Top Free SOP Software [2024]

By
Lauren Funaro
August 19, 2022
11
min read
Updated
January 11, 2024
Photo credit
SOP software makes creating, managing and tracking processes easier and more efficient. Check out these 7 free Standard Operating Procedure software tools to maximize team efficiency and productivity.
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Introduction

Let’s be honest—standard operating procedures (SOPs) are usually boring. But SOP software can help you save time, streamline operations, streamline processes and raise quality standards across the organization.

SOPs can be time-consuming to write, manually distribute and update. SOP software allows you to automate the creation, editing, and sharing of standard operating procedures (SOPs).

What if we told you there was a tool that could build SOPs for you? Scribe is an SOP generator that captures your screen, bringing your unique processes to life in a visual step-by-step guide.

Generate SOPs in seconds with this free tool ➜

TL;DR: Best free SOP software tools in 2024 

  1. Scribe
  2. ClickUp
  3. MaintainX
  4. Notion
  5. Workflowy
  6. Process Street 
  7. Method Grid

Why use free SOP software?

By automating processes, SOP software can improve communication, collaboration, compliance, and decision-making.

SOP software makes it easier for employees to find the information they need to do their jobs.

While all SOP software will have different tools and features, some of the biggest benefits of using SOP software include: 

  1. Improved consistency. SOPs help your team reduce errors, improve quality and deliver the same experience each and every time.
  2. Enhanced training: Create employee training materials that train new and existing employees on how to perform tasks correctly.
  3. Control sharing and permissions. Control who has access to what SOPs, keeping confidential information safe while empowering your team to do their best work.
  4. Centralized document hub with version control. SOP software creates a centralized hub where you can control which version employees can access.
  5. SOP templates. SOP software can provide structure to creating documentation, making it easier for other team members to add SOPs when necessary.
  6. Manage regulatory compliance: SOP software can help you comply with compliance standards by providing a central repository for all of your SOPs.

7 free SOP software tools for creating SOPs 

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. 

1. Sc‎ribe

Scribe - free SOP software
G2 rating: 4.8 out of 5 stars

Capterra rating: 4.9 out of 5 stars

Scribe's free SOP software turns any process into a step-by-step guide. Create powerful, visual procedures in half the time.

Scribe pricing:

  • Free basic plan.
  • Pro Plan Personal: $23/seat/month.
  • Pro Plan Team: $12/seat/month (5 seat minimum).

Scribe features:

‎Scribe uses AI to help you automatically write instructions and generate SOPs in minutes.‎ 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.

Customize SOPs in seconds with Scribe - free SOP software

‎Chances are you're the go-to person on your team. That means you spend a lot of your time answering questions, training others and building manual documentation. Let Scribe document your SOPs for you, so you can focus on the work that matters.

Pros:

  • Add custom edits, annotate screenshots, adjust sections and add text to your SOP.
  • Create professional SOPs branded with your company logo and colors.
  • Blur employee or customer data from screenshots.
  • Easily access your Scribes in a central, searchable repository for your team.
  • Share your Scribes with one click or embed them in an existing tool or wiki to build out a robust SOP program.
  • Save time, increase productivity, and enable your team to create accurate and complete SOPs, keeping everyone informed on best practices, at all times.

Cons:

  • Branding is only available for the Pro plan.
  • Screenshot annotations and redactions are also only available for Pro subscribers.

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What users are saying about Scribe:

"SOPs in seconds. The speed in which I can go from "I need to show someone how to do something" to "I have a step-by-step process that I can send you" is INCREDIBLE." — Sean P., Marketing Branding Consultant

Generate visual SOPs in seconds ➜

2. Cl‎ickUp

ClickUp free SOP software
(Source: ClickUp)

G2 rating: 4.7 out of 5 stars

Capterra rating: 4.7 out of 5 stars

ClickUp pricing:

  • Free Forever basic plan.
  • Unlimited: $7/month per user.
  • Business: $12/month per user.
  • Business Plus: $19/month per user.
  • Enterprise: Contact for pricing.

ClickUp features: 

ClickUp is an all-in-one project and task management software designed to help teams of all sizes stay organized.

Pros:

  • Library of SOP software templates.
  • Dynamic and static documents for version control.
  • Defined and segmented user roles.
  • Gantt charts, Kanban boards, and timeline views.
  • Third-party integrations with over 500 apps like Slack, Google Drive and Dropbox.

Cons:

  • The free version does not include some SOP software features and limits storage space.
  • Customers report the user interface is not user-friendly, with a steep learning curve.
  • Limited templates, color and font choices.

3. Ma‎intainX‍

MaintainX free SOP software
(Source: MaintainX)

G2 rating: 4.8 out of 5 stars

Capterra rating: 4.8 out of 5 stars

MaintainX pricing:

  • Free basic plan available.
  • Essential: $16 per user/month.
  • Premium: $49 per user/month.
  • Enterprise: Contact MaintainX for custom pricing.

MaintainX features: 

MaintainX is a mobile-first work order and procedure CMMS platform for industrial and frontline workers.

Pros:

  • Digitize procedures, work orders, inspection logs and audit checklists.
  • Automatically escalate processes if a step fails or is flagged, ensuring the right person handles important issues.
  • Create audit trails to track work history and ensure employees complete tasks accurately. 

Cons:

  • The app is missing some features that are included on desktop.
  • Some features are not available in offline mode.
  • Reporting is limited in the standard Dashboard, although you can create custom reports.

4. No‎tion 

Notion free SOP software
(Source: Notion)

G2 rating: 4.7 out of 5 stars

Capterra rating: 4.7 out of 5 stars

Notion pricing:

  • Free basic plan.
  • Plus: $8 per user/month.
  • Business: $15 per user/month.

Notion features: 

Notion is a customizable workspace. As an SOP tool, Notion acts as a knowledge base to provide employees with documentation when they need it.

Pros:

  • Notion can be used as a task management tool to assign different phases of the process to your team members. 
  • The free plan offers unlimited blocks (projects) for individuals and a limited block plan for teams.
  • Its flexibility allows your team to get creative about how you use it.
  • Dozens of templates are available.

Cons:

  • The user interface is not intuitive for new customers.
  • The application has a steep learning curve.
  • While Notion is highly customizable, users have to spend time configuring their workspace.

5. Wo‎rkflowy 

Workflowy free SOP software
(Source: Workflowy)

‎G2 rating: 4.4 out of 5 stars

Capterra rating: 4.6 out of 5 stars
Workflowy pricing:

  • Free forever basic plan.
  • Workflowy Pro $4.99/month.

Workflowy features: 

Workflowy is a web-based task management app.

Pros:

  • With Workflowy, just add information similar to a notes app and organize it into basic columns by dragging and dropping.
  • Drag-and-drop unlimited files and images in-line.
  • You can tag, highlight, or copy important information to collaborate with the rest of your team.
  • Workflowy has templates you can use to get started.

Cons:

  • Limited options for formatting, colors and layout.
  • Workflowy's flexibility can feel overwhelming to new clients.
  • The Free tier has a 500 item limit, which may not be large enough for your SOPs.

6. Pr‎ocess Street

Process Street free SOP software
(Source: Process Street)

G2 rating: 4.6 out of 5 stars

Capterra rating: 4.7 out of 5 stars

Process Street pricing:

  • Free trial available.
  • Startup: $100 per month.
  • Pro: $415 per month.
  • Enterprise: $1,660 per month.

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. While they don't offer a free plan, they do offer a free trial for you to test the software.

Pros:

  • Create process workflows, run the workflows, assign them to your team and track progress from the reports dashboard.
  • Create structured process documents with keyboard shortcuts and drag-and-drop editing.
  • Share pages with team members, link to workflows or other pages, or collaborate before checking a document as complete.
  • Third-party integrations through Zapier, webhooks or API integration.

Cons:

  • Many users report that the user interface is difficult to navigate, and there's a learning curve.
  • If you have a large team, you'll need to invest in an expensive paid plan.

Check out the top Process Street alternatives here.

7. Me‎thod Grid ‍

MethodGrid free SOP tools
(Source: Method Grid)

G2 rating: 4.7 out of 5 stars

Capterra rating: 4.8 out of 5 stars

Method Grid pricing:

  • Free trial available.
  • Professional: $24 per seat/month.
  • Enterprise: Contact for custom pricing.

Method Grid features: 

Method Grid is a configurable platform you can use to design, build and view service methodologies and internal operating procedures. Method Grid offers a free trial for you to test the software.

Pros:

  • The grid system uses stages and themes to organize complex processes.
  • Add text, images, video, file uploads and links to document management systems like OneDrive/SharePoint, Google Drive, Box, and DropBox.
  • Tasks are with your knowledge base, enabling unified knowledge and project management.
  • Unique sub-domain and customizable application colors and logos.

Cons:

  • There can be a learning curve to the grid system and fitting SOPs into the Method Grid format.

How to choose the right SOP software

There are a number of different SOP software solutions available on the market, so you'll want to consider these factors:

  • Your company's size and complexity. Larger organizations may need a more robust SOP software solution than smaller organizations.
  • Your industry: Some SOP software solutions are designed for specific industries, and they include features that are relevant to your business.
  • Your budget. Some free basic plans may not include all of the features your team needs. If you need to upgrade, make sure the paid plans won't break your budget.

Here are a few things you can do to prepare before choosing your SOP software:

  • Identify your needs: What tasks do you need to automate? What reports will you need to generate?
  • Get feedback from employees about the current SOP process. What are the pain points? Which features would be the most helpful?
  • Set a budget before you start shopping so that you don't overspend.

Tips for streamlining Standard Operating Procedures

Here are some tips for streamlining your SOPs:

  • Start with a clear understanding of your work processes. What are the goals of the task? What are the steps involved? What are the potential risks?
  • Ready-to-use templates can save time and effort.
  • The SOP should be easy to understand and follow.
  • Include flowcharts, diagrams, and interactive elements like videos for visual appeal.
  • Gather feedback and collaborate on your SOP to make sure its accurate and complete.
  • Review frequently and update SOPs to continuously improve your processes.
  • Make sure everyone can easily find and access your SOPs.
  • Train employees on your SOPs to maintain task and process consistency.

Benefits of SOP software 

When you’re choosing a free SOP software solution, here are a few key features to look for: 

  1. 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 a low learning curve.
  2. Integrations. Check that the tools your team uses every day are on your SOP software’s integration list.
  3. Task assignment and tracking. SOP software allows you to assign and monitor steps of a process like a task manager, giving you the ability to confirm that every step is done and who completed it.
  4. Workflow automation. Automate tasks like sending notifications when an SOP is due for review.
  5. Templates. SOP software usually comes with a template library you can use to standardize SOPs.
  6. Version control. Look for a tool that tracks changes and allows you to revert to previous versions if needed.
  7. Reporting. Choose SOP software that can generate reports tracking usage, making it easy to identify areas where you need to make improvements.

SOP software FAQs

How do I create a free SOP template?

Standard operating procedure templates usually include:

  • Title.
  • Purpose.
  • Scope.
  • Procedure.
  • Responsibilities.
  • Resources and related documents.
  • Revision history: The revision history section should track changes that have been made to the SOP over time.
  • Approvals.

Check out our free Standard Operating Procedure (SOP) Template to get started customizing your SOPs.

Should you write your own SOP?

It depends on your specific situation, but here are three factors to consider:

  • Experience level: If you are experienced in the task or process that the SOP is describing, then you are well-positioned to write your own SOP.
  • Time constraints: If you're short on time, you may want to consider using an SOP template or leveraging AI tools.
  • The importance of the process: If the SOP is for a critical task or process, it's important to get it right and accurate.

What is the AI tool for creating SOPs?

Some SOP software tools, like Scribe, leverage AI to build a complete SOP of your workflow with automatic screenshots and text.

Using the power of ChatGPT, Scribe's AI-powered SOP Generator writes your process documentation for you in minutes.

Who usually writes SOPs?

It depends on the specific task or process that the SOP is describing. Some of the most common people who should write SOPs include:

  • Process owners.
  • Subject matter experts (SMEs).
  • Writers.
  • Managers.

What’s the difference between a procedure and an SOP?

A procedure is a set of step-by-step instructions for completing a task or activity.

SOPs are a more formal, detailed document that describes procedures in detail, including the purpose, scope, responsibilities, the steps involved, and the required resources.

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 free SOP software supporting your team, you can increase productivity while maintaining high-quality standards and creating consistency and dependability your customers will remember. 

Try our free AI-powered SOP Generator and build your SOPs in minutes.

Ready to try Scribe?

Scribe automatically generates how-to guides and serves them to your team when they need them most. Save time, stay focused, help others.