Small teams, big goals, right?
As we step into 2024, finding the “best project management software for small teams” isn’t just about tools; it’s about untangling the knots that hold us back.
We recently ran a poll on LinkedIn to hear about the biggest challenges faced by small team leaders.
Guess what we found?
- Around 18% struggle with managing resources and breaking through communication barriers.
- A whopping 56% echoed the same struggle—balancing the workload.
Juggling tasks is a big headache for many team leaders!🤹♀️
These numbers tell real stories—real challenges faced by real people like you.
So, here’s the deal: we’re diving into the top nine project management software solutions made just for small teams. These tools promise smoother workflows and happier team members.
But before that, let us get into some basics.
What is project management software for small teams?
Project management software for small teams is the tool that creates a centralized platform for teams to perform all the project-related activities. These tools offer a broad spectrum of features, from planning, executing, and tracking projects to collaborating seamlessly on them.
Task assignment, time tracking, workforce management, and resource allocation are some of the features designed to streamline the business operations of small teams. It further enhances their efficiency, improves productivity, and boosts business growth.
Manage tasks and teams with ease using these top 55 project management tools
The best project management tools for small teams
ProofHub isn’t just a project management and collaboration tool, it’s a one-stop solution for small teams to thrive. Small teams that need to wear multiple caps together can leverage the capability of this platform to handle their workload, and resources, and streamline their workflow.
It helps teams collaborate seamlessly, integrate with their favorite tools, and manage team roles and permissions with ease. They can choose to customize views from Kanban, Calendar, Gantt, and Table, to fit their workflow.
With ProofHub, small teams, remote or in-office, can ditch the email chains, spreadsheets, and endless meetings, and focus on what truly matters: getting things done together.
But don’t just take our word for it, here’s what ProofHub users love:
- All-in-one platform: The all-in-one platform offers multiple robust solutions to businesses to streamline their workflow and shed off their load when managing multiple projects and tasks simultaneously. Everything is housed here, from task and team management to critical path analysis.
- Custom workload reports: With ProofHub’s intuitive workload reports, small businesses can track resources’ workload and utilize the insights to eliminate time wastage and promote quick decision-making. Resource utilization report, on the other hand, provides valuable insights on how much productivity a resource brings to the table.
- Customization and flexibility: ProofHub allows you to customize roles, fields, and forms to tailor them to your specific needs and workflows. You can ensure everyone has the right level of access without compromising security.
- Improved collaboration: Discussions facilitate a common ground for your workspace to hold group conversations. Apart from that, you get other collaboration features, such as notes, announcements, and a proofing tool that provides instant feedback and approves files faster with annotated screenshots and comments, etc.
- Real-time communication: Collaboration becomes effortless when businesses have a defined communication path. Built-in chat removes all the barriers to real-time communication. Your team members can easily slide into each other’s DM and share updates in groups.
- One tool for project management and team collaboration, saving you from switching between multiple apps.
- Its flat-rate pricing model provides a highly scalable solution for accommodating unlimited users.
- Provides an easy-to-use interface to get your team accustomed quickly to their daily operations.
- Keeping an eye on everyone’s performance becomes easy for businesses with its insightful reports.
- Excellent customer support with a dedicated team to help you succeed.
- Different time zones are no longer an insurmountable obstacle.
- It is not that suitable for individual users and freelancers
- Currently offers basic file-sharing integrations (working on advanced)
The no-per-user fee is the cost-effective feature of ProofHub that stands out. Apart from offering a 14-day free trial, ProofHub offers two pricing plans to choose from:
- Essential plan at $45/user/month (when billed annually) for unlimited users
- Business plan at $89/user/month (when billed annually) for unlimited projects, features, and users
- Capetera: 4.5
- G2: 4.5
Trello stands as a leading name in the visual collaboration industry. With the simplest and most popular Trello boards, you can present a clear task list with cards to your team members. Its user-friendly interface allows users to get used to its functionality in a few minutes.
In terms of simplicity, Trello can actually do more for your small team. But when it comes to customization, Trello might not be able to suffice your needs. However, you can enhance its performance with multiple power-up options available.
Trello is a great solution if you’re not keen on fancy and advanced project management features.
Check out our full guide to Trello alternatives and choose the best fit for your needs.
- Provides a clear roadmap for teams to visualize and organize tasks
- Drag and drop tasks into columns to change their stage
- Trello offers a built-in Template Gallery covering a broad range of industries and sectors
- Automates recurring tasks with Butler automation to save time
- Ensures compatibility with over 200 third-party applications through integration
- Easy-to-use visual task management
- Ideal free plan for small teams
- Unlimited integrations are available even in the free plan
- Multiple task views like Calendar, Timeline, etc, are limited to paid-pricing plans
- Handling complex tasks is difficult
- Chat is not native to Trello
Trello offers small teams-oriented pricing plans. The Free plan with unlimited cards is a great option to get started.
- Standard plan at $5/user/month is the most cost-friendly option for basic project management.
- Premium plan at $10/user/month on annual billing is suitable for teams that want multiple task views to stay on top of project status.
- Capetera: 4.5
- G2: 4.4
Website link: Trello.com
Earlier known to be a note-taking app, Notion has come a long way to be recognized as one of the best project management tools. From wikis and notes to hosting custom Kanban and Gantt setups for managing projects, the platform offers versatile solutions for project execution.
Despite everyone being dispersed in global locations, Notion prevents silos by creating a digital workspace. Here, your entire team gets access to common resources. Highly recommended for a document management system, Notion streamlines data management and collection.
A dedicated messaging app is a major missing in Notion.
Plan your project on boards and visualize all the task dependencies on the product roadmap.
- Wikis create a central space to document every file and spreadsheet
- Notion provides multiple task views, like Kanban and Gantt, to plan your project and get an overview of task progress
- You can add not only plain text but also an image, video, or even a table on Notion Blocks
- Notion allows you to customize its interface and build the workflow using multiple integrations
- Accessible on Mac, Windows, and mobile apps
- Convenient free plan
- Powerful organization and search features
- There is limited storage space in the free trial
- Lacks advanced project management features
- Has some security concerns
If you are a team of two and do not require advanced security features, then I highly recommend its Free plan.
- Plus plan at $8/user/month is the most popular plan for unlimited file storage space, pages & blocks.
- Capetera: 4.8
- G2: 4.7
Website link: notion.so
Basecamp is a great choice for small teams getting started with their venture. And if your operations include client-dealing, too, they stand above the rest. While it may not overwhelm you with a large set of features, it is definitely packed with essential ones.
From providing group chat and message boards to facilitate collaboration to managing files and documents, Basecamp streamlines your business operations. Despite its simplistic approach to task management, you might not like its minimalist interface when dealing with large, complex projects.
But if you are looking for an intuitive task management feature set like time tracking, critical path, etc, Trello might not be the right fit for you.
If you are not content with Basecamp’s efficiency, check out our guide to Basecamp alternatives.
- Offers an organized and intuitive interface
- Basecamp’s Campfire creates a dedicated space for team members to have real-time group conversations
- The lineup allows you to get a quick glance at your overall workflow
- Hill charts are the visual progress-tracking tool
- Simple learning curve
- Core features are available in both plans
- Intuitive and user-friendly interface
- Expensive pricing plans
- Limited project management feature sets like Gantt charts, etc
- Not suitable for handling complex projects and dependencies
Basecamp plan at $15/user/month, which is suitable for smaller teams and startups.
- Basecamp Pro Unlimited plan at $299 per month would be a great option if you are thinking of scaling.
- Capetera: 4.3
- G2: 4.1
Website link: basecamp.com
ClickUp belongs to the versatile, customizable project management tools category. The platform is one of the renowned names in the market, known for its extensive feature set, ideal for handling simple to complex tasks.
It simplifies the process of leading a small workforce from a single unified space. From task management and automation to team collaboration and data storage, ClickUp makes your team execute tasks with precision.
However, ClickUp throws an overwhelming learning curve to beginners. You need to invest some time learning to get started with it.
If you are done with ClickUp’s extreme complexity, check out our guide to ClickUp alternatives
Offers AI support to upskill your productivity levels using detailed tutorials and guides
- Offers intuitive workload, Kanban, Calendar, Gantt, and more views
- Helps set clear targets and objectives to track your progress
- Helps track actual time spent against the estimated time
- Provides comprehensive project management features and functionalities
- Promotes real-time communication and collaboration
- Offers top-quality customization options
- Steep learning curve
- Workload management is restricted to Business and Enterprise pricing plans
- Poor customer support
Price: ClickUp’s free plan is not designed to cater to small teams’ needs.
- Unlimited plan at $7/member/month is the only all-in solution available for small teams.
However, you cannot make more than 100 uses of its multiple features like team views, timeline, workload, and more.
- Capetera: 4.7
- G2: 4.7
Website link: clickup.com
Smartsheet established itself as a flexible project management solution. On your first encounter with its user interface, you will get its project management approach as a spreadsheet. To make your way around the tool, though, you may need to invest time to explore its potential.
If you can sense your team’s fondness for spreadsheets as a manager, Smartsheet’s customizability and visualization abilities will wow you. You can easily get visual detailed insights by converting raw data into pie charts, heat maps, and bar graphs. Once you get familiar with its applications, you can confidently leverage its capabilities.
But let me be honest: Smartsheet’s steep learning curve might remind you of Excel’s complexity. Instead, you can opt for Google Sheets, which is a free alternative.
To see Smartsheet’s comparison against other tools in the market, check out our guide to the best Smartsheet alternatives.
With Samrtsheet’s template gallery, you get pre-designed frameworks
- Smartsheet’s smart and highly flexible platform allows you to customize your workflows
- Offers automated solutions to build flexible and powerful business workflows
- The project roll-up dashboard lets you stay on top of project status
- Highly recommended for businesses used to Excel’s interface
- The built-in import tool makes migrating to Smartsheet from other tools easy
- Easy to use and accessible
- Chat is accessible only through Hangouts chat
- The platform can throw some learning curves if you are not a spreadsheet fan
- Lacks some dedicated project management features
Price: Smartsheet’s free plan is ideal for solopreneurs and freelancers.
But if you are seeking unlimited sheets, free editors, and proofing, you need to look at either of the
Pro plan at $7/user/month when billed annually
- Business plan at $25/user/month when billed annually
- Capetera: 4.5
- G2: 4.4
Website link: smartsheet.com
Asana is a valuable, prominent software that brings task management and team communication on one platform. The intuitive cross-platform software makes collaboration a breeze with its user-friendly interface.
Popular among various industries and teams, Asana brings your team and information on a single page and facilitates effortless task execution. But it heavily relies on integrations to provide even basic project management features like time tracking, file sharing, storage, chat, etc.
While things may seem straightforward from an admin perspective, team members will require little training to navigate its efficiency.
For you to get an idea of how Asana stacks up against its competitors, check out our guide to Asana alternatives.
- Designed to adapt to various project and industry types
- Get real-time insights with Asana’s insightful reports
- Create tasks, add information, track progress, and set goals in a simpler way
- Design your workflow with 80 ready-made available templates
- Offers more than 200+ integrations
- Offers focused to-do-lists
- Customized workflows
- Overwhelming management of routine tasks
- Some basic project management features are limited to paid pricing plans
- Expensive pricing plans
Price: Asana’s Personal plan is equipped with essential features and is great for individuals and small teams. But despite being free, it lacks Gantt chart functionality.
- Starter plan at $10.99/user/month on annual billing is more advantageous if you want a Gantt view
- Capetera: 4.5
- G2: 4.3
Website link: asana.com
Monday.com, formerly known as DaPulse, is an intuitive and flexible user interface. It’s more of a work management tool than a project management tool. With the simplest onboarding process, Monday saves the team the hassle.
The platform’s visually appealing interface, called ‘boards’, forms a basic foundation for your workflow. Here, you can visualize tasks’ status priority and even upload them directly. The platform’s customized dashboards quickly overview task progress, timeline, and budgets. You can tailor it to your specific needs.
If you want to add a taste of automation to your workflow, you may need to integrate it using third-party applications.
Check out our guide to Monday.com alternatives if you think its pricing falls on the higher side.
Manually set up code-free automation to build your workflow
- Offers code-free 200 inbuilt automation recipes
- Offers a pre-defined template from the vast array of template gallery
- Seamlessly integrate with any of the 200+ integrations available
- Provides unlimited free viewers
- Extremely flexible
- Provides over 10+ task views
- You need to upgrade to paid pricing plans to access certain features like task views, time tracking, etc
- Pricing plans are offered in seats rather than per user, with a minimum count of three
- Steep learning curve
Price: Monday.com offers 1 board per dashboard and up to 2 seats in its Free version. Beyond that, you need to purchase either of the plans –
- Basic plan – $8/seat/month for one dashboard
- Standard plan – $10/seat/month for basic task management views
- Pro plan – $16/seat/month for private boards and tracking
- Capetera: 4.6
- G2: 4.7
Website link: monday.com
Teamwork, specifically designed for client work, is a great tool for companies that share collaborative space with clients. Its invoicing and billing is another feature set that is beneficial for agencies and consultancies that bill hourly for their services.
The agency-friendly project management excels in resource management, workload management, and task management. Apart from that, its templates range from marketing, IT, and more. You can use this information to deliver client projects faster and on time.
But, you may face some latency issues with the project count increasing over time.
Check out ProofHub vs. Teamwork for a comprehensive comparison
Facilitates resource utilization analyzation
- Different report formats help stay on track
- Creating invoices from within the tool is a seamless task
- The client user feature facilitates outer collaboration with clients
Easy setup with an easy-to-use interface
- A unique URL to every account makes billing easy
- Mobile applications, both iOS and Android, are available
No built-in chat. Offers a separate Teamwork chat that needs to be integrated with the platform.
- Basic project management features unlock beyond the delivery plan
- No markup or annotation tools are available
Simplify your review and approval process with a built-in online proofing tool.
Price: Apart from its free plan limited to 5 users, Teamwork offers many other different plans.
- Starter plan costs $5.99/user/month for a minimum of 3 users.
- Deliver plan is available at $9.99/user/month for a minimum of 3 users
- Grow plan at $19.99/user/month for a minimum of 5 users
- Capetera: 4.5
- G2: 4.4
Website link: teamwork.com
Note: Apart from all these best software suggestions, here are some other tools that couldn’t make it to the list.
- Jira – best for agile software development teams
- Wrike – best for workflow automation
- Podio – best for seamless collaboration
- Miro – best for collaborative whiteboard
- Paymo – best for time tracking
Key features to look for in project management software for small teams
Project management needs vary from one company to another.
Choosing the right project management tool for your team is crucial for success. Keeping limited resources, both people and finances, in mind, making the right choice is like looking for a needle in a haystack.
However, considering these factors, you can aim for a perfect hack in the chaos of countless tools available in the market.
- User feedback – Nothing can beat the authenticity and significance of the real user experience. Reviewing sites like G2, Capterra, and Software Advice provides actual insights into issues and improvements.
- Key features – While task management, tracking, and collaboration remain the fundamental factors. You should take time to reflect on the unique functionalities you might seek to get the best out of your team.
- Ease of use – Keeping all the multitasking you and your employees need to handle. Adapting to a tool shouldn’t be another task. It should be a time saver, not a time sink.
- Customer support – To solve problems, it’s important to have dedicated customer support available. Guides and tutorials make learning easier since they are easy to find.
- Trial periods – Before making any commitment, make sure to take advantage of a trial period. Take live demos and get hands-on experience to analyze if the tool aligns or customizes to your unique needs.
- Scalability and flexibility- While your company looks for a tool that satisfies small team management needs. Ensuring the tool you choose provides support while onboarding new employees or customers.
- Value for money – Giving prices the foremost consideration when choosing a tool is not at all advisable. Instead, evaluate if the tool’s robustness meets your small team’s needs and priorities. Ensure the tool doesn’t hit you with hidden fees or upgrade costs.
Make wise decisions while choosing project management software – Read Top 10 things to consider
By following these criteria, you can find the right solution and ensure a successful purchase.
Managing teams in a small business are subject to interpretation. While it might seem simple to some, others may hold different opinions.
Nonetheless, every task comes with a unique set of challenges, and leading small teams is no different.
Considering small team managers and leaders like you, who have to oversee multiple things at once. Navigating these challenges with project management software for small teams is going to be a game-changer
Lastly, just remember that making the right decision is the cornerstone of success. So, make sure you choose the best for you and your team.
Scale up your small team with the scalable project management software. Start your 14-day free trial today. (No credit card, No per-user fee)
PM software for small teams FAQs
What features should a project management tool have for small teams?
To give a kick start to a small team’s efficiency, a project management tool should have an advanced feature set that saves the team’s efforts, time, and money. Also, it should be flexible to adapt to their unique workflows and be scalable to accommodate their growing needs.
What considerations should be made when selecting project management software?
While considering a project management software, make sure to evaluate its feature set, scalability, pricing, user-friendliness, and more. To get to know it in detail, click on the link.
What are the measurable indicators of success when using project management software?
Although there are countless success indicators when using project management software. Productivity, return on investment, and task completion rates remain my top three measurable evaluators.