Are you looking for a simple project planning software to manage topics and teams? Would you like to have an overview of all tasks so that no deadlines are missed? Should the communication in the team be goal-oriented and central? You can benefit from all these added values with the right choice of project planning software!
But the market for providers is very large and difficult to comb through. In addition to the many solutions, there are also different approaches, focal points, and functional scopes. Appropriate programs are helpful to keep an overview at all times. We have researched the 10 most popular simple project planning software for you.
List of simple project planning software
At the beginning of every project, there should be a concrete project goal. The desired project results are specified in a project order, a catalog of requirements or specifications.
The project planning then describes in detail how the project goals are to be achieved. The following elements should be included in project planning software:
Factro is a project planning software from Germany. The tool impresses with its intuitive operation, which also enables newcomers to get started quickly. With the four views of the project structure plan, Gantt diagram, Kanban board, and table, the software is suitable for various perspectives on project planning. Distribute tasks in the team, set priorities, and create checklists for orientation.
Thanks to the deadline traffic light, Factro will automatically notify you of impending deadlines. With the time recording and the utilization overview, all expenses can be evaluated and the workload can be balanced in the team. In addition, with the dynamic news feed, you are up to date in just 3 minutes and know about all the news on your topics. The project management software is available as a light-footed web app and mobile version for iOS and Android.
Microsoft Planner is best known for its integration with Microsoft 365 (formerly Office 365). Similar to Trello, the simple project planning software focuses on working with the Kanban board and is therefore also suitable for agile environments.
Due to this focus, however, MS Planner lacks some project management functions, such as time-tracking or a team utilization overview. The management, control, and processing of larger projects are thus more difficult, but the tool is well suited for task management. With the mobile app, you can take your tasks with you on the go if you wish.
Podio combines the benefits of social networks with the functions of a simple project planning software and a CRM tool. In Podio, for example, you will find a chat and messaging function, the ability to distribute tasks and responsibilities, and different workspaces for different workgroups. The ability to create your own apps in Podio, the integration of extensions, and many interfaces to applications such as Dropbox make the tool flexible so that it can be optimally adapted to your own needs. The lightest version is free, paid plans start at $9 per employee per month with the basic plan. The Plus version costs $14 and the Premium version costs $24 per month per head. There is an app for both Android devices and iOS.
The manufacturers of the simple project planning software Smartsheet promise to create a short path from the idea to the effect. The focus of the PM solution is the optimal cooperation of the team. Employees should be able to quickly get an overview of the project status or plan changes and thus be able to work together responsibly. The well-structured user interface leads to intuitive operation. Smartsheet uses many operating elements that PC users already know from Office applications or from the Internet browser. This means that even beginners can quickly find their way around the program.
While the spreadsheet is the basic element of Smartsheet project management, it is by no means everything. The user can also select the calendar, Gantt chart, or Kanban board view. The calendar, which is only used for viewing, is to be criticized. The user cannot make appointment changes there. Furthermore, Smartsheet comes with a variety of helpful PM tools, such as notification, activity log, and resource management.
It looks a bit lean with the integrations. The selection in the Solutions Center is limited to 23 programs. These include Salesforce, Evernote, Dropbox, and Skype. However, the connection to the Zapier network is pleasing. This opens access to other popular applications that simplify project management and communication in the team.
To make it easier for new users to get started with Smartsheet, the manufacturer provides several video tutorials and instructions. The support team also helps via email. The whole thing is supplemented by an active user community. However, knowledge of English is required here.
With over 2.8 million accounts, Basecamp is one of the most popular simple project planning software. Its functions are organized into six core modules dedicated to easy file sharing, communicating with clients and colleagues, and documenting project goals, and meeting schedules. With clients and apps for PC, Mac, iOS, Android, and a browser version, Basecamp is represented on all platforms, and interfaces to numerous programs allow a seamless integration into existing infrastructures. Basecamp’s pricing structure is simple: unlimited jobs and employees are charged a flat rate of $99 per month, there is no minimum contract term, and storage space is 500 GB. Special rates are available for teachers, students, and non-profit organizations. With the free trial, interested parties can try Basecamp for 30 days.
AceProject is now one of the simple project planning software. Not without reason: The tool offers appointment, document, and task management, Gantt charts, and reporting. Basically a gimmick, but this is still attractive: The design can be adapted to the corporate design of your own company. The range of functions of the tool is enormous, which is why a certain training period is necessary. The basic version for up to three users with 1 GB memory is free. Additional plans with larger amounts of users and storage are available from $24 to $199 per month. AceProject states that the included features are the same in all packages. The advantage of this is that you can test the tool extensively in the free version. Convenience functions such as an API for developing your own extensions, daily backups, and booking more storage space are reserved for the paid versions. There are apps for Android and iOS, mobile Windows users will find the same range of functions in the Edge browser.
OpenProject is a simple project planning software that is popular with technically savvy teams thanks to its open-source approach. Not only do you have various features to plan your projects, but you can also operate the solution on your own server hardware if you wish. This is also the only option for the free version.
You can use the Gantt chart and tables to plan projects in a simple way, but you can also work more agilely, e.g. with roadmaps and a bug backlog. Standard support, on the other hand, is somewhat more limited and can only be reached via email. Telephone accessibility or a ticket system is only available with Premier Support.
The simple project planning software Ruum from the German software company SAP is still in its infancy but can score with an interesting unique selling point: An artificial intelligence called ADA acts as a digital project assistant and keeps users informed of milestones, important status changes, and deadlines with daily briefings Up to date. Ruum promises to be easy to use, and the program structure is correspondingly clear: In the general view, in the so-called lobby, all Ruums (projects) are listed with some basic information. A very useful feature of the lobby is the compact display of all changes since the last use in one column. The project details and functions are available within the individual rooms. File exchange, a timeline view, and communication options are already integrated, and further features are to follow in the future. The basic version with an unlimited number of rooms and only 100 MB memory is free, 10 GB memory and other advantages of the professional solution cost $7 per month per user.
Airtable is simple project planning software that – as the name suggests – focuses on working with tables. The tables can be flexibly adjusted, e.g. to add fields for trailers or checkboxes if they are needed. Due to the many possible configurations, the software can also overwhelm less experienced users.
In addition to the table, the tool offers a Kanban board, a calendar, and a gallery view. If you want to add further functions to Airtable, you can do this via various integrations. A very important point for some organizations can be the language: Airtable is currently only available in English. Customer service cannot be reached in German either.
The simple project planning software Trello primarily relies on the Kanban board for task management. This makes the US solution particularly suitable for project planning in agile teams that do not need other visualizations. It is easy to use and the interface is very slim. In some places, however, this also means that the range of functions is not quite as large.
However, additional functions can still be added by integrating other services and using so-called “power-ups”. The Trello server is located in the USA and is therefore not directly within the scope of the GDPR. From a data protection point of view, the discontinuation of the Privacy Shield is also a criterion that should be carefully considered in the event of potential use.
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