With so many tasks to keep track of, a great workflow system is essential for project managers to do their job. By using workflow software, project managers can avoid pitfalls like wasted time and resources, undue risk, and compromised end results. They can rest assured that their work will be completed in the right order, with the right people informed along the way. 

But with so many workflow software platforms available on the market, how can you tell which is the right one for you and your team? 

Below, we’ve compiled a list of 20 of the most popular workflow software on the market and compared and contrasted each of their features so that you can make the right decision for you. 

What is workflow software?

Before we start, it’s important to understand exactly what workflow software is. When you are assigned a new project, you begin by understanding the tasks that need to be completed and the order in which they need to be done. 

This is what a workflow is — a series of tasks done in a certain order by certain team members to complete a project successfully. 

Workflow software is simply a tool that helps you automate this process. Workflow software ensures that your project tasks are assigned to the correct people, given the correct deadlines, and aligned in the correct order, without having to do so manually with every new project. 

To dig a little deeper into how exactly this is done, let’s look at workflow automation software.

What is workflow automation software?

Workflow automation software is a digital tool where users can establish a system based on specific rules that allow tasks to be launched and run without intervention. 

Workflow automation software can be used to send updates to stakeholders, assign tasks to different teams, send reminders, set deadlines, and more. It helps you to avoid wasting time constantly creating manual processes and automate this so you can spend more time working on the tasks that matter.

Once a team finds the workflow automation software that suits their needs, they can set up and launch any workflow they need to help aid their projects. Setting up a workflow depends on the type of project, its resources, its deadlines, and the number of tasks and stakeholders involved. 

What are the benefits of workflow management software?

Once you invest in a workflow management system, there’s no going back. It is the perfect formula for keeping your employees happy while ensuring all the processes are completed with the utmost efficiency and in due time. 

These practical workflow management tools have proven beneficial for organizations that offer knowledge-based professional services to their clients (read more in our Professional Services Guide). 

The following are some of the benefits of deploying it in the workplace:

1. Facilitate collaboration with clients

Working with a global clientele involves dealing with differences in opinion, lack of transparency, catering to varying requirements, and serving them despite communication roadblocks.

This is where workforce management can help you. It is a comprehensive system that allows you to give clients exclusive access to specific parts of a project so they can view the project status, grant approvals, and monitor progress.

That way, you can save time that would otherwise have been spent collecting information on the project’s progress.

2. Make the most of your billable hours

Your aim should be to maximize utilization rates as well as your team’s billable hours.

A workflow management system can take essential tasks, like managing resources and standardizing work processes, off your hands to increase your billable hours

Similarly, keeping track of time and money can become time-consuming admin work that only increases as a business becomes more successful. Workflow automation software takes care of all these tasks so that you can direct your precious time and energy toward essential processes.

How to use a workflow management system for better productivity

Workflow management tools enhance your team’s productivity by offering seamless communication and streamlining processes. When appropriately deployed, workflow management can pay off in the long term. Here’s how a workplace management system contributes to your employees’ productivity:

  • No more status update meetings
    A workflow management system saves your employees from needing to track down emails and discussion threads to assess the project’s progress. With complete transparency into each stage of the process, your teams can remain updated on each project’s progress — saving time and effort.
  • Timely reports
    Integrating workflow management software means your employees are no longer required to input data in spreadsheets to generate reports. The workflow tool can generate updated reports with the help of recent data, freeing up your employees’ time to do something productive.
  • Increased visibility in processes
    Streamlined processes are the most critical aspect of a smooth project execution plan. Workflow management tools offer real-time visibility into any bottlenecks or breaks in work processes. This way, you can immediately tend to any new or old developments that threaten project progress, ensuring that business goes on as usual.
  • Built-in notifications
    Workflow tools usually include built-in notifications to alert you and your employees to any overdue task or process that requires your attention. It enables you to customize your notification alerts so that you don’t get distracted.
  • Third-party integrations
    Businesses that deploy software and tools to facilitate their processes need a workflow management tool that offers third-party integrations. 

Features to look for in the best workflow management systems

There are many features that you should consider when choosing a workflow management system, but five of the most common non-negotiables are:

  1. Code-free workflow building
  2. Integration with other apps
  3. Timely notifications and reminders
  4. Robust reporting
  5. Automated request forms

Let’s take a look at why. 

  • Code-free workflow building: As a project manager, you may not have a huge level of technical expertise, let alone know anything about building automation through coding. Your workflow software should be user-friendly and easily adoptable, with a simple interface that allows you to jump right in and build workflows with minimal experience.
  • Integration with other apps: Throughout your project, you and your team will use many different tools and applications to complete tasks. Find a workflow management tool that can integrate with many of your most-used apps so that you can work from one source of truth without information getting lost between tabs.
  • Timely notifications and reminders: To ensure that your project is running smoothly and on schedule, it’s essential that updates and reminders are sent in real time to stakeholders. 
  • Robust reporting: As you create your workflows, you need to know what’s working and what needs to be amended. You may realize you need an extra step in your workflow or that redundant tasks are creating bottlenecks. Great reporting features help you to pick out this data easily and make the changes you need to be more efficient.
  • Automated request forms: As your project moves from one stage to the next, finding the right people to complete each task can be time-consuming. Automated request forms that assign your tasks to the right people every time are essential in saving time spent on repetitive tasks and avoiding mix-ups.

Is free workflow software worth the hassle?

There’s no easy answer to whether free workflow management software is the right choice for you. It depends on lots of factors, including the size of your organization, your industry, the features you need, your security needs, and many more. 

There are many free workflow platforms on the market that have fantastic features available — but be aware that there is almost always a catch, such as limited users, limited features, or a limited trial period. 

Be sure to collect all the facts before committing to workflow software — luckily, our list of 20 workflow software platforms can help you make the right call. 

Which is the best workflow management software?

Finding the best workflow management tools for your team means comparing and contrasting a lot of different platforms. We’ve done the work for you and taken 20 of the most popular workflow management solutions on the market, examined their strengths, and compared their features, pricing plans, and other considerations to help you get all the info you need in one place. Let’s get started. 

1: Wrike

Wrike’s project workflow software allows you to fully customize your team’s processes, automating the most time-consuming admin so you can focus on getting creative. 

Wrike workflow software features

  • Pre-built templates: Perhaps the handiest tool for building a workflow from scratch is a pre-built template to help you hit the ground running. Wrike offers a number of templates for users to choose from, depending on their preferred work style.
  • Multiple views: Customizable workflow management software is essential, especially if you have multiple team members with different styles of working. Wrike can be customized to suit your visual style, with various work views, including Table view, Gantt charts, and Kanban boards.
  • Built-in proofing tools: Stakeholders can edit project materials and update each other of changes in real time with Wrike. Resources live in a single source of truth, eliminating confusion and enhancing collaboration.
  • 400+ app integrations: Working from multiple apps and platforms can cause confusion and frustration among teams. Wrike’s app integrations allow your materials to live in one place while you edit, proof, and approve without switching platforms. 
  • Automated request forms: Wrike’s workflow processes enable you to create automated request forms so that with every task, your requests are delivered to the right team with all the right information.

How to use Wrike to manage your workflows

Wrike allows you to automate your workflow through several features that contribute to an increase in your employees’ performance and productivity. With Wrike’s workflow management system, you can customize your workspace according to your brand’s assets and prioritize your tasks. 

You can easily visualize your tasks using Kanban boards, Gantt charts, and a range of other tools. Save your employees from unnecessary meetings by offering them complete transparency at each stage of the workflow through automatically generated reports containing updated data.

With Wrike, you can schedule projects, assign tasks, manage a client’s requests, and make critical decisions in real time. 

You can also choose the type of workflow you want to work with, such as the Agile or Waterfall project management format. This way, you can cater to all your clients’ needs in no time.

Pros of the Wrike workflow management system

  • Highly customizable
  • Pre-built templates
  • 400+ app integrations
  • Free plan available with unlimited users

Tips for better workflow management with Wrike

To help you make your project plan as seamless as possible with minimal errors, we advise you to keep the following tips in mind:

  • Don’t collect important tasks and documents in your email. With Wrike’s workflow management system, you can CC Wrike on your emails to gather tasks within the platform for easy access.
  • Ensure the proper organization of all your essential data, tasks, and files in one place to increase your productivity.

Pricing plans

  • Free
  • Team: $9.80 per user per month
  • Business: $24.80 per user per month
  • Enterprise: Pricing available upon request

2: Pipefy

Pipefy’s low/no-code platform allows users to centralize and automate workflows with cross-departmental visibility, customizable card actions, and custom templates. 

Pipefy workflow software features

  • Kanban and sprint view
  • Email automation
  • Custom templates

Other features and considerations

Pipefy ensures standardization across departments, with onboarding activities automatically communicated to all stakeholders and certain procedures classed as mandatory to reduce human error. Its reporting and analytics features are not as intuitive as some other platforms on the market, while its dashboard integrations can be difficult to navigate. Wrike’s customizable dashboards, on the other hand, allow users to get a detailed overview of their teams’ workloads, pin important to-dos, follow prioritized tasks, and choose exactly what they want to see.

Pricing plans

  • Free
  • Business: $18 per user per month
  • Enterprise: $30 per user per month
  • Unlimited: Custom pricing

3: Qntrl

Formerly known as Orchestly, Qntrl is a workflow orchestration software that helps optimize processes with a drag-and-drop interface. 

Qntrl workflow software features

  • Form and workflow builders
  • APIs to connect with third-party tools
  • Default and custom reports

Other features and considerations

Qntrl is a Zoho application, which is one of the leaders in IT solutions and online business tools. As part of the Zoho portfolio, Qntrl carries a reputation for quality and customer service. However, Qntrl is not as well equipped to support smaller teams or startups as other platforms on the market, and its integrations with third-party apps are limited. 

Pricing plans

  • Free 
  • Business: €8 per user per month

4: Process Street

Process Street is a process management app that uses a checklist format to allow users to construct workflows, execute processes, and communicate with stakeholders. A drag-and-drop interface enables users to create workflows from scratch, while its Pages feature can be used to create and organize structured business documents, which remain free and available for all users.

Process Street workflow software features

  • Customizable workflow templates
  • Guest users and permissions for external collaboration
  • Conditional logic workflows that can be adapted to business needs

Other features and considerations

Process Street has an easy-to-use interface, but that simplicity comes with drawbacks. Users have reported their reporting and analytics capabilities are limited compared to other platforms. 

Pricing plans

  • Free
  • Pro: $25 per full member per month
  • Enterprise: Custom pricing

5: Comidor

Comidor is a no/low-code platform for enterprises to build and scale business processes. Comidor markets itself as more of a digital workplace than a strict workflow management software and includes chat and discussion boards, a built-in content management system, and mailboxes. 

Comidor workflow software features

  • Workflow Simulator allows you to test your workflows before bringing them to life
  • Central workflow repository contains all workflow designs and processes, as well as instructional guides
  • Customizable forms

Other features and considerations

As more of a general work management platform, Comidor is great for businesses looking for more generalized features but may lack the workflow functionalities of competitors. Its UI is a little complicated, so users might find they need to spend a good amount of time getting to know how to use the platform and its specialized feature set. 

Pricing plans

  • Starter: $8 per user per month
  • Business: $12 per user per month
  • Enterprise: $16 per user per month
  • Platform: Custom pricing

6: Hive

Hive is an all-in-one project management tool that features a drag-and-drop workflow ‘recipe’ builder to build intuitive workflows without any coding knowledge. Hive stores its clients’ recipes in a cloud-based library, so you can benefit from other businesses’ workflows.

Hive workflow software features

  • Flexible project views
  • 1000+ app integrations
  • Hive Automate, which lets you create workflows that integrate with other apps

Other features and considerations

Hive’s workflow management features prove useful, and working in its clean interface makes the process easier. Whether Hive is right for you all depends on the size and complexity of your team, as many of its custom features come with a price hike. As with many platforms, Hive’s mobile app lags behind the functionality of its desktop version. Speaking of apps - did you know Wrike offers an award-winning app experience? Between this and a recent award from TrustRadius on usability, users who are looking for a seamless cross-platform experience that scales may find Wrike to be a better option.  

Pricing plans

  • Solo: Free
  • Teams: $12 per user per month
  • Enterprise: Custom pricing

7: Shift

Shift is a desktop app that streamlines workflows across accounts and apps. It works by aggregating users’ email accounts, apps, extensions, and commonly-used tools into an all-in-one browser.

Shift workflow software features

  • Focused web tabs support more productive work hours
  • Full Chrome extension support
  • Customizable notification management

Other features and considerations

If increased productivity is your only goal, Shift is a good tool for your team, cutting down on unnecessary hours spent switching between platforms. But if your interest lies more in customizable workflows, Shift may lack the functionality and flexibility of other, more focused workflow management tools. 

Pricing plans

  • Basic: Free
  • Advanced: $99.99 per year for unlimited accounts
  • Teams: $99.99 per user per year

8: Projectsly

Projectsly is a project management platform for users to plan projects and collaborate with other team members seamlessly. Part of the 500apps portfolio, Projectsly includes advanced automation tools and is useful for dispersed and remote teams who need help making their collaboration more efficient. 

Projectsly workflow software features

  • Multiple project views, including Kanban boards and Gantt charts
  • Drag-and-drop workflow builder
  • Task automations with trigger actions available at each project stage

Other features and considerations

Projectsly comes as part of the 500apps range, so your monthly bill also covers a total of 39 apps as a suite, including platforms for marketing, developers, and product management support. If you’re a business just starting out with SaaS platforms, this app is a good option to consider. If you are looking for a solution that scales with your business every step of the way, Wrike offers a solution that stands out against the competition.

Pricing plans

  • Cloud: $14.99 per user per month
  • Hosted: Custom pricing

9: Backlog

Backlog is a project management platform specifically designed for developers, allowing users to build and track project workflows using both Kanban boards and Gantt charts. 

Backlog workflow software features

  • Team-wide Wikis to share knowledge and workflows
  • File sharing capabilities 
  • Interactive Gantt charts

Other features and considerations

For a department-specific platform, Backlog’s workflow management capabilities are impressive, including targeted notifications, burndown charts, and visibility into team workloads. If you are a team of developers, this may be a good solution for you. If your team lies in another department or you’re looking for a platform that can handle cross-functional work, you may be better suited to a solution that can work across departments and teams. 

Pricing plans

  • Free plan
  • Starter: $35 per month for 30 users
  • Standard: $100 per month, includes unlimited users
  • Premium: $175 per month, includes unlimited users

10: Scoro

Scoro is an end-to-end work management platform marketed toward agencies, consultancies, and professional services firms. Scoro’s all-in-one tool provides a single dashboard to build and track workflows with a drag-and-drop Planner interface.

Scoro workflow software features

  • 1000+ app integrations
  • Custom workflows
  • Multiple project timelines

Other features and considerations

Scoro’s sophisticated UI makes workflow building easy to follow. However, many of its workflow-specific features are only available with the more expensive price packages, including Gantt charts, recurring tasks, and app integrations. 

Pricing plans

  • Essential: £19 per user per month
  • Standard: £28 per user per month
  • Pro: £47 per user per month
  • Ultimate: Custom pricing

11: Accelo

Accelo is an end-to-end client management platform that includes sales, projects, timesheets, and resource management functionality. Accelo’s focus is on boosting productivity and profitability, with a number of features available to help teams save time and money while delivering client work.

Accelo workflow software features

  • Centralized client communication
  • Cloud-based workflow tracking
  • Robust tracking capabilities, including time, budget, and asset tracking

Other features and considerations

As a client-focused software, Accelo is suitable for professional services teams looking to center their workflow management around client needs. For different departments or industries, Acello’s platform may prove too niche, especially as this software comes with a learning curve. And, as with many other platforms, some of Accelo’s key workflow management features are only available on their more expensive plan, including custom statuses and workflows, rules and triggers, and templates and approvals. 

Pricing plans

  • Plus: $24 per product per user per month
  • Premium: $39 per product per user per month

12: Proofhub

Proofhub is an online project management and collaboration platform that comes with a number of useful tools to communicate and reach deadlines all from one place. Proofhub’s intuitive interface allows users to jump in without prior knowledge and begin using their expansive set of features to improve their workflows.

Proofhub workflow software features

  • Discussions to chat as a group on individual topics
  • Multiple work views, including Gantt charts, Kanban boards, etc.
  • Custom fields and workflows 

Other features and considerations

Proofhub offers an expansive range of features, especially at its low price point compared to other workflow management software on the market. Its simple UI, collaboration tools, and drag-and-drop functionality allow users to build custom workflows with very little training. 

Pricing plans

  • Essential: $45 flat fee per month
  • Ultimate Control: $89 flat fee per month

13: Next Matter

Described as an “automation and orchestration” platform, Next Matter is an all-in-one operations software where users can create, launch, and monitor custom operations workflows and integrations. Achieving operational excellence can be done faster than ever with Next Matter’s automation functionality.

Next Matter workflow software features

  • No-code integrated workflow builder
  • Dashboard overview for a bird’s-eye view of all current operation workflows
  • Rule-based automation for all operations, including task assignment, project scheduling, etc.

Other features and considerations

For efficiency and visibility, Next Matter is right for operations teams struggling to be more productive. It’s very easy to set up and use without prior training, and if you do run into issues, Next Matter’s customer success onboarding is comprehensive. However, if you’re looking for more of a project management platform, Next Matter does lack some features, such as a Kanban view. 

Pricing plans

  • Starter: €25 per user per month
  • Professional: €45 per user per month
  • Enterprise: €95 per user per month
  • Custom: Custom pricing

14: Monday.com

One of the most popular work management platforms on the market, Monday.com has functionality for a variety of teams and industries and is highly customizable to build exactly the kind of workflows you want. With its intuitive interface, users can simply plug their tasks into a workflow, add the steps to get their project done, and launch. 

Monday.com workflow software features

  • No-code automation
  • Custom notifications
  • Useful integrations with Jira, Slack, Google Drive, etc.

Other features and considerations

Monday.com’s customizable work views allow users a high level of visibility and flexibility when running projects and tasks. Their automations save time and effort for teams trying to increase productivity, and its focus on collaboration makes navigating projects with dispersed teams easier. However, if you’re using Monday.com strictly for workflow management, its support for repeatable workflows is limited, as is its support for creating templates for repeated steps. Wrike extensive library of templates make it easy to hit the ground running with any project. Check them out here.

Pricing plans

  • Individual: Free
  • Basic: €8 per seat per month (€24 per month total)
  • Standard: €10 per seat per month (€30 per month total)
  • Pro: €16 per seat per month (€48 per month total)
  • Enterprise: Custom pricing

15: Process Bliss

Process Bliss centralizes your processes and tasks so you can work from them like a checklist, utilizing process quality analytics and template feedback to make your processes more robust. 

Process Bliss workflow software features

  • Centralized library for templates with folder permissions
  • Workflow template builder
  • Branching logic, attachments, and dependent dates within workflows

Other features and considerations

Process Bliss can handle many different workflows and integrates with over 3000 apps to make cross-collaboration even easier. Its built-in process improvement capabilities help teams who feel their processes are lacking in efficiency, and their workflow progress reports are a great addition to the software. 

Pricing plans

  • Flat fee of $10 per user per month, with three options for implementation:
  • Starter assistance: Included free
  • Accelerator pack: $1,350
  • Managed implementation: Bespoke pricing

16: Smartsheet

If you’ve been using spreadsheets to manage your workflows, transitioning to Smartsheet may be an easy way to boost your productivity. Instead of remembering complicated formulae, Smartsheet allows users to work in a familiar interface while it performs calculations for you across multiple sheets. 

Smartsheet workflow software features

  • Customizable templates
  • Flexible project layouts 
  • Integrations with Salesforce and Microsoft

Other features and considerations

Smartsheet’s accessibility for those who are used to working with Excel is a nice plus, but this does mean that its functionality is limited elsewhere. Smartsheet’s UI can be a little hard to get used to, while some users complain that its customization ability is lacking on templates and workflows. As an alternative, Wrike offers a much more intuitive user interface, and exceeds Smartsheet’s collaborative functionality, allowing users to scale their projects across departments and teams with ease. 

Pricing plans

  • Pro: $7 per user per month
  • Business: $25 per user per month
  • Enterprise: Custom pricing

17: Zapier

Zapier is a web-based solution that allows you to create integrated workflows across multiple apps, smoothing processes and increasing productivity. Zapier’s dashboard allows teams to manage individual automations, called Zaps, so users can easily build workflows that work without human error.

Zapier workflow software features

  • Multi-step workflows (up to 100 steps)
  • Automated conditional logic
  • Data formatting across different integrations

Other features and considerations

Zapier’s simple but intuitive dashboard and the ease with which users can set up Zaps across platforms make it a suitable tool for teams working with multiple applications. The ability to add a formatting step to a Zap to change your data into any format you need is a gamechanger for teams lacking in technical expertise. 

Pricing plans

  • Free plan
  • Starter: $19.99 per month for 750 tasks
  • Professional: $49 per month for 2000 tasks
  • Team: $299 per month for 50,000 tasks
  • Company: $599 per month for 100,000 tasks

18: ClickUp

ClickUp is an all-in-one project management software that helps plan, manage, and track workflows and resources from one place. ClickUp is completely customizable and has features that allow users to visualize their work in any way they want, whether through a mindmap, checklists, or its ‘Everything’ view. 

ClickUp workflow software features

  • Automation templates
  • Project views, including Gantt charts and timeline view
  • Customizable tasks 

Other features and considerations

ClickUp’s most notable feature is its Mindmap tool, which allows users to brainstorm and map workflows efficiently. Its visually appealing UI and cross-team collaboration tools make this among the top options for teams looking to streamline workflows. Personally, we still think Wrike offers an overall better experience on many fronts.

Pricing plans

  • Free Forever
  • Unlimited: $5 per member per month
  • Business: $12 per member per month
  • Business Plus: $19 per member per month
  • Enterprise: Custom pricing

19: Process Maker

ProcessMaker is an open-source business process management (BPM) and workflow tool designed to automate approval-driven workflows for enterprise organizations. 

Process Maker workflow software features

  • Drag-and-drop process modeling tool
  • Document builder to draft letters and company documents
  • Business Activity Monitoring (BAM) notifies stakeholders in real time when process conditions are being met

Other features and considerations

ProcessMaker’s low-code interface allows users across departments to build and launch workflows without coding knowledge. However, ProcessMaker’s UI can be a little complex and difficult to get used to initially, and it can be difficult to build more complex workflows right off the bat. 

Pricing plans

  • Standard: $1,495 per month
  • Enterprise: $2,479 per month

20: Kissflow

Combining project, workflow, and collaboration management, Kissflow is a no-code software that enables users to create automated processes, visualize workflows, and increase efficiency across departments. 

Kissflow workflow software features

  • Visual form and workflow designer
  • Automated workflow routing
  • Advanced reporting features

Other features and considerations

Kissflow sets itself apart from the competition with its advanced reporting capabilities and support for both structured and unstructured workflows. Users can easily find and remedy bottlenecks with a user-friendly interface. Small drawbacks of Kissflow include a lack of integrations compared to some other platforms on the market.

Pricing plans

  • Small Business: $10 per user per month
  • Corporate: $20 per user per month
  • Enterprise: Custom pricing

How to get started with Wrike workflow management software

Although we may be biased, we believe that Wrike’s unrivaled workflow management system is the best on the market for teams of all shapes and sizes. Work your way with a number of work views to suit you, level up your efficiency with automated request forms and custom fields, and eliminate the need for constant check-ins with fully visible workflows and dynamic reports. 

To get started, check out our free two-week trial or chat with a member of our sales team today.