Companies of all sizes usually have initiatives that they should handle, and investing in undertaking administration (PM) software program is the way in which to do it. Wrike affords PM and it is versatile sufficient to be a extra common work-management and collaboration service, too. It offers small companies and enterprises alike a central place for workers to work collectively and handle the assets they’ve. Whereas it is on the costly facet, Wrike’s key promoting level is that it is tremendous fast to arrange and requires little coaching to make use of. Just lately, Wrike has changed Basecamp because the software we advocate for individuals who want staff collaboration software program in a rush.
If time is in your facet, nevertheless, you could be happier in the long term with Zoho Initiatives or Teamwork Projects, PCMag’s Editors’ Choices for PM. Both offer more features at a more competitive price, and we find their interfaces superior to Wrike’s in subtle ways. Depending on your needs and urgency, however, Wrike could be the PM or online collaboration service that’s best for your organization. It’s an excellent service.
Pricing and Plans
Wrike offers five tiers of service, including a free plan. We’ll explain the free plan first and then cover the other options.
The free account supports up to five users, but an unlimited number of collaborators. Collaborators have different permissions levels than users do. They can see and discuss the project, but they can’t create or edit tasks. The free account does not have any limit on the number of projects you can create, and it includes 2 gigabytes (GB) of storage space. You can create only two levels of hierarchy within folders, and you don’t get Gantt charts, subtasks, mass actions with tasks, dashboards (to see custom reports), filters, email add-ins, or a few other things that you get in paid levels of service.
Very few PM tools offer truly free accounts anymore, and those that do tend to come with strict limitations. Wrike is no exception, when it comes to features, although it’s generous in terms of the number of projects you can create for free. Teamwork Projects offers a free account that comes with more <spanfeatures, but limits the number of projects you can have to two. Zoho Projects and ProofHub both offer free accounts as well, but they only support one project each.
The next tier of service is called Professional, and the price depends on the number of users. Wrike Professional for up to five users costs $50 per month when paid annually. A plan for 10 users costs $100 per month when paid annually, and up to 15 users costs $150 per month. Before 2016, the price for 15 users was about 33 percent less, so there’s been a hike. All the Professional plans come with 5 GB of storage <spanspace, though you can buy more or bring your own by connecting an online storage service. Google Drive, Dropbox, Box, and Microsoft OneDrive are all supported.
All the Professional accounts have the same basic features and support. They allow an unlimited number of collaborators as well as an unlimited number of folder levels. They also include Gantt charts, a dashboard, filters, and a few more features. In addition to lettig you bring your own storage, Wrike Professional also lets you integrate with these other business apps, including Outlook, Apple Mail, iCal, Microsoft Project, Excel, and RSS. Wrike also works with Zapier, which means you can connect other apps that aren’t natively supported using that service, which is similar to IFTTT.
The fourth tier of service is the Business account, which goes up to 200 users and adds time tracking features. This tier also has support for Salesforce integration, at least 50 GB of storage, and at least 15 GB of video uploads per month.
The final tier of service is for Enterprise accounts, and you’ll need to contact Wrike for a price estimate. An enterprise account has a minimum of five users (which doesn’t exactly scream enterprise organization) but can support thousands. Enterprise accounts include 100 GB of space to start. PCMag did not look at any of the advanced enterprise features for the purpose of this review. See Wrike’s comparison chart for more detail on any of its plans.
When you consider what other PM services offer, you realize that Wrike is on the pricey side. Teamwork Projects, for example, offers a plan that costs $49 per month for unlimited users, 40 projects, and 20 GB of space. A similar offer from Zoho Projects costs roughly the same ($50 per month) and likewise allows for an unlimited number of users. It includes support for 50 projects and 15 GB storage space. Head-to-head, both Teamwork and Zoho Projects offer a more competitively priced plan than Wrike.
A few PM services charge per user per month rather than at a flat monthly rate. These tend to be more appropriate for large businesses and enterprises rather than small businesses and startups. LiquidPlanner, for example, starts at $29 per user per month and has a 10-user minimum, although you’ll get more out of its Professional plan, which runs $39 per user per month. Comindware Project, on the other hand, recently dropped its fees dramatically and now charges just $9.99 per user per month.
Features and Philosophy
Wrike looks contemporary and clean. The default text size could be larger, but overall it’s simple and straightforward, albeit fairly vanilla. We desperately wanted to change the theme of our Wrike interface, but there aren’t any options in the settings.
The main navigation is on the left, and typically, you see a three-pane window view. It’s not too dissimilar from Asana in its general layout. Along the top are a search bar, an @ icon with notifications whenever someone tags you in a comment, inbox notifications for task assignments, and a drop-down menu to access your profile and settings. The majority of the window is left open for whatever you need to see at the moment.
Wrike offers mobile apps for Android and iOS. On both platforms, the app is optimized to work on tablets and smartphones.
Wrike is a little different from other similar apps because it doesn’t just stick to PM. It also crosses into the realm of work management, which is slightly different. LiquidPlanner does the same thing. In addition to PM tools, they also let you create folders for ongoing work, rather than work that has a fixed deadline and a deliverable (a key differentiator between ongoing work and discrete projects).
In Wrike, you can create a project and start populating it with tasks. You can assign a person to be responsible for those tasks, give them deadlines, add comments to the task, upload files, and so forth. Other team members can make their own tasks and dole out <spanassignments, while also having some visibility into the grand scheme of things. Wrike’s default setting is to keep information fairly private, unlike, say, Asana or
If the work you need to manage is not a project, you can create a folder instead. Folders can have subfolders, too. And projects can fall within folders. You might have a folder for a particular department, and all the projects and general work for that department can be nested in sub-folders and projects.
As with most online PM platforms, Teamwork Projects, Zoho Projects, and LiquidPlanner all have timers, too. We love that in both LiquidPlanner and Teamwork Projects, the timer information can feed into an included billing tool. Wrike doesn’t include billing, though you can export timesheets to Microsoft Excel to import them into your accounting software, or you can connect to another billing tool by using Zapier.
Speaking of time, Wrike gives you good options for assigning due dates and recurring dates. A task can be due on a specific day, or you can set the due date to stretch for several days, although it can’t be due at a certain time on a given date. Teams that work on fast turnaround times (think newspaper production) will find it a limitation.
Wrike also does not let team members estimate best- or worst-case scenarios for how long a task might take, a unique function that LiquidPlanner tackles with ease. In LiquidPlanner, the moment a task takes longer than expected, all the other people and tasks that might be affected have their due dates adjusted accordingly.
Wrike’s Gantt chart view, called Timeline is interactive, meaning you can drag and drop items to change their duration or dependencies. That’s great, but it messes with our mind a bit because other areas of the website don’t respond with such fluidity. A good deal of this web-based app relies on click and type input. It jerks me around to be able to use drag-and-drop functionality in one part of the app but not in others.
In general, Wrike’s interface is oriented toward lists and activity streams. Reports in Wrike also tend to take the form of lists rather than graphs and charts. It’s not uncommon to see PM platforms gravitating toward a more social media-style interface, the exception being LiquidPlanner, which is very much for people who like working with interactive graphs.
Although Wrike has a bit of a social-media feel, it does not have a built-in chat app, which a few PM and work management platforms now offer. We really like having one embedded right into our workspace so we can ask colleagues pertinent and short questions quickly. Zoho Projects includes one, as does ProofHub. Podio also gives users a real-time chat app for quick communication, though it’s more of a total work-management tool than one specific to PM. PM tools are just one kind of app you can add to a Podio work-management program.
A lot of teams prefer to use Slack or HipChat for daily communication, with the benefit being searchability, in which case having an in-app chat box may not be a high priority.
One unique feature we find useful in Wrike is the ability to pin a notification so that it stays in plain sight. It’s like turning a notification into a sticky note in the upper right corner of your screen.
Another useful feature is the Wrike Document Editor, which you have to download and install locally on your computer to use, but it’s well worth doing. The Document Editor lets you edit files and markup images and PDF without launching another application. From within Wrike, you can open a file that someone has uploaded, make your changes or annotations, and close it with ease. Wrike keeps track of the version history and automatically saves your version of the document to the same location where you got the original. It works with Adobe Creative Suite, JPG, Microsoft Office, OpenOffice, PDF, and PNG files.
While Wrike includes good support for commonly used business apps natively, plus additional help from Zapier, some organizations may still need to customize their Wrike experience further. For them, plenty of documentation for working with Wrike’s APIs will do the trick.
Decent Time Tracking for Project Managers
Tracking time in Wrike can be done in one of two ways: You can assign a task to an employee, add a due date, and start the counter, or you can proactively/retroactively add time to the tracker if you’re not able to log time live. Like Mavenlink and Zoho Projects, Wrike’s time tracking capability is a module that sits within an overarching PM suite. Thus, it’s not designed in a similar fashion as pure play time tracking tools such as Hubstaff and TSheets.
What you’ll find in Wrike is the ability to construct detailed work assignments for large groups of people, all of which can be tracked by minute or hour, to help you determine how long specific tasks take to complete, who might be overworked, or where you’ll be able to save time on future endeavors. These tools are incredibly useful for professional services teams, law firms, and companies that are less concerned about who showed up late or called in sick and more concerned about how many billable hours can be attributed to a project. Within this subclass, Wrike falls a notch below Zoho Projects and Mavenlink in terms of how well the time tracking elements function within the overarching PM ecosystem. For example, within Wrike, users are forced to jump into a task before they’re able to start recording time. In Zoho, this can be done directly from the list view of all active tasks. Additionally, Zoho and Mavenlink stash a Timer icon at the top of every dashboard should you need to jump right into a task and start recording. This is a nifty time-saving feature that lets you jump back and forth between tasks without having to press a number of additional button clicks.
Wrike lets you add custom fields to the task pane so that, when you go over your reports, you’ll be able to see things such as mileage, whether or not there were incidents on the job, whether or not the task was billable, etc. Unfortunately, these elements will show up in your overarching task view from within the PM console but the data won’t appear within your time entry reports. This is an important distinction between tools like Wrike and Mavenlink, which has gone above and beyond to align hours worked with payments associated with a given task, so much so that a specific person who is registered in Mavenlink can be automatically set to pay a different rate for a different task. Wrike won’t let you automatically assign rates to anyone, and billable versus non-billable hours must be added as a custom field.
Tracking can be done via iOS and Android apps, and Wrike offers an impressive feature that allows you to work offline on your phone, by automatically updating the hours you worked whenever you get back to your Wi-Fi or data network. This means that someone who is on a flight can begin tracking time before takeoff, turn on airplane mode, continue working, and Wrike will continue to run the clock. Mavenlink doesn’t even offer a mobile app.
Reports filter by dates, by person, by task, by folder, or even by the comment tab, which is pretty standard for most time tracking modules. You can also use the Reports tab in the overall Wrike tool to layer additional task-based information onto the time tracking data referenced above. Wrike makes it easy to turn these custom reports into scheduled reports; simply create the report you want, click subscribe, set a recurrence period, and you’ll have the report every day, week, month, etc.
Unlike the pure play time tracking tools I referenced earlier, you won’t find some of the more draconian features in Wrike. For example, you can’t track mobile user clock-ins via GPS, you can’t allow or force users to clock-in via phone call, and you can’t mandate photographs be included for every punch in and out. Wrike does, however, let you limit the IP addresses from which users can access the tool, so that you can control where people are working.
You won’t likely purchase Wrike for the sole purpose of tracking time. However, as a PM tool with time tracking elements, it does a great job tying in specific tasks and punch-ins with solid reporting, a host of decent features, and an overall effective PM suite. However, it is missing a few of the nifty little features that put Zoho Projects and Mavenlink one step ahead among the similar tools in this class.
When You Need a PM App, Choose Wrike
Because of its quick setup and great ability to integrate with other tools (whether through Zapier or APIs) Wrike is an excellent choice for businesses that need to start managing projects pronto. It doesn’t have every feature under the sun, and it’s more likely to show you lists and feeds than graphs and charts, but if that’s your cup of tea, it’s a powerful tool offered at a fair price for small businesses. If you’d rather spend the time to set up the best-available PM solution, your best bets are Editors’ Choice services Zoho Projects and Teamwork Projects, as they offer more than Wrike in terms of features and ease of use.
Still undecided? For additional in-depth PM comparisons, please see our head-to-head matchups of Wrike vs. Zoho Projects and Wrike vs. Basecamp. If, on the other hand, you’re sold on Wrike, then check out our 10 Wrike Tips for the Master Multitasker to help you get started.