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The last version of Microsoft Project on Mac died way back in 1994.

Since then, Microsoft has never released another version of its flagship project management software on Mac but the good news is, there are some even better – and cheaper – options available.

There are however literally hundreds of project management solutions out there so here we’ve narrowed down the very best alternatives to Microsoft Project for Mac.

All of the tools featured here support Gantt Charts for managing project timelines or Kanban Boards for agile project management and are excellent at helping PMs develop plans, assign resources, track project progress and managing budgets.

Many of these solutions like the excellent Teamwork Projects work on Windows too so this article will also be of interest to PC users as well.

If you miss using Visio (which is also Windows only) alongside MS Project, you’ll find the apps featured here make a great complement to some of these Microsoft Visio alternatives on Mac.

Nowadays, without doubt the best project management tools are Cloud based and you’ll find we’ve focused on those in these reviews. However, there are also some simpler desktop project management apps for Mac available that are more suitable for freelancers and individuals.

If you’re on a really tight budget, there are also some free alternatives to MS Project that work on macOS but they impose strict limitations on what you can do with them.

Or if you just want to view a Microsoft Project file on your Mac, there are some free MS Project viewers for Mac that you can use instead.

Finally, if only the real thing will do, there is a way to run Microsoft Project on your Mac but it’s not a suitable solution for companies or teams and it works out more expensive than the solutions offered here.

Here then is our list of the best project management software for Mac that make excellent replacements for Microsoft Project.

1. Teamwork Projects (Free Version)

Teamwork Projects really pushes the boat out when it comes to project management and in our view, is the best alternative to Microsoft Project that Mac users can find.

Teamwork Projects has been around 2007 and is all about helping employees, teams and PMs be more organized, cooperative and informed without getting in the way.

It’s suitable for use in all industries although its particularly popular with marketing, creative, software and customer support teams.

From the way it feels like something made for macOS to the way it accurately imports and exports MS Project files, Teamwork Projects is also so much better to use than MS Project in almost every way.

Teamwork Projects also has the best integration with Microsoft Project of any project management software we’ve tried.

The Teamwork Microsoft Office add-on not only allows you to import and export to Microsoft Project but even integrate with Microsoft Project in real-time with it too.

Combined with clear, color coordinated Gantt Chart and Kanban project views, automated Triggers and Webhooks to alert others when work is complete and Zoho Reports integration, Teamwork Projects is a pleasure to use when it comes to project management.

teamwork projectsAlthough Teamwork is an enterprise project management tool, private individuals or freelancers can use it for free but note that free accounts are limited to just 2 projects and 100MB of storage.

Professional Plans start at a reasonable $9 per user/month but you’ll need the enhanced Premium Plan for MS Project integration which costs $15 per user/month.

You can find full details here on Teamwork Projects pricing.

You can try a 30 day free trial of any Plan with no credit card required.

You can also read our full Teamwork Projects review for a more in-depth look.

You can see a full comparison of how Teamwork Projects vs Microsoft Project compares below.

Teamwork Projects vs Microsoft Project

 Teamwork ProjectsMicrosoft Project Pro
Works on Mac
Gantt Charts
Kanban Boards
Import & Export MS Project
Project Overview Chart
Multiple Timelines
MS Project Integration-
Project Reports
Export (PDF/JPG)
Collaborate Online
Works on iPad/Android
Cloud Storage
EU Hosting Option
Free Trial
PriceFree / $9+/month
$30/month

Free Account

Pricing: Free/$9+ per month

2. Backlog

Backlog is a straightforward, slick, no-nonsense project management and although it’s aimed mainly at developers, it can easily be used by industries of all types.

Backlog is already used by some of the biggest companies out there including Adobe, SoftBank and TransferWise.

Bakclog is very task oriented and doesn’t bog you down with bloated features and tools.

What we like most about Backlog is the overall simplicity. Backlog makes it very easy to track projects and assess risks.

project managment tool mac - backlog

Backlog offers three ways to view your project timelines: Burndown Charts, Git Graphs (for developers) and of course, Gantt Charts.

Again, these are all very simple in layout and presentation but make it easy to focus on the essential tasks.

backlog gantt chart

The third party integration is limited in Backlog but still includes major products such as Jira, Slack and TypeTalk. You can also build your own integrations with Backlog’s API.

There are also iOS and Android apps so that you can manage and track projects from anywhere.

Pricing for Backlog starts at $35 per month for a Backlog Starter Plan which allows up to 30 users and 5 projects. The Standard Plan costs $100 per month which allows unlimited users, 100 projects and 30GB of storage. There are also Premium and Enterprise plans for an unlimited  number of users and projects starting at $175 per month.

You can try Backlog for free to judge for yourself.

Pricing: $35+/month

3. Wrike

Wrike is one of the most popular cloud based project management apps available and used by over 10,000 organizations worldwide.

Wrike is like a mix between project management tools Trello and Jira but in a slicker and more intuitive interface.

Wrike is very flexible and suitable for everything from creative projects to corporate project management and marketing campaigns.

When it comes to scheduling and project overviews, Wrike uses a classic Gantt chart timeline to help you see how you’re doing and make adjustments to project estimates.

microsoft-project-for-mac-wrike-gantt-chart

Wrike is also one of the most well-integrated apps we’ve seen and works with over 30 major apps such as Microsoft Office 365 including Microsoft Project, Google Drive, Dropbox, Box and OneDrive.

You can import MS Project files into the Professional and Business versions of Wrike as long as they are in MPP, MPX and XML format.

There are 4 main versions of Wrike, Free, Professional, Business and Enterprise plus an extra version Wrike for Marketeers which is designed specifically for marketing professionals.

You can get more information on Wrike pricing here.

You can try it for yourself as all plans have a free trial of Wrike.

Pricing: Free/$9.80+/month

4. SmartSheet

SmartSheet is a powerful online alternative to Microsoft Project which puts making Gantt charts easy at the center of its design.

It’s incredibly easy to get up and running with SmartSheet as the learning curve is minimal compared to most project management software but it does not skimp on features and capabilities.

microsoft project for mac - smartsheet for mac

SmartSheet is very easy to use and makes it simple to create timelines, calendars and share or collaborate on projects with other users.

If you need to work with Microsoft Project users, SmartSheet can import and export Microsoft Project files as well as PDF, PNG and other major formats.

Managing timelines is also easy allowing you to drag and drop tasks to change duration or completion dates and enter more information.

You can also add Milestones and choose whether you want them to have a knock-on effect on the rest of your tasks or not.

SmartSheet costs $10 a month for single users or $15 per month for team users of more than three people.

You can also try SmartSheet for free before deciding whether it’s for you.

Pricing: $10+/month

5. NobPlan (formerly xPlan)

NobPlan (formerly known as xPlan and Projector) is a good looking budget project management app that’s very slick for planning and tracking projects.

NobPlan features very smooth looking Gantt charts, integration with DropBox and iCloud and a companion iPad and iPhone app.

The main strength of NobPlan is the ability to cost projects in a simple manner and it can export data into several different formats easily.

It also allows you to import and export Microsoft Project files although only in the XML format that is open to developers – MPX format is not supported unfortunately.

If you’ve never used Gantt charts before and just need something fairly simple which looks good on Mac and doesn’t break the bank, NobPlan is a great start.

Pricing: $29.99

alternative to microsoft project on mac - xplan

 

6. ProjectManager.com

ProjectManager.com is a Cloud project management tool which provides an easy to use and colorful way to plan and track projects.

ProjectManager is a powerful Gantt chart software with major corporate customers such as Volvo, NASA and Nike using it.

You can import MPP files and although it’s web-based, there is a free iPad and iPhone app which syncs with it so you can edit projects anywhere.

The useful thing about ProjectManager.com is that multiple members of a team can log onto it at the same time and update tasks, roadmaps and reports in real-time.

There’s a 30 day free trial of ProjectManager.com and then pricing plans start from $25 a month for 1-5 users up to $45 a month for more than 10 users.

Pricing: $25+/month

projectmanager.com

7. LiquidPlanner

LiquidPlanner is a powerful software-as-a-service (SaaS) project management application aimed at technology teams.

LiquidPlanner is ideal for task management, project scheduling, and team collaboration in one application.

LiquidPlanner is suitable for agile environments but could also be easily deployed in waterfall environments too.

LiquidPlanner attempts to be a bit different from most software by using “predictive project management” to help identify issues, bottlenecks and problems before they arise.

The idea behind this is that you end up with more realistic deadlines due to the LiquidPlanner scheduling engine which automatically calculates dates for projects and task across the entire project timeline in real-time.

microsoft project for mac - liquidplanner schedule

If you already use a CRM software on your Mac, you can integrate LiquidPlanner into major CRM platforms such as Salesforce and Zapier.

If you want to integrate into a specific application, there’s a RESTful API to connect to other services.

LiquidPlanner starts at $9.99 per user per month for small businesses and $39 for larger enterprises although it depends on how many users you need it for.

Your best bet is to try the free trial of LiquidPlanner to judge for yourself before subscribing.

Pricing: $9.99+/month – Free Trial

 

8. ProofHub

ProofHub is an online project management solution that’s used by everyone from freelancers to large corporations.

It’s designed for project of all size and industries and according to the developers, is already used by companies such as Netflix, Google, Disney and NASA.

One of the main attractions of ProofHub is its accessibility and ease of use for all technical abilities. This is partly because ProofHub feels a little bit like a Google product with a navigational interface like Google Docs and an instant messenger client that’s not unlike GChat.

Although you can use a Gantt chart style overview of your projects, it’s not at the center of ProofHub.

microsoft project for mac - proofhub gantt chart

You can navigate ProofHub using the different tabs at the top such as the Tasks bar which allows you to add, modify and set the priority of tasks and jobs.

You can breakdown tasks into subtasks with ProofHub and easily assign tasks to different members of your team. If you need to switch to a Gantt chart view of your timeline, you can do using the Gantt tab.

Outside of the main taskbar across the top, the ProofHub chat client allows you to start direct chats, group chats and includes chart history and emojis.

There are also advanced features such as IP restrictions, white label branding of the client and advanced search tools.

The developer is also constantly updating ProofHub with new features and has recently added Kanban, third-party integrations and an iOS app.

There’s a lot more to ProofHub and you can check out the full list of features here.

You can try ProofHub for free but a basic Essential plan starts at $45 per month (limited to 40 projects and 15GB of data) and goes up to $89 per month for Enterprise plans with no restrictions.

Pricing: $45+/month

 

9. Redbooth

Redbooth is one of the cheapest solutions we’ve seen with the most expensive plan costing just $15 per month.

Redbooth is actually free for users that only need up to 2GB of storage and 5 work spaces but this includes Gantt charts, unlimited comments and conversations and free integration with Google Drive, Slack and Dropbox.

Redbooth is extremely streamlined with a very simple interface that clearly shows tasks in progress and tasks to be done.

You can prioritize tasks, and easily delegate and assign work by tagging members of your team.

project for mac - redbooth mac

There are several ready-made project templates in Redbooth and you can customize them how you want. You can then re-use customized templates when you start a new project.

Other useful features in Redbooth include spreadsheet importing, @mentions, hashtags, external user invites, email notifications and a Google Chrome extension.

One other nice touch is integration with Gmail which means you can turn emails into tasks instantly.  There are also native apps for iPad, iPhone, Android and even Apple Watch to keep track of your projects.

Redbooth is for anyone that wants a basic but functional project management app that won’t break the bank.

You can try a fully featured version of Redbooth free for 30 days.

Pricing: Free/$9+ per month

 

10. Active Collab

Active Collab offers both cloud based and self hosted software that keeps things extremely simple but does not lack power.

Active Collab has a clear and distraction free interface with plenty of handy features.

One of the things we like most about Active Collab is the Estimated v Tracked Time feature which makes it easy to see where things are getting out of hand.

project for mac - active collab dashboard

There’s also a useful un-invoiced report which monitors work which hasn’t been invoiced for and a workload report which allows easy macro management of project personnel.

Other nice touches include up to 500GB of file sharing space, Gantt charts accessible to everyone and Kanban Boards for collaboration.

The online version includes integration with major online storage and payment solutions such as Dropbox, Google Drive and PayPal but you can also install Active Collab locally to utilize local storage servers instead.

Active Collab starts at $25 a month for the cloud hosted version but starts at $999 for the self hosted version.

You can try Active Collab free for 30 days.

Pricing: $7+/month

 

11. Celoxis

Celoxis is an advanced Indian based online and on-premise project management tool but still remains surprisingly easy to use.

Celoxis is used by companies as notable as HBO, LG and Rolex for project management indicating just how powerful it is.

One of the best features of Celoxis is the real-world scheduling engine which calculates project times automatically based on dependencies, constraints and calendars so that you don’t have to do all the number crunching yourself.

microsoft project for mac - celoxis

Of course, there are also Gantt charts which can be edited via keyboard shortcuts and a very useful portfolio report which can assimilate and report on several projects at once.

Free online file storage and sharing is limited to 2GB but you can pay $10 for every extra 10GB which is quite steep but flexible.

Other features include time tracking, invoicing and extensive reports.

Celoxis starts at $25 per month for the online version but goes up to $450 per month for the on-premise version.

Pricing: $25+/month

 

12. Clarizen

Clarizen is a cloud based project management tool which tries to take the hard work out of project management.

One way it does this is via the Project Highlight Report which automatically summarizes essential project information, status, pending issues etc.

There’s also a Portfolio Optimizer which automatically suggests areas where you can make improvements including running “what-if” scenarios such as budget changes, date changes and personnel adjustments.

project for mac - clarizen

Online storage is limited to 1GB per user although you can use Dropbox and Google Drive.

Other useful tools include Gantt charts, brainstorming discussions and timesheets.

Clarizen pricing is done on a per-client needs basis but you can also try a free trial.

Pricing: On Request

 

13. Mavenlink

Mavenlink is a highly accomplished cloud based software which is used by companies such as Buzzfeed, CocaCola and SalesForce.

Mavenlink features everything you’d expect in a PM app such as Gantt Charts, resource utilization, comprehensive customizable reports and budget status.

Mavenlink is a very advanced tool designed for the needs of large enterprises with an upper online file storage limit of 1TB.

However, small teams can still use it from $19 per month and if you think your organization is going to grow significantly, it’s definitely worth a looking at.

Pricing: $19+/month

microsoft project mac - mavenlink gantt chart

Which Is The Best Microsoft Project For Mac Alternative?

Overall, we’ve found Teamwork Projects is the best of the bunch because it’s so well thought and we really love the Microsoft Project syncing tool. It also looks like an app that was designed for macOS which perfectly fits the Apple aesthetic.

Backlog takes a simpler approach but we like the way it keeps things incredibly simple and makes it easy to keep focused on the essential. It’s particularly good as a software development project management tool.

All of the solutions featured here are excellent Gantt chart tools and the best one for you depends on whether you want a cloud or desktop solution, need MPP file support and what your budget will allow.

To help get a better overview of how the apps here compare side-by-side, check out the comparison table below.

Microsoft Project For Mac Alternatives Compared

 Teamwork ProjectsWrikeSmartSheetNobPlanProjectManager.comLiquidPlannerProofHubRedboothActive CollabCeloxisClarizenMavenlink
Gantt Charts
Kanban Boards
Import & Export MS ProjectXML OnlyXML Only
MS Project Integration
Export (PDF/JPG)
Collaborate Online
Project Reports
Works on iPad/Android
Cloud Storage
EU Hosting Option
PriceFree / $9/m+
$9.80/m$10/m$29.99$15+/m$9.99/m$45+/m$9/m$7/m$25/mOn Request$19+/m

Free Account

Free Trial

Free Trial

Free Trial

Free Trial

Free Trial

Free Trial

Free Trial

Free Trial

Free Trial

Free Trial

Free Trial

Are There Any Free Alternatives To MS Project On Mac?

The simple answer is there’s nothing for free that can compete with an enterprise application like Microsoft Project.

However, the free versions of some of the apps featured in this article come pretty close but they all have restrictions.

The Free Forever Plan of Teamwork Projects is an excellent free alternative to MS Project but unless you upgrade to a paid plan, you can only do 2 projects and use 100MB of storage.

There are also a few Java based options for Mac users which are either free or open source but we generally don’t recommend using Java on Mac unless absolutely essential.

For more information, check out our look at the best free alternatives to Microsoft Project on Mac.

Is There A Google Equivalent Of Microsoft Project?

Surprisingly, Google doesn’t offer its own Project Management software but most of the apps here do offer integration with Google Drive.

Some PM apps like Gantter even offer a Google Chrome plugin that integrates with Google Calendar, Google Hangouts, Google Drive and Google Team Drive.

Why Hasn’t Microsoft Released Project For Mac?

Quite simply Microsoft decided long ago it wasn’t worth the effort and resources to develop a version of Project for the Mac market.

The market for Mac users is a lot smaller than for Windows and it would require Microsoft to develop and maintain an entirely different product on macOS.

The same applies to other Windows only programs such as Access, Visio and Publisher.

If after all this you feel you really can’t live without MS Project then read our guide on how to run MS Project on a Mac.

We strongly recommend using one of the alternatives featured here though as running Windows on your Mac can be slow, inefficient and you don’t get all the same functionality as you would on Windows anyway.

If you have any questions, problems or suggestions regarding the apps featured here, let us know in the comments below.

About The Author

MacHow2
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MacHow2 is devoted to helping you get the most of of your Mac. We're passionate about all things Mac whether it's helping users with software recommendations or solving technical problems. If you've got any comments about this article, get involved by leaving a comment below. You can also contact us directly using the contact form at the top of the site. Please note that in the interests of transparency, MacHow2 may sometimes receive compensation from link clicks or vendors.

21 Responses

  1. MacHow2
    Olin Reams

    Nice review of our ConceptDraw PROJECT product. I wanted to add a few items to the list. 1) the three ConceptDraw products are available in a bundle that saves on the purchase price, 2) no-charge support (phone and web) is available to all customers, and 3) we offer a free 30 minute one-on-one orientation ConceptDraw webinar that helps launch individuals and teams quickly.

    Reply
  2. MacHow2
    ChristianGeek

    I’m not sure if it’s changed since your article, but LiquidPlanner’s cheapest plan is $9.99 PER USER per month, with a minimum of 5 users. In other words, at least $49.95/month.

    Reply
  3. MacHow2
    Phen

    Very helpful article, but I wanted to clarify a few items.

    First, Microsoft did create a version of Project for Mac. They terminated support after Project 4.0 back in the early 90s. Too bad, because many project management organizations wouldn’t support Macs for years because they couldn’t run Project.

    Second, the reason that so many free and open source (FOSS) projects are in Java is for cross-platform support (I’m sure you know that, but just sayin’…). Java doesn’t cause bad user interfaces. Other than truly platform-unique UI capabilities (e.g. Force Touch), you can create most any user interface with native Java, just as you can with a native toolkit. The challenges are that Java apps often use Windows or Linux styles and metaphors which drive us Mac users nuts! Also, these apps are often older than native or Web-based alternatives (the Mac and Web have only gotten popular for most biz software in the past few years, but Java has been popular for FOSS for nearly 20 years), and their UIs are often just out of date. In addition, it seems that many of the “free” tools that are slick and native are just “teaser” versions of commercial products and not really FOSS. Good UI requires hard work, and that requires skilled labor and time, both of which are usually in short supply on FOSS projects.

    I would also hesitate to refer to Java as bug-ridden or insecure. Java applets (via the browser plug-in) are/were very insecure, and they have been largely deprecated. Java on the desktop doesn’t appear to be any more of a security risk than any other technologies (how many times have you updated your Flash plug-in, macOS, MS Office, etc., during the last year due to security issues?). A substantial chunk of the FOSS available for the Mac is based entirely or largely on Java (LibreOffice, NeoOffice, etc.).

    Again, thanks for an excellent review!

    Reply
    • MacHow2
      MacHow2

      Thanks for the thoughtful feedback and clarification about MS Project on Mac back in the 1990’s. I agree that Java is so Windows focused that it’s never translated well on Mac. Apple stopped officially supporting Java years ago and for Mac users and although security and usability has definitely improved on Windows, it’s simply not worth the hassle for Mac users anymore. But you make some very valid points and thanks again for taking the time to share them!

      Reply
  4. MacHow2
    Karl Smith

    Wow! Thank you this exhaustive write up and comparison. My team evaluated each one and then we finally went with the Gantt chart excel template. This one was a gem of a find, we use excel and it fits our budget perfectly.

    Reply
  5. MacHow2
    Suzan Brown

    I was looking to switch from Microsoft and hit this jackpot! Thank a lot for sharing this post. Wrike and LiquidPlanner both look interesting. I will give both of them a try.

    Reply
  6. MacHow2
    James

    Very useful, thank you for taking time to cover this, helped me out tremendously providing options for taking my plans from pc to mac and back. (preferred o/s).

    Reply

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