Over the years, Wrike has become known as the most intuitive and versatile work management platform, one that any team, department, or company can leverage for work. No two teams are alike; they adhere to different workflows and have unique terminology and processes. So, it’s only logical to offer users the flexibility to configure their work however they need.

Enter: Wrike Custom item types.

This feature is unique to Wrike, enabling teams to go beyond generic tasks and projects. Translation: Wrike adapts to you, not the other way around. Our platform speaks your team’s language, so you can tailor work items in whichever way suits you best. ‘Work your own way’ has never been more true than it does today with Custom item types.

This image shows an on-demand webinar from Wrike experts on the new feature, Custom item types

During a recent webinar, Wrike experts Andrey Moskvin and Ryan Candela introduced Custom item types, and we caught up with them after to get some more insight. The questions here were collected from webinar attendees along with our Collaborate 2022 session. For an in-depth demo, please watch the webinar here, but until then, enjoy the Q&A below.

QUESTION: Do Custom item types eliminate the need for projects for fairly simple workflows? 

A: No, if you prefer, you can keep using native project and task types for your work items where it’s relevant. Though, some teams don’t feel comfortable relying on project management terminology and prefer their own language to name work. In that case, you can use Custom item types, which are tailored derivatives of a native task or project with very similar attributes, but with the ability to configure the layout, fields, automation rules, parent-child relations, and set specific naming and icons. Furthermore, Custom item types can be unique to the Space where the team is operating.

To sum up, you can rely on out-of-the-box Wrike Projects or make it your own project-based work item type — whichever works best for your use case and work style. 

QUESTION: Can we update current tasks to Custom item types? 

A: Yes! Open a task and hover over the three dots. Scroll down to “Change item type” to select a Custom item type you've created. You can also change the item back to a task if you want. The detailed step-by-step process is covered in this help center article.

This image shows Wrike users the step-by-step process of how to change item types with Wrike Custom item types

QUESTION: Can we set up a recurring Custom item type?

A: Yes! Custom item types (and any item with the new Work Item View) now have the option to add recurrences. Feel free to ideate and create item types for regular activities, such as meeting notes, sprint reviews, company all-hands agendas, and many more.

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QUESTION: Can you provide information on when to use a Blueprint vs a Custom item type? 

A: Blueprints are meant to help quickly create a project without starting from scratch and serve to templatize work structure, assignments, and other details in any work item. Blueprints are commonly used for recurring work and usually contain pre-filled content, assignees, and/or dates.

Custom item types don’t have pre-filled content (except the description field) and serve as types of work items allowing you to configure fields, layout, and automation rules. A Custom item type defines key characteristics of work elements and specifies the parent-child relationship between objects. 

Custom item types and Blueprints work great in tandem. Custom items can be used as Blueprint building blocks as any regular work item (task, project, folder). You can simply build a new work structure based on a mix of tasks and your own items, add values to the fields, add sub-items, and finally templatize it all as a Blueprint. For existing Blueprints, you can make adjustments and convert some tasks to relevant Custom items when it makes sense for your scenario.

Also, both Blueprints and stand-alone Custom item types can be used with our powerful dynamic request forms — the selection depends on your specific use case.

QUESTION: Is there a gallery of examples of creative ways to use Custom item types?

A: You can visit our help page which features a few examples along with a three-minute video on how to set up Custom item types. The Wrike community page also highlights some use case templates, and you can expect to see more templates — with out-of-the-box custom types — for various use cases in 2023.

QUESTION: How do Projects and Custom item types co-exist in a marketing/creative services team? 

A: The best practice is to set up and rely on Space-specific, project-based Custom item types, like Campaigns, Events, or Press Releases. Your own types can then be configured to include only relevant task-type subitems, like Copy, Brief, Ad, Promo, etc. that include the same values. Marketing and creative services teams will benefit from having familiar terminology, standardized behavior, an intuitive layout, and field names (removing all unnecessary fields and clutter).

Some teams may still be used to existing Wrike projects and tasks and willing to experiment with only a few work item types. In this case, they can work with both, and start noticing the benefits of Custom item types. For instance, type- and space-specific automation rules and fields that bring unique business logic to work streams. Once teams adopt Custom item types and decide to switch, it’s easy to convert existing work items to the specific type they need.

If there are still initiatives (like cross-functional activities) that don’t fall under this category and miss a dedicated item type, we recommend you rely on our native Project and Task types instead. Marketing and creative users will still have the option to add these items to their Space and manage projects alongside project-based Custom items using Wrike views, progress tracking, and risk prediction.

QUESTION: Are the item types already supported in API Calls and BI export? 

A: Custom item types are supported in API. BI export support is not ready yet but is on our roadmap, and we'll make an announcement when it’s available.

QUESTION: Can Custom item types be usable in multiple Spaces, but not account-wide?

A: Custom item types are configured one of two ways — Space-specific or account-wide. At this time, it’s not possible to pick and choose which Spaces they appear in or to convert between Space- and account-level Custom item types. To clarify, you can:

  • Create and manage Space-level Custom item types in one Space only
  • Create real work items based on the Custom item type catalog related to this Space, or account-wide
  • Tag Custom item type-based work items to other locations, i.e. other Spaces or folders and projects from the other Spaces
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QUESTION: Can we filter by Custom item types in Wrike Analyze, reports, calendars, and dashboards?

A: Yes! We provide full support across reports, calendars, dashboards, and various Wrike views (table, board, Gantt, etc.). Pinnacle customers can also filter in Wrike Analyze.  

Get started with Custom item types today

Custom item types unleash Wrike’s power and configurability to unprecedented levels, but it’s worth mentioning that not all users have access to create and manage them. For security and governance reasons, Custom item types are managed by Space and Account administrators depending on their respective needs.

Want to add Custom item types to your team’s toolkit? If you’re on a ‘Business’ plan or higher, good news — you already have access! For other Wrike users, please contact your customer success representative about upgrading today. Now, the only remaining question is — how will you configure Wrike for your team?