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Best project management tools for more productive teamwork
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Best project management tools for more productive teamwork

Discover how project management tools can improve the health of your team and projects—and which tool is best for highly collaborative teams.

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Sasha and Tiago live on opposite sides of the world and manage a team of product designers. They work closely together in sprint planning meetings and keep each other updated in daily team huddles and 1:1 syncs. However, the time difference makes it difficult to work together in real time.  

They need project management tools that let their team progress key projects, both async and in real time, whether in person or online. This includes having one source of truth to keep everyone engaged, productive, and aligned. 

Effective project management depends on your ability to communicate with your team and give them what they need to get their work done—independently and as a group. But every team has unique needs and working styles, which is why your existing tools or processes aren’t working. Choosing the right tool will keep your team organized while increasing transparency around goals and responsibilities.

In this article, you'll learn what the best project management tools are for your specific needs, including key features and pricing. You'll also discover which features you need to make teamwork the best part of work. 

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What is the best project management tool?

Whether you're running a remote team or working in an office, project management apps give you a centralized platform to plan, execute, monitor, and control projects efficiently.  

These apps can give you more flexibility in your digital workplace strategy because they make it easier to find everything and everyone you need to do your work. They also let you keep tasks, projects, and deadlines organized, and offer an overview of your responsibilities. This makes collaborating in real-time more efficient. 

Here's a visual features overview of each project management tool on our shortlist, including Switchboard, Trello, Jira, and Asana. But keep scrolling for an in-depth tool breakdown based on the categories below to help inform any future collaboration management.

project management tools comparison chart

Switchboard: Best collaborative workspace for cross-functional teams

Switchboard persistent room with browser-based apps and documents
Switchboard is designed to foster team connection, collaboration, and productivity through persistent rooms that let you organize everything by project. Source: Switchboard

Switchboard is a visual collaboration platform that organizes all the apps and tools a team uses in meeting and project rooms—and makes everything instantly multiplayer. People can work together in coworking sessions, meetings, and in between meetings on a wide range of documents and apps inside a persistent virtual room—and always in context. 

When all your work is organized by project, there’s no need to go digging about in email or Slack threads, or in different tabs and tools, to find what you need. This makes meetings and work sessions more productive, speeds up decision-making, and saves time lost to context-switching. This is the cognitive adjustment you have to make when you switch from one interface, etc. to another, which can cost up to four hours per day in lost productivity. 

Teams communicate in real time with video, audio, chat, polls, and emoji reactions and share files without having to share their screens. ‍Switchboard also creates AI summaries of meeting notes, so it's easy for everyone to stay aligned, even if they miss a meeting. 

You can work side-by-side allowing everyone to scroll, type, and browse the same document at the same time. Also, you can create virtual rooms for brainstorming, host spontaneous meetings with your team, and connect with clients in an interactive space. 

Throughout the meeting or work session, you can also explore and view any file in the room. This means you can quickly check out your sprint plan without getting in the way of important stakeholders.

Best of all, Switchboard saves all your files after every session, so you never need to download anything or repopulate the room again. That means you always know where to find the information you need for a specific project, even between meetings.

Key features

  • Live video and meeting recording 
  • Interactive, multiplayer browsers for websites and web-based applications
  • A huge canvas to visually organize apps, documents, and files in one view  
  • In-room whiteboards for brainstorming, ideation, and creative collaboration
  • Dedicated, persistent project and meeting rooms that save your work  
  • In-room sticky notes, chat, polls, and surveys
  • Time tracking in-room app 
  • No integrations needed: All browser-based apps work in Switchboard  
  • AI to help with writing, brainstorming, and expediting other tasks  


  • Free: For very small teams and individuals, with limited features, rooms, and members 
  • Pro: As low as $10 user/month for up to 200 rooms and 500 members 
  • Enterprise: Custom priced 

Who should choose Switchboard?

Switchboard is ideal for highly collaborative teams. It’s perfect if you’re looking for a comprehensive and all-inclusive collaboration solution and an always-open space to get project work done in real time or async. This lets you move faster with fewer meetings – and get more done in the ones you do need. 

It’s designed to improve team effectiveness no matter where you are—sitting side-by-side in an office, spread across time zones, or hybrid. It's a great option for cross-functional teams that need a dedicated, interactive space for projects and meetings.

For example, in Switchboard's persistent meeting rooms, your product team can present three different ideas for a new product feature and focus their attention on each one in turn. They can pull up their current product roadmap and market research to see which direction makes the most sense. 

Anyone who couldn’t make the meeting can hop into the room later to review documentation and watch the room recording. This lets them get up to speed – and add contributions of their own – async.

Trello: Best Kanban-style project management tools

Screenshot of Trello workspace with Kanban boards
Trello lets you comment on cards, mention colleagues, and receive notifications about project updates and changes to improve task and project collaboration. Source: Trello

Trello is known for its user-friendly interface and visual approach to task and project organization. Its drag-and-drop card, board, and list system makes it easy to create, prioritize, and track tasks, which is essential for Kanban-style project management. 

Each board represents a project, and lists represent stages of the workflow (i.e., "To Do," "In Progress," "Done"). Cards represent individual tasks or items. This visual representation lets you see the flow of work at a glance and promotes transparency and real-time visibility into the project's status.

Trello is highly customizable, letting you tailor boards, lists, and cards to your specific workflow and project requirements. Teams can also add labels, due dates, checklists, and custom fields to cards to capture important details and metadata. 

Each card in Trello can also contain detailed information, comments, attachments, and task checklists. This level of granularity is great for enabling Kanban teams to add context, updates, and documentation directly to tasks, making it easy to track progress and improve team productivity

Key features

  • Visual organization system of boards, lists, and cards 
  • Drag and drop interface
  • Comprehensive task descriptions including comments, attachments, labels, checklists, due dates, and custom fields
  • Highly customizable workflows 
  • Real-time project status updates and activity feed 
  • Task lists, checklists, and attachments within cards 
  • AI-generated workflows and templates
  • Guest access 
  • Integrates with popular add-ons and apps


*All prices are based on an annual billing cycle 

  • Standard: $5/month per user 
  • Premium: $10/month per user 
  • Enterprise: $17.50/month per user

Who should choose Trello? 

While Trello excels as a Kanban tool, it's not known for its scalability for larger projects and more complex workflows. Some teams may find that they need additional features or integrations to meet their specific needs as they scale. However, for smaller to medium-sized teams or those new to Kanban, Trello offers a user-friendly and effective solution for visualizing and managing their workflows.

Jira: Best agile project management tool

Kanban board workflow in Jira
Jira lets you create user stories and tasks, assign them to team members, and easily track progress within Agile frameworks. Source: Jira

Jira's flexibility in creating and managing tasks, customizable workflows, and strong support for Agile practices like Scrum and Kanban make it a top choice. You can create, prioritize, assign, and track tasks and issues efficiently, ensuring that nothing falls through the cracks.

Jira enables Agile teams to create and prioritize user stories, track sprint progress, manage backlogs, and conduct sprint planning and reviews seamlessly. With features like burndown charts, velocity tracking, and customizable dashboards, Jira empowers Agile teams to get real-time insights into their projects, make data-driven decisions, and continuously improve their processes.

One potential drawback of Jira is its learning curve, particularly for new users who may not be familiar with Agile methodologies or complex project management tools. Setting up Jira to align with specific workflows and practices can require a significant amount of configuration and customization, which may be overwhelming for some teams.

Key features

  • Advanced security features like role-based permissions and access control 
  • Velocity tracking
  • Burndown charts 
  • Agile templates and customizable dashboards
  • Bug tracking
  • Timelines, Scrum, and Kanban boards
  • Project reporting and analytics 
  • Integrates with popular add-ons and apps
  • Drag and drop automation


*Pricing is based on a user tier of 10 users and an annual billing cycle 

  • Free plan
  • Standard: $7.75/user 
  • Premium: $15.25/user
  • Enterprise: custom priced

Who should choose Jira? 

Jira is suitable for teams of various sizes, from small startups to large enterprises. But given its complexity and ability to scale, it's best for large-scale organizations and teams comfortable working within an Agile environment. 

Asana: Best work management tool

Screenshot of a project management dashboard in Asana
Asana makes work management easy for projects and teams of any size. Source: Asana

Asana is a comprehensive project management tool that lets remote and hybrid teams assign, manage, and move tasks through a workflow. It helps streamline work management and internal communications on a more general level: by letting you see project statuses, who’s responsible for which tasks, and daily responsibilities. 

Like all the tools on our list, you can use Asana in a Switchboard room for real-time project collaboration with colleagues. For async feedback in context, you can leave comments, attach files, and link to related projects. Plus, when you complete a task, one of Asana’s famous celebration creatures, like a unicorn or yeti, will fly across your screen.

Pro tip: Create tasks directly from your inbox with Asana’s Gmail integration. Simply create a task from Gmail and the task shows up in Asana, automatically including the context of your email. Then, when you come together in your dedicated Switchboard project room, you’ll be able to review all those tasks by opening Asana up inside the room – no need to toggle back to Asana to see them.  

Key features

  • In-app messaging 
  • Shared team calendar and tasks timeline
  • Boards, list, timeline, and calendar views for better visualization
  • Forms to collect and consolidate feedback or information
  • Task automation 
  • File sharing
  • Report dashboards 
  • Project templates library 


  • Free plan
  • Premium plan: $13.49/month per user
  • Business plan: $30.49/month per user

Who should choose Asana? 

  • Any sized remote or hybrid organizations looking to consolidate their project management workflows.

Top features to look for in project management app

According to a survey by Gallup, engaged teams are 23% more profitable than disengaged teams. When employees have what they need to collaborate and fully dive into projects with their team, they're more likely to be productive. 

Here are some important features to look for when choosing your project management app, regardless of your project management strategy. This way you know you're not missing out on anything that can help enable and engage your team. 

Information sharing

Cross-functional teams thrive on transparency and information sharing. That's why you need project management features like file sharing, real-time chat, and @mentions to keep everyone informed on project and task updates.  

Project scheduling

Robust project scheduling tools, such as Gantt charts, timelines, and project calendars, enable teams to plan and visualize project timelines and dependencies. For example, a marketing team can use Gantt charts to create a visual marketing campaign schedule, ensuring tasks are completed in the right sequence.

Task management

Task and subtask lists and progress tracking features help teams organize and track their work efficiently. For instance, a software development team can create to-do lists for each sprint and track the progress of individual tasks, ensuring timely delivery of features.


Automation capabilities, such as recurring tasks and task templates, save time and reduce manual work. 

Ease of use

An easy-to-use interface, accessible on browsers, mobile devices, and desktop apps, ensures that team members can quickly adapt to and navigate the software, which boosts flexibility to use the app across teams. 


Choose software that can grow with your team. Whether you're a small startup or a large enterprise, scalability makes sure your software can accommodate your evolving needs as your team and projects expand.

Project management tools: The key to making teamwork work  

Whether you're running a remote, hybrid, or in-person team, there are different ways of making true collaboration and knowledge-sharing happen. That might involve using a project management tool with more async capabilities, but that gives everyone a place to come together for spontaneous catch-ups and team sprints. 

It might also be using a mix of collaboration management tools. For example, using project management tools within Switchboard so that hybrid and in-person teams can keep track of project deliverables and still come together for bigger, cross-functional meetings. 

Effective project management relies on your ability to communicate with your team. This means you need to find tools that support your unique needs and working styles. When you choose the right tool, like Switchboard, Jira, Asana, or Trello, it can keep your team organized while increasing transparency around goals and responsibilities.

And, when you pick Switchboard as your source of truth for project management, you can bring any browser-based tools, including your favorite task management software, right into your project room.

Want productive teams working without silos? 
Switchboard unites all your tools, people, and projects in one place so it's easy to do more, together.
Sign up for free

Frequently asked questions about project management tools

What are the best project management tools for managers?

The best project management software tools for managers are intuitive collaboration tools that get rid of information silos and help keep everything and everyone organized. For example, Switchboard lets you populate project rooms with important project planning documents, browser-based apps, and your project management tool. This helps managers track important milestones, improve team collaboration, and boost resource management. 

What are the types of project management tools?

There are different types of project management tools for different use cases. Some tools might focus on a specific type of workflow or process management system, whereas others might prioritize collaboration features. 

For example: 

  • Switchboard is the best collaborative workspace for cross-functional teams
  • Trello is the best Kanban-style project management tool
  • Jira is the best Agile project management tool 
  • Asana is the best project management tool

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