market
- you may need more than one tool to effectively manage your schedule
Thus, it's crucial to understand what you and your team need out of a scheduling tool or tools before implementation. It's also ideal if your project management software includes scheduling features that play well with any other scheduling tools you might use.
Take ClickUp's Calendar view, for example, which features a two-way integration with Google Calendar, meaning you can pull all your Google Calendar information into ClickUp and see it alongside tasks, and vice versa. What's more, the Zoom integration allows you to launch meetings and store recordings in ClickUp, effectively housing your schedule management alongside your other projects and workflows.
Collaborative docs in project management software
While document management represents just one facet of collaboration in the workplace, it's an increasingly important one, especially as more and more businesses embrace remote workforces. What's more, being able to collaborate on meeting notes and ideation in real time is an important complement to other forms of virtual collaboration such as video conferencing.
Another benefit of real-time collaborative documentation is the creation and maintenance of knowledge bases, SOPs, and wikis that can be shared among an entire team or organization. This allows for iterative processes and encourages greater participation and investment from all levels of an organization.
Considering its importance in the workplace, it's no surprise that there are a number of doc-centric management software to choose from. Some of the leaders in this field include Notion, Google Docs, Roam Research, and Confluence, and each of these tools has broad application but also specific use cases and audiences:
- Notion takes a doc-centric approach to work management, focusing on collaborative note-taking and documentation features while still including some task and project management tools
- Google Docs is great for individual users who need to track notes and papers, but it lacks the organizational structure to support larger organizations
- Roam Research allows users to turn their docs into a relational database
- Confluence allows companies to manage work documentation from the same hub as other Atlassian tools like Jira and Trello
If you're looking for a tool that features powerful collaborative docs as well as work, schedule, time, and project management tools, then an all-in-one productivity tool will fit your needs better than the tools listed above. ClickUp, for example, includes robust and customizable docs that live alongside your other work tools.
Here are a few ClickUp Docs features that can help you improve collaboration, documentation, and organization:
- An unlimited number of pages, as well as nested subpages, allow you to keep all your documented work in ClickUp
- Relationships link related tasks and pages, making it easy to locate and access work from anywhere and create relational databases within your docs
- Adding descriptive tags to your ClickUp Docs makes it easy to categorize and search for all your written work
- Collapsible sidebars and a pin-able toolbar allow you to view and edit document details such as authors, fonts, and rich text formatting options
- Cover images and descriptions allow you to customize your docs for any purpose
What's more, Docs can be added anywhere in ClickUp: as task attachments, as distinct views, as List items. And you never have to worry about losing track of them because they're always accessible and searchable from their own section of ClickUp.
And if you are looking to make the switch to an all-in-one project management software but don't want to transfer over all your Google Docs quite yet, no problem. ClickUp's embed capabilities allow you to embed, access, and edit just about anything from virtually any tool!
Automations in project management software
If you're not already using automation software in your workplace, you're firmly in the minority. According to Zapier, "Nearly two-thirds of knowledge workers (64 percent) currently use automation software at work."
And when you learn that "automation benefits 96% of people who use it at work," it's easy to see why. Leveraging project management software automation in the workplace can result a number of benefits, including:
- Reducing operations costs by cutting down on manual repetitive administrative work such as data input and categorization
- Reducing room for error by eliminating manual handoffs and updates
- Making it easier to share updates with customers and internal stakeholders in real-time
- Improving visibility by ensuring that status and priority changes are automatically updated and communicated to relevant parties
- Leveraging your team members to their fullest by freeing them up to do impactful work
An all-in-one project management app such as ClickUp is ideal for teams looking to manage tasks, projects, and human resources in one place. And ClickUp facilitates all of this with powerful yet accessible no-code automations.
ClickUp allows you to automate processes using standard "if-then" language.
It even includes the added functionality of being able to set conditions that must be met for an automation to fire, allowing for "if this and that occur, then trigger automation."
ClickUp also gives you the ability to add an unlimited number of Custom Fields to your tasks, each of which can be incorporated into automations, so there's no limit to the number or type of automations you can incorporate into your workflows.
Ultimately, software automation is not only the way of the future, but very much the way of the present, so if you haven't yet incorporated automations into your daily workflows, we recommend picking a tool and getting started!
Ideation in project management software
Regardless of whether you ideate manually, with something like a whiteboard or a notepad, or use tech solutions, like virtual mind map or whiteboard tools, brainstorming and visualizing relationships is a crucial skill for all teams and verticals.
When managing projects, these tools are as useful to marketing and media teams as they are to product teams.
And there are plenty of brainstorming and ideation point solutions out there to choose from: Miro, Lucidchart, and BrightIdea to name a few. If all you're doing is brainstorming, either on your own or with a small team, these tools are a great fit.
However, if brainstorming and ideation is just one facet of your team's work, then you're better off looking for a project management app that has native mind mapping and whiteboard tools. These allow you to brainstorm, collaborate, and then build out your ideas in one place, providing greater visibility and efficiency.
If you're looking for an all-in-one project management software that can accomplish all of the above, then look no further than ClickUp. It includes all the ideation tools you and your team will need to brainstorm and bring ideas to life.
Let's briefly dive into a few key ClickUp ideation features:
- Build Mind Maps to visualize processes, workflows, databases, and more. When you're ready to stop mapping and start doing, create actionable tasks directly from Mind Map info
- Explore ClickUp's Whiteboard feature to sketch out virtually anything, from blog brainstorms to product roadmaps. Build your own Whiteboard, or collaborate with your team in real time
- Create a comprehensive idea bank using ClickUp's Table view to store and label related notes, thoughts, and ideas
Whether you are looking for a simple brainstorming tool or an all-in-one project management software, ideation is a key component of creating, organizing, and managing information. So carefully consider what tool will work best for you and your team.
Communication in project management software
With 69 percent of people working from home during the COVID-19 pandemic and 16 percent of companies hiring remote workers only worldwide, it's clear that distributed workforces are here to stay.
And when you consider that virtually every project, from quick sprints to multi-phase initiatives, involves multiple stakeholders, it's clear that communication tools are an integral part of any team's project management software tech stack.
Often, the only way to ensure effective communication in a partial or fully remote workplace is to use multiple communication solutions to cover a variety of common use cases.
For example, most organizations will need:
- A chat tool like Slack for day-to-day communication, as well as for team and organization-wide announcements
- A screen recording tool like Loom for troubleshooting bugs and walking through complex processes
- A video conferencing tool like Zoom for daily stand-ups, weekly all-hands, and impromptu syncs
And while each of these tools on their own do wonders for a team's communication, collaboration, and productivity, it should come as no surprise that communication tools work better together. The best project management software has integrations with the top communication apps.
For instance, ClickUp's Slack integration allows you to turn Slack messages into tasks and so much more. And ClickUp's Zoom integration lets you launch meetings in tasks and automatically attaches a recording for future reference.
But what's more, ClickUp includes a host of native features that facilitate workplace collaboration and communication:
- Clips allow you to record your screen and directly attach the recording to a task or download it
- ClickUp's Google Chrome extension lets you capture, markup, and edit screenshots
- Chat view gives your team the ability to create dedicated chats alongside tasks and projects, keeping communication transparent and your team aligned
Goal tracking in project management software
As an organization gets larger, individual and company goals become harder to track and manage. For this reason, many companies have turned towards goal-tracking apps and tools to manage both high-level initiatives and granular tasks and projects.
Fortunately for any person or organization looking to consolidate and track their goals, there are plenty of solutions out there to facilitate this. Two of the more popular tools for teams and organizations are Weekdone and Goals on Track.
And while these tools are great for goal tracking, their application is fairly limited beyond that. We think it's better to look for a solution that offers goal tracking alongside project management software.
An all-in-one project management software like ClickUp allows you to access and share your goals easily and tie them to actionable and measurable business objectives, all in one place. ClickUp's Goals feature gives you and your team multiple ways to track goals. You can create overarching goals for your team, then populate those goals with smaller, actionable key results called "targets." These targets can be represented and tracked as monetary values, true/false statements, ClickUp tasks, and more.
If you need to incorporate task- or project-specific goals into a project, you can also use ClickUp's formula field and column calculations to tie business objectives to measurable results.
And you can ensure it's all visible in one place with ClickUp Dashboards, which allow you to pull key project and goal details into one convenient view that can be shared internally or with external stakeholders.
Resource allocation in project management software
Speaking of Dashboards, resource management is another huge component of ensuring that your organization is maximizing efficiency and scaling effectively.
Generally, resource management tools consolidate related information from different locations across your project management system, giving team members quick overviews of what's done, what needs to be done, and who's doing it.
For example, a good resource management solution will give project managers on-demand, real-time visibility into people and other resources so they can have greater control over delivery. Moreover, it helps maintain team focus towards common goals, preventing boredom and burnout.
If you're looking to access resource allocation and a workload project management tool alongside the rest of your tasks and workflows, then you'll want an all-in-one project management software like ClickUp.
ClickUp includes a number of features that allow you to visualize your work as a function of resource management, giving you a fresh perspective on your projects, processes, and human resources.
For example, ClickUp's Box view tells you:
- What your team is working on
- What your team has accomplished
- Who needs more work and who is over capacity
Being able to determine all this in one place means everyone has visibility into everyone else's bandwidth and can prioritize accordingly. And a simple drag-and-drop interface means resource management is instantaneous.
Another great resource management feature is ClickUp's Dashboards. These are completely customizable: Simply decide what information you want to pull into a Dashboard, then add customizable widgets to track and visualize that info in real time. You can create Dashboards for high-level initiatives that affect the whole organization or for specific projects or people.
AI & project management software
According to Gartner, "80 percent of the work of today's project management (PM) discipline will be eliminated as AI takes on... functions such as data collection, tracking, and reporting."
When given a bit of thought, it's easy to see some major areas where AI can streamline project management. Within the next few years, AI is likely to:
- Predict project outcomes and warn when and where things will go off track
- Provide data-driven task and human resource prioritization
- Assist in resource distribution and management
- Streamline critical paths to find the quickest and most effective ways to complete projects
- Contribute to overall project cost reduction by automating repetitive or routine functions
Some of these roles are already attainable with the right tools! Project management software solutions like ClickUp can facilitate resource management by suggesting the best team member for a particular task via assignees and predicting who a particular comment might pertain to.
Other ClickUp features like Natural Language Processing act as super-smart "autofill" functions, assisting in due date assignment and time tracking by standardizing common phrasings for dates and times.
The future of work productivity starts here
From single-person businesses to enterprise organizations, a project management app is not a luxury, it's a necessity. Consequently, project management software has become central to productivity for many: they improve efficiency through better communication, transparency, workflow management, and so much more.
And as organizations become more distributed and more people make their homes into their workplaces, having an easy-to-use, tightly integrated tech stack is an absolute must. In-person meetings have been replaced by virtual conferencing; sharing notes is now done through collaborative docs; brainstorming is a cloud-based affair---the list goes on.
So regardless of whether you're a director, project manager, individual contributor, or anything in between, the question isn't, "Do you use project management software?" Rather, it's "What project management software are you using?"
If your answer is "Well, our product team uses Jira and Confluence, marketing uses Monday.com, I think professional services uses Basecamp, and finance uses MS-everything," then it's time to reassess and find a single platform that can consolidate all these tools and functionalities into one place. Put simply, the future of project management is an all-in-one solution---a platform that can help you plan, organize, manage, and share all your work.
And while ClickUp can't do everything every organization needs on its own (not yet, anyway), it has an incredibly rich native toolkit (communication tools, automations, task management, scheduling tools---the list goes on), and it can supplement these functionalities by integrating with any app you can name. Combine this with ease of use and unparalleled customizability, and you've got the future of productivity right here, right now.