The 10 Best Project Management Tools In Comparison

It isn’t easy to keep track of things in the vast jungle of project management software available. A broad portfolio, especially of cloud-based software solutions, makes it difficult for the user to decide.

In our project management software market overview of the most popular tools, we answer the crucial questions:

What is the right tool for your own company? Which web-based project management software enables successful teamwork and is also lived by the employees? Which tool do I have full GDPR compliance with?

Criteria For A Project Management Software

The following factors primarily characterize good project management software that supports you profitably in your day-to-day business:

  • Intuitive user guidance: Ease of use enables a quick project start and saves time-consuming reading of software manuals.
  • Data security and data protection: The protection of personal data and company knowledge is an indispensable requirement.
  • Customer service: A personal and precise customer service supports the project team with application questions and relieves the company’s user support.
  • Practical orientation: A tool with a strong practical orientation provides optimal support in day-to-day business and offers exactly the functions necessary for agile teams – from practice to practice.

Project Management Software 2021: Market Overview And Comparison

The following comparison of 8 of the most popular project management software applications deals with the software solutions from Asana, Trello, Wrike, Inloox, MS Project, a work and factro and offers you a first good overview:


Quick start thanks to the ease of use

The user-friendliness is evident in the intuitive handling of functions. Even beginners who have not dealt with PM tools before can quickly find their way into the structure and functions of factro. The team can get started together right away – without a lot of training.

Factro’s claim to make operation as intuitive as possible can quickly be experienced in its handling. The drag & drop function simplifies operation and makes it light as a feather. Functions are quickly understandable, and each user can choose the project view with which he can work best: structure plan, Gantt diagram, Kanban, table.

Interfaces Available

In addition to a CSV export and Outlook synchronization, factro now also offers an open REST API including webhooks so that the connection to your system landscape is much easier to implement and data can be exchanged between different solutions.

In addition, the web-based project management software has an overview of the resource utilization, with which you can better keep an eye on the workload of your team. This enables capacity planning with an efficient distribution of tasks and better project planning and control.


Software From The Cloud

Asana is – like Trello, Wrike, InLoox, and factro – a cloud-based project management software and thus offers the user software as a service. This means that the user pays for the right to use the Software and thus for a service that takes over the maintenance of the Software, software updates, and data backups. Installation is not required, as the Software works via the Internet and a web browser.

User-Friendly Operation

When you start Asana, you immediately notice the very simple handling of the tool. It may seem too colorful and playful for some users, but that is a matter of taste. The functions are kept lean and reduced to the bare essentials. This also ensures high usability on the smartphone. In some places, additional features – such as predecessor/successor relationships between tasks, milestones – or project views would be desirable.

Personal Customer Service Is Chargeable

Asana offers customer service. However, this is only made available from the paid versions. Here the user has to decide whether the numerous help in the program, explanatory videos, and the large (English-speaking) Asana community are sufficient.

How important is it to have a constant personal contact person – from trying it out to using the tool individually? Do you want your specific questions and those of the team to be answered precisely in the free version? Even if the operation does not require an IT specialist. To find your way around the tool, customer service is helpful in case of individual questions.


Kanban Board As The Only Project Visualization

Trello’s simple and clear view is easy to use. The Kanban Board view can be created as a workflow or as a kind of “sticky note.” The simplicity of Trello is, of course, also because there is no variety of views.

A project or workflow can only be organized in the form of boards. Helpful views such as a Gantt chart, a task list, or a work breakdown structure are missing. A pure Kanban board view is not enough for those who want to visualize projects and thus create quick and intuitive access to complex project content.

Conditional Data Protection

Trello is also web-based as project management software and – like Asana – has a US server location, which results in a lack of BDSG (new) conformity. Anyone who values ​​data security and personal data protection must make a “compromise” at this point. His company data are stored in locations outside of Europe.

Not A Tool For Complex Projects

If you want to digitize your way of working with Trello professionally, you will quickly reach your limits. The very simple functions mean that complex projects and work processes can no longer be mapped. 

For a completely agile way of working, Trello is a very good solution. Come from a more traditional environment. You will certainly be better off with a hybrid of classic and agile because a Gantt chart, a cross-project view, time recording & controlling, and some other features will not be found at Trello.


Great Handling Of Functions

The PM software Wrike impresses with a very large range of functions and offers various integrations (e.g., Google Drive, Box, and iCal ). Particularly noteworthy is the marketing module with sophisticated workflows, including briefing, checking, and approval functions.

Requires A Lot Of Training

The large range of functions has its price: Wrike initially looks clean in design and structure. However, a newcomer quickly notices the “hurdles” of this tool: The range of functions goes hand in hand with a comprehensive discussion, familiarization, and, if necessary, training.

GDPR Compliant

The European server location of the Californian provider is located in Amsterdam. Wrike is GDPR-compliant and, unlike Asana and Trello, hosts user data in the European Economic Area.

Limited Contact Options

Customer service is possible, but only via the contact form (“Submit a ticket”). There you can also give your telephone number and ask for a callback. Of course, videos and tutorials can help but are often more time-consuming than tangible contacts. A help page or a support chat (in English) are also offered.


SaaS And On-Premise Solution

InLoox offers an on-premise as well as a SaaS solution. Both cloud computing-savvy users and fans of installed software solutions will have a chance. At first glance, the design looks rather traditional compared to other tools.

Conservative In Service

The user quickly notices that the usability is proving to be much more difficult than was initially expected. Creating tasks or changing project status – these application methods take longer than with many other tools. This leads to a user experience that makes the desire for easier operability arise.

GDPR-Compliant And German Server Location

Server locations in Germany ensure data security (Frankfurt am Main and Magdeburg). InLoox offers full GDPR compliance.

Direct Customer Service

Software’s customer service is an essential criterion for many users because the online affinity also differs within a project team. You can contact the InLoox team directly by phone and email or arrange a call back by request.

MS Project

On-Premise Solution With Maintenance Effort

MS Project is an on-premise solution that not only requires pre-installation by the user. The user is also given responsibility for the updating and functionality of the Software and its updates.

Data Backup And Data Protection – In User’s Hands

The data backup is the responsibility of the user to perform backups. Your own IT staff is responsible for data security. However, cloud-based solutions offer data security that experts guarantee.

The following question becomes relevant at this point: Are professional providers who deal with the topic of “data security” daily not more suitable for this task? This question must be answered individually.

In-Depth Application Knowledge Required

In addition, working with MS Project requires in-depth knowledge of the software functions (as well as project management). New users of the Software must first deal intensively with the application method to start working.

The immediate start? Delayed. Working in a team? Is not possible task-related. The focus of MS Project is on project planning and less on project implementation.

No Personal Customer Service From Microsoft

MS Project’s customer service is limited to the help center in the online area. User questions are filtered out with the help of search queries. Anyone who reaches their limits when planning with the help of the Software has to search for a suitable answer independently. This represents an additional effort.

A Solution For The Project Planner – Not For The Project Team

Working with the entire team is very difficult or even impossible with this project management solution. The Software is primarily tailored to the planning, control, and resource management at the level of the project manager. MS Project is therefore not a project management software that can be used to improve team spirit.


The Young Tool With A Refreshing Look

awork is a relatively new, young tool with a fresh look. The surface is slim and easy to use, but the range of functions has not yet been expanded at every point. For this, the tool offers integrations with Slack and Zapier, among others; further integrations can be made via API.

Free Version With 3 Projects

Awork is currently available in two chargeable tariffs, but not in a free version. Awork can be tested for 14 days, but it cannot be used free of charge afterward.


An Open-Source Solution For Connoisseurs

Thanks to its open-source approach, OpenProject is primarily interested in trained users who have their server hardware and can operate the facility independently. Alternatively, the project management software is available as a web-based cloud solution.

Free Version For Self-Installation

However, this only applies to fee-based tariffs. If you want to use the free version, you can only install it on your hardware. In terms of features, the open-source tool offers, among other things, user-defined fields, a Gantt chart – important when creating the critical path – and an integrated wiki.

Users can also use agile boards, a full-text search, and automatable workflows in the paid tariffs. However, there is no app on the go; the open project is primarily designed for use on the computer.

Personal Service Only At An Additional Cost

The free support options are limited with OpenProject. Users of the free Community Edition can get help via the forum or online manuals. The paid tariffs also include email support with a response time of 8 hours. Personal contact via telephone and creating tickets are only available with “Premier Support” for 980 euros per month.


Project Management For Excel Lovers

Airtable is reminiscent of Excel for a reason: It combines the numerous possibilities of relational databases with the familiarity of a spreadsheet program. In this way, almost all imaginable information can be displayed, formatted, and linked with one another.

Therefore, the tool is predestined for the organization of numbers and data, which is also possible for those new to tables thanks to the tidy surface. However, when it comes to resource management, differentiated project views, and fast communication, airtable reaches its (table) limits. Another sticking point is the US server location, which does not allow GDPR and BDSG-new conformity.


The Chicago-based tool Basecamp is one of the leading PM software and has a strong communication-oriented approach. In addition to intuitive handling, users and projects can be scaled as required. 

However, Basecamp is not a classic project management solution, so certain views – such as the Gantt chart or the work breakdown structure – are missing.

Basecamp is also not available and hosts its data in the USA, which is particularly problematic for data protection reasons (GDPR and BDSG-new). Although there is no free basic plan, there is a 30-day trial version. If you switch to the paid version, you will immediately get an “all-inclusive tariff” with all the features.

Conclusion: An All-Round Solution For The Demanding Team Player

Various project management software providers come into question for successful project management. Many offers on the market do not make it easy for the interested user to decide on a specific tool quickly. The criteria on which this market overview of project management tools is based are maximum data security and data protection, customer service, usability, and practical orientation.

The user must first decide whether he prefers an on-premise or a cloud solution. The low maintenance effort speaks for a cloud-based solution. A clear advantage of Software as a Service (SaaS) is the uncomplicated and location-independent access to the application. This makes collaboration cross-border and modern.

This comparison of seven of the most popular project management software solutions shows: The range of tools differs in terms of the requirements. The totality of these is of factro – the Software for task and project management – met.

Who, therefore, emphasizes a user-friendly solution with maximum data security, EU and DSGVO- BDSG new conformity a personal and free customer service and a hands-on approach to the project management