The last version of Microsoft Project on Mac died way back in 1994. Since then, Microsoft has never released its flagship project management software on Mac but the good news is, there are some superb alternatives available nowadays. We’ve looked at the best alternatives to Microsoft Project for Mac that support Gantt charts and Kanban boards. We’ve covered all needs and budgets here ranging from powerful Cloud based solutions to Mac desktop tools. All of them allow you to create effective Gantt charts on your Mac and some even have Kanban boards for agile project management.
Here then is our list of the best project management software for Mac that work as excellent replacements for MS Project.
Teamwork Projects really pushes the boat out when it comes to project management. From the way it looks on macOS to the way it accurately imports and exports MS Project files, it’s so much better to use than MS Project in almost every way. Teamwork Projects is all about helping employees, teams and PMs be more organized, cooperative and informed without getting in the way. Teamwork Projects features 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 MS Project but even integrate 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 an excellent project management tool.
Although 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 $9 per user/month or $15 per user/month for the enhanced Premium Plan with MS Project integration.
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.
Pricing: Free/$9+ per month
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.
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 on Mac for free before deciding whether it’s for you.
OmniPlan is easily the most popular native desktop project management app for macOS. OmniPlan is from Omni Group, the same team that created the excellent diagramming software OmniGraffle, probably the most popular native Mac alternative to Visio on Mac. OmniPlan is easier to use than Microsoft Project, imports MS Project files and looks great on a Mac because it’s designed specifically for macOS. OmniPlan uses a clear Gantt chart layout which gives you a very clear overview of what needs to be done. The smart thing is OmniPlan adjusts itself according to the resources you drag and drop into the project bars. OmniPlan supports importing and exporting of Microsoft Project files up to Microsoft Project 2016.
You can read our full review of OmniPlan for a more in-depth look.
You can also download and try a fully featured free 14 day trial of OmniPlan for Mac.
Pricing: $149.99 Mac App Store
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 business 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. 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: $9.80+/month – Free Trial
RationalPlan is one of the few project managements apps that includes Fixed Duration, Fixed Work and Fixed Units including Dependency Driven Durations for complex projects. RationalPlan can import files from Microsoft Project and displays projects using Gantt charts. RationalPlan also has a Mac desktop client but you can collaborate with other users in real-time using the web app.
RationalPlan comes in two versions: RationalPlan Single Project is suitable for those that just need to manage one project and RationalPlan Multi Project allows you to manage several projects at once. The trial versions of both can be used for an unlimited period of time although there is a limitation of 20 tasks (apart from on Linux where the Single version is completely free). After that, it’s $57 for the Single version or $98 for the multi version.
You can find start a free trial of RationalPlan and judge for yourself.
Pricing: 20 Tasks Free then Single version $57 or Multi version $98
Merlin Project is definitely one of the best looking project management tools for Mac users and uses an innovative “hybrid” approach to project planning. Merlin Project does both traditional and agile project management (Gantt meets Kanban) and has a slick interface that looks great on macOS. You can use Merlin Project with a Gantt chart layout which is excellent at showing the dependencies between multiple projects and potential problems. You can also use Kanban Boards as used by popular web-based collaboration tools like Trello. Just move work from your backlog to in progress, verifying and completed when done. Other useful tools include resource pools, groupings and a mind mapping tool to help you brainstorm ideas which it can then automatically breakdown into a project Gantt chart. There’s plenty of third-party integration with other apps including Excel, Dropbox and it can import Microsoft Project files.
There’s also a lighter version Merlin Project Express which is cheaper than the full app but only allows Gantt chart views. There’s a standalone Merlin iPad and iPhone app called Merlin Project Go that syncs with the desktop app via Merlin Server although it costs an extra $39.99. It can also be used on its own without purchasing Merlin Project if you just want a project management app for your iPad instead.
If you’re new to project management, Merlin Project is attractive, innovative and user-friendly. If you’re looking for a more modern Mac alternative to MS Project, Merlin Project is a great project management tool.
You can find full details of Merlin Project Pricing here.
You can start a free trial of Merlin Project to see for yourself.
SG Project Pro is a very powerful software for PMs designed specifically for Mac. Although SG Project Pro is less known than OmniPlan, it has a similar Gantt chart layout and offers almost all of the same features. The one major drawback is that there’s no support for importing or exporting MS Project files but if you don’t need that, then it’s as good as OmniPlan if not better in certain areas. Managing multiple projects that are ongoing at the same time is particularly well implemented giving you a clear overview of how resources have been deployed and any potential conflicts. SG Project Pro also has a companion iPad app which allows you to manage projects on the go although it’s limited in functionality and costs an extra $49.99 on top of the $174.99 for the Mac desktop app. There is also a lite version of SG Project which includes the basic features of SG Project Pro and costs $24.99 from the Mac App Store.
SG Project Pro is packed with essential project management features but doesn’t overwhelm you with hundreds of functions and tools that you’ll never use like Microsoft Project.
Pricing: $174.99 Mac App Store
ConceptDraw Project is a professional project management tool featuring a huge number of reports. It allows you to add hyperlinks and files to projects and displays the current status of your projects via Gantt charts. Everything is updated in real-time so project managers and participants are always up to date on what’s happening.
One of ConceptDraw’s strongest points is how powerful it is when it comes to importing files. It can import and export files not only from Microsoft Project but also from Microsoft Word and Excel so you don’t have to tediously manually input lines of text or data. ConceptDraw products are quite rich in features and take some getting used to but you also get a free personalized 30 minute one-one-one webinar with each purchase to help you get to grips with them.
You can get a free trial of ConceptDraw Project Pro project by signing-up for an account.
Pricing: $199 – Free Trial
iTaskX is a well designed PM tool made specifically for Mac. It’s surprisingly powerful and imports Microsoft Project MPP files. iTaskX supports over 60 different detailed task fields such as calculations for slack time, overtime, WBS codes and much more. Some of the features unique to iTaskX include cost rate tables for work and material resources, usage views which work similar to MS Project, support for all resource types (work, material, cost) and task types (fixed units, fixed duration, fixed work). iTaskX is highly customizable allowing you to customize fonts, bar labels and inserting graphics and images in schedules. iTaskX supports importing of MPP, MS Project XML and MS Project MPX files. Importing doesn’t always turn out perfectly – some formatting may be lost but this is the same for most replacements for Project and you can fix this manually. You can also export iTaskX files to XML, OPML, iCal and PDF format plus edit headers, footers and legends before printing.
You buy iTaskX direct from the developer for $140 for one user, $650 for 5 users, $1,200 for 10 users and $2,750 for up to 25 users.
By default, the iTaskX works as an unregistered demo for 14 days but you can also request to extend the trial if you need more time.
Pricing: Starts at $140.00 for one user
Project Plan 365 is a no fuss, powerful project planning app that has both a Mac desktop client and a Cloud version. Project Plan 365 can open MS Project files instantly in your browser with no downloads or plugins required. It opens MPP 2003-2016 files and you can edit, save and share files up to 2MB absolutely free but for a one-off purchase of $99, you can open and edit files of any size. Project Plan 365 doesn’t have the flashiest or slickest of interfaces but it’s incredibly good at working with MS Project files. You can maintain Work Breakdown Structures (WBS) and project schedules, easily assign resources (including people and material) and calculate project costs just as you would in Microsoft Project.
Project Plan 365 supports duration, work and unit driven scheduling and you can save projects to the cloud for access anywhere. You can work on the same projects with clients or colleagues in other locations. You can choose from a range of views including Gantt, Calendar, Task Sheet and Network Diagram and you can color coordinate them. You can also open projects in Resource Sheet, Resource Usage, Task Sheet and Task Usage views.
Project Plan 365 is a no fuss and versatile alternative to Project. You can try Project Plan 365 for Mac free for 30 days to find out for yourself.
Pricing: 2MB Free/$129.99 per user/year
NobPlan (formerly known as xPlan and Projector) is a really tasty looking project management app that offers those on a budget a slick tool for planning and tracking projects. NobPlan certainly looks good with 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.
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.
FastTrack Schedule is a slick project management tool that has lots of project templates, useful reports and even works on older PPC Macs. FastTrack Schedule has been around a long time on Mac and over the years more and more features have been added to make it an excellent PM tool. There are so many different tools and reports that it can be intimidating at first but from the minute you open it, there lots of video tutorials to help you get to grips with all of FastTrack Schedule’s features.
If you need something really high-end, we recommend trying the 21 day FastTrack Schedule free trial because at $349, it’s one of the most expensive project management apps for macOS available.
If you’re a real Excel Junkie, then Gantt Chart Excel Template might be of interest as it has a Mac desktop client. As the name suggests, Gantt Chart Excel Template isn’t actually an application – it’s modified template for Excel that allows you to create Project Management Gantt charts very quickly. The good thing about Gantt Chart Excel Junkie is that if you’re already a Whizz with Excel, then you’ll be up and running with it very quickly. Gantt Chart Excel Template is compatible with all versions of Microsoft Excel including 2007, 2010, 2011, 2013 and 2013.
When you open Gantt Chart Excel Template it looks like a version of Excel on steroids. The Excel ribbon has been customized to include a Gantt chart tab which includes tools to add Charts, Tasks, Milestones etc.
You can easily create cascading dependencies and easily see what impact new tasks will have on the final completion date.
You can create detailed project timelines with information such as task names, resources, task percentage completed, costs and other important elements. There are even project completion dashboards to clearly show you the status if your projects. And there is a cost module to help you get an overview of how your budget is doing.There are several other useful things you can do with Gantt Chart Excel Template too such as color customize projects, add holidays calendars, group tasks, filter tasks and more.
The best thing is Gantt Chart is free to use although the free version isn’t practical for regular use as it does not allow unlimited Gantt charts and tasks. However, for a very modest one-off payment of $59.95, you can download the Mac Ultimate version which offers full functionality and unlimited Gantt charts. There are also slightly cheaper Pro and Ultimate version but these do not work with Excel on Mac.
Although it’s not exactly a sophisticated alternative to Microsoft Project, Gantt Chart Excel Template is ideal for anyone that loves Excel and wants a cheap, effective solution on macOS.
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.
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
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.
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 Individual plan starts at $18 per month (limited to 10 project and 3GB of data) and goes up to $135 per month for Enterprise plans with no restrictions.
Pricing: $18+/month – Free Trial
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.
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/$5+ per month
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.
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.
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.
Of course, there are 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 – Free Trial
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.
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 – Free Trial
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 – Free Trial
Which Is The Best Alternative To MS Project?
Overall, we’ve found Teamwork 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.
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.
Are There Any Free Alternatives To 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 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.
Why Is There No Microsoft 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.