• Best for simple project needs: Trello
  • Best for customization of big projects: Clickup
  • Best for upgrading tech stacks: Zoho Projects
  • Best for collaboration on a budget: Asana
  • Best for research notes: Evernote
  • Best for enterprises and large teams: Basecamp
Microsoft logo.
Image: Microsoft

Microsoft Planner is one of the many business solutions available in a Microsoft 365 subscription. It offers classic project management tools like different work views for personalization, integrations with outside apps and task-tracking options. With the subscription, you get access to several other Microsoft applications as well. The software itself is great, but it may not be the best fit for everyone.

In this list, we explore a number of competitors and alternatives with similar features. If you want to learn a little more about Microsoft Planner and its capabilities, you should first see our review of the software.

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Top Microsoft Planner competitors and alternatives: Comparison table

If you’re looking for quick facts on the software featured in this article check out the table below.

IntegrationsMultiple work viewsFree trialFree planPricing
Microsoft PlannerYesYesYesNoStarting price $6 per user per month
TrelloYesYesYesYesStarting price $5 per user per month
ClickUpYesYesYesYesStarting price $5 per user per month
Zoho ProjectsYesYesYesYesStarting price $4 per user per month
AsanaYesYesYesYesStarting price $10.99 per user per month
EvernoteYesYesYesYesStarting price $129.99 per user per year
BasecampYesYesYesNoStarting price $15 per user per month

Featured partners

Trello: Best for simple project needs

Logo for Trello.
Image: Trello

Teams that don’t have super complex projects and prefer something easy to get started with can appreciate Trello. It’s beginner-friendly; and while it may not be overflowing with features, it thrives in minimalist design.

Features

  • Multiple work views including Kanban, table, calendar, map, timeline and dashboard.
  • Custom fields for project-specific needs.
  • Task management for assigning each team member different project parts.
  • Ability to integrate with over 200 applications.
  • Mobile versions for iOS and Android.

Pros

  • All plans have unlimited storage for their workspace (but there are individual file limits).
  • Intuitive and easy to learn.
  • The free plan comes with two-factor authentication.
  • Affordable for big teams and freelancers.
  • Great for Agile Scrum workflows with a sprint system.

Cons

  • Different work views are limited between plans, i.e. Free and Standard only have Kanban.
  • The premium tier can only deactivate members.
  • Enterprise plan has most of the admin controls like governance and user provisioning.
  • Not the best platform for detailed projects with extensive data to organize.

Pricing

  • Trello offers annual and monthly pricing, per user, per month.
  • Plans available are Free, Standard, Premium and Enterprise.
  • Standard is $5 per user/month, billed annually; $6 per user/month, billed month-to-month.
  • Premium is $10 per user/month, billed annually; $12.50 per user/month, billed month-to-month.
  • Enterprise is $17.50 per user/month, billed annually. It has no month-to-month option.

For more information, read our review of Trello.

Clickup: Best for customization of big projects

Logo for ClickUp.
Image: ClickUp

ClickUp is a project management tool for all-purpose needs. You will have access to automation, custom work views, collaboration and high-level security. If you’re looking for an array of tools and features to personalize your workspace and stay on top of projects, then you should consider Clickup.

Features

  • Multiple work views to personalize your workspace including Kanban, timeline, table, map and more.
  • Unlimited file storage for paid plans.
  • Built-in option for video recording.
  • Time tracking and reporting for staying on top of tasks.
  • Natural language processing (NLP) can be used for scheduling in all plans.
  • Workspace templates available to make setup easier for your team.
  • ClickUp AI add-on for writing and editing content.

Pros

  • Task automation for streamlining workflow.
  • All plans have access to over 50 native integrations.
  • All plans have at least two-factor authentication.
  • 24/7 support (via Help Center) is available for all subscriptions, including the Free plan.
  • Feature-rich enough to handle Agile Scrum projects with higher volumes of data or information.

Cons

  • You need the Business plan to remove branding from emails.
  • Only Business Plus and Enterprise can create custom roles for team members.
  • Scrum teams may not like that only the Business plan has sprint reporting.
  • Only Enterprise can have HIPAA compliance.
  • Guests on paid plans are limited and charged unless they are view-only.
  • The software can get pricey the more users and guests you add.

Pricing

  • Clickup plans allow both annual and monthly pricing based on each user, per month.
  • Subscriptions include Free Forever, Unlimited, Business, Business Plus and Enterprise.
  • Unlimited is $5 per user/month, billed annually; $9 per user/month, billed month-to-month.
  • Business is $12 per user/month, billed annually; $19 per user/month, billed month-to-month.
  • Business Plus is $19 per user/month, billed annually; $29 per user/month, billed month-to-month.
  • Enterprise has custom pricing.

For more information, read our full ClickUp review.

Zoho Projects: Best for upgrading tech stacks

The Zoho Projects logo.
Image: Zoho Projects

Zoho Projects, like Microsoft Planner, is part of a suite of business software solutions. It can integrate with Zoho’s brand — full of applications to help with marketing, analytics and collaboration. If you’re looking for another powerful tool that comes with more for the price, then Zoho Projects is worth taking a peek at.

Features

  • Multiple work views like Gantt charts, kanban and lists for project visualizations.
  • Task dependency is available, so certain steps are not completed out of order.
  • Integrations with the Zoho suite including Zoho CRM, Zoho Analytics and Zia AI chatbot.
  • Also integrates with Google and Microsoft products, as well as Slack, Zapier and Zendesk.
  • Time tracking for tasks and employees.
  • Custom statuses for tasks with unique steps.

Pros

  • List product pros as bullet points. They can be sentences or short phrases, but keep them brief and end each one with a period.
  • Has problems tracking to catch issues with notifications or links.
  • Teams have unlimited projects in Premium and Enterprise.
  • Large amounts of storage space, from 5GB in Free to 100 GB in the next plan up.

Cons

  • List product cons as bullet points. They can be sentences or short phrases, but keep them brief and end each one with a period.
  • The Free plan only allows two projects and no exporting.
  • Custom roles capability is only available in Enterprise.
  • No guest users except read-only users, which are only available in Enterprise and are capped at 10.

Pricing

  • Zoho Projects has three plans with options for annual and monthly billing.
  • Plans include Free, Premium, and Enterprise.
  • Premium is $4 per user/month, billed annually; $5 per user/month, billed monthly.
  • Enterprise is $9 per user/month, billed annually; $10 per user/month, billed monthly.

For more information, read our full Zoho Projects review.

Asana: Best for collaboration on a budget

The Asana logo.
Image: Asana

Asana is a popular project management tool with some of the best capabilities for collaboration, such as multiple work views, customization, integrations and the ability to add unlimited guests to a paid account. If you don’t need full access for every collaborator, Asana is one way to get powerful functionality while offering cost savings.

Features

  • Multiple work views such as lists, calendars, boards and forms.
  • Over 100 integrations with apps like Microsoft Teams, Adobe CC, Slack and Tableau.
  • Custom fields and coloring for personalized labels.
  • Workflow Builder for task and task assignment automation.
  • Admin console for managing team members, insights, payment and security.
  • Ability to add task dependencies so there’s an order of operations to your project.
  • Mobile version for iOS and Android.

Pros

  • You can view workloads to get the current status of your team’s progress.
  • The free plan comes with 15 users, unlimited projects, integration access and multi-factor authentication.
  • The Premium plans offer teams unlimited free guests to their accounts.
  • Asana Intelligence to help your team with resource management.
  • Large teams with contractors can benefit from unlimited, free guests.

Cons

  • Can have a strong learning curve for beginners.
  • 24/7 support is only available on the Enterprise plan.
  • Guests can’t create or add anything to a workspace for team collaboration; you need to buy more seats.
  • The Free plan doesn’t allow guests and isn’t ideal for big teams.

Pricing

  • Asana has both annual and monthly billing.
  • There are three plans: Free, Premium and Business.
  • Premium is $10.99 per user/month, billed annually; $13.49 per user/month, billed monthly.
  • Business is $24.99 per user/month, billed annually; $30.49 per user/month, billed monthly.

For more information, read our comparison of Asana and Microsoft Planner.

Evernote: Best for research notes

Evernote logo.
Image: Evernote

Evernote is an affordable choice for personal, freelance and small team projects. If your workflow includes taking endless notes and saving research, ideas and drawings, then Evernote is worth looking into.

Features

  • Customizable home page to focus on your preference of task or information
  • Teams can utilize built-in encryption in their notebooks (on Mac and Windows).
  • Include reminders in your notes so you can avoid losing track of important tasks or information.
  • Users can save searches to jump back into important
  • Character recognition search that can check images, PDFs and handwritten notes.
  • Teams can enjoy uninterrupted workflow with offline access to notebooks.
  • Teams can use integrations like Slack, Salesforce, Microsoft Teams and Google Drive.
  • Drawing tools for sketching and handwriting notes.

Pros

  • Two-factor authentication is allowed in all plans.
  • You can easily share your notebook in all plans.
  • You can share notes with view and edit restrictions even in the Free plan.
  • Free is a good option for freelancers or personal organizational needs.

Cons

  • Most plans are designed for personal use, and only the Evernote Teams plan will work for large teams.
  • Only Evernote Teams has real support; all other plans submit requests on a ticketing system.
  • Free does not include integrations.
  • Only the Professional tier lets you export notebooks as PDFs.

Pricing

  • Evernote has both annual and monthly pricing.
  • Subscriptions include Free, Personal, Professional and Evernote Teams.
  • Personal is $129.99 per user for the year and $14.99 per user month-to-month.
  • Professional is $169.99 per user for the year and $17.99 per user month-to-month.
  • Evernote Teams is $20.83 per user/month for the year and $24.99 per user month-to-month.

Basecamp: Best for enterprises and large teams

Logo for Basecamp.
Image: Basecamp

Basecamp is a project management tool designed to be budget friendly for bigger teams with equally big projects. They have a subscription for smaller teams as well at $15 per user a month, but their unlimited users plan for one monthly fee of $299 makes them especially useful for bulk needs. You can stay on top of tasks with reporting and direct message teammates in the software.

Features

  • Different work views including Kanban, timeline and one-page dashboard
  • Direct messaging in-app and the ability to create groups.
  • Communication preferences to set boundaries in your team.
  • Real-time insights into project activity.
  • Connect your favorite applications as “doors” in Basecamp like Adobe CC, Slack and Zoho.

Pros

  • Basecamp Pro Unlimited offers unlimited users for a flat fee each month.
  • Unlimited projects in both plans.
  • Teams can invite guests to their projects for free.
  • 30-day free trial with no credit card down.
  • Can be affordable for companies that want access for the majority of their team.

Cons

  • No free plan, and the two that it has are expensive.
  • Fewer customization capabilities to personalize your workspace.
  • It’s not as feature-rich as other project management tools, which may not make it worth the price.
  •  Not as many work views for your workspace.
  • You need a moment to get past the learning curve.

Pricing

  • Basecamp has two plans: Basecamp and Basecamp Pro Unlimited.
  • Basecamp is $15 per user per month, billed monthly.
  • Basecamp Pro Unlimited is $299 per month, billed annually; $349 a month, billed monthly.

For more information, read our review of Basecamp.

Is Microsoft Planner worth it?

Microsoft Planner is brimming with functionality. Teams have multiple ways to personalize their workspace and can access their data from desktop and mobile versions while on the go. You can get specific insights into individual task status using pie and bar charts.

If your team has been considering a Microsoft 365 subscription, then Microsoft Planner is certainly an added benefit. The cost can get expensive if you have a large or growing team, but with it comes top-tier productivity tools.

You will have access to PowerPoint for presentations, Word for writing up reports on instructional materials and other Project management tools like OneNote. Teams with multifaceted projects that need to store and organize large volumes of data and research can greatly benefit from classics like Excel and Access.

Whether Microsoft Planner is the best choice for you comes down to whether your team has used and enjoys using Microsoft applications. A Microsoft 365 subscription is a great deal for the price, but it will never be worth it if you’re only buying it for one application.

Microsoft Planner pros and cons

With a project tool like Microsoft Planner, there is so much that you can do with it. However, it can be a double-edged sword for some. While it doesn’t include all possible notes, the table covers some important pros and cons:

ProsCons
Offers three work views, board (kanban), chart and schedule (calendar)No Gantt charts
Integrates with powerful Microsoft tech stackSteep learning curve
30-day free trial (requires a credit card)No free plan

Microsoft Planner pricing

Teams that want to use Microsoft Planner will need to buy a Microsoft 365 subscription. You can get the software in the Business and Enterprise plans. All plan tiers are priced per user per month and billed annually.

The lowest-priced Business plan is Microsoft 365 Business Basic, which costs $6.00 per user per month. The highest offered tier is Microsoft 365 Business Premium, which will set you back $22.00 per user per month.

In the Enterprise offerings, the lowest plan is Microsoft 365 F3 at $8.00 per user per month, and the highest is Microsoft 365 E5 at $57.00 per user per month.

Do you need an alternative to Microsoft Planner?

Microsoft Planner is a highly integrated software in the Microsoft 365 subscription, and it can lose its value to you personally if you don’t need or want that subscription. Teams that aren’t used to Microsoft products may experience a higher learning curve and will need to plan to adjust their tech stack to do so.

If you’re unsure or want to decide as a team, check out all of the software on this list. Many of them have free plans you can use to test drive the software. For those that don’t have a free plan, you can watch some YouTube tutorials of the application together with your team. The people who can help you choose the best project management tool are the ones who plan to use it.

Methodology

When it came to making this list, we considered alternatives that could offer more affordable services as well as software well suited to bigger companies. Microsoft products are full of high-end office features, but for alternatives, we included project management software for users that aren’t huge Microsoft fans. Each application on the list has its own unique assets for all sorts of project needs.

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