ClickUp is an online productivity platform that helps teams work together to get things done. With a range of integrated tools, ClickUp makes managing everyday business operations and projects simple. ClickUp asserts that it is "one app to replace them all" in their advertising. While this bold statement may not be entirely correct for everybody, ClickUp's focus on productivity, collaboration, customisation, and automation, certainly makes it a valuable tool to add to your productivity stack.
There are a lot of features in ClickUp, and they can become overwhelming. In writing this introduction, I made the mistake of trying to cover too many features and found myself trying to cover too much. I don't want to make ClickUp seem complicated because it doesn't have to be. Therefore, I'm going to start with a high-level overview of the basic features of ClickUp and then dig deeper over a series of posts.
When I look back on my ClickUp journey, I recognise the best approach to implementing ClickUp is to keep it simple, get it working well, add something new, and then iterate.
At the most basic level, ClickUp provides collaborative tasks and documents. Do keep in mind that ClickUp is much more sophisticated than a simple to-do list or word processor. Collaboration is threaded throughout ClickUp, with chat, @metions, email integration, comments, and annotations. Even if you're collaborating by yourself, these features help you record your thoughts and ideas, freeing up headspace for other things. When working with others, these features make it easy to keep everyone up-to-date and all of your work related to individual tasks or ideas in one place - no more searching through emails or folders.
Task and project management in ClickUp revolve around a hierarchy of workspaces, spaces, folders and lists. In the screenshot below, I have highlighted the levels of the ClickUp hierarchy.
Typically, you will have one workspace for your entire business. Inside your workspace, you will have spaces for each team or department. Spaces are highly customisable and have their own settings, which allows you to control who can access them and set them up to meet the needs of their users. The space level is where you add lists with tasks, and you can also add docs. You might create spaces for teams, processes, or projects that operate within each space. Once the number of lists and docs grows, you will want to use folders to group your lists and docs to help keep them organised.
If you're not careful, the ClickUp hierarchy can become unwieldy. So, remember to keep it simple and get it working well first. My recommendation for starting with ClickUp is to try it out for yourself first and then work with a small group of people in one of your teams, departments or projects to prototype a simple process or workflow. Don't get carried away trying to use lots of the features; just use ClickUp as a simple task list and explore the collaboration features embedded in the tasks. For example, try assigning people to tasks, setting due dates and priorities, using the comments stream inside the task window and the @mentions feature to record updates and have discussions.
Whether you're a solo operator or working in several teams, ClickUp is a powerful productivity tool that helps you get things done. Getting started with ClickUp is easy if you keep things simple. Look out for the next post in this ClickUp series to learn more about working with tasks.