Sign up for
Get started

What is a project management tool

Definition: A project management tool is software that helps project managers and teams centralize planning, organize, and manage their projects. It provides project managers and their teams with a centralized platform to collaborate, track progress, and manage tasks. They are an essential part of any project management strategy to ensure that projects are completed on time and within budget.

Types of project management tools

Project management tools are categorized into four types:

  • Task Management Tools help teams track, assign, and monitor tasks. These tools provide a central platform for organizing and prioritizing work, enabling teams to meet deadlines and deliver successful projects.
  • Collaboration Tools help teams communicate and collaborate on projects. These tools include features such as chat, video conferencing, and file sharing allowing teams to work together regardless of their location. 
  • Project Planning Tools help project managers plan and manage projects. These tools include features such as task lists, calendars, and budget tracking helping managers stay organized and on track with the project. 
  • Resource Management Tools help resource managers manage and allocate resources. These tools include features such as team directories, task assignments, and time tracking. They ensure that the right people and resources are in place to complete projects and provide data for optimizing resource allocation.

History of project management tools

The first project management tool was developed in 1896. with the introduction of the Harmonogram by Karol Adamiecki when he attempted to display task development in a floating chart.

This design was soon replaced by Henry Gantt in 1912. with the Gantt chart that helped manage the construction of the Hoover Dam.

But, the first use of the term project management was coined in 1954. by the US Air Force for military purposes.

Project management started to gain relevance in the business world with the purpose of calculating project duration, monitoring tasks, and evaluating quality.

In 1968. The US Department of Defence improved project management technologies by introducing the work breakdown structure that broke projects down into smaller tasks. 

Since then, businesses started shifting towards technological solutions, and the first project management software emerged with the rapid improvement that could manage complex projects.

In 2001. project management tools started to focus on adaptive planning with agile concepts, and in 2006 they incorporated total cost management methods.

Since the start of the SaaS trend in 2008 until today, many project management tools have been developed to fit different teams’ needs.

Key features of project management tools

Project management tools provide a range of features that help teams stay on track and deliver successful projects. 

They possess the following key features:

  • Project planning: Project management tools allow teams to create project plans and timelines, helping to define the scope of the project and identify the tasks and resources needed to complete it.
  • Collaboration: These tools offer various ways for teams to work together and share information, such as team calendars, chat, and file sharing. By providing these tools, teams can stay connected and aligned, even if they in different locations. 
  • Reporting: Helps teams track the progress of their projects and identify potential issues in real-time. By providing regular updates and reports, teams stay informed about the status of their projects and take action to keep them on track.
  • Time tracking: Enables teams to track the time they spend on tasks, which helps them identify areas where the project may be behind schedule. By providing this information, teams can take action to get back on track and ensure that they are making progress toward their goals. 
  • Documenting: They provide a central location for storing and accessing all project-related documents, allowing teams to share and access critical project information easily.

Budget tracking: Allows teams to track their project budget and expenses, ensuring that they stay on track and avoid overspending.

Examples of project management tools by use case

For professionals and teams: Mindmesh

For marketing teams: Hootsuite

For team communication: Slack

For Gnatt charts: TeamGantt

Can project management tools integrate with other productivity tools and software?

Yes, many of them can integrate with other productivity tools and software. 

For example, Mindmesh can integrate with Slack, Calendar, Asana, Gmail, Docs, Todoist, Notion, Jira, Monday, Figma, Github, and many more to provide you with a centralized task management system.

Wonder what your customers want?
Discover Mindmesh

Article FAQs

Who is in charge of choosing a project management tool?
In most cases, the decision of which project management tool to use is made by the project manager or the team leader. They consider the needs of the project, the team, and the budget when deciding.
Can one organization use multiple project management tools?
Yes — depending on the organization's needs, different tools can be used for different projects or teams. For instance, one team may use a Kanban board, while another may use a Gantt chart.
How do I choose the right project management tool for my team?
Start by identifying what your team needs and what type of projects you will be managing. Research different tools, look at reviews, and what features the tool has. Once you narrowed down your options, test the tools and see how they work for your team. After testing, decide which tool you will use.
How does a project management tool compare to traditional project management methods?
The main benefit over traditional methods includes increased organization and efficiency, better communication and collaboration among team members, and the ability to track and monitor project progress in real-time. A project management tool provides a more comprehensive view of a project, which helps project managers and teams work more effectively and efficiently.

Recommended Terms


Get started

Hundreds of tech workers have already
tried Mindmesh and use it daily

Get Started

A monthly newsletter delivered straight to your inbox