Wrike is a powerful tool for teams, one that ranks highly as both collaboration software and project management software. Wrike, now owned by Citrix, started out as an online platform for team collaboration, work management, and project management, and it continues to grow those areas while also adding related features. The app has since added new work intelligence features that can, for example, predict when a project is at risk of falling behind and call attention to possible causes. While Wrike is on the expensive side, it’s easier to set up and start using than many other comparable project management apps.
What Does Wrike Do?
While Wrike scores highly in our testing and analysis, whether it’s the right app for your team depends on several factors. The best project management app for you has to have the right features based on the type of work your team does and the number of people who will use it. The nice thing about Wrike is it’s sold in different versions that are already customized for certain types of teams, such as marketers and service teams. That said, you could easily sink a lot of time researching all Wrike’s plan options to figure out what you need, as there are many. We recommend a conversation or two with a Wrike representative if you’re looking to buy this tool.
Wrike: The Good and The Bad
Although it didn’t make it into our top picks, Wrike is excellent if you’re an agency, marketing team, or professional service provider. Keep reading to learn more about what we love (and don’t love) about this marketing-centric project management tool.
User-Friendly Dashboard: Wrike’s dashboard is unique compared to other project management solutions. It contains three panes with a consolidated view of your entire workflow, so you can see an overview and the final details without ever navigating somewhere else. The first pane provides access to all projects, teams, and financials, making it easy to manage resources. The next pane offers functions to create a task, assign tasks, and set due dates for each task. Finally, all of your current tasks and subtasks are in the far right pane. Unlike other project management tools, everything you need is literally at your fingertips (without having to even so much as click your mouse to see it all).
Enterprise-Grade Functionality: With Wrike, you’ll have full access to enterprise-level project management tools. Within the platform, you can share files, publish assets, track time across projects and at the individual team member level, and more—all bolstered by enterprise-level security. While it may feel overwhelming to learn it all at once, the wealth of features give you and your team plenty of room to grow. Plus, the advanced features help prepare your business for future growth while letting everyone get familiar with them before you need to start using them. You may even realize bottlenecks and ways to improve your processes by accident. With dozens of free templates you can use to get started, you’ll have lots of new features to explore and plenty of room to bolster productivity in new ways.
Real-Time Analytics: Regardless of the types of analytics you want to see, Wrike automatically updates charts, some reports, infographics, and analytic dashboards every 15 minutes so you never have to worry about looking at (or presenting) outdated information. This gives project managers a real-time overview of project statuses, team performance, task statuses, workload, approvals, and tasks waiting on you. This is a key benefit, especially if you’re juggling multiple projects at once. Not every project management tool comes with analytics at all, so we love that Wrike comes with real-time analytics that are always up to date.
Department-Specific Solutions: One of the best ways to save money and align departments is to use the same project management tool across them all. While some tools are best suited for specific use cases and departments, Wrike is one of the most versatile. From operations, product development, and research to content creation, HR, and sales, it’s adaptable enough to meet the needs of your entire business. There are specialized templates and solutions for everyone, including marketers, creative teams, professional service organizations, business operations, IT teams, product managers, and more. Whether you need a company-wide project management tool or a department-specific solution, Wrike has you covered.
Custom Request Forms: Whether you already use forms or plan to use them in the future, Wrike’s custom form builder makes creating them easier than ever. While Wrike suggests using them for requests, you can use them for just about anything you can imagine. Rather than having your team update a spreadsheet, you can have them submit a form instead, making the process easier for everyone involved. You can even decide what page users see after submitting based on their input. And when a new form is created, it can automatically assign a task, populate subtasks, set a due date based on the submission date, and more. Every piece of the form is customizable and you can set custom rules to trigger custom automations, which is a major time saver.
Automated Workflows: Aside from request forms, Wrike does an excellent job at demystifying and simplifying workflow automation without sacrificing support for complex workflows. It integrates with more than 400 third-party tools, so you can easily build automations that span multiple business tools with Wrike’s workflow builder. From automated approval processes and smart workload balancing to automated analytics, resource management, and task assignments, you can automate as much (or as little) as you’d like up to 100 automations per account. The workflow builder uses simple “if, then” statements to build automations with up to 10 automated actions in one—that 100-automations limit isn’t as limiting as it sounds. However, the workflow builder is only available on the top three tiers.
Team Collaboration Tools: Most project management tools make it easy to collaborate with your team, and Wrike is no different. Anyone on the team can access a global or project-based live stream of recent activity so everyone knows what’s happening in real-time. You can also easily invite clients, contractors, vendors, or other third parties at no additional cost to track the status of their projects and work with you towards project completion. Plus, your team can communicate on specific tasks and at a project level to centralize conversations and keep everything related to tasks and projects in one place. These features paired with an extensive set of real-time reports and analytics make collaborating within your org and with others easier than ever.
Not For Beginners: Wrike can be a bit challenging for beginners to navigate and figure out. While we like the dashboard and the enterprise-level features, people who are new to project management software will likely find Wrike overwhelming. The initial setup and onboarding process can be challenging, as well. Wrike offers training to help you get started, but most businesses don’t want to be trained for software that’s supposed to simplify their processes. It seems counterintuitive.
Limited Mobile Functionality: All of the best project management tools come with some version of a mobile app. While Wrike has apps for iOS and Android, they’re not the most user-friendly apps on the market. Managing tasks from the app can be a pain, and sometimes you’re entirely unable to move or edit a task. Wrike is really only good if you’re using the software from a desktop or laptop computer.
Expensive: In terms of cost, Wrike is definitely towards the higher end of the spectrum for similar tools in the project management category. While the software can be configured to accommodate a wide variety of needs, lots of advanced Wrike features are offered as add-ons. So by the time you’re done adding these features to your plan, the price could be double or triple what you initially thought. We’ll discuss Wrike’s pricing in greater detail below.