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Last Updated on April 26, 2023
What would you do with another full day each week? ClickUp project management for teams promises to give it to you. Here’s why solid project management tools and techniques are SO important for a highly-functioning team, and how ClickUp has made a difference for Team KK.
Table of Contents
There are entrepreneurs who are naturally wired for planners, checklists, and spreadsheets. They seem to wrangle schedules and to-do lists with total ease.
If that’s you, I want to say: you are amazing to behold and we love you.
However, there are also a decent number of entrepreneurs who are also more random-abstract — the ideas are always bubbling, the passion and attention can shift quickly, and there is a strong big-picture / visionary quality to their leadership.
For these types of entrepreneurs, organization and project management for teams can be very overwhelming. All the lists, all the projects, all the platforms — keeping everything together can feel impossible.
If that’s you, then I’ve got something wonderful to share with you: the project management tool that’s saved my sanity.
ClickUp is a cloud-based project management software for teams (small or large) that promises to save you one day a week.
One full day a week?? That’s a pretty lofty promise, right?
I was skeptical, too, and I consider myself a bit of a systems fangirl.
But as I discovered when my team and I decided to do an operational efficiency audit last year — there’s often room for improvement, and often in surprising places.
So let’s look at some ways we might waste a full day every week, and maybe you’ll start to see how recovering it might be possible with the right project management tools.
A recent survey estimates that companies lose around $11K/employee per year simply due to ineffective communication.
There are several main ways communication gets sidetracked and becomes ineffective:
The reality is that there are some routine tasks that are boring and repetitive, but they still need to be done by a human. There can be a cost to these types of tasks, especially if they’re done in an inefficient way.
People can tend to tune out as they’re performing repetitive tasks. This can increase the chance for human error. Then you waste additional time having to go back and fix the errors.
One of my business mantras: If there is a way to efficiently automate a part of your business, do it.
If some tasks can’t be automated, then creating a system for reminders and an SOP makes a big difference. Project management software can definitely help with this!
Different people have different working styles for sure — and there’s no one “right” way to get work done. Some people love batching their tasks, or using a Pomodoro Timer. Some people like to do the smaller tasks first to build momentum, and others like to tackle the big things to get them out of the way.
The one method that definitely doesn’t work? Multi-tasking. Or rather: the delusion that we can actually focus on and do more than one thing at a time. We’re just not wired for it. Trying to focus on too many things means that everything you’re doing is going to take longer, and you’ll likely make more mistakes.
This can be a big challenge for entrepreneurs who become leaders. The temptation can be HUGE to micromanage. There’s a fear that if we don’t do everything ourselves, it won’t get done, or it won’t get done the “right” way.
As a recovering perfectionist, let me tell you: I get it. I do.
But the reality is that hovering over every task is exhausting for you, it’s demoralizing for your employees (who want to thrive and have enough agency to impact your company), and it slllllowws everything way down.
Letting go of micromanaging emotionally might take some time (and therapy). However, the strategic antidote to micromanagement is to have clearly-defined roles on your team and to be able to effectively delegate tasks.
When you’ve got efficient project management tools and techniques in place, both of these things get exponentially easier. And bonus? A team member who understands what she’s here to do and how to do it will be a million times more engaged.
My guess is that you can probably see your business in at least some of the items on this list. Before we found the right project management tools, we struggled, too.
Hopefully you can also see how solving these problems could actually save you and your team one day a week, and hopefully you’re getting excited to learn how!
Team KK has been using ClickUp for 2 years, and I can honestly say that it saves us massive amounts of time and precious mental energy each week.
Here are some of favorite features that set ClickUp ahead of the pack when it comes to project management software for small businesses.
ClickUP gives you the ability to adjust and customize according to your workflow, business model, personal preferences, and pretty much any other way you choose.
If you’ve ever worked inside a project management software and silently cursed every time you (regularly) banged your head against some aspect that totally didn’t apply for you, or found it completely lacking in some key area for you — you’ll love the flexibility and customizability with ClickUp.
Even within each task, there are customizable fields where you can add extra information for context, add to-do lists, link to documents, or create conditional tasks (where one phase of a project isn’t triggered until certain dependent tasks are completed — it keeps everything running smoothly).
Remember earlier when I mentioned that $11k PER EMPLOYEE lost EVERY SINGLE YEAR due to inefficient communication? ClickUp project management software is going to put that money back in your business!
ClickUp is your one-stop, all-in-one communication solution. Messaging, real-time collaborating, chatting, sending emails, document storage and sharing, video sharing … you name the type of communication your team needs, and it can all be done seamlessly and easily through ClickUp.
ClickUp’s dashboard allows you to arrange what you see and how you see it, so you can minimize confusion and maximize organization and productivity.
Each team member has a custom dashboard to help us see the big picture of their workload, what’s overdue, what’s coming up, where they might need support, what they’ve accomplished, etc. Here’s a peek at our COO’s dashboard:
Cloud based project management software can get quite expensive, especially for big teams. ClickUp is one of the most competitively priced options around, especially when you compare it against other project management tools with similar features.
Plans range from absolutely free forever (yes, forever and with most of the same features as the paid plans) on up to $19/per user per month for large businesses managing many teams. And with everything happening in the cloud, you can access it anywhere you have an Internet connection, and you’re not taking up space or memory on your computer.
Clearly documented Standard Operating Procedures (SOPs) are a vital part of effective project management for teams. We use them for team member onboarding as well as client onboarding, and the onboarding templates make the process seamless and repeatable.
ClickUp allows you to keep all of your SOPs easily accessible and clearly organized in one place where everyone on your team has access to them anytime, anywhere.
When someone on your team has a question about a task or project they’re working on and they can access your SOPs immediately, without having to involve anyone else — and without even having to leave the project management platform — you are going to save countless hours of team-member time and frustration.
Across all of Team KK, this was a consistent favorite.
All of our minds work a little differently.
Not everyone processes info in the same way. Some love gantt or flow charts or decision tress, for example, and others feel lost. So multiple options for different types of visual learners is important.
Whether you prefer to organize information using calendars, lists, mind maps or good ol’ scribbles on a whiteboard, with ClickUp you have all those options and more! With over 15+ different options for how to organize and view information, there are options to best serve everyone on your team.
This is another favorite feature across the team.
We use forms for everything from weekly team check-ins to PTO requests and even delegation requests.
You can create forms that people fill out (whether it is a customer service form, podcast guest request form, etc.) — and the submitted responses are saved right there in CU. That means everything is all in one place! In addition, each questionnaire/form submission is turned into a task where anyone in the team can oversee it.
Detailed time tracking is one of the ways we here at team KK learned to optimize our business to run like clockwork. ClickUp offers flexible, full-feature time tracking.
You can track time (billable and non-billable), create estimates, send invoices, and keep detailed records of how you’re spending your time — all in one cloud based project management software.
ClickUp integrates seamlessly with various external tools.
We use Slack, Zapier, and toggl, all of which can be operated right inside of CU.
That means tasks can be automatically created through zaps and Slack, and time tracking is a breeze. Any idea that’s discussed inside of Slack can be turned into a task with just one click. It’s a huge time saver.
On-the-go project management for teams is non-negotiable in today’s global, digital world. ClickUp’s mobile version is slick, intuitive and has all the features you need to keep up from any device. You can check for important updates, assign tasks, and communicate with your team from anywhere, anytime.
Side note: please don’t use this as an excuse to overwork and burn yourself out! (see below) Rather, use it as a tool to make your life easier, and promise me you’ll put your phone down (and maybe even turn it off) when you’re not supposed to be working.
No solution is perfect, but this wouldn’t be a complete review if I didn’t highlight a couple of challenging areas for our team when using ClickUp.
At first the notifications can be daunting — there are so many ways you can be notified and so many things you can be notified about — but once you learn to control them, they are super easy to use to find out when you are @mentioned and when you are watching tasks.
I know, some people would put this in the pros column, but if you know me, you know I’m all about not being “on” all the time.
The truth is, with any digital tool you CAN be available all the time, but the easier and better these tools get, the more likely you’ll just pop in here and there for a minute or two to check up on work.
So, this is a great opportunity to practice your boundaries! Resist the urge to constantly check in. Whatever project management tools you use, make sure you use them as tools to help you work less — not ones that pull you to work even more!
Getting into a rhythm with your team when it comes or organizing the flow of work will feel so good. You’ll start to notice how things move along, where the snags are, and how you can optimize your process.
Your team will have its unique needs and challenges — but the payoff is amazing. And with that extra day a week, you can be putting energy into your business, expanding the vision for your work, planning ahead, or — here’s a revolutionary concept — you can rest.
If you want to give ClickUp a try for yourself, you can sign up right here for the free forever plan.
P.S. — Fun side note, ClickUp’s Instagram is super clever, LOL funny and totally relatable for anyone in the business/marketing/entrepreneurship world. If you’re on Instagram at all, I highly recommend following them for some laughs and some quick, actionable productivity tips.
Yes! In addition to the typical (and super robust) project management tools and techniques like calendars and lists, you can also create forms, do time tracking, send messages, and generate templates, documents, and videos, all inside of ClickUp.
For sure! You can start with a free version if you like — it still has tons of great features that can help cut wasted time, even on a team of just a few people. And you’ll be ready to go if your team expands! It’s a very customizable platform for project management for teams of all sizes.
ClickUp is a powerful, highly customizable productivity platform and project management software program. It helps teams large and small get more done.
Price: Free, with paid premium features available
Operating System: Mac, Windows, Linux
Application Category: project management
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We are an LGBTQIA-affirming, interfaith-oriented, diverse organization. We are committed to social and environmental justice, including civil rights, dismantling systems of oppression like the Patriarchy, White Supremacy and Diet Culture. We believe Black Lives Matter.