The Best Free Task Management Software for 2021

By Milja Milenkovic
Last updated: January 21, 2021

Keeping track of who in your company is doing what and when can be exhausting. Even writing it down isn’t enough sometimes - you just end up with huge excel sheets and dozens of post-its lying around. Today, we’d like to present you with a very simple solution: A list of the best free task management software. Sit back, relax and start managing multiple projects with a click of a few buttons at no extra cost.

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1. Trello

  • Suitable for budget tracking
  • Lightning-fast updates
  • Unlimited lists and cards

Trello is one of the leading task-management tools currently available. Its easy-to-use Kanban-style interface appeals to many freelancers and teams from all business fields, from sales to HR. The free version contains an abundance of unlimited features that you can always enhance with one of Trello’s numerous power-ups.

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Platforms and Apps:

Web, macOS, Windows, iOS, Android

Storage:

unlimited (10 MB per attachment)

Projects:

10 boards per team

Tasks:

Unlimited

Members:

Unlimited

Integrations:

190+

  • Suitable for budget tracking
  • Lightning-fast updates
  • Unlimited lists and cards

Trello is one of the leading task-management tools currently available. Its easy-to-use Kanban-style interface appeals to many freelancers and teams from all business fields, from sales to HR. The free version contains an abundance of unlimited features that you can always enhance with one of Trello’s numerous power-ups. Read full review

VISIT WEBSITE
Platforms and Apps:

Web, macOS, Windows, iOS, Android

Storage:

unlimited (10 MB per attachment)

Projects:

10 boards per team

Tasks:

Unlimited

Members:

Unlimited

Integrations:

190+

  • Suitable for budget tracking
  • Lightning-fast updates
  • Unlimited lists and cards

2. Asana

  • Highly customizable dashboard
  • Great mobile app
  • Extremely secure

Asana is a great piece of freeware: This software can organize your projects into sections and sub-lists, and the list/board, timeline, and calendar views allow you to quickly sort and filter through tasks. It’s perfect for small teams struggling with an abundance of daily tasks.

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try for free

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Platforms and Apps:

Web, iOS, Android

Storage:

Unlimited (100 MB per file)

Projects:

Unlimited

Tasks:

1,000

Members:

15 per project

Integrations:

190+

  • Highly customizable dashboard
  • Great mobile app
  • Extremely secure

Asana is a great piece of freeware: This software can organize your projects into sections and sub-lists, and the list/board, timeline, and calendar views allow you to quickly sort and filter through tasks. It’s perfect for small teams struggling with an abundance of daily tasks. Read full review

VISIT WEBSITE
Platforms and Apps:

Web, iOS, Android

Storage:

Unlimited (100 MB per file)

Projects:

Unlimited

Tasks:

1,000

Members:

15 per project

Integrations:

190+

  • Highly customizable dashboard
  • Great mobile app
  • Extremely secure

3. ClickUp

  • Native time-tracking app
  • Gantt charts available
  • Superb customer support

ClickUp’s free version suffers from more limitations than some of the other programs on our list, but it more than makes up for it with its unique features. With this task management software, you’ll be able to set up two kinds of recurring tasks, attach required actions to comments, save your favorite filtering options, and much more.

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try for free

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Platforms and Apps:

Web, macOS, Windows, Linux, iOS, Android

Storage:

100 MB

Projects:

5 spaces

Tasks:

Unlimited

Members:

Unlimited

Integrations:

40

Integrations:

40

  • Native time-tracking app
  • Gantt charts available
  • Superb customer support

ClickUp’s free version suffers from more limitations than some of the other programs on our list, but it more than makes up for it with its unique features. With this task management software, you’ll be able to set up two kinds of recurring tasks, attach required actions to comments, save your favorite filtering options, and much more. Read full review

VISIT WEBSITE
Platforms and Apps:

Web, macOS, Windows, Linux, iOS, Android

Storage:

100 MB

Projects:

5 spaces

Tasks:

Unlimited

Members:

Unlimited

Integrations:

40

Integrations:

40

  • Native time-tracking app
  • Gantt charts available
  • Superb customer support

4. Todoist

  • Daily and monthly progress graphs
  • Works offline
  • Multi-device sync

Todoist, as the name suggests, is an app specifically designed with the intent of creating productivity-boosting to-do lists. However, you’d better look elsewhere if what you need is a feature-filled task organizer. The Todoist free plan is best-suited for those seeking a clutter-free organizer that pretty much anyone can master in seconds.

read full review

Platforms and Apps:

Web, macOS, Windows, Linux, iOS, Android

Storage:

N/A

Projects:

80

Tasks:

150 per project

Members:

5 per project

Integrations:

30+

  • Daily and monthly progress graphs
  • Works offline
  • Multi-device sync

Todoist, as the name suggests, is an app specifically designed with the intent of creating productivity-boosting to-do lists. However, you’d better look elsewhere if what you need is a feature-filled task organizer. The Todoist free plan is best-suited for those seeking a clutter-free organizer that pretty much anyone can master in seconds. Read full review

VISIT WEBSITE
Platforms and Apps:

Web, macOS, Windows, Linux, iOS, Android

Storage:

N/A

Projects:

80

Tasks:

150 per project

Members:

5 per project

Integrations:

30+

  • Daily and monthly progress graphs
  • Works offline
  • Multi-device sync

Related Product Categories

Why Use Project and Task Management Software?

Some of you might be apprehensive about learning to use a new piece of software, but that’s only because you might not realize just how useful it can be.

Most of us are familiar with that little voice in our head repeatedly telling us we’re forgetting something. Luckily, any of the products from our list can make that voice shut up. Instead of letting essential details slip through the cracks, you can simultaneously monitor it all.

Furthermore, the right taskmanagement system can add much-needed flexibility. As long as you have internet access, you can assign tasks, view your data and oversee your co-workers from anywhere at any time.

Speaking of co-workers, these applications encourage exchanging ideas, asking questions, and providing feedback between colleagues, thus building a sense of community. The insights provided by the software help managers distribute assignments effectively and avoid overworking some team members and underutilizing others.

Everything mentioned so far can be boiled down to two main benefits: Boosting productivity and improving your overall work environment.

Our Methodology

Picking the best free task management software is hard when there are so many great options. To help with that, we wrote down the criteria used when writing this article.

Task-management Features

The type of software we’re talking about should do much more than any notepad application. First of all, you should be able to switch between several task layouts, such as to-do lists, cards, calendars, and the like.

Secondly, as your tasks keep piling up, you’ll need a good filtering or color-coding system to quickly browse through them. For instance, some of the best task management software lets you sort assignments according to their priority level.
However, these two functions aren’t the only important factors to consider. We made sure to find tools with notification options that prevent you from missing deadlines and relevant work milestones.

Some programs even have time-tracking functionalities and although most people don’t consider them necessary, they can be quite useful to those who need assistance with organizing their time or monitoring their remote workers.

Ease of Use

It goes without saying that task-management tools shouldn’t be difficult to get the hang of. Their main purpose is to alleviate the everyday stress of juggling responsibilities, not add to it.

Application design plays a huge role in this: Sometimes developers go overboard while trying to create a powerful-looking program. The app’s many capabilities end up being off-putting to users who have to spend too much time locating the right command. That’s not to say that an utterly minimalistic approach can’t lead to the exact same problem. A good user interface is in the middle of the two extremes.

The best task management software systems include an abundance of easy-to-understand guides and tutorials and provide top-notch customer support when the educational content isn’t enough.

Integrations

Most task-management programs do a perfectly good job on their own, but every business has specific needs, so integration capability often turns out to be vital.

Additionally, some people might already be using time-tracking or file-sharing software, so they might find it easier to just add it onto their task manager instead of getting used to a new set of tools. The more integration options you have, the better.

Collaboration Tools

Although free task management software is bound to have some limitations, don’t settle for one with few collaboration features. As mentioned, these are often integral to a team’s inner-workings.

Some applications have excellent task assignment features that let you set task dependencies, which helps create highly-effective workflows. Others have chat and comment functionalities, eliminating the need for additional software.

While reading our reviews, pay attention to business size and type when deciding which of these communication tools would benefit you the most.

Security and Safety

A task-management app can serve as a personal assistant, so it should use the latest security measures to maintain the confidentiality of your private information. Having your ideas and strategies leaked to your competition can be catastrophic in certain industries.

Also, some of your team members might not want to share details about themselves - for example, their salary or employee benefits - with their co-workers, so the ability to restrict user access to specific data can be very convenient.

The 4 Best Free Task Management Software Solutions:

  • 1. Trello
  • 2. Asana
  • 3. ClickUp
  • 4. Todoist

Detailed Reviews

Key Features
  • Task-management - Excellent
  • Ease of Use - Excellent
  • Integrations - Good
  • Collaboration - Excellent
  • Security - Excellent
Additional Features
  • Great educational content
  • Advanced filtering options
  • ISO/IEC 27001 and PCI DSS certified

Trello was launched in 2011 by Joel Spolsky. The name is derived from the word “trellis” – a structure made of wood, metal, or bamboo, connecting to form interesting patterns and used to display climbing plants. A fitting choice, as Trello is equipped with numerous features that enable users to arrange their tasks and grow their business.

Pros

Trello is some of the best free software out there. Most of the features that make it exceptional are available with the $0 plan. Today, we’re going to examine them one by one.

Even if you’ve never used a task manager before, you won’t have any trouble figuring out Trello and its Kanban boards, cards, and lists. Its simple drag-and-drop system and highly informative educational material make that possible.

Trello doesn’t leave any room for confusion. A few clicks will show you exactly who’s doing what and how close they are to finishing their assignments. Managing multiple projects at the same time becomes a breeze with this free task manager at your side.

We also love how customizable the Trello cards are – you can add labels, checklists, images, and files to them. Trello Free provides an unlimited number of cards, but don’t worry about potentially misplacing them, as they can be filtered by list, label, member, and due date.

The cards can be assigned to specific team members, too. Once you’ve done so, your team can discuss the assigned task using the comments section.

Our last reason for crowning Trello as the best free projectmanagement software is the fact that it’s ISO/IEC 27001 and PCI-DSS certified – your information is exceptionally well-guarded.

Cons

The only negative remarks we have about Trello concern the inevitable limitations of its free version.

There’s a ten-boards-per-team restriction which, in all honesty, isn’t all that bothersome, unless you tend to designate too many assignments to a single team. You might also have to brace yourself for a long wait when contacting Trello’s knowledgeable customer care team. Priority support is reserved for paying customers.

This teammanagement software might offer more than a hundred integrations, but free users can only use one per board. Despite Trello’s noteworthy security standards, they also won’t have access to most advanced administrator features, such as domain-restricted invites or member deactivation.

Verdict

Trello’s costless features are hard to beat. They are high in quality and many in number. Like all freeware, you won’t have access to its full capabilities, but the one integration per board is the only real downside of this amazing free work software.

Key Features
  • Task-management - Excellent
  • Ease of Use - Good
  • Integrations - Excellent
  • Collaboration - Excellent
  • Security - Excellent
Additional Features
  • Multiple views
  • No integration limitations
  • Comprehensive work history

Asana’s beta version was officially released in 2011, and the final product in 2012. Its creators, Dustin Moskovitz and Justin Rosenstein studied up on Buddhist principles to produce an application that helps bring ease, focus, and flow to people’s usually chaotic lives. Therefore, they chose to name the taskmanagement tool they came up with after the Sanskrit word asana, which means “yoga pose”.

Pros

Asana is probably one of Trello’s main competitors and it’s easy to see why. Although they differ in many ways, they are similar in that you won’t regret downloading either one of them.

With Asana, you can organize tasks using its board, list, and calendar view. The list layout is useful for quickly reviewing key information concerning your projects, such as due dates and assigned sub-tasks. The board display is your best option for task tracking since you can create columns corresponding to different project stages. Lastly, the calendar view helps you distribute tasks evenly throughout the week.

Our favorite thing about Asana is the unlimited number of integrations you can add as a non-paying member: Choose from a list of over a hundred fantastic tools.

Employee reviews and billing are made easier with Asana’s archiving capabilities. Mark a task as completed, and you’ll be able to see every single step made by your employees, and their discussions in the comments.

 

Like any good project– and task management software, Asana implements strict security measures: No one outside your own company will lay their eyes on your data.

Cons

Asana’s clean user interface is easy to operate, but it does require a certain amount of setting up at first. Unfortunately, if you require any assistance from customer support representatives, you will most likely have a hard time reaching them.

Seeing as how there are very few limits to its free features, we were somewhat disappointed to find out that this planning software allows only 1,000 tasks and 15 members per account. The recently added Timeline view is reserved for paying users only and task dependencies, milestones, and start dates aren’t included in the $0 package, either.

Verdict

Asana could’ve easily been at the top of our list, were it not for its restrictions that were slightly more inhibiting than Trello’s. Nevertheless, we recommend it wholeheartedly.

Key Features
  • Task-management - Excellent
  • Ease of Use - Average
  • Integrations - Average
  • Collaboration - Excellent
  • Security - Excellent
Additional Features
  • Unique project-management hierarchy
  • Easy-to-use multi-task toolbar
  • Automatic activity reports

More than 200,000 teams have chosen ClickUp as their go-to task software. A newcomer in the world of project planning, ClickUp was founded in 2017 and later that same year launched its namesake app with the ambitious goal of becoming the best all-in-one task-management solution on the market.

Pros

ClickUp offers a unique project-management hierarchy that starts with workspaces representing a company. Spaces are next – think of them as your organization’s departments. They are followed by folders, lists, and tasks, respectively. Folders are the only optional layer, but we recommend you use them nevertheless, as they proved very helpful during our tests.

ClickUp is a lot more than just a to-dolist app. Its multi-task toolbar lets you configure several tasks at once, with keyboard shortcuts to set up individual ones. The option to save your filtering preferences greatly helps with execution speed.

Timeline views and Gantt charts are often viewed as one and the same, so task managers often provide only one of them. However, ClickUp makes a clear distinction: Gantt charts are great for examining your projects in detail, whereas the timeline view is more suited for quick project overviews.

Since ClickUp is a free projectmanagement app, we were pleasantly surprised to see that it also provides time tracking, automatic activity reports, and 24/7 customer support.

It uses the same level of encryption as financial institutions, plus two-factor authentication as an additional level of security.

Cons

Although we love all of ClickUp’s features, we have to admit that the sheer number of them can be intimidating for new users. Similarly, despite the ample praise it receives for its advanced customization capabilities, it can take too much time to set up this task tracker.

Integrations aren’t ClickUp’s strong suit either – there just aren’t that many to choose from. This issue is somewhat mediated with Zapier, but although it lets you connect web apps to ClickUp, Zapier is still a third-party service.

Our final remark concerns the various restrictions placed on the free version. The most noteworthy ones are the 5-spaces limit, the 100-uses cap on Gantt charts, and the one-day activity view – as opposed to the weekly or unlimited history reviews contained in ClickUp’s Unlimited, Business, and Enterprise online taskmanagement plans.

Verdict

Depending on your skill and experience, you may need to explore ClickUp for a few minutes or hours to get the hang of it, but once you do, you’ll realize just how effective this software can be.

Key Features
  • Task-management - Good
  • Ease of Use - Excellent
  • Integrations - Average
  • Collaboration - Average
  • Security - Good
Additional Features
  • Intuitive user interface
  • Motivation-boosting features
  • Extensive notification options

Amir Salihefendić started working on Todoist while he was still at university. His initial goal was to help himself deal with a full class load, numerous personal projects, and two part-time jobs. Luckily, in 2007, Salihefendić shared his superb tasktracking tool with the rest of the world.

Pros

You can install Todoist on pretty much any device, from your desktop to even your smartwatch, and you won’t need any special training to use it on any platform.

The app is streamlined to the bone: Everything is neatly and logically arranged. Clicking on the Today or Upcoming tab is the fastest way to view your tasks. They’re sorted according to your due dates, and you can add colors to tasks, or divide them into sub-tasks.

The Todoist free plan provides several premade filters and lets you set up priorities and recurring items. For simple task management, these functionalities should be more than enough.

If you could use some extra motivation, you can set daily goals and earn Karma points for completing assignments on time. Viewing your weekly progress will help you adequately distribute your workload.

You might also like to know that Todoist’s notification options are very extensive. For example, the app can inform you about uncompleted tasks, a collaborator joining a project, or send you a daily summary.

Cons

Sadly, the full potential of Todoist’s management tools is greatly diminished by the first-tier plan’s many restrictions. Relatively basic functionalities are disabled for non-premium users.

You can add just five people per project, and commenting and file uploading will be out of your reach. Todoist’s fantastic pre-created templates soften the blow of being unable to create and import/export your own.

However, even though Todoist’s integration list is modest, there doesn’t seem to be a specific app connection limit to worry about.

Todoist utilizes the latest security protocols, like all the best projectmanagement tools that we’ve examined. Regrettably, its automatic back-up feature isn’t available to free plan subscribers.

Verdict

There are some noticeable differences between the Todoist Free and Premium plans but even so, the positives outweigh the negatives. Users that like a clean design and don’t collaborate with too many people should definitely try it.

FAQ

What's better than Trello?

Asana is perfect for small teams with many projects. You can either use it for free or invest in one of its paid plans, with prices starting at just $10.99 per user per month (billed annually). ClickUp is another group-task-management application with plenty of great features. It also offers a $0 plan, as well as an affordable Unlimited package for only $5 per member per month (billed annually).

Does Google have a free project-management tool?

Google doesn’t have a native project-management tool but many use Google Sheets to manage schedules and monitor task progress. If you are looking for a piece of software specifically designed for task and project organization that works well with Google products, we suggest you try Trello or Asana.

What is the best task management software?

According to our research, Wrike is currently the best task manager. It’s an easy-to-use software that offers powerful task-management features at affordable prices. Trello is another option to consider, and the majority of its phenomenal features are free.

Is Monday Project Management free?

Unlike the apps from our list, Monday doesn’t have a lasting free plan. However, potential users can test it out for two weeks with a free trial.

What is the best free task-management app?

With Trello, you’ll almost forget that you haven’t spent a penny on it. Most of its functionalities are unlimited regardless of your pricing tier. It’s visually appealing, easy to master, and extremely secure. Read our best free task management software list if you’d like to learn about other top-notch solutions.

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