5 of the Best Microsoft Project Alternatives

Microsoft Project is a powerful tool for project management, whether you’re a business or a sole trader looking to keep all the plates spinning. It keeps track of timelines, of who’s doing what, and gives you access to the various Gantt charts and Kanban boards that keep projects flowing. It’s great, but it’s also expensive, and if you’re on a budget, you may need a free alternative.

We’ve gone out and found them for you – the best tools for managing high-intensity, elaborate projects.

Platforms: Web, iOS, Android

free-microsoft-project-alternatives-hygger

Hygger not only lets you create multiple projects but manage them all seamlessly. It’s designed for the Agile project methodology, focused around breaking the project up into stages and making it easy to iterate, though really it can apply to different PM approaches if you like.

The main dashboards in Hygger include a timeline, Kanban board and sprints. It’s uniquely good at multiple-project management, letting you combine multiple projects into collections and offering plenty of customization options in terms of layouts.

The free version of Hygger supports up to five users with unlimited storage, so it’s perfect for small teams with a ton of workload.

Platforms: Web, iOS, Android

free-microsoft-project-alternatives-freedcamp

One of the older project management tools out there remains one of the best. The browser-based Freedcamp has done a great job of keeping up with the times, with a neat interface based around three main dashboards – Taskboard, Calendar and Widgets, which offers a section of customizable insights into your project progress.

All this is contained within a neat, color-coded interface that lets you quickly manage projects using the ever-present and handy cog icon. It features the usual necessities like Gantt charts and a Kanban view, which you can quickly toggle to from the List view.

What makes Freedcamp stand out from other free project-management options is that it has unlimited users and storage, though file sizes are limited to 10MB. It also has helpful customer support.

Platforms: Web, iOS, Android

free-microsoft-project-alternatives-targetprocess

Another offering designed for those who take the Agile approach to project management, specifically ‘Scrum’, making it easy to constantly iterate and respond to changes and obstacles in a given project. It’s particularly good for software development teams, in other words.

It has plenty of features to that end, such as sprint-planning, great reporting features and intuitive tracking. The interface isn’t quite as clean as other tools in this list, but it makes up for it in excellent user-tracking features, setting up alerts, task distribution and more. Targetprocess may not always be simple, but that’s because it’s so feature-heavy.

The free version supports 1000 free projects, unlimited storage and live chat support.

Platforms: Web, iOS, Android

free-microsoft-project-alternatives-bitrix24

This free collaborative tool has picked up its share of accolades over the years, offering a complete package of project, task, time and document management in a social-style interface.

By “social” we mean that it’s great for communication in the way of messaging, comments, sharing of files and content, and even Facebook-style ‘Likes’ to create a friendly digital environment. It’s brimming with more serious features, too, like Gantt charts, robust document libraries and great time-planning tools that can be synced with Outlook.

For free, you get 5GB storage, twelve users and an unlimited number of projects. It takes a little getting to grips with it, with little in the way of tutorials, but it’s worth the effort.

Platforms: Web, Windows, macOSiOS, Android

free-microsoft-project-alternatives-redbooth

Not unlike Bitrix24, Redbooth has a pretty social theme, creating a workspace in which multiple users can easily switch between various tasks and communicate with each other.

It has a neatly organized workspace screen that lets you view notes and communications between collaborators, relevant files and of course task progress, as well as allowing for the easy conversion of emails into tasks. You have the usual Gantt charts and other fundamental PM tools, though some may find that it’s a little light on more in-depth features like reporting.

With the free version you can have up to ten free users, 2GB storage and two projects, making this a great option for smaller teams.

“No Project, No Problem,” as users of the above apps would probably say if you gave them the chance. While the fact remains with all the above (which all offer paid versions, too) that you always get more bang for your buck, there’s plenty up above to work with.

This article was first published in January 2012 and was updated in June 2018.

24 comments

  1. You should really check out http://www.podio.com
    A web-based collaboration tool.
    I has an API so people can make apps for it. And there’s an appstore. You can then design a project with exactly the apps (tools) you need for that specific project. Very flexible, it seems. I’m not really sure how the prices are. I’m not paying, but I don’t know if that is because I logged in with my university mail, but I don’t think so, because there is also something called a premium account.
    You can choose apps in Packs (bundles) designed for a specific type of project or you can pick single apps. To give you an idea, some of the most popular apps (you can browse by popularity and other ways) are “project collaboration”, “intranet”, “lead management”, “web app development”, “business development”, “recruitment”, “class work collaboration”, etc…
    To give you an idea of the packs, for example the “web app development” – pakage, comes with the apps “project backlog”, “sprint planning”, “bugs”, “releases”, “features”, “areas” and “procedures”. And you are of course free to add more or remove anything you find unnecessary.

    It is pretty cool, if you asked me.

    However, it is not perfect. What really annoys me is the web-site i slow. It drives me nuts. But I hope it gets better, it’s a fairly new project.

  2. To re-export towards MSProject apparently there are only non-free softwares, but the german-made Merlin is excellent on macs and iOS, also saving interactive web pages etc.
    Other than this I’m a bit worried when facing non-open web services (even if free) since I just don’t control the mere existence of the service… When will one of these free cloud things come with its php sources for us to install it on our web servers?
    (I don’t dream: these things exist for multiuser agendas for instance : time will come ;-)

  3. freedcamp was horrible.  didn’t do anything i expected from a project mgmt tool. not for business professionals.

    • I’m an IT manager with a major project with many team members but no budget for a collaborative tool.

      I can’t pay the $5,000+ for a Microsoft Project Server. Even the $400 for MS Project Standard is questionable just for this one 6 month project.

      However; if I found something at say, $30/yr for each team member, I’d jump on it if it’s a better fit! I welcome all such input.

      • zoho.com has a lot of collaborative products including project planning, don’t know how good they are (I only used their free “docs” product until Google Docs came out). Don’t know their current payment policies/amounts but it may be worth a look.

  4. There’s no doubt that the price is quite important when it comes to software for small business – not everyone can afford prices provided by MS and some alternative solutions.
    I strongly believe, Teamlab.com is what many project managers can call a really useful and affordable collaboration system. We have been using it for several months already and we are pleased with what we got.

  5. You should try Comindware too. Powerfull tool with a great flexible options, feature of instant real time reporting and tracking a few projects at the same time.

  6. Hello there, Usman! Good day! Thanks for posting the list of free and open source project planning and management tools. Microsoft Project is not at hand so our mentor decided to have a new one, freeware at least. We’ve been through to some sites but offers free trial version only and some are free yet web-based software. This post of you helps a lot and we’ve chosen OpenProj and downloaded it from .
    Thanks and good luck !

  7. What about not recommending an open source project filled with basic functionalities bugs that makes it completely unusable on a practical basis as a replacement for a working professional tool, just out of curiosity ?

  8. “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” – how can any PM who has used MS Project say that.
    It’s been a frustrating , semi-reliable and counter-intuitive tool since its inception and has only improved a little. Hence all the alternatives.
    Yes we’ve got used to its idiosyncracies but to suggest it makes anything a breeze suggests weak or light experience with it.
    I use it MS Proj for some clients as they are accustomed to it but use OpenProj for jobs without collaborative requirements and Zoho for collaborative one off or one stage projects that dont require serious scheduling or estimation.

  9. I found BootStrapToday is an intelligent Application Lifecycle Management Platform on SAAS model. With its built-in intelligence and automation you can detect bugs early, accelerate the software development with improved code quality. It also supports version control and effective collaboration among the distributed teams. you can found it at http://bootstraptoday.com/

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