Project management looks different for each client-based industry. There may be full teams whose roles are solely focused on ensuring that projects are completed on time and on budget, one single project manager keeping things on track or various individuals handling distributed project management responsibilities.
If you run a marketing agency, you know that creative teams can have unique needs compared to other types of professional services teams. Digital tools can help, but selecting the right ones for your agency could feel overwhelming.
To help you explore the potential of a new tech stack, we're breaking down the software options that could help your team complete projects more efficiently, thereby improving client relationships and increasing profitability.
Below, we'll share platforms that are best for creative project management and its associated core functions:
While you could piece together software tools to accomplish client projects, having one core platform to handle your project management needs is preferable to multiple disjointed ones. A single source of truth can help your team:
Whether your agency specializes in marketing, design, branding, digital products, media or another field, if you complete client projects, your team will benefit from a dedicated tool built for just that. Following are three of the best project management softwares for creative agencies.
Accelo is a cloud-based client work management platform designed to help professional services firms, including creative agencies, manage client relationships from prospect to payment. The powerful platform provides customizable solutions to expand visibility, improve collaboration and increase profits.
Trello is a sister program to Jira, as it’s managed by Atlassian. One of the most well-known and widely used project management tools on the market, Trello integrates with many of the tools you may already use. Its structure is based on the Kanban framework of agile project management. However, it's easy to use Trello with the Scrum framework as well.
Workamajig is a project management software for agencies and creative teams. It features a variety of financial reports that tie time logs and team capacity to projects and tasks, making it a good option for agencies looking to focus on maximizing the profit potential of billable time.
Solid internal communication is non-negotiable in project management. Even if your project management software offers some collaboration tools, you may choose to use a separate platform to communicate about client work.
While they may not work as replacements for the more comprehensive platforms above, we’ll review three great options for digital collaboration tools.
Basecamp is an application that’s popular among project managers for its collaboration features, including chats, message boards and pings. As the name suggests, it’s a centralized place for teams to turn for tasks, notes, files and conversations related to a given project.
Google Meet is an in-browser video conferencing tool that’s ideal for agencies with hybrid or remote teams. It can also be used for client calls. Because it’s integrated with other Google Workspace tools, Google Meet makes quick connections with business contacts within the Google ecosystem simple.
Slack is a popular messaging app used by all types of businesses. With private messaging and group chat features, the platform makes internal communication simple. It integrates with many popular tools, including Google Calendar and Google Drive, allowing users to be notified about documents and events. Slack is a great complement to other project management tools.
Project management is often most successful when it’s accompanied by solid resource management. To manage resources thoughtfully and achieve the highest employee utilization rate possible, it’s imperative to track time. You have many choices for how to do so, but we recommend using a digital tool to help reduce the burden of manual time entry.
We’re sharing three software platforms that help with time tracking for creative teams.
Clockify is a free time tracking app that helps teams and individuals log time spent on tasks and projects using a combination of automatic timers and manual entry. The option to create teams can help project managers oversee total time on a project. Clockify can be used to calculate payroll and billable hours.
Harvest is a time-tracking software with desktop, browser and mobile versions. It offers flexible timesheets and the ability to invoice clients and accept payments directly through the platform. The range of reports go beyond simple time logs to display team capacity, project costs and more.
Toggl Track is a time-tracking app with timesheets, billable time reports and budgeting features. Users can simply use timers or customize by adding in details like tags to categorize segments of time. Toggl Track can be used to calculate payroll for both employees and contractors.
⏰Time tracking works best when time logs are attached to projects, tasks and client records. While the above options are reliable tools for basic time tracking, they won’t be the most useful for maximizing productivity and profitability by connecting time reports to other key components of the client journey.
To round out your project management software tech stack, you may want to consider having dedicated software to help with workflow management. Your agency’s workflows are unique, and perhaps complex, and keeping them seamless requires complete task visibility and easy file management.
Here are three platforms that can help project managers, designers, content creators and even your marketing team maintain a steady pace without sacrificing accuracy.
Asana is a work management platform built to help teams organize, assign and track projects. Featuring templates, automation and reporting tools, the platform helps teams manage task lists, collaborate across projects and improve visibility into project progress.
Dropbox is a cloud-based file sharing platform that simplifies backup and file storage with its easy-to-organize folders. There are several versions of the platform to choose from, including Dropbox Professional for communicating with clients about documents and collecting contract signatures.
Smartsheet is a more powerful, intuitive version of an Excel spreadsheet. The platform has built-in project management tools like Gantt charts, file sharing and collaborative features that are popular among project managers at small businesses and enterprise organizations alike.
Charts with percentage readouts to track goals
While creative project management software can be limited in functionality, a client work management platform could be just what your agency needs. Instead of piecing together a disjointed tech stack to achieve your goals, opt for one end-to-end platform that helps you: