The 10+ Best Resource Planning Software to Save the Day

Learn about the benefits of using resource planning software tools and pick the best one for your business.
Steven Male

Resource planning is complex without the right software. For every resource, there are a whole lot of variables that you have to account for. When they are brought together in a project plan, it can get overwhelming. 

Fortunately, the old days of managing resources in a spreadsheet are gone. Error-prone, time-wasting manual resource management is a thing of the past.

Resource planning tools take care of a lot of the heavy lifting for you. Updates carry through to other relevant reports, and budget and timeline management is also automated. Resource planning becomes easier. 

However, the problem is, how do you choose the best resource planning software? With so many options out there, it can be hard to pick. This article analyzes the strengths of resource planning tools so you can make sure you use the one that’s best suited to your needs.

resource planning software

What is resource planning software? 

Resource planning software is a tool that helps you manage and allocate resources to projects. That includes staff, money, equipment, technology and all manner of other assets in resource management.

There are a range of functions that you can use it for:

  • Overall project management, including budget management
  • Assigning employees to tasks or projects
  • Monitoring project progress and timelines
  • Assessing utilization and productivity of resources 
  • Maintaining project and resource planning calendars

All of these functions, as well as others not listed, entail a lot of work. Some of these will be more relevant to you than others, so it helps to be able to find a resource planning tool that performs best in the areas you need it for.

When you can get the best resource planning software, you’ll be able to save time and cut costs by finding efficiencies in your processes. You can also get greater return on the money you’ve invested in your resources by utilizing them in ways that are more productive. 

Rather than having a highly paid staff member working on tasks that are below their pay grade, you can ensure they’re assigned to high value jobs. Rather than having an expensive piece of hired equipment sitting idle, you can ensure you only have it for the small window of time that it’s going to be put to use.

These are some of the many benefits of resource planning software.

Why use resource planning tools instead of spreadsheets

For those new to project management, or even if you’ve been doing it manually for a while, spreadsheets seem an obvious way to manage resource planning.

However, there are a range of advantages you get with purpose-built resource planning software.

  • Reduce human error. Entering data or writing formulae manually can be error-prone, especially when you’re doing a lot of it. If you make a mistake, often you’ll only identify it later, which makes it hard to realize where the error has been made and correct it.
  • Save time. It can take a long time to manually enter in all the data you need to, and then to generate the reports and insights you need. Resource planning software automates reporting to save all that time, so you can make a plan and get on with it.
  • Collaborate seamlessly. Spreadsheets and manual reports are a snapshot in time, and they become old quickly. Collaborators often work off old versions that are irrelevant, and it can be hard to identify the latest, most up to date version. Because it’s easy to generate insights from planning software, it’s easier to keep stakeholders updated.
  • Improve understanding. Spreadsheets can be overwhelming. There is a lot of information, it all looks the same, and they can be hard to navigate. Resource planning software, on the other hand, is much more visual. That makes it easier to get the insights you need and relay the most important information to others.

These are just some of the advantages of resource scheduling and planning software over spreadsheets, and they can make a significant difference to your job as a project manager or resource manager.

The best resource planning software tools

1. Runn - Best resource planning and financial forecasting software

Runn comes with a range of free resource planning tools to help managers see their resource capacity, including skills and team capabilities. Users are able to get a bird’s-eye-view of all resources across multiple projects and easily allocate resources to projects.

Unlike other resource management tools, Runn advocates high-level resource planning so you can only allocate people to projects, not tasks. This is the preferred option for resource planning for agile businesses that still want to get the financial picture of their projects without being too deterministic about the project plan in the long term.

The advantage this gives you is being able to see how well resources are being utilized without drilling down into details, and if you have enough resources to carry out planned work. This knowledge helps you build teams with the most critical skills to deliver on your business priorities.

resource planning software


Another benefit of using Runn for resource planning is that you’ll be able to set up confirmed and tentative projects to plan with resource availability in mind. If you don’t have resources with the necessary skills, you can put placeholders and make intelligent hiring decisions well in advance. 

The People Planner is user-friendly, with drag-and-drop allocating functionality, and it’s highly visual. Benefit from helpful insights such as resource capacity, availability, workload, project variance and clashes. 

You can also get instant feedback with project tracking and timesheets to understand how a project rolled out compared to your plans. This means you can adjust your planning for next time, including optimizing your team with this knowledge in mind.

Pros

  • Remarkably easy to use, clean UI, task completion made simple and intuitive
  • A solid billing projection system, handy for businesses that want to remain efficient and effective
  • Gives you the much-needed visibility into team utilization, project financials, and more. Plus, you don’t have to spend days updating data — the system takes care of that for you
  • A great place to organize work streams and assign people to them
  • Very helpful support team that goes above and beyond to improve your experience with the tool

Cons

  • Might take some time if you are merging data from several tools into this platform to unify all processes
  • Since the tool is fairly new, some features are still under construction

Here’s what one of the users has to say about their experience with it:

Powerful and feature rich, yet easy to understand and set up. Modeling my team, projects, and resourcing took a remarkably short time and prompted one or two very good questions I hadn't considered.


2. Forecast - For maximizing resource efficiency

Forecast is an end-to-end resource planning tool for allocating, scheduling, and monitoring resources. The combination of project management features with task management, time tracking, and project accounting makes it an ideal replacement for traditional dispersed tools for professional services firms.

resource planning tools


Forecast was designed to accommodate both long-term and short-term resource planning. You may assign resources to tasks or projects and obtain a comprehensive picture of all resource indicators for each team member now and in the future - their allocations, workloads, utilization rates, and time off.

This platform is a favorite among the agencies that want to get granular with their planning, as they have most of the requirements from the  customers in advance.

Pros

  • Great tool for time-tracking, scheduling, and project management
  • Gives visibility into projects and helps unify related tasks
  • Good connection with the customers — features get released and updated based on customer feedback and requests
  • Reliable and responsive customer support
  • Good for budgeting and basic project tracking

Cons

  • Some features do not work properly and there are occasional bugs here and there
  • Not available for mobile devices
  • Uses unnecessarily aggressive upselling and cancellation terms
  • Unfriendly design on the budget pages, making it challenging to manage the processes related to expenses
With Forecast we are easily able to plan our architectural projects, meet deadlines, and stay within the allotted budgets. Forecast is consistently updating with new features and add-ons.


3. 10,000 feet by Smartsheet - A robust resource planning tool

Professional services project managers have specific requirements, and these align nicely with what Smartsheet provides.

One of the most notable examples of this is Smartsheet’s helpful matching tool that provides efficient resource allocation based on a range of factors. You can set criteria to identify the best person for a job based on their team, skills, availability and more. 

These filters can also be used to get specific project data, including historical data, at the click of a button. Having information and reports easily accessible is a big help to project managers who are using resource planning software to run large projects, or manage a lot of information.

resource planning software


Smartsheet also makes it easy to monitor and track teams through built-in timesheets, mobile time functions and expense tracking. You can see resource utilization figures, get time reports against reality and map future projects to ensure they align with resource availability.

As well as that, it integrates with a number of other popular tools such as API and Zapier to create efficient benefits for all team members.

Pros

  • It is cloud-based so all the data is available in real time, everyone can stay updated about the status of their project
  • It’s easy to manage milestones, time-tracking, and expenses

Cons

  • The tool is complex so there is a learning curve in understanding and adjusting to it
  • The process of creating tasks is not interactive enough, compared to other options on the market. The process of tracking those tasks is also not user-friendly. 
We have been able to bring huge teams together with so much more ease by using Smartsheet. People of all skill sets can leverage the tracking tools available, making it easy for any PM to track their project(s).


4. monday.com - Customizable workflow planning app

monday.com uses a simple design and clear interface to help users get the insight and information they need without too much fuss. It’s flexible and intuitive, meaning teams can communicate seamlessly - including with its integrations on more than 40 other platforms such as Slack, the Google suite, Trello, Dropbox and more.

Users get overall visibility over their projects, resource availability and project timelines, while also being able to drill down into specific pieces of work or a single resource to understand their productivity.


monday.com can also be personalized to the user, so different people can get different views based on their preferences. Another aspect that makes it easy to use is how it can be used to organize a number of things in one place. Daily to-do lists, project management and team allocation is all done with one tool. Again, being able to integrate with other software realizes even more benefits.

Pros 

  • Has a simple design and is easy to use
  • Lots of integration and customization options available
  • Great UX on mobile
  • Good option for team collaboration and project tracking

Cons

  • Not suitable for complex projects like website migration
  • The design is simple but not very intuitive for some users
  • After the trial, the price skyrockets for adding multiple users 
  • Limited reporting functionality
Monday.com gives us the freedom to build online tools to manage all daily tasks in our business. The versatility makes it our weapon of choice.

5. Float - A platform for planning your team's work

Float is a powerful resource planning software that can handle the needs of different organizations, agencies in particular. It’s used by a range of industry leaders such as Deloitte, Ogilvy, and Buzzfeed. 

Simple scheduling allows users to create projects, assign tasks and allocate resources easily. A search and filter function helps to see projects, employees and resource details in isolation, and it also has visual, high-level reports that give an overall sense of business performance metrics. 

Real time reports give users visibility over resource utilization, budget tracking and capacity planning and forecasting. You can do all of this quickly, with a powerful interface that lends Float to businesses with a lot of users. In saying that, it can do all of this for small teams too.

Float also has a range of customizable features, such as personalized work hours, local public holidays, and custom tags such as staff locations and skills. Team members can update their own statuses to reflect if they’re working from home, and showcase the tasks they’re working on without having to check in with managers.

Pros

  • Very straightforward and easy to use — you’ll know your way around the tool five minutes after installing it
  • Excellent UI design — all the dashboards are intuitive and have fantastic visualization
  • Somewhat similar to Excel, which makes it look “familiar” and thus contributes to the ease of use
  • Useful color blocking that makes workflow planning easy

Cons

  • Time logging/ timesheets feature is very difficult to figure out
  • Since it is a cloud tool, you won’t be able to implement a self-hosted solution here
  • For each entry, you need to create a new product and a new task
  • After a few resource moves, the system gets buggy and you might need to refresh it
It's a great app that helps us every single day to simply and effectively manage resources without the process becoming a chore.


6. ClickUp - One app for resource planning and project management

ClickUp brings your company assets, time tracking capabilities and form management into a single place, aiming to provide easy resource allocation for all staff. Anyone can work on anything, meaning you can get on with making the progress you need to without having to wait.

ClickUp comes integrated with docs, reminders, goals, calendars, schedules and email - all the things you need to plan, organize and collaborate on your project in one place. Features and displays are customizable for each employee, helping all staff to realize its benefits.


You can view projects in a list, table or timeline, and resources in a workload or box option. Go in between these display options to gain immediate, real-time insights that help you to make good decisions about your work.

ClickUp also allows users to collect information from vendors and stakeholders in customizable, engaging forms. You can quickly collate responses in visual reports to help you compare information on your costs, calculations, inventories and more. 

Pros 

  • Task automation saves a lot of time you would otherwise spend doing mundane things
  • You can create in-depth and intricate workflows
  • 24/7 support, lots of training videos to ease you into the tool, apps and integrations available
  • ClickUp is a great combination of Trello and Asana in one

Cons

  • An overwhelming number of features available, which can sometimes decrease the quality of user experience
  • The design of the tool is too complex for being used on mobile devices
  • Can get buggy, with extended loading times
  • The web extension of the tool tends to be extremely slow
Very easy to learn, lots of help available through the software. Also easy to find tutorials online. Very customizable and beginner friendly for a lot of industries.

7. Polaris PSA - Best for resource optimization

Polaris claims its customers see at least a 10 percent increase in resource utilization. That means saving costs and getting a better return on investment from your resources. 

If you’re wondering how to utilize resources better, Polaris may be a good option. One of the key ways it helps to do this is through its intuitive SmartMatch feature. It’s an AI resource recommendation tool that suggests the best resource to perform a certain task based on a range of criteria such as availability, skills, rate, location and more. 


Polaris’ centralized resource management function helps to get the most of your resources by ensuring they’re being put to good use, doing the type of work they’re best suited to. 

Drag-and-drop functionality is a real help allocating resources quickly and easily too.

It can also help you to grow your human resource capabilities. Users can track employees’ skills, qualifications and expertise to foster centralized skill development and good succession planning.

Pros 

  • Straightforward setup and easy to use design
  • Interactive time booking features and the ability to define your project on multiple levels
  • Writing custom reports can be very helpful

Cons

  • More expensive than many other counterparts on the market 
  • Limited number of customer fields at the project level
  • Limited ability to customize the tool’s functionality
We solved several problems by eliminating manual rekeying of the payroll hours and expense reports. Improved the quality of the data by having the employees enter their own information. Improved the timeliness of when payroll processing takes place. Better documented workflows. Improved employee satisfaction.


8. Mavenlink - Best for scaling organizations 

Mavenlink is not only about project planning - it incorporates accounting, business intelligence and team collaboration functions, among others. It has a lot of features, but they’re easy to learn and it doesn’t feel overwhelming.

In particular, Mavenlink’s in depth accounting capabilities help to deliver the greatest benefits from your resources. Manage project costs, budgets and invoicing, and keep your rate cards in the same place as your resource utilization and margin tracking. All of these accounting systems integrate into specialist financial software.

resource and capacity planning


Mavenlink takes a novel approach to integrations that makes it universally compatible with all other business tools you might use. Its API first strategy means it doesn’t need a third party to integrate with other tools - its M-Bridge function customizes integrations with any software you’re using. As well as that, it has pre-built integrations with a range of popular tools such as Expensify, Xero, Salesforce, Hubspot and more.

Documentation and project tracking is made easy through a minimalist, visual design that helps to bring your resource planning and utilization to life. It comes with a range of different dashboards for great real-time project visibility across different aspects.

Pros 

  • Helps you save time and see whether your projects are actually profitable
  • It’s easy to create projects and and do time entry
  • Gives you a deep understanding of resource data, project portfolio
  • Good to have all the processes in one place

Cons

  • Since the tool is quite complex, every user will need to invest some time and effort into learning it
  • The software can be noticeably slow at times
  • Customer service is not always effective in the solutions they offer 
  • It creates a lot of work for project managers — you need to fill out and design a lot of project aspects which can be time-consuming
The biggest problems that Mavenlink has solved for us would be the ability to see if our projects are profitable or not as well as saving us valuable time with some automation features like repeating tasks, having templates, etc.


9. Celoxis - Best for reporting and analytics

Celoxis is a browser-based software with great visual, customizable dashboards and reporting options. It helps you to see and manage your resources, tasks and projects in a way that suits you and your team so you can collaborate and share insights and make decisions with confidence.

Celoxis’ group widgets are customizable, which makes for easy collaboration across teams and other stakeholders. 

resource planning software


It also comes with features to help identify resource loading, resource utilization, resource capacity and resource efficiency. All of these real-time reports help to realize and unlock the benefits of resource planning software. 

One complaint users have about Celoxis is it’s not always easy to build reports. This may come from having so many options to choose from - just look at the menu to see how much you can do. Resource planning also doesn’t have as much automation as other options, so it does require more effort in order to get the results you’re after.

Pros 

  • User-friendly interface and customizable reports
  • Gives good understanding and visualization of your projects
  • Helps you track budgets and capitalize labor costs

Cons

  • Task scheduling is not very advanced
  • For small teams, the interface can appear heavy
  • There is a learning curve to go through, especially when it comes to the reporting feature
Celoxis has really helped our business streamline processes and reporting. Time and task tracking is easier and more transparent to project managers and clients, and reporting is much less time intensive than our previous methods.

10. Resource Guru - Best for resource scheduling and workload management

Resource Guru looks to make resource planning and project scheduling fast and simple, and it has a range of features to help:

  • An intuitive calendar gives you great team visibility
  • Drag and drop appointment bookings and task allocation
  • Its availability bar makes capacity planning straightforward 
  • Resource clash management prevents double-ups, delays and unnecessary costs
  • Team dashboards, calendar synchronization and email notifications make team sharing simple

All of these combine to make Resource Guru a really efficient resource planning software. You’ll improve resource utilization rates by getting more visibility over the productivity of each resource. 


Engaging visual reports help to monitor each resource, and it’s particularly useful for human resource planning. Resource Guru’s waiting list is great for being able to tentatively schedule resources without overbooking. It’s easy to reverse bookings that you need to cancel, and daily schedules can be automated and emailed to staff each morning. You can also manage staff vacation, parental leave, sick days or any other type of time off in one place. 

Pros

  • Easy to use and has a pleasant UI
  • You can zoom in, out, and get different views on your timelines
  • You can schedule out several months at a time

Cons

  • Lacks features — you can do some basic scheduling and tracking but when projects get comlex, the tool can get clunky
  • It’s impossible to quickly update your schedule
  • Once you list your team members, you can no longer edit the information about them
The ability to schedule out months at a time. Small projects do not get lost in the shuffle of construction projects that go on for months at a time where we are constantly pulling on and off. It is so easy to use and customize.

11. Teamdeck — Best for transparent resource management

teamdeck resource planning

Teamdeck is an all-in-one resource management tool where you can do everything from team scheduling, time tracking, and timesheets creation to project planning, workload management, and availability management. But there is one feature here you don’t usually see in resource management tools — leave management, which means you can account not only for the hours when someone is available to work, but also when they are not. 

The tool promises to simplify your resource management and optimization process with the help of API and integrations. Anything you need to manage the workload of your team, like Google Calendar Events, Slack channels, or Sage HR — all can easily get synched with Teamdeck. 

Interestingly, the company proudly says that a lot of their customers replaced Mavenlink and Resource Guru with Teamdeck, mentioned above, which once again proves that all of these tools can take on complex project and resource management needs. 

Here’s a quick overview of the things you can do in Teamdeck:

  • Easily plan your resources using a flexible team calendar
  • Use timesheets to measure how efficient your team is in their time use on projects
  • Simplify your resource management processes
  • Customize your reporting, creating team utilization and project budget reports
  • Get the Teamdeck app on your phone to track your time and keep up with the business calendar on the go

Pros

  • Gives team managers access to reliable analytics
  • You can easily see the status of your tasks
  • Good timesheets and time tracking features
  • Elegant and modern interface makes it easy to use

Cons

  • The report feature can get slow when you need to load some data, which makes it unnecessarily time-consuming
  • UX is not at its best
  • Lack of integrations 
  • You might experience frequent bugs
Teamdeck is a great choice for managing your team's workload and tracking your company's profitability.

When putting a resource planning system into place, the first step should be to select a tool that will improve your organization. In this blog, we discussed the best resource planning software available on the market right now for companies of all sizes. Whether you’re a small company providing services to clients, or a larger corporation that tracks the needs and workload for numerous clients, resource planning software can make your day to day functions much easier and ultimately, save the day.

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