Boost Productivity with the Best Project Management Tools in 2021

One of the first types of SaaS applications I've ever implemented into my workflow are project management tools. If you're a digital entrepreneur or manage any kind of project, especially if you're trying to coordinate your team's efforts and enhance productivity, you need to use a project management SaaS tool to keep things together. There are so many aspects of managing a project successfully that it's easy to let things get out of control.

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One of the first types of SaaS applications I’ve ever implemented into my workflow are project management tools. If you’re a digital entrepreneur or manage any kind of project, especially if you’re trying to coordinate your team’s efforts and enhance productivity, you need to use a project management SaaS tool to keep things together. There are so many aspects of managing a project successfully that it’s easy to let things get out of control.

Who’s doing what? How far are you away from completion? What milestones are you reaching?

All these questions are examples of critical components of project management you need to know at all times. By identifying the weak points of the project with software, you make sure you allocate the right resources to the correct departments to get things done.

If you’re trying to manage multiple projects at the same time, then using Microsoft Excel is not going to cut it for you. You need a comprehensive SaaS to keep track of everything for you in one centralized space.

In this roundup of the best SaaS project management tools for businesses in 2021, we’ll look at the best contenders every entrepreneur and manager can benefit from implementing. I won’t be going over the big names like Trello, Asana, Basecamp because most people are already familiar with these.

Best Project Management SaaS Tools in 2021

Infinity

This is a newcomer and is actually what I am using for internal project management of my own businesses at the moment. I just moved all of my workspaces to Infinity so I am still getting used to all the processes. Infinity is extremely customizeable, similar to AirTable, so you can do pretty much everything on this platform. There is a small learning curve to the platform, but that goes for almost any new tool you will use.

There are plenty of templates to help get you started – marketing agency client workspace, product roadmap, social media tracker, employee onboarding, sales CRM, course planning and personal task lists. You can have unlimited boards within your workspace so you can get highly organized for each project, client or department within your company.

Infinity is definitely the best-priced SaaS on this list because they are running a limited-time lifetime deal. This means you only pay once upfront and you have access to the application for life.

You can grab the lifetime deal for Infinity here.

Pros:

  • Highly customizable
  • Table views for present data in spreadsheet form
  • Lifetime deal currently available

Cons:

  • Still a new product and undergoing development
  • No integrations available yet (the team will release integrations soon)

The Verdict – Infinity is a new startup in a crowded niche but they provide a solid platform. The team is hard at work and continues the update consistently.

Ora

I have used Ora for internal project management for about a year and I highly recommend it for any digital entrepreneurs or small businesses. It is the most beautiful project management tool on the market. The UI/UX is gorgeous, it’s fast and everything just works.

This project management tool is another example of a user-friendly interface with all the basic functionality you’re looking for in SaaS management tools. Ora has an uncluttered user-interface and a simple setup process. The intuitive management tools even feature an onboarding video describing how to use the feature effectively.

Unlike other tools that can feel overwhelming at times, Ora leaves you a click or two away from any feature on the platform. However, you don’t get the same level of comprehensive management tools that you do with Celoxis or LiquidPlanner.

You can check on the performance of your teammates and identify anyone that’s not meeting their project goals. Overall, Ora presents an attractive package that’s great for newbies to project management SaaS.

Ora starts at a monthly subscription fee of $6 or $4.33 if paid annually.

Pros:

  • Powerful with a beautiful user-interface
  • Simple navigation
  • ll the basic features you need

Cons: 

  • Can be too simple for some projects
  • Limited user seats
  • Some bugs, but the team is working on it

The Verdict – Ora suits small to medium-sized project management teams looking for their first project management tool. The clean interface and user-friendly navigation of the platform make it the ideal choice for those teams that want a simple but effective project management SaaS.

Plutio

I am currently using Plutio for external project management (in other words, I am using it for my client projects) at my agency, Inquivix. Plutio is a little different from the rest of the SaaS applications listed here, as it is an all-in-one solution for your business.

While other apps, like Infinity, can be set up to do many things Plutio does, Plutio is created for agencies. In addition to project and task management, Plutio also includes time tracking, invoicing, proposals, inbox and a CRM. You can see why I choose to use Plutio for my digital marketing agency.

As I said earlier, I use Infinity for internal project management because I can set up more complex workspaces and customize my workflow better; however, my client project management is done through Plutio.

I am able to whitelabel the platform so clients see only my brand, not Plutio. I love anything with whitelabeling or custom branding as it helps give more authority to my brand as well as remove any distractions for my clients and users. Before I moved my agency to Plutio, the workflow for my agency was split across almost 10 different SaaS applications!

Plutio starts at $15 per month if you are a solo business owner or freelancer. If you are looking to add a portal for your clients, you will need to pay $20 per month. You can make Plutio your own by adding whitelabel features for $9 per month.

You can use the coupon code ‘Plu20io19’ for 10% off Plutio for life.

Pros:

  • A true all-in-one solution for your business
  • Solid team that continues to develop the platform
  • Over 3 years old with a lot of supporters
  • Good customer support and community

Cons:

  • Project management is somewhat simple
  • Limited integrations (but the team is adding more)

The Verdict – Plutio is a great choice for freelancers and agencies looking to keep the number of apps to a minimum. It is feature rich and has all the tools needed to manage a business.

ClickUp

ClickUp is a project management SaaS that is efficient and effective and offers easy setup. The interface is simple, with a Kanban board showing “open,” “to-do,” or “closed,” tasks. There are plenty of other sections, including content creation and scrum that have in-depth, feature-rich functionality.

Choose how you want to operate the project, selecting a traditional or agile environment. View your task lists in a List, Box, or board view, for intuitive navigation. The user-friendly navigation of this platform is great for first-time users of project management apps, keeping everything in one centralized location for easy access and orchestration of your team.

ClickUp is possibly the most user-friendly project management software in this review. At $5 per month per user, its great value for small to medium-sized teams. You also get a free version, but it lacks many of the features of the paid plan.

Pros:

  • Free plan available
  • Affordable
  • Clean interface
  • Good customer support

Cons:

  • Lacks detailed reporting
  • Limits on integrations

The Verdict – ClickUp is a great choice for those who are trying to implement a project management SaaS for their business. It provides a clean and user-friendly UI/UX and it just works.

LiquidPlanner

If you’re looking for a full-house project management tool for large organizations, then LiquidPlanner is your best choice. This impressive tool is one of the most comprehensive work-management systems available, with a feature-rich interface that’s user-friendly and practical.

The software tracks and manages workflow, as well as staff resources. It takes some time to learn how to use all of the functionality within the platform, but it’s a worthwhile exercise if you’re looking for a complete project management solution.

LiquidPlanner retails for a monthly subscription of $45.

Pros:

  • Feature-rich planning tool
  • Workflow and resource tracking
  • Responsive with drag-and-drop functionality

Cons:

  • Costly subscription
  • Takes time to learn
  • No billing or invoicing features

The Verdict – LiquidPlanner is a fantastic tool, but we only recommend it for the largest organizations that want comprehensive software to manage dozens or hundreds of staff members.

Wrike

If you’re looking for a mid-range collaboration tool for your projects, Wrike offers you a powerful and flexible tool for a wide range of tasks. This software is similar to Basecamp, providing a touch point for all employees to organize and coordinate their efforts.

Wrike is a great tool for small and large businesses, and it also features an easy setup. There’s also little training involved with learning to use the system.

Wrike is a powerful and flexible collaboration app that also contains project management tools. A monthly subscription to Wrike costs $24.80, which is a little on the high side. However, the feature rich platform with excellent reporting and tracking make the pricing worth it for mid-sized enterprises.

Pros:

  • Feature-rich
  • Great for reporting
  • Useful Gantt chart display

Cons:

  • Best features limited for business accounts
  • Time tracking can be a hassle

The Verdict – If you’re looking for a tool that’s user-friendly and easy to set up, Wrike is a great choice. It’s suitable for any size business, but larger organizations might want to upgrade their subscription to the Business package. 

GanttPro

GanttPro is a unique project management software that relies heavily on producing charts to quantify progress on the project. It’s a great reporting tool that’s user friendly, and the charts on offer with the software make it easy to show your superiors the status of the project.

GanttPro doesn’t offer comprehensive reporting like LiquidPlanner. Still, it’s a handy tool for small business owners that want to track the progress of projects to identify potential bottlenecks and roadblocks that might pop up.

GanttPro has a monthly subscription fee of $8.90

Pros:

  • Charts to represent a visual progression of your project
  • Custom task fields
  • Critical path and baseline features
  • Permission level access

Cons:

  • No reporting tools
  • No in-app timer
  • Can’t customize the dashboard

The Verdict – This is a great SaaS if your team is always working with various schedules and timelines. GanttPro focuses on its core feature, Gantt charts, and teams of all sizes can utilize this tool for better communication and productivity.

Smartsheet

If you’re a business owner or manager, then you know the value of spreadsheets in your work. Smartsheet is a SaaS tool that coverts your existing Excel or Google Sheets into a project management app.

This tool handles anything from task tracking and resource management to reporting and budgeting. Its cloud-based format makes your spreadsheets smarter, and it’s suitable for small teams that don’t want to take too much time learning new systems.

You can get a subscription to Smartsheet for $19 per month.

Pros:

  • Powerful solution
  • Endless customizations
  • Supports web forms
  • Convenient for spreadsheet users

Cons:

  • Intensive learning curve
  • Not a fully-comprehensive project management solution

The Verdict – This is a great hybrid tool for small to medium-sized teams that already use spreadsheets in project management. Not suitable for those managers that require a full-house solution.

Celoxis

This project managing tool blends the best of user-friendly interface and easy user setup, with comprehensive features and functionality. Celoxis offers you the best of both worlds when it comes to selecting a SaaS that’s effective and functional.

This app is easy to set up, and it doesn’t take a degree to learn how to use it, as is the case with systems like LiquidPlanner. We’re confident you can learn to find your way around the tool’s interface within a week.

Project revenues, adjust project schedules and manage your resources, all within the app. The amount of functionality on offer seems like Celoxis gravitates more toward the medium to large-sized organization that’s managing several employees on a large project.

You can also choose between an on-site installation or a cloud-based version. The cloud-based app is the more affordable option costing a monthly subscription of $25.

Pros:

  • Feature-rich with functions for billable hours, resource management, and income projections
  • Excellent reporting tools
  • Good value

Cons:

  • Intensive learning curve
  • Not a fully-comprehensive project management solution

The Verdict – Those medium to large organizations looking for a user-friendly but comprehensive project management tool will benefit from implementing Celoxis. 

ProofHub

This online project management tool gets your team organized while increasing productivity. Proofhub looks like a wolf in sheep’s clothing.

The interface is so clean, but there’s plenty of functionality under the hood. You get all the essential tools required to manage your project, and it’s easy to learn how to navigate through the platform in a few days.

While Proofhub might not have the comprehensive features of Celoxis, it still has a good selection of useful features for an affordable price, considering you can have unlimited users on the platform. The subscription is a flat rate of $50 per month, regardless of whether you have one or one thousand users.

Pros:

  • User-friendly interface
  • Easy navigation
  • Simple set up
  • The right balance of simplicity and features

Cons:

  • No budgeting tools
  • Can get slow

The Verdict – Proofhub is a good choice for small to medium-sized businesses looking for a simple project management solution. The affordable pricing, combined with easy setup and user-friendly interface, makes it a good choice for first-time users. 

In Closing – The Winner

While all of these SaaS project management tools have something to offer, there are a few standouts. LiquidPlanner is the most feature-rich platform, but I think you’ll get better value out of Celoxis. This tool is ideal for small to medium-sized project teams that need more in-depth planning.

If you’re a small team looking for a collaboration and management tool to coordinate your efforts, then try ClickUp. The platform has plenty of functionality, and you won’t feel lost at times like you might when using LiquidPlanner.

The best tool for me may not be the best tool for you. I would suggest you to sign up for a trial or free account with some of these tools and test them yourself. Each platform has its pros and cons and you will have to decide which one is best suited for your business.

Personally, I have decided to invest in Infinity. I am a big fan of lifetime deals and Infinity’s lifetime deal allows me to avoid having to pay monthly fees. I am also loving the highly customizable, feature-rich platform. I moved over from Ora, but that does not mean Ora is not a good platform. Ora is one of the most beautiful project management tools I’ve used bar none.

What are you using or planning to use? Have I missed out on any new project management SaaS tools? Leave a comment and let me know!

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  1. […] Make sure to check out my best project management SaaS tools for 2020 blog post here. […]

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