Top 10 Microsoft Project alternatives in 2024

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Updated on:
February 20, 2024
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Quiz: What is the best Microsoft Project alternative for your business?

Answer the following questions to assess which Microsoft Project alternative is best for your business.

    What is Microsoft Project?

    Microsoft Project has been a go-to for project management tool since the year 1984. It is very popular because of its strong planning feature, task handling, and integration with Microsoft Office. Sadly, not everyone might be suited for the price who has a tight budget and is complex for users who are looking for simpler solutions. Luckily, options like monday.com, ClickUp, and Asana provide more accessible and affordable alternatives.

    These alternative tools come with a mix of free plans, easy-to-use interfaces, third-party app integrations, and the ability to scale with your needs. Picking the right one involves looking at cost, features, scalability, and ease of use. The key is to try them out and see which of the tools feels right for your team and budget.

    While Microsoft Project is feature-rich, many other tools offer valuable features and flexible pricing to better match your project management needs and your business. Take the time to explore and compare to find your perfect fit tool.

    What are the top limitations of Microsoft Project?

    For this kind of project management tool, it is robust yet it's not without its downsides. Here's what you need to know if you're considering it:

    • High Costs: This tool is expensive, and might not work for small businesses or startups on low budgets.
    • Complex Interface: Its interface can be daunting. You might need extra training and research to get the most out of it.
    • No Real-Time Collaboration: This project management tool lacks real-time collaboration features, making it less ideal for teams spread across different locations.
    • Complicated Integration: It will be challenging and time-consuming if you want to fit Microsoft Project into your existing tools.
    • Limited Mobile Functionality: A downside for those managing projects on the go is the mobile app which falls short compared to the desktop version.

    Given these downsides, it's worth it to explore the market for management tools that better align with your needs and budget. There's a lot of variety out there, offering something that fits for all users.

    What are the must-have features of a Microsoft Project alternative?

    When searching for an alternative, you must prioritize features that boost efficiency in making plans, execution, and management. A better substitute should ideally offer more in key areas, possibly with added perks like for example:

    • Robust planning and scheduling capabilities: A tool or software should excel in planning and scheduling. It should also support managing deadlines, setting timelines, and handling resources efficiently.
    • Intuitive visual representation: It must have intuitive visual aids like Gantt charts and project calendars for a clear view of progress. These features can simplify tracking project milestones.
    • Collaborative tools: Tools must be able to enhance teamwork with shared dashboards, real-time updates, and easy file-sharing and communication. This will ensure your team works together efficiently and effectively.

    A reliable Microsoft Project alternative should have these essential features for productive project management. We also consider Wrike as an option, which not only meets these criteria but also has a system of easy-to-use interface, mobile support, and strong customer service, offering a holistic and user-friendly project management solution.

    Bonsai: The best Microsoft Project alternative

    Bonsai: The best Microsoft Project alternative

    For any industry, where the key to growth is efficiency, businesses are on the lookout for tools that blend power and flexibility with their existing workflows. Bonsai was built as a top pick for these companies and it was designed to address the specific challenges service businesses face.

    Bonsai stands out by focusing on the needs of the service sector, which offers:

    • Integrated Project Management: This tool ensures a very seamless journey from proposals to payments, Bonsai's unified dashboard keeps project tracking and adjustments smooth.
    • Unparalleled Time-Tracking: It also recognizes the importance of precise time logging, Bonsai's top-notch time-tracking ensures correct billing and boosts profit.
    • Streamlined Invoicing: This tool with its automated invoicing, cuts down administrative tasks and offers custom templates with easy payment options for hassle-free billing.
    • Transparent Client Management: Bonsai also simplifies client interactions, making it easy to track details, projects, and collaborations.
    • Contract Management: This tool also simplifies managing contracts, from creation to approval, streamlining the process.

    For prioritizing functionality, Bonsai is also user-friendly. It avoids the complexity typical of project management tools, making it a perfect fit for any service-oriented business.

    Overall, Bonsai is the perfect Microsoft Project alternative that offers a tailored, accessible, and feature-rich experience, enhancing efficiency and profitability for service industries.

    #2. Asana

    Asana

    Many users consider this tool as one of the top choices because it is so easy to use,  and it packs a punch with its robust project management tools. The user-friendly interface is like the cherry on top, making it a go-to for many looking to streamline their project work.

    Best Features:

    Many teams love this one for its variety of features; it shines when it comes to getting projects done so smoothly.

    • Task Management: This one of the many features is a game-changer. It allows you to effortlessly create tasks, assign, and most important, keep track of all the progress. It takes the hassle out and ensures that everyone is on the same page.
    • Gantt Charts: This feature is not just getting more than just timelines; you will get a visual representation of your entire project's journey. Imagine if you have like a roadmap right in front of you, making project planning and tracking a breeze.
    • Automation: Say goodbye to repetitive tasks which hogging your time. This feature streamlines those routine actions. It will let you focus on the more creative and strategic aspects of your work. It's like having a helping hand that never gets tired.
    • Team Collaboration Tools: This feature goes beyond the basics. It's not just about commenting or sharing files; it is more about creating a space where your team can smoothly collaborate. It's the digital hub where you will see the flowing ideas, file movement, and projects come to life together.

    Limitations:

    Despite its utility, there are some disadvantages.

    • This tool lacks features for In-Depth Reporting
    • It will be a challenge to transition tasks between different project boards

    Not a fit for:

    Asana may not be suitable for businesses requiring detailed reporting and heavy-duty project metrics.

    Pricing:

    Asana also offers four plans for you:

    • It is Free and premium at $13.49/user/month. For business, you can avail at $30.49/user/month. For Enterprise, it has custom pricing.

    Reviews and Ratings:

    Asana received a solid 4.3 out of 5 on G2 because of its user-friendly interface and a very excellent task tracking.

    #3. Basecamp

    Basecamp

    This software is perfect for team collaboration, offering a digital space for structured and effective teamwork. It enhances professional cooperation, ensuring projects run smoothly and goals are met efficiently.

    Best features:

    • This tool has an excellent project management system for organizing and monitoring progress.
    • It also includes an integrated chat room for team conversations in real time.
    • It is made for sharing files and documents.
    • It is a very simple, easy-to-use UI that is intuitive.

    Limitations:

    Its effectiveness is not without restrictions, though.

    • It doesn’t have the advanced functionality that other apps have just like time tracking and invoicing.
    • Unlike Microsoft Project, this tool doesn’t have Gantt charts and visible project timelines.

    Not a fit for:

    • All businesses that require predictive analytics and sophisticated reporting. 

    Pricing:

    • This tool provides a version with a limited feature fee along with subscription options starting at $99/month.

    Reviews and ratings:

    • This management tool received 4.3 stars overall from review sites.

    #4. Wrike

    Wrike

    This project management tool makes sure that your projects run smoothly. It acts like a conductor to keep your workflow harmonious. This tool enhances your team collaboration, making it easier to unite, share ideas, and achieve goals. More than just a tool, it's a reliable partner in boosting collaboration and optimizing your workflow.

    Best Features:

    It has the following remarkable features:

    • It builds for dynamic requests
    • It has personalized dashboards
    • It can track time for work
    • It can generate real-time reports that are shared 

    Limitations:

    However, Wrike has disadvantages also.

    • It lacks an integrated chat function
    • It has a steep educational curve

    Not a fit for:

    Wrike might not be the greatest in the following situations:

    • For small companies with a tight budget
    • Not for so tech-savvy group of people 

    Pricing:

    This tool has several packages available, ranging from business-level solutions to free ones. 

    Reviews and ratings:

    Wrike has earned an excellent review despite several restrictions compared to Microsoft Project. Because of its broad functions., tt also received great reviews from numerous software review sites.

    #5. Smartsheet

    Smartsheet

    Smartsheet enhanced project and task management with advanced collaboration and insightful reporting. This tool acts as a fuel for businesses, streamlining processes and enhancing teamwork. Its features also make collaboration effortless and turn reporting into a source of strategic insights, pushing projects to new heights. This tools combines efficiency with elegance.

    Best Features:

    Among its greatest attributes are:

    • It has instantaneous cooperation to ensure smooth team communication.
    • This tool has an excellent dashboard and reporting for making decisions.
    • It is built with a friendly interface for all users.
    • It can integrate with other software just as Google Drive, Microsoft Office 365, and Slack.

    Limitations:

    Even with its advantages, there are certain drawbacks:

    • It cannot be used in offline mode
    • It only has fewer choices for customisation than other comparable programs like Microsoft Project.

    Not a fit for:

    It might not suit those who:

    • For companies who require sophisticated features for project planning
    • Users who search for an offline mode in a utility. 

    Pricing:

    This tool has pricing information for Individual, Business, and Enterprise plans which you can see here.

    Reviews and ratings:

    Having the user-friendly and collaborative capabilities of this program had them highly praised. Some users do, however, just highlight the need for additional feature-rich project management tools.

    #6. Zoho Projects

    Zoho Projects

    This alternative tool is designed to improve tracking, help to encourage teamwork and make planning very easy. It's a recipe that boosts team efficiency and helps achieve goals. With its accurate tracking, better collaboration, and easier planning, it helps to win the team’s objectives.

    Best features:

    • This tool allows you for the thorough administration of tasks, dependencies, and subtasks.
    • It has Gantt charts available for strategic project planning.
    • It also includes a thorough timesheet tool for accurate timekeeping.
    • It also integrates document management to facilitate better teamwork.

    Limitations:

    • This is not intended for beginners who are unfamiliar with project management tools and might find it intimidating.
    • It can’t able to classify or label a work for easy retrieval.

    Not a fit for:

    • This tool doesn’t fit for smaller teams with basic project management requirements.
    • This tool is not for budget management solutions which are prioritized by organizations because these features are fairly limited on this tool.

    Pricing:

    • This tool has a paid plan starting at $3 per user each month and has a free option as well.

    Reviews and ratings:

    • Because of its amazing functionality and ease of use, this tool earned a 4.2 out of 5-star rating on G2. This tool is perfect for teams looking to increase efficiency because of its comprehensive management features.

    #7. Monday

    Monday

    Monday.com has an upgrade from Microsoft Project which helps you to improve team collaboration and streamline processes. It acts as fuel to support open communication and transparency among team members. Additionally, it helps to improve the team effort and efficiency you are looking for.

    Best Features:

    It is excellent at offering striking features like:

    • It is fit for workflows that are adaptable to any project's requirements
    • It provides notices that happen automatically to update everyone.
    • It gives time monitoring for easier improvement in managing projects.

    Limitations:

    However, this tool also has certain disadvantages:

    • It gives a low-quality file that can be uploaded, which could be annoying.
    • Not available for extensive project planning with a Gantt chart view.
    • There can be a hard learning curve in the beginning.

    Not a fit for:

    It might not be as useful for individuals and also small companies searching for an easy-to-use, uncomplicated solution.

    Pricing:

    This tool provides a free trial and subscription packages starting at $39 monthly only..

    Reviews and Ratings:

    Look for real opinions on websites such as G2. Its solid support and ease of use consistently elicit positive reviews, underscoring its dedication to enhancing user experience and collaboration.

    #8. Trello

    Trello

    This Trello software revolutionizes project management by combining intuition with seamless integration of productivity, organization, and teamwork. It's a very straightforward solution that makes simple the entire process.

    Best Features:

    This tool is perfect for productive working and successful communication.

    • It provides adjustable lists and boards for project management.
    • It contains thorough task cards with attachments, comments, and descriptions.
    • It gives warnings and tracking in real time.
    • It gives integration for improved functioning with programs like Slack and Google Drive.

    Limitations:

    Trello might not be ideal for every project management requirement because of the following:

    • It lacks features for reporting and tracking options.
    • There are no extensive time and resource management features.
    • Large-scale project requirements might not be well served by it as much as by more sophisticated solutions like Microsoft Project.

    Not a Fit For:

    Larger companies or projects with very complicated requirements may find Trello's features inadequate.

    Pricing:

    The basic features are offered in a free edition, while more sophisticated choices can be obtained with a plan.

    Reviews and Ratings:

    Even if there are a few minor issues, Trello still has a solid user base and is well-liked for its user-friendly interface and efficient project-tracking features.

    #9. Clarizen

    Clarizen

    Clarizen is a project management tool that stands out as a strong alternative to Microsoft Project. It meets professional standards because of its enhanced features for team collaboration and providing numerous customization options. It has a solid platform that combines improved teamwork and adaptability, catering to various project management requirements.

    Best Features:

    This tool has outstanding features, which include:

    • A very flexible interface to accommodate different project requirements.
    • Able for social collaboration to enhance communication inside the team.
    • It has control dependencies between various projects.
    • It creates sophisticated analytics and reporting tools to extract more information.

    Limitations:

    Though it has several excellent features, it has some disadvantages.

    • Its price is a bit more expensive compared to certain alternatives.
    • It would be hard to learn and understand its features properly for new users.

    Not a Fit For:

    It may not be appropriate for:

    • Not fit for small and medium-sized organizations because of its extensive and complex features. 
    • It might not work well for businesses with tight budgets.

    Pricing:

    Clarizen distinguishes itself by refusing to give a basic freemium plan.

    The monthly cost of the enterprise plan is $45 for each user while for unlimited access, the cost begins at $60 per user per month.

    Reviews and Ratings:

    Reviews and ratings from real users are hosted by G2 to provide a thorough insight into the platform's functioning and also about its development.

    #10. Teamwork Projects

    Teamwork Projects

    This project management tool gives you efficiency just like a Swiss Army knife. It builts with powerful features and numerous integrations, aiming to be your top choice for boosting teamwork and enhancing project outcomes. It’s more than just a tool because of  a strategic partner in turning projects from manageable to exceptional.

    Best features:

    Teamwork Projects excels at what it offers specifically:

    • It helps you to meet various requirements by varying project management skills.
    • It has an intuitive built-in timer for simple timekeeping.
    • It has a features for comprehensive reporting and in-depth project analysis.
    • It builts with smooth interaction with popular programs like Google Drive and many more.

    Limitations:

    However, there are a few limitations for this tool:

    • Their is no integrated chat function for instant messaging. Also, the learning curve could be difficult for new users.

    Not a fit for:

    It might not be appealing to groups like:

    • For groups who’s looking for a simple, uncomplicated instrument with a little learning curve.
    • for users who wants  built-in messaging for direct communication within the app.

    Pricing:

    Please refer to Teamwork's price specifics for the most up-to-date information. 

    Reviews and ratings:

    With in so many great evaluations, Teamwork has become a great competitor to programs like Microsoft Project.

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