Summary: A free project management solution is a good option to manage and deliver projects on time under a limited budget. Even with the free plan of many top project management systems, you get all the essential features like task scheduling, list creation, real-time collaboration, etc. So, which are the best open source and free project management software options to consider? Let’s find out.
If you are a business who have just started your journey and have a team, you might want to get a system which helps in synchronisation between teammates while working on a project.
With proper communication and coordination between members, ensures more efficient work in less time. This, in turn, converts into increased profits.
Delay in project completion gives rise to various issues that ultimately contribute to the entire business taking a hit. If one project isn’t completed on time, it creates a ripple effect, as the next project cannot be started on time. Hence, a pile of backlog gets created, which results in compounding loss for a business.
Why is Project Management Software Important?
The execution of workflow among teammates can become a burden if not managed systematically. A good project management software helps in automating most of the tasks which require planning, scheduling, reminding, and communicating.
This leaves the project manager to monitor the progress on a macroscopic level while also guiding and taking care of secondary and tertiary tasks. According to a study, 71 percent of IT companies are using agile techniques for the management of tasks.
This means that companies are gradually shifting from traditional project management methods to automated solutions such as project management software systems.
Suggested Read: Jira VS Trello : A Brief Comparison Between Jira and Trello
What Makes a Great Free Project Management Software? (Features)
Even the most basic features provided by a free project management software won’t let you down. Following are some features to look for, while getting a free project management system for your business:
- Tools for Sketching Roadmap
With the help of a project management software, individual members can keep a track of their process while also designating finished tasks to the next process in line. A good project management software provides planning and task management tools. It also provides insights about the time taken to complete each task and scheduled tasks assigned by other team members.
- Priority Management Tools
An ideal project management software provides features for stacking of tasks and reminder alerts. The software also provides necessary tools to communicate and allocate work when you’re working on something urgent and another urgent work comes up.Project management system helps allocate urgent tasks to those who have completed their previous assignments.
- Work Report Generation Tools
In order to assess productivity of your team, you require quantifiable data to measure the actual work done by every member. Hence, analytical tools such as Gantt Charts and graphs help in efficient analysis of individual as well as the entire team’s performance.
- Work Planner on Dashboard
Even the most basic project management software solutions provide work planners on their dashboard. This gives team members and managers of the overview of that tasks that have been completed and the ones that remain.
Some of the Open Source and free management solutions do not have an inbuilt work planner. In such cases some software solutions provide the option to integrate third-party work planners such as Google Calendar and iCal.
10 Best Free Project Management Software for Windows
To manage the various components of a project, teams and team members need a solution that provides maximum features that they require for free. Therefore, we present a list of 15 best free project management software solutions:
Asana is one of the best free project management software that helps users compartmentalise their tasks and complete their projects on time. Asana provides a common dashboard for all members to view, share and assign work to the next member, after they complete their work.
It also provides a to-do list for individual users with the help of which they can keep a track of their daily targets.
Here’s what the free version of Asana offers you:
- Unlimited tasks, projects, and conversations
- Easy-to-use dashboards
- Drag-and-drop interface
- Personal To-do list
- It provides a systematic workflow management system which helps both individual members as well as teams to keep a track of their work
- User friendly with interactive user Interface
- It only provides the option to assign work to a single member.
- It doesn’t allow the integration of calendars
Pricing Plans: The basic plan comes free of cost while its Premium Plan starts at ₹788.
Trello offers a simple project management solution which helps individuals and teams organise their tasks under a single umbrella. It is the best free project management software for individuals and teams who are thinking of using a project management software for the first time. It creates a seamless workflow and ensures systematic task sharing and collaboration.
What you get in the free plan of Trello:
- Unlimited boards
- Unlimited task lists
- Unlimited users
- One integration per board
- Storage up to 10MB for files
- It employs an intuitive technique to make processes and task management user-friendly
- Due to its user-friendly interface, makes working while also managing the reporting seamless
- It provides the ability to integrate with third party software
- Limited keyboard shortcuts
- Emails cannot be converted into tasks
- Limited tasks per project
Pricing Plans:The Basic Plan is free while the Gold Plan starts from ₹ 359.
Paymo is one of the top free project planning software that comes with a plethora of different project management tools, free plans included. This makes it easier for users and teams to plan, prioritise, and track their work for multiple clients and projects.
Features in the Free Version of Paymo:
- Access for 1 user
- 1GB of Space
- Time Tracking
- It provides a reservoir of space for large files
- Efficient time-tracking facilities
- The features are limited in the free plan
Pricing Plans: The initial plan is Free while the Premium plan starts at ₹857.
Wrike software is another top free project management software which provides features like Excel and Google Sheets with the benefits of a project management software. With efficient features along with the agility of a spreadsheet, it can be integrated with project management tools such as Gantt charts and reminders for efficient task management.
Features in the Free Version of Wrike:
- Unlimited tasks and projects
- Seamless file sharing
- Messaging tools
- Available for Android and iOS
- It is flexible and fast
- Provides multiple chart options
- Customisation options
- Its free version provides limited features.
Pricing Plans: While its Basic Package is free of charge, the Professional Package is for ₹703 per user/month.
Podio is one of the best project scheduling software solution that offers users to personalise their projects and tasks. It provides a wide variety of features, like form builder and drag-and-drop feature for easy navigation.
It acts as a funnel for the project related tasks and helps members assign work to one another. It has its own communication tools with which team members can interact, hold discussion and share files and documents in real-time.
Features in the Free Version of Podio:
- Access for 5 Users
- Unlimited Workspaces
- Chat Capabilities
- Easy-to-use UI
- Cost Effective
- Clean and organised Kanban boards
- Printing options aren’t available
- No Phone Support
Pricing Plans: It provides unlimited free use for maximum of five people after which its Basic Plan costs ₹645 per employee/month
Bitrix24 combines the traditional project planning features with modern project collaboration tools. From real-time team collaboration to video conferencing and client management tools; Bitrix24 is a one-stop solution for the efficient management of tasks, teams, projects and businesses.
What Bitrix24 provides in its free version:
- Task management
- Kanban boards
- Resource management
- 5GB of storage
- Access for 12 users
- Has an interactive interface
- Advanced resource and task management tools
- Large storage space for efficient file sharing between team members and clients
- Cloud-based remote sharing
- With multiple integration the application might freeze and crash at times
- With multiple features, it might take some time for entire teams to get used to it
Pricing Plans: The Basic Plan allows unlimited usage for up to 12 users after which it starts its CRM Plan starting from ₹5000 per month
MeisterTask is one of the most innovative free project management which provides colour-coded lists. This project management system automates your tasks as soon as they are put in the list, which will help your team to be more productive.
MeisterTask team task management allows users to send emails and modify due dates with the help of a simple drag-and-drop interface. It provides necessary tools required for brainstorming sessions in real-time with the help of mind maps.
What you get in the free version of MeisterTask:
- Unlimited number of projects, tasks and project members and users
- Up to two integrations
- Checklists, comments, tags, task and time tracking features
- User-friendly interface
- File-sharing up to 20MB
- Unlimited useful tools such as Kanban Boards
- Simple and user-friendly interface
- Easy to navigate even for new users
- Features such as workflow automation, priority support and guest access are restricted to the paid versions.
The basic plan is free while the Pro Plan starts from ₹600/month.
ClickUp is of the best free project management software solutions, known in the market as productivity enhancing solution. As the name suggests, it assists members as well as teams to set targets and deadlines, manage and organise tasks, all in a central project space.
What is there in the free plan of ClickUp:
- Unlimited users
- Unlimited tasks
- Project workspaces
- 100 MB file storage
- 24*7 support (chat, phone, email, and online assistance)
- 100 uses of custom fields
- 100 uses of goals
- 100 uses of portfolios
- Limited reporting
- The ability to switch between views is remarkable
- The ability to modify and customise deadlines
- Easy to set up
- There are a few glitches in the UX
- Lack of intuitive process management
Pricing Plans: The basic Plan is free while the premium plan starts from ₹ 360 per month.
Teamworks Projects is a project management software that lets its users customise their dashboards so that they can make the most out of the software depending on their requirements.
With Teamworks Projects, users can see the progress of other team members and accordingly set their goals. There are a number of features that come with this project management software free version. Its ‘Pro’ plan provides additional features such as integration with Slack and Dropbox.
What Teamworks Projects provides in its free plan:
- 2 active projects
- Task boards
- Colour themes
- Customisable dashboards and Kanban reports
- Precise progress management tools
- Limited features in the Free Plan
Pricing Plans: Teamworks Projects provides a Free Forever Plan which supports two Projects, and a maximum of 5 users, at a time. While its Pro Plan is for ₹648 per user/month and is billed annually.
TeamGantt online gantt chart is a free project planning software to help you manage projects. With TeamGantt, individuals and teams can store the information of teams at one central dashboard. It provides advanced tools to track team members’ progress and smart time employee gps tracking functionality.
What the free plan of TeamGantt provides:
- 1 project
- Basic planning and collaboration
- 3 users
- Team availability and workload
- It has an efficient a prompt customer support (Live chat and email)
- It comes with an array of online resources such as tutorials and knowledge base
- Doesn’t have proper social collaboration management tools
Pricing Plans: The initial plan is free while the it costs ₹713 per month.
Avaza is a comprehensive project management solution which comes with a plethora of features to assist teams in efficient project management. Avaza allows users to customise their task layouts and projects to expedite their task completion. It also shows the work done in percentage and provides the feature of converting emails into tasks.
Features that Avaza’s free plan provides:
- 5 active projects
- Unlimited archived projects
- 10 customers
- 5 invoices/month
- 100 MB storage
- Email and chat support
- User-friendly interface
- Ability to customise tools and task layouts
- Provides users the ability to convert emails into tasks
- Limited features for free users
- Can be laggy at times
Pricing Plans: The basic plan is free and the startup plan starts from ₹ 712 per month.
Airtable is one of the most unique project management systems that can turn spreadsheets such as Excel and Google Sheets into a project management tool. It can be used as an evolved spreadsheet that provides assistance in inventory management. The best thing about Airtable is that you can save it as a template for others to use it.
The Free plan of Airtable offers:
- Unlimited bases
- Unlimited scheduling views
- Field records
- 2 GB of storage
- 2 weeks of archived data
- Helps in streamlining the workflow for both internal and external processes
- Assists in data organisation, project planning and work management
- Can easily be integrated with third-party applications such as zapier
- Problem in terms of rows not being visible and the ability to hide them
Pricing Plans: Apart from the basic version being free, the Plus Plan starts from 859 per user/month.
Freedcamp is a free project management solution that can be installed on Windows and Mac OS, but you can also use it remotely with the help of its cloud-based deployment option. It goes a step further than a standard project management software and provides additional features such as invoicing.
The free plan of Freedcamp provides features such as:
- Gantt charts
- Task management
- Discussion boards
- 10 MB per file of storage
- Provides unlimited storage with the free plan
- Some vital features aren’t available in the free version.
Pricing Plans: Freedcamp provides a Free Plan with unlimited projects, tasks, storage, and users. While its Business Plan is for ₹540 per month/user billed annually.
If you have a small team of members for your projects and need a project management system to micromanage tasks, HiTask easy project management is the ideal project management software for you. It lets users seamlessly create and designate tasks to other members. It also lets users to share a common calendar and library so that all the tasks are easily accessible by all the members of the project.
What HiTask offers in its free plan:
- Up to 5 Members
- Unlimited Projects and Tasks
- Centralised Lists, Projects, and Calendar
- 500 MB of Space
- Convenient User Interface
- Friendly collaboration tools
- Ability to add multiple subtasks
- Provides limited integrations
- There is no private note space for members
Pricing Plans: Basic Plan is for free while the Premium version starts from ₹357/month.
Suggested Read: Use of Project Management Software in Construction Industry
Waffle.io is an open source project management software which assists teams in organising, planning and execution. It provides a number of visual tools for monitoring that can convert lists on a Kanban board into cards. With the help of these cards, managers can look at the macroscopic progress of the project.
What Waffle.io provides in its free plan:
- Customisable Workflows
- Multiple repositories in one view
- Automated Status Updates
- Seamless integration with Slack
- It is free
- Provides a Kanban board
- Updates in tasks can be checked by project members in real-time
- Managing big projects can sometimes be challenging
Waffle provides four different plans: While the first one is free, other plans, i.e. personal and organisation are for ₹ 358 and ₹3508 respectively.
Suggested Read: Importance of Software Engineering Project Management Tools
List of 5 Best Open Source Project Management Software
By providing open source project management solutions providers equip individuals and teams to customise the program according to their personal requirements.
Hence, here are five best project management software open source to suit your project management requirements:
RationalPlan is a simple project planning software that helps project managers to allocate resources, manage portfolio and manage workload according to the requirements. It provides tier-wise access with both management and analytical tools for monitoring tasks. It also provides additional storage capacities.
Features of RationalPlan:
- Task Creation
- Assignment Management
- Gantt Chart
- Project Map
- It has an interactive user interface
- Gantt Chart
- Compatible with web-based browsers apart from operating systems such as Windows and Mac
- While exporting to Excel, sometimes it loses data
- If the application is closing, it loses sensitive information
Pricing: It is a completely free open source project management software with one-time license and subscription.
OrangeScrum, as the name suggests, is a comprehensive project management solution which employs agile techniques such as a Kanban workflow board and a Scrum board. It is quite helpful for startups, freelancers and SMEs.
Apart from the Startup Package, OrangeScrum provides an open source version with a plethora of features, such as a mobile app, resource utilisation, and progress tracking.
- Absolutely free and open source
- Intuitive UX
- Abundance of tools for efficient task management
- No Subtask manager
Pricing: OrangeScrum is an open source project management software. However, for additional features and a stable UX, the Startup Package starts from ₹ 645 per month.
Open Project is one of the most equipped open source project management solutions and is known for its team communication, project management and project planning features. Its multifaceted modules provide users assistance from the first to the last step of project management.
It provides some of the best management tools free of charge, such as Scrum and Agile. It also offers users analytical and report management tools for a comprehensive project management experience.
Features of Open Project Software:
- Agile and Scrum tools
- Task management
- Roadmap and release planning
- It is user-friendly
- Tools like Scrum and Agile make tasks easier to manage
- Doesn’t provide wide-ranging customisable features.
- It’s landing page needs more work and added functionalities.
Pricing: Its premium version starts from ₹391 per month.
Odoo is not just a project management software but a one-stop integrated system which also provide management tools for accounting, e-commerce, HR, inventory, manufacturing and sales, to name a few. Odoo open source CRM and ERP also offers an open source edition that has less features than the premium edition however, it still provides all the necessary tools for teams to manage their tasks and projects.
Features of Odoo Project Management Software:
- Kanban Boards
- Pivot tables
- FIle management
- Time Tracking
- It is highly customisable
- Provides an array of tools
- Easy to use
- Fast and adaptable
- Lack of in-depth analytics
- Difficult to maintain without a dedicated IT department
Pricing: Odoo Community Edition is free, however individual usage costs ₹ 1433 per month.
Taiga is a free & open source project planning solution that offers state-of-the-art agile and scrum tools. In addition, it also includes features including a task management, troubleshooting, backlog manager, ticket management, wiki pages and much more. One of its main features is that it can be seamlessly integrated by third-party management systems.
Features that it provides in the free version:
- Up to 3 members on a private project
- 1 free private and unlimited public projects
- 300MB of storage
- It has a user-friendly interface which helps in seamless coordination
- Multifunctional Kanban board
- It’s very agile and Kanban tools can be customised
- Thorough report generation
- The user experience and the interface can need a little work. It also needs to be configured so that it gets easier to navigate.
- The software isn’t mobile compatible yet.
Pricing Plans: Its Basic Plan is free of charge, while the Premium Plan costs ₹ 359/month per team member on the yearly plan.
What Makes a Great Project Management Software?
With the increase in demand of project management solutions, market now has an array of different products to help automate these systems. But, how will you figure which project management software to choose from?
As a business that is starting to spread its wings, cost-effective solutions are the most ideal for all aspects of operations. Therefore, it is wise to choose a free and open source project management software to organise your projects.
However, with all these software solutions in the market, choosing one that suits your requirements can be critical for enhancing the way your team works.
The best project management software solutions offer wide-ranging tools for planning, monitoring, collaboration and communication such as:
- Gantt Charts
- Performance Monitoring
- Time Tracking
- Cost Management
- Planning and Resource Management
- Risk Management
- Change Management
- Stakeholder Management
- Project Portfolio Management
- Project Reports
- Online Meeting Management Software Solutions
Being a project member there are a number of aspects that you need to monitor, from scheduling, to maintaining flow and guiding each link in the chain to perform optimally. Apart from this, there are other secondary and tertiary things to take care of, as well, such as making reports, forming roadmaps and, at times, improvising.
Hope this list of Best free and open source project management software solutions helps in managing all your tasks efficiently. Did we miss anything? Write your thoughts below.