5 Popular Project Planning Tools

By: on February 10, 2021

Effective planning is key to successful project delivery. A project plan will help you estimate timelines and costs accurately, track the progress of tasks, and monitor the usage of resources. But creating a project plan can be time-consuming and tedious.

A project planning tool can simplify the process by offering a centralized platform to manage all project-related tasks. You can define a project’s critical path, create tasks and subtasks, schedule resources, and communicate with team members—all using the same platform.

In this blog post, we explain how project planning tools can help project managers like you become better planners. We also suggest five popular project planning tools for you. But first, let’s see what project planning tools are and how they benefit your business.

What are project planning tools?

Project planning tools are software solutions that help create a project plan that defines the scope, cost, schedule, resources, and risks related to a project. They offer features such as Gantt charts, resource scheduling, and calendar management to help project managers create a project timeline and allocate work to employees.

Project planning software also offers team collaboration features such as shared activity dashboards that help team members stay on the same page regarding allocated tasks and inform them about upcoming deadlines.

What are the benefits of project planning tools?

Among the many benefits of project planning tools, the key ones are:

  • Detect project risks early: Using built-in Gantt charts and Kanban boards, you can visualize the project timeline, understand interdependencies between tasks, and identify potential issues. This helps you detect bottlenecks early on in the process and make provisions to fix them.
  • Optimize resource utilization: Resource scheduling, a key feature of project planning software, helps visualize your team’s workload and track who is working on which task. With a better understanding of resource availability, you’ll be able to allocate tasks more efficiently.
  • Boost team collaboration: Project planning tools help centralize project-related communication. Your teammates can add files and leave comments on the shared activity dashboard, which can be accessed by all authorized members. They can also message their colleagues or chat with them in real time.

Five popular project planning tools

In this section, we’ve listed (alphabetically) five popular project planning tools to help you better plan and manage project resources. These products have been selected from Google’s search engine results page (SERP). To read our complete selection methodology, click here.

5 best project planning tools

1. Celoxis

4.4 out of 5 stars
219 reviews

Celoxis is a project management solution that can be deployed in the cloud or on-premise. It helps you plan a single project or a portfolio of projects as well as track the completion status. You can assign permissions to let internal and external stakeholders view the project status, participate in discussions, share files, and give feedback.

Key project planning capabilities:

  • Use Gantt charts to visualize the project timeline and track the status of tasks
  • Generate resource allocation reports to check the bandwidth of your team
  • Access built-in work calendars to view available dates and schedule project tasks

Project summary reports in Celoxis

Project summary reports in Celoxis (Source)

Pricing info: The tool’s cloud-based version starts at $22.50 per user per month (billed annually), and the on-premise version costs $450 per user.

Read user reviews of Celoxis

 

2. Hive

4.5 out of 5 stars
140 reviews

Hive is cloud-based project management software that offers project planning and team collaboration capabilities. It also provides an on-premise version for government agencies. The software helps you plan project timelines and track their progress using digital dashboards. Its built-in chat feature lets your team members communicate in real time.

Key project planning capabilities:

  • Use Gantt charts to plan and schedule tasks
  • Track the availability of team members to allocate tasks
  • View the project schedule and upcoming due dates using a built-in calendar

Using a Kanban board to plan projects in Hive

Using a Kanban board to plan projects in Hive (Source)

Pricing info: Hive’s paid plan starts at $12 per user per month (billed annually).

Read user reviews of Hive

 

3. ProjectManager.com

4.1 out of 5 stars
325 reviews

ProjectManager.com is a cloud-based project management tool that lets you create project roadmaps, define milestones, prioritize tasks, and much more. Its reporting dashboard allows you to track the project’s progress and resource utilization. Its key features include budgeting, time tracking, task management, and reporting.

Key project planning capabilities:

  • Use the project dashboard to plan capacity and schedule resources
  • Visualize task interdependencies with the help of Gantt charts
  • View deadlines and schedules on a built-in project calendar

Gantt chart view in ProjectManager.com

Gantt chart view in ProjectManager.com (Source)

Pricing info: The tool’s paid plan starts at $15 per user per month.

Read user reviews of ProjectManager.com

 

4. ProWorkflow

4.4 out of 5 stars
202 reviews

ProWorkflow is a cloud-based project management and time tracking tool. It lets you centralize project-related documentation and view the status of ongoing projects. It offers a built-in messaging app that allows your teammates to chat, send messages, share documents, and more.

Key project planning capabilities:

  • Monitor team workloads, schedule tasks, and assign them to employees
  • Visualize the project timeline and define task dependencies using Gantt charts
  • View due dates and project deadlines on a built-in calendar

Resource capacity reporting in ProWorkflow

Resource capacity reporting in ProWorkflow (Source)

Pricing info: The tool’s starting plan costs $18 per user per month (billed annually), and it has a 25GB file storage limit.

Read user reviews of ProWorkflow

 

5. Wrike

4.3 out of 5 stars
1,621 reviews

Wrike is a cloud-based project management tool that helps you plan projects, manage resources, and collaborate with team members. It offers built-in project scheduling templates to help break down large projects into small tasks and subtasks. It can be integrated with document management and live chat solutions to facilitate team collaboration.

Key project planning capabilities:

  • Monitor the project progress using Gantt charts
  • Use a built-in calendar to view project schedules and due dates
  • Track the availability of resources with the help of the project dashboard

Planning tasks using a Gantt chart in Wrike

Planning tasks using a Gantt chart in Wrike (Source)

Pricing info: Wrike’s paid plan starts at $9.80 per user per month (billed annually), and it has a 5GB file storage limit.

Read user reviews of Wrike

What’s next?

We’ve listed five project planning tools that are popular with businesses of all sizes. To choose the one that’s right for your business, follow these steps:

Looking for more project planning software options? We’ll help you find the right product for your needs and budget in 15 minutes or less, for free. Schedule a call or click here to chat with a software advisor now.


Methodology

Products have been selected based on Google SERP as accessed on Jan. 6, 2021. Tools that ranked higher in the SERP were given preference and further judged on the following criteria to identify the top five qualifying products:

  • Average rating of 4 out of 5 (as of Jan. 6, 2021)
  • A minimum of 20 user reviews on Software advice (as of Nov. 6, 2021)
  • Offer all the core features of project planning software: Gantt charts, calendar, and resource management.

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