Exploring Free Project Management Software

6 06 2014

Project management software can definitely make organizing and collaboration much easier.  I always tell my financial literacy workshop participants that “Google” is the best friend who I can ask a question of at any time and receive feedback! Well, I asked “Google” about free project management software I could explore and use to help me organize and finish creating my class project.  I am sure there are others, but I came across two I wanted to mention here: Tom’s Planner and SmartSheet are two websites I explored.

Tom’s Planner -http://www.tomsplanner.com/software/project-planning/productinfo.aspx – You can try it free with a personal account, but the features are limited.  Reasonable plans of $9.00 and $19.00 are offered beyond the personal account.  Tom’s planner is good for those like myself new to creating Gantt charts due to its quick drag and drop set up .  Project templates are available and provide some ideas as a starting point.  It is a web based project management tool. 

SmartSheet – http://www.smartsheet.com/ – offers a 30 day trial period.  Smart Sheet has pre templates, collaboration tools, and the capability for mobile use and file sharing to complete the project management cycle. The drag and drop feature is also found in Smart sheet..  When you create an account, you will receive periodic email tips to help you enhance your experience.  Smart sheet is definitely worth trying and has a variety of features If you desire to sign up after 30 days, then the price range is from $13 – $39 a hour.

If you have ease with Excel spreadsheets you could be up and running with both websites in about 30 minutes.



3 responses

8 06 2014


Some great links! I was looking for programs that would allow you to do this in a clean, smart and visually appealing way. I must not have searched very well because I came up with more information about the process rather than actual programs that allow you to import numbers. Smartsheet looks really interesting. They did a great job of creating a simply, yet appealing website. I also like that they allow you to use the program for a month without a credit card. I have a terrible habit with signing up and not canceling in time. Which actually reminds me that I need to cancel a trial tomorrow. HA!

Thanks for sharing.


8 06 2014
Melissa Topinka

I am pleasantly surprised by the number of resources available to assist with project planning. I too like http://www.smartsheet.com/. Not being familiar with PM software, I found this to be easy to use and visually appealing. I thnk the true test of software is how it translates from experienced users to novice users; and this one passes the test!

9 06 2014
Damon R

Hi Cheryl,
Thanks for including Tom’s Planner site in your post. I agree it looks very user friendly and easy to use, even for new project managers. I like the idea of having templates for certain types of projects, sometimes the hard part is just knowing where to start.

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