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Ideally, this software would allow me to track and plan out several projects across a timeline in terms of identifying and scheduling associated tasks and tracking their completion. The projects are mine alone.

There are plenty of options out there, but it seems that all of them focus on collaboration and cloud-based multi-platform accessibility. I do not require these features and I would prefer to reduce the attention and interface overhead associated with them. I would be delighted for the application simply to run offline without the need ever to create a web-based account. If necessary I can put up with hosting a local server.

Of course, I am willing to pay.

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I can not say anything about commercial tools, but I can give you a brief overview of a couple of free cross platform tools I've used in the past for project planning.

For simple projects, you can try GanttProject, which is a very easy to use local application but has limited support for planning and scheduling. It supports editable Gantt charts, tasks with dependencies and assigning resources. It requires a working Java environment.

ProjectLibre is similar to GanttProject, but has additional features like task network diagrams and better reporting.

Redmine is a web application, that could also be used for project tracking, but it is more suitable for issue tracking than for project planning. Redmine can be hosted on a local server.

For more advanced projects you can try TaskJuggler, which has a very powerful scheduler and customizable reports. It is a command line tool that processes project definitions from a text file. Due to it's domain specific language, it has a steep learning curve and tracking projects can become quite difficult. It requires a working Ruby environment.

Disclosure: I'm the author of TaskFalcon.

TaskFalcon is a project/task scheduler, similar to TaskJuggler. It uses project definitions from text files, but has a simpler syntax and better support for tracking projects. It has still a steeper learning curve than graphical applications like GanttProject. There is a Visual Studio Code extension to support editing the project files.

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  • Thank you for your response, and for your conscientiousness in presenting several alternatives. I intend to experiment with ProjectLibre and TaskFalcon. While a GUI helps a lot - for me - with speed of use, I am not strictly deterred by the idea of text-based input. Regardless, the relative simplicity of features and lack of dependence on an internet connection were my priorities, and so my question has been answered well. I wish you luck with further development of TaskFalcon. – Haru Mori Jan 27 at 3:50
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Even though you have already got a comprehensive answer, there are a couple more worth looking at:

  • dotProject - I used this for personal usage in the past by installing webserver (via XAMPP) onto my laptop. It was quite good then and has many addons (e.g. time tracking etc). You can hide the modules you do not need. See also here

  • OpenProj - "a desktop project management application similar to Microsoft Project. OpenProj has a familiar user interface and even opens existing MS Project files. OpenProj is interoperable with Project, Gantt Charts and PERT charts."

  • See here for a comprehensive list of others...

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