Project Management Tools

11 Best Creative Agency Project Management Software Tools (2021)

Creative Agency Project Management Software Tools

In this article, we compare the best creative agency project management software. Creative teams, such as branding, web design, advertising, and marketing agencies, will find these tools useful for managing their day-to-day workflows.

Here’s what we’ll cover:

Let’s begin.

What is creative agency project management software?

While there are many project management tools available today, not all of these are an excellent fit for creative projects.

Unlike construction and software projects, creative projects often do not need technical project management expertise.

Besides, every creative team has its own workflows and rarely follows any project management methodology.

As a result, creative agency project management software needs to be flexible and straightforward. Yet, it should help creative teams plan, track, and deliver projects on time and within budget.

Who uses creative agency project management software?

Both internal and client-facing creative teams find creative project management tools useful. These teams include:

  • Advertising agencies
  • Branding agencies
  • Web design agencies
  • Marketing agencies
  • Creative consultants

Common creative agency management workflows

Agency workflows are often simple. But, they have a lot of moving parts and need close collaboration between team members. 

Some of the common workflows include:

Best creative agency project management software

So far, we’ve looked at the what and why of creative agency project management tools. Next, let’s look at some of the apps that are available to creative teams today.

Toggl Plan

Toggl Plan is a simple yet flexible project management tool. It comes with an intuitive, drag-and-drop interface that makes it easy for creative teams to plan and track projects.

Toggl Plan - Simple Project Management Software

Project plan timelines make it easy to manage project schedules and milestones. Additionally, you can zoom in on a week, month, quarter, or year of the timeline. This way, you can look into the details or get a high-level overview of the project.

Team timelines help plan and allocate team members to projects. Also, they provide a clear overview of the team’s availability and workload.

Toggl Plan also has task boards that you can use to manage tasks. Plus, you can customize these boards to match your workflow.

It’s easy to assign a task to one or more members. Responsible team members can collaborate via comments and file attachments. Also, you can attach a task checklist to improve task completion quality.

Pricing & additional features

Toggl Plan’s free plan is suitable for solo users. It comes with almost all the features mentioned above. Paid team plans start at $9 per user per month.

Toggl Plan also has these features in addition to those mentioned above:

  • Share a read-only timeline view.
  • Recurring tasks.
  • Time tracking with the Toggl Track integration.
  • Integrate with Slack, GitHub, and Google Calendar.
  • Favorite projects and quick search for easy access.
  • Role-based access control.

Is Toggl Plan right for you?

If you’re looking for a flexible yet simple creative project management tool, Toggl Plan may be perfect for you. It’s a tool that all your teammates will enjoy using every day.

Asana

Asana is a popular tool among large and complex teams. It comes with many different ways to execute projects, such as boards, Gantt timelines, calendars, and task lists.

Asana

Asana is great for large organizations that need to manage a portfolio of projects and keep track of organizational goals. 

When it comes to project management, Asana provides multiple ways to look at a project. You can view a project as a simple task list, a Kanban board, a calendar, or a Gantt chart. 

Also, you can visualize your team’s workloads in the workload view.

Pricing & additional features

Asana’s free plan is suitable for small project teams. Paid plans start at $13.49 per user per month.

Additional features include:

  • Workflow automation rules.
  • Accept customer or internal requests via forms.
  • Approvals & proofing.
  • Integrations for all popular tools.

Is Asana right for you?

Asana is great if you have a large and complex team hierarchy. It comes with all the features you need to manage a portfolio of projects. However, for smaller teams, Asana may feel overwhelming. 

Workamajig

Workamajig is an all-in-one creative team management software for large-scale agencies. It comes with tools for project management, sales CRM, and resource management.

Workamajig - Project Management Software For Creative Teams

For project management, Workamajig has a robust set of features. 

Using pre-made templates, you can quickly create a project schedule, allocate resources and finalize budgets. 

Keep track of tasks using simple task lists. Tasks can be matched to in-house resources or freelancers based on their skillset.

Also, you can track conversations and file attachments as well as review and manage approvals.

Pricing & additional features

Workamajig does not have a free plan. However, you can sign up for a paid plan starting at $50 per user per month. The first month is free across all plans. 

You also get the below features in Workamajig:

  • Project finance and accounting.
  • Keep track of project invoices and expenses.
  • Time-tracking with forecasting reports.

Is Workamajig right for you?

If you’re looking for a complete agency management solution, Workamajig may be perfect for you. However, smaller agencies may find it overly complicated.

Nifty

When it comes to features, Nifty has a lot to offer. In addition to project and portfolio management features, Nifty also comes with team chats.

Niftypm

You can use Kanban boards and to-do lists to manage tasks in Nifty. Also, you can add recurring tasks, sub-tasks, and milestones. 

Team members can collaborate using team chats. Within team chats, you can share files and convert ideas into project tasks.

Nifty also supports inbuilt time tracking with detailed reports.

Pricing & additional features

Nifty does not have a free plan. Paid plans start at $49 per month for up to 10 users.

Additional features in Nifty include:

  • Project dashboards.
  • Schedule and workload overviews.
  • Project portfolio management.

Is Nifty right for you?

If you’re looking for a project management tool with built-in team chat, Nifty may be worth checking out. 

ProProfs Project

Proprofs is an easy-to-use, online project management tool. It comes with features for planning, tracking, and invoicing client projects.

Proprofs Projects

The ProProfs task timeline helps you plan and visualize project schedules. Kanban boards help you organize tasks and ideas with customizable workflows.

Larger tasks can be divided into subtasks. And team members collaborate on tasks via comment discussions and shared files. Plus, they also get real-time notifications when things change.

ProProfs Projects also supports time tracking. Also, you can invoice clients based on the billable hours recorded.

Pricing & additional features

Proprofs Projects does not have a free plan. But you can try the tool out with a 15-day free trial. The premium paid plan costs $6 per user per month, for a minimum of 5 users. A lighter, Essentials plan costs $3 per user per month.

Proprofs Projects comes with the following additional features:

  • Recurring tasks.
  • Timeline reports for each task.
  • Native apps for Windows, Mac, and mobile.

Is ProProfs Project right for you?

If you’re looking for an affordable, yet feature-rich project management tool for your creative agency, ProProfs Project may be right for you.

Trello

Trello is a simple Kanban-based project management tool with automated workflows. It also comes with enterprise-grade security features and power-ups for integrating with other tools.

Trello

Trello boards make it easy to manage project workflows visually. You can customize board workflows to match your team’s processes. While the board is the primary way to view a project, you can also use a calendar, timeline, or map view for visualizing projects.

Task cards come with a variety of features. You can add task checklists, attach files and documents, and discuss tasks via comments.  

Trello also comes with a project dashboard view and detailed reports. Besides, you get the team table view to manage workloads.

Pricing & additional features

Trello’s free plan comes with unlimited personal boards, ten team boards, and one power-up. However, you don’t get the timeline, map, or dashboard views.

Paid plans start at $12.50 per user per month, where you get all the features mentioned above with unlimited team boards and power-ups.

Additional features in Trello include:

  • Customize board backgrounds and stickers.
  • Store unlimited files with up to 250 MB per file.
  • Pre-made board templates.
  • Organize task boards into collections.
  • Role-based permissions.

Is Trello right for you?

From free users to enterprise teams, Trello offers something for everyone. However, as you create more boards, things quickly become complicated.

Monday.com

Monday.com is another popular project management tool among creative teams. It’s a versatile tool with a colorful and fun user interface.

Monday.com

Monday.com comes with multiple ways to interact with a project. It has simple task lists, Kanban boards, project timelines, and even a map view. 

Like all task management tools, tasks can have attachments, notes, and comments. And, it’s easy to customize task workflows to match your team’s way of working.

Finally, the workload view helps you manage team workloads.

Pricing & additional features

Monday.com doesn’t have a free plan. However, you can sign up for a 15-day free trial. If you need all the features mentioned above, you’ll need to sign up for Monday.com’s Pro plan. The Pro plan costs $20 per seat per month, with a minimum of 3 seats.

Additional features the come with the Pro plan include:

  • Track time spent on tasks.
  • Automate workflows.
  • Project dashboards for up to 10 projects.
  • Guest access.

Is Monday.com right for you?

Monday.com is a feature-rich project management platform with lots of useful features. If you don’t mind shelling out the money, Monday.com may be suitable for you.

Basecamp

Basecamp is more a team collaboration tool than a project management app. Yet, it is popular, particularly among distributed creative teams.

Basecamp - Project Management For Remote Teams

With Basecamp, you let go of flexibility. You don’t get custom task workflows or statuses. Tasks are simple to-do lists that you check when done.

To-do items have a due date and can have multiple responsible team members. Team members collaborate on to-do items via comments and shared files.

In addition to to-do lists, you also get bulletin boards and team messaging features. 

Pricing & additional features

Basecamp’s free plan is right for solo users. The paid team plan costs $99 per month for an unlimited number of users.

Additional features include:

  • Schedule calendars.
  • Automatic team check-ins.

Is Basecamp right for you?

If you’re looking for a simplistic team collaboration tool, Basecamp is excellent. However, you’ll lose out on the flexibility and will have to adapt to Basecamp’s way of working.

Wrike

Wrike is a versatile and robust project management solution. Its versatility means all teams, including creative ones, can use it.

Wrike Project Management

With Wrike’s Gantt timelines, you can create perfect project schedules, while accounting for task dependencies. Using critical path analysis, Wrike helps you identify bottlenecks. Project managers can also import project plans directly from Microsoft Project.

Kanban boards make it easy to manage tasks. Plus, you can customize these boards according to your team’s needs. 

Pricing & additional features

Wrike’s free plan is suitable for teams with up to 5 members. However, you don’t get timelines and task dependencies in the free plan.

Paid plans start at $9.80 per user per month. However, you have to pay in advance for a year.

Other features in Wrike are:

  • Real-time activity stream.
  • Pre-made project templates.
  • Request forms.
  • Project and task approvals.
  • Track time spent on tasks.
  • Generate timesheet reports

Is Wrike right for you?

Wrike is a versatile project management solution. Wrike can be the right choice for internal creative teams, where other teams are also using it as a PM tool.

FunctionFox

Like Workamajig, FunctionFox is for creative professionals and agencies. It comes with both project management and timesheet management features.

FunctionFox - Marketing Project Management Sofrware

FunctionFox is available in three versions — Classic, Premier, and In-house. 

The Classic version comes with simple time and expense tracking. Plus, you get powerful reports to help you dive into project details.

The Premier version is for creative teams that are looking for scheduling and task management features. In addition, you also get internal communication boards along with the features in the Classic version.

For in-house teams, the In-house version has online request forms in addition to the features in Classic and Premier versions.

Pricing & additional features

The Premier version costs $50 per month for the first user. All subsequent users cost $10 per user per month. 

FunctionFox’s free plan is limited to 3 users and two projects. It comes with features available in the Classic version.

Additional features include:

  • Track estimates and budgets.
  • Advanced reports.
  • Bulletin boards.
  • File and document sharing.

Is FunctionFox right for you?

Compared to other applications on this list, FunctionFox appears complex and has a slightly dated user interface. But it has a free plan that may suit a small agency team.

WP Project Manager

Built on the WordPress platform, WP Project Manager is a plugin that you can install on your WordPress website.

WordPress Project Management Software

WP Project Manager comes with Kanban boards for task management. Gantt timelines are available for planning, and interactive calendars make scheduling easy.

Team members can collaborate using task comments and shared files. Plus, each team member gets a personal dashboard.

Pricing & additional features

A free version of the plugin is available on the WordPress plugin repository.

Paid versions start at $55 per year. You get additional features in the paid versions, including subtasks, milestone management, Kanban boards, and Gantt charts.

Other features in WP Project Manager are:

  • Invoice management.
  • Time tracking.
  • Recurring tasks.

Is WP Project Manager right for you?

If you’re comfortable hosting your project management system within WordPress, WP Project Manager is worth a try. Otherwise, keeping your system up to date can be quite a hassle.

How to choose the best creative agency project management software?

At this point, you know about the project management software options you have for your creative agency. But, how do you go about choosing the right one for your needs?

Here are the factors that matter to creative teams:

  • Features:
    • Planning features: Does the software come with project planning features such as timelines or calendars? Can you plan your team’s availability and allocation?
    • Task management feature: Can you customize the task workflow to suit your team’s process? Does the tool make it easy for the team to update tasks?
    • Team collaboration: Can the team discuss and collaborate on tasks? Can you attach and share files? 
    • Workload management: Does the software come with a feature to visualize your team’s workload? Can you rebalance the workload on the fly?
    • Integrations: Does the tool integrate well with other tools in your workflow?
  • Budget: Do the features make sense to your team? Is the price reasonable for the features provided?
  • User interface: Does the user interface match your team’s culture? Is the interface cluttered?
  • Usability: Is the tool easy to use and update? Can your team update information quickly?

Evaluate the above tools based on the above factors. Once you’ve shortlisted the tools you like, take them for a trial run along with your team.

Finally, choose the tool that fits most naturally to your team’s needs.

March 2, 2021