Wrike is an online collaboration and project management software bringing together centralized task management and social collaboration features into one real-time workspace. It connects tasks, discussions, and emails to your actual project plan. You get an up-to-date picture of the project and real-time visibility into the status of specific clients, projects, and key milestones.
Wrike tries to “go beyond traditional task and project management” and is strongly based on the collaboration model and integration with third party apps like Google Drive, Outlook, Excel, Dropbox and WordPress among many others. It has won awards from Gartner and was FinanceOnline’s Best Project Management Software of 2015.
- It is a hosted, software-as-a-service (SaaS) solution
- Wrike combines project management and collaboration in a highly configurable interface
- A free version is offered for teams of up to 5 users; the Professional version starts at $50 a month and Enterprise pricing scales according to users. See the pricing plans
- It has been tried by more than 1.5 Million people worldwide and is rated as one of the most popular project management solutions available
Wrike’s is suitable for individual freelancers, SMBs, and large organizations with thousands of employees. It boasts an impressive feature set for all-in-one collaboration and project management:
- Dashboard overviews
- Task management
- Customized reports
- Real time news feed
- Interactive Gantt charts
- Workload management
- Time sheets
- Task-related discussions
- Document collaboration
- More than 30 third party integrations
- Email integration
- Custom calendars
- Outlook, Apple Mail add-ins
- iPhone and Android apps
Here’s a short intro video to watch before you continue with the review
Selected features in detail
Creating tasks is easy enough and the timeline view takes the familiar Gantt chart format that is built around stacks of folders and subtasks. A good feature is being able to filter which tasks are visible eg completed, overdue, active or cancelled tasks. Task types are also colour coded which makes them easier to group and view. The timeline allows for expanding and collapsing of projects, folders and individual items and the direct opening of tasks. You can reschedule tasks by dragging them along the timeline or change their duration by dragging them to be longer or shorter. Generally the timeline interface feels quite intuitive and familiar.
Time tracking and logs
Time entries can be manually added to tasks or tracked and added using the built in timer. These time entries automatically get added to the Time Log View which can be filtered for projects and tasks or specific users, and customised to show only what you need to. You can also adjust the actual time entries in this view if necessary. Creating a time report for a specific date range is also easy and gives you all time logged per user, task and project in one handy screen.
Wrike’s patented email integration engine allows you to engage with Wrike tasks directly from your email. You can create a task via email by sending it to a Wrike email address in a particular format. You can also add comments, update a task’s status, set task due dates, or modify a task’s importance. Sending important action items to Wrike as tasks means that you and your team can easily work on the task together and keep everything organized in one place.
You can also configure email notifications. Email notifications help keep you notified when other users @mention you and when they make changes to tasks you created, tasks assigned to you, and tasks which you follow. Configuration options allow you to receive a daily to do email, and daily or weekly digest emails.
Personally, I really like the Activity Stream functionality in Wrike. They have taken the news feed concept which we all know so well now and applied it to specific collaborations. It really gives you the sense that you have your finger on the pulse of what is happening in the project at any moment. By default the Stream tab and Activity Stream view are filtered to show updates on all Tasks, Folders, and Projects which you follow, but you can choose a different filter to see only what you need to. Posting comments and updates is easy and your comment will appear on the Stream tab of all regular users who are part of your subscription.
iPhone and Android Apps
Wrike’s iPhone, iPad and Android apps allow you to stay on top of your projects and connect with your team when you’re on the go. You can log in to the Wrike app using your Wrike username and password but there is also the option to log in with Google or with Single Sign-On. The app has a subset of the full feature set optimised for the small screen and includes:
- My Work shows you all tasks assigned to you and tasks that you added to the My Work section.
- Inbox shows notifications related to @mentions and new task assignments.
- In Stream View you are able to see Task, Folder, and Project updates as well as add comments to existing tasks.
- Projects – Existing Projects and Folders are listed underneath the “Folders” tab in the apps Navigation panel.
- Settings – here you can turn notifications on or off or decide which notifications you want to see
- Tasks – you can easily and quickly create a task from most pages on the app. The interface gives a detailed control of many task actions through some intuitive touch screen gestures.
The learning curve
The basics of Wrike are easy to get to grips with. The interface is logically laid out with easy access to your own work, dashboards, the activity stream, reports and projects. The project timeline, the time log and notifications center are also also available within a single click. Some of the more advanced features and integrations are going to take new users a little while to figure out. But as the software authors expand on in their blog,
The good news is that there’s a fairly extensive help section available, as well as plenty of business tips, guiding articles, implementation case studies and examples on the Wrike blog to assist you.
Wrike is not just for Project Management
Although Wrike has been developed with full project management functionality, it can be used successfully in any context which requires organisation and collaboration in groups.
Marketing teams can get real-time visibility into everything being worked on, create reports, track progress and monitor delays in functional areas that may impact deadlines. Interactive timelines keep everyone on the same page. For events, campaigns and launches, templates can be duplicated so you don’t start from scratch each time.
In product development, Wrike can be used for both Agile and Waterfall type approaches. The ability to share plans across teams improves visibility into downstream requirements and can help reduce rework which is a major cause of launch delays.
Many other areas of business like sales, content development, distribution and logistics rely heavily on successful collaboration between different teams and people. Understanding what is happening as it happens, is becoming ever more crucial to effectiveness and efficiency in the fast paced world of business today.
Wrike in summary
- Easy to use
- Comprehensive feature set
- Integrates with many applications
- Strong collaboration features
- Good support and documentation
- Great reporting
- Cost and pricing structure may be prohibitive for smaller teams
- Some important features only available in Enterprise plan
- Platform may take some time to learn and set up
- No option for billable and non billable time for tasks
The best way to see if Wrike meets your needs is to sign up for the Free Version and take it for a test run, after looking through our guide to project management software features. Spend some time looking at it and decide for your self.