A picture of the Microsoft Project logo

Whether you can’t get enough of Gantt charts, or you’ve had your fill, project management is a tough nut to crack and there are plenty of ways to go about it. And if you’ve worked with Gantt Charts, there’s probably a good chance that you’ve worked with Microsoft Project.

Microsoft Project is a powerful piece of software that is built to handle Gantt charts. It also natively integrates with Microsoft Office. However, there are other options out there when it comes to handling these. But before I start listing off some alternatives, how about some quick history regarding Gantt charts?

Did you know that there’s a chance Gantt charts were frustrating your great grandparents? That’s right! Gantt charts, which take their name from Henry L. Gantt, were “independently created” in 1910, providing beautifully hand-drawn project plans that didn’t actually track progress. No joke: Gantt charts are older than frozen food, the bass guitar, and the fortune cookie.

Luckily, we live in a modern era where you won’t have to lay out your projects using pen/quill and paper. With that in mind, here are some suggested alternatives to Microsoft Project to help you pick out the right project management solution.

Wrike

Wrike is not just an excellent project manager, but it can also do its fair share of handling Gantt charts. Some highlights include excellent email integration: as well as getting email notifications for shared tasks, you can create tasks from your inbox which will then be added to the chart. Aside from the interactive Gantt chart, Wrike also allows you to see multiple projects on one page.

ProWorkflow

Anybody who’s worked with Gantt charts, especially those with little experience, knows that layouts and controls can be confusing and clunky. ProWorkflow shines with its easy-to-understand interface and focus on drag-and-drop controls. These controls extend to changing due dates, making tweaks that extend across timelines, and exporting. Aside from the beautiful design, ProWorkflow also has robust analytics and an app for Android and iOS.

ZoHo Projects

Although ZoHo Projects hasn’t been around as long as some of the other players in the project management game, it’s still a great product. Gantt charts can be viewed two different ways here: chronology which shows you the tasks in a sequential order, and milestones which allows users to check and keep track of their milestones in the project. Aside from the Gantt options, ZoHo Projects puts a tremendous emphasis on simplifying collaboration by providing a place for team members to share docs, reports, video, graphics, and spreadsheets. Plus, there’s a handy forum for sharing and collaborating with your team.

Mavenlink

Mavenlink is a bit more than a typical project manager: it doesn’t just take care of project management, it is also capable of handling resource management, analytics, and financial management. Why would you want to have everything so centralized? Using a project manager that not only handles tasks, but can also incorporate financial information is an important tool. Mavenlink also keeps everything centralized and easy-to-learn by funnelling communication into an “Activity Stream” which is similar to the Facebook Newsfeed.

Workfront

Workfront is an excellent, feature-rich project manager. It has a powerful Gantt chart, which makes it easy to follow what’s happening with projects across the company. But where Workfront shines is with its emphasis on being an IT-focused project manager. This can provide an interesting alternative to the engineer-friendly JIRA. It also works with other project management methods such as Agile and Waterfall. Plus, it’s great for fixes on the fly.

There are lots of other solutions out there that are worth a try; check out our Project Management category. And remember: with a bit of hard work, there’s nothing you Gantt do!