Best Creative Project Management Software

Creative projects can sometimes be a true management challenge.

Delivering client projects on time is essential for any agency looking to grow. But it’s not always easy. You need the right tools and people that are capable of handling creative projects. You might think that managing creative projects is no different than managing traditional projects, but creative projects imply handling different workflows and collecting input from various teams in the agency. That’s why traditional project management methods aren’t enough to manage creative projects.

What Is Creative Project Management?

Well, putting it simply, it’s a type of project management that focuses on creative projects. This method offers a framework that’ll help set up workflows, manage resources, communicate, and in the end deliver projects on time. Many agencies choose a creative project management software that helps set all of this up.

Creative project management software is a tool designed specifically for creative agencies, teams, and professionals to plan, execute, and track their creative projects efficiently. These solutions offer features that were made to fit the unique needs of creative workflows, enabling seamless collaboration, resource management, and time tracking.

Why Agencies Need Creative Project Management Software?

To make things easier we’ll give a few examples on how you could be using a creative project management software.

Setting Up Workflows

You can use the tool to set up workflows that’ll make managing projects easier. From brainstorming to writing, reviewing, and finalizing, you’ll be able to monitor project phases easily. Everyone involved in the project can easily see the project progression in just a few clicks. Team members can see which tasks are up next, while creative project managers can monitor the overall progress and spot any potential bottlenecks.

Most of the tools offer custom workflows which means agencies can adapt their workflows to fit their project or client needs as well as customizable dashboards, so you can have all your important data at the ready.

Assigning Tasks

With creative project management software, managers can assign tasks to individuals or teams based on their skill sets, availability, and workload. They can also set priorities and deadlines, ensuring everyone knows what they need to do and when they need to do it.

Once a task has been assigned, automatic notifications can be sent out, keeping everyone informed about changes or updates on tasks. Team members can then update their progress, mark tasks as complete, or reassign tasks if necessary, all within one tool. Breaking up projects into tasks and to-do lists helps prevent missed deadlines and promotes accountability and a sense of ownership among the team.

Fast and Relevant Input

Using tools allows for fast and relevant input on a project. Feedback is essential in the creative process, and the software makes it easy for team members to comment and provide input directly on the tasks or files.

Depending on the software, it may even have features like real-time editing or a chat function, allowing for immediate, collaborative feedback. This makes for a more dynamic creative process where ideas can be shared, refined, and implemented in a matter of minutes.

Time and Expenses Tracking

Keeping track of time and expenses is vital for any project, and creative agencies are no exception. Creative project management software often include time tracking features that allow team members to log the hours they’ve worked on specific tasks or projects. This not only helps in understanding the effort required for particular tasks, but also assists in making future estimates more accurate.

Similarly, expenses related to a project, such as purchasing stock images, hiring freelancers, or buying equipment, can also be tracked within the tool. By centralizing this data, the software allows for easier budget management and financial oversight, which can lead to better resource allocation decisions in the future.

Now that you know what creative project management software can help with, we’ll give you a handy overview of solutions that might be a right fit for your agency.

1. Productive – The Best Creative Project Management Software

Productive is an all-in-one agency management tool that helps you run a profitable business. Productive combines features like project management, time tracking, resource planning, budgeting, reporting, and more into one tool. You’ll gain a 360-degree view of your agency and be able to make data-driven decisions. Since Productive is a single platform tool, it eliminates the need for other, oftentimes expensive tools.

Productive has a 4.6 Capterra rating generated from more than 70 reviews.

Features include:

Project Management

With Productive’s Project Management feature, you can have unlimited projects open which can be broken down into task lists. Thanks to customizable workflows, monitoring the entire lifecycle of your projects is easy. You can also set up repetitive tasks for anything that needs to be done on a recurring basis. You also have the option to add external users so your clients can give feedback on projects. Any feedback can be left in the task comments, so you can be sure that all of your important information is kept in one place.

Being able to break down a complex project into more manageable tasks makes it easier to manage and monitor the project lifecycle, but it can also help diminish the feeling of a complicated project looming over your shoulder.


manage projects from start to finish with productive

Resource Planning

With Resource Planning you’ll be able to know who’s overworked and who could take on more work. Resource tracking makes it easier to see who is working on which project and for how long they’re booked. You can plan your resources and scheduling ahead and you can also take into account time off and vacations, since it can all be booked through Productive.

Knowing who’s available and when makes it easier to plan for future projects and helps achieve optimal utilization rates.


plan capacity and book time off with productive

Time Tracking

With Time Tracking you can track time spent working on projects and tasks. There’s a built-in timer that you can start once you get to work on a specific project. It will automatically transfer the logged time into your timesheets. If you’re more old-school, you can do your timesheets manually at the end of the day.

When you have this kind of data it’s easier to understand the amount of effort that has to go into a project and it makes planning for future projects far simpler.


reach optimal utilization rates with productive

Budgeting & Reporting

With Budgeting you’ll be able to stay on top of your project budgets. You can predict any budget overruns, check profitability by project, and keep your costs down.


gain valuable insights and make data-driven decisions with reporting

With Reporting you can create reports from real-time data that’ll give an insight into your agency’s overall business health. With custom reporting you can make reports that are tailored to your agency’s needs. You can make reports on billable utilization, projects profits, and much more.

Collaboration

Real-time collaboration was made to be simple with Productive. With Docs you can work with your teammates at the same time, within one document. You can leave comments, edit and collaborate without the need to have different files open, that then need to be merged together.

Additional features include: Sales and Billing

Productive also has more than just a few seamless integrations. Integrations include: Xero, QuickBooks, Hubspot, Slack, Jira, Google Calendar, and many more.

Pricing

  • Plans start with the Essential plan at $9 per user per month, which includes all the key features mentioned above.
  • The Professional plan includes custom fields, recurring budgets, advanced reports, billable time approvals and many more for $24 per user per month.
  • The Ultimate plan has everything that Essential plan and Professional plan offer, along with the HubSpot integration, advanced forecasting, advanced custom fields, overhead calculations and more for $32/user per month.
  • You can also check out the Enterprise Plan with custom pricing for companies that would include more than 50 active users per month.

You can go for a free 14-day free trial before you decide to check out a paid plan.

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2. Kantata – A Good Creative Project Management Software

Kantata is an intuitive project management platform designed for creative teams, providing a comprehensive solution for planning and executing projects efficiently.

Key Features:

  • Visual project timelines
  • Budget tracking and invoicing
  • Resource allocation
  • Time tracking



SOurce: Kantata

Customers like Kantata’s user-friendly interface but some feel the tool has limited integrations with third-party apps.

3. Scoro – One of The Best Project Management Software for Creative Teams

Now why do we claim Scoro is one of the best project management for creatives? WellScoro is an all-in-one business management software that includes creative project management features, helping agencies streamline their workflow and boost productivity. It’s a good choice for larger teams since it offers a whole array of features that can be adapted to specific needs.

Key Features:

  • Project dashboard with real-time KPIs
  • Task and milestone tracking
  • Client and team collaboration
  • Invoicing and billing


Source: scoro

Users really like the comprehensive reporting capabilities, as well as the abundance of customization options. But this also means that new users are facing a pretty steep learning curve

4. Bigtime -A Fair Creative Project Management Software

Bigtime is a cloud-based time and billing software with project management functionality, catering to creative professionals and agencies alike.

Key Features:

  • Project budgeting and forecasting
  • Expense tracking
  • Resource planning and scheduling
  • Document management


source: bigtime

Bigtime has a seamless time tracking and billing integration which makes it easier to manage projects from start to finish in one tool. Users say that the mobile app could be more robust.

5. Accelo – A Solid Creative Project Software for Agencies

Accelo is an automation-focused project management tool designed to optimize creative workflows, combining project planning, client management, and collaboration features.

Key Features:

  • Customizable project templates
  • Client communication and feedback tracking
  • Task dependencies and priorities
  • Time and expense tracking


source: accelo

Users like Accelo’s powerful automation capabilities that help with workflow optimization. Some have said that the interface could be more modern and intuitive.

6. Rodeo – A Great Creative Project Management App

Rodeo is a creative project management solution built specifically for creative agencies, providing a centralized platform for project planning and team collaboration.

Key Features:

  • Visual project boards and calendars
  • Resource allocation and capacity planning
  • File sharing and version control
  • Automated project status updates


source: rodeo

Rodeo has a simple and intuitive interface that makes it a good starting point for those who might be new to project management tools. On the other hand, some say that it lacks advanced reporting features.

7. Primetric – One of The Better Creative Management Tools

Primetric is a cloud-based creative project management software designed to enhance collaboration and productivity for creative teams, with a focus on data-driven insights.

Key Features:

  • AI-driven resource planning
  • Budget and expense tracking
  • Client feedback and approval workflows
  • Customizable project dashboards


source: primetric

Primetric has won users over with intelligent resource allocation based on data analysis. Something that still needs a bit of work is integrations, as users have reported that they’re limited in comparison to other tools in the market

8. Workamajig – A Good Choice for Agencies Looking for a Creative Management Software

Workamajig is an all-in-one project management tool tailored for creative agencies, offering tools for project planning, resource management, and financial tracking. It’s a solid choice for design or marketing teams.

Key Features:


source: workamajig

  • Gantt charts and project timelines
  • Team workload balancing
  • Budget and expense tracking
  • Time and cost estimation

Workamajig has robust financial reporting capabilities that help with forecasting future projects. Users have said that the interface could be more modern.

9. Mosaic – A Good Solution for Managing Creative Projects

Mosaic is a project management platform designed to facilitate collaboration and streamline workflows for creative teams, empowering them to deliver exceptional results.

Key Features:


source: mosaic

  • Interactive project timelines
  • File sharing and feedback tracking
  • Time tracking and invoicing
  • Client communication hub

Mosaic’s intuitive task management feature is the main star of the tool. But some say that it lacks more advanced resource management options.

10. Active Collab – A Solid Creative Workflow Management Software

Active Collab is a project management and team collaboration tool, offering features that can be adapted for creative project workflows.

Key Features:


source: Active Collab

  • Task management and planning
  • Team collaboration and discussions
  • Time tracking and invoicing
  • File sharing and version control

Active Collab has a simple and user-friendly interface and a good project management feature, which makes it a solid choice for smaller teams on a budget. On the other hand, it has limited reporting and analytics capabilities.

11. Avaza – A Good Creative Services Project Management Software

Avaza is an all-in-one business management tool that includes project management, time tracking, and invoicing features for creative professionals.

Key Features:


source: Avaza

  • Project budgeting and expense tracking
  • Online timesheets with timers
  • Task dependencies and priorities
  • Invoicing and payment processing

Avaza offers a lot of comprehensive integration options that come in handy in bigger teams. If you’re on a budget, then maybe skip this tool, since some advanced features may require additional paid add-ons.

12. ClickTime – A Good Time Tracking Solution for Creative Work Management

ClickTime is a time tracking and project management solution designed to help creative teams optimize their time and resources effectively.

Key Features:


source: clicktime

  • Project and task time tracking
  • Resource planning and allocation
  • Project budgeting and forecasting
  • Reporting and analytics

ClickTime puts a strong emphasis on time tracking and analytics, but it has limited project planning and scheduling capabilities.

13. Paymo – A Solid Project Management Platform

Paymo is a project management platform with integrated time tracking and billing features, offering solutions for creative teams and agencies.

Key Features:


source: paymo

  • Task and project planning
  • Time tracking and invoicing
  • File sharing and document management
  • Customizable project templates

Paymo has a nice, clean, intuitive, and easy-to-use interface which makes it a good choice for those just starting with project management tools. It has limited integrations with other tools with might be a downside if you’re a part of a bigger team.

14. Teamwork – One of the Better Creative Project Management Tools

Teamwork is a comprehensive project management tool that caters to the needs of creative agencies, providing a range of collaboration and project planning features.

Key Features:


source: teamwork

  • Task management and dependencies
  • Gantt chart and project timelines
  • Document sharing and version control
  • Time tracking and reporting

Teamwork is a solid tool that features project management and robust integration options. It’s a tool that might be a good fit for those who have already used project management tools before, as it has a steep learning curve for beginners.

15. Asana – A Solid Project Management Software for Creative Agencies

Asana is a popular project management tool that can be adapted for creative project workflows, offering features for task management and team collaboration.

Key Features:


source: asana

  • Task assignment and due dates
  • Team communication and file sharing
  • Timeline and calendar views
  • Customizable project templates

Asana offers a user-friendly interface and navigation, as well as the possibility to manage your creative workflows. But if you’re looking for a tool that has a robust time tracking feature, you might want to look elsewhere since Asana is limited in that regard.

16. ClickUp – A Solid Project Management Software for Creative Teams

ClickUp is an all-in-one project management platform that can be customized to fit the unique needs of creative teams and agencies. It can also be used as a creative workflow software, since it has many customization options.

Key Features:


source: clickup

  • Customizable task views (list, board, timeline)
  • Time tracking and reporting
  • Resource allocation and workload management
  • Goal tracking and progress visualization

ClickUp is famous for its highly flexible and customizable features, so you can be almost certain that you’ll find what you’re looking for. Given the sheer size and scale of ClickUp, it comes as no surprise that it’s complex for new users to set up.

17. Wrike – One of the Best Project Management Software for Small Creative Teams

Wrike is a versatile project management tool that can be adapted for creative project workflows, offering features for task planning, tracking, and collaboration.

Key Features:


source: wrike

  • Project task and subtask management
  • Time tracking and resource allocation
  • File sharing and version control
  • Project reporting and analytics

Wrike puts a strong emphasis on real-time collaboration and a visual approach to project management which is great for creative teams. But some features may feel overwhelming for small teams at the start.

18. Hub Planner – A Great Creative Planning Software

Hub Planner is a resource scheduling and project management software designed to optimize resource utilization for creative teams.

Key Features:


source: hub planner

  • Resource scheduling and capacity planning
  • Time tracking and reporting
  • Project budgeting and cost tracking
  • Customizable resource views

Hub Planner has powerful resource management capabilities and strong project management features which makes it a solid option for creative teams. On the other hand, it has limited native integrations with other tools.

19. Nifty – A Fair Choice for a Design Studio Management Software

Nifty is a project management and collaboration tool built for creative teams, offering features to streamline project planning and execution.

Key Features:


source: nifty

  • Task and milestone tracking
  • Team messaging and file sharing
  • Time tracking and billing
  • Integrated Gantt chart and project timelines

Nifty is a fair single platform with multiple features that help with project management and time tracking. Users have said that it has limited customization options for project views

20. Notion – A Good Project Management Software for Creatives

Notion is a versatile workspace tool that can be used as a creative project management tool since it offers features for task organization and collaboration.

Key Features:


source: notion

  • Customizable databases for project planning
  • Task boards and timelines
  • Team wikis and documentation
  • Integration with other productivity apps

Notion is a fairly popular tool, especially among creative teams. It has a level of flexibility that allows users to create unique project setups. Some users have said that the collaboration features could use a bit more work.

Takeaway

Creative project management software is a game-changer for creative agencies and teams, empowering them to manage complex projects more effectively, streamline collaboration, and enhance productivity.

Each tool listed here brings unique features and benefits to the table, catering to different aspects of creative project management. Understanding the specific needs of your agency or team will help in selecting the most suitable software to unlock your creative potential and deliver outstanding results.

You can check out customer reviews and recommendations, as well as compare different tools on sites like Capterra.

If you’re looking for an all-in-one agency management software you should book a demo with Productive.

FAQ

What is Creative Management Software?

Creative management software is a type of platform designed specifically to help manage the unique processes and workflows associated with creative projects. This could include projects in areas such as graphic design, video production, advertising, content creation, and more. The software typically includes features such as project organization, task management, resource allocation, time and expense tracking, and collaboration tools to streamline communication and feedback.

What is Creative Project Management?

Creative project management refers to the process of planning, organizing, and managing resources to successfully complete creative projects. This involves not just managing the logistics and technical aspects of a project, but also nurturing the creative process and fostering an environment that promotes creativity and innovation. A big part of this is managing workflows, coordinating team members, and providing feedback and direction, often through the use of creative management software.

Which is the Most Creative Process of Project Management?

The most creative process of project management can be subjective as it may vary depending on the nature of the project and the team. However, brainstorming or ideation is often viewed as a highly creative part of the project management process. It’s during this phase that original ideas are generated, often in a collaborative setting. This process encourages team members to think outside the box and come up with innovative solutions to problems or unique ways to approach a project.

What are the Three Crucial Keys to Creative Project Management?

  • Clear Communication: In any creative project, it’s essential that all team members and stakeholders have a clear understanding of the project goals, deadlines, and expectations. Regular updates and check-ins can help keep everyone aligned.
  • Flexibility: Creative projects often require an ability to adapt to new ideas or changes in direction. Maintaining flexibility in the management of these projects can foster innovation and help overcome unforeseen obstacles.
  • Nurturing Creativity: Unlike more traditional projects, creative projects thrive on innovation and original ideas. A good creative project manager will find ways to inspire and motivate their team and create an environment where creativity is valued and encouraged.

What is the Best Project Management Software for Designers?

Here are a few project management software options that are well-regarded in the design community:

  • Productive: An all-in-one agency management tool with a robust project management feature is a great choice for creatives. With an intuitive user interface and a wide range of features, it makes for a great single source of truth for your organization.
  • Wrike: Known as a solid choice, especially for creatives agencies offers a nice combination of features that help optimize creative workflows.
  • Kantata: Kantata offers a balance of simplicity and functionality, with features such as task assignment, timelines, and progress tracking. It’s also great for collaboration.

Remember, the “best” software depends largely on a team’s specific needs and workflows, so it’s a good idea to try out a few different options and see what works best.

Margarita Aranza

Marketing Assistant

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