A team’s success hinges in large part, on the ability to effectively plan and streamline the workflow. This is even more true of virtual teams, whose members could be spread all over the world and in different time zones. When used correctly, project management software alleviates a lot of the stress associated with managing tasks, and can unburden team members to spend less time on laborious admin work, and instead focus on doing what they do best.
Let’s look at what some of the best free project management tools available on Windows have to offer.
Milanote bills itself as an easy-to-use tool to organize your ideas and projects into visual boards. In reality, it is so much more than that. Milanote does away with the typical hierarchical approach to task management and opts instead to organize everything into visual boards. Of course, you can still drill down into any task on the board and add a wealth of options like assignees, due dates, links to other material, and so on.
This makes Milanote extremely flexible. At the click of a button, you can organize your board into just about any template you can imagine. From Agile task boards for software development to product management roadmaps and retrospectives, and even game and level design boards, there is something for everybody.
Milanote’s free plan includes; up to 100 notes, images, or links. Up to 10 file uploads and unlimited shared boards.
Download: Milanote (Free)
Trello is virtually a household name at this point, and definitely deserves a spot in any project management tool list. Trello allows teams to collaborate anywhere in the world and have a board up and running in seconds. Trello follows the familiar Kanban format for organizing your tasks and workflow. It also has powerful codeless automation tools baked in, that allow for the automation of tedious tasks. If you’re wanting to automate other repetitive tasks in your life, check out the best apps to help you automate repetitive tasks.
When working in Trello, you will be breaking things down into Lists and Cards. Lists are a collection of cards or specific tasks, that can be organized into varying stages of progress. Lists can be used to create a workflow where cards are moved across each step.
The cards themselves represent tasks or specific ideas and are the smallest but most detailed units of work on a board. Cards can be customized with due dates, attachments, conversations, and more. Cards can also be managed, tracked, and shared seamlessly with teammates.
Trello’s free plan includes; unlimited cards, up to 10 boards per workspace, and unlimited storage with a 10MB per file cap.
Download: Trello (Free)
ClickUp sets out to be more than just your average project management tool. Straight out of the box it offers notes, scheduling, goals, reminders, and even an inbox. The platform is also highly customizable.
With a few simple clicks, you can view your tasks as a list, Scrum Board, calendar, or even as a Gantt chart. You can even switch between all views once configured. Dashboards offer up high-level overviews of everything in your workspace and contain customizable widgets to gain insights into tasks, backlogs, and sprints.
ClickUp also has a built-in workflow management system that helps you to easily allocate team resources and gauge performance on the fly. ClickUp also integrates very easily with a variety of other software like Microsoft 365, Slack, and Discord to name just a few.
ClickUp’s Free Forever plan includes unlimited tasks, unlimited free plan members, collaborative documents, and 100MB of storage.
Download: ClickUp (Free)
Nifty is a project management and real-time chat and video application rolled into one. It aims to unite roadmaps, tasks, documents, and chats into one seamless user experience. It’s fast and flexible, and ticks enough of the right boxes in both the project management and collaboration departments to live up to its premise. Teams can organize, prioritize, and track daily work in either a Kanban, list, calendar or Swimlane view.
We especially love the ability to establish a knowledge hub, where you can create documents and wiki’s to share ideas, finalize specifications, & gather feedback from your team. It also probably has the best built-in automated reporting features of any free project management tool we’ve tried. With virtually no setup, you can glean information across all your projects and team activities.
The free version of Nifty includes; unlimited team members and guests, two projects, custom roles and permissions, a choice of light or dark theme, and 100MB of storage.
Download: Nifty (Free)
Although Hive was originally built with small teams in mind, it has some big names backing it up now.
Hive prides itself on enabling teams to “move faster” together, and it shows. Everything about the app is built with productivity and speed in mind. Complex timelines can be mapped out in just a few clicks in the Gantt view. Switching to the Kanban view enables you to drag and drop tasks, to mark them as In Progress, Completed, or Unstarted.
The calendar view enables you to quickly visualize all actions in your project organized by deadline. Finally, the portfolio view is the high-level, birds-eye-view of all actions and tasks across projects. The portfolio view can also be customized on the spot with actions, custom fields, and even new projects altogether.
Hive also offers a centralized dashboard, with hundreds of integrations with the most popular tools and apps to choose from. It really is a well-rounded package especially if you favor simplicity over endless customizability and complexity.
The Hive Solo Free Forever plan includes; unlimited storage, unlimited projects and tasks, unlimited collaborative notes, cloud storage integrations, and native chat.
Download: Hive (Free)
Project Management Made Painless
We have never been so spoiled for choice in the project management software arena. All the mentions on this list deservedly have merit, and we’re positive that if you spend enough time with any of them, one is bound to fit your needs.
Gone are the days of working in silos, and as the world has evolved with new ways of working, so has the software that powers our everyday collaborative efforts. Now that you and your team is geared up for success with the best project management tools for Windows, what will you accomplish next?