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MS project alternative: 5 top tools for mac & windows

MS project alternative: 5 top tools for mac & windows
October 2023

Microsoft Project is the bedrock of project management tools and is still one of the best known on the market. However, a lot has happened since it came out in 1984, when desktop software was still brand new.

Could Microsoft always stay on the ball?

With MS Planner, Microsoft now also offers more modern tools, but it is no longer really innovative. Above all, teams that work according to the “new work approach”, live and love more flexible planning and hybrid structures will not be happy with MS products in the long term.

Discover the advantages and disadvantages of MS Project alternatives.

MS Project and MS Planner

MS Project offers a comprehensive range of functions for complex projects, but it feels a bit out of date. It has Gantt charts and you can track project status.

Microsoft Planner, the little brother of MS Project, offers a simple interface made for smaller teams. You can create and assign tasks and track progress in real time.

Both tools are available in different price plans - the administrator first has to click through to check which model makes sense for the team, but don't worry, there is also a breath of fresh air on the market.

Alternatives such as awork, Asana or Basecamp offer you innovative features that make teamwork and project overview easier. They are often cheaper and offer intuitive operation. Perfect for taking your projects to the next level!

When looking for the right alternative to MS Project, customer testimonials are particularly important. The independent source OMR Reviews offers a good overview of how customers rate MS Project and the alternative awork.

Customer reviews awork vs. MS Planner
Customer voices: awork & MS Planner in comparison

The top 5 MS Project alternatives:

awork: All-in-one project management for productive teams

This MS Project alternative is suitable for teams of any size with high demands in productive project management. 

Project timelines that are fun: awork and MS Planner in comparison

awork: the leader in customer reviews.

💜 Pros: 

  • With awork you keep track of all tasks and deadlines, plan your projects, and record times
  • The GDPR-compliant cloud tool, with its server located in Germany, not only convinces with intuitive design but is also intended for teams of any size. 
  • Thanks to the Zapier integration, you can connect awork with over 1000 apps. All without the use of any code 
  • The user interface in awork is one of the biggest differences to MS products since it's fun, intuitive and just happy to work with

Tasklist in MS Planner and tasklist in awork
More fun with tasklists: awork and MS Planner in comparison

[.b-testimonial] We greatly benefited from becoming faster and more efficient through awork. [.b-testimonial]

Ulrike Grunwald, Customer Success Manager at Opheo

🩶 Cons: 

Not surprisingly, we believe that our own product awork is one of the best MS Project alternatives on the market. Can't anyone say that? You're right - but take a look at some of our customer testimonials, and they'll say it themselves.

Manage your teams' projects and workload in the same place.

[.b-button-primary] Curious? Try awork for free! [.b-button-primary]

Zenkit: The holistic MS Project alternative

Practical all-rounder with a simple design and suitable for teams that place less emphasis on time and resource planning – a good MS Project alternative.


  • With the MS Project alternative Zenkit you can plan projects, track progress, and much more. 
  • It offers a variety of visualizations such as kanban or gantt and has customizable templates. 
  • In addition, the tool has a wide range of integration options.
  • Zenkit is available in nine languages and is free for individuals and small teams


  • The support at Zenkit is only in English. 
  • In terms of scheduling and resource planning, Zenkit only has basic functions.

Basecamp: Transparent project planning with modern design

The English-language tool Basecamp is well suited for beginners due to its simple setup, but it is less suitable for teams with more complex project management issues. 


  • Basecamp is a web-based MS Project alternative from the US that stands out from its competitors already in its tile-like dashboard design. 
  • With intuitive user interface and simple structure, Basecamp makes it easy for you to set up a new account.

Cons :

  • The MS Project alternative Basecamp is not available in German and does not offer all common PM features.

Trello: MS Project alternative in a Kanban-Style

The market leader from the USA is mainly aimed at beginners in project management who are working on less complex projects.


  • Manage and organize projects easily - with Trello. 
  • The intuitively designed tool with a flexible structure is particularly suitable for less complex projects.


  • The MS Project alternative Trello is hosted in the USA.
  • For more complex projects with multiple teams, Trello sometimes reaches its limits.

[.b-related-article] Optimize your workflow with kanban – “Stop starting, and start finishing!” [.b-related-article]

Project Libre: The free MS Project alternative

Project Libre is freeware suitable for small projects with limited functionality and low demands on design.


  • The free open source collaboration tool has basic functions such as task management and planning, progress tracking, prioritization, and much more. It features a simple basic structure.


  • For larger teams with complex projects and higher requirements, the user interface of Project Libre is not sufficient, as it does not cover functions such as resource management, preconfigured templates, or table and list views. 
  • In such a situation, it makes sense to resort to more complex project management software such as the alternatives mentioned above.


Finding the right MS Project alternative doesn't have to be complicated: With this selection of the top 5 MS Project alternatives, we make it easier for you to transition from MS Project to a new tool. Each of the five applications boasts individual advantages - now it's up to you to decide which tool best suits your team and your unique needs.

P.S.: Are you interested in our tool awork? Awesome, then you now have the opportunity to test the smart work management software for 14 days free of charge. Have a look for yourself!

[.b-button-primary] Curious? Try awork for free! [.b-button-primary]

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