Workflow apps take the headache out of organizing complex projects. They do this by letting you create clearly defined processes and automating some of the tasks involved. You can also use these tools to create best-practice templates to streamline specific work.
The above use cases can have a huge impact on your business. It’s why a recent survey found that 66% of respondents have automated at least one business process.
The only issue is choosing the best workflow app for your needs. This isn’t easy as there are a ton of options available, each with its own features, specialties, and pricing models.
In this article, I aim to help you choose by introducing some of my favorite tools, and showing you why I like them.
What do I look for when I select the best workflow apps? Here’s a summary of my evaluation criteria:
- User Interface (UI): A good user interface makes it easy to keep track of your workflows. The information should be clear and understandable for all.
- Usability: Workflow apps need to be easy to use by everyone in your organization and sometimes even outside partners.
- Integrations: Workflow apps need to integrate with the other tools you use to automate processes. All the apps on this list connect to plenty of solutions.
- Value for $: Prices may vary, but I think all the tools on this list offer value for money to the right user. You just need to choose a plan that fits your needs.
Workflow App Key Features
- Templates: Being able to create templates is a key feature of workflow management software. It makes it easy to run the same workflows repeatedly. Some tools even contain best-practice templates you can use or customize.
- Multiple views: All the tools on this list allow you to view tasks and projects in multiple ways such as kanban boards, Gantt charts, sheets views, and calendars.
- Task assignees: You need to be able to assign tasks to relevant people. The best tools will automatically notify people when their task is ready.
- External party access: Giving third parties access to your workflows is essential if you work with external businesses like clients or suppliers.
- Collaboration: Team collaboration tools like commenting and document sharing help teams get work done without leaving the workflow app. People can leave notes for the next person in the chain.
- Dashboards and analytics: These features help managers see project progress so they can identify roadblocks and streamline processes further.
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Overviews Of The 10 Best Workflow Apps
Here’s a brief description of each workflow app to showcase each tool’s best use case, some noteworthy features, and screenshots to give a snapshot of the user interface.
Monday.com is a flexible platform that lets you create workflows that meet various needs—from project management to sales or software development.
Boards are central to the tool. These are spreadsheet-like documents that allow you to create almost any data input. You can create tasks, set statuses and priorities, add tags, attach files, and assign tasks to users. You can then view these sheets in Kanban, Gantt, timeline, or calendar views.
The flexibility of the entries means it’s possible to create workflows for anything from a task management tool to a CRM. And if you don’t want to start from scratch, the tool also offers a large library of templates you can use to start out.
monday.com offers plenty of integrations and automation. You can connect all your tools, such as Slack, Dropbox, and Adobe, and then automate workflows across each one. For example, you can set task reminders to go out in Slack or automatically add email attachments to relevant entries in your board.
monday.com pricing starts at $6/user/month but you’ll need the $10/user/month (Standard Plan) to access integrations and automation. The Pro plan costs $20 per seat, and there’s also a free version with limited features for up to two people.
Hive is a project management tool that helps you and your team manage multiple projects. It’s easy to create a project and then create a workflow by breaking it down into steps.
The tool has a centralized dashboard that shows all the projects you’re working on. This is great for managers because they can keep track of all their projects from a single dashboard. And you can view this work in Gantt, Kanban, table, and calendar views.
The tool has valuable features for businesses that work with external partners, such as agencies. You can invite these people to collaborate on relevant tasks within Hive. And you can automate tasks like getting client approval. You also get access to features like timesheets and time tracking, which is useful if you charge clients per hour worked.
Hive integrates with over 1,000 tools, including Salesforce, Slack, and Google Workspace. This lets you bring information from each platform into a single dashboard. And you can set up automation between the tools and Hive.
Pricing starts at $12 per month, but you have to pay more for extras like analytics and timesheets. You can get a trial to try the tool for free or use the free plan for up to two people.
Wrike is a flexible tool that allows you to create custom dashboards and workflows to suit your specific needs. It has solutions for teams throughout the organization and it offers customizable templates for various project needs, including event management, content creation, and go-to-market initiatives.
Creating projects and breaking them down into smaller tasks is easy. As the tool updates everything in real-time, you can see potential roadblocks as they occur. You can view these projects in Gantt charts and Kanban boards.
Wrike has plenty of integrations in categories such as CRM, email, and business intelligence. And it’s easy to set up workflow automation to streamline repetitive tasks. For example, you can create automated notifications for task updates or move projects to the archive folder once complete.
Wrike plans start at $9.80 per user per month. You’ll need the Business plan at $24.80 per user per month to access all features. You can get a free trial of each plan, and there’s also a limited free plan for small teams.
Qntrl is a platform for managing all your business processes. It gives managers information about the status of the tasks and processes they manage and helps automate key workflows.
It works by creating card requests for different projects or tasks, which are then routed automatically to the relevant teams. Each request contains all the required information to complete the work, including comments and attachments. You can also set rules on each ticket, for example due dates and automated notifications via SMS or email.
Managers then get an overview of all the tasks they have created in the dashboard. From here, they can see the stage the card is at, the team working on it, and the priority.
Visual workflow maps are another helpful tool. They make it easy to connect multiple cards when tasks are related, allowing you to create more complex workflows.
The tool integrates with business tools like CRM and ERP to automatically update relevant information in each platform, reducing time-consuming manual work. Once tasks are complete, reporting features let you identify bottlenecks to streamline future work.
Qntrl costs $8 per user per month and comes with a 15-day free trial. There is also a free plan for up to 5 users.
Admation is project and approval management software designed for creative and marketing teams. It has features specific to the needs of this type of business, such as project management, resource management, proofing and approval, and asset management.
Proofing and approval workflows are a key feature. You can create pathways to ensure the right people review your team’s creative work at the right time. For example, you could start with team level approval, then send the work to your legal team, before routing it to your executives. You just choose the approvals that meet your needs to ensure that nothing is missed.
Feedback collection is another useful tool. Instead of working via email, you gather feedback from multiple parties from within the tool and then send it to your creative teams. Meanwhile, asset management features ensure everyone can access the assets they need.
Admation has solutions for everything from small teams to enterprise users. There’s also a specific plan for agencies that allows external client collaboration. The tool doesn’t advertise pricing, but you can request a quote via the website.
Nifty PM calls itself a “collaboration hub”, and it aims to unite projects, allowing teams to better focus on their goals.
The tool’s milestone feature is key to this. These are the goals that each project is structured around. Each milestone is broken down into individual tasks, and a visual completion bar goes up as you complete each task.
Managers can see an overview of everything their team is working on and how each milestone is progressing. The workflows view is a valuable way to view your team’s work, and it shows how much each employee is doing, ensuring no one is under or overworked.
An interesting feature of the tool is the built-in discussion board. While other workflow tools integrate with messaging software, Nifty PM has it built-in. Teams can use this to discuss the projects they are working on from within the app.
Nifty PM has plenty of integrations. One of the most useful is Google Docs which allows you to work on Docs within the Nifty PM platform.
Pricing starts at $49 per month for up to ten team members and 40 active projects. You can test the software with a 14-day free trial or a free version for up to two projects.
Smartsheet is a project management and workflow tool. You can create projects and build workflows, and then view each one in views such as Gantt, Kanban, and calendar. This provides a complete overview of project and task progress.
Each project starts in a sheet. You can choose from a template, import from an external source such as Excel, or create one from scratch. From here, you can add customizable fields to capture the data relevant to your projects, such as dates, contacts, and checkboxes. You can also add people to each task and then collaborate via conversations from within the sheet.
Users can set up automated notifications to reduce manual work and push projects forward. Or you can create forms that gather data and add it to relevant entries in your sheet. Managers can view dashboards and reports to get an overview of how each project is progressing.
Smartsheet integrates with plenty of tools in categories such as messaging, data visualization, content creation, and automation. Use these to bring the tools you already use into your Smartsheet workflows.
Pricing starts at $9 per user per month for the Pro plan or $32 per user per month for the Business plan. You can try the software with a free trial.
Next Matter is intuitive workflow management software for business operations. The tool has several features to help these teams build processes across a business.
Creating new processes is easy using the tool’s drag and drop editor. Just create the process, assign the relevant people, and connect any related tools or systems. Once each step in the workflow is completed, the next people are notified automatically.
An example of this is the order confirmation workflow. You can break the task down into steps and include instructions for each part of the flow.
For example, the first step could be recording customer and order details, and the instructions are to upload or take photos or the order form. Once this is complete, it will move onto the next step—sending the order summary to the customer—and notify the relevant party.
Next Matter integrates with tools like Slack, Adobe Reader, Dropbox, and Freshworks. You can automate actions across connected tools, for example, sharing data with relevant platforms.
Pricing starts at $29 per user per month for a minimum of 10 users. You can request a demo via the website.
Kintone is a workplace platform that lets teams build and share custom workflows. Each team can use the tool to create the apps they need, whether a CRM, an expense report, or a content calendar.
The tool offers over 1,000 templates you can use to deploy the apps you need. You can also customize these to ensure they meet your specific workflow needs. Meanwhile, the No-Code interface means it is easy for anyone on your team to create the tools they need.
The tool also has plenty of integrations you can use to manage external data within your app. For example, you can add Dropbox files to the app or record information collected in emails.
Kintone starts at $24 per user per month for a minimum of five users. There is also a $15 per month plan for education, government, and nonprofits.
Need expert help selecting the right Workflow Management Software?
We’ve joined up with the software comparison platform Crozdesk.com to assist you in finding the right software. Crozdesk’s Workflow Management Software advisors can create a personalized shortlist of software solutions with unbiased recommendations to help you identify the solutions that best suit your business’s needs. Through our partnership you get free access to their bespoke software selection advice, removing both time and hassle from the research process.
It only takes a minute to submit your requirements and they will give you a quick call at no cost or commitment. Based on your needs you’ll receive customized software shortlists listing the best-fitting solutions from their team of software advisors (via phone or email). They can even connect you with your selected vendor choices along with community negotiated discounts. To get started, please complete the form below:
A free version with limited features for up to two people
|From $6/user/month||Check out monday.com|
|Check out Asana|
|From $12 per month||Check out Hive|
Free trial of each plan
|From $9.80 per user per month||Check out Wrike|
15 days free trial
|From $8 per user per month||Check out Qntrl|
|Pricing upon request||Check out Admation|
14 days free trial
|From $49 per month for up to ten team members and 40 active project||Check out Nifty PM|
|From $9 per user per month for the Pro plan||Check out Smartsheet|
|From $29 per user per month for a minimum of 10 users||Check out Next Matter|
|From $24 per user per month for a minimum of five users||Check out Kintone|
Here are a few more workflow apps that didn’t make the top list. These tools may still be good choices for the right business.
- Process Bliss
Document all your business’s best practices
Best for Gantt charts
- Process Street
Workflow app with a large template library
Powerful automation with forms, docs, and e-sign features
Workflow app for enterprise teams
Workflow management tool with quoting and invoicing
Tool for collaborative work management
Task management with chat and docs features
Enterprise-class project management tools
No-Code process automation platform
Powerful process template builder
Project management with chat, resource scheduling, and time tracking features
No-Code tool for automating business workflows
Low-Code workflow automation platform
Drag and drop workflow process builder with responsive forms
Project management for code teams
Workflow and process automation tool
What do you think about this list?
All the tools on this help businesses create streamlined workflows. The best one for you will depend on your specific needs and your budget. I recommend researching each platform further or even trying out a couple of them to find one that meets your needs.
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