The best simple project management software of 2023

Looking for a simple project management software to help you stay organized and on-track? Here are 9 of the best options for your business.

While project management software continue to evolve to become more efficient and offer advanced tools, some users need simplicity. In this article, we have compiled a list of the best simple project management software of 2023. We have highlighted the pros and cons of each software. In addition, we have shared the standout features and pricing so you can make an informed decision on which software suits your needs.

Top simple project management software comparison

Here is how the top software compare in terms of simple project management features.

Document management Team collaboration tools Native time tracking Multiple project views Starting price (per user per month)
Wrike Yes Yes Yes Yes $9.80
Monday Yes Yes Yes Yes $8.00
ClickUp Yes Yes Yes Yes $5.00
Jira Yes Yes Yes Yes $7.75
Confluence Yes Limited No Limited $5.75
Asana Yes Yes Yes Yes $10.99
Trello Yes Yes No Yes $5.00
Zoho Projects Yes Yes Yes Yes $4.00
Smartsheet Yes Yes No Yes $7.00


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Wrike: Best for scalability

The Wrike logo.
Image: Wrike

Wrike is a versatile project management solution suitable for several use cases. It offers a variety of tools, ranging from basic to advanced. The impressive scalability offered by Wrike means it is ideal for hyper-growth teams that may eventually need to move from a simple project management software to a more advanced version.

Pricing

  • Free: For up to five users.
  • Team: $9.80 per user per month.
  • Business: $24.80 per user per month.
  • Enterprise: Customized pricing.
  • Pinnacle: Customized pricing.

Features

  • With over 400 integrations, Wrike’s functionality can be easily expanded to include CRM, messaging and email capabilities.
  • Users can save time by automating recurring or redundant tasks using Wrike’s workflow automation tools.
  • You can create a variety of reports in Wrike, ranging from simple charts to advanced business intelligence reports.

Pros

  • Extensive templates library.
  • Multiple project views.
  • Robust reporting tools.
  • Variety of integrations.

Cons

  • Interfaces can feel clunky.
  • Big jump in price from Team to Business plan.

Check our full review of Wrike for more information.

Monday: Best for versatility

The Monday work management logo.
Image: Monday

Monday work management has emerged as one of the most versatile project management solutions. Through its extensive suite of features, Monday work management suits the needs of businesses of all sizes. Users looking for simple project management may find the free and basic plan enough for their needs; however, if they need multiple project views, API access and other advanced features, they may need to subscribe to higher-priced plans.

Pricing

  • Free: $0. Free for up to two seats.
  • Basic: $8 per user per month if billed annually, or $10 per user per month if billed monthly.
  • Standard: $10 per user per month if billed annually, or $12 per user per month if billed monthly.
  • Pro: $16 per user per month if billed annually, or $20 per user per month if billed monthly.
  • Enterprise: Contact sales for a custom quote.

Features

  • Flexible dashboards that can be customized to meet individual preferences.
  • Along with project management tools, monday work management also offers CRM tools to manage data related to customers.
  • Easily automate repetitive tasks using monday work management’s custom automation feature.

Pros

  • All plans offer unlimited document creation and storage.
  • Wide range of templates.
  • Organized and intuitive interface.
  • Extensive knowledge base.

Cons

  • Advanced tools have a steep learning curve.
  • Slow customer support.

Check out the full monday.com Work OS review for more information.

ClickUp: Best for remote workers

The ClickUp logo.
Image: ClickUp

ClickUp is feature-rich project management software. It offers all the tools you expect from a top project management solution. The real-time messaging feature, document management and shared calendars make ClickUp an ideal solution for remote workers looking for simple project management software. Users can also unlock advanced tools by subscribing to higher-priced plans.

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Pricing

  • Free: For up to five spaces.
  • Unlimited: $5 per user per month if billed annually, or $9 per user per month if billed monthly.
  • Business: $12 per user per month if billed annually, or $19 per user per month if billed monthly.
  • Business Plus: $19 per user per month if billed annually, or $29 per user per month if billed monthly.
  • Enterprise: Customized pricing.

Features

  • The ClickApps library features ready-to-use templates for a variety of use cases.
  • ClickUp is highly customizable, so users can tailor their project management experience. The customization offers tools to personalize dashboards and create custom automation rules.
  • With ClickUp, you get access to several project views, including Gantt charts, calendars and lists.

Pros

  • Excellent collaboration features.
  • Feature-rich free plan.
  • Multiple project views.

Cons

  • Free plan has limited storage.
  • Overwhelming options for simple project management.
  • Limited automation tools.

Check our full review of ClickUp for more information.

Jira: Best for issue tracking

The Jira logo.
Image: Jira

Jira is most commonly used by software development teams for bug tracking; however, it has a broad range of use cases. Its intuitive user interface, easy customization and extensive selection of plug-ins make Jira an excellent choice for simple project management software. With Jira, you also get support for Agile methodology and built-in collaboration tools.

Pricing

  • Free plan: No cost for up to 10 users.
  • Standard: $7.75 per user per month.
  • Premium: $15.25 per user per month.
  • Enterprise: Customized pricing.

Features

  • With the Jira Align feature, users can easily connect with other team members to keep everyone aligned on the project schedule and goals.
  • Jira offers bug and issue-tracking tools to track project issues from start to finish.
  • The Kanban boards in Jira provide a quick visual representation of project status. This feature also allows for drag-and-drop functionality to update task status.

Pros

  • Outstanding issue and bug tracking tools.
  • Robust data security.
  • Generous free plan.

Cons

  • Missing a few project views, such as the timeline view.
  • Limited collaboration tools.

Check out our full Jira review for more information.

Confluence: Best for managing product documents

The Confluence logo.
Image: Confluence

Confluence, a product by Atlassian, is a project management solution geared toward project documentation and task tracking. Users can create, share and update project plans on one centralized platform. The software also offers tools for taking meeting notes and building a project-related knowledge base.

Pricing

  • Free: No cost for up to 10 users.
  • Standard: $5.75 per user if billed monthly, or $580 per year for 1–10 users.
  • Premium: $11 per user if billed monthly, or $1,100 per year for 1–10 users.
  • Enterprise: Customized pricing.

Features

  • You get a complete history of changes to project information through Confluence’s version control and history features.
  • The drag-and-drop feature makes it easy to manage tasks, documents and other project data.
  • The seamless integration with other Atlassian products means you can connect Confluence with Trello, Jira and other solutions to enhance its functionality.

Pros

  • Extensive learning content built into the app.
  • Deep integration with other Atlassian solutions.
  • Large selection of prebuilt templates.

Cons

  • Pages can be slow to update.
  • Limited collaboration tools.

Check out our full Confluence review for more information.

Asana: Best for simplified task management

The Asana logo.
Image: Asana

Asana’s intuitive user interface and customization tools make it one of the best simple project management software. It’s quick and easy to manage tasks, collaborate with team members and view project progress.

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Pricing

  • Basic: Free for unlimited tasks, projects, messages, activity logs and file storage.
  • Premium: $10.99 per user per month if billed annually, or $13.49 per user per month if billed monthly.
  • Business: $24.99 per user per month if billed annually, or $30.49 per user per month if billed monthly.
  • Enterprise: Customized pricing.

Features

  • Users can easily create, prioritize and assign tasks and subtasks on Asana. Managers can view task dependencies to ensure the project remains on track.
  • With Asana, you get plenty of project planning tools, such as creating tasks, setting milestones, assigning roles and establishing project goals.
  • With its customizable dashboard, Asana’s users can organize the dashboard layout and set up quick access to their most commonly used tools.

Pros

  • Excellent free plan.
  • Intuitive user interface.
  • Variety of data import options.

Cons

  • The mobile app has limited functionality.
  • Default notification settings can be overwhelming.

Check our full review of Asana for more information.

Trello: Best for beginners

The Trello logo.
Image: Trello

If you are new to project management and want simple software to manage tasks and collaborate with team members, Trello could be the best solution for you. Trello is known for its impressive free plan and Kanban-style interface. The visual approach of Trello makes it easy for beginners to manage projects. There is little to no technical expertise needed to use it.

Pricing

  • Free: Up to 10 boards per workspace.
  • Standard: $5 per user per month if billed annually, or $6 per user per month if billed monthly.
  • Premium: $10 per user per month if billed annually, or $12.50 per user per month if billed monthly.
  • Enterprise: $17.50 per user per month when billed annually.

Features

  • Use Kanban boards to check project status at a glance. This helps ensure all tasks and subtasks remain on schedule.
  • Trello’s built-in automation tool, Butler, can help reduce workload by automating repetitive or recurring tasks.
  • Use the checklists feature to ensure all tasks related to an assignment get completed on time and nothing gets through the cracks.

Pros

  • Feature-rich free plan.
  • Variety of automation tools.
  • Highly visual interface.

Cons

  • Not suitable for scaling up to complex projects.
  • Heavily reliant on Kanban boards.

Check our full review of Trello for more information.

Zoho Projects: Best for small businesses

The Zoho Projects logo.
Image: Zoho Projects

Zoho is a cloud-based project management solution with a variety of tools for basic project management, including team collaboration and automation features. Businesses of all sizes can benefit from using Zoho Projects; however, it is best suited for small businesses that may not need advanced tools such as resource allocation or project portfolio management.

Pricing

  • Free: Maximum of two projects.
  • Premium: $4 per user per month with annual billing or $5 per user per month with monthly billing.
  • Enterprise: $9 per user per month with annual billing or $10 per user per month with monthly billing.

Features

  • Users can create custom workflows to automate redundant or recurring tasks through the Zoho Blueprints feature.
  • The centralized activity feed can be customized to show information based on individual preferences.
  • Team messaging tool that also includes video chatting capabilities.

Pros

  • Quick setup.
  • Plenty of team collaboration tools.
  • Easy to navigate, with a low learning curve.

Cons

  • Lack of prebuilt templates.
  • Limited storage.
  • Gantt charts are not easy to use.

Check our full Zoho Projects review for more information.

Smartsheet: Best for spreadsheet users

The Smartsheet logo.
Image: Smartsheet

While Smartsheet’s spreadsheet-style interface can appear overwhelming, it’s intuitive and easy to use. Users looking for a simple project management solution will appreciate the variety of tools available on Smartsheet to help simplify project management, including dashboard customization, easy-to-use collaboration tools and integration capabilities.

Pricing

  • Free: For up to one user and up to two editors.
  • Pro: $7 per user per month if billed annually, or $9 per user per month if billed monthly.
  • Business: $25 per user per month if billed annually, or $32 per user per month if billed monthly.
  • Enterprise: Customized pricing.
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Features

  • Dynamic Gantt charts for the easy visualization of project schedule and progress.
  • The Smatsheet Inc. includes several add-ons that seamlessly integrate with the Smartsheet project management solution. These add-ons help enhance the software’s functionality.
  • Custom forms for quick and easy data collection and sharing.

Pros

  • Powerful data protection and compliance.
  • Ability to handle large volumes of data.

Cons

  • Bit of a learning curve for users with no spreadsheet experience.
  • Missing some advanced tools, such as resource management.

Check our full review of Smartsheet for more information.

Key features of simple project management software

Document management

Even for simple tasks, you are going to need tools to create, share and manage documents. With document management tools, you can maintain document integrity while maximizing the efficient sharing of project information. While most project management solutions can integrate with third-party document management solutions, having this as an in-built feature offers a more immersive experience.

Team collaboration

Whether you use project management software for simple tasks or complex projects, if you are working with a team, you need to keep everyone aligned through proper collaboration and communication. These features are even more useful for businesses that have remote workers or operations in multiple locations. Consider software that offers features for real-time collaboration to help keep projects on track.

Time tracking

While you may not need advanced time-tracking tools or simple project management, you should consider software that offers some capabilities to record and monitor actual time spent on tasks. It also helps managers maximize their resource utilization and ensure none of the team members are overburdened.

Multiple project views

With multiple project views, you can visualize project information in various formats. For example, you can view projects in Gantt chart mode to check project progress in comparison to project planning. Similarly, you can view projects on Kanban boards for a quick visual check on project status.

How do I choose the best simple project management software for my business?

When choosing the best simple project management software, you need to establish your top priorities to ensure you shortlist the right solutions. Ideally, for simple project management, you want software that offers an intuitive user interface so you don’t have to spend a lot of time learning how to use the software.

For simple project management, you will probably not need advanced features, but you have to determine if you will need to scale up in the future. If that is the case, you may need to choose software that offers that scalability.

You should also consider your budget as the pricing for project management software has a wide range. Don’t forget to check customer reviews and ratings from reputable websites. Before you make a final decision, it is best to use the free trial for a few days. If that is not available, request a detailed demo from the vendor.

Methodology

To compile this list of the best simple project management software, we analyzed several software in how they handle basic project management tasks such as sharing files, creating tasks and monitoring project progress. The short-listed project management software were analyzed further to check their pros, cons, pricing and standout features. We also looked at customer reviews to finalize our list of the best software for simple project management.

Source: https://www.techrepublic.com/article/best-simple-project-management-software/