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10 Best Creative Agency Project Management Software Tools

Modern tools that automate routine work and make you live easier

Finding the right project management software is an important part of any creative agency’s workflow that need to collaborate on project-based work. With so many options available, it’s even harder to choose the tool that suits all your specific needs, especially when you look for an option that has to keep everything in one place: centralized team communication, time-tracking, tasking, proofing, approvals, and integration with your favorite apps. This is why today, we made a list of the 10 best creative agency project management software tools with a comprehensive view of pricing, features, and what you can use them for.

1. Basecamp: Real-Time Communication Tool

  • Pricing: $99 per month Business Plan for unlimited projects and users.

Basecamp is one of the most popular project management software tools for the simple reason it’s very easy to use and it just works. It’s a real-time communication tool for traditional project management tasks that require resource planning, and long-term scheduling.

What can you do with Basecamp:
  • Track projects
  • Task progress
  • Store and share documents
  • Communicate with your team in real-time
  • Facilitate project collaboration

The tool is most suitable for smaller teams who need features such as file storage and sharing, message boards, and task management.

Basecamp features:
  • To-do lists: You can create tasks and subtasks with checkboxes, set deadlines, and assign these tasks to different team members.
  • Campfires: A real-tome group chat for team discussions and basic file sharing. You can create chat rooms for each project.
  • Pings: The option to send private messages to a team member or a group of people.
  • Reports: You can keep track of projects that are overdue, monitor deadlines and milestones, monitor user activity and check out recently completed tasks, what tasks need to be done, etc.
  • Hill Charts: You can visualize progress and track large projects, issue updates with comments, and review updates over a set period in order to eliminate the need for daily meetings.
Visit Basecamp

 

2. Smartsheet: A Flexible Spreadsheet-Centric Tool

  • Pricing: Pro Plan $7 per user per month, Business Plan $25 per user per month.

Smartsheet suit agencies of any size to manage multiple projects and heavy data. It’s a very powerful and sophisticated tool that has the feel of Excell and Google Sheets, but with much more complex functionality.

What can you do with Smartsheet:
  • Oversee content production by team members
  • Setup notifications and reminders
  • Issue and review content proofs
  • Facilitate real-time collaboration
  • Use multiple feedback channels (annotations, approvals, conversations)
  • Build schedules
  • Track task time
  • Filter and group data into insightful reports
  • Filter and search asset metadata
  • Manage open, stuck, or resolved IT requests

Smartseeht isn’t beginner-friendly and has a significant learning curve due to its complex comprehensive features. However, it’s very approachable and intuitive, especially for users familiar with spreadsheet software.

Smartsheet features:
  • Shared sheets: You can manage and share your work, and invite an unlimited number of users.
  • Shared workspaces: Collaboration with your team and clients.
  • Send sheets as PDF and Excell files.
  • Upload files to workspaces, a sheet, or a row.
  • Generate advance reports.
  • Alerts and reminders.
  • Permission levels to control access.
  • Keep and review history.
Visit Smartsheet

 

3. Screendragon: Workflow Automation and resource Management

  • Pricing: $20 per month starting price. Contact Screendragon for an accurate and detailed pricing plan.

Screendragon handles project management, resource management, workflow automation, and forecasting. It gives teams a fully customizable experience such as the ability to customize dashboards, forms, rules, permissions, notifications, and managing tasks in the form of Gantt charts, kanban boards, and more.

What can you do with Screendgragon:
  • Get a 360-degree view of work across your agency with multiple portfolio views
  • Monitor progress with real-time dashboards
  • Build SOWs/ estimates
  • Forecast future revenues and resourcing needs
  • Integrate with any system (open API)
  • Integrate with Jira, Trello, Slack, Google Drive, Office 365, and others via Zaprier
  • Customize with project/workflow templates

Screendragon is ideal for marketing agencies and professional services teams, providing tracking and analysis of all projects and resource activity.

Screendragon features:
  • Advanced task management: Create task lists, easily assign tasks to team members and adjust timelines.
  • Intelligent resource management: a 360-degree view of resource capacity now and in the future.
  • Integrations: Integrate with Office365, Google Drive, SAP, PeopleSoft, MS Dynamics, and many more.
  • Budget tracking: Real-time data on budgeted costs vs planned costs vs actual costs.
  • Customization: You can customize your interface to fit your brand and work style.
Visit Screendragon

 

4. Kitchen.co: The Project Management Tool for Agencies

  • Pricing: Free for up to 3 members with up to 3 integrations; Agency Plan $9.98 per team member per month; Ultimate Plan $24.98 per team member per month

Kitchen is an AIO tool that centralizes all projects, client requests, tasks, messages, invoices, and files into one window, with two user-friendly views: agency view and client view. It serves to organize all your project conversations into one area where you can easily access every message and know who said what, and when.

What can you do with Kitchen.co:
  • Manage client requests with one thread per project
  • Use Subtasks to break down complex tasks into small, manageable pieces
  • Switch from Kanban to Table, or Calendar
  • Create project boards only your team members can see
  • Add extra information to your tasks like status, type, and more with Custom Fields
  • Create and send detailed price quotes
  • Invoice projects, add line items, and tax rates directly to your invoices
  • Sync payments with your invoicing tool
  • Protect final files with a paywall so clients can access them after paying.

In addition, the tool works with email, so clients can reply straight from their inboxes without the need to log into the platform to check out what’s happening.

Kitchen.co features:
  • Project conversations: You can organize projects into shared conversations, assign roles and invite team members. Clients can also invite members of their team.
  • Custom fields: You can create additional custom fields tied to a specific project.
  • Additional conversation features: activity log, reminders, shared client notes, location tracking, delivery status, attachment previews, email notifications, etc.
  • Invoicing and payment features
  • Quotes and approvals
  • Upfront payments
  • Setting pricing tiers, pricing variables, price breakdowns, auto-calculated time-frames, discounts, and free items.
  • Integrations: Zappier, Xero, Freshbooks, Freeagent, Quickbooks, Dropbox, GoogleDrive, OneDrive, Slack, Trello, Asana, Basecamp, and advanced integrations like multi-step forms, order forms via Rest API
Visit Kitchen

 

5. Wrike: Enterprise-Grade Collaborative Tool

  • Pricing: Free (for getting started); Professional Plan $9.80 per user per month; Business $24.80 per user per month; Enterprise

Wrike serves to help marketing teams, agencies, and professional service providers manage both projects and ongoing work. The platform offers a large assortment of features and it’s easy to use, however, it’s nearly impossible to choose the right plan without consulting customer service.

What can you do with Wrike:
  • Configured the tool to any department, team, or work style
  • Manage small and large project
  • Collaborate with team members and have discussions next to the related task
  • Build a complete publication workflow for blogs, multimedia, and others
  • Map out product development
  • Plan and coordinate events
  • Onboarding and training new recruits
  • Create simple to-do lists
  • Track objectives and results
  • Use bookmarks
  • Gain 360° visibility

Wrike also has incredible intelligent features that can predict when a project is at risk of falling behind, while it also calls attention to possible causes.

Wrike features:
  • Customizable dashboards, workflows, request forms, and more.
  • Visual proofing and automated approval system.
  • Interactive Gantt charts, kanban boards, and pre-built workflows based on different purposes.
  • The ability to customize and automate intake based on rules and auto-create and auto-assign tasks to the right teams.
  • Shared team calendars
  • Project portfolio management and time-tracking
  • Advanced analytics
  • Invoicing software
  • 400+ app integrations
  • Enterprise-grade security
Visit Wrike

 

6. Asana: Customizable Workplace CMS

  • Pricing: Basic $0; Premium $13.49 per user per month; Business $30.49 billed monthly; Enterprise (custom)

Asana is a cloud-based solution for task management making it easy for businesses of any scale to collaborate and handle multiple projects at one time.

What can you do with Asana:
  • Break all your tasks into smaller parts
  • Assign tasks to different individuals
  • Group tasks into different sections or columns on the board
  • Create drop-down, number, or text custom fields
  • Assign due dates to every task
  • Create rules to automate manual processes such as assigning tasks, updating required fields, etc.
  • Put all your team’s projects in one place
  • Use rich text in larger text fields
  • Plan all your activities using a prioritized to-do list
  • Receive and filter notifications for all your projects

The tool integrates well with Creative Cloud to assign new tasks, access designs, and get feedback. Other integrations include Microsoft Teams, office 365, Outlook, OneDrive, Jira cloud, Litmus, and Salesforce.

Asana features:
  • Workflow builder: You can create automated processes
  • Timeline: Building Gantt charts in a few clicks
  • Boards: Kanban boards to track your work
  • Calendar: A shared calendar to view your team’s work
  • Reporting: Real-time insight into progress on any stream of work
  • Goals: The ability to set strategic goals and track their progress
  • Forms: Submitting and managing work requests in one place
  • Automation: The ability to automate routine tasks
Visit Asana

 

7. ProofHub: A Smaller Simple App Making Proof Easy

  • Pricing: Essential Plan $45 per month (40 projects, unlimited users, and 15GB storage); Ultimate Control Plan $89 per month (unlimited projects, users, and 100GB storage)

ProofHub is a quick and easy to setup tool with a nice balance of features and simplicity. It’s best used for discussing visual materials, and organizing and tracking the status of projects. On the downside, the tool doesn’t have budgeting, invoicing, or resource management tools.

What can you do with ProofHub:
  • Organize and track the status of projects
  • Collaborate with your team
  • Discuss visual materials
  • Bookmarking tasks, task lists, topics, notebooks, notes, folders, and timesheets
  • Create custom fields in tasks
  • Set password requirements and customize working days for your account

ProofHub includes a reporting engine for project managers to generate custom reports and keep track of project progress and how resources are being used.

ProofHub features:
  • Project Management: Table view, boards, Gantt, calendar, tasks, subtasks, custom fields, milestones, templates, assignees, time-tracking, request forms, labels, workflows, CSV reports, and more.
  • Collaboration: Discussions, chat, group chat, notes, proofreading and review, announcements, notifications, etc.
  • Reports: Project reports, resource reports, workload reports, and custom reports
Visit ProofHub

 

8. Teamwork: Project Management with CRM

  • Pricing: Deliver Plan $10 per user per month; Grow $18 per user per month; Enterprise (custom)

Teamwork makes it easy for teams to see everything that’s important from one dashboard from daily tasks to an overview of projects in progress, or team milestones. In terms of CRM functionality, the tool has an add-on called Teamwork CRM for networking and selling, as well as integrations for HubSpot.

What can you do with Teamwork:
  • Collaborate and keep conversations in context with messaging features
  • Manage a portfolio of projects and keep everything on track
  • Use tags and filters to quickly access important data
  • Transfer data from Asana, Wrike, Basecamp, and Trello
  • Gain 360-degree visibility into milestones, tasks, and deadlines
  • View each team member’s workload

The tool also offers powerful reporting features with visual representations and identifies high and low-performing team members.

Teamwork features:
  • Boards: Configure column details, set up notifications
  • Teamwork Timer: Accurately track time spent on projects.
  • Dashboards: Real-time stream of project updates and notes.
  • Integrations: IntegrateS with G Suite programs, Slack, QuickBooks, Zendesk, HubSpot, Dropbox, and Zapier integrations.
  • Risk Register: Recording and tracking events that may fail a project.
  • Task Management: Create tasks and subtasks that can be assigned to multiple users.
  • Templates: Create reusable templates for a number of different use cases.
Visit Teamwork

 

9. Redmine: Open-Source Issue-Tracking Tool

  • Pricing: Free to download and use

Redmine is n open-source project management tool written in Ruby. It supports several database servers and is also known as an issue tracking system. Users can share their ideas using forums and internal blogs.

What can you do with Redmine:
  • Tracking issues
  • Manage multiple projects and associated subprojects
  • Create project Wikis and forums
  • Track time
  • Role-based access control
  • Integrate with various version control systems

Its open-source nature means the tool is flexible and regularly updated and secured by community volunteers. It’s also free to download and use.

Redmine features:
  • Allows tracking of multiple projects
  • Supports flexible role-based access control
  • Includes an issue tracking system
  • Features a Gantt chart and calendar
  • Integrates News, documents, and files management
  • Allows Web feeds and e-mail notifications.
  • Supports a per-project wiki and per-project forums
  • Allows simple time-tracking
  • Includes custom fields for issues, time entries, projects, and users
  • Allows user self-registration
  • Provides a REST API
  • Allows multiple databases
  • Supports SCM integration, including SVN, CVS, Git, Mercurial, Bazaar, and Darcs
  • Allows for plugins
Visit Redmine

 

10. Trello: Kanban Boards To Organize Everything

Trello is an awesome popular tool for managing and collaborating with team members on work projects and tasks. It uses Kanban boards to help you organize tons of information into simple cards, and know who’s working on what.

What can you do with Trello:
  • Manage projects, tasks, and workflow
  • Add files and checklists
  • Increase productivity
  • Assign members, add due dates, and leave comments

Everyone in the team can easily use the drag-and-drop Kanban board to manage tasks and visualize progress throughout the workflow.

Trello features:
  • Templates: Free preset templates for team management, design, sales, marketing, productivity, and others
  • Butler: Automation feature to reduce repetitive work: set up buttons on a card with preferred actions; set up rules; due date commands and calendar commands.
  • Cards: Trello cards for task descriptions, attachments, subtasks, due dates, multiple project assignees, and others
  • Trello boards: You can create multiple boards for your projects.
  • Integrations: Slack, Microsoft Teams, Dropbox, and more.
Visit Trello

 

Conclusion

Project management tools serve to help you manage your agency’s resources and budgets as well as make sure everyone is on the same page for executing the strategic goals of your business. All the tools we listed will certainly be of great assistance, so it all goes down to picking the one that fully fits your criteria in terms of price, features, integrations, complexity, and customization.

In the meantime, you can visit some of the related articles for some more insights, and inspiration, or grab a freebie:

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