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Tool Review: Synergist

Looking for one agency project management tool to rule them all? Synergist is a uniquely complete agency project management and job costing solution that works as well for small studios as large agencies. As a complete end-to-end system, from brief to final invoice, it means that all the information you need to take control of your projects is available within one system.

Synergist consolidates and replaces other siloed systems so everyone across the agency is looking in one place for the same, factual picture. It makes it as easy as possible for you to track costs and budget, and allocate and manage resources quickly and efficiently.

You’ll gain visibility of the complete project picture including how the data has been generated. This means you’ll easily identify anomalies in the information supplied, slipping projects, over-servicing and project patterns for future learnings.

Being one system means that Synergist offers a lot of functionality including, time and expense recording, job project costing, accounts integration, scheduling, capacity planning tools, job/project tracking, CRM and more. However, it’s well-structured and the key, day-to-day information you need in your role is available at-a-glance. This includes project status, team schedules/capacity, cost estimates, hours burned and expenses.

For those days when the project isn’t quite going to plan, you can delve deeper into Synergist to see what’s really happened and who’s accountable. Extremely handy for that difficult conversation with a client about scope creep or when you need to put a rocket up someone in the studio.

4 Ways Synergist Makes A Project Manager’s Life Easier

1. Dashboard – For at-a-glance view of project status and KPI’s

Synergist’s dashboard feature simplifies everything.

It’s the first thing you see when you log on and your personal view allows you to immediately see the health of all your projects. It’s presented in a user-friendly and visual way, with charts, estimates vs actual indicators and a list of all your jobs and tasks, making it painless to digest.

You can also tailor your view to your personal priorities, and you can change this as things evolve. The dashboard tool is perfect for getting an immediate view on all projects which helps you prioritise.

What’s great about the Gantt charts function is that you can add dependencies via a simple drag and drop interface. Tasks/milestones can even drive billing plans, so changes are automatically reflected in both the project schedule and financial forecasts/reports. Saving you time and removing it from your to-do list.

Synergist Project Management Software Dashboard Screenshot

2. Alerts – So you’re one step ahead, and never go over budget again

Synergist enables you to set alarms on your projects so you’ll receive a notification when an amount of the project’s budget is spent, when a given number of hours are burned or additional resource is required. This means that leaky projects don’t drip because they’re flagged before there’s an overrun, without you having to pro-actively dig around and seek out the information. This simple function makes life easier when you’re managing a number of projects. It ensures all your plates are kept spinning, if your attention is diverted elsewhere.

3. Drag and drop scheduling – Account for ever-changing priorities

Synergist’s drag and drop scheduling tool is very simple to use and view. It’s color-coded and can be filtered to certain teams, clients or project types. So if you need a front-end developer for two hours, you can instantly see how likely you are to get it. It’s also flexible so you can change views from day to week to month and uniquely, it even accommodates shift working.

For larger teams, resource requests are managed through Synergist’s ‘requisition’ function, these can include work instructions and attached files. The resource managers drag these onto the schedule to make bookings, which ensures your team have all the information they need to be productive immediately. Your team can also convert these bookings directly into timesheets for quick and accurate time recording.

You can give your whole team read-only access to the schedule and optionally allow them to create their own bookings for personal appointments etc.

Synergist Project Management Software Calendar Booking Screenshot

4. Quoting, billing and accounts – Making it easier for you and accounts

Synergist has a comprehensive quoting and estimating area that allows the creation of these documents from templates, or any past project for analogous estimating, this means past learnings are always taken onboard.

Extensive billing facilities allow invoices to be quickly created from quotes, billing plans, actuals or manually. What’s great is that these can be generated as draft invoices for finance to complete.

Good for the finance team to know, Synergist has integration with over 15 leading accounts systems including Sage and Xero ensuring accurate transfer of all sales and purchase transactions.

Support when you need it

Once you’re setup, you’ll have access to the UK-based Synergist helpdesk. It’s a great service. If you want to talk through an issue or ask a question, just phone up and the team will help. They answer straight away – no hold music needed. They’re also based in the same office as the Synergist team so there’s nothing they can’t answer.

Who uses Synergist?

Over 500 agencies and project-based businesses have chosen Synergist to help run their business. It works for any agency including digital, design, creative and PR and on the project-based business side, architects, environmental consultants, civil engineers and more trust Synergist.

Synergist makes project management simpler, easier and more efficient

Synergist was originally developed for agency accounts teams but it’s organically grown into the system it is today.  All features within Synergist have been developed with care and consideration for what they’ll deliver and how they will help.

The dedicated development team at Synergist are always working on the next iteration, never resting on their laurels but listening to the extensive user network and constantly striving to produce the best complete project management and job costing solution possible.

Today, thousands of people in agencies and project-based businesses rely on Synergist to manage projects, track time, inform decisions, oversee clients and ultimately drive their business forwards.

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By Ben Aston

I’m Ben Aston, a digital project manager and founder of I've been in the industry for more than 15 years working in the UK at London’s top digital agencies including Dare, Wunderman, Lowe and DDB. I’ve delivered everything from film to CMS', games to advertising 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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