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6 best cloud-based project management software for 2023

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As businesses continue to adopt remote work and digital collaboration, cloud-based project management software has become an essential tool for effective team coordination and workflow management. Cloud-based project management software offers a centralized platform for tracking project progress, assigning tasks and sharing documents. This makes it easier for teams to stay organized and aligned.

With the increasing demand for cloud-based solutions, several project management software options have emerged, each with its unique features and benefits. In this article, we’ll discuss the best cloud-based project management software of 2023 and help you determine which one is the best fit for your business.

SEE: Use this hiring kit to help find the best project manager to guide your project teams.

Best cloud project management software comparison

To help you decide which project management software best suits your needs, we have compiled a comparison table featuring key aspects of each product. The table highlights important features, such as collaboration tools, integrations, pricing and more, allowing you to evaluate and compare your options quickly.

Below, we have reviewed six top cloud-based project management software options and highlighted their best use cases, key features, pros, cons and pricing.

Software Collaboration tools Time tracking Task management Kanban boards Gantt charts Starting price
monday work management Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Free plan available
Paid plans start at $8 per user per month
Smartsheet Yes Yes Yes No Yes Free plan available
Paid plans start at $7 per user per month
Zoho Projects Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Free plan available
Paid plans start at $5 per user per month
Jira Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Free plan available
Paid plans start at $7.75 per user per month
Confluence Yes No Limited No No Free plan available
Paid plans start at $5.75 per user per month
Asana Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Free plan available
Paid plans start at $10.99 per user per month

Jump to:

monday work management: Best for ease of use

The monday.com logo.
Image: monday.com

monday work management is a visually appealing and user-friendly cloud-based project management software option that helps teams collaborate, manage tasks and track project progress. The platform offers a variety of project views, including boards, timelines and calendars. monday work management also provides a wide range of prebuilt templates, integrations with popular tools and automation features to streamline project workflows.

For more information, check out our full monday Work OS review.

Pricing

  • Individual: Free forever for up to two seats.
  • Basic: $8 per seat per month, billed annually, or $10 per seat billed monthly.
  • Standard: $10 per seat per month, billed annually, or $12 per seat billed monthly.
  • Pro: $16 per seat per month, billed annually, or $20 per seat billed monthly.
  • Enterprise: Contact sales for a custom quote.

Standout features

A monday board view in use for operations workflows and processes.
A monday board view in use for operations workflows and processes.

  • Visual task management: Intuitive boards and customizable views make it easy to manage tasks and monitor progress.
  • Automations: With monday work management, users can streamline processes with custom automation workflows.
  • Integrations: The software offers seamless integration with popular tools such as Slack, Google Drive and Microsoft Office.

Pros

  • Easy-to-use interface.
  • Highly customizable.
  • Strong collaboration features.

Cons

  • Can be overwhelming for new users.
  • Limited free version.

Smartsheet: Best for spreadsheet-based project management

Smartsheet logo
Image: Smartsheet

Smartsheet is versatile project management software that combines the conventionality of spreadsheets with the capabilities of project management tools. With its intuitive interface and powerful features, such as task management, resource allocation and reporting, Smartsheet enables teams to plan, track and execute projects efficiently. The software also offers advanced automation and integration capabilities, making it suitable for businesses of all sizes.

For more information, check out our full Smartsheet review.

Pricing

  • Free: $0 for one user and up to two editors.
  • Pro: $7 per user per month, billed annually, or $9 per user billed monthly.
  • Business: $25 per user per month, billed annually, or $32 per user billed monthly.
  • Enterprise: Contact Smartsheet for a custom quote.

Standout features

Smartsheet’s Gantt template for project management.
Smartsheet’s Gantt template for project management.

  • Grid view: Smartsheet delivers a familiar spreadsheet-style interface for easy task management.
  • Automated workflows: Users can set up rules to automate repetitive tasks and processes.
  • Flexible templates: Its flexible templates provide users with a wide range of selections to suit various project types.

Pros

  • Familiar interface for spreadsheet users.
  • Robust reporting capabilities.
  • Wide range of templates.

Cons

  • A steep learning curve for advanced features.
  • Limited integration options in the basic plan.

Zoho Projects: Best for budget-conscious businesses

The Zoho logo.
Image: Zoho

Zoho Projects is a cloud-based project management software solution designed to help teams plan, collaborate and deliver projects on time. It offers robust task management, time tracking and document management features. With its customizable interface, built-in Gantt charts and extensive reporting capabilities, Zoho Projects caters to the needs of various industries and project sizes. The software also seamlessly integrates with other Zoho products and popular third-party tools.

For more information, check out our full Zoho Projects review.

Pricing

  • Free: $0 for up to three users.
  • Premium: $4 per user per month, billed annually, or $5 per user billed monthly.
  • Enterprise: $9 per user per month, billed annually, or $10 per user billed monthly.

Its Premium and Enterprise plans have a 10-day free trial.

Standout features

Zoho Projects time tracking compares planned vs. actual time taken on tasks.
Zoho Projects time tracking compares planned vs. actual time taken on tasks.

  • Time tracking: Teams can monitor and manage time spent on tasks and projects.
  • Issue tracking: Zoho Projects makes it easy to track and resolve bugs and issues.
  • Customizable dashboards: Users can personalize dashboards to show relevant project information.

Pros

  • Affordable pricing.
  • Strong feature set for the price.
  • Good integration with other Zoho products.

Cons

  • Limited storage in the basic plan.
  • Less intuitive interface compared to competitors.

Jira: Best for software development teams

The Jira logo.
Image: Jira

Jira is a popular project management tool specifically designed for software development teams. It provides comprehensive issue tracking, customizable workflows and integration with popular developer tools like Bitbucket and GitHub. Jira’s powerful features and robust reporting capabilities make it an ideal choice for managing complex software projects and ensuring timely delivery.

For more information, check out our full Jira review.

Pricing

Pricing for Jira is on a sliding scale and lowers as more users are added. Based on a 10-user plan, Jira has the following costs:

  • Free: $0 for 10 users for the monthly subscription only.
  • Standard: $7.75 per user billed monthly or $790 per year.
  • Premium: $15.25 per user billed monthly or $1,525 per year.
  • Enterprise: Only billed annually. Available for teams with more than 800 users. Contact Jira sales for a custom quote.

Standout features

Jira kanban board tracking project progress.
Jira kanban board tracking project progress.

  • Scrum and kanban boards: Manage and track the progress of software development projects using Agile methodologies, Jira’s Scrum and kanban boards.
  • Customizable workflows: Users can define and modify workflows based on their team’s processes.
  • Integration with developer tools: Seamlessly integrate with popular developer tools like Bitbucket and GitHub.

Pros

  • Powerful issue-tracking and management features.
  • Highly customizable.
  • Robust reporting and analytics.

Cons

  • Steeper learning curve compared to other tools.
  • May not be suitable for non-software development projects.

Confluence: Best for team collaboration and documentation

The Confluence logo.
Image: Confluence

Confluence is a cloud-based collaboration and documentation tool from Atlassian that works seamlessly with Jira. It allows teams to create, edit and share documents in real-time, making it an excellent choice for building a centralized knowledge base. Confluence’s collaborative editing and integration with Jira make it an ideal companion for software development teams and businesses looking to improve their documentation and collaboration processes.

For more information, check out our full Confluence review.

Pricing

Confluence’s pricing is on a sliding scale and lowers as more users are added to the plan. Here are Confluence’s rates based on a 10-user team:

  • Free: $0 for ten users for the monthly subscription only.
  • Standard: $5.75 per user billed monthly or $580 per year for up to 10 users.
  • Premium: $11 per user billed monthly or $1,100 per year for up to 10 users.
  • Enterprise: Only billed annually. Available for teams with more than 800 users. Contact Confluence for a custom quote.

Standout features

Confluence enables users to work together in real time through collaborative editing.
Confluence enables users to work together in real time through collaborative editing.

  • Collaborative editing: Confluence enables users to work together on documents in real-time (Figure E).
  • Knowledge base: Teams can create a centralized repository for company knowledge.
  • Integration with Jira: Easily link Confluence pages to Jira issues.

Pros

  • Excellent for creating, organizing and sharing documents.
  • Real-time collaborative editing.
  • Integration with other Atlassian products.

Cons

  • Lacks task management features.
  • Not ideal as a standalone project management tool.

Asana: Best for balanced project management

The Asana logo.
Image: Asana

Asana is a flexible and user-friendly cloud-based project management solution that helps teams manage tasks, projects and workflows efficiently. Its standout features include multiple project views, prebuilt templates and custom automation rules. Asana’s intuitive interface and wide range of features make it suitable for teams of all sizes and industries. Additionally, the software integrates with popular third-party tools, enhancing its overall functionality.

For more information, check out our full Asana review.

Pricing

  • Basic: $0 for unlimited tasks, projects, messages, activity logs and storage.
  • Premium: $10.99 per user per month, billed annually, or $13.49 per user billed monthly.
  • Business: $24.99 per user per month, billed annually, or $30.49 per user billed monthly.
  • Enterprise: Contact Asana for a custom quote.

Standout features

Asana board view makes work processes more transparent.
Asana board view makes work processes more transparent.

  • Flexible project views: Users can choose from list, board, timeline or calendar views for their projects.
  • Templates: Teams can start projects quickly with prebuilt templates for various industries and use cases.
  • Automation: Asana offers custom rules to help teams automate routine tasks.

Pros

  • Intuitive and easy-to-use interface.
  • Wide range of features for task and project management.
  • Integrations with popular third-party tools.

Cons

  • Limited free plan features.
  • Advanced features may require higher-tier plans.

What are key features of cloud project management software?

When choosing a cloud-based project management software solution, it’s essential to consider the features and capabilities that will best serve your team and organization. Here are five key features to look for in cloud project management software and why they matter.

Time tracking

Efficient time tracking is crucial for project management. It helps managers monitor team performance and allocate resources more effectively. Most cloud-based project management software includes built-in time tracking tools to help businesses stay on top of deadlines and budgets.

Task and resource management

Effective task and resource management is crucial for successful project management. Cloud-based project management software should allow users to easily create, assign and track tasks as well as allocate resources and monitor progress. This ensures projects stay on schedule and helps teams quickly identify any potential bottlenecks or areas that require additional attention.

SEE: Check out our list of the best task management software.

Gantt charts and kanban boards

Gantt charts provide a visual representation of project schedules, tasks and deadlines. They are an essential feature of project management software, helping teams stay organized and monitor their progress.

Kanban boards offer another visual way to manage tasks, projects and workflows. They help improve collaboration, identify bottlenecks and streamline processes. Most of the cloud-based project management software tools listed in this article offer both Gantt chart and Kanban capabilities.

Real-time collaboration and communication tools

Real-time collaboration and communication features are vital for remote teams. Cloud-based project management software typically includes features like file sharing, task commenting and instant messaging to keep teams connected and in sync.

Integrations with other tools

The ability to integrate with other tools and platforms is essential for seamless project management. Cloud-based project management software should offer integrations with popular tools like Slack, Google Drive, Microsoft Office and more, allowing users to streamline their workflows and easily share information between platforms.

What are the main benefits of cloud project management tools?

Cloud-based project management tools offer a range of benefits that make them an attractive investment for businesses. These benefits include:

  • Accessibility: Cloud-based project management tools can be accessed from anywhere, at any time, as long as there is an internet connection. This makes it easy for remote teams and traveling employees to stay connected and up-to-date on project progress.
  • Scalability: Cloud-based software is easily scalable, allowing businesses to add or remove users as needed, ensuring they only pay for the resources they require.
  • Security: Cloud-based project management software providers typically offer robust security measures, including encryption and secure data storage, to protect your organization’s data.
  • Cost savings: With cloud-based project management tools, businesses no longer need to invest in expensive hardware or infrastructure. Additionally, the cost of maintaining and updating the software is generally included in the subscription price.
  • Improved collaboration: Real-time collaboration features ensure teams can work together effectively, regardless of location. These tools make it easy for users to provide updates, feedback and support in a unified digital workspace.

How to choose cloud-based project management software

Selecting the best cloud-based project management software depends on several factors, including your organization’s needs, team size, budget and preferred features. When making your decision, consider the following steps:

  • Identify your requirements: Determine your team’s specific needs, such as task management, time tracking, file sharing and collaboration tools. Consider the solutions that deliver the features and capabilities that satisfy these needs.
  • Evaluate integrations: Ensure the software can seamlessly integrate with your existing tools, such as CRM systems, communication platforms and file storage services.
  • Consider scalability: Choose a solution that can grow with your organization, allowing for additional users, projects and features as needed.
  • Assess user-friendliness: Opt for software that is easy to use, with intuitive interfaces and minimal learning curves for new users.
  • Compare pricing and plans: Review different pricing options and plans to find one that fits your budget and requirements.
  • Read reviews and testimonials: Learn from the experiences of other users to gain insights into each software solution’s strengths and weaknesses.
  • Sign up for free trials and plans: Consider free trials of prospective cloud-based project management software to give you a taste of their premium features. Where free trials are not available, try out free plans for a first-hand assessment of the tool’s usability.

Review methodology

To identify the best cloud-based project management software options for 2023, we conducted extensive research and analysis of current market offerings. This process included evaluating factors such as customer reviews, project management-specific features, scalability, integration capabilities and usability; we also worked to get hands-on experience with most of the tools reviewed. Furthermore, we analyzed pricing information to ensure the chosen software solutions provide value to businesses of all sizes.

Looking for project management options that cater to your specific business size? Check out these top project management tools for enterprise teams and small businesses.

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