Best 11 ClickUp Alternatives: Exploring Top Competitors

Lucija Bakić

October 25, 2023

There are many great agency and project management tools out there, but which are the best ClickUp alternatives?

ClickUp is a project management and productivity tool for agencies for workflow automation, improved project collaboration, and task and time management. In our list of the best alternatives, we’ll explore options that approach agency projects from a different angle, whether regarding features, design, or affordability.

We’ll also give you some tips on how to make the best choice and how to switch from your current solution to a new one. 

Why Do Teams Look for ClickUp Alternatives?

ClickUp is described as a single platform used to improve team collaboration, enhance project visibility, and automate work. It’s tailored to agencies of all sizes and various internal teams, from development and marketing to designers.

Some of ClickUp’s main features are various project views, including Gantt, board, and timeline, task management and templates, online documentation, project reports, as well as integrated time management.


Source: CLICKUP

When it comes to how users experience ClickUp, the tool has overall high ratings on both G2 and Capterra. Despite mostly positive reviews, no single solution is perfect, and users highlight the following as things that can be improved or that they’re looking to resolve:

  • The reporting and analytics features could be more robust
  • The interface takes some practice to get used to and can get confusing for multi-project management
  • Some users would appreciate more guidance in setting up and using the tool
  • The platform performance can be sub-optimal, with long loading times for larger projects, and frequent bugs

In regards to benefits, users mostly praise ClickUp’s capabilities for task management and teamwork. Additionally, many have stated that the customization features help them adapt their workflows to the tool. Some also enjoy the amount of personalization available for task management, in particular.

Overall, users believe that ClickUp is a good tool for task planning and management, but not a fully robust end-to-end project management option. For more information about ClickUp and brief details about top competitors, check out our FAQ section.

Top 11 ClickUp Competitors & Apps Like ClickUp Available Today

In our list of the top ClickUp alternatives, we’ve focused on tools that do something significantly different than ClickUp. Whether you’re looking for a simpler solution, a more robust tool, or simply something different, we’ve gathered some of the most interesting productivity tools for you to consider.

1. Productive – The Best All-in-one Software Alternative to ClickUp

Productive is an all-in-one agency management software solution for agencies of all shapes and sizes. The main difference between ClickUp and Productive is that ClickUp is focused mostly on project management features, while Productive targets overall agency operations. The best thing about this is that you can stop working in silos by centralizing your management on one platform, which can improve efficiency, data accuracy, and so much more.

Some stand-out features of Productive are comprehensive resource planning, budgeting, and financial forecasting, as well as an integrated sales pipeline.

Despite being a comprehensive tool, Productive aims to provide an intuitive, user-friendly experience, no matter how complex your projects are. When it comes to the initial onboarding, Productive offers extensive learning materials, including written help guides, webinars, and one-on-one support, so you can get started as quickly as possible.

Users state that:

The tool is really intuitive. We got used to it fairly quickly and didn’t really experience any major bumps in the road.

Ivana Honomihl Crnogorac,
Business Process Manager at Degordian

Like ClickUp, Productive has very high user ratings on reputable review websites such as G2 and Capterra. Let’s check out Productive’s features in more detail to see what customers enjoy about Productive, and how its extensive agency management features compare against ClickUp.

Project Management

Alongside being an agency management tool, Productive provides key project and task-tracking capabilities with its Project Management feature. It includes all of the essential functionalities needed to maintain project visibility and enhance collaboration, including customizable project views and task management, time tracking, and docs.

Productive offers:

  • Six potential project views, including Gantt, Kanban-style boards, calendars, and more
  • All of the essential features you would expect from a task management tool, including to-do lists, dependencies, and milestones
  • Various ways to help your teams track their time, including an in-built timer that can be triggered from tasks, as well as manual entry
  • Creating documentation in real-time, sharing it, and creating tasks directly from pages with Docs


GET FULL PROJECT VISIBILITY AND STAY ON TRACK WITH YOUR PROGRESS

Something that reviewers underline about ClickUp is the notification feature, both in terms of the system not being robust enough, sending excessive notifications, and not integrating with Slack, and more:

At times, notifications are popping up too late or multiple times for no reason, which is very annoying if you are dealing with many projects whose status changes several times a day.

Source: Capterra

In comparison, Productive lets you customize where and when you want to receive your notifications, depending on the activity type (tag, comment, task update, etc.). Additionally, the Slack integration lets you receive Productive notifications in designated channels. Overall, when compared to ClickUp, Productive performs just as well in terms of task and project management.

Budgeting

The first of Productive’s truly notable features is Budgeting. With Productive, you can build and manage your project budgets from the platform, which lets you gain invaluable insights into your project and overall agency performance.


CUSTOMIZE YOUR DATA AND GET VALUABLE AGENCY reports ACROSS PROJECTS

As your employees track time against billable services, you can set up automatic warnings for the percentage of time spent to prepare yourself for cases of overruns. Productive also supports various budget types, such as fixed-price, hourly, recurring, and mixed, so you can benefit from it no matter which type of agency or industry you belong to.

Two additional features that are supported by Productive’s Budgeting feature are the Billing and Purchase Orders features. Billing in particular is something that’s noted as a notable downside of ClickUp:

I would like to be able to generate an invoice directly from the system. I can’t do that. Only thing I would like to see changed.

Source: Capterra

With Productive, you can easily generate brand-friendly invoices and keep track of your payments from one platform. And if you’re already using specific accounting tools such as QuickBooks Online, Xero, or Exact, Productive integrates with these solutions as well – simply copy your invoice and carry on working from the other platform.

Purchase Orders are a way to manage external expenses from the platform. Send purchase orders directly to the supplier, track payments, and get reports on paid and delivered amounts for easier job cost management.

Resource Planning

ClickUp offers very rudimentary resource planning capabilities with the workload view, which lets you visualize team capacity and manage your resources. Productive goes a couple of steps further with its fully-fledged Resource Planning feature.

Create a reactive resource schedule by booking your team’s time with hours per day or percentages of billable or available hours. Editing is simple – simply drag and drop, duplicate, and rearrange schedules to make changes. But let’s get down to the nitty-gritty: Why is Productive’s resource management so useful to agencies?


GET THE MOST OUT OF YOUR RESOURCES WITH PRODUCTIVE’S REAL-TIME RESOURCE SCHEDULING APP

With Productive, you can forecast key agency metrics, such as budgets, profit margins, and team utilization. Simply create bookings, and then view your forecasted budget spend and profitability until the project deadline. Any changes you make will automatically update these views.

Utilization can be tracked by skills, teams, seniority, and more, and will give you insights into where your resource gaps are so you can define your hiring strategy in terms of new potential projects. Users state the following:

We’ve always known, on a monthly basis, how we’re doing as a company. But knowing on a per-project level, in real time—we never really had that visibility. You guys do a good job of providing that. If you look at it on a yearly basis, it does give us the ability to look, per client and per project where we really stand.

Orion Jensen,
CEO AT Clear Launch

Additionally, you can define time off categories and incorporate this into your scheduling, so you eliminate the need for multiple HR tools, while also getting the full picture of your resource availability at any given time.

Learn more about the power of forecasting with Productive:

Reporting

Productive offers 50+ agency-focused reporting templates that you can use to generate data on all your platform activities. Additionally, thanks to custom fields, project managers can input specific parameters to get even more in-depth information.


MAKE TIMELY DECISIONS BASED ON ACCURATE DATA

Though ClickUp does offer some project insights, these mostly concern team performance, such as tasks cleared and time tracked. However, financial considerations are not included and users comment that “the reporting area [of the tool] needs some further development” (Source: G2).

In comparison, Productive’s reporting can deliver reports such as Profitability by Business Unit, Billable Utilization by People, Scheduling Accuracy by Projects, Unpaid Invoice Amounts, and so much more. You can create dashboards that can be shared with all project stakeholders, and even schedule reports to be sent to your or external email addresses.

This lets you save time and energy on endless data updating and sharing, not to mention that your data will be more accurate.

I’m probably saving 2 hours each week pulling the same capacity report. It used to be that I had to manually pull numbers from our intranet, copying and pasting them into a spreadsheet, and then reformatting all of the numbers. Now I just go to reports and my numbers are waiting for me!

Amy Nichols,
Director of Operations AT Seven2

Sales

Finally, Productive also offers a lightweight CRM in the form of an integrated Sales Pipeline. Get simple client and lead tracking capabilities, such as:

  • Working on leads in one place
  • Managing reasons for lost deals
  • Sending quotes directly from Productive
  • Forecasting sales revenue

For more robust customer management features, check out Productive’s integration with HubSpot.


ELIMINATE YOUR NEED FOR EXTRA TOOLS WITH A LIGHTWEIGHT CRM SOLUTION

Other integrations include Xero, QuickBooks, Breathe, Zapier, Slack, Jira, Google Calendar, and more.

Pricing

  • Plans start with the Essential plan at $9 per user per month, which includes essential features such as budgeting, project & task management, docs, time tracking, expense management, reporting, and time off management.
  • 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 the Essential plan and Professional plan offer, along with the HubSpot integration, advanced forecasting, advanced custom fields, overhead calculations, and more for a custom price.
  • You can also check out the Enterprise Plan with custom pricing for companies that would include more than 50 active users per month.

Productive offers a 14-day free trial, so you can decide if it’s the right ClickUp alternative for your agency.

Choose the Best ClickUp Alternative

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2. Trello – A Simple Task Management Option for Smaller Teams

Trello is a simple, board-based tool for easy team collaboration and task management. Users frequently report that they enjoy Trello because of its highly visual and intuitive interface, which helps teams get organized.

Key features:

  • Different views for project visibility
  • Project-specific data visualizations
  • Official and community-based templates
  • Various integrations and powerups


SOURCE: TRELLO

Consider if: You’re looking for a solution with task management features that are more simplified and beginner-friendly in comparison to ClickUp (for more reviews, see Trello vs Wrike vs Productive). Trello can be an especially good choice for smaller projects and teams with visual thinkers, such as creative agencies or project management for marketing agencies.

3. Asana – One of the Best ClickUp Alternatives for Simple Work Management

Asana is a real-time collaboration tool that is tailored to a variety of agency teams. Asana helps teams and their project managers organize and execute project work more efficiently.

Key features:

  • Time tracking and various project views
  • Templates library for projects and tasks
  • Essential workload management
  • Reporting dashboards with data visualization


SOURCE: ASANA

Consider if: You’re looking for a comparable, but still distinct ClickUp alternative. Despite there being differences between the two tools, Asana and ClickUp share many of the same project management features, and users provide similar comments both when it comes to downsides and benefits. This makes Asana a suitable option for those who are looking for a similar approach in somewhat different packaging.

You can also check out comparison between Wrike vs Asana to find some more options.

4. Jira – A Good ClickUp Alternative for Software Development Teams

Jira is an issue and project tracking software tailored to agile teams working in software development. The software supports project managers and their teams in planning, tracking, and managing releases.

Key features:

  • Scrum and Kanban boards
  • Interactive timelines with epics and dependencies
  • Essential project and workflow-related reports
  • Robust GitHub integration


SOURCE: JIRA

Consider if: You’re working in a development-dominant industry or agency, such as a website development company. Jira’s integration with GitHub, as well as features that support agile management, make it a good option for developers and product managers. For other teams, such as marketing or sales, Jira might not be as suitable.

5. Wrike – A Good Option for Essential Resource Management

Wrike is a project management tool with essential resource management features. Wrike aims to help agencies get the most out of their resources and improve their work efficiency.

Key features:

  • Task and time management
  • Customizable workspaces and project templates
  • Resource scheduling and workload charts
  • Essential invoicing features


SOURCE: WRIKE

Consider if: You’re looking for a tool that combines project and essential resource management in one platform. Wrike is a tool that balances both capabilities while keeping the features lightweight enough for inexperienced teams or smaller agencies. However, if you’re looking for an alternative with extensive resource management features, such as utilization forecasting, you might want to look elsewhere (find out more about agency management apps like Productive).

6. Monday.com – A Fine Project Management Tool for Team Collaboration

Monday.com is a project management tool that helps teams handle individual tasks and reach project goals. Users state that Monday “saves our team time and streamlines some processes” (Source: G2).

Key features:

  • Kanban and Gantt project tracking
  • Real-time document collaboration
  • Real-time insights and project dashboards
  • Integrations with multiple productivity-based tools


SOURCE: MONDAY.COM

Consider if: You’re looking for a tool that provides similar functionalities as ClickUp, but offers more options when it comes to pricing points. Both Monday.com and ClickUp match up evenly when it comes to project management, but for more robust features, consider looking for an all-in-one agency management tool.

7. Bitrix24 – A ClickUp Alternative With CRM Capabilities

Bitrix24 is an online platform that combines task, employee, and lead management. Users mostly praise the tool for its CRM capabilities, which help agencies connect with potential clients.

Key features:

  • Task management and templates
  • Time tracking and absence management
  • Document management and editing
  • CRM and lead management


SOURCE: BITRIX24

Consider if: You’re looking for a comprehensive solution for project and customer management, but you’re ready to compromise on user experience. Although Bitrix24 is quite a robust tool, multiple users comment that the user interface can be confusing and somewhat unappealing in comparison to other Bitrix24 alternatives.

8. Notion – A Good Visual Work Management Tool

Notion is a task management and collaboration software that can be used both by agencies and individuals. The tool is known as a highly visual, aesthetic approach to planning and organization.

Key features:

  • Integrated documentation
  • Project timelines, calendar, and tables
  • Template gallery for personal & project uses
  • Integrations with various tools


SOURCE: NOTION

Consider if: You’re looking for a simple solution for managing documentation, taking notes, and keeping track of tasks. Reporting is not emphasized on Notion, so it can be a good option if you’re looking for a more streamlined alternative to ClickUp. For more advanced features, however, consider some of the other alternatives on this list.

9. Smartsheet – A Good Option for Spreadsheet-Savvy Managers

Smartsheet is an enterprise work management platform for project planning, resource management, and work reporting.

Key features:

  • Simple resource allocation and timesheets
  • Customizable notifications
  • Reporting dashboards with widgets
  • Invite clients with permissions


SOURCE: SMARTSHEET

Consider if: You’re looking for a ClickUp alternative with advanced features, and you’re a fan of spreadsheet-based solutions. Smartsheet can be a good option for teams that are savvy with Excel. However, users who are looking for a more modernized approach to managing enterprise resource planning or ERP in the service industry might not be fully satisfied.

10. Airtable – A ClickUp Alternative With Customizable Workflows

Airtable is a low-code database and spreadsheet platform that enables teams to create custom workflows, no matter how technically savvy they are.

Key features:

  • Custom views and templates
  • Document storage
  • Task management and tracking
  • Formulas and automation


SOURCE: AIRTABLE

Consider if: You’re working on complex projects with out-of-the-ordinary workflows. Airtable’s customizability can help you tailor your platform to your business needs. However, keep in mind that the software is spreadsheet-based, so it might not be the best choice for teams that are looking to move away from Excel to more modern software (you can check out our comparison of Airtable alternatives to learn more).

11. Todoist – An Efficient Tool for Better Team Productivity

Todoist is a task management app that supports personal and team productivity with simple overviews and delegation.

Key features:

  • Personalized task list views
  • Prioritization and reminders
  • Delegation with activity notifications
  • Progress visualization


SOURCE: TODOIST

Consider if: You’re looking for an affordable, streamlined tool to boost productivity and task management. Because of its simplicity, Todoist might not be the best tool for complex projects within larger teams, but it can be a good choice for personal management or small agencies.

How to Choose the Right ClickUp Alternative for Your Team

Your ClickUp alternative will depend largely on your specific circumstances, such as team and agency size, industry, budget, and any other distinguishing factors. However, there are three main considerations that we can consider universal.

These are:

1. User interface

Even if you’re working with a team that is experienced in project management software, choosing an option that underlines intuitive design will go a long way towards ensuring you get the most out of your solution. It can also make the implementation and onboarding period much more efficient.

  • Determine this by checking customer reviews on reputable 3rd party websites, checking out software trials (if possible), and viewing video onboarding materials.

2. Scalability

Even if your project management software needs are limited at the moment, consider investing in a tool that can support your agency’s growth with more advanced features. This is, for example, financial management. At a certain point, you’ll need support with these crucial agency concerns. Avoiding a scenario where you have to migrate your data at a critical junction for your business is always preferable.

  • Determine this by viewing how dedicated a vendor is to upgrading their tool with new features, and not just bug fixes – tool roadmaps or product updates are a good way to gauge their activity.

3. Comprehensiveness

Even if your project management software needs are limited at the moment, consider investing in a tool that can support your agency’s growth with more advanced features. This is, for example, financial management. At a certain point, you’ll need support with these crucial agency concerns. Avoiding a scenario where you have to migrate your data at a critical junction for your business is always preferable.

  • Determine this by checking which features a tool can offer, and how it presents itself. Usually, tools with a comprehensive approach will be called all-in-one tools, or agency management software. Some features you can expect include project, financial, resource, and client management.

Switching from ClickUp to Another Project Management Software

Research by Deloitte shows that among the top barriers to successful implementation of software for project status and project stage tracking, three of the most frequent are: resistance to change (82%), inadequate sponsorship (72%), and unrealistic expectations (65%).

Therefore, our main three tips to promote successful implementation and switching between task management software are:

1. Get buy-in from your teams

Make sure that your teams understand the potential benefits or perks of implementing the new software solution. Make sure to involve key team members in demos of the tool, and provide an open space for feedback and criticism. This will go a long way towards establishing the new tool as a solution to make everyone’s life easier, and not simply management’s.

2. Choose a software champion

Make sure to delegate a point of contact between the vendor and your team. Ideally, this person should be savvy when it comes to similar project and task management software, as well as a good educator. This ensures better communication with the vendor, as well as easier onboarding, as your team will know who to turn to for help or feedback.

3. Be realistic about benefits

While it’s important to set some expectations, avoid being too stringent in checking success metrics, such as ROI. Getting accurate data can take a while, and many of the benefits of new software solutions can be difficult to quantify, such as team or client satisfaction. Despite this, they are no less important for your agency’s success.

Takeaway

In this article, we looked at why users of ClickUp, or those considering it as their task management tool, might want to consider alternative solutions for their agency.

As a final note, it’s important to understand that project management platforms are rarely objectively bad solutions unless they are extremely buggy, cause data loss, or are almost unusable due to complexity. Such cases are rare, especially among the more popular solutions on the market.

Despite your software choice being dependent on your particular needs, consider choosing a comprehensive solution that can help you centralize your workflows on one platform. This can help standardize your data and improve productivity and efficiency.

If you’re interested in finding a software solution to support your daily processes, consider booking a demo with Productive.

FAQ

What are the best project management tools besides ClickUp?

Some of the best project management platforms that our good alternatives to ClickUp are Productive, the all-in-one agency tool, as well as Asana, Trello, and Monday.com.

What are the most affordable ClickUp alternatives?

Some of the most affordable ClickUp alternatives that have free versions are Trello, Notion, and Todoist. Keep in mind that these tools can help you with task prioritization and simple organization, but might not be able to support all crucial agency processes.

What are the best ClickUp alternatives for small businesses?

Suitable solutions for small businesses focus mostly on individual project management, rather than supporting complex workflows and multiple project management. Some examples of suitable tools for startups and smaller businesses are Productive, Asana, and Trello.

What are the best ClickUp alternatives for remote teams?

Solutions that support team collaboration with easy task management, project visibility, and automatic notifications can help support business with remote teams. Examples of such tools are Productive, Asana, and Wrike.

What are the best ClickUp alternatives for creative teams?

Creative teams often enjoy simple, visual solutions with a modern user interface. Some examples of suitable project planning options for creative project teams are Productive, Notion, and Trello.

What are the best ClickUp alternatives for software development teams?

For software development teams, tools that have capabilities to track bug reports and organize sprints for agile project management can be especially useful. For this, consider a ClickUp alternative such as Productive or Jira.

What are the best ClickUp alternatives for Agile teams?

Some ClickUp alternatives for agile teams are Productive, Asana, and Jira. All of these tools offer customizable project views, including Kanban-style boards, that support the creation of backlogs, and roadmaps, and managing project progress through milestones or epics and task dependencies.

What are the best ClickUp alternatives for Kanban teams?

Some good ClickUp alternatives for Kanban teams are Productive, Wrike, and Monday.com. All of these software solutions include Kanban-style board views, with drag-and-drop functionalities for tracking task progress.

What are the best ClickUp alternatives for Gantt chart users?

An example of popular productivity apps and ClickUp alternatives that provide Gantt chart views are Productive and Monday.com.

What are the best ClickUp alternatives for time-tracking users?

Some users on G2 and Capterra comment that ClickUp can be confusing to learn initially. Additionally, some have difficulties with portfolio management and handling many different tasks on the platform. Other users comment that the tool might be difficult to get used to at first, but that these issues are resolved after onboarding.

Is ClickUp too complicated?

Some users on G2 and Capterra comment that ClickUp can be confusing to learn initially. Additionally, some have difficulties with portfolio management and handling many different tasks on the platform. Other users comment that the tool might be difficult to get used to at first, but that these issues are resolved after onboarding.

Why is ClickUp so popular?

ClickUp is a popular tool for efficient team collaboration and supporting employee productivity thanks to its essential task management and tracking features. Certain users also enjoy ClickUp due to the fact that it offers a fully free plan that can be suitable for startups and small agency teams.

What is the limitation of ClickUp?

While ClickUp is a good tool for task tracking, it might not be the best option for more robust project and agency management. Some notable downsides are the lack of robust budgeting and billing features, as well as more in-depth financial considerations and KPI forecasting. An example of a tool that combines project management with additional budgeting and resource planning features is Productive.

Why not to use ClickUp?

ClickUp might not be the most suitable software option for users who are interested in a tool that can support all daily agency processes. Notably, reporting and agency financial management are under-emphasized features in comparison to other comparable tools on the market, such as Productive. Therefore, agencies that are looking for an all-in-one agency management solution might want to consider some alternatives to ClickUp.

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Lucija Bakić

Content Specialist

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