14 Best Non-Spreadsheet Software for Project Management
Any successful project needs a clear plan with well-defined goals, a timeline, and assigned tasks. But there's much more to successful project management than just timelines.
Budgets, resource allocations, opportunity costs, and a myriad of business-specific parameters must be considered.
The right toolset can make task management even leaner and more efficient, but choosing the right tools can be challenging with so many available options.
Project management software is an essential tool for any business. It helps to plan and track progress, assign tasks, and keep everyone on the same page.
For smaller projects, a simple spreadsheet may suffice. However, if you are ready to migrate to a more complex system, there are several alternatives to consider.
We asked 14 project managers and business owners for their tools of choice when managing projects within their company. Here's what they had to say.
Monday.com is a cloud-based project management software that my company uses for most of our projects. It is a versatile tool that helps us to track and manage tasks, deadlines, resources, and progress. The software is user-friendly and easy to customize, which makes it perfect for our team. It also has a number of features that are not available in spreadsheet software, such as the ability to create Gantt charts and track dependencies. Monday.com has been a valuable tool for our company, and I would highly recommend it to anyone looking for a project management solution.
Antreas Koutis, Financer
We use ClickUp for project management. Not only is it a great software with many robust features but our team members find it very easy to use. When it comes to software development, its obvious those who created the ClickUp app really had their end users in mind. I'm happy to say that we've ditched spreadsheet templates for good. I highly recommend ClickUp to other business owners.
Jae Pak, Jae Pak MD Medical
While Excel does a good job of organizing information, its spreadsheet layout sometimes makes it overwhelming, and this is why we use Scoro for our project management. Having rows of numbers makes a spreadsheet slow to read and sometimes even more difficult to understand because it often lacks context. Scoro provides beautifully designed and easy-to-understand charts, graphs, and other visuals, to make it easy for your team members to comprehend information and be able to make quick comparisons when needed. In addition, its ability to integrate with third-party applications and its responsive dashboards adds to its creative options to organize data. If you want an alternative to spreadsheets, Scoro provides one of the best programs for a visually inclined team.
Adelle Archer, Eterneva
If you are looking for a great way to visualize data with the least amount of effort, then Bime software is an excellent non-spreadsheet project management tool. Many spreadsheet tools do allow a graphic or image-based look at data, but most are limited to drawing information from a single source. Bime allows you to grab information from different sources to create customized reports that display dazzling visuals of your various metrics. In addition, it can analyze and organize your data in one place and create other custom visual data for your KPIs in 25 different presentations. Bime is an easy-to-use tool that provides terrific visuals and is a fantastic option to your basic spreadsheet.
Matt Miller, Embroker
When it comes to project management, I've used my fair share of software. I've tried the popular spreadsheet programs like Excel and Google Sheets, but I always found them to be clunky and difficult to use. I also tried a couple of dedicated project management programs, but they were so feature-heavy that they ended up being more confusing than helpful. Quip is the perfect middle ground. It's simple and easy to use, but it still has all the features I need to keep track of my projects. Plus, it's affordable, which is important for a small business like mine. In short, Quip is the best non-spreadsheet software for project management, and I wouldn't use anything else.
Lorien Strydom, Financer.com
Our go-to non-spreadsheet software for project management is GanttPRO. The chart-based project management tools offered by GanttPRO outline every step of a project and show everyone involved at each step. The intuitive interface helps with organization, setting and sending assignments, and can offer insights on where to divide projects among more employees. Viewers can also view other team members' timelines to see where they are at with their current segment of the project.
Kevin Callahan, Flatline Van Co.
Our favourite is Trello. Trello integrates with other apps so that you can easily manage projects from start to finish. It also offers drag-and-drop functionality so that you can quickly create new cards and add content as needed. And lastly, it has an impressive community of followers who share their best tips and tricks for using this tool successfully. If these features aren't enough to convince you, then consider its low cost per user or its simple yet comprehensive interface design. So whether you're looking for an easy way to keep track of your work backlogs or want to collaborate with team members in a productive manner, Trello might be the right choice for you!
Johannes Larsson, JohannesLarsson.com
Notion lays out project management tools efficiently. Having a dashboard that keeps tasks and projects easily sorted gives you the ability to prioritize and efficiently meet your goals. For example, tools like Notion can track a wide variety of metrics from clients’ satisfaction with our work and familiarity over time. Most importantly, it can track client retention rate, which can be a great metric for continued success. Focus on quality, and the metrics will reflect that. Managing tasks efficiently with an established system while preserving quality can promote success.
Zachary Hamed, Clay
nTask is the top alternative to all spreadsheet-based software programs and the number one tool among non-spreadsheet-based. nTask facilitates the project management process by storing, processing, and organizing all data, information, and tasks just through one platform. The core functionalities cover task management, project scheduling and reporting, time tracking, meetings scheduling, and risk management. Additionally, the tool supports collaboration by allowing for comments, responses, and reactions. It offers dedicated teams’ workspaces and notifications, reminders, or alerts. nTask has an intuitive and simple interface design to help users get the most out of using the platform. Unlike spreadsheet-based software programs, learning how to navigate nTask is quick and easy. The platform offers both free and premium plans starting at $3 per user/month. And it's definitely worth testing.
Nina Paczka, Resume Now
Workzone is a brilliant alternative to spreadsheet solutions. The cloud-based software in question makes project management easy. I recommend this helpful, intuitive, and user-friendly tool to any managers and their teams. It offers a wide range of sophisticated features. Thanks to Workzone, you can effectively assign responsibilities, organize tasks and subtasks, set priorities, track the project's progress, and more. Also, there is an option to get automated reports with real-time project status information via mail. Workzone keeps projects under control, basically.
Agata Szczepanek, Resume Now
At our business, we use Asana for our project management. It is a straightforward, spread-sheet-free software that allows us to see how we are progressing with projects in real-time. It is visually appealing without too many bells and whistles, so as a CEO, I can get a quick view of where different company projects stand. The color coding allows us to see which items are high priority and the task assignment makes it clear for our entire team to know who is doing what.
Johan Hajji, UpperKey
I use Hive software as it offers an integrated platform for a more collaborative business experience. It enables working in real-time on projects and tracking the progress of other projects with the file access feature anywhere. It offers extra project management tools, file sharing, and data security, which are not on spreadsheets. Big projects can be broken into specific tasks through Hive. The software has an excellent user interface, customizable workflows, and note tracking for easy assignment monitoring.
yongming Song, Imgkits- Photo Editor
We’ve all spent ages searching our email for the right project/job to then only forward that to another member of the team. Or we’ve all wondered if the current spreadsheet we are working on is the latest version of the project and worried that we are duplicating work. Also, from a project management point of view, email is just a really long-winded way of (not) getting anything done so I’m a big cheerleader for investing in a good project management system.
Right now we use Basecamp. We tried Slack and Trello in the past but settled on Basecamp as it was the one tool that the majority of team members said they found the easiest to learn. The best thing about it is Ease-of-use, being able to keep all of the documents associated with any project in the same place, having both public and private chat facilities, and it has a really good mobile version. I think Slack is really good, but the interfacing Basecamp has just seems easier to navigate for everybody."
Shane McEvoy, Flycast Media
Our team uses Airtable for our project management workflow and have found it to be extremely effective. Not only is Airtable visually appealing for our employees, but it's also simple to use and easy to navigate. We primarily use Airtable to manage our editorial calendar. I'm able to quickly add new projects, assign articles to specific writers and give them detailed instructions. However, what I particularly like about Airtable is the flexibility and customizations I can add to the different fields. For example, in our editorial calendar table, I was able to setup specific fields for publish date, content type and percentage complete status.
Alaina Ross, Sleep Family
So, what are the best project management tools for your business? It depends on your needs and the size of your team. However, there are a few stand-outs that come highly recommended by experienced project managers. If you're looking for a comprehensive system with lots of features, Asana or Trello may be a good fit.
For smaller teams or businesses just starting out, Excel or Google Sheets can be an effective way to manage projects with limited resources. And if you're looking for something in between, Basecamp is a great option that offers the flexibility of customizability without being too overwhelming.
No matter which tool you choose, make sure it's one that will help you work smarter, not harder.
Want to learn more about Spreadsheet Automation for Project Management? Check out our Excel for Project Management Services!