Microsoft Project is a project management software which makes it a breeze to organize the whole project timeline including the work schedules, budgets and human work hours. Microsoft Project has become the best project management software which every IT professional and manager loves to work with. Microsoft Project is suitable for everyone from a person with very basic project management needs to a very large team with very complex collaboration and management needs. This is where simpler tools with only essential features come in. We share some of the most competent, simpler and free alternatives to Microsoft Project. There are two types of alternatives that I have used, web based and desktop based. Let’s get started with the list.
Openproj is so far the best free and open source alternative to Microsoft Project. Openproj is the best alternative because there is very little time and effort required to shift from Microsoft Project to Openproj. It can even open MPP and MPT files created from Microsoft Project but one drawback of Openproj is that it will not be able to save the file back to MS Project file format but rather save it in an XML file which can be opened universally by any XML reader.
Openproj is compatible with Mac OS, Windows and Linux.
Gantter is a free web based project management application that is especially targeted for small businesses and home users. The biggest feature of Gantter that I like the most is that it can be easily integrated with Google docs. You can also import your MPP files created in Microsoft Project but Gantter will save files in XML format. You can either save your projects locally or on Gantter cloud servers.
Teambox is another free web based project management tool. Teambox is much like a social network of all the people who are working on a project. You can easily assign tasks, leave comments and fix due dates and this functionality is given just like we post anything on Facebook or any other social network. This makes it stand off from other project management tools. If your requirement is heavy collaboration among the team, Teambox is the perfect solution for you. The free edition of Teambox supports up to 3 projects and 50MB of online space.
4. Rally Community Edition
Rally Community Edition is another web based free and easy to use project management tool. This tool is an ideal solution for small business free for up to 10 users. You can easily plan and track tasks with Rally community edition. The distinction of Rally Community Edition is that it provides personal dashboards for all the users and combines social media tools for better collaboration and getting the right things done at the right time.
FreedCamp is another feature rich web based alternative to Microsoft Project. The thing that attracts me towards FreedCamp is their claim on their homepage:
Over 48 universities, and 31 thousand professionals from 188 countries use Freedcamp every day!
FreedCamp offers an extremely easy to use dashboard which even newbies can get familiar with easily. FreedCamp works in modules and you can install any application that suits your project. This approach is especially successful as people have the flexibility to work on only the tasks and tools that they would like to use. All extras will never be installed. You can install the basic apps during the signup process. The basic apps includes a to-do list, discussions, milestones, time and files.
Which is your application of choice for managing your projects whether at the office or at home? What do you think is the best way to manage projects easily? Is it through using the software or doing things manually?
Image credit: Big Stock Photo
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