If you’re juggling multiple projects and trying to keep track of what needs to get done before something else can get done, and by whom, you need project management software. Unlike other kinds of work-management or collaboration apps, project management apps have Gantt charts that show you how all tasks in a project contribute to the end results, as well as what potential roadblocks are on your timeline. GanttPro, which launched in 2015, is one such app. It’s tailored to small businesses that need a core project management platform but not a ton of extras such reports or invoicing tools—though it does offer basic budget-tracking. It works well and is easy to use.
If you need more than what GanttPro offers, try Zoho Projects or Teamwork (formerly Teamwork Projects), our Editors’ Choice winners for small to mid-sized teams. Zoho Projects is super low-cost yet capable. Teamwork offers more features, such as time tracking and resource management tools, for growing teams. Larger organizations will find that LiquidPlanner, another Editors’ Choice pick, is built to handle the biggest and most complex jobs, and it adds in-depth resource management tools to boot.
What Is a Gantt Chart?
A Gantt chart is a graph that shows all the tasks that make up a project plotted out on a timeline. Gantt charts show project managers and team members:
Most project management apps include Gantt charts. Apps that don’t have them are often work-management apps rather than traditional project management apps. The difference between the two categories can be tricky to pin down, but generally speaking, work-management apps (think Trello and Airtable) are good at managing ongoing work, such as answering support emails or publishing short articles. Project management apps are designed to handle complex projects. A project is a batch of work that has a start date, end date, and deliverable. Building a website is a project. Putting fresh content onto a website daily is ongoing work.
One benefit of using Gantt charts is that they give project managers or leads a broader view of tasks, timelines, and resources all at once. As a result, they can manage resources effectively.
How Much Does GanttPro Cost?
GanttPro does not offer a free account. There is a 15-day free trial, however, and you don’t need to put down a credit card number to get it. There is a Personal account for individual use only for $180 per year. For groups, there’s a Team account, and the price varies based on the number of people on your team. The larger the group, the lower the per-person rate, bottoming out at $4.50 per person per month (that’s for a group of up to 95 people).
Billing is done annually, not monthly, but we’ll provide examples both ways to make it easier to compare with other services. The amount of storage space you get varies based on the size of the team, with 5GB being the minimum. If you need more, can contact the support team and ask for it. A representative told me they give it out handily, no questions asked.
Paying for five people, which is the minimum, costs $8.90 per person per month, or $106.80 per person per year for a grand total of $534. Note that the cost is for up to five people and the pricing scale works in increments of five. For example, if you have seven people on your team, you pay for 10. A team of 18 people will pay for 20, and so on.
A group of up to 20 people costs $8 per person per month. Since you pay by the year, however, that’s really $96 per person per year, or $1,920 in total. For a group of 50, the rate is $6 per person per month—so it’s $72 per person per year, or $3,600 in total.
If you have a larger group, you can contact the company for an estimate for an Enterprise plan. GanttPro now offers two-factor authentication and single sign-on options for organizations as well.
How do GanttPro’s Prices Compare?
Project management apps tend to fall into three pricing categories. First are apps that cost roughly $10 per person per month or less, which are usually well suited to small businesses. GanttPro falls squarely in this category. Others are Zoho Projects and TeamGantt.
Second are apps with a mid-range price tag. These apps sometimes offer more than others, although what exactly they offer varies. If you’re shopping around for a project management app that does something specific, such as include billing and invoicing or offer tools for proofing, you can usually find it within this mid-tier. These types of apps cost roughly $15-$35 per person per month, and a few examples are Smartsheet, EasyProjects, Celoxis, and Microsoft Project.
Lastly, there are software products on the high end of the price scale. They’re built to handle hundreds of projects and thousands of team members, and they run about $40 per person per month or more. Some examples are LiquidPlanner, Mavenlink, and Clarizen. These high-end tools can often automatically reschedule work when a deadline slips or when a team member is unexpectedly unavailable for work.
Setup and Interface
GanttPro makes it easy to create an account, set up a project, and start exploring how to use the app. When you first get into your account, the app prompts you to create a project. You can choose to start from scratch or select a template. The templates cover a range of options, from web design to construction.
From there, you go right into the app and see a Gantt chart view of your project. As you begin adding details or making changes, the app suggests video tutorials to guide you. For example, if you start fiddling around with the feature for creating baselines or comparing your project to a previous set baseline, GanttPro recommends a video that not only shows you how to use the tool but also explains what baselines are and why they’re useful in project management.
GanttPro’s interface has an up-to-date look and feels smooth when you interact with it. There are a few places in the app where you might expect a second panel to open and it doesn’t, but in testing we learned to navigate the app with ease in about a day.
Key to getting started is inviting people to join your project, which you do through an email invite sent from the app. When you invite collaborators, you can designate them as an admin to give them full permission levels or leave the admin switch off. By default, people you invite are team members with some limitations on what they can edit in the project.
On the same page where you invite team members, you can also create Virtual Resources. These resources can be anything other than a specific person, for example, “contract designer” or “rental truck.” Later, you can associate a cost with these resources.
If you work with external clients, you might want to give them some insight into the status of a project without revealing everything. GanttPro lets you do this by generating a filtered view of your Gantt chart and then generating a public URL to it. Anyone who reaches the link gets view-only access to an interactive display of information.
Tracking Tasks With GanttPro
Like any project management app, GanttPro helps you track the progress of projects and keep them on deadline. When you create a project, you give it a start date, end date, and description, at the very least. You probably also want to add milestones, tasks, subtasks, and other details.
As you fill in your project and map out how it will go, GanttPro plots it onto a Gantt chart. Additionally, the app lets you switch to a kanban board view if you prefer to see tasks laid out differently. Kanban is a method of managing work. You have a board with a series of vertical columns, and you have cards. Each card is a task. You label the columns however you like, although often people use them to represent a workflow, such as To Do, Doing, Done. In GanttPro, the columns are Open, In Progress, Done, and Closed, and you can’t change them. You move each card across the columns as it advances through the workflow.
GanttPro isn’t the only project management app to offer a kanban view. Zoho Projects, Teamwork, Wrike, and plenty of others do as well. Teamwork has a better implementation because it allows you to customize the columns. In fact, you can track things that are completely unrelated to what you’re tracking in the Gantt view.
The level of detail you can add to tasks is more than adequate. Every task can have start and end dates, optionally with a time, plus assignee, progress (as a percent), status (same as the kanban columns), priority level, estimation, type (task, milestone), time log, duration, description, attachments, dependencies, and comments. There’s an option to create a custom field, too.
In the Gantt view, a critical path feature highlights in red the sequence of tasks that must get done in order for the project to not stall and instead move forward as expected. Project managers often find it helpful because it allows them to quickly identify tasks that must not slip or else others will be in danger of slipping as well.
GanttPro does include time-tracking, both through manual entry and by running a timer in the app while you work. Zoho Projects, Teamwork, ProofHub, TeamGantt, and Wrike all have in-app timers, alongside several other project management apps.
GanttPro lets you customize quite a bit of the app—everything from the level of detail you see on your Gantt chart to the timing of lunch breaks in your team’s day. For example, you can set the workweek to be Sunday to Thursday or Monday to Friday, and the hours 9:00 a.m. to 1:00 p.m. and 2:00 p.m. to 5:00 p.m., with an hour-long break in the middle of the day.
A few design details stand out as adding a spoonful of sugar to the experience of managing projects. One of them is a mini dashboard showing a high-level overview of your projects. You see it when you click All Projects from the left side menu bar. As helpful as this dashboard is, you don’t get any others in the app.
Another sweetener is being able to adjust details on the Gantt chart that make it more pleasing to the eye, such as choosing whether the avatar of the assigned person shows up next to tasks or to print the task name next to the spanner bar rather than on top of it. It’s simple and maybe even a little silly, sure, but who could argue with that kind of attention to detail?
Other features worth noting include a resource management summary that appears at the bottom of the Gantt chart, baselines for comparing the current state of the project against previous projections, and a saved history so you can revert the project to a previous state at any time.
Recently, GanttPro has added a workload management view to help make sure people are overbooked. It’s a table showing the amount of work assigned to different resources, and numbers turn red when someone is overloaded on a particular day or week. It’s a fairly common feature in project management apps, and the implementation here is what you would expect. In tandem with this, GanttPro makes it easy to mark when someone is unavailable for work. That way, you don’t schedule them to complete tasks on their days off.
Another somewhat new feature is Project Portfolio Management. It’s essentially a way to view several projects at once so that project managers can make sure that work is appropriately prioritized and distributed.
What Isn’t Included?
With low-cost project management software, you don’t expect to find every feature imaginable. The trick is finding the software that meets your needs at a good price. It may be useful to know what GanttPro doesn’t offer that may be available from competitors.
One is integrations with other business apps. GanttPro is very light on them. You can connect to Jira and Zapier, and you can upload files from Google Drive. That’s next to nothing, although it’s worth mentioning that Zapier is a service that in effect creates integrations between apps where they don’t already exist. In any event, one type of software we’d like to see supported as an integration is billing and invoicing. Many other project management apps let you connect to popular accounting software, such as Xero and FreshBooks. That way you can pull all the time tracking information out of the project management app and use it to bill clients.
Another area where GanttPro comes up light is reports. You can generate a list of tasks and filter it using different criteria, but that’s not the same as getting an overarching report about the state of work, overdue work, deadlines that have slipped, and so forth. Communication isn’t a strong suit for GanttPro either. You can comment on tasks and mention other colleagues, but the app doesn’t have a centralized space for top-level announcements. ProofHub does. Basecamp (which isn’t technically a project management app) is very good for this, too.
GanttPro also doesn’t have proofing tools or a proofing workflow, which teams sometimes need when working with a lot of visual assets. ProofHub and Smartsheet are better options for project management software if you need proofing included.
There are no mobile apps for GanttPro, either. Not everyone needs mobile apps for project management, but they can come in quite handy for team leads, business executives, or other people at a company who need to stay on top of the status of a project and answer questions quickly but are frequently on the go.
A Solid Base
GanttPro has good bones. It’s already an impressive service, and we hope to see it grow in coming years. As it stands, it’s a good option for small groups who need a low-cost project management app. Most of the room for improvement for GanttPro lies in what it needs to add, namely customizable dashboards, more reports, and more integrations with other business apps. As it stands, it’s an excellent project management platform for small teams that don’t need much more than straightforward project management.
The Bottom Line
GanttPro is a very good project management app for small teams. It lacks the customizable reports and dashboards found in more robust services, however.
|Free Version Available||No|
|In-App Task Timer||Yes|
|Billing and Invoicing||No|