illustration of a product roadmap with a free sticker on it

10 Best Free Product Management Software For 2021

Product managers know how important it is to find the right product development tools to shepherd your stakeholders and team members through the product lifecycle—from planning to customer feedback. Familiar product management software like ProductPlan, ProdPad, and ProductBoard are all well and good but what about product teams looking for a free SaaS to get themselves started? 

In this article, I will highlight some of the best free product management software on the market and outline what each does best. That way, you will feel empowered to pick the best free product management app for your needs. 

The Best Free Product Management Software List

Here’s a shortlist of the best free product management tools:

  1. Productstash
  2. Taskade
  3. Roadmap
  4. Bitrix24
  5. Asana
  6. Backlog
  7. Confluence
  8. Odoo
  9. Coda
  10. Jira

Product Management Tool Comparison Criteria

What do I look for when I select the best product management software? Here’s a summary of my evaluation criteria: 

  1. User Interface (UI): Product managers and their teams need to be able to navigate between different elements of their product planning quickly and efficiently. Does the UI promote ease of use, clean interfaces, and real-time data updates?
  2. Usability: Product planning can be complex and strenuous so the last thing your team needs is obtuse, difficult to learn software while they are trying to collaborate. Any product management software should offer demos, training, and other learning management tools.
  3. Integrations: Product and project management will tug you in all sorts of directions at once. So, it’s key that your app workspaces speak together. Common integrations I am checking for include Trello, Aha, Roadmunk, Slack, Airfocus, Intercom, Salesforce, Zendesk, Dropbox, Microsoft, and Google.
  4. Value for $: I am specifically addressing free product management software in this article; however, I am keeping in mind that they should still offer great value to product managers despite their free pricing. Plus, paid plans should be affordable and transparent should your team grow to the point of needing them.

Best Product Management Tools Key Features

  1. Product Roadmap Tools — Roadmapping is essential to building better products. Does the tool have intuitive, aesthetically pleasing, and flexible roadmap templates as well as start-from-scratch options?
  2. Detail-Oriented User Stories — User stories are critical to understand what type of customer you are marketing to and what problems you need to solve for them. Does the tool provide a way to deeply customize and visualize your user stories?
  3. Gantt Charts and other Task Management Functionality — Free product management apps shouldn’t skimp on the high levels of task management required for your internal team. 
  4. Feature Prioritization Feedback — It’s important to have a way for end-users, stakeholders, or product team members to pitch in or vote on what features should be prioritized.
  5. Support Various PM Methodologies — A good product management app should work with you, not against you—be it Scrum, Kanban, Lean Development, or however you work best.

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Overviews Of The 10 Best Free Product Management Software 

Here’s a brief description of the free product management apps on my list showing what each does best, plus screenshots to showcase some of the features.

1. Productstash — Best for collecting users ideas and feedback

Productstash for Free Product Management Software Screenshot
Easily edit and publish roadmaps to keep your team on the same page.

Free for 1 editor, 20 contributors.

Productstash is a free product management app with a focus on idea tracking, roadmapping, and update/iteration planning. Productstash empowers users to collect feedback from their users using public idea boards with upvoting capabilities. 

Customers and stakeholders can also comment and follow along with your product roadmap progression. This social-media-ifying approach encourages ongoing collaboration with end-users.

2. Taskade — Best free product management software for startups

Taskade for Free Product Management Software Screenshot
Taskade is a great option for startups as it is user-friendly and OS-agnostic.

Free with 5MB file size limit.

Taskade is a free product management tool that works with iOS, Android, macOS, Windows, Linux, and all popular internet browsers. The tool can help users do everything from mind mapping to meeting planning. Their versatility is something all startups need. 

Taskade also has a whole host of startup-oriented literature and information, including an ideas checklist, reading list, business pitch ideas, investor wishlist trackers, cofounder questionnaire, and more. 

3. Roadmap — Best visual product roadmaps

Roadmap for Free Product Management Software Screenshot
Visualize product roadmaps in whatever task tracking format works best for you.

Free for 1 user.

As its name suggests, Roadmap builds great product roadmaps—but that’s not all it does. Roadmap lets users communicate task status with point-and-click color schemes, use checklists to create buckets for QA, and automate repetitive tasks. 

They also integrate easily with over 1000 tools. Their product roadmaps are colorful and easy to use, inviting users to collaborate and get more engaged. Additionally, their roadmaps allow unlimited guest account access.

4. Bitrix24 — Best CRM dashboards

Bitrix24 for Free Product Management Software Screenshot
Detailed CRM dashboards cover everything from detailed reports to sales pipelines.

Free for 1 pipeline, 5GB storage.

Bitrix24 helps product teams with communications, tasks and projects, CRM, and workload planning all in one place. Bitrix24 even lets users build free websites, landing pages, and online stores for their products. 

Product teams will particularly benefit from their deep CRM dashboards and supporting features, like the ability to generate leads via multiple channels and leverage dozens of sales and marketing automation rules.

5. Asana — Best free product management software for collaboration

Asana for Free Product Management Software Screenshot
Empower collaboration with by-user task assignments and accessible overviews.

Free for 15 collaborators.

Asana is more of a general project management tool than a dedicated product development app. However, it boasts a whole range of features that product managers and their teams will find useful. In particular, users can tap into their product roadmap templates, simplify sprint planning, and collect user feedback pre- and post-launch. They make collaboration particularly engaging with social-media-esque messaging, easy file uploading, and flexible notifications.

6. Backlog — Best product issue and bug tracking

Backlog for Free Product Management Software Screenshot
Easily set-up an issue report, including prioritization details and assignees.

Free for 10 users.

Backlog bills itself as a project and code management platform but, really, it handles a lot of product management needs very well. Highlight-worthy features include boards, Gantt charts, burndown charts, Git graphs, milestones, and versions. 

Backlog does issue and bug tracking particularly well. For example, users can create Backlog issues in bulk via their native Google Sheets integration. They also encourage tracking progress via pull-requests right from issue cards.

7. Confluence — Best project template library

Confluence for Free Product Management Software Screenshot
Confluence Cloud offers dozens of templates for all things product management.

Free for 10 users.

Confluence is an intuitive team workspace with a flare for keen product management. Product teams will, for example, enjoy their take on actionable meeting notes and collaborative content management. 

Confluence has a library of templates to assist with product planning. Browse through dozens of template options like product requirements, marketing plans, email drip campaigns, incident communication, competitive analysis, and product requirements. 

8. Odoo — Best free open source product management software

Odoo for Free Product Management Software Screenshot
Odoo is both free and open source for advanced product teams that require flexibility.

Community Version free.

Odoo is actually a suite of open source business apps with several modules that work extremely well for product management and marketing. Some of their most downloaded free apps that product teams will find useful include ones for professional reporting templates, exporting product stock into Excel, barcode scanning, and form building. Odoo Community is available for free and you can add free and paying third party modules to it.

9. Coda — Best product management software for integrations

Coda for Free Product Management Software Screenshot
Plan product roadmaps and assign owners, teams, statuses, start dates, and more to tasks.

Free document building with 50 objects and 1000 data rows.

Coda is a product management tool used by the likes of product titans like The New York Times, Doordash, Spotify, and Uber. They specifically champion all-in-one documents for all of your product data and planning. 

Coda offers a RESTful API with which savvy programmers can connect to third-party apps of their making or choosing. Additionally, they boast a full connection with Zapier (paid plan required) to integrate with over 200 apps and tools. 

10. Jira — Best for software development teams

Jira for Free Product Management Software Screenshot
Software dev teams will appreciate flexible backlog tracking, sprint planning, and agile boards.

Free for 10 users.

Jira bills itself as the #1 software development tool used by agile teams—and for good reason. They boast features for user stories and tracking issues, distributing tasks, and smart data visualization. 

They offer out-of-the-box workflows or fully customizable solutions for product planning, shipping, and iteration. They can also help software product devs to boost their CI/CD with robust pipelines and monitor build status. Jira integrates with thousands of other apps.

Other Free Product Management Software Options

Here’s a few more that didn’t make the top list.

  1. Monday (free for students or nonprofits) — Best for nonprofits 
  2. Meister Task (free for 3 projects) — Best product strategy mind mapping
  3. Zoho Desk (free 3 users) — Best workflow automation
  4. ClickUp (free 100MB storage) — Best mobile apps
  5. Wrike (free 5 users) — Best for Agile teams 
  6. Qualtrics CoreXM (1 product survey, 100 responses max) — Best product survey tool
  7. Indicative (free 3 users) — Best customer analytics
  8. Clubhouse (free 10 users) — Best deep integration with GitHub
  9. Pivotal Tracker (free 5 projects) — Best guided iteration planning
  10. Zepel (free 5 users) — Best Jira alternative
  11. ZenHub (free on public, academic, or open-source repositories) — Best Kanban boards 
  12. Yodiz (free 3 users) — Best product backlog analytics

What Are Some Open Source Product Management Tools?

As listed above, Odoo is a great option for open source product management software. However, it’s not the only one. Here are some open source product management apps you can pick from:

What Do You Think About These Free Product Management Tools?

Have you used any of the product or project management tools listed above? What project management platform do you prefer for product strategizing and development? What product management software do you use for user feedback? Let me know in the comments.

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