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15 Best Mac Project Management Software for 2018

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Do you need project management for your Mac? Finding the best project management for your needs can be difficult. Although the most popular project management software, Microsoft Project, is currently Windows-dependent, there are other project management tools available that'll work with your Mac.

In this article you'll learn what to look for in Mac project management software. We'll also provide a brief overview of some of best project planning software for Macs as well as some of the best cloud-based project planning software that'll run on a Mac. So, whether you need simple project management software for the Mac or something more complex, you're bound to find it on this list.

What to Look for in Mac Project Management Software

There are lots of options, so choosing the right project management software can be challenging. It's important to make sure that it meets your needs. But project management needs can vary depending on the size of your organization and your budget as well as your project management methodology.

Below, I've listed ten features many project managers look for. As you decide which project management tool to use, you may find you need several (or all) of these features:

  1. Gantt Chart. A Gantt chart is a bar chart traditionally used in project management to illustrate and track a project schedule. Some of the less traditional project management tools (Trello, for example) don't offer Gantt charts.
  2. Work Break Down Structure. A work breakdown structure allows your project into smaller, more manageable tasks. Those tasks can then be scheduled and tracked separately.
  3. Task Scheduling. Task scheduling lets you schedule the smaller tasks that make up the project as a whole. Scheduling should include start and finish dates as well as which resource the task is assigned to. 
  4. Task Tracking. Once a task has been assigned, it need to be tracked. Tracking lets you know whether a task is progressing as planned.
  5. Milestone Reporting. This high-level report shows managers and executives whether milestones are being met. .
  6. Collaboration Tools. Collaboration tools allow a team to share efforts or thoughts on all or part of a project. Collaboration should also foster good communication within the team.
  7. Accounting tie-in. Budget plays an important role in project management, so having project management software that integrates with your accounting software can be a huge timesaver.
  8. Notifications. Many project management tools automatically send notifications to team members and project managers when a project falls behind planned deadlines. This means the busy project manager doesn't have to send out individual reminders.
  9. Ease of Use. By its very nature, project management software can be quite complex. But if a software is easy to learn to use or if there are plenty of training resources available, that can be a huge timesaver.
  10. Help and Support. You depend on your project management software to manage your projects. Project delays can be costly. So, if something goes wrong with your software, you need to make sure that it'll be corrected quickly and efficiently. That's why software support is especially important when choosing a project management software tool. 

Note: Different project management tools handle these functions differently. If you're not sure whether a tool has one of these functions or how it handles a function, ask a representative for that software program.

Buying project management software is usually a significant investment, so it's a good idea to try it before you buy it. Many of the software project management tools listed in this article offer a free trial version so that you can test the tool to see whether it'll work for your needs. 

Best Project Management Software for Macs

The project management software packages below meet one or more of the criteria for a good project management software tool. Each of these tools also has a download designed specifically for the Mac. Here's the list:

1. Merlin Project 5 

Merlin Project Mac Project Management Software

Merlin Project from ProjectWizards is professional project management software. With it you can build a work breakdown, net plan, reports, and more. Project Wizards also offer other project management tools such as Merlin Project Go (an iPhone or iPad app that lets you use Merlin Project on your iPad or iPhone) and Merlin Express (project management software for the semi-professional user). Because you can access Merlin Project from the cloud, collaboration is easy. It integrates with a lot of other popular tools, including Apple Mail, Microsoft Project, Microsoft Outlook, Dropbox, and more.

2. Basecamp 

Basecamp Mac Project Management Software

Basecamp keeps all project information in a centralized location, but it goes beyond that. You can also use it to manage your business. If you've got a large team, this is a good option to make sure everyone's up to date. I've personally worked on a project using Basecamp, so I've seen how well this can work. One of the strengths of Basecamp is the ease of communication from within the tool—no separate communication apps are needed. It also provides a secure way to exchange project files.

3. OmniPlan 3

OmniPlan 3 Project Management Software

OmniPlan works on the Mac, iPad or iPhone. It includes many features that you'd expect from a good project management software package. Features include:

  • Gantt chart view 
  • Real-time collaborative features
  • Network diagrams
  • Change tracking
  • And more

You can also easily export files from and import files to Microsoft Project, which can be a great timesaver if you're migrating from that environment or if some of your team works on it. Plus, OmniPlan was designed specifically for the Mac, so it takes full advantage of Mac features.

4. iTaskX3 

ITaskX3 Mac Project Management Software

iTaskX 3 is compatible with a large number of other project management tools including the ever-popular Microsoft Project as well as Excel, Word, Numbers, and more. This software includes many of the same advanced tools as MS Project and other project management software—tools such as:

  • Gantt chart
  • Network diagram
  • Task sheet and task usage
  • Resource sheet and resource usage
  • And More

iTaskX 3 support includes a help database including FAQ questions.

5. FastTrack Schedule 10.2 

FastTrack Project Management

This project management software for Macs lets you create a master schedule that contains all of your projects, which is very helpful if your resources work on more than one project. Here's just some of what you can do:

  • See a graph of how each resource is being used.
  • Filter for specific reports or change the timeline view.
  • Collaborate with other team members (even those who work on a Windows platform).
  • Use how-to videos to help you learn quickly.

FastTrack Schedule also offers a wide variety of free and paid support services.

6. Project Planning Pro 

Project Planning Pro Project Management Software for Mac

This project management app is available for the Mac, iOS, and Android platforms. It lets you focus on managing your resources so your project runs smoothly. You can also take advantage of the different project views such as the calendar view, the Gantt view, the critical path view, and more, to see the information you need quickly.  The Project Planning Pro website includes some instructional videos as well as a PDF version of the user manual that you can download.

7. QuickPlan for Mac

QuickPlan

QuickPlan project management software for the Mac lets you use many keyboard shortcuts (gestures for iOS devices) to save you time. The Outline panel shows task properties in grid format. There's also a Gantt chart to help you see and maintain your project. The Today widget lets you quickly view what needs to be done right away. You can also produce reports in several formats, including PDF format and Microsoft Excel-compatible CSV format. QuickPlan also integrates with a many other software tools such as MS Project, WBS, Excel, and more. 

8. Daylite 

Daylite project management software for the Mac

Daylite was made for the Mac, iPad, and iPhone--but also synchs to the cloud. Use it on a wide variety of project types. It's especially good at keeping a history of project-related communications and tasks. Link resources to your project and define roles. Not only does it include many project management features, the additional features mean you can also use it as a CRM and lead management tool.  Daylite offers a large number of tutorials as well has help through live chat or by email.

Best Cloud-Based Mac Project Management Software 

The project management tools listed below are cloud-based. While they don't necessarily have a Mac version, they can be used on multiple platforms. Here's our list of cloud-based project management software for Macs:

1. Wrike 

Wrike project management software

Like most cloud-based project management tools, Wrike has great collaborative features. You'll also find the Gantt charts, workflows, status updates, and many other project management features you need. Real-time reports let you to build and instantly share reports. It also includes time-saving features like Dynamic Request, which automatically assigns a request to the right team.  Plus, your data is secure with enterprise class security. Wrike offers different levels of project management solutions based on your needs and the type of projects you manage.

2. Jira 

Jira Agile project management

This popular project management software tool is ideal for Agile software development project management projects that require Scrum, Kanban, and other Agile methods. Quickly get a project overview by viewing the Scrum or Kanban boards. You can also easily create over a dozen Agile reports, such as a Burnup chart, a Cumulative flow diagram, a Version report, and more. You can also add compatible apps that increase Jira's capabilities—choose from over 3,000.

3. Trello 

Trello project management

Trello is a cloud-based software management tool that lets you organize your projects on boards. You can see at a glance what tasks are completed and which remain to be done. You can use Trello to communicate with team members and share files. I've personally used this tool, so I can confidently say it's easy to use. Because Trello is always synched no matter what platform you're working from, the information you see is always current.

4. Mavenlink 

Mavenlink project management

This cloud-based project management tool lets you build project plans, create assignments, and schedule resources quickly and efficiently. Its focus is on the needs of service-based businesses and on meeting project needs at every phase of a service project's life cycle—build a Gantt chart, schedule tasks, and track each project's critical path. With the Global Project List that shows all your projects you can even use Mavenlink your business. Also, Mavenlink integrates with a huge number of other programs such as SalesForce, Atlassian Jira, Google Drive, Intuit Quickbooks, and more.

5. ProWorkflow 

ProWorkflow project management

With ProWorkflow, you'll find many helpful project management features such as:

  •  Workflows with custom categories, views, and grouping
  • Resource management so you can assign tasks and change deadlines quickly
  • Color-coded Gantt style timeline
  • Collaboration tools such as messaging and notifications 
  • And more

With the dashboard, you can quickly see a summary of your current status as well as view completed or upcoming work. ProWorkflow also has built-in messaging and resource management features. 

6. Clarizen 

Clarizen project management software

Clarizen is designed for collaboration. The cloud-based tool lets you control import aspects of your project such as risk and request management, task management, time tracking, and expense management. Create a schedule that lets you easily track and update your project's progress. Because Clarizen is cloud-based, you benefit from having a centralized document repository where you can store your files, presentations, and more. Learn how to use the tool quickly with Clarizen Foundation Training On Demand videos.

7. NutCache 

NutCache Agile project management

This project management tool, designed specifically for agile teams, makes the most of the cloud by providing you with centralized data. It's great for:

  • Project management
  • Scrum project management
  • Agile project management
  • Time tracking
  • Expense management
  • And more

Nutcache uses best-in-class security such as 256-bit SSL encryption and physical security measures as well to prevent account theft and keep your data secure. Plus, your data is backed up several times each day.

Choose the Best Mac Project Management Software for Your Needs

Project management needs vary. What's right for your business might not be right for another business. The key to choosing the right Mac project management software is carefully taking your own needs into consideration.

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