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When it comes to wielding a supercharged project management tool like ClickUp, I find myself analyzing the common mistakes that most users encounter in order to avoid them more effectively.
I mean, seriously, do we really have the time to commit the same mistakes when best practices can be readily found online? Of course not!
So, if you want to get the most out of ClickUp without spending thousands of hours kicking the tires, then let me run through the 17 common mistakes people make in ClickUp and what you can do instead, so that you can use this tool to its full potential.
What NOT to do when using ClickUp + best practices
I know using and understanding ClickUp can get tricky sometimes, so here are the do’s and don’ts of our favorite project management tool!
1. Don’t use ClickUp the same way you use other tools
There’s a reason why you’re using ClickUp and not that particular tool, so stop limiting your ClickUp potential by using it the same way you use your previous project management tool.
You want to make sure you:
- Understand the hierarchy: workspace, space, folders, lists, tasks, and sub-tasks.
- Understand the different types of views inside ClickUp: task views and page views.
- Page views are for adding and gathering information and references.
- Task views are to be able to see your data from all different types of angles.
2. Don’t clash workflows
Don’t set up your space with a hundred folders and lists that have different workflows. Instead, do you best to set up your workspaces by similar workflows or grouped by departments.
For instance, you can create something similar to mine, such as a business foundation space, a business headquarters space, a content planner space, a client management space, and a social media content creation space.
Have similar workflows in similar folders with similar tasks.
3. Don’t add people without purpose
Don’t just start adding people into ClickUp without thinking about their different user roles. Why? Because it’s going to bite you in the butt if you’re not careful. Can you imagine having multiple people ending up in places they ought not to be in? Um… Yikes?!
What you do want to do is map out the details before you start inviting them. Make a table with names, emails, assumed roles, and along with their designated access levels inside ClickUp.
4. Don’t import one big mess
Please don’t just do one big major import from another project management tool into ClickUp.
Make a designated space for this import first, and then do smaller imports based on departments or projects or areas of specialty.
For an example, when I used from Trello ages ago, I did a Trello import, and then broke them down into different folders. I had my AmbitiousVA folder, I had a copy board, I had my new client board, and everything came into my system like it was from Trello, but now it has been modified based on the infrastructure in ClickUp.
5. Don’t set up spaces for clients
It would be better to set up a client management space rather than creating separate spaces for each of your clients. You can file folders or lists under the client management space, then create custom templates so that you can easily use or duplicate them when necessary.
An exception, however, would be if you only work with a handful of long-term clients with complex projects. If that’s the case, then it would make more sense to make those clients into spaces.
6. Don’t rush your workflow setup
It’s never a good idea to “wing” your workflow setup.
Workflows should be carefully mapped out and should be discussed with your team in order to come up with the best possible outcome. Now, you don’t necessarily have to get too specific [note: micromanaging tasks is another pitfall for productivity], what’s important is that the workflow is simple to understand and carry out.
7. Don’t use statuses as stages
Use custom field dropdowns for stages, and then use the statuses to track task progress instead.
A simple status for example are:
- In progress
- On hold
Now, if you want to see the data by stage, you can always do a group by custom field of stage.
8. Don’t forget your Standard Operating Procedures (SOPs)
Don’t expect ClickUp to magically fix your project management bottlenecks without SOPs. It’s imperative to have your SOPs ready when using ClickUp.
9. Don’t store SOPs as tasks
Keep your SOPs in documents and attach them to a particular department or space in ClickUp. You can get the link from these documents and add them inside the task descriptions.
10. Don’t stop updating workflows
Don’t assume that the final workflow process is set in stone. Test it, get feedback, and then make the necessary adjustments.
11. Don’t add outdated and unnecessary SOPs
Leave out SOPs that are extremely outdated and/or are no longer enforced.
12. Don’t ignore the basic project management features
Assignees, due dates, and priorities are meant to help you stay on top of your projects. Set aside time to make sure that these are all aligned so that you don’t end up buried in incomplete and redundant tasks.
13. Don’t skip comments and chats
There is no excuse to cut the communication, especially if you want your tasks to be completed in time and with high accuracy. Use the chat feature, assign comments to your team members, or use the mention option to keep tabs on the task progress.
14. Don’t assume that everyone has access
Nothing sucks more than wanting to contribute to the completion of an assignment than not having access to do what you were meant to be doing. How do you remedy this? Always keep your team informed and make sure that permissions are granted accordingly (e.g. clients, team, contractors, guests)
15. Don’t forget to use ClickUp on a regular basis
Using ClickUp should be part of your daily routine. This not only helps you stay in the loop when it comes to software and feature updates, but will also encourage your team to use it as well.
16. Don’t neglect workflow and system maintenance
Designate someone to maintain and manage the system to keep it running like a well-oiled machine. Workflow and system maintenance should be done on a regular basis. I highly recommend performing quarterly reviews and adjustments to keep things tidy and streamlined.
17. Don’t forget to train your team on how to use ClickUp
Don’t assume everyone in your team is tech savvy and knows how project management works. If at all possible, invest in training your team members on how to use ClickUp, from logging in to viewing projects and completing them to keeping the rest of the team informed of task progress.
Make sure that your team is aware of the purpose of using ClickUp. Let them know how using ClickUp as a team is beneficial for everyone in your organization. Don’t leave them to fend for themselves, have someone in place to guide them internally.
If your team is encountering any issues, make sure that they know how to get to the resource center inside ClickUp so that they can submit bugs, watch webinars on their own, or request features, or even chat with the ClickUp support team for more technical concerns.
Now, I’m sure this was a lot to process, but I hope that this will help you avoid the same problems. Bottomline is, if you want to achieve optimal project management results, then you should use ClickUp the way it was meant to be used, plan what needs to be in there, and get everyone involved using ClickUp on a regular basis — this way, you get to enjoy what ClickUp has to offer.
I figured I’d go the extra mile to help you from feeling stuck ever again, so I’ve created a ClickUp playbook! This covers all the ClickUp essentials and even highlights the Do’s and Don’ts that I’ve covered today. Go download your ClickUp Playbook now — it’s 100% free!
That’s all I have for you this week. Ambitious Wishes, friends! Catch you again soon.
New to ClickUp and need additional resources?
Quick reminder: AmbitiousVA rebranded to Anne Leah & Co., to serve a bigger purpose.
For all the links and resources Click Here.