Five Best Personal Project Management Tools

Five Best Personal Project Management Tools
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It’s easy to find a project management tool for large groups, but finding one for personal use that doesn’t overwhelm you with group-focused features is a challenge. Here’s a look at five popular tools for personal project management.

Photo by Brittany.

The spread on this week’s Hive Five was wide reaching. The answers you provided to the question “What is the best personal project management tool?” are, unsurprisingly, quite diverse and personal. We tallied up the votes, and in some cases folded very similar tools into a combined entry, and now we’re back to report on your favourite personal project management tools.

Todoist (Web-Based, Free)

Todoist is a full featured to-do and project management tool well suited for personal project management. You can easily sort your tasks into project and sub-projects, manage the tasks within the project with further sub-lists, and assign due dates to everything. Todoist integrates with Gmail for easy movement between your email inbox and your project management inbox.

mGSD (Web-Based, Free)

Formerly known as MonkeyGTD, mGSD is a robust, TiddlyWiki-powered personal management tool. Whether or not you’re an adherent of David Allen’s Getting Things Done system or not—but especially if you are—mGSD is packed with features for managing your projects in GTD style. You can easily flag inputs as next actions, part of a new or existing project, send them over to your tickler file for future reminders, or stash them as reference material. You can store mGSD on any remote web server (or your Dropbox account) for remote access or keep the file local for easy transport on your flash drive.

Tom’s Planner (Web-Based, Free)

If Gantt charts are a big part of your workflow and project planning, Tom’s Planner is an intuitive Gantt chart tool that works nicely as a personal project management tool. Unlike most traditional Gantt charts that display the data after you input it elsewhere, Tom’s Planner has a strong focus on ease of use including on-the-fly, mouse-based tweaking of your charts. You can take it for a test run here, and make sure to pay special attention to the functionality of the right-click mouse button.

Things (Mac, $US49.95)

Things is a polished to-do and project management tool exclusive to Mac OS X and iOS. The interface is easy to navigate, keyboard shortcuts are abundant, and it’s extremely well integrated into the core applications of the Mac like iCal. Moving tasks about, organizing them into projects, and linking them into your calendar is easy peasy. All your tweaking in the main application easily syncs with your iPhone, iPad, and other iOS devices.


It was quite a neck and neck battle between OneNote, Evernote, and basic text capture. In light of their roles primary as note taking and organisation tools—and the diverse nature of the vote spread this week—we took the liberty to roll them together into one entry. OneNote is a Windows-only offering commonly bundled with Microsoft Office that offers excellent project management via notebooks and their accompanying pages and sub-pages. Evernote is a web and mobile device-based capture tool the personal project manager of choice for many people. If you’re already using Evernote to capture all the inputs in your life, using it to manage your projects and organise related tasks and material is relatively easy. Finally, a significant number of readers eschewed all the bells and whistles of fancy tools like OneNote and Evernote and managed all their projects using basic text documents.

Have a personal project manager to share that we overlooked? Let’s hear about it in the comments.


  • I hope I don’t sound too commercial-like as I am one of the programmers of this app but maybe I can add another one to this list: TheDeadline (

    If you hate apps where you need to fill complicated forms with priorities, project dependencies and what not just to create a new todo TheDeadline is the right tool for you. Writing a todo is as simple as writing a tweet.

    You don’t waste time creating accounts for all your collaborators in a todo. TheDeadline automatically invites the people you want to work with that don’t have an account yet.

    If you don’t have the time to check the status of all your todos, get a quick overview just by reading the messages from your personal assistant Eve. Her behaviour is controlled by an artificial intelligence algorithm – a so-called expert system.

    TheDeadline has many more features like Google Apps integration, keyboard shortcuts and todo submit via e-mail but to be honest there are also some areas left for improvement.

    We would be glad if you give it a try (it’s free), have some fun working with it and maybe even provide some feedback 🙂

  • For comments, it may be advantageous to keep in mind the fact that this article was about “Personal” project management. I see two comments noting group project management software.

  • We use ( Proofhub, an enterprising project management tool. We are thoroughly enjoying our work with it and getting the quality results. Its proofing tool and casper mode features have been a great hit with us. We are enjoying the difference it has made to our work and lives.

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