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.
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.
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:
- User Interface (UI): Does it offer clear displays and intuitive navigation that your design-centric creative team would like using?
- 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.
- 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:
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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
Get an idea of what each of the 10 best software suites that made it to my top list has to offer.
- FunctionFox – Simple online PM tools created by an ad agency for ad agencies, creative teams, and PR, digital, and marketing firms.
- Gitscrum – Agile PM software for small creative businesses focused on simplicity, organization, collaboration, and context building.
- monday.com – Award-winning, visually intuitive tool for planning, tracking, and collaborating on work, fully stocked with customizable templates.
- Asana – A complete PM solution for marketing and creative teams for planning, coordinating campaigns, tracking approvals and more.
- Clarizen – Fully-featured, enterprise-grade software to manage your entire agency process with portfolio, collaboration, resource management, and workflow tools.
- Freedcamp – Software offering Kanban boards, Gantt charts, calendars, wikis, project templates, and a host of 3rd party integrations.
- RoboHead – Project management solution designed specifically for in-house marketing and creative teams.
- ClientFlow – Software for small creative teams with features for client communication, team collaboration, and project tracking.
- Nuvro – Clean, efficient software for project collaboration, planning, and monitoring, with features geared towards distributed teams.
- GetFlow – Flexible and visually pleasing PM software geared towards marketing, creative, product, and finance teams.
The Best Creative Project Management Software Summary
|FunctionFox||free demo||from $5/user/month||Check out FunctionFox|
free version for up to 3 users
|$12/month (10 users)||Check out GitScrum|
|monday.com||free 7-day trial||from $17/month for 2 users||Check out monday.com|
free 30-day trial
|from $9.99/user/month||Check out Asana|
|Clarizen||free 30-day trial||from $29.95/user/month||Check out Clarizen|
|Freedcamp||free 14-day trial|
|from $1.49/user/ month||Check out Freedcamp|
|RoboHead||free demo||from $250/month for 5 users||Check out RoboHead|
|ClientFlow||free 7-day trial||from $19/user/month||Check out ClientFlow|
|Nuvro||free 30-day trial||from $4/user/month||Check out Nuvro|
|GetFlow||free 30-day trial||from $5.95/user/month||Check 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.
- Admation – Approval workflow and project management tools with ad storage and marketing calendars for creative teams in mind.
- Brightpod – Web-based project management and time tracking software for digital marketing and creative teams
- Paymo – Planning, scheduling, task management and time tracking for creative agencies, marketing, web design and business consultants.
- Mavenlink – A modern collaborative platform that helps you manage resources and projects, harness rich data insights and business intelligence.
- 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.