Wrike is a powerful tool for teams, one that ranks highly as both collaboration software and project management software. Wrike, now owned by Citrix, started out as an online platform for team collaboration, work management, and project management, and it continues to grow those areas while also adding related features. The app has since added new work intelligence features that can, for example, predict when a project is at risk of falling behind and call attention to possible causes. While Wrike is on the expensive side, it’s easier to set up and start using than many other comparable project management apps.
What Does Wrike Do?
While Wrike scores highly in our testing and analysis, whether it’s the right app for your team depends on several factors. The best project management app for you has to have the right features based on the type of work your team does and the number of people who will use it. The nice thing about Wrike is it’s sold in different versions that are already customized for certain types of teams, such as marketers and service teams. That said, you could easily sink a lot of time researching all Wrike’s plan options to figure out what you need, as there are many. We recommend a conversation or two with a Wrike representative if you’re looking to buy this tool.
Budget and speed are two other common factors teams consider before buying a project management or work management app. PCMag has three Editors’ Choice winners for budget-conscious small businesses, mid-size teams, and large organizations. They are Zoho Projects, Teamwork, and LiquidPlanner, respectively. Mid-sized organizations indeed have the most wiggle room in their options because they often need specific special features, which vary across competing products. Wrike could easily be the best fit, depending on what special features your team needs.
We’ve also included Wrike in our comparison of time tracking software. It falls short of our Editors’ Choice pick, TSheets, which is remarkably easy to use—although TSheets is time tracking software and Wrike is work management software with time tracking features included, so it’s not a direct comparison.
How Much Does Wrike Cost?
Wrike offers seven plans, but with additional options within some of them. Because there are so many of them, we provide a summary first and then list more details after.
- Free with limitations;
- Professional ($9.80 per person per month), paid in groups of 5, 10, or 15;
- Business (averaging $24.80 per person per month), for 5–200 users;
- Enterprise (custom pricing), minimum of 5 users;
- Pinnacle (custom pricing), minimum of 5 users;
- Wrike for Marketing Teams (custom pricing), an upgrade from Business or Enterprise with tools for marketing and creative teams; and
- Wrike for Professional Services Teams (custom pricing), an upgrade from Business or Enterprise with tools for professional services teams.
Some plan types are eligible for Add-Ons, which are additional features you can add for an extra cost. For example, Wrike Two-Way Sync is an add-on for technical teams that need two-way syncing between Wrike and another app, like JIRA or Github.
Free: The Free account is essentially a shared task list with a couple of different views for small teams. With this account type, you only get 2GB storage space, and you don’t get Gantt charts, a time-tracking widget, custom fields, and a few other features. You also have a limit on the number of active tasks and subtasks you have at any given time (200 all together).
Professional: Professional accounts are good for planning projects and collaborating. They include everything in Free, Gantt charts, shareable dashboards, 1–2GB of storage per person, and the option to integrate with Microsoft Project, Excel, and other services.
Business: Business plan, for 5–200 people, gives you everything in Professional, plus added work management tools, reports, custom fields, time tracking and timesheets, project and task approvals, Salesforce integration, and more. Pricing is on a sliding scale, where the per-person price decreases the more seats you buy. This plan comes with 5GB of storage space per person.
Enterprise: Enterprise accounts add user management and security controls that are typical in enterprise software: single sign-on options, two-factor authentication requirements, password policies, as well as network access and compliance policies. You get 10GB of storage space per person.
Pinnacle: Pinnacle is the Enterprise plan plus additional features for “teams with complex work needs,” as Wrike’s marketing puts it. These include budgeting and billable hours tools, job roles, tools for planning and tracking effort and time put into projects, and so forth. It comes with 15GB of storage space per person.
Wrike for Marketers: This version is designed for marketing and creative teams. You get everything in the Enterprise plan, plus proofing and approvals tools, a Wrike extension for Adobe Creative Cloud, advanced resource management and capacity management functionality, tailored templates and workspaces, and more.
Wrike for Professional Services Teams: This version gives you everything in the Enterprise account, plus project, portfolio and team resource management, and capacity planning; role-based resource management; backlog and demand management; project effort estimation; customized work schedules; time tracking and timesheets; billable hours features; planned vs. actual cost project financial fields; and more. If you need budgeting, timesheets, effort allocation, workload view, team utilization, billing and invoicing, this is the account type for you.
How Do Wrike’s Prices Compare?
Comparing prices for project management software is rarely an apples-to-apples affair. There are low-cost apps for small businesses and enterprise-grade suites for large ones. Furthermore, with many of Wrike’s plans under custom pricing, it’s hard to get a sense of where they fall. Generally speaking, however, Wrike’s prices cover both the mid-range and high end.
A ballpark figure for mid to high-end services is $20–$45 per user per month. LiquidPlanner, our Editors’ Choice winner for high-end software, costs $45 per person per month for its Professional tier of service. Smartsheet, which is great if you want to build automations into your process, costs $32 per person per month for a Business plan. ProofHub, which specializes in proofing, runs $99 per month for an unlimited number of people. Celoxis, which has great tools for managing time and resources, costs around $25 per person per month. Paymo, which has built-in billing and invoicing, runs $18.95 per person per month for a Business plan.
Small businesses don’t need to pay nearly so much. With Zoho Projects, an Editors’ Choice winner, you could pay as little as $3 per person per month, and no more than $6. Teamwork, another Editors’ Choice winner, has paid plans starting at $12.50 per person per month.
What’s New in Wrike?
If you’ve used Wrike before, there are three noteworthy features that came out in late 2020, which are available for most account levels.
One is called Project Risk Prediction, available to Business plans and higher (not Free or Professional plans). This feature uses machine learning to alert the appropriate people when a project is at risk of not meeting its deadlines. It’s helpful for teams that juggle multiple projects at a time. The Risk Prediction puts a label on projects that are at risk of falling off course and it can suggest to team leaders the tasks or areas of the project that are most likely causing problems.
The second feature is Document Processing, which is an OCR feature for mobile devices. It lets you scan a document and extract the text from it into an editable format. It works with both printed and handwritten text. Turning pages of text into editable files used to be the realm of expensive OCR software, but now quite a few mobile scanning apps can do it, too.
The third feature is another mobile feature called Smart Replies. Like some email programs that suggest replies to messages, Smart Replies offers short autofill responses to messages you receive. For example, if someone sends you a message asking a question, you can answer with one tap, “Yes,” “Let me check,” “I’m not sure,” and so forth.
Getting Started With Wrike: Interface
Wrike has a modern, contemporary look. Overall, it’s simple, straightforward, and tidy. You can change the color theme and turn on Dark mode to adjust the look to your preference. Wrike runs in a web browser and on desktop for macOS and Windows, and there are Android apps and iPhone apps, too.
Wrike uses a concept called Spaces, which you can think of as folders. Spaces appear in the left side navigation bar. They give you a way to group together projects and other work that belong together.
Wrike is a little different from its competitors because, as mentioned, it doesn’t stick strictly to project management. It crosses into the realm of work management, which is slightly different. LiquidPlanner does the same thing. Wrike has traditional project management tools, so if you need to plan out a project from start to finish, you certainly can. You can view all the tasks in that project on a Gantt chart, create dependencies among tasks, and keep tabs on the progress of all the tasks that make up the project.
In addition, however, Wrike lets you manage ongoing work. Ongoing work typically comprises tasks that don’t necessarily have a final deliverable or a fixed deadline. Updating the company blog once a week is an example of ongoing work, whereas launching a new website is an example of a project.
In Wrike, you can create a project and populate it with tasks. Every task can have one or more people assigned to complete it, a description, deadline, comments, attachments, and other details. Each task also has status options, which are, by default, active, completed, deferred, or canceled. Whoever is responsible for a task changes its status as appropriate. Project managers or project leads use that information to filter tasks to see how many are, for example, deferred currently, which ones are active, and so forth. With a Business account, you can customize these statuses to be whatever you want.
For non-project work, you create folders within any Space and keep them there. Within a folder, you have the choice to organize the work in different formats and views: list, table, board (a Kanban board), or Gantt chart.
Views and Key Features in Wrike
Projects get the same view options as non-project work, including List, Board, Table, and Gantt Chart. Two additional view tabs show you all the files that have been uploaded to a project (Files) and a scrolling list summarizing all the activity on the project (called a Stream). The columns on the Board view match the task statuses, so you can’t change them unless you have a Business grade account or higher.
The Table view gives you visibility into effort and time on tasks across your team. Tables can show the total amount of time that went into completing different tasks and the projects as a whole. This data is useful for teams that know how to look at them and make more accurate predictions about the next cycle of work.
The Gantt views are interactive, meaning you can slide, drag, and drop items to change their duration and dependencies. In fact, it’s smoother than other parts of the app. In testing, we found it easier to make changes in the Gantt chart than in the List view, where dragging and dropping tasks to reorder them felt fussy and imprecise. Miscalculate where you’re moving a task and it becomes a subtask accidentally. Making changes in the Gantt view is a breeze.
Wrike offers time tracking, but how you can use it depends on the tier of service you buy. We have more on time tracking in its own section below.
Speaking of time, Wrike gives you good options for assigning due dates and recurring dates. A task can be due on a specific day, or you can set the due date to stretch for several days, although you can’t set a deadline with a specific time, like 9:00 a.m.
Wrike also does not let team members estimate best- or worst-case scenarios for how long a task might take, which LiquidPlanner handles with ease. In LiquidPlanner, you can configure the app such that the moment a task takes longer than expected, all the other people and tasks that will be affected have their due dates adjusted accordingly.
For communication, Wrike has a comment box for every task and @ mention, as well as a Stream showing all activities. You don’t get any built-in tools for text chat or video calls, although with so many teams using Slack and Slack alternatives, having them in your project management or work management app doesn’t seem like a necessity. Still, sometimes it’s nice to have a central place for company-wide announcements or those that apply to the top level of any project or are not specific to any one project. Basecamp isn’t traditional project management software, but it’s pretty good for that sort of communication. And ProofHub has a central announcements board that helps in this regard as well.
Teams that need time tracking usually use it to tally up billable hours and invoice a client. That said, some use it to improve their estimates for how long future tasks and projects will take. The more accurate data you collect now, the more accurate your predictions will be.
Wrike includes time tracking in Business accounts and higher. You can record time while you work on any task with an in-app timer, or you can log time worked manually. Those with appropriate access can export the time records from across a team and send them to a billing and invoicing program, unless you have Wrike for Professional Services, which includes billing and invoicing. If you’re looking for a project management app that includes billing and invoicing, two others are Paymo and Teamwork.
While we have evaluated Wrike’s ability to track employee time, keep in mind that it’s not intended as a stand-alone tool for that purpose and isn’t exactly comparable to apps such as TSheets (our Editors’ Choice winner), VeriClock, and others that may function as systems for clocking in and out.
Among project management apps, however, Wrike’s time tracking falls a notch below Zoho Projects and Mavenlink in terms of ease of use for time tracking. In Wrike, you must open the task before you can start recording time. In Zoho Projects, you can do it directly from the list view. Zoho Projects and Mavenlink put a timer icon at the top of every dashboard, making it easy to see and access.
Wrike lets you create a time log report from the tracked time across your team. You can configure a report and choose the days you want to receive an update via email.
If your work takes you away from your desk frequently, you can record time on task via Wrike’s mobile apps. The time tracking in the apps allows you to work offline. When you reconnect, the time automatically gets added to the appropriate places.
Is Wrike Right for Your Team?
Wrike is an excellent and flexible hub where teams collaborate and track work, whether it’s ongoing tasks or complex projects. The fact that it’s easy to intuitively pick up certainly helps, and most teams should be able to pick it up quickly. That said, expect to be slowed at the point of purchase. Wrike offers a lot, but it’s hard to figure out which features come with which account types. With sliding scale pricing and possible add-ons, you’ll need to chat with a sales rep before buying this app.
If Wrike offers more than you need, look to Zoho Projects (for small businesses on a budget) and Teamwork. You get a lot of bang for your buck with those apps, and the setup time is much shorter. If you’re a larger business considering Wrike but are still undecided, we would suggest considering LiquidPlanner, too, as it includes rich resource management tools and some great options for automatically rescheduling timelines and redistributing work when projects get messy.