Tools of the Trade: Top 5 Open Source Project Management Software for Your Business

You can be the most efficient and most organised project manager on the block, but without the right systematic tools, project management can still be a daunting task. The good news is that there are plenty of project management tools readily available in the market, and quite a few can be used for free.

Free, open-source project management software is a must for start-ups that have yet realize a return on investment as well as other companies that are looking for cost-saving measures to improve their business processes. Here are five (5) free, open source project management tools to choose from.


Fully functional at free mode, Trello allows you to organise various tasks in an intuitive, easy to use platform. You can create several boards, checklists, labels, and attachments. It will remind you of due tasks and keep track of milestones. It’s easy to invite or add members and you can subscribe or unsubscribe from a project once your involvement is no longer necessary. Archiving and colour coding are possible. Minimal learning curve is needed.


Users of GanttProject have drawn comparisons between it and Microsoft Project. It offers similar features and functionalities as well as an export function to MS Project, but may prove to overwhelming to project management newbies. If you’re into graphs and charts, you will absolutely love the Gantt and PERT charts, as well as the ability to produce reports in HTML and PDF formats. Charting projects, building tasks and tracking milestone can be performed, but learning how to utilise all the software features and functions may take longer than expected.



No other project management tool could be prettier than MeisterTask. It goes beyond aesthetics, however; MeisterTask is as intuitive as could be and offers unlimited projects, users and storage; and is free to use with Windows, MacOS, iPhone and iPad.

It has a lovely customisable dashboard that is similar to Trello’s. Issue tracking, time tracking, instant updates are available; collaboration with both internal and external users is possible.


Freedcamp lets you manage unlimited projects, use unlimited storage and add unlimited users. It is optimised for communication and ensures that notifications are made available whenever there’s an update.

You can choose between Task List and Kanban (sticky Notes) and allows you to sync your Google Calendar.  The features to enjoy in the free version are probably all you’ll need at the start anyway: issue tracking, invoicing, project templates, Wiki creation and of course, task management. iOS application available.


Bitrix24 also offers unlimited use for an unlimited number of members, but limits storage to 5GB a month. It has extraordinary features that aren’t found in other open source online project management systems, such as layered task provisions, time tracking and management, workload planning and Gantt charts.

Real-time communication can be done within the system. There is no need for an external messaging app as video conferencing, instant messaging and group chats are available within the software. You can opt for cloud storage or use the company’s own server for hosting. Bitrix24’s functions and interface have been compared to that of Basecamp.

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