Let’s be honest — standard operating procedures (SOPs) are usually boring. But having proper SOP documentation is crucial for task standardization and ensuring routine activities are handled appropriately.
SOPs provide step-by-step instructions to completing a task, helping your team create consistency and meet compliance standards or regulations. They can help reduce errors, improve safety, and prevent issues that could require costly repairs or a damaged brand reputation.
SOPs can also be frustrating to create and difficult to manage. Not only are they time-consuming to write, but trying to manually distribute and update SOPs can create confusion and problems for your team.
In order for your SOPs to actually be beneficial for your team, you need a better way to manage them. SOP software can be your ticket to a better SOP experience.
If you’re on a budget or you’re unprepared to invest in fancy technology, don’t worry. Here are the best free SOP tools in 2022.
7 best free SOP software in 2022
- Process Street
Why use SOP software?
Although SOPs are necessary, they can be a major headache for teams. When SOPs are incomplete, outdated or poorly written, they create more confusion than direction — unintentionally creating problems where they’re supposed to solve them.
SOP software eliminates most of the heavy lifting when it comes to creating and managing your procedure documents. While all SOP software will have different tools and features, some of the biggest benefits of using SOP software include:
- Improved consistency. SOPs help your team deliver the same experience each and every time. With an SOP tool supporting you, your team can quickly and easily follow the appropriate instructions to ensure a process is done the right way the first time around.
- Control sharing and permissions. Your team doesn’t need access to all your SOPs, but they do need to easily view the documents they need to do their job. With SOP software, you can control who has access to what SOPs. Keep your confidential information safe while empowering your team to do their best work.
- Centralized document hub with version control. SOPs need to be updated to reflect changes in technology or new ways of doing things, but when you’re manually distributing updated documents, it’s easy for an employee to accidentally work from an old version or outdated information. A SOP creates a centralized document hub where you can control which version employees can access.
- SOP templates. SOP software can provide structure to creating documentation, making it easier for other team members to add SOPs when necessary. Making it as easy as possible to create SOPs can improve productivity and keep your workflows moving forward.
Features of free SOP software solutions
SOP software doesn’t have to be expensive. In fact, there are great free options on the market — and you don’t have to sacrifice the features you need. When you’re choosing a free SOP software solution, here are key features to look out for:
- Easy-to-use interface. Your SOP software should be easy to use, regardless of your team’s experience level. Choose a tool with a clean UI and low learning curve.
- Integrations. When your SOP tool integrates with the rest of your tech stack, you can make the most of your data and information. Check that the tools your team uses every day is on your SOP software’s integration list.
- Task assignment and tracking. SOP software allows you to assign and monitor steps of a process like a task manager. Choosing a free tool with task assignment and tracking options gives you the ability to double check that every step is done and who completed it.
Top free SOP software in 2022
Here are the top free SOP tools in 2022.
1. Process Street
G2 Rating: 4.7/5 stars
Capterra Rating: 4.7/5 stars
Process Street Pricing: Free plan available
Process Street Features:
Process Street is a simple process and workflow management tool that uses recurring checklists and procedures to help you manage your team's knowledge and tasks. It treats processes as collaborative workflows that you can assign to team members and track activity as tasks are completed. Intuitive keyboard shortcuts and drag-and-drop editing makes creating structured process documents easy for everyone.
Process Street also has documents where you can capture, organize, and share team knowledge and information for additional context or easy referencing. Share pages with team members, link to workflows or other pages, or collaborate to get everyone’s buy-in before checking a document as complete.
G2 Rating: 4.8/5 stars
Capterra Rating: 4.7/5 stars
MaintainX Pricing: Free for small teams
MaintainX simplifies day-to-day maintenance tasks and eliminates the need for paperwork. MaintainX is designed for mobile apps, perfect for teams that don’t work behind a desk. Manage all procedures in one place, making it easy to create and find standardized processes regardless of where your team members are working.
MaintainX allows you to automatically escalate processes if a step fails or is flagged, ensuring important issues are handled by the right person in a timely manner. You can create audit trails to track work history and guarantee employees are completing tasks accurately and make sure everyone is accessing the most up-to-date information.
G2 Rating: 4.9/5 stars
Capterra Rating: 4.3/5 stars
Scribe Pricing: Free basic plan
Scribe instantly turns any process into a step-by-step guide. Simply turn on the extension or desktop app and run through your process. Scribe works while you work to auto-generate a guide, complete with text and screenshots. Share your Scribes with one click or embed them in an existing tool or wiki to build out a robust SOP program. Or simply create a Scribe the next time someone asks you "how do I...?"
Scribe takes the heavy lifting off your hands, making the SOP creation process as easy as possible. Save time, increase productivity, and enable your team to create accurate and complete SOPs, keeping everyone informed on best practices, at all times.
G2 Rating: 4.7/5 stars
Capterra Rating: 4.8/5 stars
MethodGrid Pricing: Free basic plan
MethodGrid helps you build confidence in projects, processes and people with next-generation connected assurance. It combines knowledge management, project assurance, and task management, to help teams retain knowledge work productively while maintaining compliance standards. As an integrated platform, MethodGrid makes it easy to continuously improve frameworks to increase operational efficiency and reduce risks.
MethodGrid is comprehensive, but it isn’t overwhelming. The grid system is intuitive to follow and easy to understand, and labeling and rules make it easy to get a high-level view of tasks, assignments, and statuses right from your dashboard. Link to knowledge documents, videos, files, and more right within tasks so your team can quickly access exactly the information they need.
G2 Rating: 4.3/5 stars
Capterra Rating: 4.5/5 stars
Asana Pricing: Free basic plan
Asana is well-known as a project management tool, but it can also be a great free option for smaller teams wanting to manage their SOPs. Asana helps your team stay organized and clear on what projects need to get done and what tasks they’re responsible for. Easily communicate, ask questions, and share resources within Asana, keeping everyone on task.
Asana also lets you automate repetitive tasks and keep everything moving along. As an SOP tool, you can create templates to duplicate and run whenever a standard process needs to be followed. Automatically establish hierarchies or trigger events to keep flows moving along as team members complete tasks, or alert the appropriate parties if something goes wrong and a higher-up needs to step in to help.
G2 Rating: 4.6/5 stars
Capterra Rating: 4.7/5 stars
Notion Pricing: Free basic plan
Notion is a customizable workspace that fits your teams’ needs, whatever they may be. As an SOP tool, Notion can act as a knowledge base to keep your important information safe or to provide employees with documentation to follow when they need it, or it can be used as a task management tool to assign different phases of the process to your team members.
Notion is flexible, empowering your team to get creative about how you use the tool. They also have a strong community with dozens of templates available, so you can hit the ground running without needing to do any page building of your own.
G2 Rating: 4.4/5 stars
Capterra Rating: 5/5 stars
Workflowy Pricing: Free
Workflowy keeps organization simple and acts as an alternative to dozens of frequently used apps. With Workflowy, just add information similar to a notes app and organize it into basic columns by dragging and dropping. You can tag, highlight, or copy important information to collaborate with the rest of your team. As an SOP tool, Workflowy keeps your processes clear and simple — great for teams that don’t want all the bells and whistles.
Workflowy has templates you can use to get started, but it’s also easy and intuitive. However, similar to a tool like Notion, because Workflowy is so flexible, it can feel overwhelming to some.
Getting started with a free SOP tool
If your budget is tight or you’re not convinced an SOP tool is right for you, a free platform is a great place to get started. With a free SOP tool supporting your team, you can increase productivity while maintaining high-quality standards and creating consistency and dependability your customers will remember.
Take advantage of free tools like Scribe today!