ClickUp is a project management tool that we admire at Cloudwards, and this shows as our project management experts place it high in our list of the best project management software and our roundup of the best free project management software, a feat that is not easy to achieve. We have used ClickUp extensively and feel comfortable sharing what we know in this ClickUp review.
Key Takeaways: ClickUp Project Mangement
- ClickUp’s free plan is loaded with features and only limits how many times you can use specific tools. ClickUp’s paid tiers are also competitively priced.
- The learning curve is steep, so you’ll have to spend time with the software to get the most out of it.
- The sheer number of tools and features within ClickUp make the platform suitable for a wide variety of applications.
ClickUp boasts many high-profile customers — including IBM, Booking.com, Logitech and Netflix — but that doesn’t necessarily mean it’s right for you. If you’re on the fence about ClickUp and want to learn more about its plans, features, security, learning curve and more, our ClickUp review can help you make a more informed decision for you and your team.
05/21/2023 Facts checked
Our ClickUp review has been rewritten with new information and now uses an easy-to-read format.
09/25/2023 Facts checked
Removed references to discontinued Business Plus plan.
Thanks to its array of tools, ClickUp can be used for simple or complex projects in a wide variety of industries. From simple to-do lists to projects with many moving parts, ClickUp can do it all.
ClickUp has become a popular project management platform thanks to its forever-free plan. However, many teams use ClickUp to manage projects because of its competitive pricing and robust feature set.
ClickUp is not a Google Product. Zeb Evans and Alex Yurkowsiki founded ClickUp in 2017, and it has the legal name of Mango Technologies.
ClickUp Review: Pros & Cons
- Loaded free plan
- Affordable paid tiers
- Many task management tools
- Powerful collaboration tools
- Poor interface & navigation
- Steep learning curve
- Mobile apps could be better
When it comes to features, nobody can say ClickUp is lacking. In the paid plans, you’ll find many workflow tools, team collaboration features, scheduling and time-tracking tools, and unique features like mind maps and unlimited storage. Let’s break the features down by first looking at the plans on offer.
Free Forever Plan Features
Instead of offering just enough tools to whet your appetite, like monday.com (here’s our monday.com review), ClickUp throws most of its menu at you in the free plan. However, it limits how much you can eat. This approach lets very small teams have access to robust tools. To start, the Free Forever plan offers unlimited projects, custom views, tasks and plan members.
You’ll then find boards, spreadsheets, real-time chat, time tracking, and calendar and everything views. Users also get three whiteboards and 100 uses each of mind maps, Gantt charts, timelines and workload views. In addition, collaborative docs, 100 automatons and API calls, subtasks, lists and folders, 100MB of storage and two-factor authentication round out the plan.
When we say the free plan is loaded, we’re not kidding; in fact, there are too many features to list here, so we urge you to look at ClickUp’s feature list for yourself. Of course, some advanced features are reserved for higher tiers, but for startups looking for a feature-rich project management solution that won’t impact the bottom line, ClickUp is a great option.
Unlimited Plan Features
ClickUp’s Unlimited plan includes everything from the free plan and adds unlimited storage, goals, portfolios, integrations, dashboards, Gantt charts and custom fields. You can have guests with permissions, one free email account in ClickUp and one team (user group). Live chat support, resource management tools, Agile reporting, 100 uses of critical path and slack time are also included.
The Unlimited tier does have some restrictions. You’re limited to 1,000 automations and 100 API calls, 200 lists and folders, and 10 uses of timeline and workload views. The limitations continue, with just 10 whiteboards, 100 uses each of document tags, mind maps and subtasks, and limited dashboard widgets. You do get a seven-day activity log, though. This plan should appeal to small- to medium-sized teams.
Business Plan Features
The keyword for the Business plan is advanced, as in advanced tools. Everything previously mentioned is included, along with unlimited teams, advanced public sharing, advanced automations (10,000 per month), advanced dashboards and time-tracking features. Mind maps and whiteboards become unlimited, and you get advanced security features (Google SSO).
There are still a few restrictions within this plan. For example, lists and folders are restricted to 400, API calls are still limited to 100 per minute, and document tags are also limited to 100. However, subtasks get bumped up to 1,000 uses.
Enterprise Plan Features
The Enterprise plan is beyond the scope of many, but in a nutshell, it’s loaded. Automations increase to 250,000 per month, API calls hit 10,000 per minute, and many advanced security (multiple single sign-on and custom SAML single sign-on options) and admin options are added, including unlimited custom roles and team sharing.
Task Management and Workflow Tools
If you ask us which task management tools ClickUp offers, we would just say “yes,” because all the major ones are here. You’ll find kanban boards, Gantt charts, lists, spreadsheets, calendars, timelines and workload views. Most importantly, these tools are easy to use and make project tracking a piece of cake.
Creating and assigning tasks, adding due dates and subtasks, sharing files and commenting on cards is straightforward. You can customize tasks with custom fields and create task dependencies easily. When you update one tool, the rest follow suit, which makes it easy to keep track of everything when managing projects.
While the individual tools aren’t as good as the kanban boards in Trello (here’s our Trello review and ClickUp vs Trello comparison) or the spreadsheets in Smartsheet (check out our Smartsheet review), they’re still robust enough for most use cases. No matter which project management methodologies you use, you’ll find it easy to manage tasks thanks to the tools on offer in ClickUp.
ClickUp is a collaboration powerhouse. Team members can work in real time on documents. The chat tool — which allows text, GIFs, emojis and voice messages — is stellar. You can even launch Zoom meetings from within ClickUp. Chatting with other team members via @messages within tasks is straightforward, too. The collaboration features make planning for multiple teams and projects a piece of cake.
There are some more advanced collaboration tools, like mind maps and whiteboards. We’ve reviewed dozens of project management platforms at Cloudwards, which means we’ve used many collaboration features, and we must say that these tools aren’t the most intuitive. Still, you’ll find them useful once you get to grips with them. You can use them to create project blueprints, flow charts and more.
While the collaboration tools here aren’t as powerful as those found in Notion (here’s our Notion review), they’re still excellent. If you need a solid suite of collaboration tools and robust task management features, ClickUp has you covered.
Automations, Click Apps and Integrations
You’ll be pleased that ClickUp offers 50 native integrations, including those for Google Calendar, Slack, Google Drive, OneDrive, DropBox, Zoom and many others. You can connect to more via ClickUp’s API and a platform like Zapier. The integrations can also be used in the Free Forever plan. If you use Zapier, though, be mindful of your plan’s API limits because they will sneak up on you quickly.
Automations also play a huge role in project management suites, and fortunately, ClickUp is no slouch in this area. Each plan has automation limits, but you can pick and choose the automations you want to use. For example, you can set recurring tasks and send emails automatically when a project status changes. You can even automatically track the time it took to complete a task.
ClickUp has made it easy to create automations with a simple-to-use if-this-then-that interface. In no time, you can set up automations that drastically reduce the number of routine and time-consuming tasks that need to be completed daily, which, safe to say, is something we all want.
ClickUp also offers ClickApps. ClickApps vary by plan and are sometimes trivial — like emojis and GIFs for chats — but some powerful options include integrated email, milestones, collaborative editing and custom fields. ClickApps offer a great deal of customization, and while their implementation across plans could be better, they’re nice to have.
Reporting and Time-Tracking Tools
Advanced reporting features in ClickUp let you create dashboards that display pie charts, bar graphs and lists. Data is displayed on resizable widgets that can show the number of open tasks, percentage of tasks by status, employee workloads, time worked, overall project progress and more.
If you’d like more in-depth project info, you can export data from multiple projects as a CSV file that can be opened in your chosen software. However, after conducting our tests, we think most will find the report widgets in ClickUp to be more than satisfactory.
ClickUp also makes it easy for team members to track time and for managers to keep track of it. You can start a timer for each task; if you forget, you can manually add work time to each task. Time data is then neatly displayed in various reports. If you’d like more advanced time-tracking tools, you can always use a time-tracking integration.
If you need total control over your projects and teams, ClickUp has you covered with tons of admin tools. Just remember that many of the admin features unlock in the Enterprise plan. With this plan, you can quickly and easily set custom permissions and roles, both of which are essential in project management when you have large teams.
Other tools lurking in the settings menu include security options, notification settings, import and export options, custom rules for individual projects and team management. A lot is happening behind the scenes in ClickUp, but the interface is clean, and the different options are labeled well. Getting ClickUp to work for you and your team is a no-fuss affair, which is how we like it.
Desktop and Mobile Apps
ClickUp offers project management desktop apps for Linux, Windows and macOS, and mobile apps for iOS, Android and Apple’s watchOS. The desktop apps placed ClickUp well in our best project management software for macOS and Windows users. With them, you’ll get all the features found in the web version. The desktop apps are slick, intuitive and offer a fuss-free experience.
ClickUp’s mobile apps offer access to projects, dashboards and workspaces, and you can leave comments on tasks and view documents. There are kanban, list and calendar views, but touch controls are poor. For example, you can’t drag and drop task cards into different columns on your kanban board, which is a missed opportunity. You can work on collaborative docs, though.
Still, should you find yourself out of the office often, the mobile apps allow you to keep up with your tasks and your team. While useful in a pinch, the mobile offerings are far from Nifty’s (check out our Nifty review) mobile apps.
ClickUp Features Overview
|Multiple project management|
|Native scrum management|
|Set user permissions|
One thing you’ll love about ClickUp is the pricing structure. ClickUp is an affordable project management solution with plans that suit any budget. You have the loaded free version, which is ideal for smaller teams, and four paid tiers to choose from. To better understand what’s on offer, we suggest using the free trial of the Business plan.
The Unlimited plan costs just $10 per user per month when billed monthly and $7 per user per month if you pay annually, which is a steal. Next is the Business plan, which jumps to $19 per user per month when you pay monthly and $12 per user per month annually.
The Enterprise plan is scalable and has a few extras that can be added. You need to contact ClickUp directly for a quote.
Drawing from our experience, we can say that ClickUp is roughly on par with monday.com regarding pricing (check out our ClickUp vs monday.com guide), and in some cases, it’s more affordable than Asana (here’s our ClickUp vs Asana guide). You can learn more in our ClickUp pricing guide.
- Basic functionality with some limitations
- All prices per user
- All prices per user
ClickUp, while clean, isn’t the most user-friendly platform; even a project manager with experience will stumble until they learn the lay of the land and ClickUp’s terminology. Signing up for ClickUp is easy; just be prepared to spend time with the company’s learning materials before trying to turn your ClickUp walk into a sprint (pun intended).
The main difficulty with ClickUp is navigation. The interface isn’t terrible; it’s just a little messy. Although it’s dull and not as visually appealing as MeisterTask (here’s our MeisterTask review) or monday.com, the interface is clean with easy-to-read fonts. The problem is that many options in the navigation area hide behind collapsible menus that contain more menus.
The good news is that a navigation menu along the top of the main panel houses your views, so switching between workflow tools is at least straightforward, and finding advanced settings (located in the bottom-left corner) is also easy.
ClickUp, try as it might, just isn’t as user-friendly as other project management software options like monday.com. Still, spend time with ClickUp and you’ll eventually develop a workflow that suits you and your team.
Tutorials and Learning
ClickUp offers a variety of resources to users who want to learn the software. ClickUp University offers a number of courses to those getting started. In addition, there’s a comprehensive library of colorful, often playful videos, a helpful glossary and an extensive knowledgebase of well-written articles. This is good news, given that ClickUp has a steep learning curve.
In addition, Enterprise members get access to admin training webinars, while Enterprise customers have an onboarding workshop. In terms of learning materials, ClickUp rivals monday.com and Asana. Based on our first-hand experience, we can say that you’ll have very few issues when it comes to figuring out this software.
Security & Privacy
One area where the team at ClickUp hasn’t skimped is security. Your data is stored on Amazon Web Services servers, and data is encrypted via TLS 1.2 and AES-256 protocols. In addition, ClickUp has numerous security features, including multiple ISO certifications that meet international standards and SOC 2 compliance. ClickUp is also independently audited annually.
On top of robust security features on the server side, users will also be able to rest easy thanks to security features such as two-factor authentication, Google, Microsoft, Okta and custom SAML single sign-on tools, session management functions and private spaces.
ClickUp’s customer support is perfectly fine. All users can expect 24/7 email support, but live chat is reserved for paying members. Priority support is offered to those who subscribe to the Enterprise plan. Apart from email help and live chat, you can join a Facebook community where you can ask questions and receive support, too.
The only downside to ClickUp’s support is the lack of phone support. Still, we received timely responses to our emails and were often directed to the help we needed via the AI chatbot. If you find yourself in a sticky situation, you’ll be able to get the assistance you need without fuss.
The Verdict: Is ClickUp Worth It?
Overall, ClickUp is a feature-rich platform that gives other project management software a run for their money. While ClickUp is less polished than monday.com or Asana, it makes up for a slightly worse user experience with its robust lineup of task management, resource management and collaboration tools, good security features, and competitively priced plans.
Do we recommend ClickUp for project management? Absolutely. Whether you’re looking for a solid project management tool with a free plan or need advanced tools for a large team working on complex projects, ClickUp has your back.
Will you be taking ClickUp’s Business plan for a free spin? Do you already use ClickUp? Let us know in the comments, and as always, thanks for reading.