Free and Low Cost Project Management Resources

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There was a question in our Facebook group recently: where can I get project management templates? And another question: where can I get free or cheap project management training materials?

There are many premium project management templates available — including my template bundles and ebooks. And training to choose from.

But I understand that not everyone has the finances to buy templates or invest in training. Personally, I’d like to think that your PMO will purchase the templates that you need to use, or that your manager will let you buy templates on their corporate credit card.

And that they will support your career development by funding your training.

However, if that isn’t the case, you’ll be looking for free project management templates and training you can use as part of a discussion with your leadership team about why they should really be investing in resources that help you deliver change more effectively!

So here are some places to find free project management templates and other resources. I’ve also included some low cost/high value resources that I find myself recommending frequently to people who are on tight budgets.

Free project management templates has a huge free library of free project management templates. They also have premium templates which you can get free if you are a PMI member. I find their search engine quite difficult to navigate but if you spend the time hunting you can normally find the document you want.

And my free project management templates are here.

Free project management training

Whether you are looking to take an exam in project management, boost your skills in a particular area, or earn some Professional Development Units to demonstrate your continuous professional development, there’s a course that will help you. 

However, some of them are fiendishly expensive. Or simply not very good. 

Over the years I have reviewed, used and tested dozens of training courses and study materials, so you don’t have to take any chances. 

Here are some free and low cost/high value project management training resources available online that I find myself recommending frequently to people who are on tight budgets. Despite some of these not costing anything, some of these links are affiliate links which means I’d make a small commission if you spent any money on them. 

These are all products I’ve tried out myself and can personally recommend. 

PMI Kickoff

Kickoff from PMI® is an excellent free beginners project management course that comes in Agile and Predictive versions. Perfect for accidental project managers and people needing a structured approach to project work for the first time.

Plus you get a Credly badge to display on your LinkedIn profile, to highlight your project management skills on that platform.

Best for: People who need a quick overview in a couple of hours.

Free training!
Kickoff from PMI

An excellent free beginners project management course that comes in Agile and Predictive versions. Perfect for accidental project managers and people needing a structured approach to project work for the first time.

We may earn a referral fee if you sign up #pmiaffiliate #ad

Google Project Management Certificate

OK, this one is only free if you don’t want to take the peer-reviewed assignments and graded tests. If you want a comprehensive overview of project management, you can audit the course and work through the material for free.

You will have to upgrade to a paid option to get access to the graded materials, but in my experience you can complete the course in a month if you dedicate enough time to it.

So…. free for learning (choose to audit the courses) but not free to get the Credly badge for your LinkedIn profile. You can’t say you’ve ‘earned’ the certificate if you have only audited the courses, but you will come away from it knowing loads about project management.

Best for: People who need a comprehensive project management class.

Google Project Management Certificate

A solid, professional, well-recognized project management course from a great training provider. Perfect for beginners and people interested in learning more about project management as a career.

Learn more
We earn a commission if you click this link and make a purchase, at no additional cost to you #ad

OnlinePM Courses

Dr. Mike Clayton offers well-respected project management training and his free 78-minute video course, PM Fundamentals, is good for beginners.

BrainBOK ITTO Explorer

Did you know that Enterprise Environmental Factors is an input to 27 PMBOK® processes? Nope, neither did I. BrainBOK has an ITTO Explorer makes all of that transparent. You get limited access to it for free, plus a 200-question sample exam paper to help you prepare for the PMP® exam.

There are paid plans also available if you want more.

Free project management exam simulators

It’s widely acknowledged that if you want to do well on exams, having the chance to practice in a realistic environment is important. Enter the exam simulator. You can get 7 days of free access to a number of exam simulators, so you can test out your skills before taking the real exam.

Free CAPM® exam simulator – 7-day access

Free PMP® exam simulator – 7-day access

Free PMI-ACP® exam simulator – 7-day access

After the 7 day period, you will need to pay to upgrade your access if you want to use the tools for longer.

Free resources to earn PDUs

Watch my past webinars for free. Each one will earn you a PDU or more, and I promise you’ll learn something at the same time!

Cornelius Fichtner offers a free podcast that you can use to claim PDUs – good if you are trying to develop your skills or get your PDUs sorted for the year. He also offers a free taster of his PMP training.

If you hold the PMI-ACP certification, you could use the free Agile PrepCast lessons to earn a few PDUs towards maintaining your certificate.

Free eBooks

Many software vendors have free ebooks full of useful advice like this one, this one, and these.

You do have to expect a sales pitch or a mention of their product, but the fundamental guidance on project management is good and often better than you’d get through random Google surfing.

Low cost resources

There are dozens of places to go online to learn more about project management. Most of the options above have paid-for products as well, if you want to dive deeper and like the teaching style or resources offered.

Coursera has a lot of options, but you’ll have to pay to access the materials beyond the trial and you’ll need to choose carefully to make sure the course you choose is going to meet your needs.

I looked at one MOOC on time management for project managers (yes! I definitely need this) and found the syllabus was all schedule management techniques (no! I don’t want to learn about crashing, thanks anyway). The description wasn’t misleading, but I misinterpreted it.

From time to time, Udemy runs a really great discount deal on their courses and there are quite a few highly reviewed project management courses there.

One area I get asked about a lot is work breakdown structures. WBSCoach is a good tool to improve your skills in that area.

I have premium templates too, that are actually more than just templates as you get guidance on how to use them too like this meetings template kit and this stakeholder template kit.

PMP® Training & Study Guides 

PM PrepCast: Video training course from Cornelius Fichtner. Provides the 35 contact hours you need for the exam and all the relevant material. (The CAPM® version is here – this certification is perfect for project managers just starting out or without the relevant experience to qualify for the PMP exam.) 

The PMP® Exam Simulator: I can’t tell you how important it is to practise under exam conditions. Taking sample papers without a time limit isn’t enough. I’ve used this realistic simulator and it’s great! (The CAPM® version is here.) 

The PM Formulas: I’m sure you can find lots of lists of formulas on the internet for free, but I like this one because it actually explains them and helps you understand why they are used. Comes with 105 sample formula questions. 

BrainBOK: Once you’ve exhausted the free content in BrainBOK you’ll want to upgrade. You get 3 practice exams, an exam focusing on formula, flashcards and more. Provides 35 contact hours required for the exam as well. 

Brain Sensei: A fun, online video course that works on mobile. A bit more expensive than the other options here, but high quality interactive learning. 

Other training Study Materials for PMI Credentials 

The Agile PrepCast: Video training course from Cornelius Fichtner for the PMI-ACP® Exam. Qualifies for 21 Contact Hours to qualify you to take the exam.

PMI-ACP® Exam Simulator: It’s very important to practise for the exam. It’s not enough to know the answers – you have to be able to perform in exam conditions. This exam simulator is so realistic and will help you mentally prepare for the test. 

Other Training Courses 

Work Breakdown Structures: One area I get asked about a lot is work breakdown structures. WBSCoach is a good tool to improve your skills in that area. 

OnlinePMCourses: There’s a full range of reasonably priced training from Dr Mike Clayton. Everything from risk management to a comprehensive course. Priced by month or for lifetime access. 

PRINCE2® and PRINCE2 Agile®: Courses from Mplaza Training that will get you through the PRINCE2 family of certifications. 

Looking for something else? Check out my past archive of articles and reviews of different training courses.

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Free and low cost project management resources