It’s no secret that most of us feel the pressure of living in our 21st century environment: anxiety and stress levels are at an all-time high, and with every aspect of our lives demanding increasingly more of our time and attention, staying on top of things is more difficult than ever before. Whether at work or at home, most of us can relate to the feeling of being trapped in a fast-paced cycle of tasks that seem to have no end or pause in between them.
But what if doesn’t have to be that way?
Well, while there isn’t a magical solution to all of these problems (and we’re still a long way to go from becoming all-powerful cyborgs), it all really comes down to proper planning and organization. With so many tasks to keep up with, it’s crucial to be able to bring order to all this chaos. This is where personal project management software comes in – a messiah for the busy modern human.
From walking the dog to planning your nephew’s birthday party – personal project management is an important part of your everyday life, even if you don’t make a conscious effort to track your everyday “tasks.” By integrating personal project management software into your life, staying organized and on track will become a lot easier. No matter the scale of your tasks, by keeping them organized and within reach, you’ll find yourself more focused – and much less overwhelmed.
There are lots of different personal project management apps out there, but in this article, we’ll go through five of the most popular free personal project management tools.
Whether you prefer the simplicity of a Kanban board to organize your tasks or a classic Gantt chart is more up your street, you’ll find a project planning app that will work for you in this article. Read on to find out which would work best for your needs, as well as advantages and potential drawbacks to keep in mind when choosing the right software for your personal projects.
Bitrix24 provides an all-in-one solution to all your project management needs – personal and otherwise.
You can use different tools to view, plan, and manage your tasks, making this an incredibly convenient choice for pretty much any kind of project. Bitrix24 includes the full package when it comes to project management, featuring key tools such as the following:
These make Bitrix24 a great choice not just for personal project management, but all kinds of projects, including more complex work-related tasks. Bitrix24 has it all – so you can go from managing your household to running a large corporation.
Bitrix24 provides you with multiple view options for your projects. The Kanban board gives you a simple bird's eye overview and organizes your tasks – so you can forget about those pesky post-it notes when planning projects. And if you want to visualize the timeline of your projects, as well as specify any dependencies between the tasks within these projects, you can do this with the help of the Gantt chart. Switching between list, calendar, Kanban and Gantt views is easy, so you can use the one that works best for you.
Bitrix24 will never let you miss a deadline, and you can rely on it to keep you organized and on track. You can be sure all your important projects will be completed on time thanks to reminders.
Best of all is that its free to use, and for those looking for personal project management software, the free features provide more than enough functionality – you get totally unlimited access to tasks and projects. You can add up to 12 users to your account, should you have the need to invite more people to work on your personal projects.
Here are just a few of the great features that you’ll get with the free version:
5GB of online storage
Unlimited projects and subtasks
Different project views: list, Kanban, Gantt
Task time tracking
Bitrix24 is also available as an app on iOS and Android, so you can keep your personal projects exactly where they need to be – on your person.
Asana’s sleek and simple interface has made it a popular choice amongst those looking for a personal project management solution.
Essentially, Asana is a kind of virtual to-do list and planner, which makes it a good choice for simple everyday tasks and organizing your life, whether you want to create a chore calendar for your household or plan your next trip.
Asana is a great tool for personal (and work) project management. However, those looking for a free app will find it quite limiting, as the Basic plan is just that – very basic, and restricts access to the majority of tools that you’d need. For example, you can’t create custom fields, add a start date or specify dependencies for tasks, features which are often available in ‘basic’ free plans of other software. Most importantly, you don’t get access to the Timeline (Gantt view) feature, so visualizing projects and tasks is made more difficult.
You can, however, add up to 15 users if your personal projects require this. Asana is available as an app on iPhone, iPad and Android. It also supports other languages, though this is once again, more limited than other software.
For complex project management software, Wrike is definitely one to consider.
Wrike has a lot of different features that you can use for personal and work projects. Like Bitrix24, it provides users with different views, including calendar, Gantt and Kanban – though you’ll need to upgrade from the free version to access the latter.
A drawback that users often mention is that tasks can get cluttered and difficult to navigate. However, you don’t have a lot of tasks and are looking to use it for personal projects only, then this may not be much of an issue.
On the other hand, it can get too complex for personal use, and its functionality is perhaps better suited for teamwork, rather than personal projects. You'll need to study the product in some depth in order to be able to get the most out of it.
Wrike’s Free plan is available for up to 5 users, which shouldn’t be a problem if you need it for personal use.
Wrike also offers apps for iPhone, Android and iPad, so you can keep your project tools close by when on the go.
Trello is one of the most well-known project management software solutions out there, and it’s not hard to see why. It offers a simple, intuitive interface, and could pretty much be seen as a digital version of a standard to-do list on post-it notes.
Trello offers one single Kanban board project view. On this board, you’ll need to create lists, which you can edit as you see fit to suit each project. Then, you’ll create cards within these lists for each task in the project, as well as checklists within each card to give more details to each task. As your project progresses, you can drag these cards around different lists
You can create multiple boards for different projects, and the free plan allows you to create as many of these as you wish. This means that you’ll be able to stay organized, and your projects shouldn’t get too messy.
Though Trello is great for a lot of personal projects, it does have a number of limitations
First of all, many users find it too basic. And though its simplicity can sometimes be an advantage, this definitely limits the kinds of projects that you can use it for.
Building on the theme of simplicity, Trello doesn’t offer multiple views for your projects – for example, you won’t be able to view your projects as a Gantt chart, and you therefore can’t specify or visualize dependencies, which is important when working on complex projects.
Overall, Trello is best for those looking for a tool that provides a bird’s eye view, but it’s not as good for actively managing projects.
Trello is available on Mac and Windows, and you can also download the app onto iOS and Android devices.
If you’re looking for a note-taking app or software, Evernote is definitely one to consider. If you’re used to using a notes app on your smartphone, you’ll find this to be a fantastic and much more organized upgrade. It’s a great tool for keeping all your thoughts, memos, voice notes and pretty much anything else that you can think of in a single, organized space.
You can use Evernote for to-do lists, like Trello, but that would be doing it a disservice. The biggest advantage of Evernote is that it not only provides you with a space to keep all your thoughts and plans, but has a system to help you navigate all of this information. It’s almost like having the contents of your mind digitized – and then sorted for easy filtration and search. You can do this through tags and saved searches.
Though Evernote is excellent for journaling and keeping your thoughts in one place, it’s not that great when it comes to actually managing your projects. It doesn’t provide you with a visual overview of the project, as it lacks features such as Kanban or Gantt view. Your only option for setting and viewing tasks is to create a checklist inside a note.
In addition to the desktop version, Evernote is also available on iPhone and Android. However, the Basic plan limits the number of devices per account, and you’ll only be able to connect a maximum of 2 in the free version.