Impressive Project Management Software, But It Isn’t Cheap
Wrike is one of the most flexible cloud-based project management services on the market right now. It can help your team collaborate effectively, as well as increase efficiency and productivity – whatever your business focus or work style.
Getting your team accustomed to new software will take time, but Wrike sets out to make the process easy and mostly achieves that goal. It has a clean, easily grasped interface with helpful built-in tutorials, guides, and visual prompts.
There are different plans to suit the needs of individuals, small teams, businesses, and enterprise-grade organizations, making it theoretically easy to choose one that’s right for you. But picking the best subscription level is harder than it seems.
That’s because there are so many extra features and add-ons to consider. And it doesn’t help that information on Wrike’s website is sometimes inaccurate or incomplete. You have to dive into the knowledgebase, as I did, to understand the plan features and fees, then contact the sales team to confirm.
To help you decide whether this is a commitment you want to make, I’ve thoroughly tested Wrike’s software and dug into its plans, capabilities, and features.
There’s a Solution for Any Type of Work or Work Style
Wrike has all the essential project management softwareyou need to organize, schedule, prioritize, and track work. It’s an all-in-one solution that can work well for most PMs.
The organizational framework is easy to grasp, with themed team/personal spaces that hold nested folders, projects, and tasks. The interface is visual and intuitive, which can save you (and your colleagues) a lot of time.
You can collaborate with team members, clients, and across departments with requests, @mentions, comments, and file sharing on browser, desktop, and mobile apps.
Every Wrike plan offers unlimited projects, including the free plan. Storage ranges from a generous 2GB on the free plan up to 15GB per user on enterprise-grade plans. The minimum number of users on all plans (except the free plan) is five.
Wrike offers more than 20 “solutions,” or customized spaces with templates, request forms, and other tools that are tailored for different types of teams and work styles. That means you’re likely to find one that’s ready-made for you.
Pre-purposed Spaces and Templates
To create a project, you first choose a space. This can be a basic/general-purpose space, one designed for a particular niche/work style (a Wrike solution), or a blank space you personalize.
There are spaces for resource management, professional services, and product development teams, as well as for teams working in fields like marketing, creative, and IT.
You can use the spaces wizard (click on the bright green “+” icon) to add what Wrike calls use-case templates.
Templates come with projects, sample tasks, dashboards, reports, and request forms. For example, you can add the Simple Agile space to use a Kanban Template and set up a complex project as a Kanban Board.
Depending on your plan tier, you can view projects in up to seven ways. Each time you create a project, the default view is List, a straightforward list of tasks in a project or folder.
You can choose other views, including:
Table – grid-like view similar to a spreadsheet
Board – Wrike’s version of Kanban with tasks shown in easy-to-scan columns
Gantt Chart – visual picture of projects and the overall scope of work
Stream – real-time view of activities on projects and tasks
Other options are Timelog, which shows tracked time for projects and tasks, and the Analytics, or report view.
Hundreds of Popular Apps, but Not All Are Free
You can add integrations with popular applications to enhance the software’s functionality or create custom apps using Wrike’s API.
There are 400+ apps in the Wrike directory, organized into 13 categories. Some are Wrike apps, like Wrike To-Do (replaces Sticky Notes) or the Wrike Document Editor (lets you edit documents without downloading).
Other integrations improve collaboration/communication (Zoom, Slack, Go-To-Webinar, Microsoft Teams), add functionality (Adobe Creative Cloud, Mailchimp), and enhance productivity (Salesforce).
Eleven integrations are available with the free plan. Each plan upgrade lets you integrate more apps, though you may have to pay for additional app subscriptions.
Built-in Tools to Automate Workflows
You can use Wrike’s rule-based Automation Engine to create “If” … “Then” … rules to automate repetitive tasks, reduce human error, and improve efficiency. Each rule can have one “If” statement and up to ten “Then” statements.
When an automation rule is triggered, every team member gets a notification from the automation bot in their stream.
Dependencies are another way to automate workflows. When you set up a project, you can create interconnected tasks, or “dependencies,” that make the start of one task dependent on the completion of another.
If you reschedule a task that has dependencies, then:
Dependent tasks and subtasks automatically reschedule, and
The person assigned to a dependent task is automatically notified when it’s time to begin work.
Finally, you can create project blueprints to make it easier to set up similar tasks, folders, or projects that recur often. Blueprints don’t show up in dashboards or reports, and are unaffected by your ongoing work.
Strong Security Protocols and Automatic Backups
Wrike secures your data using enterprise-grade 256-bit AES encryption both during transmission and at rest in its data centers.Real-time database replication automatically backs up data every few seconds, so you’ll never worry about data loss.
Its two data centers are located in the US (San Jose, California) and EU (Amsterdam, Netherlands). Both use cybersecurity best practices to keep data safe.
However, this feature is only available to Enterprise subscribers.
Ease of use
A User-Friendly Interface Means It Takes Less Time to Master the Basics
Wrike is easy to use, even if you’ve never worked with project management software or have limited technical expertise. Its intuitive interface is convenient to navigate, and you can access everything at a glance.
When you create an account or sign up for a free trial, Wrike asks you some questions about your business. It uses the information to populate your workspace with appropriate spaces, sample projects, and templates to help you get accustomed to using the software.
That let me quickly set up my first project. Using a pre-built event management template, I created a basic project, assigned work, and scheduled tasks and subtasks (everything took less than 45 minutes).
What I learned is this: It isn’t hard to grasp the basic project management features you need to collaborate, keep on top of tasks, and ensure you complete projects in a timely fashion.
Wrike uses a hierarchical system to organize its different functions. At the top are spaces, which act as central hubs that hold and organize all your team’s work: folders, projects, tasks, and subtasks.
You can create spaces for individual departments, teams, clients, and different types of work.
Each time you launch Wrike, the My Home page brings up an overview of your workspace. On the left is your inbox, with new messages and notifications. You can choose to “snooze” any notification you don’t have time to address.
All the spaces (team and personal) that you’re a member of are in the center. Just below are recent and pinned projects/tasks. And above your spaces are tasks Wrike AI recommends you address.
On the right side is a vertical navigation bar with allWrike’s tools, including a to-do list, starred projects, calendars, timesheets, dashboards, and reports.
You can access the same tools anywhere in Wrike by clicking on the launchpad icon on the top navigation bar (on the right between the “+” and “?” icons). But I think having them out front, not hidden in a drop-down menu, is a definite plus.
You’ll find the built-in Wrike Assistant in the top navigation bar. If you click on the “?”, you can choose one of several support options: Resource Management, Fundamentals, Wrike Guide, Apps & Integrations, and What’s New.
Fundamentals is a good place to begin. Here, you can watch a series of built-in tutorials and webinars.
From the assistant, you can also learn about app integrations and the latest features and updates to the software. If you’re on the Business Plan or higher, you can even fill out a request form to set up a demo with a member of Wrike’s team.
Another nifty feature is the set of pop-up prompts that guide you through creating projects, folders, and tasks, as well as assigning work and generating reports. As a new user testing the service, I found them particularly helpful.
Wrike Gantt Chart, Board, and List views are interactive. You can drag and drop elements to reorganize tasks or subtasks and change their start and due dates.
In the Gantt View, you can drag tasks to change their duration or link tasks and subtasks to create dependencies. Similarly, in Board View, it’s easy to drag a task to a different column to change its status.
I found it hardest to drag in List view because you have to click, hold, and drag. Dropping a task in just the right place takes practice, and you still have to click on the calendar icon to change the date.
Wrike reports give you a birds-eye view of your personal or team’s work status and performance, keeping the team up to date on active projects, workload, unassigned, and overdue tasks.
Pre-built templates and a step-by-step guide walk you through the process. Even better, once you create a report, it automatically updateseach time you open or refresh it, putting an end to yet another repetitive task.
Essential Collaboration Tools Keep Your Projects on Track
Each time you create a project or folder in Wrike, you can choose how you want to share it, depending on who will be collaborating on the project. That might be an entire team or one or more specific users.
You can communicate with your team through real-time comments and @mentions. You can also easily attach and share files or view a Stream, which shows all your team’s activities.
While Wrike lacks other built-in communication features, like live team chats, calls, and video conferences, you can add these with third-party integrations.
Team Dashboard & Communication
Wrike dashboards give you multiple ways to organize and coordinate work with your team: by client, project, due date, calendar, and more.
Wrike lets you upload and share files from your desktop, mobile device, or any integrated source, including Google, Dropbox, Box, Microsoft One Drive, and YouTube. If the file is a YouTube video, you have to paste a video URL to share.
To attach and share a file, click the paper-clip icon in the navigation bar, select the file source, choose the file you want to share, and click “OK.” You can preview Word, Excel, and PowerPoint files directly in Wrike, so there’s no need for team members to download them.
You can also share project files and tasks with clients, stakeholders, and collaborators through what Wrike calls “snapshots” and “permalinks.” Another option is to print an individual task description, save it as a PDF, and share it.
The Wrike app for Android (version 2.3 or later) and iOS (version 13.4 or later) ensures your team stays connected and can quickly access projects, folders, and tasks on the go.
You can use the iOS app with an iPhone, iPad, or iPod touch, but anyone with an older phone, like an iPhone 6, is out of luck.
Built-in features let you review and respond to @mentions, inbox items, and new project requests. You can also assign and schedule work, fill out and submit request forms, and attach files and images.
Some mobile features, like the time tracker, require a business plan or higher. Others are specific to the Android or iOS app. For example, Smart Replies lets Android users reply to comments on a phone by tapping on short autofill responses. The iOS app lets you use Siri for hands-free voice actions.
Unfortunately, you can’t access tutorials or guides from within Wrike’s app.
Responsive Support Options for Subscribers
Wrike has live chat, email (support ticket and follow-up questions), and phone support for its subscribers – even if you’re on the free plan.
There’s also a community forum, video tutorials, and an extensive knowledgebase with guides that combine text and visual aids, making them easier to follow.
If you’re not a subscriber and trying to get information about the software, emailing customer support is your best option. Non-subscribers can only live chat with a bot, and, based on my experience, you won’t get any real answers to your questions.
Another issue I encountered is that customer support won’t answer basic questions about plan features and pricing. You have to talk to sales (weekdays only). When you finally connect, the sales rep is helpful. But I don’t understand why Wrike makes it so hard to get basic information about its plans.
Even so, I found Wrike’s email support quick and responsive, especially when I sent questions from my paid plan trial. I never had to wait more than 24 hours to get an answer to a question, and it sometimes took less than four hours.
You can add Wrike’s Premium Support Package to your subscription for a fee. It entitles you to priority phone support on a dedicated line, on-demand email support, callbacks on weekends, and live chat from your Wrike workspace. You’re also guaranteed a one-hour response time.
With Wrike, What You See Is Not Necessarily What You Get
Wrike currently has five plans: Free, Professional, Business Plus, Enterprise Standard, and Enterprise Pinnacle. Each tier adds users, tools, and customization options.
Unlike Smartsheet and TeamGantt, Wrike has a generous free plan. While it lacks certain features like Gantt charts, it includes 2GB of storage, unlimited projects, and integrations with popular services like Slack, Dropbox, and Microsoft Teams.
There’s a maximum of five team members, but unlimited collaborators. It’s a good fit if you are a small team or freelancer who is juggling multiple projects and clients.
The Professional plan is a step up for larger teams (up to 15 users) that want additional functionality. But the sweet spot for most will be Business Plus, a feature-rich, affordable option, though pricier than similar plans from rival services. Fortunately, there’s a 14-day free trial that gives you time to evaluate Wrike before you commit.
That said, it’s hard to figure out exactly how much you’ll pay for your subscription. For example, the posted monthly fees are $9.80 for the Professional plan and $24.80 for Business Plus. This is misleading because the fees are for a single user’s license, and you have to purchase a minimum of five licenses.
That means the base price of the Business Plus plan is actually five times higher than displayed. While testing Wrike, I also discovered that you could only pay for it yearly, so the upfront cost will be pretty high.
Wrike doesn’t post prices for its premium Enterprise Standard or Enterprise Pinnacle plans, which are designed for large organizations with multiple locations and complex work needs.
These plans include additional storage and advanced features, such as active directory integration, single sign-on to Wrike and other applications, and two-factor authentication for enhanced security. To see a price, you have to get a custom quote.
There’s a lot to like about Wrike, starting with how easy it is to get your team accustomed to the software. Its hierarchical structure and interface are simple to understand, meaning you can start using Wrike faster than other services with steeper learning curves.
Then there’s Wrike’s commitment to offering tailored solutions, with use-case spaces, templates, and add-ons and integrations, which I love.
But while Wrike’s versatility is one of its main strengths, it’s also a weakness. Weighing up all the free and paid options can be overwhelming when you’re trying to make an educated decision.
How much does Wrike cost?
To calculate how much you’ll have to pay for a subscription, you need to add up the number of seats or users. Keep in mind that the monthly fees are per user, and you have to purchase a minimum of five seats.
You may also have to pay for add-ons, like Wrike Publish or Wrike Integrate. The best way to figure out exactly how much you’ll pay is to speak with sales.
Or, if Wrike doesn’t feel right for your needs, you can take a look at our list of the best project management software in 2023 to find reliable alternatives.
Is my data safe with Wrike?
Your data is safer in Wrike’s cloud than when stored on-premise. Wrike uses industry-standard 256-bit AES encryption for data transmission and storage. Then, it backs that up with continuous monitoring and other security protocols designed to detect and immediately respond to any potential breach.
Is Wrike better than Slack?
Slack and Wrike are both excellent collaboration tools, but they’re designed for different purposes.
Wrike is a complete project management solution that also includes features like @mentions, comments, and requests. To chat or video conference via Wrike, you have to integrate a third-party app.
Slack, on the other hand, is built for seamless communication. Team members can communicate with each other and with external collaborators through private and group messaging, live chat, and one-on-one or group calling. That said, Slack is built exclusively for communication and doesn’t include other project management software.
Can you integrate Wrike with Salesforce?
If you subscribe to a Business Plus or Enterprise plan, you can integrate Wrike with an existing Salesforce account (Salesforce Classic or Salesforce Lightning) to add cross-functionality between your sales and other teams.
Then you can manage client accounts in Salesforce and vice versa. Changes made in Wrike will be automatically reflected in Salesforce.
Dawn is a freelance writer and editor specializing in developing strategic content for businesses. A lover of philosophy and the arts, she brainstorms with cultural educators to ensure all students have access to enriching learning opportunities.