The creative process demands flexibility. Any copywriter, designer, or other creative will tell you that inspiration and flow can feel elusive at times, so a combination of fostering imagination and giving it space to turn up is necessary to the creative process. For that reason, project management may feel like a foreign concept to creative agencies.
However, as any agency leader will tell you, deadlines still have to be met and clients’ needs satisfied in order to keep business profitable, so project management is a necessary counterpart in the workflow of creatives. In fact, it can actually help to keep extra work off of creatives’ plate — 67% of creative teams report over-servicing 50% or more of their clients due to scope creep. Project management is a vital framework to apply in order to avoid this overextension. With that in mind, we are lucky to live in a time where there is an abundance of PM software that can help your team get organized, fast. Here is our list of the best project management software for a creative agency.
So often, project management software can feel like it was made for technology start-ups, financial corporations, or engineering firms with their own internal project management organization. That’s why CROOW is special. It’s a project management platform created by creatives, for creatives, with collaboration and client management at the forefront.
For creative agencies, things like time tracking are critical to properly billing clients. But those same agencies need the flexibility to track based on the kind of contract they’ve created with their partners. CROOW allows teams to track time to tasks or projects, in-the-moment or after the fact. It also takes that time tracking and builds reporting around it so that your agency can better understand its workflow, and make improvements in efficiency.
If you’re tired of the back-and-forth email chains built around asset approvals, CROOW eliminates that, too. With built-in Approval functionality, clients can access an asset or project document right on the platform, and leave feedback and comments directly on that item. The approval process also allows the whole team to keep track of the different versions of an asset, and to see when it’s finally approved by all stakeholders.
Requests in CROOW allow clients to submit new project, task, or other work requests to the team or team member that can then assign it out to the most appropriate creative. Project templates speed up the time it takes to gather all the necessary information and documents for starting a project. The CROOW Stock library puts gorgeous, professional, diverse stock images right at your fingertips in-app. Gantt chart and Kanbahn views allow a bird’s-eye view of project progress. Everything in CROOW was developed to meet a need from a real, working creative agency — and it’s all built to be easy to use, too.
If you’re looking for software with a broad range of options, monday.com has plenty. The application is vast, but touts a few specific features as being marketing-friendly. Whether you’re tracking a campaign, organizing social media posts, or planning an event for a client, monday.com highlights its task status automation, customizable forms, file storage, and task views as some of the most pertinent functionality you’ll get immediate usage out of.
The unique thing about ClickUp is that it allows users to select the widgets with the functionality they need, and hide the rest so that the platform is streamlined and customized to your team’s exact specifications. For example, if your team wants to store a wiki or documentation about processes in your platform, that’s an option you can select. If you want to set up recurring tasks, that’s another feature you can choose. Integrations, reporting, and collaboration features are also all included in ClickUp’s long list of features. If you’ve got time to scan through all of the options and select what matters the most to your team, ClickUp can give you that custom platform that best fits your team’s workflow.
If your creative agency is already deeply integrated into the world of Google Workspace, VOGSY might be the best project management platform for you. Made specifically for users of Google Workspace, VOGSY creates a folder structure in Google Drive for customers, offers reports via Sheets, add-ons for automated emailing through Gmail, and much more. Within the framework of Google Workspace, VOGSY’s main focus is to speed up the quote to cash pipeline and help keep teams organized and efficient as they manage their tasks.
FunctionFox’s main focus is to reduce time spent on administrative tasks so creative teams can focus on being creative. It has integrated time-tracking tools that provide timesheet read-outs for team leaders, to-do lists with email alerts, and a CEO desktop in all three paid versions of the app.
ProofHub has a lot of the necessary features of a project management application, but one that particularly stands out is the ability to take notes within the app and share them with teammates or clients. If you’re in a meeting and want to jot down minutes, you can do so in a shared space so everyone stays on the same page. It’s also got an Announcements section so agency leaders can bring their team’s attention to important information each morning when they sign in to work.
Do you ever find that you’ve knocked out multiple tasks at once in one sitting? ActiveCollab is proud of you — and wants you to get that “just checked a box” feeling in the form of a batch edit. Yes, task management in this PM platform includes lots of flexibility when it comes to managing tasks — things like moving them between lists and projects, or adding in dependencies. This platform has a beautiful, simple interface so you can get down to business right away.