How we ended up using ClickUp
We are going to simultaneously explain and document our journey through PM tools!
The JIRA days
We started in 2013, way before ClickUp was even an idea. Back in 2013, we bet our money on tradition, classic, timeless – JIRA. It felt like we should be using JIRA because real software development teams use JIRA. Felt complicated, but we felt like we needed all the complexity because it would bring us flexibility we thought. We used JIRA for a few years, it was fine. The best thing about JIRA was that integrated with BitBucket and you could link your branch to a JIRA ticket. No other tool did that at the time. Remember, real software engineers use JIRA (so we thought). JIRA also worked well with HipChat which we used before someone invented Slack.
The Trello days
After awhile JIRA felt like a dinosaur, it didn’t evolve, it was stuck in the past; we felt like we needed to move on. And we did what most teams have done, moved to Trello! Fast, user-friendly, welcoming, and FREE we loved Trello. We loved everything about it, we felt FREE as Trello itself.
Trello has no cons really, pros only here! It did everything that we needed, even integrated with BitBucket, didn’t have even labels but we managed. However, as we grew and projects became bigger. Trello became hard to manage. We needed more than just a board or multiple boards for that matter. We needed reporting, we needed better Sprint support, we needed visibility, and most of all we needed good time tracking. Maybe this as all possible with Trello, but when we added all the cost we realized there are other options that aren’t Trello.
The MantisBT days
MantisBT is great, built by developers for developers, pure PHP app it was easy to run and manage, did everything. We used MantisBT briefly mostly just to try it out. Our appreciation for open-source, I think, is what drew us to MantisBT. It’s a great tool that you can run for $3.50/month on AWS Lightsail. No other tool beats it when it comes to cost. But we wanted something a little more exciting.
The GitHub project days
There was a period during which we decided that maybe we don’t need a PM tool. Having given up on BitBucket for years and completely moved to GitHub, we thought maybe GitHub has it figured out. They figured out version control. We tried it for a brief while, it was good that GitHub Projects integrated well with GitHub itself, especially in Pull Requests. On a first glance, it’s all you ever need, but rather quickly we realized that we needed more than just a board. Heck, we had clients with multiple repositories, some of them not even on GitHub, it was good but not optimal.
The ClickUP era
We fell victims on the marketing of Monday.com and ClickUp. Monday.com is aggressive in their marketing also a little pricy. So, the second best option that we hand’t tried was ClickUp. It was free to start so we did. The setup was fast, things fell into place immediately – you need sprints, ClickUp has got them, you want Kanban – no problem, need to break things up – sure. TimeTracking, GitHub integration, Slack, reporting, client access, desktop app, mobile app, bulk operations, automations, API – yes, yes, yes, yes to the power of yes! Before we knew it, we were paying hundreds of dollars to ClickUp a month and loving it.
The biggest con of ClickUp is that is slow. When I say slow, I mean JIRA slow; that is slow! Also, it is a little wonky and the bulk operations are buggy, but a reload fixes most issues.
There are a few more things that we wish ClickUp improves and that is integration with time tracking apps, seems like time tracking apps don’t report back to ClickUp, which kind of makes the whole integration pointless, but nothing that a AWS Lambda function and a few API calls cant fix.
Over the years, clients made us use their tools and we mostly hated it. Those are not bad tools, we just didn’t vibe with them:
Basecamp is good, fast, simple, it gives you some weird pleasure when you complete a task and you see the strikethrough, it feels … done! But not for us
I never understood Wrike, never understood the name, never understood why it made sense, never understood why people pay for it. It’s just meh! Sorry, Wrike.
Asana gets some love, but not from us! Asana is the most confusing tool we have ever used, the only thing about Asana is that it was made by an xFacebook guy that left Facebook started a company and made it big.