Project Management Tools

10 Best Free Project Management Software Tools Compared (2021)

Free project management software tools

Staying on top of work is challenging. 

You can somewhat organize work using tools to manage your tasks, calendars, and notes. 

And, while most of these tools are free, bringing all the workflows together can be a nightmare. And, if you work with a team, it becomes more difficult.

Thankfully, today you have access to free project management software. These tools help you plan work, manage tasks, and collaborate with your team — without paying a dime.

We looked at dozens of the best project management tools and settled on these ten. 

Let’s look at these free project management tools.

Quick Overview Of The Top 10 Free Project Management Tools

Here’s a quick comparison of the best free tools for managing projects. Click on the tool’s name to learn more about it below.

ToolThe free version is best for…  No. of projectsNo. of users
Toggl PlanFreelancers, creative teams & small businessesUnlimited5
TrelloFreelancers10Unlimited
AsanaSmaller projectsUnlimited (1000 tasks per project)15
MeisterTaskOngoing Kanban-based projects3Unlimited
WrikeFreelancers & small teams working on simple projectsUnlimited5
BasecampCreative freelancers320
PodioFreelancers & small teams working on simple projectsUnlimited (500 tasks per account)5
RedboothFreelancers with ongoing projects22
PaymoFreelancersUnlimited1
TodoistSmall teams with simple projects805 per project

Criteria For Choosing The Best Free Project Management App

Here is what we looked at to shortlist the top 10 project management apps from the dozens of options available.

  • Is it free forever? You can try a lot of project tools for free. But once the trial period expires, you have to either pay or move on to another tool. In this list, we only considered those tools that are free forever.
  • Does it have planning, task management, collaboration, and team management features? We eliminated to do list apps, project planners, team calendars, or timesheets that offer only one set of functionality.
  • Is it hosted online? Desktop tools like ProjectLibre and GanttProject can be downloaded and used for free. But with more teams working from home, we decided to stick to online project management tools. Free, self-hosted, web-based tools like Redmine are an option too. But maintenance is a big hassle with self-hosted apps.

Overview Of the 10 Best Free Project Management Software

Now that you know which tools made it to this list and how we chose them let’s look at these tools in detail.

Toggl Plan

Toggl Plan - Simple Project Management Software

Toggl Plan has a very generous, forever free plan. 

You can manage unlimited projects and teams with up to 5 members with the free plan. This makes Toggl Plan suitable for most freelancers and small teams.

Free features in Toggl Plan

  • Plan unlimited project schedules using the Plan timeline. 
  • Zoom in on a week, month, or quarter to get a bird’s eye view of your project timeline. 
  • Track critical dates using color-coded milestones.
  • Manage unlimited tasks on the timeline or Kanban boards. Create customized task workflows to match your team’s needs.
  • Collaborate on tasks with file attachments and comments.
  • Visualize team availability and workloads using unlimited Team timelines. 
  • Share read-only Timelines and Boards with clients and vendors.

Features available only in paid plans

Paid plans are affordable, ranging from $9 – $15 per user per month. You get the following additional features when you upgrade to a paid plan.

  • Recurring tasks.
  • Assign multiple team members to a task.
  • Annual timeline overviews.
  • Role-based access rights.
  • Data export.

Trello

Trello - Kanban based task management software

Trello’s forever free plan comes with unlimited users, unlimited personal projects, and only ten team projects. This puts Trello’s free plan among the best task management apps for solo workers. However, small teams will quickly reach the ten project limit.

Free features in Trello

  • Create unlimited personal Kanban boards and task cards.
  • Manage up to 10 team boards.
  • Customize task workflow to match your needs.
  • Use the free calendar powerup to plan tasks. Note that you can use only one power-up in the free plan.
  • Attach files and notes to tasks.

Features available only in paid plans

Trello’s paid plans are slightly expensive, starting at $12.50 per user per month.

  • Manage unlimited team boards, power-ups, and workflow automation.
  • Group Kanban boards.
  • Custom task fields.

Asana

Asana - Project Management Software

Asana’s forever free plan is good for up to 15 team members and for an unlimited number of projects. However, you only get 1000 tasks per project. This makes Asana suitable for small projects.

Free features in Asana

  • Manage unlimited projects for up to 15 users.
  • Track up to 1000 tasks per project using lists or Kanban boards.
  • Visualize project plans in the calendar view.
  • 100+ free integrations.

Features available only in paid plans

Asana is relatively expensive, starting at $13.49 per user, per project. However, upgrading to a paid plan gets you lots of useful features:

  • Unlimited tasks per project.
  • Gantt timelines with milestones.
  • Custom task fields.
  • Team workload management.
  • Approvals and proofing.

MeisterTask

MeisterTask - Task Management App

Meistertask’s free plan limits you to 3 projects. However, you can add an unlimited number of team members to these projects. This makes it one of the best free task management software for teams that work on a limited number of projects.

Free features in Meistertask

  • Manage up to 3 projects using Kanban boards.
  • Customize project workflows to match your team’s needs.
  • Attach files up to 20 MB in size to task cards.
  • Mobile apps.
  • Email support.

Features available only in paid plans

MeisterTask’s competitive paid plans start at $4.19 per user per month. 

But, to get a decent project management feature-set you’ll need to upgrade to at least the Business plan, which costs $10.39 per user per month. Also, MeisterTask only supports annual billing according to their pricing page.

Upgrading to a paid plan gets you:

  • Gantt timelines.
  • Recurring tasks and custom fields.
  • Task workflow automation.
  • Role-based access control.
  • File attachments up to 200 MB.

Wrike

Wrike Project Management

Wrike’s free plan comes with unlimited projects for up to 5 users. However, the free plan does not have planning features. This makes Wrike’s free plan suitable for freelancers and small teams working on simpler projects.

Free features in Wrike

  • Manage unlimited projects for up to 5 users.
  • Kanban board and spreadsheet view to manage tasks.
  • Collaborate using file-sharing options with up to 2 GB storage.

Features available only on paid plans

Wrike’s paid plans start at $9.80 per user per month. However, all plans are billed annually. Upgrading to a paid plan gets you the following features:

  • Gantt chart timeline and calendar views.
  • Custom fields and task workflows.
  • Project templates.
  • Time-tracking.
  • Project and task approvals.

Basecamp

Basecamp - Project Management For Remote Teams

Basecamp is a simple project management software.

It has a free Personal plan which comes with up to 3 projects for 20 users. However, you cannot create a team project. This makes Basecamp’s free plan suitable for freelancers.

Free features in Basecamp

  • Manage tasks in up to 3 projects with to do lists.
  • Collaborate with file sharing and message boards.
  • Up to 1 GB file storage.

Features available only in paid plans

Basecamp has a single paid plan at $99 per month for an unlimited number of users.

  • Unlimited projects and users.
  • Private team projects.
  • Project templates.
  • Unlimited clients and contractors.
  • 500 GB storage space.

Podio

Podio - Workflow Management Software

Citrix’s Podio comes with a free plan for up to 5 users. While you can create unlimited projects and workspaces, you’re limited to 500 tasks per account. This makes Podio suitable for freelancers and small teams working on very small projects.

Free features in Podio

  • Unlimited projects for up to 5 users.
  • Up to 500 tasks per account.

Features available only in paid plans

Podio’s paid plans start at $9 per user per month. Upgrading to a paid plan gets you:

  • Unlimited tasks.
  • User management and a read-only for new users.
  • Automated workflows.
  • Visual reports.

Redbooth

Redbooth - Project management software

Redbooth’s forever-free plan is limited to 2 project workspaces and 2 users.

It’s free plan is suitable for freelancers working on ongoing or personal projects. However, for a team, it doesn’t offer much as a free project management software.

Free features in Redbooth

  • Use it as a project planning software with Gantt timelines.
  • Track tasks on a calendar or a task list.
  • Collaborate using team conversations.
  • Up to 2 GB storage space.

Features available only in paid plans

Redbooth paid plans are priced from $12 – $18.75 per user per month. Upgrading your account to a paid plan gets you:

  • Unlimited project workspaces.
  • 5 GB – 50 GB storage space.
  • Workload management.
  • Video meeting collaboration.

Paymo

Paymo - Free Project Management For Freelancers

Paymo has a generous free plan for freelancers. It’s free plan has all the features to make it one of the best free project management software tools for solo-workers.

Free features in Paymo

  • Create and track tasks using lists and Kanban boards.
  • Track time spent on tasks.
  • Generate time and expense reports for tasks.

Features available only in paid plans

Paymo’s paid plans range from $11.95 – $18.95 per user per month. Upgrading gets you:

  • Recurring tasks.
  • Gantt chart timelines.
  • Unlimited project templates. 
  • Generate invoices and expense reports.
  • Employee scheduling and workload management.

Todoist

Todoist - Free Task Management

Todoist is one of the best to do list app out there. However, you can also collaborate with your team on tasks. Todoist free plan comes with:

Free features in Todoist

  • 80 projects at up to 5 team members per project.
  • Task management.
  • Recurring milestones.
  • Access to all integrations.

Features available only in paid plans

Todoist paid plans are the most affordable at $4 – $6 per user per month. Upgrading to a paid plan gets you:

  • Up to 500 projects and 50 people per project.
  • Team collaboration using comments and file attachments.
  • Task reminders.
  • Team inbox.
  • Role-based access for admins and members.

That’s All In Our List Of Free Project Management Software

As you can see, not all free plans are equal. Some plans offer a limited number of projects, while others limit your features.

But as a freelancer or a small team, you don’t have to settle for less.

Toggl Plan’s free plan comes with everything — planning, task tracking, collaboration, and workload management — for up to 5 users.

So why not give Toggl Plan a try? Sign up for a free account now.

January 14, 2021