Managing projects is never easy: you need to distribute the workload, track project progress, resolve budgeting issues, manage risks, motivate and supervise team members. Luckily, modern project management apps and software automate management routines, visualize project trends, provide team productivity analysis and give you tools that save time and effort.
Most mobile project management apps are available on both iOS and Android devices and either provide essential desktop software features or extend software functionality with additional tools and features. What are the top project management apps for iOS and Android, which of them offer free plans, what features do they provide and what app users complain about on the app markets — read on to find out.
Project Management Apps With Free Plans
Key features: Project management, Task management, Time tracking, Timesheet management
Pricing: free, paid plans start at $5 user/month
actiTIME Mobile supports essential software features to use on the go, including work and leave time tracking, access to daily, weekly and monthly overviews of worked hours, task creation, timesheet management and offline time tracking.
Speaking of the offline mode, actiTIME Mobile syncs with actiTIME Online and actiTIME Self-Hosted accounts, which work as servers. In case you have no Internet access, you can still use mobile apps — the new data will be stored on your device and updated as soon as your internet connection is restored.
actiTIME offers a free forever plan for teams of up to three users, a discount for non-profit organizations and subscription plans starting at $5 per user per month.
Key features: Project management, Task management, Project milestones, Discussions
Pricing: free, paid plans start at $39 per month
Nifty is an online project management tool that offers a limited set of essential features to its mobile app users, which include project milestones and status review, task list access, file management, team chat and discussion boards.
Nifty boasts a good-looking interface, but the experience of app usage reveals questionable app functionality. As for project management features, you are limited to overviewing project progress and milestones and have little to no capabilities to make edits.
Discussion boards — one of the Nifty’s mobile app features that looks like a team chat, in our experience, are better to be held in third-party collaboration software apps such as Slack or Skype. Communication and collaboration apps like these are easy to access, set up and provide handy tools for messaging, document sharing, plenty of notification settings and more. The fact that project-based discussions are built in the mobile app we consider a disadvantage rather than otherwise.
Another big feature of the Nifty mobile app is document collaboration — the exact same thing as Google Docs provides for free, unlike Nifty, which is subscription-based software. We may be biased but again, we don’t see how project collaboration can be a handy feature to implement in a mobile app and why reinvent the wheel, but that’s how app developers market their mobile app — a ‘workflow management hub’.
All in all, Nifty is good-looking and pleasant to interact with but its project management capabilities and other mobile app features are rather questionable.
Key features: Project management, Task management, Comment threads, Wikis
Pricing: free, paid plans start at $35 per month
Backlog is a project management app that works as a mobile extension of the cloud and desktop software. As any mobile app, it provides essential task and project management features combined with documenting and collaboration tools.
App interface is clean and smooth though some users report functionality and UI issues. The app can boast rather high app ratings, which is not surprising: unlike most other project management apps, it contains only necessary features and doesn’t clutter the interface with tools and features that should be managed in the full software version.
Key features: Project management, Task management, Team collaboration
Pricing: free, paid plans start at $5 user/month
Trello is a popular task and project management app where you can build boards, tasks and checklists. In terms of mobile project management, Trello offers free mobile apps that don’t fall short of cloud and desktop solutions.
Trello’s project management app has almost everything that we love in the desktop app: card boards and checklists that you can drag across the board according to the project’s progress. At the same time, Trello offers a limited project management feature set: you won’t be able to set project budgets, review project costs or get an overview of how your team is doing against the pro project schedule.
Trello does a great job at task management with its boards, Calendar and Timeline views, deadlines and file sharing. So, you are most likely to enjoy Trello as a project management app if you manage personal or small-size projects in small teams.
Key features: Project management, Team messaging
Pricing: free, paid plans start at $7.20
Podio is cloud project management software with iOS and Android apps that keep users updated on project progress when they are away from computers.
Podio provides remote access to the essential software features, meaning you can manage responsibilities and deadlines, access project-related chats and discussions and more — all in a clear and straightforward interface that is easy-to-navigate.
At the same time, app users report that the app experience is too different from the desktop software experience, some say that the app crashes often or they are unable to sign in. App descriptions in mobile stores state that the app has been recently updated so it may be worth checking out.
Key features: Project management, Team management, Collaboration, Workflow management
Pricing: free, paid plans start at $24 per month
monday.com is a project management app for iOS and Android for organizing tasks, teams and projects and monitoring work and team members’ statuses.
The app’s interface is based on the whiteboard view where you can store projects, to-do lists, project lists, contact sheets and more. Next, you can divide board items into groups such as people, locations, teams or clients. After you invite your team members, you can share your boards with them, have discussions below and get notified whenever something important happens.
App users report that either it doesn’t provide key functionality or they are frustrated with bugs and activity tracking features that are used for micromanagement purposes. More than that, a recent Google Play review with 61 likes states that the app doesn’t notify you about starting a trial and its terms and conditions with users ending up being unable to stop their trials and delete their accounts. So try this project management app at your own risk.
Key features: Project management, Chat room, Document management
Pricing: free, paid plans start at $99 per month
Basecamp is another project management app that works as an extension of the desktop software and allows users to use some of its features on the go.
Get project updates across your team, create and assign to-dos to your team members, leave comments, quickly access and review projects using shortcuts and more.
User reviews range from “not working” to “fantastic”. The most common complaints refer to chat not working, frequent changes to the app interface making it difficult to navigate, features not working properly.
Project Management Apps Without Free Plans
Key features: Project management, Recurring tasks, Interval cost, Effort tracking
Pricing: no free plans, paid plans start at $20 per month
OmniPlan is a project management app only for Apple users. It offers paid subscription apps for Mac, iPhone and iPad and offers no apps or tools for Android users.
OmniPlan is a powerful tool for project planning and management. Its key features include Gantt charts, network diagrams, project milestones, resource levelling and critical path highlighting. As long as these features and interfaces are rather complex and were designed for Mac and iPad users, the iOS app works in the horizontal mode and requires manual interface navigation, which makes it hard to overview charts and boards.
The app interface is good-looking and clean but again, not designed for iPhone users. Nonetheless, you can give it a try with a two-week trial.
Casual Project Management
Key features: Task management, File management
Pricing: no free plan, paid plans starts at $10 per month
Casual is a task and project management app where you can review and manage projects and tasks associated with them.
Casual’s functionality is very limited, not to say it hardly fits the title of a project management app. Its mobile apps offer only a few task management interfaces and a rather dated interface, which, on the other hand, is clean and easy-to-use. The latest user reviews in both app stores are dated by the of 2019, so it looks like the mobile app development and support had been stopped. Considering that Casual offers no free plans, it’s worth considering last of all.
Key features: Project management, Task management, Time tracking, Form management
Pricing: no free plan, paid plans starts at $21 per month
Smartsheet is a project management app that allows you to manage data in the cloud Smartsheet software while being on the go. More than that, it offers features unique to mobile apps, including barcode and QR code scanning, photo unloading and location tracking.
The Smartsheet app provides you with access to team members, projects, tasks, workflows and sheets, allows you to set up or change essignees, deadlines, predecessors and files. Review project progress with grid, card, Gantt and calendar views. Get notified about updates and new requests and use widgets to review project dynamics.
The most common complaints from the app users include unannounced start of the free trial leading to paid subscription activation and unauthorised monthly charges. Other complaints include inability to adjust settings that are accessible for desktop software users, synchronization issues and logging off due to inactivity.
Key features: Project management, Task management, Event calendar, Contact management
Pricing: no free plan, paid plans starts at $26 user/month
Scoro is a project management app that allows you to manage your data in Scoro software on the go.
Scoro offers a set of features that is rare for project management apps. These include calendars with events that are linked with projects and contacts and customer details, including their contacts, files, documents. Other features include task management, reporting, mobile version of Scoro that gives access to full desktop functionality.
Users report that after the newest updates, they are either unable to create accounts in the mobile app or the app provides limited functionality and is full of bugs.
Key features: Project management, Task management, Team collaboration
Pricing: no free plan, paid plans starts at $9 user/month
Redbooth is a project management app that allows you to stay connected with your team and stay updated on the project progress.
Redbooth is different from other project management apps because it relies on team collaboration. It provides collaborative workspaces with dedicated workspaces, conversations and comments, team notifications about work status changes. In the app description, developers boast that Redbooth is different from tools like Basecamp, Trello, Wrike, Asana, Aha!, and Microsoft Project because it is “is built specifically for busy teams who don’t have a lot of time to spare”.
App users complain about app crashes, unreliable performance, login issues, notifications that don’t work. Many of them are upset about having paid the software subscription and getting the app that doesn’t work properly.
How to Choose a Project Management App for Your Needs?
The main observation that we’ve made compiling this list is that project management apps can mean very different things. Some apps rely on collaboration features such as chats and discussions, some provide project management tools that are difficult to navigate on the smartphone screen.
What’s most important is that many users complain about apps not working properly or providing poor user experience which, in our opinion, is completely inappropriate because it can undermine success of your projects and work as money sinks because you pay the subscription fee to use the software and stay in control using the app.
In our opinion, reliable project management apps and software should be stable and secure, data-based, intuitive, easy-to-use and reasonably priced. Luckily, more than 10 years ago we developed actiTIME — time and project management software that meets all these criteria. It is one of the leading software tools on the market and is one of the most highly appraised apps in our list. Unlike half of this list, it offers a free subscription plan, meaning you can try the software without any risks and keep on using it for free if your team is of up to three users. Give it a try — start actiTIME’s free 30-day trial (no credit card required).