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The 10 Best Creative Project Management Software For Creative Teams in 2019

By 18/07/2019 No Comments

This will help you quickly compare and evaluate the best project management software for designers, marketing agencies, branding studios, and other teams who can benefit from creative software.

Creative Project Management Software

Quickly Compare & Evaluate The 10 Best Project Management Software For Creative Agencies

If you have ever been the Project Manager at the helm of a creative project or managing a creative agency or team then you know that this position comes with a unique set of challenges. If this is your first time addressing project management for creative teams, then buckle up.

In-house creative agencies are on the rise, which may mean that you may be either (1) Fighting for clients in an increasingly competitive job market or (2) Having to integrate a creative agency team within your current on-site space. No matter your situation, it’s important to be prepared.

Project management software for creative teams can foster collaboration, keep dates and deadlines organized, inspire people to share their ideas and build on them and foster innovation. It’s a way to balance practical, tangible, administrative needs with the imagination, freedom and creativity needed to stand out.

In this post I’ll share with you the best project management software for creative agency use; explain how creative collaboration software can help you inspire your team, prevent oversights and better meet deadlines; and answer some FAQs about creative projects management. And so that you know how we came to our decisions, I will also go over what you should look for in design project management software and our evaluation criteria.

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The Creative Project Management Software List

Creative project management means collaboration, brainstorming, communication—but it also means automating some more technical or administrative tasks to free up employee brain power for things computers just can’t do. These tools will help navigate the baseline needs of any creative team while also freeing them up to do more designing, critiquing and creating.

  1. FunctionFox
  2. GitScrum
  3. monday.com
  4. Asana
  5. Clarizen
  6. Freedcamp
  7. RoboHead
  8. ClientFlow
  9. Nuvro
  10. GetFlow

Creative Projects Management FAQ

What is a creative project?

A creative project tends to be an original “imaginative” or “artistic” solution to a problem faced by digital marketing firms, advertising agencies, branding studios and other business types.

What is creative project management?

Creative project management involves navigating the needs and workflow of a team that has been assigned a creative-oriented task. It may also being the “go between” for technical/administrative teams and creative teams to ensure everyone is working seamlessly together.

How do you manage a creative project?

Unfortunately, there is no single way to manage a creative project. However, there are some steps that you can take can get you started:

  1. Go through a careful requirements gathering process
  2. Kick off the project with solid project kickoff meeting
  3. Make sure you know how to make and use a robust project plan and budget
  4. Manage and control your projects through to delivery by monitoring progress and maintaining frequent communication (mitigate against scope creep!)
  5. Once you’ve delivered the final product, make sure you get useful feedback from your teams (for example, in a retrospective meeting)

Where to start? Read books about, listen to podcasts about, or follow blogs about creative workflow management. Our PM how-to guides are a good resource to get you oriented.

Who uses creative project management software?

Anyone can use creative project management software but some specific examples include: designers, founders, clients, marketing managers and more.

What is the easiest project management software for creatives?

User-friendly project management software like Monday or Asana can work well for creatives that may not be hugely tech-savvy. These apps are prolific enough to have a solid base of “How To” support on YouTube, their websites and other online forums.

Not looking for creative or graphic design project management software? Check out our other lists of top software to manage teams, resources, and projects:

  1. Have a team of creative-types that don’t believe in deadlines? Try our project scheduling software recommendations to reign them in.
  2. Everyone can improve their communication strategies at work. These collaboration tools can help you get the conversation going.
  3. Suffering from project scope creep? Requirement management tools might help you keep things from growing out of control.

Project Management Applications Comparison Criteria

How do I evaluate project management for creative teams? Here’s a breakdown of some on my considerations when evaluating PM software:

  1. User Interface (UI): Does it offer clear displays and intuitive navigation that your design-centric creative team would like using?
  2. Usability: Is this easy to learn and use? For creative agencies, choosing a software with good tech and user support is important because not everyone on your team will be very familiar with the technical aspects of the software. Additionally, to be easy to use, it should offer a way to manage files efficiently and access team members easily through built-in communication features. The ability to use pre-made templates (and create your own) for recurring projects can also make the tool more useful from day one.
  3. Features & Functionality: How many of the key creative management software features and functions does it provide, and how powerful are they? Specifically, I looked for:
    1. Briefs & Intake Forms: this simplifies the intake process with dynamic forms that allow your teams to set specific question flows for incoming requests, storing all these details in a central location.
    2. Visual, Customizable Workload Management: this includes project planning and task tracking features that help everyone manage their workloads. They should be able to see projects, tasks, deadlines, dependencies, and scheduling conflicts in a timeline, and track their progress on visual dashboards. And because each creative team works in its own unique way, custom approval workflows is a useful feature for defining and monitoring your work.
    3. Collaborative Feedback: feedback, revision, and collaboration is a major part of the creative process. The best project management software for creative teams should facilitate this process with real-time collaborative editing, visual markups, feedback consolidation, and version control that clearly shows the item’s changes and approval history.
    4. Reporting Features: because of the nature of creative work, justifying the cost of creative teams can present a challenge—the best software includes beautiful, simple reports that illustrate your team’s progress and value to stakeholders.
    5. Budget Management: includes estimation, invoice management, billing, time-tracking, and financial reporting features that capitalize on project data already in your system, saving you from administrative headache.
  4. Integrations: Pre-built integrations with Adobe’s Creative Suite (Photoshop, Premiere Pro, InDesign, Illustrator, etc) is ideal for many teams. And if there aren’t pre-built integrations for popular tools that creatives use, I look at how easy and affordable it is to set them up.
  5. Value for $: How appropriate is the price for its features, capabilities, and use case? Is pricing clear, transparent and flexible?

10 Best Creative Project Management Software Overviews

Creative Project Management Software - Featured image social

Get an idea of what each of the 10 best software suites that made it to my top list has to offer.

  1. FunctionFox – Simple online PM tools created by an ad agency for ad agencies, creative teams, and PR, digital, and marketing firms.
  2. Gitscrum – Agile PM software for small creative businesses focused on simplicity, organization, collaboration, and context building.
  3. monday.com – Award-winning, visually intuitive tool for planning, tracking, and collaborating on work, fully stocked with customizable templates.
  4. Asana – A complete PM solution for marketing and creative teams for planning, coordinating campaigns, tracking approvals and more.
  5. Clarizen – Fully-featured, enterprise-grade software to manage your entire agency process with portfolio, collaboration, resource management, and workflow tools.
  6. Freedcamp – Software offering Kanban boards, Gantt charts, calendars, wikis, project templates, and a host of 3rd party integrations.
  7. RoboHead – Project management solution designed specifically for in-house marketing and creative teams.
  8. ClientFlow – Software for small creative teams with features for client communication, team collaboration, and project tracking.
  9. Nuvro – Clean, efficient software for project collaboration, planning, and monitoring, with features geared towards distributed teams.
  10. GetFlow – Flexible and visually pleasing PM software geared towards marketing, creative, product, and finance teams.

The Best Creative Project Management Software Summary

SoftwareFree OptionPriceSite
FunctionFoxfunctionfox logo - creative project management softwarefree demofrom $5/user/monthCheck out FunctionFox
GitScrum
Gitscrum logo - Creative Project Management Software
free trial

free version for up to 3 users

$12/month (10 users)Check out GitScrum
monday.commonday logo - creative project management softwarefree 14-day trialfrom $17/month for 2 usersCheck out monday.com
Asanaasana logo - creative project management softwarefreemium

free 30-day trial

from $9.99/user/monthCheck out Asana
ClarizenClarizen logo - Creative Project Management Softwarefree 30-day trialfrom $29.95/user/monthCheck out Clarizen
Freedcampfreedcamp logo - creative project management softwarefree 14-day trial

freemium

from $1.49/user/ monthCheck out Freedcamp
RoboHeadRoboHead logo - Creative Project Management Softwarefree demofrom $250/month for 5 usersCheck out RoboHead
ClientFlowClientFlow logo - Creative Project Management Softwarefree 7-day trialfrom $19/user/monthCheck out ClientFlow
NuvroNuvro logo - Creative Project Management Softwarefree 30-day trialfrom $4/user/monthCheck out Nuvro
GetFlowgetflow logo - creative project management softwarefree 30-day trialfrom $5.95/user/monthCheck out GetFlow

Other Creative Workflow Management Software

Need more creative software app ideas? After all, creative projects sometimes need to think outside the box. Here are a few more creative software suggestions to get you going.

  1. Admation – Approval workflow and project management tools with ad storage and marketing calendars for creative teams in mind.
  2. Brightpod – Web-based project management and time tracking software for digital marketing and creative teams
  3. Paymo – Planning, scheduling, task management and time tracking for creative agencies, marketing, web design and business consultants.
  4. Mavenlink – A modern collaborative platform that helps you manage resources and projects, harness rich data insights and business intelligence.
  5. Teamwork – Project management, help desk solutions, team chat, document management software, CRM and more.

Want Help Narrowing Down the Options?

This tool is pretty useful. We’ve partnered with Crozdesk to give you access to their “Software Finder”.

If you input some of the details about your project and the features you’re looking for in a project management tool, it will generate a list of tools that match your preferences. You provide your email, and they send over a nice PDF guide with a summary of your best matches.

What Do You Think About These Top Creative Software Applications?

Creative teams require creative solutions to their project management problems. The above are some suggestions but, as always, not a comprehensive list. What tools or software do you use for creative project management? I’d love to see your suggestions in the comments.

Ben Aston

About Ben Aston

I’m Ben Aston, a digital project manager. I've been in the industry for more than 10 years working in the UK at London’s top digital agencies including Dare, Wunderman, Lowe and DDB. I’ve delivered everything from video virals to CMS’, flash games to banner ads and eCRM to eCommerce sites. I’ve been fortunate enough to work across a wide range of great clients; automotive brands including Land Rover, Volkswagen and Honda; Utility brands including BT, British Gas and Exxon, FMCG brands such as Unilever, and consumer electronics brands including Sony.

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