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Unfortunately, Microsoft Project is not available for Mac so we’ve looked at best project management software on macOS that are the best equivalents to MS Project.

The last version of Microsoft Project for Apple devices was released way back in 1993 and was discontinued long ago.

If you’re wondering why there’s been no version of MS Project on a Mac since then, Microsoft simply decided to invest all its efforts into the Windows version rather than the relatively small Mac user market.

The good news is there are some excellent project management tools now available for Mac users, many of which can import Microsoft Project files, create Gantt charts, support team collaboration, do scheduling and allocation and provide detailed analytics.

After extensive research, we found that that by far the best Microsoft Project for Mac alternative is Project Plan 365 which is the closest thing to having MS Project on macOS.

In these reviews, we selected Mac compatible project management tools that are suitable for a wide range of industries including Digital Agencies, Event Planning, Construction Companies, Marketing Teams, Manufacturing, HR Teams and Software Developers.

They’re also all compatible with the latest versions of macOS including Big Sur, Catalina and the latest M1 Macs.

Microsoft Project For Mac: Does It Exist?

Microsoft has never released a Mac version of Microsoft Project but the closest thing to MS Project on a Mac is Project Plan 365.

Project Plan 365 not only looks and works like Microsoft Project but it’s also the only project management app that can import, edit and save MS Project files in the MPP format.

It also has an excellent Mac desktop app so it can be used offline but syncs online with the Cloud version too.

It can also be used simply to open Microsoft Project files on a Mac for free if you just want a Microsoft Project Viewer on a Mac.

Does Apple Have Project Management Software?

Surprisingly, Apple has never developed a project management software for either macOS or iOS.

However, you can create basic Gantt charts in Apple Numbers which is Apple’s equivalent to Microsoft Excel.

However, the results are very basic and it’s not suitable for serious project management on a Mac.

How We Ranked The Best Project Management Software For Mac

Here’s what we looked for in choosing which was the best project management software for Mac in 2021 that make great replacements for Microsoft Project.

  • Ease of Use: We looked at project management tools that had modern, clear interfaces that looked great on macOS and were easy for you and your team to learn.
  • Value: We only chose PM tools that offer excellent value for money with free trials or plans to start out with.
  • Mac App: We ranked higher project management software that had a Mac desktop client but also allowed you to use them in the Cloud via a browser.
  • Microsoft Project Compatibility: We gave preference to software that allow you to import, export or edit MS Project files in the Microsoft Project .mpp format.
  • Timelines & Gantt Charts: We ranked those apps higher that have a wide choice of timeline views and Gantt Charts for a range of project management needs
  • Sharing: We valued those programs that make it easy to share project timelines via link or export to Microsoft Office, Google Apps, PDF etc.
  • Integrations: We looked for project management tools that allow you to integrate with third party software such as Zapier, MS Office, Jira, Confluence, Trello etc or online storage solutions such as Dropbox, Google Drive, OneDrive etc.
  • Reviews: We selected tools that have been widely acclaimed by Project Managers and other professionals for project management on macOS.

Here then are the best project management software that make excellent alternatives to Microsoft Project for Mac.

1. Project Plan 365 (20% Off – Best Overall)

microsoft project for mac alternative - project plan 365

What we love about Project Plan 365 is that it not only feels like MS Project but its got the best Microsoft Project import support of any alternative to Microsoft Project on Mac – and more.

Here’s what makes Project Plan 365 the best equivalent to Microsoft Project on a Mac and such a great project management tool:

  • It has both a Mac desktop and Cloud interface so you can choose to work offline or online on macOS
  • It imports and exports to the Microsoft Project MPP file format better than any Microsoft Project alternative we’ve seen. In fact, Project Plan 365 is tested rigorously with each new release of Microsoft Windows to ensure that it’s always 100% compatible with Microsoft Project.
  • It’s very closely modeled on Microsoft Project so if you’ve ever used Microsoft’s product, you’ll find the interface and functionality of Project Plan 365 instantly recognizable.
  • It’s incredibly easy to use with a modern Agile methodology that’s not intimidating like most project management solutions.
  • Project Plan 365 can be used on any platform including macOS, Windows, Android, iPhone and iPad.
  • Project Plan 365 can be used in the Cloud and has it’s own storage solution but if you prefer, it also supports Cloud storage solutions such as Google Drive, Dropbox, Box and OneDrive.
  • You can also connect Project Plan 365 to Microsoft Project Server, Sharepoint and Basecamp.
  • It’s easy to share your Gantt Charts and project timelines with anyone even if they don’t have Project Plan 365. This means you can share instantly to team members, stakeholders and the public without the need for a Project Viewer on a Mac or additional software.

There are also some other stand out features and tools which make Project Plan 365 such a great project management solution.

Some of the highlights include an Advanced Scheduling Engine which calculates costs, end dates, critical paths, resource over allocations and more.

It also allows you to produce highly customizable Gantt Charts that give you full control over the kind of variables you want displayed.

Finally, Project Plan 365 is available in 12 languages with support for over 100 currencies and date formats.

You can currently get 20% off Project Plan 365 with plans starting at $8.99 with the discount.

You can try Project Plan 365 for free to judge for yourself what a great project management software it really is.

You can also check out our full Project Plan 365 review here.

Pricing: $8.99/m (20% off)

Pros:

  • Looks and feels like Microsoft Project
  • Seamless Microsoft Project MPP file import and export support
  • Connects to Microsoft Project Server
  • Slick Mac desktop app
  • Agile methodology
  • Creates highly customizable Gantt charts

Cons:

  • Annual subscription only pricing but cheaper than MS Project

2. OmniPlan (Best For Apple Devices)

best project management software mac - omniplan

OmniPlan is easily one the most popular native Mac desktop project management apps for macOS.

OmniPlan is from Omni Group, the same team that created the excellent diagramming software Omnigraffle which is a popular alternative to Microsoft Visio on Mac.

Omni Group products are made specifically for Apple devices such as Macs and there are no Windows versions.

OmniPlan is easier to use than Microsoft Project, imports MS Project files (although only up to MS Project 2016) 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 automatically according to the resources you drag and drop into the project bars.

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: $199.99 Mac App Store

Pros:

  • Made specifically for Mac
  • Imports MS Project files
  • Superb Dark and Light mode interface
  • Seamless integration across Apple devices

Cons:

  • Expensive up front cost

3. Teamwork (Best Online)

ms project alternative mac - teamwork

Teamwork has been around for over a decade now and is all about helping employees, teams and PMs be more organized, cooperative and informed without getting in the way.

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

One of the things we really love about Teamwork is that it has an excellent Mac desktop app which you can launch from macOS including Catalina and Big Sur.

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 is a pleasure to use when it comes to project management.

Teamwork also has some of 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.

Unfortunately, the Teamwork Microsoft Project add-in is only available for Windows but you could consider running Windows on your Mac to use this feature on a Mac too.

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 a reasonable $10 per user/month.

You can find full details here on Teamwork pricing.

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

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

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

Pricing: Free/$10+ per month

Pros:

  • Excellent Mac desktop app
  • Clean modern interface
  • Easy to use
  • Ideal for Team collaboration

Cons:

  • MS Project add-on not Mac compatible

4. Monday.com (Best For Beginners)

best project management software mac - monday

Monday.com is simple but deceptively powerful and unbelievably effective at helping you keep on top of projects.

What we like about Monday.com is that it doesn’t try to be the ultimate project management tool. It just keeps things to a bare minimum making it easy for anyone to learn and use within minutes of signing-up.

The best thing that Monday.com does is make it crystal clear the sequence in which tasks need to be completed before the next can be done.

In fact, Monday feels a lot like a spreadsheet but is far easier to manage, track and modify without complicated formulas or endless numbers of cells.

You can actually choose various views for projects such as spreadsheets, lists, maps, Kanban boards and more.

You can easily upload attachments to cards and leave comments for colleagues. There are also specific Gantt chart views and Monday.com also has something very similar called timelines.

You can create some really slick summary charts and export them for sharing with anyone that doesn’t use Monday.com.

You can’t import or export Microsoft Project files into Monday.com but there’s lots of integration with third party products such as Jira, Google Drive, Slack, Excel and more.

Pricing for Monday.com gets cheaper the more users you subscribe with Enterprise plans available.

You can try Monday.com now for free and pricing starts at $39 a month for 5 users which works out at just under $8 per user.

You can also check out our Monday.com review for more.

Pros:

  • Easy to use
  • Timeline views
  • Excellent summary charts
  • Lots of third party integrations

Cons:

  • Complex pricing structure

5. Project Online (Best Microsoft Alternative)

microsoft project online for mac

Project Online is Microsoft’s Cloud project management software but it’s important to be aware that it’s not the same as Microsoft Project.

Microsoft clearly states that:

Project Online is an entirely separate service that offers full portfolio and project management tools on the web.

If you’ve already got a Microsoft Office 365 account then you can start using Project Online on your Mac now.

Windows users can also open Project Online plans in Microsoft Project on their PC but of course, this isn’t possible for Mac users.

Project Online can though be used on all platforms, including Mac, and does many of the things MS Project can including Gantt charts, project planning and scheduling and team collaboration.

If you just want to track timescales, balance resources and manage projects Project Online is sufficient although it feels very dated and lacks the modern approach of modern project management tools.

The other thing to be aware of is that Project Online isn’t cheap.

If you want to access all features, it costs $55.00 per user per month which is a lot more than most of the alternatives to Microsoft Project featured here.

You can try a free trial of Project Online to test it first.

Pricing: Office 365 Subscription/$55 per user/month

Pros:

  • Made by Microsoft
  • Gantt charts
  • Resource balancing features

Cons:

  • Not the same functionality as Microsoft Project
  • Price

6. nTask Manager (Best Budget)

best microsoft project for mac alternative - ntask

nTask Manager is used by some of the biggest companies in the world including Apple, Google and AT&T and it’s our choice for the best value project manager software for Mac users.

nTask Manager is an incredibly comprehensive project management tool which has more features than just about any other solution for prices starting at $2.99 per month.

If you’re familiar with Trello or Asana, then nTask manager follows a similar look and feel but offers far more power, detail and control over your project planning.

nTask manager allows you to manage tasks, projects, meetings, time tracking and identify resource issues and risks all in one tool.

nTask manager also has some useful meeting management tools allowing you to define an agenda, note down discussion points and enlist follow-up actions and decisions.

You can even track employee timesheets with time tracking to help you spot bottlenecks and resource conflicts.

The risk management tools in particular are excellent providing a risk matrix, risk likelihood and impact plus mitigation with possible solutions.

You can use nTask manager now for free to try it for yourself.

Pricing: Free / $2.99/m+

Pros:

  • Very good value for money
  • Trello and Asana look and feel
  • Timesheet tracking
  • Risk management tools

Cons:

  • Limited features

7. Merlin Project (Best Interface)

merlin project

Merlin Project is definitely one of the best looking desktop 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.

The full version of Merlin Project costs $149 per user/year but there’s also a lighter version Merlin Project Express which is cheaper than the full app at $39.99 per user/year but only allows Gantt chart views.

There’s also a standalone Merlin iPad and iPhone app (formerly known as Merlin Project Go) that syncs with the desktop app via Merlin Server.

It can also be used on its own without purchasing Merlin Project if you just want a project management app for your iPad instead and costs $6.99 per month or $69.99 per year.

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.

Pricing: $149 per user/year

Pros:

  • Slick interface
  • Innovative hybrid project planning approach
  • Gantt charts and Kanban boards
  • iOS apps

Cons:

  • High up front cost
  • Limited third party integrations

8. Wrike (Best For Integrations)

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.

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.

You can also check out our full review of Wrike.

Pricing: Free/$9.80+/month

Pros:

  • Integrated with lots of third party tools including MS Office
  • Familiar to Trello and Jira users
  • Imports MS Project files

Cons:

  • No time tracking or invoicing tools

9. ConceptDraw Project (Best Cross Platform)

project management software mac - conceptdraw

ConceptDraw Project is a professional project management tool that has particularly strong reporting features.

ConceptDraw Project is the sister application to ConceptDraw Diagram for drawing professional flowcharts, organizational hierarchies and more.

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

Pros:

  • Works across platforms
  • Imports from Microsoft Project and other Office apps
  • Powerful import tools
  • Mac desktop app

Cons:

  • High cost up front

10. SmartDraw (Best For Gantt Charts)

gantt chart software mac - smartdraw

When it comes to creating Gantt charts, or in fact diagrams of any kind, it doesn’t get much easier or quicker than with SmartDraw.

SmartDraw is the best gantt chart maker we’ve tried and an incredibly effective all-round diagramming software that works on all platforms.

SmartDraw has so many templates much of the hard work is done for you before you even get started.

The great thing about SmartDraw is you’re not just getting an incredibly easy way of creating Gantt charts on a Mac – you also get an entire diagramming suite that useful for everything from creating organizational charts to creating flowcharts.

In fact Visio users find it a superb alternative to Visio on Mac because it covers so many different types of diagramming needs, so well.

SmartDraw is packed with Gantt chart templates which get you up and running really quickly including for PERT charts.

It’s incredibly easy to add dependencies and insert tasks and you can track the progress of projects by entering a percentage of completion rate for each task.

Another really neat feature is the ability to switch from the Gantt chart view into a Mind Map View to get a greater overview of dependencies between departments and staff.

You can also connect your Gantt charts to Trello and assign tasks to team members. When a task is marked as complete in Trello, it will automatically be marked as complete in your SmartDraw Gantt chart.

One other nice thing about SmartDraw is the possibility to conduct a project status meeting via the mind map view with just one click.

During meetings, this clearly shows which team members are responsible for what and where their tasks overlap which helps keeps them engaged during meetings.

SmartDraw gives you far more than just Gantt charts and you can see a useful overview of how easy it is to use below.

You can try SmartDraw for free and pricing starts at $5.95 for teams.

You can also check out our full review of SmartDraw for more.

Pricing: $5.95/m for teams

Pros:

  • Amazing all round diagramming tools
  • Easy to create Gantt charts
  • Great alternative to Visio for Project Managers

Cons:

  • No Mac desktop app

Can You Open Microsoft Project Files on a Mac?

Yes you can open open Microsoft Project files on a Mac by using one of these Microsoft Project Viewers For Mac.

They do not allow you to edit or modify Microsoft Project Files though.

Can You Run Microsoft Project on a Mac?

It is possible to run Microsoft Project on a Mac by installing Windows on Mac. There are various ways to do this but for Microsoft Project, we recommend using the Parallels virtual machine.

However, you would also need to purchase the virtualization software first and also have a valid Windows subscription to Office 365, Office 365 Home, Office 365 Personal or Office 365 University.

You can find out exactly how to install Microsoft Project on a Mac here.

About The Author

Author

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25 Responses

  1. Daniel

    I use a desktop app called Project Planning Pro on my Mac. The cost is affordable for anyone, and you get to avoid the subscription economy.

    Reply
  2. Tiberiu

    I am surprised that RationalPlan is not mentioned. Strictly speaking this article is about Microsoft Project alternatives and not project management software in general… And when it comes to features that are available in MS Project I could say that RationalPlan offers most of them and it is above many of the mentioned products. On the same note you can not consider Backlog an alternative to MS Project (but I welcome anyone from their team to comment back if I am wrong), while Vizzlo is not even a PM software… And this “EU Hosting Option” is a criteria to determine which software is a better alternative to MS Project?! I am imagining project managers that used MS Project on Windows and are now migrating on Mac and looking for an alternative. What products can be considered a real alternative?

    Reply

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