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8 Best Microsoft Project Alternatives in 2024

Microsoft Project is a top choice among businesses fully committed to the Microsoft software ecosystem.

Yet, when compared against a diverse pool of Microsoft Project alternatives available today, the difference becomes starkly evident!

Over the last few years, I’ve observed significant improvements in the project management sphere. Today, it’s possible to have a decent software solution at a low cost or even free – something Microsoft Project doesn’t offer.

So, if you are on the lookout for a substitute for Microsoft Project, one that will offer enhanced team communication, a user-friendly interface, and superior integration support, this blog is the best place to start!

List of the 8 Best Microsoft Project Alternatives

I connected with several project managers, team leads, and directors to gain a deeper understanding of the tools they consider favorable substitutes for Microsoft Project. By combining these insights with my personal experience, I’ve presented an exhaustive comparative analysis to help you make an informed decision.

1. ProProfs Project – Best for Simplified Project Management

(Image Source: ProProfs Project)

ProProfs, a Microsoft Project alternative, is popular as a simple project management tool. It comes with a simple UI and visual elements – a perfect choice even for startups or SMBs without tech-savvy people.

It lets you plan work, set due dates, track progress, and prioritize projects – all in one platform. You get the ability to collaborate in real time with different departments, share files, and discuss projects to avoid unnecessary delays.

I was surprised to see that the software even offers insightful reports that reveal project performance at a glance. Budget tracking and resource management also become painless, thanks to the simplicity of the tool.

With advanced features like time tracking, portfolio management, and more – I think it’s a great recommendation.

What you’ll like:

  • Facilitates collaboration via instant messaging, task comments, @mentions, and file sharing
  • Efficient task management to delegate work and ensure everyone is on track
  • Milestone tracking to stay updated with project progress and avoid missing deadlines
  • Tracks time spent on tasks and uses that information to improve billing estimates
  • Visual tools like Gantt charts and Kanban boards to see how tasks are linked together

What you may not like:

  • The 15-day free trial may not be enough to explore the software entirely
  • Absence of an option to switch between light and dark modes

Pricing: Starts at $39.97/month. A 15-day free trial is available.

2. Smartsheet – Best for Real-Time Project Collaboration

(Image Source: Smartsheet)

I’ll never forget the days of slogging through endless spreadsheets when keeping everyone on the same page felt like an uphill battle. Then, we discovered Smartsheet.

In my experience, it is a Microsoft Project online alternative that excels in real-time project collaboration.
The software lets you instantly share updates, discuss tasks, and track progress. The interactive dashboards provide a clear overview of the project’s health, allowing you to anticipate roadblocks and make adjustments on the go.
All in all, the cloud-based platform allows you to bring together people, processes, and technology, ensuring alignment with your business goals.

What you’ll like:

  • Analyzes data for actionable insights, generates reports and dashboards for informed decision-making
  • A collaborative platform that enables teams to collaborate on projects in real-time
  • Wide range of customizable templates that can be a good starting point for any team
  • Centralizes project-related files and documents, making them easily accessible
  • Supports task dependencies, enabling you to establish relationships between tasks

What you may not like:

  • Add-ons are required for time tracking and resource management
  • Pages do not update in real time, which can be frustrating at times

Pricing: A free plan is available for up to 2 editors. Paid options start at $7/user/month.

3. ProjectManager – Best for Agile Project Management

(Image Source: ProjectManager)

ProjectManager is an alternative to Microsoft Project, designed for modern project managers.

The software shines when it comes to agile project management. It enables teams to embrace agile practices, making it effortless to organize sprints, manage backlogs, and facilitate effective team collaboration.

With Kanban boards, task management, and real-time progress tracking, the software helps teams stay aligned and adapt to changing project requirements.

Beyond agile, ProjectManager offers advanced resource management at a fraction of the cost of Microsoft Project. You can even schedule resources, manage workloads, submit timesheets, and track them in real time across projects.

What you’ll like:

  • Enables you to create detailed project plans with Gantt charts, task dependencies, and resource allocation tools
  • Detailed budget planning and expense tracking features to stay on top of project finances
  • Keeps all project documents organized and accessible in a centralized location
  • Configurable workflows to align with different project methodologies
  • Extensive filtering and customization options give you greater control over your projects

What you may not like:

  • Some users report poor customer support experiences
  • The starting plan limits several features, such as custom templates, workflows, automation, etc.

Pricing: Starts at $13/user/month.

4. ClickUp – Best for Detailed Reports

(Image Source: ClickUp)

ClickUp is another excellent alternative to Microsoft Project that can track progress, analyze trends, and identify bottlenecks with ease. No more exporting data or fiddling with formulas – you can have clear, actionable insights at your fingertips.

The dashboard allows me to create custom views of projects, giving me the flexibility to focus on what matters most.
I can also create detailed reports to visualize key metrics in real time. Not just that, it also helps visualize task completion rates, resource allocation, and budget trends – all in one unified place.

Whether you’re overseeing a large-scale marketing campaign or coordinating a small design team – ClickUp delivers the tools and flexibility needed to manage both.

What you’ll like:

  • Enables you to set and track project milestones, ensuring maximum visibility into progress
  • Integration support with popular tools, such as Google Drive, Dropbox, Slack, etc.
  • Visualizes work in a way that suits your needs, using Kanban boards, Gantt charts, calendars, etc.
  • Project hierarchy from high-level goals to individual tasks, ensuring clarity and focus across all stages
  • Task dependencies to define relationships between tasks to maintain workflow and proper sequencing

What you may not like:

  • 100 MB of storage space allowance in the free plan
  • Some users report occasional lag and performance issues, especially when handling large projects

Pricing: A free plan is available with limited storage space. Paid options start at $7/member/month.

5. Asana – Best for Strategic Project Planning

(Image Source: Asana)

I know how project managers need to constantly adapt to changing priorities. That’s where Asana comes into the picture.

What makes it a great Microsoft Project alternative is its strategic planning.

The software helps you define your business goals and the actions required to achieve them. Strategic planning in Asana informs your decisions, growth, and goals. It not only helps identify where your company should head in the coming days but also creates a document that can be shared with employees and stakeholders.

With Asana, you can easily adapt plans as priorities shift, visualize dependencies between tasks, and identify potential roadblocks before they derail progress.

What you’ll like:

  • Breaks work into manageable pieces with clear assignees and due dates
  • Standardizes processes with pre-built templates for common projects and tasks
  • Organizes work by adding custom fields to tasks, enabling efficient sorting, filtering, and reporting
  • Automates routine workflows like assigning tasks, setting due dates, and sending notifications
  • Connects daily work to company-wide objectives and tracks progress in real-time

What you may not like:

  • The free version does not include task dependencies, which can be a dealbreaker for some users
  • Some users find Asana to be difficult to learn, especially for beginners

Pricing: A free plan is available with limitations to features like task templates, Gantt charts, etc. Paid options start at $10.99/user/month.

6. Trello – Best for Workflow Automation

(Image Source: Trello)

I used Trello’s workflow automation capabilities for a project earlier this year.

And I think it stands out with its popular “Butler Automation” tool. With it, you can automate repetitive tasks, streamline workflows, and save valuable time.

From creating custom rules to automatically assigning cards, generating reports, and setting due dates, the tool facilitates unparalleled efficiency.

Trello also lets you set deadlines, track progress, and visualize dependencies in a clear and concise way. It’s like having a virtual whiteboard on your screen, where everyone can see the big picture and stay updated.

What you’ll like:

  • Kanban-style boards with customizable lists and cards
  • Due dates, labels, and checklists to organize and prioritize tasks
  • Power-Ups, which are integrations with third-party apps for enhanced functionality
  • Commenting system for discussion and collaboration on tasks
  • Integrates with various popular tools like Slack, Google Drive, and GitHub

What you may not like:

  • Not having dashboard views in the free plan
  • Some users complain about the lack of task dependencies

Pricing: A free plan is available with limitations to multiple project views like map, calendar, timeline, etc. Paid options start at $5/user/month.

7. monday.com – Best for Managing Project Resources

(Image Source: monday.com)

monday.com is a popular name in the project management world. It is a capable alternative to Microsoft Project – known for its excellent resource management capabilities.

The software lets you allocate resources optimally with its task management capabilities. This way, you can see all tasks and deadlines across multiple projects with a clear view of employee workloads in real time.

I also found that the software helps you manage work efficiently and on time. Your team can plan high-level company goals and access the key data and documentation they need for completion from a single platform.

Plus, work ownership is built into monday.com’s work management tool, so you can always be more connected.

What you’ll like:

  • Collaborative workspace for real-time communication and updates
  • Advanced task management with various status options and dependencies
  • Visual project progress representation through charts, graphs, and dashboards
  • Notifications and reminders for deadlines and task updates
  • Aligns individual tasks with broader organizational goals, promoting team focus

What you may not like:

  • monday.com has a steep learning curve
  • The paid plans have a minimum buying limit of 3 users, which can be inconvenient for individual users or small teams

Pricing: A free plan is available for up to 2 users. Paid options start at $8/seat/month.

8. Wrike – Best for Automated Administrative Workflows

(Image Source: Wrike)

Wrike is a versatile work management platform that can be easily configured for any team and transform how work gets done.

I recommend it as one of the best Microsoft Project alternatives for its workflow automation capabilities.

With Wrike’s automation engine, you can eliminate wasted efforts by minimizing duplicate work and slashing the time spent on routine tasks. It lets you create automatic approvals, request forms, and repeatable blueprints to maximize productivity.

Wrike transforms the way you work by providing all-around visibility, true cross-functional collaboration, and powerful automation, making it an indispensable tool for project managers.

What you’ll like:

  • Lets you create subtasks with unlimited levels of nesting
  • Offers three different views to help you manage projects – Kanban, Calendar, and Table
  • Workload charts for assessing individual capacity and task distribution
  • Budgeting and time tracking capabilities for cost and hours monitoring
  • Allocates resources efficiently to ensure timely project delivery and prevent overbooking

What you may not like:

  • 2 GB of free storage allowance in the free plan
  • Some users reported that the software lacks customizability

Pricing: A free plan is available with limited storage space. Paid options start at $9.80/user/month.

Evaluation Criteria

The evaluation of products or tools chosen for this article follows an unbiased, systematic approach that ensures a fair, insightful, and well-rounded review. This method employs six key factors:

  1. User Reviews / Ratings: Direct experiences from users, including ratings and feedback from reputable sites, provide a ground-level perspective. This feedback is critical in understanding overall satisfaction and potential problems.
  2. Essential Features & Functionality: The value of a product is ascertained by its core features and overall functionality. Through an in-depth exploration of these aspects, the practical usefulness and effectiveness of the tools are carefully evaluated.
  3. Ease of Use: The user-friendliness of a product or service is assessed, focusing on the design, interface, and navigation. This ensures a positive experience for users of all levels of expertise.
  4. Customer Support: The quality of customer support is examined, taking into account its efficiency and how well it supports users in different phases – setting up, addressing concerns, and resolving operational issues.
  5. Value for Money: Value for money is evaluated by comparing the quality, performance, and features. The goal is to help the reader understand whether they would be getting their money’s worth.
  6. Personal Experience / Expert’s Opinion: This part of the evaluation criteria draws insightful observations from the personal experience of the writer and the opinions of industry experts.

Which Is the Best Microsoft Project Alternative for You?

Each of the best Microsoft Project alternatives above may or may not be the perfect fit for your company. Why?
That’s because the best tool is the one that meets your unique business requirements. So, it is essential to choose the right tool, keeping in mind their strengths and weaknesses.

In my experience, here are three tools I found to be the most versatile –

Option A: ProProfs Project

ProProfs Project is a simple project management tool for startups and SMBs. It lets you plan, track, and prioritize projects in one place while collaborating in real time with different departments. The software even provides insightful reports, making budget tracking and resource management easy. With advanced features like time tracking and portfolio management, it’s a great recommendation overall.

Option B: ProjectManager

ProjectManager is a modern alternative to Microsoft Project, excelling in agile project methodologies, with features such as Kanban boards and task management. Additionally, it offers advanced resource management at a more affordable price than Microsoft Project, with features like resource scheduling, workload management, timesheets, and real-time tracking.

Option C: Asana

Asana is a great alternative to Microsoft Project for project managers who must adapt to changing priorities. With its strategic planning features, Asana helps define business goals and actions needed to achieve them. With Asana, you can easily adapt plans, visualize task dependencies, and identify potential roadblocks for smoother progress.
Regardless of which tool you end up buying, always remember to test the software first. You can opt for a free trial to have a first-hand experience. This guarantees that the investment will enhance your team’s productivity and elevate project delivery rates.

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About the author

David is a Project Management expert. He has been published in elearningindustry.com, simpleprogrammer.com. As a project planning and execution expert at ProProfs, he has offered a unique outlook on improving workflows and team efficiency. Connect with David for more engaging conversations on Twitter, LinkedIn, and Facebook.