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Top 15 Zoho Projects Alternatives [Free & Paid]

Esther van Opijnen
Esther van Opijnen
|
August 10, 2022

Some project management tools promise to do it all, and Zoho Projects is one of them. Let’s find out if they can deliver a full-fledged suite of solutions. 

Plus, we’ll cover the top 15 alternatives in 2022 and weigh the pros and cons, pricing, and features, so you don’t have to. Let’s dive in.

Why consider an alternative to Zoho Projects?

Zoho Projects is a cloud-based project management solution that helps with efficient planning and team collaboration. The product is part of Zoho’s One Suite of business software solutions for marketing, sales, customer service, emails, and more. 

Teams can do the following with Zoho Projects:

  • Task management
  • Time tracking
  • Issue tracking and SLA

Although Zoho Projects is a popular tool, let’s look at some of the most common downsides mentioned by users.

1. Steep learning curve

Zoho Projects’ user interface can be a challenge for some teams. Because of the many features and complexity, project managers experience difficulty implementing the tool and onboarding the team. The steep learning curve will swallow precious working hours when onboarding new team members or freelancers mid-project.

Zoho Projects review on G2

2. Difficult to navigate 

A software tool is not a magic solution that does the work for you. However, you would expect it to make your life easier. Changing settings to your liking can make your workday much smoother as you know where to find your essential information. 

Zoho Projects review on Capterra

3. No customer support

Picture this: you’re setting up Zoho Projects, and it’s stuck. Some online reviews say the company doesn’t offer great onboarding support.

Zoho Projects review on g2

The 15 best Zoho Projects alternatives

After reading the above limitations, you might wonder if it’s worth integrating Zoho Projects into your project lifecycle. Let’s explore some of the top alternatives so you can make an informed decision.

1. Rodeo

Ok, we might be beating our drum here. But who doesn’t love a robust solution with a user-friendly interface? With Rodeo, you manage your complete project lifecycle from estimate to the final invoice.

Compared to Zoho Projects, Rodeo is praised by many users for its easy navigation and interface.

Rodeo became the single source of truth for Digital Agency JaxX. Eliminating other tools saved Brand Manager, Axell Avalon-Van Staveren, and her team some costs. Their main motivation for using Rodeo was its ease of use. Axell: “We all agreed Rodeo was much easier to use. Once we finally switched to Rodeo, we removed all the other tools and systems we were using. Nobody uses multiple sheets or programs now, it’s no longer necessary.” 

Are you new to project management or a software solution? You won’t be on your own. Rodeo offers support and helps you and your team with onboarding. 


Make sure your projects are profitable with Rodeo

You want a healthy profit margin on all your projects. Rodeo's budgeting feature helps project managers calculate costs, plan activities, and allocate resources before the project’s kick-off. 

Rodeo budgeting feature

Do your stakeholders request an update mid-project? Don’t panic. The dashboard will tell you all about the current project KPIs.

Track time on every task

Keeping track of time will discover insights into your team’s performance and back up the final invoice. However, it will take effort from your team to start tracking their hours closely. Rodeo’s timesheets are so easy to use that it’s not difficult to encourage your team members to keep on track.

Rodeo timer

Manage tasks and your team’s workload

In Rodeo, tasks correlate to a budgeted activity, helping you manage productivity and budget better. Those with project manager access can assign tasks and manage team capacity. Adding a comprehensive description for each job brings clarity. You can also easily indicate the status and priority so your project flows at the right pace. 

Rodeo task management

Check-in on the progress 

Keep a close eye on how your project’s running. Rodeo’s reporting feature gives you a quick view of your current project, so you can adapt when necessary. 

Additional features

  • Estimates: Create and send client-ready estimates straight from Rodeo.
  • Invoicing: Generate invoices straight from a project budget or set up recurring ones to simplify your billing processes.
  • Expenses & POs: Track project expenses with your company’s Purchase Orders.
  • Quickbooks (US) and Xero (UK) Integration: Helps with your bookkeeping and billing.

Pricing

Rodeo's pricing model is flexible and can be adjusted to meet the needs of businesses of all sizes.

Starting at $29.99 a month, you get a full user license with full access to Rodeo’s features (excluding Planning & Tasks), support, and Quickbooks Online (US) or Xero integration (UK). To add additional users, you can choose between full user access (project management license) for $14.99 per user/month or a standard user with limited access (creative license) for $8.99 per user/month.

Start a 14-day free trial and see it for yourself. No strings attached or credit card required, we promise.

2. Airtable

Airtable dashboard

Source: Airtable

Airtable brings collaboration and transparency to project-based teams. The software offers database management options and flexible features such as revision history, comments, and sorting data. 

This flexibility in creating workflows and linking existing databases is a big plus over Zoho Projects. The solution would be a great fit for teams currently working with spreadsheets.

Also read: 15 Airtable Alternatives to Consider in 2022

Key features

  • Templates
  • Relation database options 
  • Automation
  • Task management

Pricing 

  • Try Airtable for free with a maximum of five users. Only limited features are included.
  • The Plus plan offers many integrations and extensive features for $10 per user/month when billed annually. 
  • Use Gantt charts and create custom workflows for $20 per user/month billed annually.
  • Get a custom quote if you wish to use an Enterprise plan.

3. Wrike

Wrike dashboard

Source: Wrike

Wrike is a versatile and scalable solution best suited for larger organizations. The task management feature lets you keep sensitive information private and control access levels.

Compared to Zoho Projects, the tool offers extra HR options such as fully customizable leave request forms. 

Also read: The 15 Best Wrike Alternatives for Project Management in 2022

Key features

  • Custom forms
  • Share tasks, files, and reports
  • Track the project’s progress with Gantt charts
  • Project and portfolio management

Pricing 

  • Test if the task management for free with up to five users. 
  • The Professional plan includes project planning for $9.80 per user/month.
  • Their Business plan offers time tracking and custom field features for $25 per user/month.
  • Wrike offers custom plans for marketing and creative teams and service delivery companies.

4. Hive

Hive dashboard

Source: Hive

There is a lot of buzz around Hive, and for a good reason. The interface is easy to use, and the range of features helps teams automate workflows and collaborate.

You can use Hive as a standalone application or integrate it into your existing workflow. At the same time, Zoho Projects works best with other products from their range.

Also read: Top 12 Hive Alternatives in 2022

Key features

  • Messenger
  • Workflow templates
  • Time tracking
  • Reporting

Pricing 

  • Hive Plans are cheaper when billed annually, and you even can get started for free with Solo. This free plan is ideal for personal use and allows a maximum of two users for their project management features.  
  • With the Hive Teams plan, you can use time tracking and pick flexible add-ons for $12 per user/month. 
  • Hive also offers an Enterprise plan, and pricing is available upon request. 

5. Teamwork

Teamwork dashboard

Source: Teamwork

Teamwork is an excellent addition to your tech stack when you are familiar with tools like Trello and Slack. The software integrates well with other tools and aims for teams to save time and automate recurring tasks.

Does Teamwork make the dream work for project managers? Some reviews say that the tool is not easy to implement in existing workflows, and customer service is difficult to reach. 

Also read: Best Teamwork Alternatives in 2022 [In Depth Review]

Key features

  • Project templates
  • Custom fields
  • File sharing
  • Time tracking

Pricing 

  • Try out The Free Forever plan with up to 5 users and get limited features.  
  • The Deliver plan requires a minimum of 3 active users for $12.50 per user/month and offers invoicing and chat features.
  • There are 50 templates in the Grow plan plus budgeting and time management features for $22.50 per user/month. 
  • Get 20% off all plans when you pay yearly.
  • Request the pricing for the Scale plan if you require more extensive features.

6. Basecamp

Basecamp dashboard

Source: Basecamp

Basecamp brings task management and file-sharing together in one tool. One of the biggest pros is their customer portal, which allows companies to invite clients to collaborate on projects through forums or real-time chat.

However, the UI is a bit messy, and many users complain about the overwhelming amount of notifications sent by Basecamp.

Additionally, if you need time tracking and invoicing, you will need to integrate the platform with another tool. So it isn’t an all-in-one solution after all. 

Also read: 15 Best Basecamp Alternatives for Robust Project Management in 2022

Key features

  • To-do lists
  • File-sharing
  • Chat
  • Collaborative boards

Pricing 

  • Not a lot of custom plans or options here. Basecamp's only plan is $11 per user/month, which includes unlimited projects and 500GB of storage space

7. nTask

ntask dashboard

Source: nTask

nTask brings many features and functionalities together in one platform. Time tracking, resource planning, reporting, and task management make it a robust project management solution.

Compared with Zoho Projects, it’s a much more complete solution offered in one plan, and according to online reviews, the learning curve is not that steep.

Also read: 13 Best nTask Alternatives You Need to Try in 2022

Key features

  • Issue tracker
  • Time tracker & timesheet
  • File sharing
  • Meeting management

Pricing 

  • A Premium plan for individuals and small teams starts at $3 per user/month, billed yearly.
  • Teams who need advanced project management features can benefit from their Business plan for $8 per user/month when billed annually. 

8. Paymo

paymo dashboard

Source: Paymo

Paymo is highly praised because of its user-friendly interface and extensive features.
With the time management options, you can keep track of all billable and non-billable hours. 

The solution has a severe price tag if you work in a large team. However, you don’t need add-ons or integrations with other products like Zoho Projects.

Also read: 12 Paymo Alternatives That Are Worth Checking Out

Key features

  • Task management
  • Team scheduling
  • Time tracking
  • Invoicing

Pricing 

  • Their plans are calculated on the number of tasks and time entries. You can get two months for free if you opt for the annual plan. 
  • The free plan offers 100 time entries, 50 tasks, and three invoices.
  • The Starter plan includes unlimited invoices, integrations, and project templates for $5.95 per user/month.
  • The Small Office plan at $11.95 per user/month offers unlimited tasks and time entries.
  • Get free onboarding with the Business plan at $24.95 per user/month.

9. monday.com

monday.com dashboard

Source: monday.com

A popular name in the game. monday.com helps teams to plan and organize projects using visually-striking templates and dashboards. However, it can be costly.

Zoho Projects offers forums and chat options for quick setup and has a planned vs. actual insights feature for your learnings and reports.

Also read: Top 25 Monday Alternatives to try in 2022

Key features

  • Task management
  • Time tracking
  • Automated workflows
  • Guest users

Pricing 

  • Their Basic plan costs $8/month per user. 
  • The Standard plan gets you Timeline & Gantt options for $10/month per user.
  • The Pro plan costs $20/month and adds time tracking features.
  • The Enterprise plan can be requested on their website and offers advanced reports.

10. Asana

asana dashboard

Source: Asana

Asana is praised for its flexibility and user-friendly interface. There’s no steep learning curve. With the platform, you track tasks and subtasks to complete milestones. 

If you’re looking for a project management tool that allows you to collaborate and communicate with the team, Zoho Projects is a winner, thanks to its chat feature and activity feed. Besides, the tool includes a time tracker to accurately measure productivity and keep track of billable and non-billable hours.

Also read: Top 20 Asana Alternatives to Consider in 2022

Key features

  • Templates
  • Task planning
  • Milestones & goals
  • Reporting

Pricing 

  • Their free plan is available for up to 15 team members.
  • The Premium plan has automated workflow options for $10.99 per user/month when billed annually. 
  • Add advanced reporting features for $24.99 per user/month when billed annually. 
  • Contact Asana if you’d like a custom plan. 

11. Harvest

harvest dashboard

Source: Harvest

Harvest provides users with time tracking, budgeting, and invoicing. As a project manager, you would benefit from productivity insights. Therefore, integrations with other software solutions like task management tools would make it a complete platform. 

Also read: 8 Harvest Alternatives for Project Management

Key features

  • Time tracking
  • Invoicing
  • Payment
  • Reporting

Pricing 

  • The Free plan is available for one user.
  • The Pro plan is $12 per user and includes all functionalities.

12. Smartsheet

smartsheet dashboard

Source: Smartsheet

Smartsheet offers all the essential features you would need when starting with project management or if you have a small team. Smartsheet helps you automate workflows and give you insights into processes. The spreadsheet-style layout will help teams familiarize themselves quickly.

Smartsheet and Zoho Projects offer similar features. Users like Smartsheet since it’s easy to navigate and makes the ideal choice for your team members who aren’t tech-savvy. Zoho Projects offer time tracking, a feature almost essential to measure the productivity of your endeavors.

Also read: 18 Best Smartsheet Alternatives in 2022 [Free & Paid]  

Key features  

  • Different views 
  • Drag and drop
  • Customizable templates
  • Reports

Pricing 

  • Teams can collaborate, track, and manage projects with a $7 per user/month plan.
  • Their Business plan offers unlimited automated workflows for $25 per user/month.

13. Toggl Plan

toggl plan dashboard

Source: Toggl

Toggl Plan gives teams an accurate understanding of productivity and identifies areas for improvement. 

Similar to Zoho Projects, Toggl Plan is part of an umbrella of products offered by Toggl. This means that you would need to sign up for more than one product to have the full project management experience (and benefit).

For enterprise-level needs, Zoho seems more suitable as its products–including Zoho Projects–are more robust and offer a wide variety of solutions. But if you are a mid-sized company looking for a simpler solution, then the Toggl family of products might be a better option.

Also read: The 14 Best Toggl Alternatives in 2022

Key features

  • Project revenue tracking
  • Time tracking
  • Team management
  • Reporting

Pricing 

  • The Team plan offers unlimited timelines, recurring tasks, and more for $9 per user/month.
  • You will get the business plan for $15 per user/month. This is ideal for those who work with clients and requires a dedicated client workspace.

14. ClickUp

clickup dashboard

Source: ClickUp

As an all-in-one solution, the platform has various features to support all stages of a project's lifecycle. 

Unlike Zoho Projects, contact sharing, customer management, and travel management are features offered by ClickUp as part of project management. Meanwhile, Zoho customers need to subscribe for their CRM and Finance or People products in addition to Zoho Projects to have similar features.  

The downside of using ClickUp is also its complexity. The platform is intuitive, but you would need the assistance of a ClickUp expert–which comes with a price tag–to set it up according to your wishes and needs.

Also read: Top 20 ClickUp Alternatives to Try [Free & Paid]

Key features

  • Dashboards
  • Advanced workflows
  • File sharing
  • Task Prioritization

Pricing 

  • The Free Forever plan is best for personal use.
  • For $5 per user/month when billed annually, the Unlimited plan includes unlimited custom fields.
  • The Business plan is offered for $12 per user/month when paid yearly and adds custom exporting and advanced automation.
  • For the Enterprise plan, contact their sales team.

15. Scoro

scoro dashboard

Source: Scoro

Scoro combines CRM and project management features in one platform. Besides, the tool offers many integrations and modules to create your ideal pick and mix without having to add another license or product to your suite.

Compared to Zoho Projects, the tool offers fully customizable dashboards. The downside of Scoro is the minimum number of five users required to get started, which is not great if you work in a small team.

Also read: 13 Best Scoro Alternatives to Consider in 2022

Key features

  • Time management
  • Goal tracking
  • Reports
  • Planner

Pricing

  • The Essential Plan for $19 per user works for a small team of a minimum of 5 people and includes the essential features.
  • The Standard Plan adds financial features for $29 per user/month.
  •  The Pro Plan will give you all the features, including time and task management, for $49 per user/month.
  • Custom plans are available upon request.

Takeaway

Finding the best project management software is not an easy task. If Zoho Projects is not meeting your needs, you have quite a few options to choose from. 

Some solutions offer limited features, but if it’s just time tracking or planning you’re after, look into a straightforward solution like Hive or Toggl Plan.

Rodeo is your powerful all-in-one project management solution and offers built-in features to help streamline processes and accurately track projects' performance, including project finances.

Try it out for 14-days—no strings attached—and schedule a personalized demo to see how Rodeo can help you optimize your project management process.