Looking for the right workflow software?
From project management to employee onboarding, most workflows involve hundreds of repetitive tasks that eat away your time and other resources.
And how do you tackle that issue?
By using workflow software!
Workflow software (or workflow management software) can streamline repetitive processes to boost your coordination and efficiency.
But when there are tons of such tools in the market, which one should you go for?
We’ll ask Jack Sparrow and his crew from the Pirates of the Caribbean movies to help you out.
In this article, we’ll cover what to look for in workflow software and highlight the top 7 tools in 2021. And to help you make an informed decision, we’ll cover the key features, pros, cons, pricing, and customer ratings of each workflow app.
This Article Contains:
- 5 Things to look for in a workflow automation tool
- The 7 best workflow software in 2021
(includes key features, pricing, pros, cons and customer ratings)
All hands on deck!
Before diving into each tool, let’s first understand what to look for when choosing a workflow management system.
However, if you’re like Captain Sparrow and want to get straight to the action, click here to jump to the section reviewing the top 7 tools.
5 Things To Look For In A Workflow Automation Tool
When it comes to pirates, there’s always something that sets them apart from each other.
Take Barbossa (the legendary pirate captain) and Jack, for example:
Both are great pirates but very different.
Similarly, each workflow app is different from each other.
Some are simply workflow automation software while others — like project or resource management tools, offer a broader workflow management system as part of their suite.
However, there are five features that every good workflow management tool should have.
Let’s have a quick look at each of these functionalities before determining which tool is right for you:
A. Workflow automation
This is the most obvious feature.
Without process automation, a workflow tool is pretty much like a pirate without a ship.
Remember how stressed Jack was when he lost his ship, the Black Pearl?
Same scenario here.
With automation, you can create an automated workflow — where the app or tool will perform repetitive tasks instead of your team doing them manually.
For example, instead of having your HR managers onboard each employee, just use an onboarding tool to guide a new employee through the process.
While an automated workflow speeds things up and makes tasks easier to manage, it’ll also free up your crew for more critical work — like defending your ship against pirates.
B. Deadline tracking
Sure, an automation feature is helpful.
But for a workflow tool to be really useful, it should also help you create and manage all your deadlines easily.
After all, every project has a deadline, and if you don’t keep track of them, you’d be jeopardizing the entire project!
For example, in the Dead Men Tell No Tales movie:
- Jack’s project: get to Poseidon’s Trident
- His deadline: get there before the pirate captain Salazar does (while this is subjective, it’s still a deadline!)
(Sure, Salazar got there first, but Jack was able to get the job done before Salazar could enjoy his success.)
C. Performance management
Let’s say you’re using a workflow management system to boost your team’s productivity.
How do you know if it has actually helped them do that?
That’s why you need a performance management feature in your workflow software!
You’d only have to look at the various reports the tool generates to know:
- Your team’s activity levels over a given period
- Which member needs to step up their game
- How many tasks a specific member has completed during a day, week or month
From a file-sharing platform like Google Drive to a video conferencing app like Zoom, any business depends on multiple software to manage their workflow tasks.
After all, you also need the sails, masts, and rudders to steer a ship — not just the steering wheel!
If your workflow tool can integrate with other workplace software, you’ll be able to manage your workflows across platforms to create an integrated workflow. This way, you can boost efficiency across the board quickly!
Another obvious factor when it comes to choosing any software is its price.
And that’s sure to get some heads to turn around, like Jack here:
As every business has its own unique needs, you may not require all the features that the workflow software is offering.
So choose a workflow automation tool where you only need to pay for what you’re using. And if it has a feature-rich free plan, that’s even better!
The 7 Best Workflow Software In 2021
Now that you know what to look for in a workflow software solution, where do you start looking?
No, guys! You don’t have to set sail for Tortuga!
We’ve done the hard work and created a list of 7 workflow software options for you to explore, and find the one that suits you best! To help you out, we’ll highlight each tool’s key features, pros, cons, pricing, and customer ratings.
Used by 200,000+ teams in companies from startups to titans like Airbnb, Google, Netflix, and Webflow, ClickUp is the only tool you need to create and manage project workflows easily.
This automation software can handle everything you throw at it — from project planning to tracking your in-house or remote team’s productivity.
Here’s a quick overview of some of ClickUp’s powerful features:
1. Workflow Automation
ClickUp’s Automation feature offers tons of task automations to help you automate repetitive tasks in your workflow. While this speeds things up, it also frees up your resources for tasks that actually require their input.
A workflow automation in ClickUp works like this:
For Captain Jack Sparrow, an automated workflow could look something like this:
If the Flying Dutchman (the ghost ship) is on the Black Pearl’s stern, increase the Pearl’s speed by 20 knots. Here:
- Trigger: Flying Dutchman
- Condition: On Pearl’s stern
- Action: increase Pearl’s speed by 20 knots
While you can create a custom automated process, this workflow management tool offers 50+ prebuilt automations to help you automate workflows quickly.
Some of these include:
- Automatically change the assignee when a task’s status changes
- Apply a template when a task is created
- Update task priority when its checklist is resolved
- Change tags when a task’s due date arrives
- Archive a task when its priority changes
(Click here to check out more preset Automations.)
2. Tasks, Subtasks, and Checklists
Just like how a ship has a lot of moving parts, a project has tasks, deadlines, assignees, and more.
Manually keeping track of all these will wear out even an experienced captain like Barbossa.
Here’s how it works:
- Tasks and Subtasks: Split up your project into smaller tasks and subtasks to help your team tackle the project step-by-step
- Checklists: create simple to-do lists to quality check items, map out steps, etc. for any task. Team members can then check these off quickly as they progress through the task.
3. Custom Statuses
Another reason to go for ClickUp is that it lets you create Customized Task Statuses that reflect your project needs accurately — a feature that most workflow software don’t offer.
For example, if Jack’s project is “find Poseidon’s Trident”, he can create a ClickUp task status like “reach Tortuga” to ensure that his project proceeds smoothly.
All he (or any project manager) needs is a glance at the task’s status to know what stage it’s in.
Jack and his crew can’t steer the Black Pearl or fight Salazar without communicating with each other.
Similarly, your projects or tasks may often require some clarifications or discussions.
You can use the Comment section to:
- Clarify how to tackle the task
- Tag team members to draw their attention
- Share relevant files quickly
- Address any roadblocks with the right context
- Assign comments to specific team members to ensure that it doesn’t go unnoticed
5. Due Dates
With ClickUp’s Due Dates, tracking deadlines is as easy as lighting a cannon.
While you can choose a specific date from the calendar, you can also type it in just as you’d normally say it out loud.
For example, if you type in “next Mon at 4 pm” for a task, the deadline will be automatically set for that time!
Additionally, you can also:
- Add a task’s deadline from anywhere in ClickUp
- Edit or delete a task’s Due Date
- Filter tasks by deadline
- Adjust deadlines in ClickUp’s Calendar View with drag and drop
If Jack wants to check what his crew members are working on right now, he has to stand on the ship’s helm and ask them individually.
That’s going to take a lot of time, right?
But with ClickUp’s Pulse feature, he doesn’t have to do that anymore!
Pulse uses machine learning to analyze what your team is most focused on at the moment.
It also lets you:
- Check who’s online/offline
- View your team’s activity over a given period
- See what tasks your members are viewing or commenting on in real-time
- Automate your Scrum meetings
Remember how your workflow management tool must have integrations?
With ClickUp, that’s exactly what you get!
This automation software has tons of awesome integrations with various workplace software. Some of its integrations include:
- Slack: a virtual team communication tool
- Zoom: a video conferencing software
- Google Drive: for secure file storage and sharing
- Google Calendar: an online calendar management tool
- Time Doctor: a time tracking tool
- GitHub: a software development platform
Click here to check out all of ClickUp’s integrations.
If you can’t find the integration you’re looking for, don’t worry — we release a new integration every single week!
(Surely the latter, Will!)
- User-friendly interface
- Offers a feature-rich free version
- Drag and drop feature for easy workflow management
- Offers Multiple Views to suit any project style
- Docs feature helps document and store all project files for easy access
- Can quickly assign tasks to any team member
- Gantt Chart view to keep track of your project’s timeline
- Smart search function to find all your project resources quickly
- Can create detailed web forms with the Form view feature
- Powerful Dashboard to manage multiple workflows effortlessly
- Can assign multiple team members to a specific task
- Auto-generates various detailed reports that break down your team’s performance
- Can highlight a task’s priority with the Priority feature
- Visualize project progress with Burnup, Burndown, Velocity and Cumulative Flow charts
- Create Task Dependencies to ensure that your team tackles projects in the right order
- Supports Native Time Tracking to know how long your workflow tasks take to complete
- Available as powerful desktop, browser and mobile apps
- Can’t export Dashboards
- No white-labeling available
- No tags for Docs
You can check out ClickUp’s product roadmap here.
ClickUp has a powerful free version that offers a host of useful project management features. For added functionality, paid plans start at just $5/user per month.
- G2: 4.7/5 (1,000+ reviews)
- Capterra: 4.7/5 (1800+ reviews)
Integrify is a workflow automation software that helps you build dynamic web forms, route workflows, and monitor workflow progress.
You also get industry and department-specific workflow solutions with this automation tool.
Mr. Gibbs (Jack’s first mate) won’t have to create a workflow for the crew from scratch anymore!
- Customized self-service portal designer
- Process reporting to maintain an audit trail of your workflows
- Assign tasks and approvals to team members
- Form designer lets you create responsive and re-usable web forms
- Workflow process apps to create a custom workflow quickly
- User-friendly drag and drop interface
- Can test run processes to identify bottlenecks
(bottleneck means problems, Mr. Gibbs — not a rum bottle’s neck!)
- Can create custom dashboards to track your KPIs
- Has a powerful Salesforce integration
- Onboarding can be difficult for novice users
- No apps for an Android or iOS mobile device
- No project timeline management feature
- Lacks native integrations with third-party apps besides Salesforce
Will have to contact their sales team.
- G2: 4.4/5 (30+ reviews)
- Capterra: 4.5/5 (15+ reviews)
ProWorkflow is a simple task management software that offers a suite of features for managing workflows easily.
Best for small to medium-sized teams, this workflow system also lets you customize its appearance to suit your branding.
Like how Barbossa’s crew members Pintel and Ragetti dressed up to distract the British navy.
(Except that no one’s tricking anyone here, Ragetti!)
- Gantt chart style timeline to monitor your task and project progress
- Built-in messaging tool for team collaboration
- Time tracking feature helps keep track of the time each task takes
- Built-in contact management to manage all your team members and clients
- Project dashboard provides quick overviews of active, finished and upcoming workflow tasks
- Can analyze your workflow or team performance with built-in and custom reports
- Can use premade task templates for better task management
- Mobile app for iOS and Android users available
- Supports native integrations with Google Drive, Box, Zapier, etc.
- Lacks advanced search functionality
- Won’t be notified of any project comments unless you’re tagged in it
- Can’t set up permissions for each member
- No client/customer review portal — you’ll have to add them as an employee
Paid plans start at $10/user per month.
- G2: 4/5 (30+ reviews)
- Capterra: 4.5.5 (200+ reviews)
Flokzu is a cloud-based workflow software that helps you create and manage workflows according to your business needs. This workflow automation tool also provides various process templates to help you get started instantly.
With those templates in hand, Jack won’t have to rely on the voodoo priestess – Tia Dalma’s visions to chart his workflows the right way.
- Set due dates and timers to manage project deadlines
- Create custom reports to analyze workflows
- Form builder feature lets you create online forms for a workflow process
- Schedule substitute members for any team member (this helps keep things moving forward even if a crew member is seasick)
- Icon-based flowcharts to map your workflows easily
- Intuitive interface for easy project management
- Can create conditional and parallel workflows
- Can test your workflows before you implement them
- Integrates with various third-party web apps via Zapier
- Base plan is expensive
- Doesn’t support Gantt chart feature
- Can’t design workflows using business rules
- No mobile device apps are available
Paid plans start at $15/user per month.
- G2: 4.9/5 (20+ reviews)
- Capterra: 4.7/5 (3 reviews)
5. Process Street
Process Street is one of the most straightforward workflow management software available in the market. It lets you manage recurring processes, like an approval process, with various forms and permissions.
Process Street is so easy to use that even Davy Jones (the captain of the Dutchman) can do it.
(Jack will have to keep an extra eye out now!)
- Create dynamic checklists using conditional logic
- Schedule recurring workflows
- Activity feed to keep track of your team’s activity
- Web forms to collect structured data
- Design sequential approval workflow
- Easy task management with its drag and drop interface
- Can add images and videos to any document
- Real-time notifications when tasks are completed (probably not as melodious as Davy Jones’s music box)
- Integrates with 1000+ apps via Zapier
- No offline version available
- No mobile apps are available to manage workflows on the go
- Doesn’t support task permissions or dynamic due dates in the base plan
- Lacks native integrations
Paid plans start at $12.50/user per month.
- G2: 4.6/5 (100+ reviews)
- Capterra: 4.7/5 (400+ reviews)
ProcessMaker is an open-source workflow automation software that’s best suited for large companies. Its low-code business process management platform lets users design and automate workflows quickly.
With ProcessMaker’s winds in your sail, you’ll be able to create workflows at speeds that rival even Black Pearl’s (in the movie, the Pearl is amazingly fast if she sails with the wind).
(Sure, that’s a lot of holes in the Pearl’s sails — but that just shows how strong she is!)
- Process modeler to design workflows visually
- Powerful dashboards for real-time monitoring of your workflows
- Design approval workflow screens with the Form Builder feature
- Process Validation Engine helps check for roadblocks in a workflow process design
- Actions by Email feature lets workflow managers make routing decisions via email or Slack
- Drag and drop interface for quick process management
- Has a built-in document management system
- Offers white label license to customize the software for your needs
- Has an app for an Android or iOS mobile device
- Can use its connector library to integrate with third-party apps like Stripe and Box
- No task-specific comment space for team collaboration
- Has a steep learning curve even though it’s a low-code platform
- Mobile app becomes buggy when you have complex workflows
- Expensive pricing plan for SMBs that only offers minimal features
Paid plans start at $1,495/month.
- G2: 4.3/5 (200+ reviews)
- Capterra: 4.5/5 (100+ reviews)
Camunda is a business process management tool that allows teams to collaborate over the same workflow diagram. Being an open-source workflow software, developers can customize it according to their requirements easily.
Camunda also offers Camunda Cloud — a workflow system that’s best for cloud computing workflows, like a shared service process.
- Powerful Business Process Model Notation (BPMN) workflow engine
- Can modify, migrate or suspend processes in a flash
- Cockpit provides a high-level overview of your BPMN models
- Tasklist helps team members work on tasks assigned to them
- Diagram history lets you compare older iterations with your current workflow
- Can create custom reports that can be exported as CSV files
- Has powerful filters to help you sort through your workflows
- Can identify bottlenecks with workflow heatmaps
- Can set alerts to send real-time notifications via email
- Can’t assign tasks to multiple team members
- No mobile app available
- Not suitable for teams who don’t have programming knowledge
- No native integrations with other workplace software like Google Drive and Slack
Pricing available only by contacting the sales team.
- G2: 4.4/5 (20+ reviews)
- Capterra: 4.7/5 (3 reviews)
While workflow management can boost your team collaboration and productivity, you need a workflow software to implement it effortlessly.
Luckily, choosing a workflow app that fits your needs isn’t as hard as fighting the Kraken.
Just go through the 7 options for workflow management software we covered here to get a head start.
And while each of these tools is good, ClickUp leads the fleet with many powerful features that help you design and manage multiple workflows easily.
From 50+ workflow Automations to a feature-rich FREE plan, this automation software ticks all the boxes (and more)!
Sign up today to become an efficient project manager even Captain Jack Sparrow would respect!
Questions? Comments? We're here for you 24/7 at firstname.lastname@example.org!