There are many tools to help you get organized, but choosing the right one is no easy task. Mac owners will want to use software that fits with the platform, so we’re going to help them find the best project management software for Mac.
We’ll recommend some of our favorite picks for the platform, with our top pick being Asana.
Below you’ll find several providers that do a great job on Apple’s OS, but before we get to that, let’s take a look at our criteria.
Best Project Management Software for Mac 2020
What Makes Project Management Software the Best for Mac
Macs are well-designed and robust, with attractive, easy-to-use software. We’ll favor platforms that reflect that. An interface that makes key features simple to access will be an advantage, too.
Macs also have excellent support, so we’ll look for platforms that offer help quickly. We’ll also want to see a way to ease into the software, with tutorials that are easy to use and don’t leave users hanging in the middle of them.
Templates that help you get started are also a plus. We’ll focus on how well tools work out of the box and pay less attention to features that need work to set up, such as extensions.
Having a dedicated macOS application is a plus, but not essential, because most project management software runs well in the browser. We’ll check out our tools’ macOS applications, though, and see if they offer advantages over their browser-based equivalents.
Our top pick for Mac owners is Asana, mainly because of its design, ease of use and good selection of features. Let’s look at it now.
1. Best Project Management Software for Mac: Asana
With a cheerful, user-friendly design that sits on top of a powerful platform, Asana is a great choice for Mac owners.
In addition to being visually appealing, Asana’s design makes it easy to get things done. It’s always clear what to do next and the buttons and controls are laid out well. There’s a good selection of tutorials and help material, too. Our Asana beginner’s guide is worth checking out if you’re new to the software.
If you need to get support directly, you have options. Asana responded to us in seven hours when we sent it a question. That’s not bad, but for a platform with a quicker, nineteen minute response time, read our Taskworld review.
Asana rewards doers with exciting animations. Cartoon animals fly across your screen as you complete tasks. There’s a narwhal, a unicorn and a pink thing that we haven’t quite identified yet. Perhaps you’ll be able to figure it out.
The service has a free plan that allows you to create multiple projects and use its basic features, such as the list and kanban views. If you choose to upgrade, costs start $9.99 per user per month. Paid plans include dependency management and the Gantt-like timeline view. Read our how to use a Gantt chart article for more on that.
Asana integrates well with other platforms. You can import from .csv files, so you can use an existing spreadsheet to get started. It uses the Zapier service to share data with many apps, including Trello, which we’ll mention below. You can read how Trello and Asana compare in our Trello vs. Asana feature.
Asana has a selection of templates. They’re quite simple, but they’re a good help getting started. They each include a starter task with text explaining how to use them, too.
There are mobile apps if you want to use Asana on the go. It doesn’t have a dedicated macOS app, but it runs fine in the browser. If you’re trying to pick an alternate browser for macOS, take a look at our Google Chrome review for one option.
Asana is fun, usable and useful. It is also free if you don’t need its more advanced features. Read more about it in our Asana review.
- Cheerful animations
- Well designed
- Easy to use
- No dedicated macOS app
- Mediocre support response time
- No two-factor authentication
Trello is an easy-to-use, kanban-based tool. Many project management platforms include a kanban board, but Trello is based around it. Its focused approach is great if you want something simple that everyone can use.
Its basic workflow is to create cards that represent tasks. You drag those cards between columns to indicate their status. The columns could just be “to-do,” “doing” and “done” or you could go further and make them represent anything else, such as people or stages of production.
Trello’s dedicated macOS app is well-made and works like the browser version. If you’re wondering whether you can trust a browser-based app with your data, take a look at our anonymous browsing guide for help.
Trello’s free offering is one of the best, occupying a spot on our best free project management software list. Its core features don’t cost anything, but there are paid plans that give you extra cosmetic features, such as more emoji and custom stickers.
Trello gives you a lot of scope to change its appearance. In addition to the stickers we just mentioned, you can pick a background from a wide selection of them or upload your own on its paid plans.
If you sign up for its paid version, it costs $9.99 per user per month for teams or $5 per month for individuals who just want the cosmetic upgrades.
Many companies use Trello to present information to the public or their customers. The custom backgrounds are great if you want to make it look good. People use it for all sorts of things, including restaurant menus and seating plans for events. You can find many other examples on Trello’s inspiration page.
It has a lot of extensions if you want to go further than what it does by default. The “butler” plugin lets you create buttons that automatically perform common tasks. That can save you a ton of time if you set it up correctly.
Trello is easy to get started with and doesn’t cost anything, so it’s a great choice for a first project management tool. The only downside is that it’s basic, but you can still do a lot with it. Read more in our Trello review. Our Trello beginner’s guide is worth checking out, too.
- Easy to use
- Customizable backgrounds
- Excellent free version
- Advanced features need configuration
- Custom backgrounds need a paid plan
ClickUp has a bold, distinctive design, with a dark gray color scheme that’s complemented by another color you can adjust in the preferences.
Its three basic views are list, board and time. It has a box view that allows you to split the screen according to what different people are doing. There’s also a Gantt chart that shows you how everything fits together.
It’s easy to create projects and add tasks to them. Each task can have its own checklist of subtasks, and you can create dependencies, too. There are many templates, divided into over 20 categories, so getting started couldn’t be simpler.
You can share data with other platforms via its integrations. As with many tools, you can use the Zapier integration to link to over 1,000 other applications.
ClickUp includes a mini note-taking application that’s useful for writing little reminders and to-dos. If you like that feature, read our best note-taking apps article for more options.
ClickUp’s app has to be downloaded from its website. It isn’t in the app store. It’s essentially the same as the browser version, with perhaps a few more animations. It’s a classy-looking app that fits well with macOS.
ClickUp has strong security, and lets you use two factor authentication, which you can learn about in our what is two-factor authentication article. It also complies with the EU-U.S. privacy framework and the General Data Protection Regulation.
ClickUp has an excellent free plan, and its paid plans start at $5 per user per month. That’s cheap, and it includes unlimited storage.
It has a large knowledgebase to help if you get stuck. There are over 200 articles there, as well as around 100 videos on ClickUp’s YouTube channel. If you want to get in touch directly, there’s phone support, a contact form and live chat.
We found a few minor bugs when sending our queries. It took 15 hours to respond to one of our queries and a day and a half for the other, which isn’t bad, but it’s not the quickest we’ve seen. Wrike and Basecamp are the fastest. If you value quick support, compare them in our Wrike vs. Basecamp article.
ClickUp is good-looking, functional and easy to use. It’s also cheap and has a free plan, making it a great choice for Mac owners and everyone else. Read more about it in our ClickUp review.
- Good desktop app
- Free plan, with cheap paid options
- Slow support
- Slow to export projects
- Minor errors in help material
Wrike is more business-focused than most of the tools on this list. It’s a slick, high-quality software that can bring a lot to your team. You can see how it compares to a more relaxed tool in our Wrike vs. Asana article.
As with most of the tools here, you can create tasks, divide them into subtasks and create relationships between them. Dependency management allows you to spot potential delays in your project and act to fix problems before they occur.
Wrike has a lot of views in which to work. In addition to the list, board and table, it has a Gantt chart, analytics, a stream and a timelog. Its kanban view uses fixed columns that you can’t rename, but it works well otherwise.
You get 2GB of storage space with a free account, rising to 100GB on Wrike’s Enterprise plan. If you need more, read our best cloud storage article.
Wrike has a strong selection of templates that are worth looking through. They’re grouped into categories, and even if you don’t plan to use them, they can give you a few ideas on how to use Wrike. The service also integrates well with several other platforms, including Adobe Creative Cloud.
Wrike Free Plan
Wrike has a free plan that can be used by teams of up to five people. Beyond that, it starts at $9.80 per user per month, which is a good value for what it offers.
It has excellent security, with two-factor authentication and many advanced features, such as password and network access controls. Those will help your team stay clear of cybercrime.
Wrike’s support is great, giving us the joint fastest response to our questions we’ve seen in the project management category. That’s good because Wrike has more of a learning curve than many of the tools on this list.
Its app for macOS took a bit of hunting to find. We needed to log in to the browser version and look in its app directory. After setting it up, we found it almost identical to the browser version. Wrike also has mobile apps if you want to use it on the go.
Wrike is a top quality tool, and despite it being trickier than some of its competitors, we’d recommend it to anyone serious about project management. Read more about it in our Wrike review.
- Strong security
- Lots of templates
- Tricky to use
- Expensive advanced plans
- Limited kanban board
monday.com is our overall favorite project management tool here at Cloudwards.net. It came in first in our roundup of the best project management software.
Its interface is one of the best, giving you little hints and previews of what everything does. If you like to learn by doing and experimenting, it facilitates that.
Signing up is easy. You just enter an email address, then copy the six-digit code back into the app to get started. You are then taken through a quick setup wizard.
monday.com doesn’t have subtasks or dependencies, but it gives you a huge level of control over your task structure. Most project management tools allow you to create tasks that include a fixed set of data, but you can add fields to your heart’s content with monday.com.
It isn’t the only tool that lets you do that, but it offers the best combination of usability and power we’ve seen while doing it.
There are also many templates to get started with, and monday.com gives you a lot of guidance when you’re choosing one. That’s helpful because there’s an element of guesswork doing that in some tools. monday.com shows you more detail than others about what you’re getting.
Its desktop client surprised us by being rated 12 for profanity and crude humor. We didn’t find any of that, but we were surprised to see a few interface errors. The introductory wizard had vertical scroll issues, meaning we couldn’t see the instructional text at the top of the screen. It then got stuck after we entered our data.
It seems monday.com has had some infrastructure problems lately, causing service disruption, so hopefully that’ll be resolved soon. In any case, we recommend that Mac owners stick to the browser version.
monday.com starts at $25 per month for a team of five users and has a 14-day trial if you want to check it out.
- Outstanding interface
- Detailed control over tasks
- Easy to use
- Complex if not used wisely
- No free plan
- Currently having outages
There are plenty of choices for project management software for Macs. Here are a few other platforms that are worth checking out.
Airtable’s macOS application is smart and snappy, with a high-quality feel. In fact, it feels better to use than the browser version.
Aside from that, it offers the same functionality, which includes many templates to get started with. You can also create your own templates to save work over multiple projects.
Airtable’s excellent “blocks” allow you to add advanced functionality to your projects. They can automate things such as image recognition and translation and have huge potential to do work for you.
Airtable has a free plan and its paid plans start at $10 per user per month. Read more in our Airtable review.
Basecamp has a friendly, attractive design that’ll appeal to Mac owners. We found a few flaws with its interface in our Basecamp review, but it has improved since we last looked at it.
Basecamp does a great job of showing you around, with pop-up wizards introducing its features, and its human touch will appeal to Mac owners.
Downloadable from its website, its macOS application is especially good, with nice animations complementing its core features. It’s one of the few tools where the macOS app improves on the browser version.
With its strong team communication options and flat pricing plan, Basecamp is a great choice for teams who want to keep everything in one place. As a bonus, it’s free for educators.
Mac owners who chose their platform to show off its sleek looks should avert their gaze now. LeanKit has been hit squarely in the face by the ugly stick. Those less concerned about the superficial should look closer, though.
LeanKit, as its name suggests, is focused on lean management principles. It’s based around a kanban board, but the board is divided into areas for different people or teams. That provides an overview of your whole project while allowing managers to focus on their own section and individuals to focus on their own tasks.
Despite being unattractive, LeanKit a great choice for those focused on getting things done. Read more about it in our LeanKit review.
Project management sounds fussy and boring, but there’s a ton of easy-to-use software that can help you get organized. It isn’t just for business, either. Project management tools can help you organize your homework, your sports team or any creative project you have on the go.
Everything we’ve looked at here has a free trial, so you don’t need to pay anything to get started. All these tools have something to offer and are worth investigating to see which suits you.
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If you’ve tried using any of these platforms on a Mac, please let us know how you fared and share any project management software you recommend in the comments below. Thanks for reading.