We have already discussed how to choose a project scheduling software. Now we invite you to browse our ranking of the best project scheduling tools you can choose from!
Best project scheduling software: basic features
The utility of a project scheduling tool is shaped by numerous factors and options included in such tools.
In general, the best project scheduling tools offer their users features such as:
- resource management,
- project accounting,
- reporting, business intelligence and performance tracking,
We discussed these features in detail in our article on how to pick a project scheduling tool.
However, the list may not end here. Depending on the case, your business may need some more advanced features, such as custom fields, flexible allocations, or different billing types (for your information, all of these options are already available in Primetric’s project portfolio management module).
Should you need such features, feel free to add them to the list you will use to make the choice.
Benefits of using the best project scheduling software
As you can see from the list above, the best project scheduling software has multiple features that can help your company succeed. But what do you really gain by using it?
The benefits of using the project scheduling software include:
- accurate time and cost estimation based on real-time data included in the system - for example, Netgen has reduced the number of inaccurate invoices to 0 with its project scheduling software provided by Primetric.
- improved communication between departments,
- extensive database of projects and people combining information from different departments and real-time updates,
- a better overview of all the projects with reports and calendar,
- improved planning and resource allocation.
Best project scheduling tools
A tool with a wide range of project scheduling options - Primetric
Primetric is a project scheduling tool that offers a comprehensive overview of all the operations and employees - and many more.
Since its creation, Primetric has provided C-level executives and managers with a bird’s eye view of all the company’s operations.
That’s because the tool gathers all the necessary information about the company, including projects, allocations and capacity, and converts it into a comprehensive database any manager would be happy to use to schedule their future endeavors.
However, while the tool offers a wide range of project scheduling tools, Primetric does not stop at just a simple project scheduling scheme. It also has other accompanying features that make the entire planning process much simpler and, above all, much more efficient.
"With this tool [Primetric], I can forecast, draft and manage my projects, as well as assign people to them and monitor their progress. Last but not least, Primetric also covers budgeting and financial details, which is really rare with this type of solution - and it does it all really well."
Mateusz S., Primetric review on g2.com
Primetric’s comprehensive approach to management and project scheduling includes features such as:
- resource planning,
- skill management,
- project portfolio management,
- project accounting,
- time tracking,
- business intelligence.
Therefore, Primetric covers many scenarios outside scheduling, making it easier to use the tool all over the company. It can also be connected with other project management tools, including the most popular Jira, to ensure a seamless information flow.
Additionally, Primetric is also capable of providing employees with the overview of their allocations, as well as time tracking connected with the scheduling feature. As a result, Primetric can act as a single source of truth for the entire business.
This is making this tool a perfect solution for managers wishing to take better control of the operations in the company.
"With Primetric, I can divide my work to reflect these projects and track the hours I worked in them without getting lost in dozens of different tools or spreadsheets"
Piotr M., Primetric review on g2.com
Despite all of these advantages, Primetric has several minor inconveniences, but they don't affect its usefulness and your day-to-day work. It is widely known that the tool has no mobile app (just a mobile version for the browser).
According to the G2 and Capterra reviews, users have also encountered a bunch of minor problems that could be improved. Despite that, Primetric has still received an overall score of 4.9/5.
Still, Primetric team continues to develop the tool, corrects previous mistakes and adds new features. Any arising issues can simply be solved thanks to Primetric’s support that takes pride in quick answers and enormous availability.
Thanks to its project-focused approach, Primetric is a perfect choice for small and medium companies completing many operations at the same time, particularly in the IT industry.
This statement is also supported by the tool’s capability to reflect complex structures in its system and combine them with other features, i.e. time tracking and reporting.
Judging by the table above, it comes as no surprise that Primetric has a 4.9 rating on both G2 and Capterra, with project scheduling and time tracking features being the users’ favorites.
Forecast App - project management meant for small businesses
Forecast App was a tool created with a particular focus on project management in small businesses. That’s because it’s working best with simple projects lacking exteensive connections with other elements of the system.
Just by looking at its overview, one can clearly see that it offers a few tools meant for businesses that wish to complete several medium-sized projects involving a few people each.
"Forecast has helped us get a better understanding of our resource management and track our projects in a more accurate and timely manor."
Zack G., Forecast review on g2.com
The features include:
- project planning,
- intelligent time estimation,
All these features contribute to the seamless operation workflow that, according to the reviews, Forecast users are generally happy about.
However, according to some of the reviews online, these features offer a limited overview of the operations and they may prove to be misleading for the bigger players and those looking for long-term forecasts and plans.
The scheduling processes also seem cumbersome to some of the users due to the complex UX.
Nevertheless, Forecast app is growing and expanding, bringing new features into the spotlight. Still, for those looking for a comprehensive solution, it may not be enough.
Forecast may also not be a good choice for those already using other tools, including Jira, and wishing to connect with them. Such integrations cause numerous problems in the system, including duplicates and mistakes.
"Forecast is missing some more in-depth project management tools, like the ability to provide on-task feedback for collaborators, detailed scheduling, track stages of approval or asset versions. That means we have to lean on other tools to complement Forecast with, and it creates some overlapping features and minor inefficiencies."
Daniel R., Forecast review on g2.com
Due to both its advantages and disadvantages, the app is mostly recommended for small agencies, consulting businesses and IT companies.
While the Forecast app may be appealing for those focused on small-scale project management, it is also often reported to have key flaws reflected in the tool’s ratings (4.2 on g2.com, 4.5 on Capterra).
Users often report some problems with integrations, as well as lacking connections between different modules of the tool and, as a result, inaccurate reports.
Smartsheet - just one step before spreadsheet
Smartsheet is a tool that converts data into numerous intuitive tables, reports, charts, and more. The software was created to ensure granular control and visibility over access, data, and security in the IT industry.
"The best thing I like about Smartsheet is that it allows my small team to be able to communicate and stay on task with the numerous projects we have going on."
Skyler S., Smartsheet review on g2.com
Smartsheet’s features are based on spreadsheets - which is, of course, not a surprise if you just took a quick look at the name of the tool. However, the software has improved the options that were already available in Excel tables, making the work of managers slightly easier.
The work in Smartsheet is based on different tables available as project templates. By choosing the right one, you can manage things such as:
- Project Budget,
- Agile Project with Gantt,
- Project Launch Plan,
These templates are connected with different features available in the system (i.e. calendars, Gantt charts, and more). Still, they are quite flexible and therefore capable of supporting a variety of projects.
However, there are also some features that are not included in the tool. According to the reviews from users, Smartsheet is lacking in terms of time-tracking, budgeting, and advanced resource management tools - they need to be bought separately with other products offered by the same company.
The ones that are already included in the tool may, on the other hand, be difficult for new users.
"It is tough to use, especially for novices, and it provides a restricted activity log that only serves to track the most basic actions, which is insufficient in large enterprises."
Sarah L., Smartsheet review on g2.com
According to the Smartsheet’s website, the tool is best suited to operate in service-based companies. However, as the platform is based mainly on improved spreadsheets, it is reported to have some scalability issues.
Additionally, it does not offer real time updates, which makes it difficult to synchronize work between different managers.
Therefore, it is a recommended choice for small and medium companies which are comfortable with spending more time on face-to-face updates and prolonged report preparing time.
All the things above result in Smartsheet having received a 4.4 rating on g2.com, and a 4.5 rating on Capterra.
Kantata Industry Cloud for Professional Services (formerly Mavenlink) - in-depth approach to project scheduling
Kantata, formerly known as Mavenlink, describes itself as a modern tool combining resource and project management with automation and business intelligence.
According to its creators, the tool is capable of monitoring people in the company and their work and react to any changes and mishaps in the real time.
Just by looking at the interface you can see that Kantata focuses on collaboration between teams and different managers. It offers a few key features that enable that, including:
- resource management
- operation management with budgets
- business intelligence
Therefore, it does not come as a surprise that most of the users enjoyed the general overview of projects the tool provided them with.
"I like how it keeps our agency organized. It's easy to enter and figure out where we're at with projects."
Anonymous Verified User in Marketing, Kantata review on g2.com
On the other hand, these features are perceived as lacking by many users. For example, while the tool offers some budgeting options, it has no accounting features.
Further on, the operation management has no project portfolio management tools, and business intelligence is very limited. Some users also point out to the UX not being intuitive enough for them.
"The user interface is highly complicated to do things like track my current project status, check my team utilization, and see my budget along with my burn down chart"
Anonymous Verified User in Research, Kantata review on g2.com
Additionally, while Kantata seems to offer quite a bit of useful features, many reviews left by both users and professionals in the industry claim that the tool fails to grow with the company.
Therefore, it is the best choice for small, project-centered businesses that do not intend to scale any further.
While Kantata (or Mavenlink) has numerous advantages, it also has a few flaws that were spotted by the users leaving the review on g2.com and Capterra. Right now, the tool has a 4.2 rating on both of these sites.
Float - projects focused on resource scheduling
Float is a bit smaller piece of software made for resource scheduling. It allows managers to assign people to the project and monitor their progress.
The tool offers a number of flexible and easily adjustable features, such as drag-and-drop charts, intuitive rescheduling and real-time synchronization. All of these options are available in the tool’s main benefits that include:
- resource scheduling and capacity management,
- time tracking,
- multi-project scheduling and monitoring modules,
- forecasting and reports.
Therefore, there are no doubts that Float offers a useful set of tools for those interested in project scheduling itself.
"It is a good solution to monitor a project's resources and how they allocate their time to different tasks."
Christina B., Float review on g2.com
However, whenever these features need to be expanded or used on a greater scale, Float may simply not be enough.
Being a relatively basic tool, Float is quite limited in terms of advanced features. Unfortunately, it does not contain advanced budgeting with accounting, as well as performance tracking.
Some of its basic project scheduling features are also flawed: customers report problems with part-time allocations and absences.
Additionally, many users encountered some problems with part-time allocations that are quite cumbersome to create in the tool.
Other ratings point out to the multiple allocations being extremely time-consuming.
"It [Float] does not allow you to easily move a bunch of small tasks along in the timeline. Also, when trying to put in half-day tasks, it's not so user-friendly because sometimes the cursor from neutral turns into cursor of completion or deletion without warning."
Christina B., Float review on g2.com
Float would work best in companies specializing in a limited range of operations with people assigned to only one project at the time.
Still, the quality of Float is best assessed by its actual users. It has received a 4.2 rating on g2.com, and 4.5 rating on Capterra.
Productive.io - variety of project scheduling tools
Productive.io is a relatively new tool specializing in project management and related processes.
The solution offers a number of tools for project organization. They include:
- budgeting and billing,
- project management,
- reporting and time tracking,
- resource planning.
Thanks to the features, Productive.io can provide managers with a significant number of valuable insights. In fact, they have confirmed that the tool is beneficial for them in terms of time tracking and project scheduling, as well as accompanying actions.
"I like how quick and easy it is to use and being able to move around tasks and projects quickly."
Tere Anne R., Productive review on g2.com
However, while the tool gathers time tracking, sales pipeline management, project management, and profitability in a single interface, it has proven to have some issues. In the reviews available online, many users claim to have problems finding what they are looking for.
Some customers also encountered numerous bugs that made it impossible to use the tool. Finally, some users claim to have issues with connections between different modules of the tool.
"There are still some improvements in interconnecting the scheduling (predictions) with project tasks (real work)."
Hugo D., Productive review on g2.com
According to the Productive website, the tool is a really good choice for agencies. However, with its current problems, the companies may only be able to use it to a limited extent.
Project scheduling tools - comparison
Based on our article on how to choose a project scheduling program, we have chosen a few critical factors that the best project scheduling programs need to have to be successful.
See our comparison below!
Free project scheduling tools: are they worth it?
Every company wants to save some money. Therefore, it comes as no surprise that a free project scheduling tool may seem tempting.
However, as attractive as this option may seem, free software (or a free version of a software) usually has its limitations. Those include:
- a small number of free users. Some tools have free versions with slots for just a few users - usually up to 5. However, any company bigger than that would have to pay for the services; so why not pay for a tool that is a really good match for its employees?
- limited features. In general, free versions of software have a single goal: to show the user the very basic features and all the ways they could be expanded if they decided to pay a fee. Therefore, for no money you can get just a few options that may as well limit your scope of work instead of improving processes.
- security and reliability. While there are many tools with limited versions, there are just a few providers who decided to offer their software entirely for free. However, being left with no money in their pockets, they may encounter numerous staff problems, including lack of experts in the field of cybersecurity and development. As a result, instead of a free tool, you may get a ticking bomb with numerous issues that can make your job much harder, including leaks, lack of stability or stagnation in the application.
- lack of support - a project scheduling tool contains sensitive information necessary for your project to succeed and for you to make money. Whenever something goes wrong, you are left alone on that battlefield - unless you have really good customer support at your service. For free project scheduling tools, such a support is really unlikely, as it is simply not profitable. Therefore, you can only count on your own skills whenever a problem arises,
- data security. Free project scheduling programs need money to keep running - and many of them use your data as a source of profit. Depending on the tool, your data might be profiled and sold to third parties, putting your security at risk. As a result,in reality you pay for the free project scheduling tools - you just do not use a safe currency.
Project scheduling software in various industries
You already know the basics of project scheduling software - but who really needs it?
Naturally, all the IT companies come to mind right away, as they deal with dozens of projects every minute. There’s certainly no denying that such tools are a good choice for such businesses.
With numerous operations at hand - and hundreds of full-time and part-time allocations involved - the best project scheduling programs make manager’s work in such entities much easier.
However, there are also many other industries that can benefit greatly from the best project scheduling software. In fact, all of the businesses that struggle with dozens of projects and tens of specialists at the same time can successfully use such software.
Apart from the IT industry, we particularly recommend the project scheduling software to:
- digital agencies,
- marketing/PR/SEO agencies,
- construction companies,
- law firms,
Best project scheduling tools: summary
Do you want to check whether a project scheduling tool is a good match for your company? If you have any doubts and questions, schedule a meeting with our advisors and see for yourself.