10 Free Project Management Tools to Fit Your Needs

For the last couple of months I have been wanting to create a new simple project management application. My needs were and still are, for an application that has the most basic features wrapped up in a good looking user interface. I’m still considering creating the app, but for now I just want to keep on researching. As a result of my research I’ve compiled 10 free and open source project management applications. Look to future posts to learn more about the top CRM tools, but for now let’s take a look over the most promising free project management apps.

1. Blog update: ProjectManager.com

Project Manager is only free for 30 days but, I wanted to include it for web designers who need to collaborate online and manage multiple full-featured projects. Unlimited online storage, budget, interactive Gantt, risks and expense tracking. You can login using your Google account, and integrate with Google docs.


2. Retrospectiva

Retrospectiva is a powerful open-source project management tool, designed towards agile software development teams. It features a solid core with ticket system, code review and milestones, but it also has powerful addons like wiki, blog or agile project management.


3. Trac

Trac is one powerful issue tracking tool judging by the fact that WordPress development is tracked using it. Trac is an enhanced open-source wiki and issue tracking system for software development projects. It uses a minimalistic approach to web-based software project management.


4. Collabtive

Collabtive is web-based open source project management software. It was developed as an PHP&Javascript alternative to commercial project management tools like Basecamp. It features basic project management features and it has a decent and usable user interface.


5. Teambox

Although it is a rather new player in the project management area, Teambox can be seen as one of the future leaders. It is developed as an open source application and it benefits from a simple and clean user interface similar to Twitter. It supports multiple projects, statuses, document attachments.


6. Redmine

Redmine is a great project management tool based on Ruby on Rails and released under GPL v2. It has multiple projects support, news, documents & files management, time tracking and even multilingual support.


7. SteberPM

Continuing the open source trend, we will place SteberPM in this list. Teams can easily setup projects and keep track of tasks, issues, bugs, efforts etc – using SteberPM.


8. Todoyu

This application has a more compact yet visually rich interface compared to previous project management tools. Todoyu features are: manage multiple projects, overview your customer’s data, assign tasks, share files, group calendars and meet deadlines.


9. OpenAtrium

With one impressive set of features as well as a clean and well executed user interface, OpenAtrium will definitely succeed against commercial tools. It is still in beta and probably when it will be stable, OpenAtrium will make happy a lot of teams.


10. PlanCake

Probably light is the term that comes into my mind when I see the user interface from PlanCake. It is super light and clean and it provides fast response to your actions. And considering that the project is free, it can make a lot of friends in freelancers.


10+1. myTinyTodo

I’ve left this application at the end because it is one of my favorites. Not because of its features but because of the simplicity and speed. myTinyTodo is as the name says a tiny todo list. The best thing about it is that you are quite productive using it and it serves its purpose: todo manager for individuals and freelancers.


19 ideas on “10 Free Project Management Tools to Fit Your Needs

  1. Johnny Driesen

    Hi Andy, thnx for the great post.
    Pls also take a look at http://dotproject.net/ (also free and opensource)



    • Andy Gongea

      Yes Johnny, I know dotproject just that I’m not that much into it. I do like Retrospectiva though, and Teambox seems like a cool application. I will do another post in the next couple of weeks about commercial alternatives with great ui and nice features.


      • Gary

        Great list. I can’t wait to explore each tool. Are you aware of any SharePoint-based pm tools (open-source or commercial)that would be good for managing small general(not code development)IT projects?
        Thank again for a great list!

      • Andy Gongea

        I’m glad you find it useful.

        Regarding Project Management tools based on SharePoint, I’m afraid I can’t help you here.
        You can check Jivesoftware – they have a collaboration tool that works well with SharePoint.


  2. Zach Project Manager

    For my money – or lack of money – I’m going with Basecamp’s free version.

  3. ravi

    Hi Andy,

    can i share your articles in my blog with back links to your site?

  4. Intranet Consultant

    I would suggest Hyper Office for the list as well. It integrates email, file collaboration and online meetings with task management tools.

  5. Sal

    You can even check out DeskAway (www.deskaway.com) – the free plan lets you manage 3 projects with 5 team members.

  6. PM Hut

    Hi Andy,

    Thanks for the post, there are just a couple of these tools that I have not tried. Of all the others I have to say that collabtive was the best, yet it still has the “unfinished” touch. You feel that you’re working with something that is not completed. I remember seeing various bugs. Additionally, maybe the idea of a free project management tool will fly in very small companies (less than 20 people), but more than that companies are willing to pay to get a solid tool to support their projects.

    I invite you to read an article on the idea pm tool that I’ve published a long while ago, it describes what project managers really expect from such tools.

  7. Fia

    Thanks for the list and the tips, too! Another online project collaboration tool that I find useful is http://deskaway.com. It enables you to keep track of your projects, complete with graphs and reports—without having to download or install anything. It also supports time sheets, file sharing, and many other powerful features to help you successfully complete any project. Best of all, it’s free and you can upgrade as you see fit.

  8. Lexi G

    These are really great thank you. As of now I am looking for something for project management, hopefully a cloud software like my time tracking software that I’m using now. It’s called TSheets, http://www.tsheets.com. I love how web based systems offer flexibility and really simplify your business. Thanks again!

  9. WebCreationUK

    Thanks for sharing. To add, DeskAway is something to watch into also.


  10. Barbie Adair

    Thanks for this list of free tools. Hope your next post will list web based tools that are affordable and practical for businesses to have. And I would be excited to request that you add web crm in your list of softwares to scrutinize. It is a web crm, project management and billing software fused into one ptlatform. The 14 day free trial (without obligation) can walk you through the tool with full features so you get more objective review of it. Thanks again!

  11. Shane

    Great collection of tool, looking forward to trying some out!


  12. Eva_Worketc

    Yes, Worketc can be included in the list, however it is not a free tool. There are a few reasons why it is worth it to implement a free CRM system, and there are also a few reasons why it isn’t. If the free tools can give you what your business needs– and no compromises–then it is practical to grab one. But if getting the free tools will eat up your resources because your people tend to spend more time on figuring out how to use it, then go for the paid one provides you the efficiency you need.

  13. Paulo Roberto Camargo Mello Junior

    Hi. Great list. Congratulation.
    I’m triyng to find some project that control my documents with version control with a kind of manager configuration.
    about this list, what is the better in my case?


  14. Brett WIdmann

    Great list of tools. Thanks for sharing.

  15. Jim Williams

    We’re using LumoFlow and have been satisfied with the free version which includes all features and allows unlimited users.