The Best Cheap Project Management Software Compared for 2024

Monday.com is the best cheap project management software, courtesy of a generous free plan and some of the most affordable paid plans on the market. However, there’s never a one-size-fits-all solution, which is why we’ve compiled this list of the most affordable project management software options, highlighting each one’s key standouts to help you pick the best one for your business.

Top Cheap Project Management Software Ranked

We’ll dive into the specifics of every single pick, but if you’re after a quick answer, here’s a sneak peek into all of the best cheap business project management software, along with the areas they excel in:

  1. Monday.com — The best cheap business project management software overall
  2. Wrike — Best for smart AI functions on the free plan
  3. Smartsheet — Best for detailed templates and spreadsheet project management
  4. ClickUp — Best for various dashboard views and automation templates
  5. Teamwork — Best project management software for free time tracking
  6. Zoho Projects — Best project management tool for collaboration and integration
  7. GanttPro — Best for advanced project analysis on a budget
  8. Trello — Best for integrations and interactive Kanban boards
  9. Notion — Best for customizability and designing databases
  10. Basecamp — Best for one-page project dashboard views

The Best Budget Project Management Tools Compared

Here’s a table highlighting the main differences between the best project management software for teams on a budget so that you can compare them side by side:

PM Tools Best for Starting Monthly Price Starting Annual Price Free Version Projects Integrations Automation Resource Management
Monday Whiteboard collaboration $12/user/month $9/user/month Free plan 3 to unlimited 250-250,000 actions/month with Slack, Gmail, Microsoft Teams, GitLab, Mailchimp 250-250,000 actions/month
Wrike AI functions $9.80/user/month $9.80/user/month Free plan 3 to unlimited Up to 400 including Power BI, Google Sheets, Miro, Salesforce, Tableau 50-1,500 per seat
Smartsheet Spreadsheet management $9/user/month $7/user/month Free plan 2-unlimited 100+ including HubSpot, Slack, Google Drive, Formstack, Dropbox 100/month to unlimited
ClickUp Automations $10/user/month $7/user/month Free plan Unlimited 1,000+, including GitHub, Google Drive, Zoom, Dropbox, Zendesk 100 to 250,000
Teamwork Free platform $8.99/user/month $5.99/user/month Free plan 2-unlimited 2,000+ including Stripe, Clockify, Outlook, Slack, Zoho Analytics 100/month to 50,000/month
Zoho Projects Interactive team collaboration $5/user/month $4/user/month Free plan 2-unlimited 50+ including Zendesk, SharePoint, Zoho CRM, Zoho Analytics, Zoho Sprints Unlimited
GanttPro Gantt charts $9.99/user/month $7.99/user/month 14-day free trial Unlimited 5+ including MS Teams, Slack, OneDrive, Google Drive, Jira Only Auto Scheduling
Trello Kanban boards $5/user/month $5/user/month Free plan 10-Unlimited 200+ including Jira, Slack, Google Drive, Table View, MS Teams Unlimited
Notion Database building $8/user/month $8/user/month Free plan Unlimited 80+ including Calendly, Jira, Miro, Rippling, Trello Basic to advanced
Basecamp Visual charts $15/user/month $15/user/month 30-day trial Unlimited 28+ including Figma, Notion, AIrtable, Jira, Salesforce

The Best Cheap Project Management Software Reviewed

We’ve looked into factors like affordability, feature-price value, and ease of use to compile this list of the best cheap project management software. Let’s now dive into the detailed reviews for each of them.

1. Monday.com — Overall, the Best Cheap Business Project Management Software

Monday.com logo

Monthly Price Annual Price Free Version Projects Integrations Automation Resource Management
$12/user/month $9/user/month Free plan 3 to unlimited 250-250,000 actions/month with Slack, Gmail, Microsoft Teams, GitLab, Mailchimp 250-250,000 actions/month

Monday is the best cheap project management solution owing to a free forever plan and affordable Basic and Standard plans, costing $9 and $12/user/month, respectively.

With the free plan, you get up to 3 boards with 1,000 items each. An item can be anything—task, project, or customer. That said, the best thing about Monday is that it offers 200+ templates.

The platform offers excellent collaboration features, too, including embedded documents and whiteboards, where you can add elements like charts, shapes, notes, and links, among others.

You get all this and more (unlimited boards, docs, and custom fields) with the Basic plan. However, we found Monday’s Standard plan delivers the best value for money.

This is the first plan that offers automations and integrations. Plus, you get different views like Timeline, Calendar, and Chart. However, with the earlier plans, you got only the Kanban view.

All-in-all, Monday is a budget-friendly option for teams and easily offers the best value for money when you factor in what you get for the price.

Unsure? Read our full Monday.com review.

Pros

  • An extensive library of 200+ templates
  • Whiteboard collaboration
  • 11 board views
  • Customizable forms on the free plan
  • Offers cheap, scalable plans

Cons

  • Only 3 boards on the free plan

2. Wrike — Best for Free Smart AI Functions

Wrike logo

Monthly Price Annual Price Free Version Projects Integrations Automation Resource Management
$9.80/user/month $9.80/user/month Free plan Unlimited Up to 400 including Power BI, Google Sheets, Miro, Salesforce, Tableau 50-1,500 per seat

Wrike is one of the best project management apps for AI functions, especially as it’s included right from the free plan. Its Work Intelligence suite helps you keep your projects on time, for example.

It does this by analyzing historical patterns. Plus, you can use mobile voice commands to create and check project statuses, and it can even analyze meeting notes and create tasks from them.

Like many other platforms, Wrike also offers a free plan for unlimited users with features like Table and Kanban view, task and subtask management, and collaborators.

However, we suggest upgrading to its Team plan at $9.80/user/month, as you can build custom workflows and custom fields with views such as Calendar and dynamic Gantt charts.

This is also the first plan that offers automation (50/seat). Along with all this, you get as many as 400+ integration options with Wrike, although all are not available with the Team plan.

However, if you’re after more features like time tracking or more automations, consider alternatives like ClickUp, which offers both features right from its free plan.

Need more? Here’s an in-depth Wrike review.

Pros

  • One of the best sets of AI features on the free plan
  • 400+ integrations
  • Beautiful and intuitive visual dashboards
  • Request forms with custom fields

Cons

  • Only a handful of automations

3. Smartsheet — Best for Spreadsheet Project Management

Smartsheet logo

Monthly Price Annual Price Free Version Projects Integrations Automation Resource Management
$9/user/month $7/user/month Free plan 2-unlimited 100+ including HubSpot, Slack, Google Drive, Formstack, Dropbox 100/month to unlimited

Smartsheet works differently than most other project management solutions. You get a blank spreadsheet with rows and columns where you can add various projects, tasks, and subtasks.

Every other activity, like follow-ups, attachments, and comments, can be made on this spreadsheet itself, similar to an Excel sheet. You can also use filters and set up conditional formatting.

Smartsheet is far more than a simple spreadsheet, though. It offers a free plan with 100 automation triggers and integrations alongside various views beyond the table format.

This includes project views like List, Gantt, and Calendar. However, you can only add 2 sheets with the free plan. We suggest going for its Pro plan at $7/user/month, which offers unlimited projects.

This plan also lets you invite unlimited viewers and onboard 10 editors, which provides excellent value for money, considering the price point.

With each project sheet, you also get a separate dashboard with visual reports on task statuses, project completion, and overdue tasks.

Looking for more? Read our full Smartsheet review.

Pros

  • Detailed templates with video explanations
  • Very similar to Excel sheets
  • Automations and integrations on the free plan
  • Sheets can be interconnected for related projects

Cons

  • Scaling can be expensive for some

4. ClickUp — Best for Various Views and Templates

ClickUp logo

Monthly Price Annual Price Free Version Projects Integrations Automation Resource Management
$10/user/month $7/user/month Free plan Unlimited 1,000+, including GitHub, Google Drive, Zoom, Dropbox, Zendesk 100 to 250,000

ClickUp is the best cheap project management app when it comes to automations. Where platforms like Monday offer automation on their $12 plan, ClickUp does so right from the free plan.

You get 100 automation executions and 50 active rules. Better yet, you get an active library of Action and Trigger templates, where you can quickly choose your desired, no-code automation rule.

ClickUp is easily one of the best free project management solutions. The free plan offers unlimited tasks, List, Board, Calendar, Gantt, and Timeline views (60 uses each), and even in-app video recording.

In fact, you also get time-tracking features. However, if you can spend $7/user/month, we suggest going for its Unlimited plan, which comes with unlimited file storage and portfolio management.

Under portfolio management, you can club various projects to keep track of these projects simultaneously. We also love ClickUp’s Mind maps and whiteboards for visual collaboration.

All-in-all, ClickUp is an excellent value-for-money option if your budget is under $8/month. However, one thing to note is that ClickUp AI, unlike Wrike’s, is a separate add-on for $5/user/month.

Read our full ClickUp review for more.

Pros

  • Automations on the free plan
  • Native time tracking features
  • One of the most comprehensive free plans
  • As many as 15 project views

Cons

  • Fewer security features on the lower-level plans
  • Has a somewhat high learning curve

5. Teamwork — Best Free Project Management Software

Teamwork logo

Monthly Price Annual Price Free Version Projects Integrations Automation Resource Management
$8.99/user/month $5.99/user/month Free plan 2-unlimited 2,000+ including Stripe, Clockify, Outlook, Slack, Zoho Analytics 100/month to 50,000/month

Unlike platforms like Wrike that reserve this functionality for top-tier plans, Teamwork is excellent if you’re after free project time tracking.

Not only can you track time, but also maintain extensive timesheets, mark time tracked as billable or non-billable, and set estimated time for each task. You even get 100 automations on the free plan.

Teamwork also has some of the most affordable introductory plans, starting at just $5.99/user/month. With this, you can manage up to 100 projects with massive storage of 50GB.

The best thing about Teamwork is its dedicated collaborative doc management called Spaces, where team members can upload and access any document at all times.

If you need more reporting functions like project status and planned vs actual reports, you’ll need to upgrade to its Deliver plan ($9.99/user/month), which is still cheap.

One thing Teamwork lacks is templates, though. Even on its $19.99/user plan, you get only 50 templates. Monday, on the other hand, offers 200+ templates on its free plan itself.

We weigh it all up in our in-depth Teamwork review.

Pros

  • Excellent time tracking on the free plan
  • Dedicated document management platform
  • Automations on the free plan

Cons

  • Limited custom fields

6. Zoho Projects — Best for Collaboration and Integration

Zoho Projects logo

Monthly Price Annual Price Free Version Projects Integrations Automation Resource Management
$5/user/month $4/user/month Free plan 2-unlimited 50+ including Zendesk, SharePoint, Zoho CRM, Zoho Analytics, Zoho Sprints Unlimited

Zoho Projects is a great pick if you need something more contemporary. For starters, the platform offers social media-like feeds to keep communication more interactive between teams.

You can post or check events like important task completions, announcements, and other quick updates on your Zoho feed, form groups or 1:1 private chats, and even create forums.

We found Zoho Project’s free plan to be pretty basic, though, as it only lets you manage 2 projects and offers limited features like document sharing and a few templates.

If you want to get the best out of this platform, you’ll need a paid plan. Thankfully, it’s easily one of the cheapest project management software solutions, starting at a mere $4/user/month.

With this, you can manage unlimited projects and access time-tracking and budgeting features. Zoho Projects’ AI, Zia, is also on all paid plans, which can help with things like scheduling tasks.

What’s amazing is that even Zoho’s most expensive plan costs just $9/user. That said, the platform only offers 3 views—List, Gantt, and Kanban. If you need more, consider ClickUp, which offers 15 views.

Sound like the best option for you? Learn more with our full Zoho Projects review.

Pros

  • AI-powered chatbot named Zia
  • Affordable top-tier plan
  • Excellent team collaboration features
  • A dedicated issue-tracking feature

Cons

  • Not many project templates
  • Lacks project view options

7. GanttPro — Best for Advanced Project Analysis on a Budget

GanttPro logo

Monthly Price Annual Price Free Version Projects Integrations Automation Resource Management
$9.99/user/month $7.99/user/month 14-day free trial Unlimited 5+ including MS Teams, Slack, OneDrive, Google Drive, Jira Only Auto Scheduling

GanttPro is ideal for businesses after a platform that excels in Gantt charts. This holistic overview of tasks and dependencies is a must-have for agile teams, for example.

Beyond the Gantt view, you also get List, Grid, Board, and Portfolio views. For just $7.99/user/month, GanttPro also offers advanced project planning features like:

  • Schedule Baseline lets you set benchmarks to compare projects against the timeframe
  • Critical Paths lets you mark tasks as “critical” or “non-critical” and prioritize them based on their inter-dependability.

Both of these make it easy to identify and solve bottlenecks. However, GanttPro isn’t the most affordable option out there, but this depends on your budget. Its Pro plan costs $12.99/user.

That said, this price fetches you advanced project planning features like bulk changes and cascade sorting, but features like time tracking aren’t included. It also lacks a free plan.

Unsure? Read our detailed GanttPro review

Pros

  • One of the best for Gantt charts
  • Several pre-built and custom fields
  • Advanced project planning features like critical path

Cons

  • No free plan
  • Fewer integrations than rivals

8. Trello — Best for Interactive Kanban Boards

Trello logo

Monthly Price Annual Price Free Version Projects Integrations Automation Resource Management
$5/user/month $5/user/month Free plan 10-Unlimited 200+ including Jira, Slack, Google Drive, Table View, MS Teams Unlimited

Trello is a Kanban-focused project management solution that prioritizes ease of use. The boards are colorful, and you can add unlimited cards to each board on the free plan.

What we love the most is its third-party integrations. Where platforms like Monday don’t offer any, even on their Basic paid plan, Trello allows 200+ power-ups right from the free plan itself.

You can also leverage Butler to automate notifications on Trello and externally with the apps you can integrate with. For example, when a card is marked as completed, the manager will be alerted to this.

Trello is pretty affordable, too, with its Standard plan costing just $5. You get unlimited boards, cards, integrations, and automations—making it one of the best small business project management tools.

However, if you need more views like Calendar, Timeline, and Table, you’ll need to switch to the Premium plan at $10/user/month. That said, Trello lacks things like time tracking and reporting.

There aren’t any AI features, either. If you prioritize these functions, consider Wrike or ClickUp.

Need more? Read our full Trello review.

Pros

  • 200+ integrations right from the free plan
  • Color-coded Kanban boards
  • Affordable Starter and Premium plans
  • Workspace Calendar for bird’s eye view

Cons

  • No time tracking
  • Lacks detailed reporting
  • Can be too simple for some

9. Notion — Best for Customizability and Databases

Notion logo

Monthly Price Annual Price Free Version Projects Integrations Automation Resource Management
$8/user/month $8/user/month Free plan Unlimited 80+ including Calendly, Jira, Miro, Rippling, Trello Basic to advanced

Notion was once just a popular note-taking app but has now become a capable and affordable project management solution. It follows a blank slate approach, great for building company databases.

This includes things like company policies, hiring guidelines, and employee code of conduct. You can add as many “Blocks” as you want. to a blank page, meaning customization is endless.

A block refers to various kinds of content you can add in Notion. From simple texts, headings, and to-do lists to tables, files, videos, and codes, there are a lot of things you can do with blocks.

You can build anything—project trackers, attendance sheets, and issue trackers, among others. Notion even lets you publish your pages as websites for free.

Notion’s 10,000+ templates are a huge bonus, too. However, Notion has quite the learning curve. Plus, its Business plan, at $15/user, can be a bit expensive for those on a budget.

Even its Plus plan, at $8/user, doesn’t have as many features as ClickUp’s $7 plan. However, like ClickUp, you’ll have to purchase AI features separately for $8/user/month.

If you want to know more, we explore everything you need to know about Notion in more depth in our full Notion review.

Pros

  • Offers lots of customization options
  • 10,000+ pre-built templates
  • Allows adding guest collaborators

Cons

  • Has a steep learning curve

10. Basecamp — Best for One-Page Project Dashboard Views

Basecamp logo

Monthly Price Annual Price Free Version Projects Integrations Automation Resource Management
15/user/month $15/user/month 30-day free trial Unlimited 28+ including Figma, Notion, AIrtable, Jira, Salesforce

Basecamp, unlike other platforms on the list, offers just two plans—a $15/user plan and a $299/user plan, and the platform revolves largely around to-do lists.

On each project page, you can add as many to-dos as you want, assign them to team members, and attach files to these to-dos for more context. You can comment directly on the tasks, too.

We love how unified yet clean the project page is. You get a one-page project view with different boxes of information, such as messages, cards, documents, to-dos, and chats.

Basecamp is well-known for its easy-to-understand visual charts, such as the Hill Chart. You can convert a set of to-do lists into a chart shaped like a hill.

A quick view of the Hill Chart gives you a good idea of the tasks that need your attention, with each dot’s position on the chart indicating the tasks’ progress/status.

However, the platform lacks features like templates and automations. There are also no Board or List views. We’ve done a full Basecamp review if you want to learn more.

Pros

  • Easy visual charts like Hill charts
  • A one-dashboard project overview
  • Built-in chat

Cons

  • Not as affordable as others on the list
  • Lacks common functionality like automations
  • Lacks plans, and there’s a steep jump in price

Is Cheap Project Management Software Enough?

Cheap project management solutions don’t automatically mean that these platforms, or rather their entry-level plans, compromise on features—they’re just accommodating individuals or small teams.

Depending on the provider, you may lose out on advanced functionalities, like AI predictions and advanced workflow automation, but this really depends on what you consider cheap.

Some offer affordable, scalable plans under $10/user/month, as is the case with Zoho Projects, for example. Whether the functionality is sufficient on your chosen plan really depends on your needs.

For example, if you focus more on task automations, you can choose ClickUp, which offers 1,000+ automation on its first paid plan. However, if you need more ready-made templates, go for Monday.

Depending on your needs, free software may even cut it for you. There are so many affordable options on the market today, and yes, budget-friendly does not mean you’ll skimp on features.

How We Ranked the Cheapest Project Management Software

Our experts at Techopedia have been testing, reviewing, and comparing the best tech products, including project and task management software, for over 13 years.

For this piece, we paid close attention to the value for money aspect, evaluating whether the functionality on offer is sufficient for the price and taking into account how competitive the pricing is.

Feature-to-price value means that we also didn’t just pick the cheapest options but the ones that offer the most bang for your buck and, importantly, affordable scaling options.

We evaluate things like user limits, templates, integrations, and whether there are any nice-to-haves that other providers lock behind higher-end plans, like AI functionality or time tracking.

Having tested numerous tools, we also know that cheap project management software shouldn’t mean poor customer support. So, we paid close attention to this when compiling this guide.

How to Choose the Best Cheap Project Management Tool

Choosing the best online project management tool on a budget is hard, as you want affordability without compromising on features. Here are factors you need to consider when choosing one:

Value for MoneyFeaturesScalabilityReportingIntegrationsEase of UseSupport

Value for money is the core consideration, as one person’s cheap may be another’s expensive — overall, you just want good value for money. This means getting ample functionality for the price.

Depending on your needs, this could even be the case with a provider’s free plan. Where some free plans are lacking, others may have everything you need. This is true for paid plans, too.

For just $4-8/user/month, you can get unlimited boards and projects, templates, integrations, and automations with providers like Monday and ClickUp, for example.

Shortlist the features you absolutely need to ensure the provider you opt for can handle your requirements. This is important, as features like automations and AI functions, for example, are often locked behind higher-end plans.

Right now, you may only want a barebones solution to meet specific needs you have, but it’s best to take into account your future needs. Is it cheap to scale? What’s on offer with the higher-end plans?

For example, scaling with a provider like Basecamp can be quite expensive, and your options are limited as it only has two plans, and the higher-end plan may not have everything you need.

Reports are an important aspect of project management as they help you measure the results of your project-related activities as well as identify and correct deviations, if any.

They give you a quick overview of KPIs, project progress, or team/department performance, aiding in strategic decision-making. However, a cheap project manager may offer limited reporting.

Often, advanced reporting is limited to higher-end plans, so make sure the plan you pick offers the reporting capabilities you’re after.

Look for a project management tool that offers integrations with the platforms you already use, such as Slack or MS Teams, for example. Some platforms may lack the integrations you need altogether or reserve some for higher-end plans.

In today’s modern world, budget project management software shouldn’t mean a poor user experience. We highly recommend making full use of any free versions to test the platform yourself before deciding.

Tools like Notion and even ClickUp can require some time to get used to, for example, whereas Trello and Monday are known for their simplicity. All offer budget and even free options, but the learning curves vary.

Cheap or expensive, support is non-negotiable. Be sure to consider the support hours and available methods, as well as the online documentation, before choosing a project management tool.

FAQs

What makes the best cheap project management software?

What are some limitations of low-cost project management software?

What is the cheapest project management software?

Are cheap project management tools good?

References

Related Reading

Krishi Chowdhary
Tech Expert

Krishi Chowdhary has half a decade of experience writing buying guides and product reviews for numerous leading technology websites. He spent two years writing for Business2Community.com before joining Techopedia.com. He has a degree in Commerce and extensive experience in the technology industry. He's also the key driver behind TechReport.com's news content, delivering expertise insight into the latest tech and cybersecurity news daily.