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10 Best Design Project Management Software In 2023

The Best Design Project Management Software Shortlist

Here’s the list of the best design project management software that I’ll cover in this article.

  1. monday.com

    Annotations and version control so you don’t miss a beat.

  2. Wrike

    Creative brief templates to help you start your project on the right foot.

  3. Ziflow

    Deliver great creative work through collaboration

  4. MeisterTask

    User-friendly visuals and intuitive navigation for design teams.

  5. Trello

    Kanban views that can easily map your design projects and keep everyone on track.

  6. Filestage

    Best for its variety of ways to gather feedback

  7. Asana

    Tool with proofing that automatically generates sub-tasks.

  8. Hive

    Has a Photoshop plugin so your designers can focus on designing.

  9. IntelligenceBank

    Marketing operations platform with digital asset management capabilities.

  10. Gain

    Reviews and team collaboration in one place so you have full control of your project.

Design projects, also known as creative projects, are a particular flavor of digital projects. They require massive amounts of participation and collaboration because there is high dependency between departments to complete a job. Chances are you will not be working on one project only, so you need a tool that can help you and your team manage multiple projects at the same time.

Even though I’m covering these tools from a design-focused and client approval lens, remember that design is not the only component. In website design projects, for example, it’s important to have a good looking site. Equally important is to have a content creation process because that’s what will make the reader stay after being lured by the design.

Content creation might be the topic some other time, but for now let's go to the tools that will help us get our designs done and approved faster!

Comparison Criteria

What do I look for when I select the best design project management software? Here’s a summary of my evaluation criteria: 

  1. User Interface (UI): Does it offer clear displays and intuitive navigation that your team members would like to use?
  2. Usability: How easy is it to move the content from one stage to the other and alert teams of what is happening with the project? Additionally, I want to see if it’s easy to  manage files efficiently and access team members through built-in communication features. 
  3. Integrations: I’ll look for pre-built integrations with Adobe’s Creative Suite (Photoshop, Premiere Pro, InDesign, Illustrator, etc). Anything that can help the team import or export their work, and make the transition to this software easier.

Design Project Management Software Key Features

  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 are 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 system for creative teams should facilitate this process with real-time collaborative editing in a shared workspace, 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.

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Overview Of The 10 Best Design Project Management Software

Here’s a brief description of each design project management tool to showcase some noteworthy features, and screenshots to give you a snapshot of the user interface.

1

monday.com

Annotations and version control so you don’t miss a beat.

monday.com is a feature-rich tool that will allow you to handle almost any project that comes your way. Their creative request workflow template allows you to centralize all the design work in one place, standardize request intakes, organize and manage assets.

Want to start simple? Build a ‘creatives board’. It will give you some structure on the main table view, like a status and file column. Add a kanban view to your board, start changing the status to the stages of your design project cycle and voila! You have your first attempt at a design project board.

Once you upload files, anyone added to the board can click on it, add comments, and download files. Great to keep your client and team feedback in one place.

Designers rejoice! monday.com has developed a plugin for you to use with your Adobe Creative Cloud software. You can review the tasks assigned to you, read briefs, and upload designs directly to your monday.com account once you are done.

monday.com is free for up to 2 users and paid plans start at $8/user/month and offers a 14-day free trial.

14-day free trial + freemium plan available

From $10/user/month

2

Wrike

Creative brief templates to help you start your project on the right foot.

Wrike is a powerful project management software that enables design teams to create their own customized workflows based on their unique needs. Streamline work intake, simplify proofing, configure creative workflows, and increase delivery in a single collaborative platform. Spend less time on repetitive administrative tasks and more time producing high-quality design projects.

 

Pre-built templates will help you create design workflows and launch design projects quickly and efficiently. Wrike features customizable briefs and request forms, visual and customizable workload management, space for team members to provide feedback, and reporting and analytics. Customize workflows, dashboards, reports, and request forms with highly configurable software that’s designed to eliminate time-consuming admin, so your team can spend more time creating high-value assets.

Wrike has an easy-to-use interface with distinct Spaces, folders, and tasks. You can switch between Kanban boards, interactive drag-and-drop Gantt charts, and traditional workload views to visualize priorities. Or navigate between the home screen and timesheets, dashboards, calendars, reports, and a stream for notifications and messages. Users also have access to a variety of pre-built templates for common organizational processes that allow teams to launch projects faster.

Wrike has over 400 integrations, including with Adobe Creative Cloud, giving you the visibility and efficiency you need without disrupting your team’s creativity. The Wrike extension for Adobe is free for all Wrike subscribers and is available for Photoshop CC, Illustrator CC, InDesign CC, and Premiere Pro CC.

Wrike costs $9.80 per user per month and offers four different price points, including a free version and plans which allow users to invite free external collaborators to a paid account. It’s suitable for teams of five or more.

14-day free trial

From $9.80/user/month

3

Ziflow

Deliver great creative work through collaboration

Want to avoid wasted hours spent reworking design projects, a frustrated team, and dissatisfied clients? Ziflow’s creative collaboration software is used by companies such as Amazon AWS, Toyota and Weber to streamline the creative review, approval and project management process.

The platform offers a real-time collaboration & feedback capture, and workflow automation that, together, can bring clarity & visibility to your creative process and enable faster turnarounds.

Ziflow's key features include centralized asset management across projects and file types, workflow automation and templates, intake forms so anyone can easily launch a project centralized collaboration & review platform, and project dashboards.

Ziflow integrates with Adobe Creative Suite, Dropbox, Slack, Basecamp, and more right out of the box. Also, they have an integration platform called Ziflow connect, with which you can connect it to 1000+ more apps.

Ziflow has a free forever plan, and its prices start at $40/user/month. Finally, they offer a 14-day free trial of their business tier.

14-day free trial + freemium plan available

From $40/user/month

4

MeisterTask

User-friendly visuals and intuitive navigation for design teams.

MeisterTask is a task management tool with user-friendly visuals and intuitive navigation. Although it has no proofing integrated just yet, it has other features that can help you and your team stay on top of projects.

One of my personal favorites is their agenda. This is a section where your team will be able to see all the tasks assigned to them and arrange them in custom status columns. Perfect so they can prioritize their work across different projects.

MeisterTask has integrations with Google Workspace, Office 365, and thousands of other apps through Zapier.

MeisterTask is free for single use. Paid plans start at $8.25/user/month and offer a 30-day free trial.

Free trial available

From $8.25/month (billed annually)

5

Trello

Kanban views that can easily map your design projects and keep everyone on track.

Trello is a kanban-specialized software that has robust features and lovely visuals. Although I would not recommend it if you need a view like Timeline (since it’s relatively new), it’s a software that has been around since 2011 and has millions of dollars invested in its development.

The thing I enjoy the most and think is useful for design projects is the checklists. Inside each card we can create checklists with items that could be considered subtasks. Since the client is always trying to change the scope of projects, this helps it be flexible enough to support it.

Trello has over 150 power-ups that can help you connect to tools like Zeplin, InVision, Miro, and Figma.

Trello has a free version of the software and paid plans start at $5/user/month with a 14-day free trial.

Free trial + freemium plan available

From $6/user/month

6

Filestage

Best for its variety of ways to gather feedback

Filestage is a review and approval platform used by agencies and in-house creative teams around the world. From sharing files to collecting feedback, it speeds up every step of your creative review process.

Filestage centralizes your approval workflow into a single dashboard. From there, you can see every review step, file format, version, and reviewer in your project, with status indicators to show who’s approved what. So at any stage in your creative review process, you can see exactly where things are at a glance.

However, feedback management is where Filestage really shines. You can invite reviewers to add comments and discuss ideas right alongside your content and create review steps to group feedback from different types of stakeholders, like your internal team and external stakeholders. Add in version comparisons, annotations, and attachments, and Filestage is a great feedback platform

Filestage features native integrations with Slack, Microsoft Teams, Adobe Creative Cloud, and Asana – plus thousands more apps through their integration partners, like Pabbly.

Pricing starts at $24/user/month with a 7-day free trial. You can also invite an unlimited number of reviewers and external uploaders to your account for free.

7-day free trial

From $24/user/month

7

Asana

Tool with proofing that automatically generates sub-tasks.

Asana is a task management tool that is trusted by the likes of Amazon and Discovery. Their strengths have always lied around organizing your to-do lists, and preparing colorful kanban boards that let you visually manage your tasks.

When you have content uploaded in Asana you can click on the image and go to the ‘add feedback’ button. This will open a proofing feature for you to leave comments and open a subtask after you save so you can assign it to the one responsible for acting on it.

Asana integrates with tools like Adobe Creative Cloud and Lucidchart, and lets you access over a thousand integrations through Zapier.

Asana is free for up to 15 users and paid plans start at $10.99/user/month with a 30-day free trial period.

30-day free trial

From $10.99/user/month

8

Hive

Has a Photoshop plugin so your designers can focus on designing.

Hive is a platform that is pleasing to the eye. Its UX and UI are great, it’s friendly and easy to learn. As any important project management platform, they have a use case for agencies! What I can tell you from before I wrote this article is that it’s already great to handle project management.

However, when you add the design-side of things, it’s super cool. The dashboard is great to track campaign progress and approvals. The kanban boards help keep track of designs, stages, and communication around them. Their mobile app means content can be approved faster.

Designers! Hive developed a plugin for Photoshop so you can proof your work and keep track of your tasks without leaving your design tool. Thousands of other integrations are available through Zapier.

Hive is free for up to 2 users. Paid plans cost from $12/user/month and come with a 14-day free trial.

14-day free trial

From $16/user/month

9

IntelligenceBank

Marketing operations platform with digital asset management capabilities.

Intelligencebank is a marketing operations platform designed for agency projects. Centralizing your digital assets, collaborating with team members, and approving content are only some of the features this tool has to offer.

What I really like about this tool is that when you look at a design you can access other versions of that work in a couple of clicks. Go to the pane on the right and click on the revision tab. Want to compare two versions? Simply select the two and the tool will display them side by side.

Intelligencebank integrates with Adobe Photoshop, InDesign, and other tools from Adobe’s creative suite.

Intelligencebank pricing is given upon request and grouped into 5 tiers.

Pricing upon request

10

Gain

Reviews and team collaboration in one place so you have full control of your project.

Gain is a collaboration and client approval tool that intends to assist with marketing content production. If you have been struggling with stakeholder approvals and input in your projects, this might be your solution.

After trying the tool, my favorite part is in the content detail view. When you are looking at a design, there is an option on the right panel to view the activity. This is a window that allows for your team to leave comments and will display, highlighted, approval comments to avoid confusion.

If you just want to follow up on your approvals and remove the other noise, you can click on an approval section to focus your conversation and see the stages in the approval workflow.

Gain lets you upload content from products like Adobe Photoshop and Illustrator, and importing content from file sharing sites like Dropbox or Google Drive.

Gain is priced at $99/month for the first 10 users. $10 per user after that, and offers a 14-day free trial

14 days free trial

From $99/month flat fee for up to 10 users

The 10 Best Design Project Management Software Summary

Tool Free Option Price
1
monday.com

Annotations and version control so you don’t miss a beat.

14-day free trial + freemium plan available

From $10/user/month Visit Website
2
Wrike

Creative brief templates to help you start your project on the right foot.

14-day free trial

From $9.80/user/month Visit Website
3
Ziflow

Deliver great creative work through collaboration

14-day free trial + freemium plan available

From $40/user/month Visit Website
4
MeisterTask

User-friendly visuals and intuitive navigation for design teams.

Free trial available

From $8.25/month (billed annually) Visit Website
5
Trello

Kanban views that can easily map your design projects and keep everyone on track.

Free trial + freemium plan available

From $6/user/month Visit Website
6
Filestage

Best for its variety of ways to gather feedback

7-day free trial

From $24/user/month Visit Website
7
Asana

Tool with proofing that automatically generates sub-tasks.

30-day free trial

From $10.99/user/month Visit Website
8
Hive

Has a Photoshop plugin so your designers can focus on designing.

14-day free trial

From $16/user/month Visit Website
9
IntelligenceBank

Marketing operations platform with digital asset management capabilities.

Not available

Pricing upon request Visit Website
10
Gain

Reviews and team collaboration in one place so you have full control of your project.

14 days free trial

From $99/month flat fee for up to 10 users Visit Website

Other Options

Here’s a few more that didn’t make the top list.

  1. ClickUp

    Share links with clients to review your work and hide sensitive information.

  2. Teamwork

    Project management with unlimited free access for your clients.

  3. Screendragon

    Real-time collaboration for your proofing stage.

  4. VOGSY

    Creative project management software for Google Workspace

  5. Planview Clarizen

    Creative project management solution for enterprise

  6. Smartsheet

    A work execution platform with useful content collaboration tool features and project dashboards to keep creative teams in sync

  7. COR

    All-In-One Management Solution For Creative Agencies

  8. Kissflow

    Intuitive project management software for creative teams

What Do You Think About This List?

That’s all folks! If you are still curious to find more tools, check out our list for creative agency project management. I also know you want more awesome project management content delivered right to your inbox, so join our Insider Membership Newsletter for fun facts, articles, and everything DPM.

By Hermann Fink

Hi! I'm Hermann Fink Fuentes, a technology enthusiast and chronic researcher. I've been in project management for over a decade, both as a technical lead for global corporations like Hewlett Packard, and as an entrepreneur. I'm constantly looking for tools that can help improve productivity, boost efficiency, consume as little budget as possible, and help shorten project completion timelines. Join me as I search for the perfect tool and share some content along the journey!

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