PM tool: ClickUp
Updated: Sep 28
It is with a careful and fearful hand that I type these words: Today I would finally like to review ClickUp.
It seems to be everyone's current favorite. The up and coming star.
And yet I have not been able to get on board and get with the program.
Chaya Gutnick was kind enough to share her setup and templates with me to try to convince me that this app is worth the investment.
And while I'd invest in what Chaya created in a heartbeat, I still really (REALLY) don't like the app.
It's a sort of cross over between Asana, Notion, and Monday and both of them are better in my mind.
I've said it before, I'll say it again: I prefer to have task windows open as a side window than as a popup.
Asana has the side window open (and in your task view it also has the pop up option).
Jira gives you both.
But the pop up in ClickUp drives me kooku!
Also, when the window opens most of the right side is about past actions I've done in the task. And honestly, I rarely look at this.
My eye goes right, so I expect the most important information to be on the right.
✔ Setting up the columns is easy.
✔ They have many view options and that's great.
But their list view by default separates by status. Not sure why, but this setting really annoyed me. And yes, I know you can change this setting, but it just wasn't intuitive enough for me.
Their statuses are actually really annoying to change around and very not intuitive.
✔ I love the folder options, but they also have spaces within workspaces and I found the whole terminology just very confusing.
These are all fairly small issues, but they are the make up of the overall experience.
✔ ClickUp's automation are interesting. They have quite a few options, but you don't get to test each step and there's no automation history to see what's run and where it got stuck. Plus not every step is available with every other step.
✔ Their webhook option is great for exporting data from custom fields to other tools, but they don't support importing data to custom fields via third party integrations. And that's a real shame.
✔ You can have the same task in two different projects and updating in one updates in all the rest. It's basically the same file in two places. But doing this is far less intuitive in ClickUp than it is in Asana.
✔ Working with task and space templates is easy, and I admit I really like that options. But other tools also have that (though you may need to upgrade to enjoy the feature).
What they do have that's nice is the option to apply a template to a task based on an automation. This is great for creating intuitive workflows.
✔ The forms are totally customizable. But the forms feature is also only on the premium plan. I love my forms. I use them for so many things. I think ClickUp has the ability to handle them well. The downside is that a form creates one task only and you can't consolidate multiple fields into a task name. So there are limitations there as well.
✔ One feature that's interesting is their time tracking option. They have a native option as well as Toggl integration.
I personally don't track time by task but by project, but I can totally see people working with task time tracking.
And I believe in meticulous time tracking in order to learn for the future.
ClickUp enables comparing estimated time to actual time - which is also great.
One thing that ClickUp does well is emails from within tasks. I've actually set this up with automations and dynamic fields so you can trigger an email to be sent based on a status in a specific field. You can add your signature and it's sent directly from your email. All responses will be racked within the task - which is great. But this automation needs to be set up just so - and can't be part of a multi-step automation unless it's the first step.
On the surface, it seems ClickUp has many advantages. And it does.
I have recommended this tool for clients when it was right for their needs.
But for me, there is just something too purple. Something just isn't flowing the way I would expect it too.
The user experience is just too bulky.
The flow isn't as smooth and intuitive as I'd like.
For now, I think I'm sticking with Asana.
I apologize to all of you ClickUp fans out there.
I really did give it another try.
It just didn't live up to my expectations.
Note: this post was updated based on many projects I did for clients using ClickUp.
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