Project management plays a vital role in any organization—improving productivity, mitigating risk, and saving time and money. But good project management needs to be backed by the right software: software that meets your team's needs, but isn't offset by a price tag that busts your budget.
For larger teams, paid software is usually the way to go. But if your team is smaller (around 1-15 members) there are a lot of project management programs out there capable of meeting your needs, at no cost. Below, we’ve compiled five of our favorite free task and project management software to help you save time and money.
Redbooth - Simple, Agile Task Management
Redbooth is a great option for smaller teams who value simplicity, an intuitive user interface, and strong task management. It isn’t overly robust in terms of features. However, it’s an agile, easily-implemented solution for managing your team’s individual tasks, while also providing light overarching project management functionality as well.
- Pros: The free plan allows up to 10 users and provides unlimited conversations, Gantt charts, and basic reporting. You can also import tasks, create subtasks, and assign users and deadlines.
- Cons: The biggest drawback to the program is its limited scope. Redbooth’s free plan is confined to just two active projects at a time, which may be problematic for some teams. Redbooth is also primarily a task management software, rather than project management, so it’s better suited for teams whose primary need is to efficiently assign and accomplish tasks.
Asana - Effective Management with Useful Integrations
As one of the most popular project management software programs on the market, Asana’s free plan is perfect for small to medium-sized teams looking for strong functionality and useful third-party integrations.
- Pros: Asana allows up to 15 users on its free plan, which is more than most of its competitors. The plan also comes with unlimited tasks, projects, and conversations, and you can integrate with third-party tools to gain additional features like time tracking, automation, and reporting (although those third-party tools are usually paid services).
- Cons: Because Asana boasts more features, its interface is a bit more complex and text-heavy than Redbooth’s. Your team will likely take a bit longer to get the hang of it, but considering the functionality you get, it’s still an intuitive, useful platform, even if its most attractive functionalities (like task dependencies) are behind a paywall.
Wrike - Balanced and secure, for small teams
Wrike works very well for very small teams looking for a slick, robust project management platform. The free plan may be limited to just 5 users, but it also offers unlimited active projects and top-notch file security.
- Pros: Wrike offers a lot of features without bogging down their interface, combining diverse functionality with slick usability. The biggest draws, however, are that Wrike puts no limit on projects, offers unlimited collaborators (people who can view but not create or edit tasks), and stores your data in incredibly secure data centers.
- Cons: Because the free plan maxes out at 5 users, it’s really only useful for small teams. If you ever consider upgrading to a paid plan, Wrike’s options are also easily the most expensive on the list. So if it’s likely your team will grow into a paid plan, other options like Asana or Freedcamp (below) may be better choices, so that you can seamlessly move from free to paid plans within the same program, without breaking your budget.
Bitrix24 - Robust platform, with CRM and HR capabilities
Bitrix24 offers more than just project management functionality; it’s also a customer relationship management (CRM) software packed with sales, automation, and email marketing features, as well as a human resources (HR) program.
- Pros: Bitrix24’s free plan allows up to 12 users and has unlimited tasks, subtasks, and projects. It also offers time tracking, 5 GB of storage, Gantt charts, and up to 5 task dependencies. On the sales side, it offers lead and contact management, automation, and email marketing, and for HR, it offers an employee directory, worker profiles, and more.
- Cons: Bitrix24 is by far the most complicated software on the list to learn, and because customer service isn’t included in the free plan, the learning curve is quite large. But if your team plans to make full use of Bitrix24’s vast array of features, the time and money saved in the long-run may be worth it.
Freedcamp - Unlimited users, projects, and storage
With Freedcamp, there’s a lot to love, whether you’re a smaller team looking for great functionality, or a larger team (15+) looking to stick with free software a while longer. Unlimited users, projects, and storage mean that Freedcamp could hypothetically scale up to any sized organization.
- Pros: It’s hard to beat the unlimited users, projects, and storage that Freedcamp offers on its free plan. The program comes with other useful features, too, such as file sharing, time tracking, invoicing, subtasks, and milestones.
- Cons: While Freedcamp allows for unlimited users, any team of 15+ individuals is going to end up feeling the plan’s limitations, such as its lack of task dependencies, third-party integrations, and reporting. There are a lot of great reasons to choose Freedcamp, but unlimited users is only useful to a point, after which your team may need to start considering upgrading to a paid plan.
The Skillset to Support the Software
Good project management software is vital for every team, but it can’t take the place of an experienced, knowledgeable project manager. If you’re looking to sharpen your ability to integrate complex projects, motivate people, and achieve cost-effective results, then check out our Project Management Master's Degree!