Less is definitely more—at least when it comes to the tools used in project management for agencies. Yet if you ask project managers which tools they use, you’ll get a seemingly endless list.
Unsurprisingly, having a bloated toolkit is hugely inefficient. It requires you to constantly switch between platforms and capabilities, learn a ton of different conventions and rules, and go through endless onboarding programs.
Pick just one or two powerful project management tools that’ll do everything your agency needs.
To help you find the silver bullet, we’ve rounded up the 10 best options.Looking for project management software for your agency? Check out these 10 options. Click To Tweet
1. Hubstaff + Hubstaff Tasks
Hubstaff is a productivity tool with all the features you’ll need to streamline agency management, regardless of the size of your team. Hubstaff accurately and automatically records the time worked by everyone in your team, so they don’t need to fill out error-prone paper timesheets.
With Hubstaff, tracking your team’s productivity is easier thanks to its activity and screenshot monitoring features. You can find out that status of a project or what everyone is working on just by looking at the screenshots and keyboard/mouse activity data captured by the app.
When it comes to managing agencies, time tracking and project management go hand-in-hand. That’s what makes Hubstaff Tasks a great project management platform. The software that’s built with simplicity in mind uses agile methods to move projects forward, with visual workflows and kanban-style boards. Assign tasks, create checklists, add deadlines — it’s all built-in so everything you need to know about a project (status, budget, workloads) is in one place.
Paying your team with Hubstaff is quick and easy. Hubstaff integrates with leading payment platforms such as PayPal, Transferwise, and Payoneer.
After you set up your team’s respective hourly rates and payment frequencies, Hubstaff will do everything else for you. You can also send manual payments to freelancers after they have completed a task for you.
Hubstaff’s invoicing feature allows you to keep track of expenses easier. After a project has been accomplished, you can send your clients invoices generated by Hubstaff, based on the total number of hours they have worked and the bill rate.
Once your clients receive their invoice, they can pay you via PayPal, also through Hubstaff.
With Hubstaff, staying on top of your project expenses has never been easier. Hubstaff allows you to set weekly budgets, monitor budget status, and can even automatically notify you if a project is about to reach its budget limit.
In addition to Hubstaff Tasks, Hubstaff integrates with several major PM platforms, such as Basecamp, Jira, and GitHub.
This, combined with time tracking that’s accurate to the second and Hubstaff’s other useful functions, makes agency management so much simpler.
Streamline project management and save time
Improved efficiency with Hubstaff
Mavenlink makes use of primarily visual aids like Gantt charts and bar charts, making it one of the ideal agency management systems for teams of visual thinkers. These charts are representations of your team’s progress, dependencies, and priorities.
Mavenlink has two unique features worth mentioning. First, you can create project templates, which break down projects by core tasks and time expectations. (e.g., “Client brainstorming session, 2 hours”). If your agency frequently takes on projects of similar types, having templates will save you lots of time.
Second, because projects often have unexpected delays, Mavenlink lets you make cascading changes to your deadlines. If you move back one task’s deadline, every related deadline will move back accordingly.
The downside to Mavenlink is its pricing: it starts at $15/month per user for just the most basic features. If your business is on the larger side, you might be able to find other tools with features that you need more at less expensive prices.
Designed specifically for digital agency management, Workamajig offers a full suite of tools to take you from the RFP stage to paid.
Workamajig is a comprehensive agency project management software platform with features that fall into several buckets: accounting, collaboration, CRM, project management, digital proofing, and media management systems.
Having such a comprehensive system is great, but be aware that Workamajig suggests allocating two to three months (and multiple training sessions) to implementation. If you need a fast and easy solution, there may be other better alternatives to Workamajig.
AgencyHub is a good choice if you’re looking for an agency management tool for small-sized teams.
Reason 1: It’s free.
Reason 2: It’s a low-risk way to experiment with project management software before your agency gets bigger and you need to invest in something more powerful.
AgencyHub gives you the ability to see a single-page, visual summary of each project. You can also store, distribute, and collaborate on documents, media, and other files.
Automated notifications will keep everyone stay up-to-date, and task lists tracking who’s assigned to which content will maintain accountability.
ProofHub is a powerful project management software that helps you stay on top of your projects. Its main features include task management, online proofing, notes, Gantt charts and, reports. It also integrates third-party applications such as Google Drive, OneDrive, Dropbox, and Box.
ProofHub’s task management capabilities allow you to keep track of your team’s progress. It helps you stay in control of projects, collaborate with your team more easily, and accomplish tasks with better efficiency. And, there’s a mobile app so you remain connected with work even when you’re on the run.
SpiraPlan is an agency management tool that is clearly tailored toward agile development teams. Each ongoing project receives its own comprehensive dashboard, which allows you to quickly see its health. Along with helpful graphs, you’ll see summaries of the top open issues, the total number of open incidents, and more.
SpiraPlan has a resource allocation feature that gives you the power to balance your team’s workload. For example, if you see that John Doe has 20 hours left this week, you can give him 10 hours to work on a specific task and 10 hours to work on incidents. SpiraPlan also offers a time-card entry system so developers can enter the time they spent each day on tasks and incidents.
Lastly, the software provides instant messaging and chat, agile reports, and code repositories and build server management.
Planscope aims to simplify project management in your agency, and thus has many differentiating features. For example, instead of sending your client an overview of the project scope and price tag, you can use the Collaborative Estimates feature to agree on a scope and prioritization that fits their budget—and incorporates your rates.
Once you’ve secured a client, Planscope helps you bill by the hour or the month, the task or feature, or the entire project. You can choose to share as much (or as little) of this info as you want with your clients, team members, and contractors.
In addition, Planscope offers one-click time tracking, email integration, automatic daily recaps for your client, and detailed analytics.
Do note that because Planscope was originally designed for freelancers, it lacks many of the accountability features that other project management tools come with.
Brightpod aims to make project management for marketing agencies and creative teams easier. It gives you a unified system for all your campaigns, content, and website projects. You can label each of them with color tags and visual progress bars so you can get a quick overview of how things are going.
Brightpod has a kanban board system that will feel familiar if you have used Trello before. The platform also allows you to set “workflows,” or templates for your frequent social media and marketing tasks.
Finally, Brightpod offers limited time tracking functionality. You can make time budgets for projects, track time or add custom time entries, and export the data to a spreadsheet.
RoboHead is a web-based project management tool for digital marketing agencies, freelancers, and large enterprises alike.
Like most project management platforms, RoboHead has a central dashboard where you can view ongoing projects, recent activity, and real-time reports. Each project has its own summary, along with specific tabs for tasks, expenses, files, notes, etc.
RoboHead also has some unique services. With the customizable Project Request form, you can also create creative briefs for potential clients. And in addition to uploading and storing media, RoboHead enables annotation, markup, versioning, and approval.
RoboHead is a good choice for bigger teams, but its large number of features may make it unwieldy for small agencies.
Scoro is a marketing agency management solution for small and medium businesses. The interface is clean and minimal so you can focus more on work.
However, the features it comes with are fairly basic as well.
You can align your team’s schedules and tasks, manage billing and expenses, track late client payments, and more.
Scoro also functions like a CRM, giving you a 360 view of your accounts, linking tasks and events to specific contacts, tracking opportunities and deals, and managing quotes and orders.
You can integrate Scoro with many tools you may already use, like Mailchimp, Dropbox, and QuickBooks.
Make project management a breeze
All the features you need in one app
How do you choose?
Having the right project management software can make the difference between finishing a project on-time and within your budget, and totally missing the deadline while spending way too much.
Choosing an agency management software for your business should be a very serious decision. If you’re stuck between several choices, write down your agency’s three biggest organizational challenges. You can use this as a reference for identifying which platform has the features your business needs most.
What’s your favorite agency software?
Did we miss any awesome platforms that should be on this list? Let us know in the comments below. If you have used any of the tools we covered above, we’d also love to hear your experience with it.
This post was originally published April 12, 2016, and updated April 2019.