10 Best Project Management Software for 2023: Complete Guide

Jarrod Koch

CEO and Partner of DivergeIT

July 22, 2023

Project management software is like the magic wand in the world of business. It’s a tool that helps to manage, organize, and streamline various tasks involved in a project. Just imagine trying to bake a cake without a recipe. It would be messy, right? That's why selecting the right small business project management software is crucial for business efficiency.

This blog post will shed light on project management software, its operation, and its business role. You'll discover its core functionalities and understand why it's an indispensable asset in today's fast-paced business landscape.

Project management software for managing project tasks efficiently

What is an online project management tool? 

When we say "project management software or project management tool," what exactly are we talking about? 

This software can handle various tasks, such as planning and scheduling, collaboration and communication, document sharing and management, task assignment, tracking progress, and budgeting. When done manually, these tasks can be time-consuming and prone to errors. But with project resource management software, everything is streamlined.

It’s not just for big corporations, either. Businesses of all sizes and sectors can benefit from project management software. Whether it's a small start-up looking to keep everything in order or a large multinational firm coordinating thousands of tasks simultaneously, this tool can make life much easier.

Moreover, these software allows for real-time updates. This means everyone involved in a project has access to up-to-date information. It ensures everyone is on the same page, reducing misunderstandings and miscommunications.

Remember that software is only as good as the people who use it. To get the most out of your project management software, it's essential to train your team on how to use it effectively.

Graphical representation of numerous advantages of small business project management software

Benefits of project management software

Now that you know what project management software is and how it works, you may ask, "Why should I use it?" That's a great question; the answer lies in its numerous benefits. This tool can bring substantial improvements to your business. Here's a run-through of the perks you can look forward to:

Efficient task management: Small business project management software lets you easily plan, schedule, and assign tasks and project status. Instead of using dozens of spreadsheets, everything you need is in one place. It's like having a digital roadmap of all your projects.

Improved communication and collaboration: Imagine a place where everyone can chat, share files, and work together seamlessly - that's what project management software provides. It creates a conducive environment for teamwork, ensuring everyone is on the same page.

Time-saving: The automation features of these software can save you loads of time. No more sifting through hundreds of emails or manually updating spreadsheets. The software does the grunt work, freeing you up to focus on what matters.

Real-time updates: With project management software, you get real-time progress updates. You can easily see what's done, what's pending, and who's working on what. This keeps you in the loop and makes decision-making easier.

Risk management: By providing an overview of the entire project, the software helps to identify potential risks and issues early. This allows for timely interventions, reducing the chances of major hiccups.

Cost efficiency: Small business project management software can ultimately lead to cost savings by streamlining processes and improving efficiency. Think of it as an investment that pays for itself in the long run.

Illustration of common hurdles in handling multiple projects via project management tools

Challenges of using project management app in multiple projects

As beneficial as small business project management software can be, it has potential challenges or disadvantages.

Learning curve

One of the significant challenges of using project management software is the learning curve, especially for complex tools. Some software comes with numerous features that can be overwhelming to new users.

Solution: To tackle this, ensure you provide adequate training for your team. Most software providers offer tutorials, guides, and customer support to help users access the platform.


Another potential drawback is the cost. While free or low-cost options are available, more advanced features often have a price tag.

Solution: Consider your team's actual needs before investing in a tool. Sometimes, a more straightforward, cost-effective software can serve you just as well as a high-end one.

Resistance to change

Resistance to change can be a significant challenge when implementing a new system. Some team members might be more comfortable with old methods and reluctant to learn new software.

Solution: Effective communication is vital. Explain the benefits of the new software and how it will make everyone's work more accessible in the long run. Encourage an open dialogue where team members can express their concerns and ask questions.

Dependence on Internet connection

Most project management software is cloud-based, so a stable internet connection is crucial. Connectivity issues can disrupt work and cause frustration.

Solution: Always have a backup plan for when the internet is down. This could be offline software or manual methods of tracking work.

In conclusion, while challenges with project management software can arise, they are usually manageable. Understanding these potential pitfalls and planning for them can help ensure a smooth transition to using these software and ultimately boost your team's efficiency and productivity.

Comparative chart between task management and project management software

Task Management vs. Project Management Software

Regarding organizing work, two types of tools often come up in conversation - task management and project management software. While they might seem interchangeable, they have distinct roles. Understanding the differences can help you decide which tool is best for your team.

Task Management Software

Task management software is like your personal to-do list but on steroids. This tool helps you organize, track, and manage individual tasks. It's all about the micro - the specific, stand-alone tasks that must be completed.

Task management features: 

Task creation and assignment

Due date setting

Task status updates

Prioritization of tasks

Project Management Software

Project management software, on the other hand, takes a more holistic view. It's designed to manage groups of related tasks and often depends on each other, forming a project. This tool helps in planning, executing, tracking, and closing projects.

Common features of small business project management software are:

Project planning and scheduling

Time tracking

Collaboration tools

Document sharing and management

Reporting and analytics

When to use each

Task management software will be your go-to tool if you're looking at a list of stand-alone tasks that don't necessarily affect each other. It's excellent for daily operations and ongoing processes.

If, however, you're handling a project where tasks are interdependent, and the failure of one task might affect the overall project, then small business project management software will be more suitable. It helps in effectively managing all project aspects, including resources, time, and communication.

Ranking table of top project management software for 2023

Best project management software for 2023

As we navigate the diverse landscape of project management software, finding the tool that fits your team like a glove is crucial. With the numerous options available, it can be overwhelming. But fear not; let's dive deep into the top 10 project management software options for small teams this 2023.

1. Asana

Asana is one of the market leaders when it comes to project management. A tool like this offers a visually appealing interface and intuitive navigation, making it easy for any team to start. This tool helps plan, organize, and manage tasks, providing transparency and fostering collaboration. 

The downside? Asana can be a bit daunting for beginners due to its wide array of features.


Visually pleasing interface.

Intuitive navigation.

Promotes transparency and team collaboration.


It can be overwhelming for beginners due to the vast range of features.

Pricing: Asana offers a reasonably comprehensive free tier. For access to advanced features, pricing begins at $10.99 per user/month.

2. Trello

Trello is the king of simplicity. Its card-based system enables task and project tracking and is highly flexible, catering to various project styles. It's also known for its strong integration capabilities with other tools. Conversely, Trello might be too simplistic for complex projects, and its reporting tools could be improved.


Simple and flexible card-based system.

Strong integration capabilities.


Too simplistic for complex projects.

Reporting tools could be improved.

Pricing: Trello provides a free basic version. For more extensive features, pricing is $10 per user/month.

3. Basecamp

Basecamp is an all-in-one project management tool that excels in collaboration and communication. However, Basecamp lacks time-tracking features and Gantt charts, which might be a deal-breaker for some.


Excellent team collaboration and communication.

Flat-rate pricing is cost-effective for growing teams.


Lacks time-tracking features and Gantt charts.

Pricing: Basecamp offers flat-rate pricing of $299 per month, regardless of team size.

4. Zoho Projects

Zoho Projects is a comprehensive tool offering robust features like task management, time tracking, and advanced reporting. It is a tool you need to integrate well with other Zoho products. The drawback? Its user interface can be slightly less intuitive compared to others.


Comprehensive tool offering robust features.

Integrates well with other Zoho products.


The user interface can be slightly less intuitive compared to others.

Pricing: Zoho Projects is competitive, starting at $5 per user/month.

5. monday.com

monday.com is a highly customizable project management software with colorful and dynamic boards. It supports various project methodologies and offers a large number of templates. The downside is that monday.com can be pretty expensive for larger teams.


Highly customizable.

Supports various project methodologies.


It can be pretty expensive for larger teams.

Pricing: Pricing for monday.com starts at $8 per user/month.

6. ClickUp

ClickUp stands out with its vast features, robust customization, and affordable pricing. It caters to different project management styles. But remember, its extensive features can sometimes overwhelm new users and every project. 


A vast array of features and robust customization.

Caters to different project management styles.


Extensive features can sometimes feel overwhelming to new users.

Pricing: ClickUp's pricing starts at $5 per user/month.

7. Slack

While primarily known as a communication tool, Slack also offers project management features through its various integrations. The downside? Project management isn't its primary focus, so it lacks some essential project management features.


Strong communication capabilities.

Offers project management features through integrations.


Project management isn't its primary focus and lacks some essential project management features.

Pricing: Slack is free for small teams. Pricing starts at $7.25 per user/month for larger teams or more features.

8. Wrike

Wrike offers a good balance of advanced features and user-friendliness. It supports multiple project views and integrates well with many tools, great as collaboration software. However, its learning curve can be steep, especially for beginners.


Good balance of advanced features and user-friendliness.

Supports multiple project views.


Learning curve can be steep, especially for beginners.

Pricing: Pricing for Wrike starts at $9.80 per user/month.

9. Smartsheet

Smartsheet excels at handling large-scale projects and offers diverse project views, including Gantt charts. The cons? It's not as intuitive as other options, and small teams might not utilize all its features.


Excels at handling large-scale projects.

Offers diverse project views, including Gantt charts.


Not as intuitive as other options.

Small teams might not utilize all its features.

Pricing: Smartsheet starts at $7 per user/month.

10. Microsoft Project

Lastly, Microsoft Project, part of the Microsoft 365 suite, is a powerhouse of features, including detailed project planning and advanced reporting. The drawback? Its complexity for future projects. It's not the best for small teams that need simple solutions.


A powerhouse of features, including detailed project planning and advanced reporting.


Its complexity. Not ideal for small teams needing simple solutions.

Pricing: Pricing for Microsoft Project starts at $10 per user/month.

Checklist of essential factors to consider when selecting small business project management software

Factors to consider when choosing your software for project management

Choosing the right project management software is a critical decision that can significantly impact your business operations. But how do you decide? Here are a few factors to keep in mind:

Functionality: First, think about what you need the software to do. Does your team need a simple task management tool, or do you require a more comprehensive project management solution with features like time tracking, reporting, and budgeting? Be sure to choose software that aligns with your specific needs.

Ease of Use: A tool is only as good as its usability. Ensure your chosen software has an intuitive interface that your team will find easy to navigate.

Integration: Consider how well the software integrates with other tools your team uses. Seamless integration can enhance workflow and boost productivity.

Cost: Remember to consider your budget. While some software might seem expensive, it could offer a high return on investment by improving efficiency and reducing project delivery times.

Scalability: Lastly, think about the future. Will the software be able to grow with your business? Choosing a scalable solution that can adapt to your evolving needs is essential.

Choosing the right project management software is not about finding the most expensive or feature-packed tool. It's about finding a solution that fits your business's unique needs and goals.

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Choose the best project management platform with DivergeIT

Navigating the realm of top project management software can be a daunting task. That's where DivergeIT steps in. With our proud history spanning over two decades, we have taken the guesswork out of IT solutions, including small business project management software.

But, our services don't end at software recommendation. We extend to comprehensive implementation and ongoing support, ensuring that teams have the right tool and know how to use it effectively. Backed by our expert team, we guide businesses through every step of the process.

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Celebrating our work management success

DivergeIT's success in the IT arena is no secret. Our company has been recognized with numerous industry awards and rankings, attesting to its expertise, dedication, and impact.

However, our clients' words are a true testament to our success. We've received numerous testimonials praising our top-notch services, swift response times, and commitment to delivering personalized solutions.

Visual highlighting reasons why DivergeIT is a leader in project management solutions

Why DivergeIT stands out in the powerful project management arena

One key strength that sets us apart is our adaptability. Whether it's healthcare, manufacturing, or finance, we've covered it. We work meticulously to tailor IT solutions to the specifics of each industry, providing tools that genuinely resonate with the business operations and goals.

Furthermore, our firm stands proud of our commitment to timely service. We boast a 1-minute response and 1-hour resolution rate, showcasing our dedication to swift and efficient problem-solving.

But perhaps the icing on the cake is DivergeIT's unique feature, the Realtime IT Intelligence System (RITIS®). This unique system is designed to provide real-time IT insights, helping businesses make informed decisions and keep their IT operations running smoothly. RITIS® offers a live snapshot of the IT environment, providing crucial data on system performance, security risks, and more in real time.

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Your next step in portfolio management

Choosing a project management tool is a significant step towards improving efficiency, boosting collaboration, and ultimately, achieving business success. Remember, the right tool for your team fits your unique needs and goals.

Ready to take the next step in your project management journey? Reach out to DivergeIT. We're eager to help you drive your business forward. Contact us at sales@divergeit.com or 310-765-7200 to get started.

Frequently asked questions about the best free project management

What is the best project management software for 2023?

The best small business project management software for 2023 may vary based on specific business needs. Some of the most popular project management tools include Asana, Trello, and Basecamp, each offering unique management capabilities. The project management software that helps teams the most is usually one that aligns with their unique workflow and requirements.

How to choose the best project management tool?

When choosing the right project management tool, consider factors like your project information requirements, team size, management system needs, and whether you prefer a cloud-based project management solution or an on-premise one. Many project management apps offer a free trial, allowing you to test their capabilities before committing.

Why use project management tools for multiple project management?

A project management platform is handy when dealing with multiple projects. It allows you to easily track project progress, manage project templates, and provide a comprehensive view of all your projects in one place. This type of project software often supports portfolio management and can improve overall work management.

What's the best free project management software?

There are numerous free project management apps available today. Many offer basic task and project management features suitable for small teams or simple projects. However, their features may be limited compared to other project management systems or premium versions.

Is there a project management app suitable for my team?

Yes, various project management apps are designed to cater to different team sizes, industries, and project types. The best project management app for your team would depend on your specific needs, such as project management system requirements, project template needs, and software development process, if applicable.

Are there collaboration tools in project management software?

Most project management software includes collaboration tools that facilitate team communication, document sharing, and joint task management. This aids in fostering a conducive work environment where team members can seamlessly work together toward achieving project goals.

What is portfolio management in project management software?

Portfolio management in PM software involves collectively overseeing and managing a group of projects. This feature helps project managers and teams to analyze and evaluate various projects simultaneously, aligning them with the overall business strategy and goals.

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