Project planning tool evaluations

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Supports resource management/leveling

The primary challenge we face when trying to plan/schedule projects is that many team members have skills in several different areas and only a handful of team members have skill in some areas. It can require considerable experimentation with resource allocation (assigning team members to tasks) to ensure that projects are completed as quickly as possible and with the most efficient use of our team members. Many project management tools allow resources to be allocated to different tasks and then allow the user to manually schedule the tasks and see whether resource conflicts occur. However, with many tasks and resources it is incredibly time consuming to do this for each resource allocation under consideration. We need a tool which automates this process by providing a way (sometimes called resource leveling) to click a button and have the tasks rescheduled so that dependencies are satisfied and no resource is overscheduled.


Subteam leads should be able to provide estimates concurrently and it should be easy for anyone to be able to see the latest schedule. This implies that the tool is an online/collaborative tool.


Should cost less than $200/year for all of leadership and most mentors (~20 people) to be able to edit and all team members (~75 people) to be able to view the schedule. This typically rules out any tool that has per-user pricing. GoDaddy provides some tools for free and allows installation of some other tools, though not ones that require long running processes (e.g. ones based on Java). In some cases self-hosting at Digital Ocean may be practical/affordable.

Usable from mobile devices

Many team members find it more convenient to to use their phones than a desktop app.

Open source

Avoids vendor lock-in.

Tools evaluated


This is what we've ended up going with. Only downsides are that it is not open source and does not have a working mobile app for Android and the $5 iOS app has received very negative reviews.


Supposedly supports resource leveling and is collaborative and open source. However, we would need to self-host and there does not appear to be mobile support. There is an Android app but it doesn't look like it only supports time tracking, not planning.

MS Project

Supports resource leveling but the desktop version is not collaborative and the online version is too expensive. Also, not open source.

Calligra Plan

Supports resource leveling and is open source, but is desktop only and support for Windows/Mac is preliminary. No mobile support.