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The Best Project Planning Freeware

written by: Ronda Bowen • edited by: Michele McDonough • updated: 3/18/2012

This article reviews the best freeware programs for project planning.

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    What's more useful than project planning software? Freeware programs for project planning are useful, convenient, and of course, free. This article lists some of the best freeware programs available for planning projects.

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    ProjectPier is free and open source project management software. This program allows users to track time, collaborate, track tasks, and unlimited projects with unlimited users. This program is web based and uses email notifications ot update users on assigned tasks. ProjectPier also tracks the project in detail - using messages (like a forum), tasks organized into lists, milestones, and files. You can also track clients, and use ProjectPier with multiple users. ProjectPier does require a web server in order to run.

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    EGroupWare features the ability to track projects by anyone from small businesses to large enterprises. This program contains:

    • a calendar
    • addressbook
    • IMAP email client
    • a journal
    • a project manager
    • resource management tools
    • a file manager
    • timesheet applications
    • bug tracking
    • and more

    eGroupWare consists of the core applications (which mimic Microsoft Outlook) and then other applications that allow you to customize the look and feel of the software. This program is great for companies that want free software that can do it all.

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    OpenProj is software that mimics Microsoft Project. This program allows users to performed earned value costing, create a Gantt chart, Create PERT graphs, Create Resource Breakdown Structure and Work Breakdown Structure charts, and to perform task usage reports. It can open Microsoft Project and Primavera files. This program is easy to use, and is available for all platforms (PC, Mac, Linux). OpenProj's is easy to install, and its interface will be familiar to those who use MIcrosoft Project. This program is easy to learn, and is great for those who enjoy Microsoft Project, but cannot afford Microsoft Project.

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    dotproject DotProject also allows Gantt chart views. The advantage this program has over OpenProj is that it allows for time tracking and timesheet submission to occur. This streamlines the payroll part of project management. This program is available for use on-demand, which makes it more secure and readily accessible from anywhere. It also has a forum where group members can collaborate on project details. For more information on dotProject, you may wish to read my Bright Hub review.

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    SharpForge doesn't just manage projects, it also features bug-tracking capabilities. This program relies upon a wiki interface to control content. The program is built for collaboration. Features include multiple workspaces, work item tracking, release management and RSS feeds. The best part about this program is that it is available in over 20 languages, including Vietnamese, Danish, German, and Italian.