How to ClickUp: Statuses and Stages the RIGHT Way (in 4 EASY steps!)

Learning how to use ClickUp statuses and stages the right way can be tricky, especially when ClickUp has so many bells and whistles. So, if you find yourself struggling with making sense of the whole status-stages-view-and-subtask connection, then you’re in for a treat! Check out my ultimate guide to fixing your ClickUp so that your status, stage, list view, and subtasks are aligned and consistent.

Why do my subtasks have statuses that don’t make sense?

Clients new to ClickUp often ask me how they can get their statuses and stages to play well with their subtasks. So, what exactly is the problem here?

Complex statuses carry all the way down to subtasks… and well, certain statuses don’t seem to align with the objective of some of the subtasks.

Here’s an example…

If you have statuses in stages, such as writing, to publish, on hold, video prep, and then you assign a team member or yourself to work on the sub-tasks; then the complex statuses would get carried over as well.

So, you will likely need your subtasks to have a different set of statuses that fit the objective, so it’s easy for you or your team to understand which step a certain subtask is going or has gone.

So I’m going to walk you through four steps and show you exactly how to fix this without losing all of your current data inside ClickUp!

4 Easy Steps to Fix Your ClickUp Statuses and Stages

Step 1: Identify Your Problem List

You likely don’t have to fix all of your lists, but you do need to find the one where the issue is the most noticeable.

As you can see here, I am in my YouTube management folder and I need to fix my list that says “Next”, this is the list where I have all of my next YouTube videos that I’m going to do for you guys.

screenshot Anne Leah Shick ClickUp
Folder: Anne YouTube Management > List: Next

You’ll see here that I have my statuses and they start off as: open, video prep, on hold, recording, production editing, ready to publish, and published.

screenshot of a sample subtask with a list of unapplicable status options

Now, because this task is meant for me to update the ClickUp playbook, I do not need these statuses meant for Video Production [e.g. video prep on hold, recording, production editing, and ready to publish].

Step 2: Convert Statuses into Stages (+ Custom Fields)

Convert the complex statuses into stages with custom fields, and then assign all the tasks accordingly.

Here’s how:

Go to Manage Statuses.

screenshot Anne Leah Shick ClickUp step 2 manage statuses

You’ll need to go to your Chrome extension or screen clipping tool and take a screenshot of the actual statuses that you currently have. 

screenshot Anne Leah Shick ClickUp step 2 taking status screenshot

Now that you actually have a screenshot or a reference to what your current statuses are, Add a column, and create a Custom Field Drop Down.

screenshot Anne Leah Shick ClickUp step 2 custom field dropdown

Label them so that they are specifically relating to the folder, the list, and the stage. You will also want to keep the colors consistent.

So in this example, we’re going to name them accordingly: video prep [blue], on hold [red orange], recording [purple], editing [yellow], and ready to publish [orange], published [green], and repurposed [magenta].

screenshot Anne Leah Shick ClickUp step 2 labeling status fields

Next, use your multi-tool bar and select all the tasks inside these lists. Once done, there will be markings to the side of the tasks that were selected.

screenshot Anne Leah Shick ClickUp step 2 use multi toolbar
screenshot Anne Leah Shick ClickUp step 2 multi toolbar to select all tasks

Pro Tip:  Go to sub-tasks at the top, right hand of your screen, and you want to actually show them as separate tasks.

This is because if your sub-tasks are currently using complex statuses, you want to try to match them to the appropriate stage, so that when we change the regular status, everything is preserved. Plus, when you do the select all option, you can select all of the sub-tasks. 

screenshot Anne Leah Shick ClickUp step 2 show subtasks as separate tasks in view

Now, you can just click on the blank spaces and pick the appropriate status!

screenshot Anne Leah Shick ClickUp step 2 picking status from drop down

Step 3: Make, Apply, and Remap Your Statuses

Now, on my screen here, you’ll see that we need to actually change these statuses.

We’re going to click on the status and we’re going to click Manage Statuses.

I have a custom template saved called, “Headquarters Statuses,” because these are the simple statuses that I started using across my entire workspace.

ClickUp screenshot for Edit statuses for Next folder step 3

You will need to figure out what your simple statuses to be. Typically, you can use:  to-do, in-progress, waiting internal, waiting external, on hold/review/proof, and done/complete.

So for me, for this one, I want to use these from Headquarter Statuses.

Once you have your simple statuses set up, you’re going to click Save. It will then ask you to remap those statuses to align with your tasks. You need to map them out so that it reflects an actual simple status.

For example, if the video is in Video Prep, then it’s most likely In-progress or Waiting internal.

screenshot for remapping statuses step 3

Step 4: Adjust Your Views

Adjust your views to show all of the columns that you’ve configured, so that they make sense to the whole team.

Click on the plus sign to Add a Column.

screenshot for Clickup statuses and stages to add a column

Now, the only thing I’m missing is the status, so I will choose the Status.

screenshot for Clickup statuses and stages to add column for status

You can drag the column to make it more visually coherent. I prefer to look at the Status directly next to the Stages.

screenshot of Anne Leah Shick ClickUp statuses and stages overview

Plus, you can see that my “Update click up playbook with these steps,” now actually have statuses that relate to it.

Update click up playbook with these steps with dropdown for simple statuses

Note: If I lost you with the custom fields portion of this video, go check out my custom fields video, and my ClickUp for beginners playlist. Then you can come back and fix your ClickUp.


So, there you have it! Turns out sorting through those complex statuses and unaligned subtasks had a fairly easy fix. All you need to do is:

Step 1: Identify Your Problem List
Step 2: Convert Statuses into Stages (+ Custom Fields)
Step 3: Make, Apply, and Remap Your Statuses
Step 4: Adjust Your Views

Hopefully, this helped nip the root of the problem and have gotten you closer to streamlining and preserving the data that you already have. 

Ambitious wishes and I’ll see you around!


Quick reminder: AmbitiousVA rebranded to Anne Leah & Co., to serve a bigger purpose.

For all the links and resources Click Here.



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