14 Project Management Tools for Marketing Agencies

By June 27, 2015

Projects don’t always go as planned.

You can perfectly outline the tasks, major milestones, and timeline for each project, but in the end, things happen: clients don’t send the information you need, a key employee walks out the door, a technical issue pops up that requires you to rethink the approach.

This can spiral out of control when everyone is simply referring to a color-coded spreadsheet and replying to a confusing email thread.

That’s why so many agencies invest in project management software. They need an easy-to-use interface to track timelines, tasks, time, and budgets. They need something people will actually want to use, which is no easy feat.



And every agency is different, which means every agency needs a different type of project management tool. We’ve put together a list of some of the top platforms that are specifically made with agencies in mind. As you review this list, you should consider:

Is scalabililty a key issue? Is your agency growing fast, and do you want it to grow even faster? Can the tools scale with you?
Is it user-friendly? Will your staff like using the interface to schedule projects, track their time, and stay up-to-date on clients’ status?
Is it flexible? How does the tool integrate with other software your agency uses? Do you want to use billing features, time tracking software, a CRM, or a marketing automation tool?
Does it provide enough customization? What reports and features will you religiously use, and does the software allow you to make those the focus of your experience? Do you need to collaborate with clients from the platform?
What features really matter? There are project management tools that come loaded with everything you could ever want to use and there are those that focus on one thing. What does your agency really need to make projects easier to manage?

14 Agency Project Management Software Options to Consider

If you are looking for a new project management platform or are looking to implement your first tool, check out these 14 options:
Workamajig

workamajig

Workamajig brings together accounting, client management, new business, creative, media, traffic, and production departments and their tasks into one collaboration software platform.

Features include:

Integration with STRATA and SmartPlus for media billing
Ability to see all prospects in an agency’s pipeline with an opportunity widget
Creates accounts receivable aging reports
Templates for accurate estimating
Tracks projects per retainers

FunctionPoint

functionpoint

functionpoint-dashboard-client-services

FunctionPoint provides tools for multiple departments, including new business, accounting, client services, traffic, and creative.

Features include:

File sharing and approvals workflows
Scheduling and assigning tasks and managing individual workloads
Financial reporting and invoicing
Project and task dashboard for understanding timelines and profitability of projects

Central Desktop

central-desktop

Central Desktop is an online-based collaboration tool that helps the entire agency stay on-task and informed of a project’s status.

Features include:

Online moodboard for sharing inspiration between creatives
File sharing so everyone has the latest version of creative
Centralized feedback system that organizes comments and shows who has reviewed, approved, or ignored the notice
Notifications and alerts prevent project managers from becoming micro-managers.

10,000ft

10000ft

10000ft-project-planning

10,000ft is a visually pleasing project management and planning tool with an interactive interface.

Features include:

Drap-and-drop interface allowing managers to adjust timelines and projects based on evolving needs
Dashboard allows managers to see each project’s status based on time, fees, and expenses
Visual reporting for viewing the big picture of how teams, clients, and projects are doing against goals

FunctionFox

function-fox

timefox

Function Fox provides three different levels of project management software — from simple project and time tracking to advanced reporting and project management.

Features include:

A dedicated account manager who helps agencies set up the software and provides support as the company changes and grows
Client- and project-based reporting
Dashboard so leadership can view profitability and productivity
Custom fields for adding information unique to your agency
Group and individual calendars

Brightpod

brightpod

brightpod-tasks

Brightpod has a Trello-like board interface that allows users to track projects, ideas, and tasks.

Features include:

Custom workflows for different types of projects
An editorial calendar for managers who track social and content plans
Individual dashboards so team members can track their high-priority items each day
Log time per task

Clients & Profits

clients-profits

clients-profits-change-orders

Clients & Profits provides four levels of its tool for growing and changing agencies.

Features include:

Account management tools, such as creative briefs, change orders, status reports, and a CRM
Web portal for client access to job status, calendar, and reports
Asset manager, production reports, and new job checklists
Time sheets, approval workflows, and productivity report
Multi-job, retainer, and media billing

Teamwork

teamwork

Teamwork is a project management tools that specializes in bringing together remote workers.

Customizable navigation for showing what matters most to teams
Ganntt chart for visualizing milestones and a drap-and-drop interface for changing project timelines
Private messaging to individuals or a group and email integration

Paymo

paymo-1

paymo-dashboard

Paymo gives agencies the ability to customize the dashboard to see what is most important to each person in the company.

Features include:

Discussions tab for each project for non-email based collaboration
Customized reporting with features to filter by billable time, project budgets, day, week, and billed status
Web and desktop time tracking app with either manual start-and stop-options or an automatic feature

Liquid Planner

liquid-planner

liquid-planner-projects

Liquid Planner has a different methology for project management in that it sets timelines based on estimates. It then gives you a realistic due date based on best-case and worst-case scenarios. It also provides a priority-based scheduler, so team can understand which projects to prioritize to get everything completed and sent to the client on time.

Features include:

Time tracking features integrate with a rate sheet
Resource management screen for viewing who is at capacity and who can take on more projects
Note features for adding obstacles to getting projects done
Communication boards that are task-specific

WorkZone

workzone

WorkZone provides the customization and tools teams that want something more than a simple task manager. Agencies can create separate, secure workplaces for different clients or departments, and you can easily make project templates to make adding a new project easy.

Features include:

See the workload of each employee per week to determine who is overloaded and what works needs to be reallocated
A dashboard that shows multiple clients and each project for those clients with a notes section to alert managers to why the project is being held up
Image viewer so team members can provide feedback in one location
Approval workflows and task linking so task due dates are automatically updated when a part of the project takes longer than expected

Traffic LIVE

traffic-live

TrafficLIVE works to give account managers, sales professionals, financial managers, and leadership the tools they need to service clients more effectively and be more profitable.

Features include:

Integrates with MS Project so account managers can easily import and export project plans
Visual dashboard shows the breakdown of time spent, money, over-runs, deadlines, deliveries, and more for each project
Native CRM for business development to track clients and prospects
Custom rate cards that can be applied to new client projects
Utilization charts so agency owners can determine staffing needs

Workbook

workbook

Workbook is a project management platform that allows agencies to customize the software based on what the agency specifically needs. You start with a basic plan and add features, such as invoicing and billing, vendor orders and purchase orders, finance and accounting, customer portal, or CRM and pipeline.

Features include:

Adding all costs, including mileage and personal expenses, to a project
Extensive financial reporting system with 300 built-in reports
Inter-company transaction capabilities and automatic billing feature
Weighted pipeline to reveal the potential cash flow of an agency
Ability to convert a prospect from the CRM into a project

Advantage

advantage

Advantage assigns every account an implementation specialist, so this project management platform is perfect for those who need more in-depth training and support or are looking for individual consulting.

Features include:

Preset templates for creating schedules automatically
Ability to change schedules and tasks for multiple projects at once
Burn rate charts and a risk analysis summary to discover what projects are at-risk
Media department support with flow charts, templates, and authorization forms
Agency owner dashboard with views of cash balance, fees, and forecasting