Top 15 Creative Agency Project Management Software Solutions

A screenshot of a creative agency project management software interface showing the 'Marketing and website' project with tasks categorized under Planning and Design. Tasks such as 'Kick-off meeting' and 'Budget approval' are marked as 'Doing', while 'Requirements' and 'Research' are under 'Specification'. Start and due dates, assignees, and priority levels are displayed alongside each task.

Looking for the top creative agency project management software?

Creative agency management tools can help marketing, design, and creative agencies streamline their day-to-day workflows. Some key benefits include improved teamwork, task management, productivity, and informed decision-making.

This article will cover the top 15 tools for creative project management by comparing their features, benefits, and downsides.

How to Choose the Best Creative Agency Project Management Software

Key features include:

  • Collaboration: Look for full project visibility and an easy way to share and comment on task updates.
  • Reporting: Comprehensive tools can help you visualize and share data from various project activities.
  • Forecasting: For actionable insights into key metrics across time periods, including profit margins, utilization, and budget burn.
  • Usability: Consider investing in a solution with modernized UI, as excessive numbers and text can cause user fatigue.
  • Automation: This includes task rules, automated notifications, streamlined billing, and other workflow automation features.

Our List of the Top Creative Agency Project Management Tools

1. Productive – The Best All-in-One Creative Agency Management Software

Productive is a comprehensive management software designed specifically for the needs of creative agencies.

What makes it an all-in-one solution for agencies? 

A combination of project and task management, resource planning, and financial management and forecasting capabilities. Additional features include:

  • Time tracking
  • Docs with AI
  • Billing
  • Real-time reporting
  • Automations
  • Custom permissions

Productive really gives us everything we need as a production company. There’s more than just resource planning, there’s more than just scheduling, there’s more than just budgets, there’s more than just task management. Productive allows us to run our entire company. It really is our one-stop shop for everything we would need to run our business.

Josh Stewart-Van Dusen,
CEO at Tandem X Visuals

Resource Planning

In agency work, one of the most important factors to successful project delivery is ensuring that your employees are scheduled optimally across multiple projects. But how to plan resources for multiple projects?

Productive’s Resource Planning feature lets agencies create responsive capacity plans. These include key information on your human resources, including schedules across projects, availability, time off, and more.

This helps creative agencies avoid overburdening or underutilizing resources, as well as efficiently reschedule employees according to changes in scope or deadlines.

A screenshot of a creative agency project management software resource planning feature for the month of June 2023. The timeline shows bookings for 'Pink Flamingos Rebranding' and 'ADB Bank website' with hours allocated per day for each project. 'Vacation' and 'Personal Time' requests are also depicted, as well as an ongoing task for 'BestTrips.com landing page' spanning 11 days with detailed time allocations.


GET FULL VISIBILITY INTO YOUR PROJECT PROGRESS AND WORKLOADS

Additional features include placeholders for external staff or future staff, and tentative bookings for unconfirmed projects.

Benefits for creative agencies: Productive helps you ensure that sudden project changes are accounted for in time. It also offers better planning and visibility to help agencies get the most out of their resources. With the Reporting feature, agencies can also get valuable insights into utilization across various metrics, such as employees, departments, seniority, and more.

Find out more about Productive’s capacity report templates.

Project Management

From project plans to completed projects, as a creative agency project manager, you can track everything with Productive.

Complex projects can be broken down into phases and organized into different task lists or by workflows with Productive’s Project Management feature. Task progress can be managed through customs statuses, dependencies, comment history, automatic notifications, and more.

Users can also create no-code automations to streamline repetitive tasks, such as sending task updates to Slack.

A screenshot of a creative agency project management software displaying a task for 'Motion graphics' under a 'Blog posts' project. The interface includes options for task details and to-dos with a status indicator, assignment details, and a due date feature, alongside a timer set to zero.


CENTRALIZE YOUR TEAM’S COMMUNICATION AND COLLABORATION WITH STREAMLINED TASK MANAGEMENT

Benefits for creative agencies: For cross-functional teams, a tool for project management for creative agencies is a must. The biggest benefit of Productive is the fact that layouts can be customized according to working styles — including Gantt, Kanban, List, Calendar, and more. Additionally, each employee has a personal dashboard to keep track of their tasks.

A screenshot of a creative agency project management software organizing social media posts. It features a board view option selected from multiple layout choices, with columns for 'Not Started' and 'Done'. The 'Not Started' section lists tasks such as 'Resource Planning: Prepare For Success' and 'Project Profitability: How To Make Sure Your Agency Stays In The Green', tagged with 'Refine' and 'Agency'. The 'Done' section includes completed tasks like 'Digital Agency Profitability - article', with priority indicators.


Tailor your software to your agency’s organizational preferences

Time Tracking

The time tracking feature in Productive is designed to be user-friendly for creatives, as well as their managers.

There are multiple ways to manage time entries:

  • Timer for real-time tracking (a desktop widget can be used for easier management)
  • Manual entry which includes favorite and recent services for quicker entry
  • Automatic creation of time entries by syncing them with resource bookings
A screenshot of a creative agency project management software's time tracking interface for the current day. It displays two marketing tasks; 'Social media posts' with a duration of 4 hours completed, and 'Customer success - interview questions' along with 'Creative brief', currently at 1 hour and 3 minutes with the timer active.


Get reliable insights on how your employees spend their time

Managers can easily view entries, approve or request more details, as well as lock timesheets for editing after a specified amount of time. Productive also offers time off requests through its platform.

A screenshot of a creative agency project management software feature for requesting time off, showing a December 2024 calendar with the 10th to the 12th highlighted as the selected vacation dates. There's a summary showing 3 days available for vacation, with the same duration selected, and a button to 'Request 3 days'.


Reduce your tech stack by handling time off with Productive

Benefits for creative agencies: Time management can make employees feel micromanaged, or it can simply be a hassle to handle it on a daily basis. Productive offers various ways to simplify the creative agency workflow process, while also get insights into profit margins, billable hours and utilization, estimated vs actual completion time, and other crucial metrics. 

Integration with Google Calendar provides easier time tracking and task overviews.

Budgeting

In Productive, Budgeting allows for easy tracking of budgets and projection of potential overages. It allows users to track expenses and predict revenue, as well as analyze project profitability. As teammates track time, you can monitor the state of your budgets, profit margins, and amounts left for invoicing. Productive also supports retainer work with recurring budgets (find out more about managing a budget for multiple projects).

A screenshot of a creative agency project management software displaying the 'New budgets insights' section. It features a bar graph comparing revenue and margin for different projects like 'ABC Company' and 'Website Redesign'. There are interactive elements such as 'Group by' dropdown and 'Show only totals' checkbox, indicating customizable data views.


GET FULL CONTROL OF YOUR BUDGETS ACROSS MULTIPLE PROJECTS

Benefits for creative agencies: Projects in the creative industry, especially digital marketing agencies, can be extremely fast-paced. Scope creep is a reality, more than a possibility. Forecasting your key metrics, such as profitability and revenue, allows you to react quickly to changes, get insights into how they impact projects, and inform your clients in a timely manner.

Productive also offers billing capabilities to help businesses save time on generating invoices and managing cash flow.

A screenshot of a creative agency project management software displaying a purchase order with 'Linkedin Paid Ads' service. It shows order number 12 issued on 2 May, 2023, a quantity of 1 with the price and amount both listed as $500.00, and a total amount due of $500.00.


YOU CAN ALSO MANAGE EXTERNAL EXPENSES WITH PRODUCTIVE’S PURCHASE ORDERS

Docs

Use Productive as your Google Docs. Productive’s Docs help people brainstorm and manage key information in real time, mention teammates, create tasks directly from pages, and restore progress with version history — all off the capabilities you would expect from a top-notch collaboration and communication tool, in a single platform.

A screenshot of a creative agency project management software interface titled 'Docs' with an open document 'Project Specification'. The document includes sections such as 'Functional Objectives' marked low priority and an introduction for a web-based sales system by Solar Based Energy, Inc. The text snippet shows a feature for accounting with purchase transaction data.


Keep all essential project documentation in one place

Additionally, you can use Productive AI to summarize, translate, paraphrase, and write text from scratch.

A screenshot of a creative agency project management software ad for Productive, featuring a checklist with colored progress bars under headings for Project Management, Resource Planning, and Financial Tracking, and text that reads "Streamline Your Agency Operations with Productive!"


Keep all essential project documentation in one place

Additional features include: Sales, Permission Builder, Purchase Orders,

Integrations include: Xero, QuickBooks, HubSpot, BambooHR, 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.

You can check out Productive with a 14-day free trial before you decide to subscribe to a paid plan.

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2. LiquidPlanner – One of the Best Creative Agency Project Management Software for Workforce Planning

LiquidPlanner is one of the best tools for dynamic scheduling and predictive analytics. It helps businesses manage their projects and resources.

Key features:

  • Real-time project visibility
  • Automated scheduling
  • Resource management
  • Time tracking
  • Reporting


SOurce: liquidplanner

Benefits: Positive customer reviews for LiquidPlanner highlight its ease of use, customizable features, and effective project management capabilities. LiquidPlanner also provides dynamic resource planning to help agencies adapt to changes and balance workloads successfully.

Downsides: Negative customer reviews often mention issues with customer support, limited reporting options, and difficulties with setting up the software. A significant downside is that LiquidPlanner does not come with a built-in budgeting or billing feature, which limits its potential for complex projects.

For more comprehensive project management platforms, check out our list of the top LiquidPlanner competitors.

3. Workfront – A Solid Option for Project Management Software for Design Agencies

Workfront is a project management tool that helps businesses streamline their work processes and improve productivity. Workfront includes integrations with popular apps like Salesforce, Adobe Creative Cloud, and Jira.

Key features:

  • Project and task management
  • Customizable workflows
  • Streamlined teamwork
  • Reporting


Source: workfront

The benefits: Positive reviews praise Workfront for its comprehensive project management capabilities and robust reporting features. This includes simple project sharing, progress management, and workflow support. 

The downsides: Similarly to LiquidPlanner, users comment that Workfront can be a bit difficult to use — specifically, that it’s “difficult to create personalised reports and overviews, and notifications can be easily lost” (Source: Capterra). Some users have also reported difficulties with customer support and issues with the software’s performance.

If this is something that you’re already struggling with, consider some of the top Workfront competitors instead.

4. Wrike – A Good Project Management Tool for Creative Agencies

Wrike is a cloud-based project management tool that helps businesses manage their projects and tasks. It also integrates with popular apps like Salesforce, Slack, and Google Drive.

Key features:

  • Schedule tasks
  • Customizable workflows
  • Analytics capabilities
  • Time tracking


source: wrike

The benefits: The best part of Wrike is the intuitive UI, comprehensive project management features, and the ability to collaborate with team members in real time. Wrike also offers workload charts for project resources management.

The downsides: As one of the main downsides, consider that Wrike currently offers budgeting only in its most advanced pricing plan. Most agencies will need this feature to prioritize client projects and support sustainable growth. For smaller creative teams and agencies with limited resorces, it might be better to consider some alternatives with built-in budgeting in basic plans.

Check out our comparison of Wrike, ClickUp and Productive to learn more.

5. Asana – Best Design Agency Project Management Software

Asana is a creative project management software with a range of features for managing projects, task scheduling, and resource planning. Asana integrates with popular apps like Slack, Salesforce, and Google Drive.

Key features:

  • Project and task management
  • Custom templates
  • Reporting
  • Timelines
  • Dashboards


source: asana

The benefits: Asana is a popular choice for project managers, businesses, and individuals, especially those working with agile methodologies. It offers dashboards specifically designed for Scrum and Kanban methodologies. Positive feedback also includes user-friendly UI and strong collaboration features.

The downsides: As one of the main downsides, Asana lacks some advanced features of a comprehensive project management tool, such as robust resource management, Gantt charts, and robust reporting. Financial features, such as forecasting and project budgeting, are also better developed in comparable creative project management tools.

6. Trello – A Streamlined Choice With Project Management Tools for Creative Agencies

Trello is a tool for ad agencies that help businesses manage their projects, tasks, and conversations. Trello integrations include apps like Slack, Google Drive, and Jira.

Key features:

  • Task management
  • Customizable boards, lists, and cards
  • Reporting
  • Community support


source: trello

The benefits: Trello is a great choice for creative teams that are focused on task management and collaboration support. Due to its simplicity, it can be a good match for creatives who are unused to managing their processes or beginner project management skills.

The downsides: Negative customer reviews often mention limitations in customization options, limited reporting capabilities, and the need for third-party integrations to unlock certain features. For more advanced agency operations support, consider all-in-one tools instead.

7. Workamajig – One of the Best Project Management Software for Design Agencies

Workamajig is a project tracking tool designed for creative and marketing teams. Workamajig has integrations with popular apps like Quickbooks, Adobe Creative Cloud, and Slack.

Key features:

  • Project and task management
  • Time tracking
  • Budgeting
  • Resource planning


source: workamajig

The benefits: Positive customer reviews for Workamajig often mention its comprehensive project management capabilities, customizable features, and robust reporting options. Workamajig includes billing and financial support, which supports strategic business planning.

The dowsides: Due to its somewhat outdated UI, it might not be the ideal pick for inexperienced teams or those who prefer a visually appealing interface.

8. Scoro – A Comprehensive Choice for Creative Agency Management

Scoro is a tool that helps businesses manage their work and teams. Scoro integrates Salesforce, Slack, and Xero.

Key features:

  • Project health oversight
  • Time tracking
  • Invoicing
  • Client portal


source: scoro

The benefits: Users appreciate Scoro’s ability to streamline processes and increase efficiency, making it a popular choice for small and mid-sized businesses. Users appreciate that Scoro helps them keep track of meetings and document the summaries. 

The downsides: Negative reviews often mention the steep learning curve and limited customization options, as well as occasional issues with customer support.

9. Proofhub – An Affordable Creative Agency Workflow Software

An advertising agency project management software that helps businesses manage their projects, content, and teams. Key features include integrations with popular apps like Dropbox, Google Drive, and Outlook.

Key features:

  • Project and task management
  • Time tracking
  • Team communication
  • Reporting


source: proofhub

The benefits: Users appreciate Proofhub’s intuitive UI, customizable project management workflows, and collaboration features. Users highlight the tool’s usage and versatility, from supporting task management, time, and staying in sync with clients and team members.

The downsides: Some negative reviews mention that Proofhub is lacking in the integrations area in comparison with similar software, which might be a downside for agencies that are used to their tool stack. Also, there seems to be an occasional lack of responsiveness from Proofhub’s customer support.
 

10. ClickUp – A Basic Tool for Project Management for Creative Agencies

ClickUp is a marketing project management solution that helps businesses manage their projects, tasks, and teams.

Key features:

  • Project and task management
  • Time tracking
  • Team collaboration
  • Reporting
A screenshot of a creative agency project management software's 'Release Project' interface. The view shows a task list with categories 'ISSUES FOUND' and 'REVIEW', each with tasks such as 'Update contractor agreement', 'Plan for next year', and 'Budget assessment'. Visual cues indicate task stages like 'Initiation', 'Planning', and 'Execution', with profile pictures denoting assignees and icons for comments and attachments.


source: clickup

The benefits: Positive customer feedback often includes ClickUp’s flexibility, customizable workflows, and strong collaboration features. The software is praised for its ability to adapt to different types of projects and teams, making it a popular choice for businesses of all sizes.
 
The downsides: ClickUp may not be ideal for end-to-end agency management because it lacks some essential features specific to agency workflows: resource allocation, financial tracking, and project costing tools. This can make it challenging for creative agencies to manage their projects and track their profitability effectively.
 

11. Basecamp – A Simplified Solution to Job Management for Creative Companies

Basecamp is a web-based project management and team collaboration tool that allows teams to organize and track their work in one place.

Key features:

  • Project and task management
  • File sharing
  • Scheduling


source: basecamp

The benefits: Basecamp has received good reviews for its simple and intuitive interface and strong collaboration features. It can be a good creative project management solution for agencies that want to focus on optimizing how they track projects and communications.

The downsides: Basecamp lacks some more advanced features, such as time tracking and advanced reporting tools, both of which are essential to keep project timelines on track and manage progress effectively. 

12. Jira – One of the Best Project Management Design Agency Software

Jira is a popular project management software tool developed by Atlassian, primarily used for software development.

Key features:

  • Project management
  • Issue tracking
  • Real-time collaboration


source: jira

The benefits: Jira tends to be praised for powerful issue tracking and agile project management features. It offers a comprehensive GitHub integration, and other capabilities that support developers and designers in their day-to-day tasks.

The downsides: Jira can be a good choice for agile teams, such as development or design agencies. However, agencies looking to address resource management challenges should consider another option, as Jira doesn’t offer resource allocation.

13. Planview AdaptiveWork – A Fine Choice for Design Agency Project Management

Planview AdaptiveWork, formerly Clarizen, is a cloud-based project management and collaboration tool that allows teams to plan, track, and execute projects.

Key features:

  • Project tracking
  • Task management
  • Effective resource management
  • Real-time collaboration


source: clarizen

The benefits: Planview has received positive feedback for its robust project management and collaboration features. It can be a good pick for workflow management and balancing daily tasks.

The downsides: Some users state that Planview’s financial reporting and resource management capabilities aren’t what they expected. The software lacks time tracking and invoicing features, which are critical for many agencies in profitability and cash flow management.

14. Easy Project – A Design Agency Project Management Tool for Smaller Agencies

Easy Project is a cloud-based project management software tool that offers project tracking, task management, and team collaboration.

Key features:

  • Project tracking
  • Task management
  • Resource planning
  • Real-time collaboration


source: easy project

The benefits: Positive user feedback on Easy Project often emphasized its comprehensive project management features and user-friendly interface. Another benefit for marketing and design projects within smaller creative agencies is the tool’s affordability. Businesses with sensitive data can also consider an on-premise integration.

The downsides: Negative feedback has cited occasional performance issues and limited integrations. Additionally, Easy Project lacks capabilities for resource allocation and in-depth financial reports.

15. Teamwork – Best Creative Agency Project Management Tool for Collaboration

Teamwork is a web-based project management and team collaboration tool that offers project tracking, task management, and real-time updates.

Key features:

  • Project tracking
  • Task management
  • Time tracking
  • Real-time collaboration


source: teamwork

The benefits: Positive customer reviews of Teamwork often include the fact that it provides a wide range of powerful features for project management, an intuitive user interface, and excellent customer support. Some negative reviews have cited limitations in Teamwork’s financial reporting capabilities and occasional technical glitches.

The downsides: Teamwork can be a good choice for agencies that are looking for intuitive management. However, as it doesn’t offer resource allocation support, it’s not the most suitable for comprehensive resource forecasting and management. For that, check out some of the top Teamwork competitors instead.

Benefits of Creative Agency Project Management Solutions

1. Improved Client Relationships

Although having a good relationship with clients is crucial to establishing long-term connections and delivering successful projects, survey results by Havas Group from 2022 show that only 56% of clients believe that they have an honest and transparent relationship with their agencies.

How can agencies respond to this and improve their image?

A crucial step to more constructive client relationships is ensuring that your budgeting process is efficient, transparent, and reactive to project changes. Digital tools can help you manage your project budgets in multiple stages of the project management process.
For example, by helping you estimate your initial costs during the project planning process and with effective change management once the execution stage comes around.

Consider: Budgeting tools, resource management software

2. Streamlined Collaboration

The benefits of good teamwork go further than improved project outcomes. Ensuring that you’ve created an environment where people can work together without stress and frustration is essential to retaining your top talent and having stable workflows.

In fact, research shows that companies that promote collaboration and communication can potentially reduce turnover rates by 50% (Zippia). Considering the cost of hiring new employees and the fact that the average annual agency turnover rates clock in at around 30% (Forbes), the necessity of streamlined collaboration is apparent.

Some features that improve team collaboration include: custom dashboards, task management, automatic notifications, collaborative documentation, and file sharing.

Consider: Design project management tools, marketing project management software, or all-in-one digital agency management software

3. Automated Workflows

Consider the data on human errors from an illuminating survey by BlackLine from 2019: almost 22% of C-level respondents reported that they potentially waste as many as 114 days per year on identifying and adjusting financial errors in their accounts.

Before using Productive, I would have to spend 8 hours to figure certain numbers out. Now, I have those numbers in real time, at a glance.

Patric Osburn,
Service Operations Manager at Quintica

Along with providing more reliable data, automation helps employees focus on critical project tasks, and streamline administration and repetitive daily workflows. This can improve creativity and quality of deliverables, as well as overall job satisfaction and engagement.

Consider: Accounting tools, time tracking software, PSA software, or all-in-one agency management solutions

Top Criteria for the Best Creative Agency Project Management Systems

Although your best choice will be heavily dependent on your specific needs and agency type, there are still some general criteria that all tools should strive to cover. 

1. Is the software easy to use?

Even if your team is full of project management experts, choosing a simple and intuitive tool will save you significant time in the long term. You can check the platform’s UI, as well as customer reviews and how many training materials the vendor offers to make your choice.

2. Will the tool be able to scale with my agency?

Consider choosing a tool from an active vendor that is focused not only on optimization but also on upgrading its functionalities. This will ensure that the tool will scale alongside your agency’s needs. To gauge this, check how engaged the vendor is with the community through social media or potential product and roadmap updates on its website.

3. Does this tool help me save up on IT costs?

Finally, the last important thing to consider is: even if the tool suits your needs to a T, is it truly the most economical choice for your business? Using multiple tools to achieve different parts of your agency management process can cause data loss and result in unreliable business conclusions. Therefore, consider choosing a flexible, all-in-one tool that can help you save money on IT overhead.

Choosing the Best Project Management Software for Creative Agency Workflows

Managing multiple projects and teams can be overwhelming without the right tools and processes in place.  By investing in project management software, creative agencies can streamline their workflow, improve collaboration, and increase productivity.

The software can help them keep track of deadlines, allocate resources, and monitor progress, allowing them to deliver high-quality projects on time and within budget.

If you’re looking for an all-in-one tool that can help support your daily processes, consider booking a demo with Productive.

FAQ

What is creative agency project management software?

Creative agency project management software solutions are designed to help creative businesses such as design agencies, marketing agencies, and website development companies manage their projects, teams, and workflows more efficiently.

What are some popular creative agency project management tools?

Some popular creative agency project management software solutions include Productive, Asana, Trello, Scoro, Wrike, and Basecamp.

What are the benefits of using a creative agency project management software? 

The benefits of creative agency project management software include improved communication and collaboration, effective resource management and improved project delivery.

How do I choose the right creative agency project management software for my agency? 

When choosing the best creative agency project management software for your business, consider your agency’s specific needs, budget, and team size.

How do I choose the right creative agency project management software for my agency?

To choose the right creative agency project management software for your agency, specific needs and business goals, budget, and team size. Always consider the tool’s usability, scalability, and quality of customer support.

Can creative agency project management software integrate with other tools?

Many creative agency proejct management software solutions can integrate with other tools like design software, communication apps, and file-sharing platforms to streamline your workflows.

How do I train my team to use creative agency project management software?

To train your team to use creative agency project management software, it’s essential to provide proper training and support to your team. Offer training sessions, provide tutorials, and encourage team members to ask questions and provide feedback.

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Marija Kata Vlašić

Content Marketing Specialist

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