The shocking truth is that as many as 90% of employees say they waste time at work.
So, how do you tackle such a prevalent issue as an employer?
One such solution is to use high-quality resource management software to utilize your talent and equipment to the fullest.
There are tons of ways resource management platforms can assist you. For instance:
- At a glance, you’ll receive an accurate overview of your team’s capacity, which goes a long way to ensuring you don’t accidentally overstretch your staff.
- Project planning is more transparent, which makes communication clearer. Needless to say, this increases the chances of your team staying on the same page throughout your project’s entirety.
- With increased visibility over your operations, you’re better positioned to pinpoint problems early on and intervene quicker.
That said, which resource management solution is best?
We’ll be honest, we’ve done some digging, and it was tough to pick a definitive winner. In light of that, we’ve created a list to compare the market’s leading solutions based on their features, pricing, and use-cases. So, hopefully, by the end of this review, you’ll have a clearer idea of which platform (if any) best suits your needs.
There’s lots to cover, so grab a coffee and let’s dive in…
Best Resource Management Software Tools
Best resource management software for distributed teams
Monday.com is a cloud-based work operating system used by over 100,000 teams worldwide, including huge names like Wix and The Discovery Channel.
Monday.com aims to provide managers with a transparent and straightforward way of managing their teams and projects. However, Monday.com has reportedly been adopted for all manner of use cases, including:
- Sales pipelines
- Marketing campaigns
- Recruitment funnels
- Video production planning
- Progress tracking
- Product roadmaps
- Business plans and operational processes
- Bug tracking
- Event management
- Construction planning
…To name a few. You can build and manage all kinds of workflows. In fact, Monday.com comes with over 100 customizable templates, including ones for budgets, content calendars, sales pipelines, etc. Of course, you can create your own templates too.
Monday.com’s hierarchy is based on the following components:
- Boards: These are best described as more flexible, shareable, and easy-to-use spreadsheets.
- Groups: These are sections on your board. You can use these to represent anything you want.
- Columns: Each group has one (or more) columns you can label however you wish.
- Items: Each group also contains items highlighting outstanding tasks.
Best of all, Monday.com boasts an intuitive drag and drop interface enabling you to smoothly add, edit, and remove items, columns, and groups inside your board.
- View your team’s workloads to see who’s available and who’s not to ensure everyone’s working at their total capacity.
- Time tracking functionality
- Create custom dashboards to get a quick and easy overview of project progress, budgets, pipelines, etc.
- Visualize boards using various views, including charts, timelines, calendars, maps, Kanban, Gnatt, etc.
- Users can automate repetitive tasks like notifying the necessary person once a job is complete.
- Monday.com’s docs feature enables teams to collaborate, comment, and edit documents in real-time.
Monday.com integrates with a generous number of platforms that perform an equally generous range of functions, including marketing, advertising, payment solutions, analytics, and more. In total, Monday.com has around 40 integrations including Dropbox, Microsoft Teams, Gmail, Twilio, Slack, WooCommerce, Gmail, and HubSpot. Integrations are simple to set up with no coding required.
There are five pricing plans to choose from. The costs below are based on three seats and annual billing:
- Individual: Free forever (up to two seats)
- Basic: $8 a seat per month
- Standard: $10 a seat per month
- Pro: $16 a seat per month
- Enterprise: You’ll have to contact Monday.com directly for a custom quote
- Excellent dashboard environment
- Fantastic for beginners
- Range of features like time tracking and budgeting
- Suitable for larger teams
- Built for multiple. users
- Supports extensive integrations for CRM and marketing
- Visual boards allow for accurate tracking
- Offers alternative views
- Highly customizable platform for tracking task progress
- Offers extensive real time collaboration features
- Simple and intuitive dashboard
- No free version
- Basic plan offers very limited functionalities
- Doesn’t offer a Gantt chart view option
- Requires a bit of learning curve –you will need to dedicate time to learning the platform
Best free plan resource management software
ClickUp is another cloud-based project management and collaboration platform. It’s suitable for all-sized brands.
To give you a feel of ClickUp’s structure, you get a ‘workspace’ representing your entire organization. Then, you can use ClickUp’s ‘everything view,’ you’ll get a birds-eye view of your entire workspace.
You can then divide your workspace into various ‘spaces’ and assign these to different teams. Then inside your ‘space,’ you can create folders with set permissions and manage your tasks within these folders. This makes them perfect for tracking projects, campaigns, databases, etc. You can assign each task a description, assignee(s), status (i.e., ‘resolved,’ ‘in progress,’ or give it a custom status), comments, and checklists.
Lastly, you can use subtasks to break tasks down into smaller chunks. Again, you can assign each subtask its own description, assignee(s), deadlines, etc.
ClickUp offers a vast suite of features. So much so that we can’t list them all here. That said, to give you a feel of what ClickUp offers, we’ve listed some of its core functionality below:
- Visualize work with a choice of over 15 views, including lists, boards, calendars, Gantt, whiteboard, etc.
- You don’t need any coding smarts.
- Automate monotonous tasks using 50+ actions, triggers, and conditions. You also benefit from pre-built automation workflows, which you can tweak to meet your exact needs.
- You can use hundreds of templates to create tasks, checklists, documents, etc.
- With ClickUp Docs, you can collaborate and edit documents with your team in real-time.
- Managers can quickly visualize their team’s capacity using the workload and box view.
- You can set project milestones.
- Generate activity reports fuelled by machine learning to see how you and your team spend their time.
- Users benefit from time tracking, time estimates for pending tasks, and time reporting features (the latter is convenient if you’re charging billable hours)
ClickUp boasts a long list of native integrations. You also get access to ClickUp’s public API so you can build your own custom integrations if you have the coding smarts. On top of that, there are native integrations that enable team communication, time and task management, and document sharing. These include Microsoft Teams, Zoom, Time Doctor, Slack, and Google Drive. You can also access over 1,000 apps with ClickUp’s Zapier integration.
ClickUp has five pricing plans; the costs below are based on annual billing:
- Free forever (best for personal use)
- Unlimited: $5 per member per month (best for small teams
- Business: $9 per member per month (best for mid-sized teams)
- Business Plus: $19 per member per month (best for multiple teams)
- Enterprise: Contact ClickUp directly for a custom quote (best for managing multiple large teams)
- Customizable dashboards
- Features and functions best suited for solopreneurs and small teams
- Comprehensive freemium plan
- Built-in chat feature for both private and public communication
- Offers extensive features with the option to customize under the free plan.
- Provides multiple options for project organization or individual tasks or team-based projects.
- “Free forever” for unlimited tasks adn users for up to 100MB of storage
- Onboarding process can be complicated
- No built-in video conferencing feature
- Additional customizable features will require an annual fee
- Platform can easily overwhelm new users
Best resource management software for scaling teams
It doesn’t matter whether you’re handling a single project or looking for end-to-end work management; this cloud-based platform addresses everything. All without writing a single line of code!
As its name suggests, Smartsheet is built using spreadsheets. Each project starts with a sheet. So, instead of organizing your tasks into traditional lists, you insert pending tasks on the rows of your sheet. You can populate rows and columns with checkboxes, contacts, symbols, icons, single or multiple assignees, and many other elements.
You can either work from a blank sheet or select a template. Templates are organized by category and include:
- Clients and customers
- Finance and accounting
- General management
- Human resources
- Product development
At this point, it’s worth noting that unlike many of the competitors listed here, Smartsheet doesn’t come with in-built time-tracking or budgeting functionalities. It also doesn’t automatically update information – you have to manually reload pages to ensure you’re working with the latest version.
- Conditional formatting tools: You can apply specific cell formatting, including color differentiation.
- Flexible spreadsheets that can be designed to suit various purposes
- Workflow automation rules automatically appear in a flowchart to make the workflow creation and management process more intuitive. For instance, you could automate deadlines or meeting reminders, assign tasks to the necessary people, etc.
- You can set permission levels that determine which users can create automations
- Project resource management: Smartsheet enables you to visualize your team’s capacity and strengths. You can import employee rosters from spreadsheet files, build schedules for pending tasks, add clients and their related projects, etc.
- Process Management: Smartsheet provides a bird’s-eye view of your projects from your project portfolio dashboard. That’s as well as a central console. From here, you can approve tasks, proofs, and content and map out projects using Project Blueprints.
Smartsheet boasts hundreds of integrations (free, paid-for, and across multiple languages). These cover a range of functions including finance, project management, communications, analytics, and resource planning. Popular integrations in these areas include Microsoft Excel, Google Forms and Docs, Outlook, Microsoft Teams, and Live Data Connector. The latter connects Smartsheet data to analytics tools such as Tableau.
Smartsheet offers three pricing plans. Costs below are based on three users and annual billing:
- Pro: $7 a user per month (up to 25 users)
- Business: $25 a user per month (minimum of three users)
- Enterprise: Contact Smartsheet for a custom quote
- Data-driven automation for more efficient workflows
- Easily customizable platform
- A highly visual solution makes task tracking easier
- Critical task management features help drive productivity at scale
- Reliable automation of critical business processes for team and projects
- Secure platform deployment
- No time tracking feature
- Doesn’t offer an auto-save option
- Limited calendar view
- No time tracking feature
Best for workload allocation
Zoho Projects is another cloud-based project management software that facilitates more effective collaboration for teams working remotely. Zoho Projects comes with plenty of project management tools, including Gantt charts, timesheets, and task automation. It also provides work tracking, task management functionality, and workload visualization features.
You can also create simple automated workflows using flowcharts to intuitively visualize and deploy new automation. For instance, you can create automated timesheets to log every minute of work, both billable and non-billable, generate automatic invoices at the end of a project, etc.
Zoho also offers a range of other products that integrate seamlessly with this resource management tool, including solutions for the following:
- Help desks
- Expense tracking
- Task and workload tracking
- You can compare actual and planned progress with ease.
- Record any issues or bugs that have cropped up during your project so that you can track and fix them immediately. You can also turn on automated alerts to the relevant people if an issue arises.
- Workflow automation functionality
- You can visualize work in Gantt charts or kanban views.
- Access team collaboration features, including a project feed, internal chat, and forums
Zoho Projects integrates with a range of apps categorized into many different areas including: telephony, events and meetings, finance, document signing, social media, marketing automation, document management and storage. Its featured integrations include Shopify, G Suite, Slack and Office 365. If you can’t find the tool you need, you can build your own extension for free and add it to the Zoho Marketplace.
Zoho Projects has three pricing plans; the costs below are based on annual billing:
- Free: Includes 2 projects and 10MB storage space for up to 3 users
- Premium: $4/month per user; up to 50 users with unlimited projects and 100GB storage space
- Enterprise $9/month per user; unlimited number of users and projects, and 120GB storage space
- Generally easy to set up and navigate
- Multiple ways to communicate in app
- Deep configuration options
- Strong time-tracking tools
- Great pricing tiers given available features per plan
- Built in time tracking and billing features
- Customer support is reliable and efficient
- Provides built-in Gantt chart reports, Kanban boards, forums, templates, timers, and other important features at no added cost.
- Offers full Zoho Office suite access for free
- Does not include premade templates
- Slightly unusual resource management view
- UI for task searches needs improvement
- Frequent reports of dashboard bugs
- Risk management is unavailable
Best resource management software for Enterprises
Mavenlink combines project management, resource management, accounting, and business intelligence into one system. Their intuitive dashboard allows you to track all areas of your project from one place, including monitoring changes and expenses in real-time.
You can access a task tracker, Gantt scheduling, and expenses for each project page. Mavenlink also uses information gathered throughout the project, including estimates, plans, and finances, to produce tables and charts.
Mavenlink’s online Gantt tool lets you drag and drop tasks onto your timeline and create dependencies between tasks. Put simply, this means that you won’t start a task until another specific job is complete.
Mavenlink’s hierarchy is based on the following components:
- Teams: You can assign project members to a team
- Schedule: Set or propose a project deadline, track deadline changes, and sync this information to your Google Calendar.
- Budget: Set the project’s budget, override the bill rates, propose changes, and track how much of the budget you’ve used.
- Payment: Create invoices, log payments, and see which are pending or paid.
- Mavenlink provides project templates for drafting project plans. Many of these prompt you to outline the necessary hours, budgets, and resources needed to complete the project.
- You’ll get an overview of which employees are available and their skill sets. With this info to hand, you can assign tasks to the best possible people.
- Time and expense tracking and reports
- Resource forecasting
- Business intelligence comes with the more expensive plans. It provides invaluable insights into business and project outcomes, company performance forecasts, etc., and compiles them into easy-to-read reports.
- Workflow automation
- Access to minimalist, user-friendly design
- You can link invoices to project tasks and milestones, making billing much easier.
Mavenlink takes an API-first approach to integrations. With Mavenlink M-Bridge, you can bring together all the tailored tools you need. M-Bridge allows you to connect with various tools including CRM, financial software, HCM (human capital management), and more. You can also adapt pre-built integrations to suit your needs. In addition to the M-Bridge platform, Mavenlink also offers pre-built integrations for platforms like Salesforce, G-Suite, Xero, Slack, Quickbooks, Sage Intacct, Expensify, and Hubspot.
To get a quote for Mavenlink, you’ll need to fill out a request form on their website. This will ask you for the size of your company, your industry, and your contact details.
Best resource management software for time tracking
Trusted by giants like BuzzFeed and Deloitte, Float is one of the best resource management tools for robust scheduling and time tracking. Yet, despite its extensive suite of features, Float is pretty intuitive to use.
Project scheduling is made easy with its click-and-create and drag-and-drop interfaces. These enable you to quickly set tasks on the fly and assign them to the relevant people/teams. Float’s scheduling tool also boasts a clear, colorful visualization of your team’s workload, as well as project progress from the convenience of one dashboard.
- You can plan projects, manage your team, and monitor any time off or overtime.
- Logging hours is made simple with just a single click. You can also compare your estimates to the actual hours worked to better understand your project’s progress.
- See who’s busy, who isn’t, and employee skill sets to assign the right people to the job.
- View completed milestones, reallocate resources, and monitor budgets in real-time.
- View the progress of multiple projects in one place to minimize the risk of overlapping, team confusion, and budget issues.
- Create accurate forecasts based on the data
- Access to a mobile app
Float’s integrations fall into three categories: project management, calendars, and productivity. You can sync and schedule your projects with platforms like Asana, Jira, and Trello. Google Calendar and Outlook calendar events can also be imported into Float. You can also use Slack to send email and push notification reminders. In addition, Float integrates with Zapier, and you can create your own integrations using Float’s API or ask Float to help you create what you need.
Float has two pricing plans, which are 20% cheaper if you opt for annual billing (which we’ve quoted below).
- Resource Planning: $6 per person per month – This includes resource scheduling, unlimited projects, and capacity reporting.
- Resource planning + Time Tracking: $10 per person per month- This includes resource planning, time tracking, comparing budget estimates, and you can log hours using the mobile app.
For $6 per person per month, Float also offers a “Plus Pack,” which adds advanced management controls to your package. This includes domain restrictions, requiring a Google sign-in, lock logged time, and more.
Best AI-assisted resource management software
Forecast is another all-in-one resource management tool that helps you organize projects and day-to-day operations. With the help of AI, Forecast enables you to manage projects, resources, and finances from the convenience of one place.
Its innovative AI capabilities reduce the time spent on project planning, resource allocation, and timesheet schedules so that you can focus your efforts elsewhere. It does this by gathering data from your previous work and providing suggestions on similar tasks to boost efficiency. In this same vein, Forecast provides company-wide insights into employees’ time and where to allocate them for better efficiency.
Forecast is also a fantastic tool for highlighting inefficiencies so that you can improve. For example, it shows personnel workload and capacity and highlights which resources aren’t being utilized as well as they could be. With this info at your fingertips, you can quickly adjust your team’s workloads as necessary to prevent bottlenecks.
- You can automate project planning.
- You can set project milestones, tasks, single projects, or entire portfolios, view this information side-by-side, and stay updated on project progress every step of the way.
- Forecast’s resource management tools help you balance your workload and know when the right time to hire is.
- You can create task cards where team members can comment, register time, and share files easily.
- You can get an overview of total costs, revenue, and profit based on the work that’s planned and completed.
- Access to auto-scheduling to set up projects quicker
- Improve cross-office collaboration with workflows and sprints
Forecast has 31 integrations. The platform promises that it’s quick and easy to integrate with the tools you need. Integrations fall into a number of categories that you can filter to help you find what you need. These include project management apps such as Asana and Jira, productivity tools including MS Teams, Google Calendar, and Zapier, and finance apps such as Quickbooks and Xero.
Forecast offers two pricing plans, as well as a custom-priced Plus program. The following prices are based on annual billing.
- Lite: $29 per seat per month (minimum 10 seats). This includes AI work automation, team collaboration, project and time management, business intelligence, basic integrations, and resource management.
- Pro: $49 per seat per month (minimum 10 seats). This includes financial portfolio reporting, project budgets, expense management, pro integrations, and retainer management.
In short, resource management is the process of deploying both internal and external resources to deliver a project. In simpler terms, it’s the management of time, staff, budgets, equipment, materials, contacts, etc., to ensure your business delivers the best possible output.
Most businesses have to juggle several resources – even if they work in the digital sphere without physical products. For example, larger online brands have to:
- Allocate their employees’ time to specific tasks
- Manage cash flow
- Optimize and make the most out of their tech stack
- Stay on top of client communications
Then, of course, you’ll have to add manufacturing and inventory into the equation for more complex business operations.
However, one thing is true of all businesses: keeping track of resources and optimizing them takes time.
This is where resource management software comes in.
Resource management software provides businesses with the tools they need to manage:
- Staff and their workloads
- Plan projects
- Automate the tedious jobs associated with resource management, like assigning tasks to the right team member, marking assignments as complete, illustrating project progress and workload, etc
These are just a few of many examples of the kind of things that first-rate resource management software can do for you.
Now you’re familiar with some of the best resource management software on the market, here are a few things to know to make an informed purchasing decision:
Using the right resource management software is crucial to unlocking your team’s full potential without getting bogged down in dozens of tedious tasks. Resource management software should allow you to see each team member’s workload so that you can determine who’s ready to take on more work and who can’t. This software should also make it easy for all project members to view the schedule to see what’s expected and by what time. Not only does this fuel more effective communication and productivity, but it also helps you better foresee what resources are needed.
When looking for the best resource management software for your business, there are five main things to consider:
#1. Ease of use
Is the software easy to learn and use? Will team members require training before getting started, or can they dive right in? Does the software present its functionality clearly, or will you have to refer to self-help documentation constantly? Can the resource management software automate tedious tasks to simplify day-to-day operations?
#2. User interface
Is the user interface clean and intuitive? A cluttered interface can get in the way of your workflows and create a steeper learning curve for you and your team. With resource management software, it’s also good to check what views are available. For example, Gantt charts, timelines, kanban, etc.
One size doesn’t fit all. A resource management software that allows you to tailor it to meet your business and projects is best.
#4. Permission levels
Resource management tools that provide different roles and permission levels enable you to create a user structure that makes sense for your business and project.
Data-driven reporting enables you to analyze past data and uncover any patterns that can help with forecasting. With the right data sets, you can also compare your plans with your actual results to see whether your estimates were valid.
Does the resource management software in question integrate with the tools you’re already using? Does it provide the room you need to grow with the tools you’re considering using in the future? Software with limited integrations might quickly feel restrictive, especially if you don’t have the coding know-how to create custom integrations.
Last but not least, you’ll have to ask yourself whether the recurring cost of resource management software is feasible for your business. To justify the price, the software should considerably cut down the time spent on repetitive tasks so that you can focus your attention on other money-generating activities. Pricing plans should also be flexible so you can scale up and down as needed without breaking the bank.
#8. Mobile Access
Being able to check your team’s availability and schedule projects while you’re on the go is handy.
Of course, it’s possible to manage your resources manually by entering information into a spreadsheet and keeping it updated as you go. Spreadsheet software like Google Sheets is free to use, and many businesses have access to Microsoft Excel. So, why purchase dedicated resource management software when a free option is available?
There are a few factors that elevate dedicated resource management software over free spreadsheets:
- You can’t automate tasks in a spreadsheet, so you and your team may waste lots of time on tedious and repetitive processes.
- Spreadsheets don’t come with in-built time-tracking
- Spreadsheets don’t integrate with your other software tools.
- Granting different team members varying access permissions isn’t as intuitive.
- Simple schedule changes on spreadsheets require you to manually delete, add new cells, and change colors, which can be laborious and error-prone.
- Spreadsheets can’t automatically create ad hoc or regular reports for different levels of management. If you try to do so manually, this is very time-consuming and, again, often prone to human error.
Typically speaking, resource management software is worth the investment. This is especially true if you’re looking for an intuitive way to foster internal collaboration and project management – especially if you’re managing team members who are working remotely. Not only that but resource management tools also come in handy for managing cash flow, keeping clients informed, and efficiently managing the workloads of each team member.
In summary, this kind of software typically provides all the tools you need to utilize your resources to the max. If you’re still using free spreadsheets to manage your business’s resources, it might be time to move on. As mentioned above, some of your best options include:
- Monday.com – Best for distributed teams
- ClickUp – Best free plan
- Smartsheet – Best for scaling teams
- Zoho Projects – Best for workload allocation
- Mavenlink – Best all-in-one system for managing projects
- Float – Best for time tracking
- Forecast – Best AI-assisted resource management software
So, there you have it. That’s the end of our round-up; now it’s time for you to tell us what you think.
What’s your experience with resource management software, or do you still swear by spreadsheets for your scaling business? Let us know your thoughts in the comments box below!