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  5. 6 Best Design Project Management Software (Free To Try) [2024]

6 Best Design Project Management Software (Free To Try) [2024]

Roxana David Roxana DavidProject Manager @WebsitePlanet
Whether it involves graphic design, product design, UI/UX, or any other design discipline, managing a design project can be challenging. The design process often involves a great deal of creativity and flexibility, making it difficult to impose strict deadlines and maintain a predictable workflow.

Thankfully, with the right design project management software, your team can achieve its goals on time without compromising artistic quality. These tools offer a range of features, from ready-made templates to customizable options, ensuring you find the perfect fit for your design vision while saving time and resources.

After thoroughly testing the best-known design project management software available, I’ve compiled my top choices for designers. monday.com stands out as my top pick, thanks to its adaptability, which caters to design teams across various fields. What’s more, it integrates seamlessly with many useful applications, including Adobe Creative Cloud.

You can try out monday.com for free or continue reading to discover more exceptional options tailored for design project management.

Short on Time? These Are the Best Design Project Management Tools in 2024

  1. monday.com – Plenty of templates for design projects & shareable boards for unlimited clients.
  2. ClickUp – Great UI/UX templates and integrations & communication capabilities.
  3. Smartsheet – Process innovation features & traceability in large, international design projects.

See 3 More Great Options | Comparison Table | FAQ

Monday.com's website for design teams monday.com stands out as the premier all-in-one software for managing design projects, tasks, and team collaboration. Its vibrant visualizations allow you to track all of your design projects in one place, offering clear and colorful views that indicate project status and next steps.

Staying organized is super easy with monday.com, as you can keep all your files, design assets, and team documents in one central location.

Whether you’re working on product design, branding, UI/UX design, or any other design-related project, monday.com has got you covered. The platform offers a multitude of templates tailored specifically for design teams, making it simple to manage any type of design project.

monday.com’s timer feature provides a transparent view of time spent on each task, allowing designers to optimize their workflow and ensure projects stay on track. Create new tasks and projects, assign them to team members, and monitor progress using the calendar view that displays project milestones and deadlines.

Collaboration is key in design, and monday.com’s shareable boards ensure that both team members and clients stay informed of project updates. Real-time notifications can be sent automatically, keeping everyone in the loop on design progress and changes.

The standout feature for design teams is monday.com’s seamless integration with Adobe Creative Cloud. This allows you to manage your entire design process directly from the platform, making it easier than ever to track progress, review and respond to feedback, share the latest design iterations, and collaborate with team members.

Read our expert monday.com review for more details.

ClickUp's website for designers

ClickUp stands out as one of the best design project management tools for several reasons. Firstly, it allows you to gather and arrange design requests and priorities in a unified platform, delivering a comprehensive perspective on timelines, team responsibilities, and progress, so that no aspect is overlooked.

You can visualize your team’s capacity, identifying who’s fully engaged and who’s available to take on new tasks. You can improve your team’s efficiency with time tracking and the Workload view feature.

ClickUp also promotes smooth teamwork with integrated tools like Whiteboards, Docs, and Chat. Effortlessly share concepts, inspiration, and other input, attach project briefs, and automate updates to maintain open communication with stakeholders, ensuring better understanding and minimal unexpected developments.

The system streamlines design and approval processes by enabling you to proofread and annotate mockups, incorporate Figma and Invision files, involve external contributors, and delegate comments for assessment.

You can create custom workflows to illustrate everything from design stages to order monitoring using customized statuses. Save time and effort by using templates for similar projects or clients, eliminating repetitive work.

Finally, you can optimize your team’s performance by connecting and automating tasks throughout your design lifecycle. ClickUp provides more than 200 integrations, like Figma, Mural, Invision, and Miro, boosting your overall efficiency.

Read our expert ClickUp review for more details.

3. Smartsheet: The Best Solution for International Design Teams

Smartsheet's website

Smartsheet is a project management software that’s highly suitable for designers, offering a robust set of features to cater to your needs. It helps your design teams stay connected and informed, saving valuable time by streamlining the entire design process, from planning to execution.

Designers can effortlessly track every stage of their projects using Smartsheet. The platform enables sharing your project information with team members, both locally and internationally, ensuring everyone is aligned with the overall strategy and creative vision. This reduces misunderstandings and promotes effective communication within large design teams.

Smartsheet’s customizable task lists and sorting options make it an ideal tool for managing multiple design projects simultaneously or categorizing tasks based on their progress. For instance, you can create columns for the Design Phase and Production, providing your team with a clear understanding of each task’s current status.

With Smartsheet, you can achieve results more quickly, thanks to comprehensive reporting on various aspects of your projects, including return on investment. The platform’s transparency enables you to identify areas for innovation and improvement, ultimately boosting productivity and profitability.

Smartsheet is cost-effective, as it seamlessly integrates with your existing IT infrastructure and requires no hidden expenses. Furthermore, it works with tools you already use, such as Google Drive, ensuring that everyone on your team stays on the same page and collaborates effectively.

Read our expert Smartsheet review for more details.

The Jira Software website

Jira is a fantastic project management tool for design teams, offering a complex and highly collaborative platform. You can easily invite team members and external contractors without needing administrative approval. Just remember to set appropriate permissions in the Settings to protect confidential information.

Design teams using Jira can create different issue types for their Jira Software design projects. Analytics issues are used to document valuable metrics for understanding usage patterns and optimization goals.

Research issues help track user testing, research, and usability studies. Spec issues are where designers primarily work and get an overview of their weekly priorities. Story issues outline the overall flow of an experience, while Other issues keep track of non-critical requests.

The workflow stages in Jira include the Backlog, where ideas and suggestions are collected; Exploring, for initial sketches and concepts; Active Research and Analyzing, focusing on usability studies and customer feedback; Sparring, for design critiques; Speccing, to further develop approved work; Copy Review, ensuring the right tone and voice; and Design Done, where documentation and files are finalized until further updates are needed.

You can boost your team’s efficiency with Rules, a feature that automates basic tasks in next-gen projects. For instance, you can use it to automatically notify content designers when a card moves to the “copy review” column.

If you’re always on the move, Jira’s next-gen template is available on mobile, allowing you to stay connected and update tasks on the go.

Read our expert Jira review for more details.

Teamwork's website for design teams

Teamwork is a user-friendly, versatile, and feature-rich project management tool made to help designers track progress, accelerate their workflow, and eliminate manual work through automation and custom templates. The platform is available as a web application and as mobile apps for Android and iOS devices, ensuring ease of use across all platforms.

By reducing administrative tasks such as email exchanges about design drafts or searching for files during the design phase, Teamwork enables design teams to focus on delivering value-added work for clients. This enhanced collaboration leads to increased productivity and faster project completion.

With Teamwork, you can effortlessly assign tasks, set due dates, and prioritize them based on importance, either through email or the web app. This eliminates the need for time-consuming status meetings and keeps everyone informed about project progress.

Task lists in Teamwork are organized into columns, providing users with a clear overview of each task’s status at any given time. This could involve reassigning a task that requires updates or moving it to a different stage in its lifecycle, such as from the Design Phase to Production.

To further simplify project management, Teamwork offers a variety of pre-built templates, including creative request forms and website project plans. You can also create custom templates to accommodate their unique project requirements, ensuring a tailored and efficient approach to managing design projects.

Read our expert Teamwork review for more details.

6. Zoho Projects: A Simple Solution for Recurring Design Projects

The Zoho Projects website

Zoho Projects is a web-based project management software that empowers design teams to establish clear timelines for their projects through effective planning and execution, significantly improving outcomes. The platform integrates seamlessly with Zoho Docs, enabling easy writing, reviewing, revising, and finalizing of project-related documents.

The calendar view in Zoho Projects allows design teams to visualize their workload at any given moment, facilitating advanced event planning and scheduling of client meetings or team discussions. This feature ensures that everyone on your team is aware of upcoming deadlines and can work accordingly.

Zoho Projects helps you optimize productivity and maintain budget control by tracking resource utilization, which measures the actual work done by team members relative to their expected workload.

For a comprehensive view of progress across multiple projects or individual tasks within a single project, you can access Dashboard reports, such as Planned vs Actual Progress Reports. This provides valuable insights into the overall performance of the team and helps identify areas for improvement.

To save time and boost efficiency, Zoho Projects enables design teams to set up blueprints for recurring tasks, eliminating the need to create everything from scratch for each new project. Customizable fields and statuses cater to the unique needs of design projects, further streamlining the project management process for design teams.

Read our expert Zoho Projects review for more details.

Check Out the Best Design Project Management Software

Numerous design project management software options are available, and choosing the ideal one for your needs can pose a challenge. This article intends to assist you in narrowing down your choices and finding the perfect tool for your upcoming design project.

If you’re searching for a versatile tool suitable for various design projects, monday.com is my top suggestion. It specifically caters to designers, as well as other creative teams, making it ideal for projects that involve collaboration across different departments.

If you want tons of integrations or focus primarily on UI/UX design, take a look at ClickUp. It’s an excellent choice for managing design projects and streamlining team communication.

Alternatively, if you have a large, globally-distributed team, consider Smartsheet. Its powerful software can manage vast amounts of data, making it perfect for large corporations that also employ design teams.

To sum up, here’s a brief comparison of the best design project management tools:
Free Plan Useful Integrations Best For Starting Price
monday.com Adobe Creative Cloud Most designers $0
ClickUp Figma US/UX designers $0
Smartsheet Adobe Creative Cloud International design teams $7.00
Jira Figma Big design teams $0
Teamwork MS Teams First-time users of project management tools $0
Zoho Projects Zoho Docs Recurring design projects $0


Which design project management software is the best?

In my opinion, monday.com is the top choice for design project management software. It not only integrates with Adobe Creative Cloud but also with other valuable apps like Slack, Microsoft Teams, and Google’s suite of products. Its flexibility allows various design departments to collaborate seamlessly.

Is ClickUp suitable for design project management?

Absolutely, ClickUp is an excellent option for designers seeking to streamline their processes using project management software. It’s particularly effective in enhancing team communication and consolidating feedback and queries in a centralized location. What’s more, its integration with Figma makes it ideal for UI/UX design.

What is the most user-friendly design project management software?

For the best onboarding experience, Teamwork stands out as my top recommendation. Its simplicity ensures that your design team can start using it with little to no training, and its clean, intuitive interface makes navigation a breeze.

Can design project management software be used for free?

Yes, many project management tools offer free trials, including monday.com, which is highly recommended for design teams. You can try it for 14 days without needing a credit card, or opt for the basic free two-user plan for an indefinite period.

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