The Best Project Management Software for Small Teams Compared for 2024

Monday.com is the best project management software for small teams thanks to its excellent whiteboard collaboration, modern user interface, and handy free plan. However, not all businesses are built the same. That’s why we’ve compiled a list of the 10 best small business project management software options, highlighting each one’s key USPs to help you decide on the best one for your business.

The Best Project Management Software for Small Teams Ranked

Here’s a quick look at all our top picks for the best small business project software:

  1. Monday.com — Best value-for-money option for small teams
  2. Wrike — Best for AI functions on a budget
  3. Smartsheet — Best for spreadsheet-based project management
  4. ClickUp — Best for automations with 15 dashboard views
  5. Teamwork — Best free project management software
  6. Zoho Projects — Best social-media-like project planner
  7. GanttPro — Best for Gantt charts and customization
  8. Trello — Best for easy-to-use Kanban boards
  9. Notion — Best for building extensive databases
  10. Basecamp — Best for visual representation charts

The Best Project Management Software for Small Businesses Compared

The following table runs through the best project management software for small teams so that you can compare them side by side and make a quick decision:

PM Tools Best for Starting Monthly Price Starting Annual Price Free Version Projects Integrations Automation Resource Management
Monday Value for money $12/user/month $9/user/month Free plan 3 to unlimited 250-250,000 actions/month — 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 — 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 all the way up 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 features $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 free trial Unlimited 28+ including Figma, Notion, AIrtable, Jira, Salesforce

The Best Small Business Project Management Tools Reviewed

For our guide on the best project management software for small business needs, we thoroughly tested each one, evaluating their affordability, ease of use, and collaboration features, among others. Here’s a closer look at each one:

1. Monday.com — Best Value for Money Option for Small Teams

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 — Slack, Gmail, Microsoft Teams, GitLab, Mailchimp 250-250,000 actions/month

Monday is easily the best for small teams. For starters, it offers interactive digital whiteboard collaboration, which allows teams to brainstorm ideas with images, text, icons, and even flow charts.

The best part is that it’s available even on the free plan. Although this plan is limited to 2 users, it even offers document collaboration. If this isn’t ideal, the Basic plan starts at just $9/user/month.

It offers tons of features like unlimited members, items, boards, and docs. Plus, you can add as many free viewers to your board as you need. This is what makes Monday so popular for small teams.

You won’t need to upgrade your plan for more boards or projects as it’s uncapped from the base paid plan.

Monday also offers 11 board views—Kanban, List, Chart, Gantt, Calendar, and Form—and you can color-code them as you see fit. However, only the Pro plan ($19/user/month) offers all of them.

Some features like integrations, time tracking, and automations are also only available from the Standard plan ($12/user/month) and up, which is still affordable, considering what you get.

All-in-all, there’s no doubt that Monday has a lot to offer for small teams.

Unsure? We recommend reading our full Monday.com review.

Pros

  • Colorful and intuitive visualizations
  • 200+ ready-to-use templates
  • A good set of automations and integrations
  • 11 project views
  • Affordable scaling

Cons

  • Reporting & analytics are only available on the Enterprise plan

2. Wrike — Best for AI Functions on a Budget

Wrike logo

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

Wrike is a popular option for teams looking for AI functions on a budget. Its Work Intelligence lets you save time on redundant tasks, like generating briefs, for example.

The feature we liked the most was Wrike AI’s suggestions, which based on your work history, will suggest workflow automations tailored to your needs.

While other project management tools let you create tasks and projects, Wrike allows you to create and check tasks with mobile voice commands, even without opening the app.

Amazingly, all of this is available on the free plan. For scaling, there are also two standard plans and two custom-priced plans. The Team plan ($9.8/user/month) is ideal for teams of 2-25 users.

You get a lot of essential project management features with it, like tasks and subtask management, custom fields, workflows, Gantt charts, and even 50 automations and collaborator access.

This is ample for most small teams, but if you need more resource management features like workload charts and time tracking, then you’ll have to upgrade to the Business plan ($24.80/user).

For comparison, GanttPro offers time tracking in its base plan at $7.99/user/month and ClickUp on its free plan, so it all depends on your specific needs.

Read our full Wrike review for more.

Pros

  • Several AI features on the free plan
  • 400+ integration options
  • Build request forms with custom fields
  • Excellent collaborative proofing tools

Cons

  • No time tracking on the first paid plan

3. Smartsheet — Best for Spreadsheet-Based 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 is a spreadsheet-based project management tool with an air of familiarity. If you’ve been using Excel or Google Sheets, you’ll find Smartsheet pretty easy to get a hang of.

Everything you do on Smartsheet starts with a blank sheet consisting of rows and columns. You can add tasks, and subtasks, assign them to your team, update statuses, and leave comments on the sheet.

Although its spreadsheet management on steroids, Smartsheet also offers ample customization options, including common project views like Kanban boards and Gantt charts.

Smartsheet also offers a free plan that gives small teams 2 sheets. If this isn’t enough, the paid plans start at just $7/user/month, giving your team unlimited sheets, dashboards, reports, and even forms.

Plus, there are a lot of automation features, such as custom notifications, reminders, and Slack alerts, as well as 100+ integrations and hundreds of templates.

From simple task tracking and project plans to complex marketing campaign management, there’s a lot you can do with Smartsheet. That said, some do find it has a steep learning curve.

As such, we recommend trying the free plan before committing or reading our full Smartsheet review for more. If you want a simpler solution, then we recommend Monday for your small team.

Pros

  • Unlimited reports and sheets on the free plan
  • Detailed template explainers
  • Custom dashboards
  • Excellent inter-connectivity between different sheets

Cons

  • Gets more complex than traditional tools

4. ClickUp — Best for Automations With 15 Dashboard Views

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 100 to 250,000

ClickUp is one of the best project management apps for automations. Where platforms like Monday reserve automations for the higher plans, ClickUp offers 50 on the free plan alone.

Plus, you get a dedicated library of Triggers and Actions, so you don’t have to go through the trouble of building them from scratch. There’s a lot to love, including ClickUp’s whiteboard approach.

You can add elements like sticky notes, shapes, images, and lists, making it great for team collaboration and brainstorming. And just like automations, you also get a lot of whiteboard templates.

That said, where others offer 6-7 project views, ClickUp offers 15. From List, Board, and Kanban to advanced views like Timeline, Workload, and Mind Maps—you get a lot of visualization options.

You also get a whopping 1,000+ integration options, along with the option to build your own API and connect apps through Zapier. The best part is that you get all this at affordable prices.

Besides the free plan that offers unlimited items, 100 portfolios, in-app video recording, time tracking, and custom views, the Unlimited and the Business plan cost just $7 and $12/user/month, respectively.

However, unlike with Wrike, for example, one thing that’s missing from these plans is AI tools. With ClickUp, you’d need to pay an extra $5/user/month for these features.

Unsure? Read our in-depth ClickUp review.

Pros

  • Tons of automation templates
  • 1,000+ integration options
  • 15 views with lots of customization options
  • More affordable than many of its competitors
  • Time tracking is on the free plan

Cons

  • AI functions have to be bought separately

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 to 50,000/month

Teamwork is one of the best free project management solutions out there. It offers a lot of features such as List, Table, and Gantt views, custom fields, milestone tracking, and around 100 automations.

However, the best part is its time-tracking. You can set billable and non-billable hours, determine user and project rates, calculate estimated time, and even raise invoices—all on the free plan.

Small teams will also like how affordable its Starter plan is, costing only $5.99/user/month. It’s value-packed, too, offering 100 projects, portfolio management capabilities, and 1,000 automation triggers.

You also get access to Teamwork Spaces—a collaborative document management platform where all your team members can upload and access important documents.

One thing to note is that custom fields and templates are limited. For example, on the Grow plan ($19.99/user/month), you get 50 templates, whereas competitors like Notion offer 10,000+ options.

Similarly, you can only add up to 2 custom fields until the “Deliver” plan, which costs $9.99/user. Whether this is a problem really depends on your specific needs.

Here’s a full Teamwork review if you’re on the fence and want to learn more. All in all, there’s no doubt that Teamwork offers excellent value for money for small teams.

Pros

  • Affordable entry-level plan
  • Time tracking and billing, even on the free plan
  • A dedicated document management platform
  • Easy to use and deploy

Cons

  • Offers only a few templates

6. Zoho Projects — Best Modern Social-Media-Like Project Management Tool

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 interface is inspired by social media. You get a project feed for updates on what’s happening in your business—task completions, new joiners, announcements, or new idea proposals.

If you have something to share, you can simply post it on the feed, just like you do on social media. There’s also an “Activity Stream” to see a timeline view of what your team members are currently doing.

Unlike some competitors, Zoho Projects comes with a built-in chat app, too, where you can create various groups for niche discussions or send messages to anyone on the team.

You can even create forums spanning various categories that users can follow to track all developments and discussions. These are undoubtedly unique features you won’t easily find with other tools.

Apart from this, you, of course, get a lot of project management features like unlimited projects, Gantt charts, document sharing, time tracking, and integrations on paid plans.

Needless to say, Zoho Projects integrates well with the Zoho suite of apps, too, like Zoho Books, Zoho People, Zoho Analytics, and Zoho Invoice, among others.

To put it simply, Zoho Projects offers a good mix of traditional project management tools with modern social media collaboration options for just $4/user/month.

Even its most expensive plan costs just $9/user, making it affordable for small teams. However, there are limited template options, and you only get Kanban, List, and Gantt views.

Learn more with our full Zoho Projects review.

Pros

  • Built-in chat for internal communication
  • Dedicated issue tracker
  • Lots of easy migration options
  • Integrates well with the Zoho suite of apps

Cons

  • Only three views—Gantt, List, and Kanban

7. GanttPro — Best for Gantt Charts and Customization

GanttPro logo

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

GanttPro is best for teams who like to manage project dependencies with Gantt charts, and despite how it may look at first, it’s incredibly easy to understand and use.

Many love that you get as many as 18 field options, including comments, attachments, duration, total cost, and status, and you can add as many custom fields as you need to make it your own.

Adding new team members is also easy. However, GanttPro isn’t the cheapest option out there, and unlike many others, it also doesn’t have a free plan.

That said, you can test it free for 14 days, and the base plan at $7.99/user/month still makes it a top choice for small teams. It lacks custom fields, reports, and time tracking but has the core essentials.

We’ve done a detailed GanttPro review that we recommend reading if you’re on the fence about whether it’s a good option for your team.

Pros

  • One-dashboard Gantt views
  • Good for resource planning and allocation
  • A lot of pre-built and custom fields

Cons

  • More expensive than competitors

8. Trello — Best for Easy-to-Use Kanban Boards

Trello logo

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

Trello is a simple-to-use project management solution that excels in its Kanban-style boards. You can add as many cards as you need, even on the free plan.

These cards can easily be dragged and dropped into columns that display the stage a project or task is in. You can add due dates, assign tasks to your team, add comments, and even color-code them.

There’s more than meets the eye under the hood of Trello, including handy integrations under “Power”. You get unlimited “power-ups”, even on the free plan, which is rare with other project planners.

For example, commonly used communication tools, like Gmail, Slack, and Microsoft Teams, can be integrated for free, making Trello one of the best remote work tools for project management.

Trello also offers a tool called Butler to build automation rules—both inside and outside the platform. You can send updates to Slack or email when a task is done or create new Jira tickets, for example.

The best part? Trello is cheap. Its Standard plan costs $5/user, while the Premium plan costs $10/user. That said, Trello can be a little too simple for some.

It lacks robust reporting tools, time tracking, AI, and advanced resource management features. This might suffice for small teams, but if you need more, we recommend Monday or Wrike.

Learn more in our in-depth Trello review.

Pros

  • Unlimited integrations, even on the free plan
  • Supports automations on third-party apps
  • Affordable premium-level plan
  • One of the best Kanban board project managers

Cons

  • Lacks several advanced features like time tracking

9. Notion — Best for Building Extensive 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 is ideal for building company databases, given how customizable it is. You can start with a blank note and add as many blocks as you want.

Blocks are the basis of Notion, where each block is a different content form—text, image, headings, calendar, and others. You can even publish your pages as websites in a matter of seconds.

This makes sharing content a whole lot easier than traditional project management platforms. Another benefit of small teams choosing Notion is that you get a whopping 10,000+ templates.

This is unheard of, given competitors like Monday offer 200+ templates, for example. Notion is pretty affordable, too, and it offers a free plan that boasts a collaborative workspace.

Here, you can create and organize tasks with multiple people and teams and even invite up to 10 guest collaborators — it’s perfect for small teams.

You also get features like basic automation (integration with Slack and GitHub), 7-day page history, and different board views. The paid plans are pretty affordable, too, at $8 and $15/user/month.

However, its interface and lack of dashboard views and scalable plans mean it’s not the best option for everyone, as we explore in more depth in our full Notion review.

Pros

  • You can customize boards as per your needs
  • 10,000+ templates
  • Easy to share content with others

Cons

  • Involves a bit of a learning curve

10. Basecamp — Best for Visual Representation Charts

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 offers plans for small and large teams alike. You get a clean one-page dashboard that contains everything you need to know about a project—message board, card table, docs, to-dos, and chat.

You also get in-built one-on-one and group chats, but what we really love is Basecamp’s to-do lists. You can create as many to-dos as you want under a project, assign them to team members, and attach files.

The best part is that you can create Hill charts with these to-dos – which is something that’s exclusive to Basecamp. The uphill side (left) indicates tasks that are stuck and need problem-solving.

The downhill (right) side of the hill represents activities that are well on the track of completion. Any to-do item can be moved up or down the hill as per the stage they are in.

This chart gives a birds-eye view of various task stages. Similarly, you get a needle-like progress chart at the top of your project page with indicators like “Concerned”, “Some Risk”, and “On Track”.

Basecamp is pretty unique compared to rivals. You only get a Kanban-like board, and it lacks automations and templates. We recommend trying the free trial.

Find out more with our full Basecamp review.

Pros

  • Built-in one-on-one and team chat
  • A unique Hill progress chart
  • Intuitive one-page dashboard
  • Easy to build to-do-lists

Cons

  • No automations or templates

The Benefits of Project Management Software for Small Teams

Since there are a lot of moving parts in a business, big or small, keeping track of what’s happening is important. With a project management tool, small teams can efficiently:

  • Assign and track tasks and projects
  • Upload (and centralize) documents, images, and other resources
  • Manage resources, including personnel and time

A project management tool also helps teams set realistic goals and makes project scheduling more transparent and accurate, minimizing errors and delays in timelines.

Small businesses also need seamless, secure online collaboration (internally and externally). This is where in-app chat, chat integration, comments, and document collaboration come in handy.

Small teams have a lot to gain by using project management software, and although no tool is specific to small teams, many offer plans that are, with the means to scale.

How We Ranked the Best Small Team Project Management Solutions

Our in-house team of experts has 13+ years of experience testing, reviewing, and comparing tech products, including project management software.

For an accurate analysis of the tools we recommend, we spend at least 2-3 weeks with it, evaluating it on various core aspects, including design, performance, usability, and value.

During this, we conduct hands-on testing of practically every feature the tool has to offer, including templates, automations, integrations, board views, and time tracking.

As our core focus is on small teams, we took extra care factoring in factors like ease of use, customer support, and price-feature value. We also took into account other user reviews.

All of this combined allows us to ensure we’re able to give a good overview of each tool, emphasizing both the good and the bad so that our readers can make an informed decision.

How to Choose the Best Project Management Tool for Your Small Business

Choosing the best online project management tool can be difficult. Here are a few things you need to consider before choosing one for your small business:

PriceFeaturesScalabilityBudgeting ToolsTemplatesReportingIntegrationsEase of UseSupport

First and foremost, you need to decide how much you’re willing to spend on project management software. Great entry-level PM plans will cost you just $5-20 per month and get you pretty much every feature you need to power your business.

The second most important factor is the price-to-feature ratio—you need to list down the features essential for your team and then make sure you’re getting them while staying within your budget.

Some common project management features for small teams include task assigning, internal collaboration, integrations, and automations. Remember, some features are often reserved for higher-end plans.

You might be a small team now, but it’s crucial to factor in whether the product you choose is ideal for your business in the long run. Migrating platforms can be a nightmare.

As such, you’ll want to choose a solution that offers enough plans, and you’ll want to consider the functionality, limits, and price of scaling, as this varies from provider to provider.

Small teams often work on tight budgets. Budgeting tools are a must for creating a budget, tracking expenses, and monitoring your project’s costs throughout its lifecycle. This is important to note, as not all PM tools offer these functions.

Templates offer the perfect head start for any project and are especially handy for small teams with limited resources. You’ll also want to consider picking one with templates specific to the industry you’re in—hospitality, construction, etc. This will lessen the learning curve and save your team ample time.

Small teams must prioritize platforms that offer sufficient reporting tools. Some common reports include time taken vs time budgeted, cost reports, project status reports, and team availability reports.

However, reports are often something you only get with higher-end plans. Still, you can get basic reports on cheap starter-level plans. This is something to take into account when choosing.

Integrations are an important part of any project management solution. Consider which tools your business already uses—accounting, invoicing, HR, and the like.

Next, check whether the project management tool you’re about to choose offers integration with these tools. Also, ensure that the integrations you need are available on the plan you can afford.

Ease of use is important, more so for small teams with limited resources. We recommend using any free versions on offer to gauge if your team will be able to quickly adapt to its interface and operations.

Prompt support is a must-have, especially for small teams. Check the support hours of the provider. Is it 24/7? What are the available modes of support—chat, email, and/or call? Also, check the average response time while paying attention to the presence (or lack) of support articles on the platform.

FAQs

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References

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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.