Top 11 LiquidPlanner Alternatives: Competitors & Software Features

Interested in upgrading your current project management tool? Welcome to our list of the best LiquidPlanner alternatives on the market.

LiquidPlanner is an agency management software that helps managers handle their project teams with resource forecasting, workload balancing, and effective prioritization. Although there are many things that LiquidPlanner does right, it might not be the best solution for every agency – in particular, those that are interested in advanced financial management.

Whatever it is that you’re looking for, in our list we’ll present you with some top project management platforms that target different essential features for agencies. But first, let’s start with a short overview of LiquidPlanner: what are its best features, and what are some of its downsides?

Why Consider LiquidPlanner Alternatives

LiquidPlanner has a 4+ star rating on G2 and Capterra with 500+ reviews on each site. Although reviewers generally enjoy the tool, some of the main mentioned downsides are the following:

  • Some users feel that the user interface could be more intuitive and easier to navigate
  • There’s no integrated budgeting or billing feature, which means that agencies have to invest in another tool
  • Additionally, some agencies have issues with project management due to the inability to create milestones or subtasks
  • Certain reviewers believe that the software is not affordable and is suitable only for larger organizations
  • The tool is difficult to learn to use at first, it might require a specialized implementation manager

Even though LiquidPlanner has its downsides, users report certain benefits. The best part of LiquidPlanner is the dynamic resource planning, which adapts to mid-project changes and lets managers balance their team’s workloads.

Additionally, users mention enjoying the project templates that let them easily set up subsequent projects, making the tool suitable for coordinating recurring or retainer projects.

The Best LiquidPlanner Alternatives for Project Teams

The best LiquidPlanner alternatives can cover the parts that the tool does well while addressing some of its downsides mentioned above. Without further ado, here’s our list of the most popular tools to consider instead of LiquidPlanner:

1. Productive – The Best All-in-one Software Alternative to LiquidPlanner


Productive is an all-in-one agency management tool that helps you achieve efficient agency operations. One of the best things about a comprehensive tool is that you can save both your time and money by cutting down on the number of software you need to use daily:

That was probably the single biggest thing—reducing the amount of tools, platforms, and systems, and using just one. Having a platform that considers everybody’s salaries, the operating expenses of the whole business, and feeding that into project budgets and looking at the internal time vs. client time gives us a much more real-time and accurate view of the profitability of actual, specific projects.

Brendon nicholas,
Co-founder and technical director AT dotdev

Productive takes the best parts of LiquidPlanner, such as adaptive resource planning, and combines it with advanced budgeting and financial forecasting. With Productive, you can have insights into your key agency metrics, such as real utilization and agency profit margins. All of this is integrated with a lightweight CRM system, project and task management, and collaborative documentation.

Now, let’s explore what Productive can do for your agency in more detail.

Budgeting

A LiquidPlanner Capterra review states the following:

The thing that I like the least is that the software currently doesn’t have as many capabilities for calculations and financial tracking. I wish there was more abilities to track expenses and project costs in relation to the work you have tracked.

With Productive’s Budgeting feature, you can get full control of your project budgets. Input your model, whether it’s fixed-price, hourly, or mixed, and associate services that you will be delivering as part of the project. Your team members will be tracking their hours directly against these services, which lets you set up warnings for percentages of billable time used.

This helps you monitor your budget more closely, and ensure that you’re on track with how much work has been done vs. how much budget you have left to burn. You can also add your external expenses if you’re focused on selling services and products, rather than time tracking.


GET COMPREHENSIVE reports WITH PRODUCTIVE’S Project Budget Management Tools

Resource Management

Another powerful tool by Productive that’s closely linked to project budgets is the Resource Planning feature. Book and manage your human resources while taking into account different types of leave and paid days off, as well as future hiring potential with placeholders. The bookings are flexible, so you can book total hours, hours per day, or percentage of available working hours to fill up your resource plan.

Good resource planning also enables efficient project portfolio management. With Productive, you can view your bookings by people or projects, as well as create tailored filters. This simplifies the tracking and prioritization of a portfolio of projects within an agency.


CHECK HEATMAPS TO DETERMINE WHETHER YOU NEED TO REALLOCATE HOURS TO BALANCE WORKLOADS

According to data by SoDa, under 50% of agencies worldwide track their key agency metrics, such as forecasted and realized revenue and project gross margin. In comparison with LiquidPlanner, Productive can help you get insights into the above with financial forecasting. By scheduling your resources, you can forecast your budget and see whether you’ll end up in the green or the red. Then, by switching to the profitability view, you can see the same thing, but with your actual profit margin included.

We were finally able to marry data on our future scheduled work with things like finance, expected revenue, looking at where things are particularly unprofitable or where there’s particular issues with a project. Being able to forecast where projects might be going off the rails and might become unprofitable. Productive has enabled us to pick things up and get ahead of the game.

MILES SCOTT,
COO AT AKCELO

Making any changes in your resource plan will affect these overviews, letting you make informed decisions and improving client transparency and communication.

Billing

Finally, Productive’s Budgeting also enables a streamlined way to create and send invoices directly from the platform. Productive’s Billing pulls your budget information to let you:

  • Generate invoices in a couple of clicks
  • Create branded invoices using your work email
  • Attach timesheets for hourly-priced projects
  • Set up a reminder sequence for clients that resolves automatically

Project accounting software solutions like Productive can help you simplify your administrative work and eliminate the potential for human error.

Reporting

Productive’s Reporting gives project managers a library of over 50 agency-focused reports that are populated by all your platform activities, including time tracking, leave management, resource planning, budgeting, billing, and more. With custom fields, you can create your own classifications and get personalized reports.


PRODUCTIVE OFFERS REAL-TIME PROJECT reports, WITH THE OPTION TO CONVERT YOUR REPORTS INTO VARIOUS VISUALIZATIONS

Additionally, you can set up reporting dashboards so your teammates can track certain metrics in real time. You can also create an automatic reporting sequence and get key project reports in your email every day. Productive offers many ways to help you stay in touch with your project progress at all times.

Learn more about how Productive can help you streamline your reporting:

Sales

One of Productive’s standout features in comparison with LiquidPlanner is its lightweight customer relationship management (CRM) feature: the integrated Sales Pipeline. Manage your leads across the sales pipeline, track communications, send quotes directly from Productive, and convert won leads into projects. Along with project reports, Productive also provides you with valuable insights related to sales, so you can see the number of won deals, total revenue won, breakdown of reasons why deals were lost, and type of deal closed for each sales representative. All of this can enrich your business intelligence and help your agency become just a little bit more efficient.


STAY IN SYNC WITH YOUR LEADS DURING THEIR ENTIRE JOURNEY THROUGH THE SALES FUNNEL

Project Management

Productive makes Project Management simple yet effective with various project views, boards, and simple task management. You can switch between calendar, task, list, Gantt, and more views, and create multiple boards on one project. This can be particularly useful for multi-project management for complex projects, as you can centralize all project teams under one project and switch easily between them.

Since data shows that more than 80% of project managers handle more than one project (RGPM), having clean project visibility can considerably simplify your day-to-day workflows (learn more on how to manage multiple projects).

Additionally, Productive doesn’t fall behind LiquidPlanner when it comes to project templates:

The one thing that we never had before that I really like is the ability to almost templatize our projects. We created a sample project that has all of our standard processes built into it. Whenever we start a new project, it’s something we can clone. Since the process has been baked into the tool and we clone it, the chances of people following the process and not missing critical details has been a huge win.

ORION JENSEN,
CEO AT CLEAR LAUNCH

When it comes to LiquidPlanner’s task management, a Capterra user has noted that:

Though there are work-arounds, it is sometimes frustrating that task dependencies are tedious to enter.

In comparison, Productive offers an efficient way to manage tasks and all related task information, such as deadlines, assignees, task statuses, dependencies, and to-do lists. By creating Milestones or converting tasks into them, you can set the main landmarks of the project and visualize your project timelines. You can also track your time directly from your task, making the management of time entries even more convenient.


GET EFFORTLESS TASK MANAGEMENT WITH TIME TRACKING, EASILY MANAGEABLE DEPENDENCIES, AUTOMATIC NOTIFICATIONS, AND MORE

Additional features: Time Tracking, Docs.

Integrations include: Xero, QuickBooks, HubSpot, Breathe, Zapier, Slack, Jira, and more.

Pricing

  • Plans start with the Essential plan at $9 per user per month, which includes essential features such as budgeting, project & task management, docs, time tracking, expense management, reporting, and time off management.
  • The Professional plan includes custom fields, recurring budgets, advanced reports, billable time approvals, and many more for $24 per user per month.
  • The Ultimate plan has everything that the Essential plan and Professional plan offer, along with the HubSpot integration, advanced forecasting, advanced custom fields, overhead calculations, and more for a custom price.
  • You can also check out the Enterprise Plan with custom pricing for companies that would include more than 50 active users per month.

Productive offers a 14-day free trial, so you can check out if it’s the right LiquidPlanner alternative for your agency.

Find the Perfect Alternative to Liquidplanner

Productive is the best LiquidPlanner alternative for comprehensive agency management, from resource planning to key agency insights.

Book a demo

2. Asana – One of the Best LiquidPlanner Competitors

Asana is a project and task management software that is suitable for teams with agile projects. Asana aims to simplify how cross-functional teams work by enabling real-time collaboration and the automation of repetitive tasks.

Key features:

  • Multiple project views
  • Simple workload and task management
  • Time tracking with an embedded timer or manual entry
  • Reporting dashboards and data visualization


SOurce: ASANA

Recommended for: Thanks to its Kanban boards and sprint planning capabilities, Asana can be a great LiquidPlanner alternative for project management in web development and software dev teams in general. Additionally, users praise Asana for its intuitive interface, so it can be a good choice for smaller to mid-sized companies with simpler workflows.

Consider another alternative if: You have complex projects or are following hybrid project methodologies that might benefit from a more customizable solution.

3. Smartsheet – A Good Alternative for Spreadsheet-Lovers

Smartsheet is an enterprise work and project management software that helps agencies keep track of their client projects and collaborate with all project stakeholders.

Key features:

  • Customizable dashboards that update in real-time
  • Simple resource allocation and project planning
  • Templates for tracking project budgets and expenses
  • Project portfolio management with Smartsheet Control Center


Source: SMARTSHEET

Recommended for: If your team is savvy with using Excel or other spreadsheet-based tools, Smartsheet can be a good alternative. This is especially true if you had issues with LiquidPlanner’s initial learning curve.

Consider another alternative if: You’re looking for a fully modern solution. Smartsheet shares some of the downsides of Excel, which is a reliance on manual data entry and processes where the same are automatized in other project management solutions.

4. Zoho Projects – An Affordable Option for Smaller Teams

Zoho Projects is an online project management software that provides support with project timeline tracking, collaboration between remote teams, and general workflow management.

Key features:

  • Project visualizations with Kanban boards
  • Simplified task management and notifications
  • Built-in time-tracking software
  • Seamless integrations with productivity apps


source: ZOHO PROJECTS

Recommended for: For users who enjoy the task prioritization, project schedule, and time tracking features of LiquidPlanner, Zoho Projects can be an affordable alternative, as the tool also offers a free version for smaller agencies.

Consider another tool if: An advanced resource planning and financial forecasting feature is something that you’re primarily interested in (you can also go to our list of the best workforce planning software to learn more).

5. ClickUp – A Software With Essential Management Features

ClickUp is a collaboration tool and productivity platform that helps teams of all shapes and sizes deliver projects successfully.

Key features:

  • Customizable project views
  • Real-time reporting and dashboards
  • Collaborative documentation
  • Time tracking and management


source: CLICKUP

Recommended for: Agencies that are looking for user-friendly daily task management and essential reporting might want to look at ClickUp as their alternative. It’s similar to Asana in that regard, but more flexible and open to teams with different project methodologies (go to our software comparison to improve productivity).

Consider another tool if: You are looking for in-depth financial reports or agency scheduling software integrated with project and task management.

6. Workfront – A Comparable Tool With Basic Budget Management

Workfront by Adobe is a project management solution for marketing, IT, and other types of service-providing agencies.

Key features:

  • Support for agile project management
  • Manage your budgets and project costs
  • Responsive resource and scenario planning
  • Real-time reporting and dashboards


source: ADOBE WORKFRONT

Recommended for: Adobe Workfront can be a good LiquidPlanner alternative for teams that enjoy most of what the tool has to offer but are also looking for essential budget and cost management.

Consider another tool if: You’re looking for a streamlined, intuitive solution, as multiple G2 users have reported that both the user-friendliness and overall platform performance could be better. Check out our list with the best Adobe Workfront alternative for business-wide adoption.

7. Trello – A Streamlined Tool for Agile Teams

Trello is a visual collaboration tool that helps teams work together in a simple, efficient, and flexible way.

Key features:

  • Multiple views: Table, Calendar, Timeline, etc.
  • Agile planning support
  • Easy-to-use community templates
  • App integrations with various tools


source: TRELLO

Recommended for: Trello is a streamlined project management tool that can be a good LiquidPlanner alternative for teams that are looking mainly for collaboration features. Due to its streamlined visual design, it can be considered one of the best project management software for creative agency processes.

Consider another tool if: You’re looking for more robust productivity management features, such as time-tracking reports or resource management.

8. Wrike – A Good Option for Resource & Project Management Features

Wrike is a project management solution for enhanced collaboration and productivity among all departments within an agency.

Key features:

  • Project resourcing needs estimation
  • Time tracking and workload balancing
  • Agile project management with Kanban boards
  • Essential project budget management 


source: WRIKE

Recommended for: Agencies that are looking to expand their resource management capabilities with cost tracking and invoice management.

Consider another tool if: You’re part of a growing agency that wants to optimize its finances with profitability and utilization reports, or you’re looking for an all-in-one solution that combines all of the above with sales.

9. Celoxis – A Comprehensive Solution With On-Premise Implementation

Celoxis is a project management office solution that is available both as a cloud-based and on-premise software.

Key features:

  • Project planning and scheduling
  • Management with tasks, milestones, notifications
  • Project accounting and revenue forecasting
  • Dynamic project dashboards and reports


source: CELOXIS

Recommended for: Celoxis can be a good LiquidPlanner alternative for agencies that are looking to focus on their financial management and tracking, while also utilizing features such as resource and project planning.

Consider another tool if: You’re looking for a solution with flexible pricing options. Celoxis only offers one pricing tier for subscription use, which is somewhat pricey in comparison to tools with similar management features and could be inaccessible to smaller agencies.

10. Planview AdaptiveWork – A Complex LiquidPlanner Alternative

Planview AdaptiveWork, formerly Clarizen, is a portfolio management software that helps teams of all sizes get visibility into their work and automate workflows.

Key features:

  • Expense tracking and management
  • Capacity planning and forecasting
  • Real-time agency insights
  • Timesheet and workload management


source: PLANVIEW ADAPTIVEWORK

Recommended for: Similarly to Celoxis, Planview AdaptiveWork can be a good alternative to LiquidPlanner if you’re looking to upgrade your resource planning and scheduling with more robust financial management.

Consider another tool if: Your pain point with LiquidPlanner is the user interface and implementation. G2 reviews frequently comment that Planview AdaptiveWork can be quite difficult and even expensive to configure and learn to use.

11. ProjectLibre – A Completely Free Option for Basic Planning

Project Libre is an open-source platform for project planning and control that can be downloaded to your desktop as an alternative to Microsoft Project. ProjectLibre is also offering a paid cloud version that is currently in beta release.

Key features:

  • Gantt chart with dependencies
  • Work breakdown structure generation
  • Resource allocation and tracking
  • Compatible with Microsoft Project files


source: PROJECTLIBRE

Recommended for: Project Libre is a free project tracking software that can be handy for users who are looking for the essentials of project management, especially those in startups or small individual teams.

Consider another tool if: Youre looking for a fully-fledged project resource management software solution that can cover all phases of project management, including sales, project and resource management, insights, and financial management.

Takeaway

Now that we’ve explored some of the most popular project and agency management platforms that can be great LiquidPlanner alternatives, we’ll leave you with one final tip.

Although there are many options out there, consider implementing an all-in-one tool instead of searching for solutions that get just one feature right and combining them. With just a little bit of customization and flexibility, you’ll be able to save a considerable amount of time switching back and forth between multiple tools, consolidate your workflows and key insights, and reduce IT overhead.

Sounds good? Then, consider booking a demo with Productive, the all-in-one agency management software created for and by industry professionals.

Connect With Agency Peers

Access agency-related Slack channels, exchange business insights, and join in on members-only live sessions.

Lucija Bakić

Content Specialist

Related articles