Microsoft Project (www.microsoft.com/project) seems to to be the de facto tool that both new and experienced project managers will use for their project planning activities.
MSP creates critical path schedules, and third-party add-ons are available for critical chain and event chain methodology . Schedules can be resource levelled, and chains are visualized in a Gantt chart.
Serious project based companies may further implement Project Server for better collaborations among the team members and for better resource management.
Most project managers love this product. Unfortunately, its strong points may also be its weakness as it is a heavy application that requires some learning. There is no simple ways of distributing the project plans created using MSP especially to the high level management, project sponsors or staff members who are not very computer savvy. Though MSP does provide a few ways of exporting the schedules like web access, export as html or capture as image; they are not very ideal, and though there are some MSP viewers out there, it still requires the users to download and install some applications which often is a hassle. In addition, the license cost of MSP is not cheap.