Wrike is a comprehensive and flexible project management solution that stands as one of the, if not the, best in its field. Check out our full Wrike review to find out about all the ins and outs of this program.
Wrike is one of the heavyweights of the project management world. It bills itself as a leading work management solution, which is a claim we’re keen to test. In this Wrike review, we’ll put the tool through its paces and see what it can do for your team as it works in the cloud.
Wrike is well-established and claims to be used by over 17,000 companies, including such giants as Airbnb, TGI Fridays and SurveyMonkey. It has a lot of features, but user-friendliness doesn’t go hand in hand with being feature-rich. The best project management software gets the balance right.
We’re going to look at how well Wrike handles it.
- Security & privacy
- Help & support
- Ease of use
- Expensive advanced plans
As with most project management software, Wrike allows you to organize things into separate projects, each of which contain tasks. The tasks can be split further into subtasks. They can be assigned to a team member, too, so you can see who should be doing what.
In addition to creating tasks yourself, you can create forms allowing other people to create them by answering questions.
There are several ways to keep track of what’s going on in your project. The stream is a blog-style list of events and keeps you apprised of anything new.
If you want to know what’s around the corner, you can check out the calendar view, which shows you what’s happening at any particular time. Calendars can be set to display tasks and projects sorted by a wide range of filters.
Different calendars can be superimposed on one another, too, enabling you to hone in on specific areas of the project or get a broad overview.
Wrike also includes proofing, which allows you to comment on files. With videos, comments can appear at specific points, making the feature a good way to discuss issues with files your team is working on or highlight parts of training videos. We like this function very well, though plenty of the best video editing programs let you do this, too, so it may not be useful for everybody.
When it comes to personalizing your workspace, Wrike has a dozen or so themes to pick from. Each user sets their own, though. They aren’t shared with the team. Wrike could improve by offering a few options to customize the appearance of a project for everyone.
Wrike has strong report creation capabilities to get you more detail on the state of your project. Reports can be generated in a few clicks and allow you to view all sorts of useful information.
You can look at who’s doing what or what’s overdue. You can also see which tasks are unassigned. That, along with Wrike’s dependency management, is especially useful for spotting roadblocks. There are six preset reports to pick from, but you can create custom versions by choosing from several options and selecting a layout, too.
Wrike has many integrations and can be used with services such as Salesforce, Dropbox and Google Drive. As with Asana and Trello, some integrations act as intermediaries, giving you access to more services.
You get regular email updates when using Wrike. They include, for example, daily to-do lists and weekly updates on reports you have subscribed to. Some have unsubscribe links, but the option to turn off emails sometimes took a bit of hunting to find.
Wrike has versions for most platforms. In addition to the web client, it is available for Windows, macOS, Android and iOS.
Overall, Wrike has an excellent set of features that enables you to get plenty done and keep track of what is going on.
Signing up is easy and you can begin with a trial if you don’t want to pay right away.
After signing up and picking your plan, you are prompted to invite teammates via email. You can do so later, too, if you prefer.
The next step is to set up your workspace. Instead of starting from scratch, you can use one of Wrike’s pre-configured templates. They take the legwork out of building a new project and allow you to instantly get set up with the basics.
Even if you want to set up from scratch, it is useful to look through the presets to get an idea of what Wrike is capable of and how best to set it up for your requirements.
Templates are divided into categories, each with a handful of choices. They include a ticketing and helpdesk system, a Kanban board, which will be familiar to Trello users, and setups for event management, product launch and project management (for more about Trello and Kanban boards, check out our Trello beginner’s guide).
You are more than likely going to find something that matches your line of business or at least gives you a good start for fine-tuning it to fit what you are doing.
When you start a new project, you give it a name, along with optional start and end dates, and get going. Each template opens with a brief video explaining what you can do with it.
Projects are divided into tasks. They can be assigned to team members and given an end date. If you want to assign a task to someone who isn’t a Wrike member, you can invite them by email from the workspace.
The main view gives you a panel on the left with a list of tasks and a panel on the right showing details for the selected task. The task description is essentially an editable text document, so it can be added to as needed.
Dependency management is easy. To create a dependency, you just click the “add dependency” button in the task detail panel. You can add them in either direction, so you can make the selected task dependent on another one or the other way round.
The interface feels more crowded than it does with Asana and lacks the immediacy of Trello. Sometimes clicking something gets you into a state that it isn’t obvious how to get out of, which led us to explore its features more tentatively than we might have done otherwise. To compare, check out our Asana beginner’s guide.
That said, the user interface does present plenty of options and, once you get the hang of it, makes it easy to do what you want.
Overall, Wrike works well, but isn’t as accessible as some of its rivals. It has good support if you get stuck, though, as we’ll see later.
If you want to dip your toe in the water, there’s no need to be put off by the cost, as Wrike offers a free 14-day trial that allows new users to access all of its features. It isn’t shy about encouraging you to upgrade, though, with a sales email arriving after a week or so.
Should you go for the free plan in the end, Wrike is still usable as a simple task list for up to five users. The Professional plan is $9.80 per month and there are more options for different types of user.
As the table shows, it isn’t too expensive to use Wrike for small teams, but for businesses running large projects with hundreds of members, the price will be something to consider.
Security is taken seriously at Wrike, with a broad selection of features and impressive extras for Enterprise users.
Two-factor authentication is available, which will keep anyone who hacks into your email from being able to hijack your Wrike account by adding an extra layer of security. You’ll need to download the Google Authenticator app to your smartphone to enable the feature. Our email security guide has a few more tips on how to keep your inbox safe.
The enterprise version offers more advanced security controls. It allows admins to tightly control what users can do. Not all projects will need maximum security, but for those managing sensitive data, the options are there and ensure you can work on the cloud with confidence.
As the admin of an enterprise project, you can also fine-tune file storage and invitation settings for everyone on your team.
You can create a network access policy, too, allowing you to restrict access to your projects to specific IP addresses and subnets.
You can set your password policy to ensure everyone protects their account sensibly. If you aren’t fussed about security, you can let your users choose any password they like. For projects that require more privacy, though, you can make sure everyone on your team uses a strong password.
You can also force your team to change their passwords regularly if you want to keep a tight ship (check out our best password managers article for help with this). Password resets every few weeks mean even if one is leaked, whoever gets hold of it won’t be able to use it forever.
Wrike seems keen to assist you, with live chat windows popping up everywhere from the registration process to the community area and even when you’re just beginning to use the app. You also get multiple options for asking for help, with a “Wrike assist” button in the bottom right of the screen and an option in the menu that takes you to Wrike’s help portal.
We fired an inquiry to Wrike’s live chat support. Despite being first in line, we got an automatic message after 90 seconds telling us to close the chat and wait for an email response if we didn’t want to wait.
We chose to sit it out and, after three minutes, got directed to a help page that answered our query. A while later, we were helpfully sent a transcript of the chat.
We also tried submitting a support ticket to check the response time. We did that the Saturday after Thanksgiving, so we didn’t expect a lightning fast response to our question about customizing our project for the whole team. That said, we got a response in 30 minutes, which was impressive.
The ticket submission system features an option to ask Wrike to call you back, so you can chat with a real person if you prefer that to getting an email.
Browsing the help topics, we saw frequent involvement from Wrike community staff, but there were also plenty of questions still unanswered after a day or so. Everything does seem to get a response eventually, though, and the quality of responses is high. Wrike has a good community, but it’s not so large that problems are solved within a few hours.
There is also a large knowledgebase that includes plenty of in-depth descriptions of how to get things done. Articles in the help system are typically long and comprehensive. If anything, they could do with being cut down to be easier to skim through.
A section on creating a folder structure, for example, includes steps about brainstorming and informing your team, which are important, but perhaps get in the way of a quick, easily parsable description of what to click to achieve what you need.
There is plenty there though and you are more than likely to find an answer to most questions. The articles are also a good resource to learn more about what you can do with the service.
Wrike has put effort and resources into its support options and we were happy with what we found.
Wrike has a lot of features and customization options, making it a great choice for those serious about project management. There is plenty to get to grips with, but the range of options available to managers more than makes up for it.
If you are looking for a sophisticated tool that can be customized to your project’s needs, then Wrike is a fantastic option. It is an excellent tool that will help you in many situations and can be adapted to your business. Serious technophobes might be better off looking at something simpler, though.
Whether you’re trying out Wrike for the first time or are an expert user, we’d love to hear your experiences with it in the comments below.
Thanks for reading.