Run with me here—we’re starting with an exercise. 🏋🏻♀️
Write down all of the workflow apps you use—from your email provider to spreadsheets to your CRM or tech stack.
Now, can you write down all the tools your project manager uses? How about 2-3 other colleagues?
If you ran out of space on your first page, you likely saw the problem. There are so many workflow apps out there, and to make matters worse, a lot of the tools on your list probably do the same thing. 👀
If this rings true for your situation, it’s time to rethink how you’re managing your workflow.
Just because you see a new workflow app doesn’t necessarily mean you have to get it. . Instead of juggling between tools, start looking for ways to connect the dots.
AKA, look for a full-scale, powerful, all-in-one workflow management app. 🤓
- What is workflow management?
- The right workflow app causes efficiency goosebumps
- A workflow management checklist before you choose an app
- How workflow automation helps you speed through repetitive processes
- 15 workflow apps to consider for a more efficient 2022
- 🔂 Workflow processes
- 🤖 Automation
- 🧠 Knowledge management
- 📣 Meetings and communication
- Workflow apps—run, don’t walk
What is workflow management?
Workflow management is the process of creating and optimizing paths for data to successfully move items through production to completion.
Successful workflow management is like automation on hyperdrive.
It helps you map your workflow, identify repetitive tasks, automate actions, and eliminate bottlenecks.
Alright, but what does that actually mean?
Basically, workflow management is your productivity lifesaver. It smoothes out the connections between your tools and processes so your workflow is operating at its very best.
Think of it like building your own Hot Wheels race track. If each car is a different app, you want to make sure they’re all moving at top speed without bumping into one another, causing errors, or eating up your time! 🏎
Unlike Hot Wheels though, it requires a little introspection to get things moving. 💨
Your team may be efficient in one area (like communication) but lacking in another (like storage). And either way, that bump in the road could cause a ripple effect of issues. Here’s the good news—you don’t have to face these issues single-handedly.
There are tons of workflow management tools to lean on. They close gaps in your workflow by enhancing the functionality of your current tools or forging a connection between your platforms.
And while there’s no single magic app to solve everything, some tools help you get pretty darn close!
Let’s examine and compare the key apps for online workflow management so you start using the best tools to optimize your unique processes.
Bonus: Workflow Examples & Use Cases!
The right workflow app causes efficiency goosebumps
We all want to be more efficient, but when you get the right toolset in front of your team, it’s a great feeling.
Even if you feel like you’re in a pretty good place with your current processes, there is always room for improvement. No matter what growing pains may come with a little bit of change, the payout is always well worth the effort.
More than just smoothing out random bottlenecks, the process of managing your workflow has a positive effect on the team’s entire experience.
By reflecting on your current situation, you can identify and fill any gaps in communication among the team and also with key stakeholders. And who doesn’t love transparency?
Take out the guesswork of who is completing what tasks and when you can expect them to be done.
Let members know what they’re accountable for and give them space to really own it. No micromanaging necessary. 🥲
Also, knowing that your projects are goal-driven, the team—yourself included—will be organizing and rallying behind your company objectives! Everybody wins. 🏆
A workflow management checklist before you choose an app
Before you jump into a new workflow app with both feet, there are a few ways to make sure you start off on the right foot.
No matter how powerful the work management tool, the who, what, when, and how of your workflow needs to be determined by your project manager. Note: that person might be you. 🤓
Here is our ClickUp-approved checklist of how to set yourself up for success when managing your workflow:
1. Write out your workflow
Remember that exercise from the beginning of this post? Surprise! You’re already halfway to finishing this mini-task.
Getting your project under control starts here! Document your work in direct, straightforward language. Keep it to the point to eliminate room for error or misinterpretation when new team members look at it on their own!
Draw it out! If you’re a visual learner—as so many of us are—show your workflow instead of tell. And if you’re looking to go above and beyond, check out ClickUp’s all-new Whiteboards to bring your drawings, workflow diagrams, and processes to life. 🎨
Share this document with your team to make sure everyone is on the same page and open the flow of communication for those who may have been doing things differently. 💜
Some important details to remember are:
👉 What tasks are involved?
👉 Who owns each task? Don’t forget to mention everyone on the task.
👉 Establish your key deadlines and critical path
👉 Do you use any workflow templates?
2. Identify relationships, dependencies, and blockers
Let’s dig a little deeper.
You’ve got your tasks laid out, you’ve got your due dates, and you’ve got the team’s work divided among each member. But what are the relationships between these tasks?
You can’t start every task at once, but by determining the relationships, dependencies, and blockers between your action items, you get more specific about when each phase will start and end.
3. Prepare to make updates and be ready to pivot
The thing about workflow management is that it’s never done. There will always be new ways to optimize your processes to keep your team moving like a well-oiled machine.
With a fresh perspective or some hindsight, you might see new opportunities that you’d missed before.
Plus, you’ve made it to the exciting part! You’ve done the busy work, now it’s time to plug and play your processes into the tool of your choice to continue building better workflows.
How workflow automation helps you speed through repetitive processes
You might be wondering if there’s a way to get this process done quicker or automate the repetitive elements of the workflow management process. That’s where our list of workflow apps comes in. 🙂
For my automation newbies out there: the thrill of applying automations to your workflow is comparable to watching your dominos fall exactly how you imagined they would.
Yes, there is a little bit of work involved to ensure your automations run efficiently, but the outcome is so satisfying. Automations save time on busywork—period.
Think of workflow automation as the force that pushes your tasks forward. When you’ve completed a task and changed its status, powerful automations trigger new actions like pushed due dates, adding new assignees, or creating new tasks—all without skipping a beat.
They keep your team alert to sudden changes, new progress, and your project’s current status—without you having to send a single message. 🥰
The kicker is, you’ll need a flexible workflow tool to make your automation dreams come true.
And we’ve got you covered! Here are our 15 favorite workflow apps to jumpstart your efficiency.
15 workflow apps to consider for a more efficient 2022
Task management and project management software are the bread and butter of productivity, especially if you work with any teams.
Finding your ideal software is the first step in solving any of your workflow problems. Before you know which workflow app is best for you, you’ll need to determine where all of the information will be stored—where you’ll record tasks, flesh out details, and assign work.
TBH, once you find your go-to task management software, it’s hard to imagine how you ever got anything done without it!
Many tools will try to lock you into a certain system and create a workflow plan for you, rather than letting you take complete control. But the best project management tools will give you the option to choose and the flexibility to work the way you want to.
Here are some of our favorites. ✨
As one of the most flexible workflow apps available, ClickUp enhances your productivity and scales with you as you grow. It offers multiple ways to visualize your work—no matter what ClickUp View you use—with a List, Board, Box, Calendar, Gantt view, and more.
Create projects for each of your workflows, then create and assign related tasks to people on your team. It even has multiple assignee functionalities as well! So you can assign several members to any single task and you are not restricted to one task per person. Talk about collaboration and transparency. 😍
Key ClickUp features for workflow management
- Checklists: Create a list of items that must be reviewed before the process is complete
- Subtasks: Create another task to follow up or to add to the main task
- Custom Statuses: Customize your workflow with statuses to fit each individual project
- Integrations: Manage and collaborate on Git workflows, sync time tracking with Harvest, and send tasks to and from Slack. And those aren’t the only ones!
- Recurring Tasks: Automatically cause important tasks to repeat at specified intervals
- Multitask Toolbar: Easily select multiple tasks or groups of tasks and make as many changes as you want with a single click
- Templates: Retain the structure of your favorite Spaces, Projects, Lists, and checklists for later use
- Drag and Drop: Drag and drop tasks no matter where they are in ClickUp – Board, List, or Box view
- Favorites: Create your own customized sidebar to include sorting, filtering, and even your favorite view
- Mobile app available on iOS and Android devices
✅ ClickUp pros
- Tons of integrations to enhance your processes
- Advanced automation abilities including over 50 pre-built automations to boost your output
- Choose a template from ClickUp’s growing library or create your own to replicate your workflow in future projects
❌ ClickUp cons
- With so many features and ways to customize your workflow, some users might have a steeper learning curve
- Its ability to personalize and customize the platform might be too unrestrictive for some looking for the basics
One of the biggest advantages of ClickUp is that you can access its feature-rich experience without hurting the budget. Add unlimited tasks and members with 100MB of storage with ClickUp’s Free Forever Plan. Or access even more advanced features with paid plans starting at $5/user per month—all the way up to enterprise!
Why customers 💜 ClickUp
“I have been able to successfully replace 5 other applications and enjoy significant cost savings in addition to the many other benefits of using one tool to run my entire firm. I find myself instinctively going to ClickUp upon needing to manage tasks and projects, it’s the one tool I have open in a maximized window all day whilst I work.” – Alec S. on Capterra
- G2: 4.7/5 (4,260+ reviews)
- Capterra: 4.7/5 (2,740+ reviews)
Trello is known for its Kanban boards: an easy way to see tasks and current task statuses. This makes a lot of sense for workflow management, as you move a task from one status to another like “in progress” or “done.”
Trello locks you into the board view system, but it provides consistency across your team.
Key Trello features for workflow management
- Tags and labels
- Drag-and-drop functionality
- Progress charts
- Reminders and due dates
- Kanban board view
- Statuses with boards
✅ Trello pros
- Easy to identify bottlenecks and task statuses with Kanban boards
- Tons of different use cases for Trello boards, whether you’re in sales, people operations, freelance, or software development
- Easy to communicate over Trello cards
❌ Trello cons
- Limited designated note-taking space
- Lacks a native time tracker
- Limited free plan and expensive paid plans
Trello offers a free plan with paid plans starting at $6/user per month.
Trello customer ratings
- G2: 4.4/4 (12,640+ reviews)
- Capterra: 4.5/5 (20,890+ reviews)
Thinking about switchin’ away from Trello? Compare Trello to its top alternative first.
Asana is simple to use and will aid your workflow management. As a workflow application, Asana streamlines workflows, aids with task management, and brings project management down to its simplest terms.
It lacks core project management functionalities–like a Gantt chart–but it will still serve as a central hub for your work.
Key Asana features for workflow management
- Activity and notification feed
- Attachments for file management
- Multiple views
- Project permissions
- Custom fields
✅ Asana pros
- Visually appealing and simple to use
- Quickly move and assign tasks with drag and drop functionality
- Great for organizing simple tasks
❌ Asana cons
- Limited task management abilities which can make it difficult to collaborate with the team
- Limited free plan and paid plans can get expensive even for smaller teams
- Less flexibility with views, features, task priorities, and task organization
Asana offers its Basic plan at no cost, with paid plans starting at $13.49/user per month.
Asana customer ratings
- G2: 4.3/5 (8,210+ reviews)
- Capterra: 4.5/5 (10,720+ reviews)
Learn about Asana’s top alternatives.
Lucidchart is an all-in-one diagram platform that will help you think through and map out each phase of your project.
It’s perfect for flowcharts, product specs, or org charts. It creates the chain of command and then factors in any contingencies in a cohesive way. You can then share the diagrams across the organization or team to help everyone see exactly what needs to happen next.
Check out this guide on the best organization apps!
Its advanced features give you AI capabilities and Visio integration.
Key Lucidchart features for workflow management
- Create and edit shapes for workflow diagrams and processes
- Hide layers within diagrams
- Import from similar tools
- Automated diagramming
- Notes for commenting/collaboration
✅ Lucidchart pros
- Cloud-based platform that’s accessible from any device
- Integrates with productivity platforms like Google apps, Workspace, and Slack
- Import data from other apps like Excel, Zapier, and Salesforce
❌ Lucidchart cons
- No offline mode
- Limited features included with basic plan
- Outdated-feeling interface
- Check out these Lucidchart alternatives
Lucidchart offers a free plan with paid plans starting at $7.95 for individual users or $9/user for its team plans.
Lucidchart customer ratings
- G2: 4.6/5 (1,600+ reviews)
- Capterra: 4.5/5 (1,410+ reviews)
Compare Lucidchart to Miro!
🔂 Workflow processes
Once you have your map designed, you’ll need a way to track each detail and follow up with what’s happening.
These tools will help you map your progress once you’ve implemented a process.
If you’re looking for workflow management at construction or manufacturing companies, Fluix might be the tool.
Its multipurpose workflows enable you to automate pretty much any process: field inspection, HSE, distribution of toolbox talks, employee training, and more. You can create a form in the built-in form editor or select it from the app library, assign a task to responsible parties, set the due date, and monitor the task progress.
Plus, all these features are available offline, which is crucial for teams working in remote areas without regular Internet access.
On top of that, the reporting capabilities allow you to extract the data collected with forms and analyze it for insights and further actions. You can also integrate your Fluix account with different analytical tools and get your data synced between multiple platforms.
Key Fluix features for workflow management
- Task assignment
- Form builder
- Mobile PDF and web forms
- Document distribution
- Electronic signature
- Work in the offline mode
- Construction templates
✅ Fluix pros
- Small learning curve and easy setup
- Workflows designed for iPads
- Cloud storage and integration features
❌ Fluix cons
- Workflows designed for the iPad can be limiting
- Lack of support for collaboration such as documents sharing
Fluix does not offer a free plan. Fluix starts at $30/user per month with ten users included. From there, the price varies depending on the number of users and add-ons which start at an additional $5/user per month.
Fluix customer ratings
- G2: 4.8/5 (10+ reviews)
- Capterra: 4.9/5 (30+ reviews)
6. Process Street
Templates and more templates.
The strength of Process Street is in its templated approach to processes. List out each of your processes in a checklist and then save it and use it across multiple workspace areas.
This is great if you need to manage closing items for a shift, maintenance items on your production floor, or any last-minute to-do items before shipping a product to a vendor. Even use it in HR before onboarding a new employee or interviewing a prospect.
A popular feature is its conditional logic that sets up different scenarios for your checklists and templates. This gives your team direction even in the middle of multiple options.
Key Process Street features for workflow management
- Create procedure documents fast
- Integrate with 1000s of web apps
- Assign checklist items
- Create forms
- Set due dates
- Conditional logic in workflows
✅ Process Street pros
- Simple user-interface
- Can easily create structured documents
- Can add audio and video files to documents
- Easily track daily activity with activity feed
❌ Process Street cons
- No offline version
- Doesn’t offer desktop apps
- Lacking priority support with the basic plan
Process Street pricing
Process Street offers a free plan for individual users. aid plans cost $30/user per month.
Process Street customer ratings
- G2: 4.6/5 (170+ reviews)
- Capterra: 4.7/5 (550+ reviews)
If you prefer your checklists in a board or card view, then Tallyfy may be a good option for process thinking. Its mode is Blueprint, which is a fancy word for a template.
Set up the processes, add any information to the relevant card, and then set it in motion. You also get progress updates on each card and what work has been done towards that item.
Managers get a bird’s-eye view of what each employee has done to better manage risks or issues.
Key Tallyfy features for workflow management
- Forms for new projects
- Real-time tracking
- Conditional logic and branching
- APIs and webhooks
- Issue reporting
✅ Tallyfy pros
- Organize data with structured form fields
- Easily hide tasks
- Segment chats with the “report issue” feature
❌ Tallyfy cons
- Limited customization
- Outdated feeling UI that can be difficult to navigate
- No pre-built templates
Tallyfy plans start at $5/user per month and run up to $30/user per month for additional apps beyond docs. It does not offer a free plan, but a slightly discounted rate for paying annually.
Tallyfy customer ratings
- G2: 5/5 (1 review)
- Capterra: 4.3/5 (10+ reviews)
Create instant workflows among the tools you use most, such as adding starred emails to a Google spreadsheet or initiating an email to your supervisor once a task assigned to you has been completed.
These tools give you the capability to combine hundreds of productivity tools together to make your life easier.
Zapier coordinates between different tools, simple as that.
It makes it easy to get started and has a boatload of combinations–more than you can imagine.
You could connect your communication tool to your email, or transfer form information into your project management software (like ClickUp!). Anything that you want to automate, Zapier has probably figured out a way to do it.
ClickUp was named one of Zapier’s fastest-growing applications, and you can see everything you can do with ClickUp and Zapier here.
On the larger plans, you can implement multi-step actions to ensure your processes are done.
Key Zapier features for workflow management
- Set triggers from any app supported by Zapier
- Log in to your web apps and automate
- Thousands of available tools
- Conditional logic
✅ Zapier pros
- Several automated workflow templates (Check out this Web Design Workflow guide)
- Keep a running list of automation history
- Can automate multiple tasks with one trigger
❌ Zapier cons
- It can get pretty pricey
- Learning curve if there isn’t already a pre-set connection between two apps
Zapier offers a free plan and multiple paid plan options starting at $29.99/user billed monthly.
Zapier customer ratings
- G2: 4.5/5 (900+ reviews)
- Capterra: 4.7/5 (2,000+ reviews)
Short for If This Then That, IFTTT is a solution for teams looking to connect and automate their work spread across multiple devices, services, or apps. It allows you to customize and control our integrations through triggers and actions to create automations without code.
Key IFTTT features for workflow management
- Tons of automations
- Automation templates called “Applets”
- Customization features
- Several integrations
✅ IFTTT pros
- Can automate processes for over 700 services including education, email, or even checking the weather
- Vast library of automations made by other IFTTT users for anyone to use
- Great for automating everyday tasks that make life easier
❌ IFTTT cons
- Some apps can already perform the automations IFTTT provides
- Difficult to use on Android
- A bit of a learning curve to navigate the IFTTT language and wording
- Difficult to automate complex actions or tasks
IFTTT offers a free plan with two additional paid plans starting at $8/month.
IFTTT customer ratings
- G2: 4.5/5 (100+ reviews)
- Capterra: 4.6/5 (170+ reviews)
Formerly Integromat, Make is a nice shortcut. Much like Zapier, Make connects the applications that you use most. Make gives you a little bit more detailed information and data than Zapier and connects more developer-driven apps.
Just like Excel, you can also enlist functions to help you navigate and start your workflows.
Key Make features for workflow management
- Detailed process information
- Enhanced search functions
- Advanced data retrieval
- Routers for multiple processes
- Thousands of operations every month
✅ Make pros
- Easy to connect apps with a simple drag and drop
- Powerful automations without code or programming knowledge
- Supports several use cases including sales, marketing, finance, HR, and more
- Connects to popular workflow software, like CRM and marketing tools
❌ Make cons
- Can be challenging if you’re not very technically minded
- Tutorials can be difficult to follow
- Steep learning curve
Make offers a free plan and multiple paid plans starting at $10.59 billed monthly.
Make customer ratings
- G2: 4.8/5 (160+ reviews)
- Capterra: 4.8/5 (230+ reviews)
Pipefy provides integrations, but also offers templates in certain business areas, such as for sales, customer onboarding, or hiring.
These templates simplify your process checklist and give you amazing pre-built templates to really finish your work.
The Pipefy card system helps you create automated tasks, connect them to the right actions and then sit back and wait for the work to be done. You’ll be notified once it is.
It’s a great way to set up your automated processes and then watch them in action.
Key Pipefy features for workflow management
- Connections to more than 500 apps
- Process templates
- Secure company database for actions
- Conditional logic
✅ Pipefy pros
- Detailed reporting to keep track of project statuses
- Connect different processes in the platform
- Service portals to manage documents, policies, and request forms
- Native Integrations with Slack, GitHub, BitBucket, and Google Hangouts
❌ Pipefy cons
- Limited customization options with free plan
- No assigned comments
- Limited mobile functionality
- Lacking key team tracking features
Pipefy offers a free plan for individual users and small teams, with paid plans starting at $30/user per month.
Pipefy customer ratings
- G2: 4.6/5 (180+ reviews)
- Capterra: 4.6/5 (270+ reviews)
🧠 Knowledge management
You may also need a central location to store all of your process documents, spreadsheets, presentations, and product information.
This is a newcomer that is quickly gaining steam. Its inline editing features, simple user interface, and ease of use have made it a popular option. Notion is more for writing and editing documents, not necessarily storing large attachments.
You can quickly create tables, docs, and more for your data right inside one interface, eliminating friction points of other tools like Microsoft Office or Google docs.
Key Notion features for workflow management
- Notes and documents
- Spreadsheet and database
- Drag and drop functionality
✅ Notion pros
- Powerful note-taking features
- Create code blocks in your notes with unique formatting options
- Tons of templates
- Great for team collaboration
❌ Notion cons
- Complex user interface
- Limited goal tracking features
- No dependency visualization
- Can be difficult to automate work
Notion offers a free plan and paid plans start at $5 billed monthly.
Notion customer ratings
- G2: 4.6/5 (490+ reviews)
- Capterra: 4.8/5 (590+ reviews)
Learn more about the top Notion alternatives!
Slite is geared strictly around writing, communicating, and creating your processes. The secret sauce is in its menu options.
The Slack-like interface helps creators manage documents, tag them, and categorize them quickly. Create channels for different bits of information, and then further curate those channels to be more granular.
Slite’s user interface can provide more direction than Notion.
Key Slite features for workflow management
- Rich-text editing
- Tables, embedding, and attachments
- Write collaboratively
- Create checklists and process documents
- 10GB of storage
✅ Slite pros
- Easy to set up
- User-friendly interface
- Active team collaboration capabilities
❌ Slite cons
- Limited number of integrations
- Limited offline support
- No Google indexation
Slite offers a free plan and paid plans starting at $8/user per month.
Slite customer ratings
- G2: 4.7/5 (120+ reviews)
- Capterra: 4.7/5 (30+ reviews)
📣 Meetings and communication
No matter how organized you are with workflow management, clear communication is the glue that holds it all together! Having constructive meetings, feedback, and collaboration is key to optimizing your processes.
With its easy scheduling features and Zoom-like blue accent colors, Calendly is the king of “wait, I think I’ve used this before” moments.
And TBH, you probably really liked it.
Calendly takes the back-and-forth out of scheduling virtual or in-person meetings. Whether you’re meeting with just one other person or in a group, you can easily share a link with your availability to allow your guests to settle on a time.
From there, the event is added to your calendar! That’s it—so simple!
Key Calendly work management features
- Automatic reminders, follow-ups, and integration triggers
- Availability preferences and controls
- Multiple in-person and virtual meeting location options
- Calendly integrates with 70+ apps including ClickUp!
✅ Calendly pros
- Add Calendly directly to your website or email for easy scheduling
- Automate communication before and after meetings
- Integrations with popular tools like Zoom and Zapier
❌ Calendly cons
- Relying on integrations can be difficult for invitees to navigate
- Doesn’t work well with some Outlook versions
Calendly offers a free plan and multiple paid plans starting at $10/user per month.
Calendly customer ratings
- G2: 4.7/5 (1,290+ reviews)
- Capterra: 4.7/5 (2,010+ reviews)
We love Slack! With a comparable concept and amount of joy as AIM, Slack is a flexible and organized messaging platform that offers a quicker alternative to email.
Organize your team in channels for an easy connection point across departments, offices, and time zones—even other companies.
Let your company’s creativity be a little wild with channels designed to bring people together! Make a channel for the biking enthusiasts, amateur chefs, pets, and Star Wars nerds alike—especially if the majority of your company is working asynchronously or from home.
Fair warning though, channels can be super fun but also easily get out of hand. You’ll likely have to channel-purge at least once a year.
Pro tip: snooze your Slack notifications over the weekend or you will hear *that sound* even in your dreams.
Key Slack work management features
- Audio and video calling
- Over 2,000 integrations
- Workflow builder for automations
- File sharing
✅ Slack pros
- Easy instant messaging, file sharing, and accessibility
- Over 2,000 integrations and tons of automations can make Slack more powerful and useful
- Vast emoji library for creative reactions
- Search across all team conversations
❌ Slack cons
- Must rely on integrations to drive your work forward with Slack
- Unable to create subchannels for better task management
- Lacking in overall workload management features like goal setting, creating and assigning tasks, and tracking progress
- Statuses are limited to individual users, not projects
Slack offers a free plan with paid options starting at $8/user per month.
Slack customer ratings
- G2: 4.5/5 (29,650+ reviews)
- Capterra: 4.7/5 (21,210+ reviews)
Workflow apps—run, don’t walk
Still have that list you created at the top of this page?
How many of those tools could you connect more effectively or even do away with altogether with these tools?
And here’s a trick question: did you even think to include your document/word processing or spreadsheets? Those are tools that could be done away with as well.
Or what about sticky notes? That’s definitely not a good way to track business processes or statuses!
You probably use more tools than you think and these workflow apps are the top way to replace those! Watch your productivity improve with these workflow tools.
Questions? Comments? Visit our Help Center for support.