The Agency Checklist for Creative Project Management Tools

By Kit Lewis
Content Manager
Jan 27 2022 read

These days, there’s a project management tool for every type of business, and with so many platforms available, it’s not enough to just pick a tool and get started. Exploring the options to find the right fit for your agency is the most important step to implementing a new project management system. 

Creative project management involves the interweaving of many schedules, anticipated feedback from clients, all while working within a strict deadline. Because of this, creatives will want features that assist with organizing these details, as well as tracking progress, identifying staff availability and managing team resources. To make sure all these needs are met, creative agencies will need to find a tool that is easy to use and handles complex and unique workflows. 

With the right creative agency project management software in place, your agency can improve profitability and increase client satisfaction, all while making the work easier to manage for your team. 

Now that you have determined your creative agency can benefit from a new project management system, how do you find the right tool? Here’s a quick checklist of the most important features to look for when selecting a platform. Reference this list as you research your options and find the right tool to drive your agency’s success.

5 Features to Look For When Selecting Your Creative Agency Project Management Software

  1. Collaboration Tools
  2. File Sharing
  3. Time Tracking
  4. Project Visualization
  5. Contact Database

1. Collaboration Tools

The success of a creative agency relies on having a solid plan for collaboration across teams. Ensuring that everyone is on the same page with project goals, timelines and assigned responsibilities is essential for staying efficient and providing clients with high-quality service.

A project management system featuring collaboration tools helps teams stay organized by clearly outlining team availability, assigned tasks and project due dates to give project members and leadership a bird’s-eye-view of how each deliverable is progressing to ensure on-time delivery and client satisfaction.

With Accelo, agencies can improve collaboration, even from a distance, using tools like a unified inbox for client emails or task boards that show the status of team tasks and let employees get a better picture of what everyone else is working on

2. File Sharing

A creativity agency deals with a lot of files on a day-to-day basis. From creative briefs, drafted copy, art files and client presentations, there is a lot to keep track of and a lot to protect.

Because of this, creative agencies need to select a project management tool that can securely store files in one centralized place where team members can easily access and update the files as needed. Accelo allows you to attach files directly to tasks, issues or projects to easily share and collaborate on documents with other project members.

3. Time Tracking

In a client-based industry time is money, so finding a tool that can accurately track your team’s activities is a major step in ensuring your agency’s profitability.

In a creative agency, employees are supporting the clients’ needs through emails, phone calls and meetings, all in addition to the creative, skilled work they bring to a project. Oftentimes, employees track the work for project deliverables, but might not always accurately track the other activities taking up the hours in their day.

Through automatic time tracking, Accelo integrates with platforms that you're already using, such as G Suite and Office 365, to automatically capture and record time from calendar entries, emails and tasks to create more accurate timesheets and make sure your creative agency is getting paid for the work you’re already doing.

4. Project Visualization

Research has found that 65 percent of the general population are visual learners, and when working in a creative environment chances are good that percentage is even higher. With this in mind, having a project management tool with options to visualize a project can make a big impact on project planning and team communication.

Finding a platform that incorporates visual tools like Gantt charts and Kanban boards is important for creative agencies because it allows teams to visualize project timelines, shows employees how their tasks impact the project and lets everyone see progress from start to finish.

5. Contact Database

Any business working with clients has a lot of contact information to manage. Past, current and potential clients, and all the communications you’ve had with them need to be stored and easily accessible so your employees can be on the same page and easily familiar with the client. Demonstrating that you know the client and their business helps to maintain a connection and show that you value them and their success.

Selecting a project management tool with a contact database will allow your agency to keep track of your clients and give your employees the ability to tailor their communications to each client based on past interactions.

In addition to personalized client communication, having a centralized contact database saves your agency time when searching for information. A client work management tool like Accelo provides the opportunity to search through client information using filters and saved searches to reduce the time spent manually sorting through details so your agency can refocus its time on more important client work.

Selecting the Right Creative Project Management Tool

When looking for a creative project management tool, agencies will need to find the one that fits the needs of their agency. Some creative teams might just need a tool to automate tasks and free up time for creative work while others are looking for a tool that will manage all aspects of their client’s projects.

Accelo’s client work management platform is built with the needs of high-performing creative agencies, providing all the project management features above in an end-to-end platform that manages the full lifecycle of client work. Sign up for a free trial of Accelo to see the impact it can have on your creative agency’s success.


About the Author


Kit Lewis is a Content Manager at Accelo, where she manages content projects, social media and content reporting. With a decade of writing for industries ranging from education to tech, past experience supporting client work and a commitment to building efficient systems, she is passionate about creating valuable content to help professional services teams.

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