Okay, so I have to admit. I'm only new to ClickUp. In fact, I was a die-hard Trello fan for YEARS! But when Trello got bought out by Atlassian and started making changes, I decided that it was no longer for me and I went on the hunt for a new system for project management, task management and team management. And it had to be amazing.
In this post, I'm going to share a few of the different ways my team and I use ClickUp. I'm not talking about just the standard "add a task" and "delegate a task" type stuff. Instead, I thought it would be more interesting (and useful) if we chatted about some of the workflows we use and the more out-of-the-box ways we've made ClickUp the central hub for EVERYTHING in the business.
With this in mind, ClickUp can do the other stuff. One of the things I love about ClickUp, is that it can be as simple or as complicated as you like. Which means that no matter what your stage of business, ClickUp can work for you. If you're brand new to entrepreneurship, it'll help you manage your tasks and projects with ease. And if you're a more seasoned entrepreneur (or a systems and automations nerd like me) then ClickUp will grow and scale with you and you can mould it to suit your needs.
Here are some of the ways we use it:
1. Podcast Workflow
When I started the Brave in Business Podcast, I knew that I didn't want it to be an administrative burden. Which means that I was adamant about automating as much of the process as possible and making it as easy as possible for my team and I to manage.
Here's a little sneak peek at my podcast workflow:
- A potential guest applies to be interviewed on Brave in Business through our podcast application form (a ClickUp form).
- Upon completion of this form, a task is created in our podcast list (which is viewed as a table). These tasks are automatically assigned to me for review.
- Once reviewed, I change a custom status to "Accepted" or "Rejected". Depending on the option selected, the applicant will be sent an email (automatically from our Outlook account through ClickUp) advising them of their application outcome. If they have been accepted, the email will include a link to book a time in my calendar (through Acuity) to conduct the interview.
- When the interview has been recorded, I change another custom status to "Recorded" and this sends an automated email to the interviewee, thanking them for their time and advising them of their podcast publishing date. At the same time, the task is assigned to one of my team members to order and send a thank you gift.
- On the publishing date, another email is automatically sent to the interviewee with a link to their Audiogram (housed in DropBox) and the podcast episode, along with a little encouragement to share the interview with their audience and tag us on social media.
- The Brave in Business list in ClickUp also includes other information about each podcast episode and the interviewee, so that we can use this for ongoing promotion and management of podcast SEO.
This is not a complete look at my workflow as there are a number of nuances in the way we manage our podcast information. If you’re interested in a checking out the full workflow, let me know and I can write a comprehensive blog post about it!
2. Customer Relationship Management (CRM)
ClickUp wasn’t designed to be a CRM. But that doesn’t mean you can’t use it as one! We do, and we find it meets all of our needs and there’s scope to do even more. As with our podcast workflow, I’d love to give you a bit of a teaser about how we use ClickUp to manage our clients. This is a fairly complex workflow though so I’ll just share the highlights here, and if you’re interested in more detail, let me know and I’ll create a dedicated resource about it.
Some key highlights of our ClickUp CRM:
- We have two lists set up within a CRM folder for each business. The first list is for leads and the second list is for clients.
- When someone books in for a free 15 minute consult with me, their details are moved from Acuity to ClickUp (through a Zapier connection).
- After the free consult, I send a follow-up email through ClickUp (a template that I customise for each client), which provides links to my services guide, my terms and conditions and an onboarding form (a ClickUp form) for them to complete when they decide to engage me as their coach.
- When the onboarding form is complete, this triggers a number of action steps:
- A task is created in the Clients list with all the client's details.
- The task is assigned to my Support Manager/Bookkeeper, who will then issue an invoice based on the package and payment preferences chosen by the client.
- An email is sent to the client with a booking link to book their first session with me through Acuity (the link depends on whether they have chosen to meet in person or via Zoom).
My workflow continues from here, allowing me to communicate with my clients via email through ClickUp and continues throughout their coaching relationship until it is time to off-board them. There are then additional steps to automate the finalisation and feedback process.
3. Standard Operating Procedures
After watching this video from Process Driven, our favourite ClickUp resource, my team and I started putting together our very own Standard Operating Procedures (SOP) Library. This involved making a list of absolutely every task we do in the business, and then assigning each of those tasks to a team member. This team member would take on ownership of the creation and maintenance of that task's SOP.
Putting together a Standard Operating Procedures library is a time consuming task and not something that we will do all at once. But instead, my team have begun creating SOPs as they complete tasks. We have the system automated to remind us when SOPs are due for review and we can attach them to any tasks in our Task Management list, so the team can access instructions quickly and easily.
I'll most likely write another blog post about SOPs in future, as I have a LOT to say about it. But in the meantime, I'm just encouraging you to think about how your processes are documented. You might be working on your own for now, but you might not be forever. And if there's anything I could go back and change, it would involve documenting what we do and creating better systems to scale.
I make no secret of the fact that I HATE Google Suite. Docs, Sheets, Drive, Chrome... it all DRIVES me batty. I can't explain it, but it just feels so damn un-intuitive and when I have to use it I get a little mad. (Google Forms is the only Google product - aside from Google Search - that I actually don't mind). So when I listened to a podcast that suggested that ClickUp documents could replace Google Docs, I was definitely interested.
I don't think that is accurate. Honestly, I just don't think ClickUp Docs could replace Microsoft Word or Dropbox Paper for me. BUT, it has changed the way I share repeated information with people outside my business.
Here's what I use ClickUp Docs for...
Whenever there's something I want to share with multiple people (in the general public - not in my team) on a repeated basis, ClickUp Docs is becoming my default. They look fabulous, they are really easy to use and they have a publicly shareable link that allows anyone to access/view them, even without a ClickUp membership. They're also great for storing and collaborating on information in house.
More specifically, we use ClickUp Docs for:
Coaching resource list
I have a list of resources that is sent to every new client of Pop Your Career after their first session. I used to put together resource lists individually, but this was hella time consuming. Now, I just provide them with a link to everything and refer to it as required.
Affiliate program list
My team and I keep a list of all the affiliate programs I'm a member of, and what rewards are available. This means that we can quickly access a link to any affiliate program and can let potential referrals know about any rewards that are available to them through the programs.
Information pages about collaborations
Sometimes we invite other business owners to collaborate with Pop Your Business. This is often as a speaker for one of our events, either virtual or in person. As you can imagine, with events, there is a lot of information to share. Instead of doing this through back and forth emails or other ad hoc communication, we collate everything into one ClickUp document and just send them a link!
ClickUp docs are a great place to store business policies, as they're accessible by team members and can also be linked from tasks in other areas of the system for ease of use.
Instruction sheets and guidelines
We have our blog contributor guidelines, as well as other instruction sheets loaded into ClickUp Docs. This means that once again, they're easy to access and share - and we can update it once and it will update for everyone with access to the link!
5. Email Management
Recently I launched my third business, BizCBR, a Canberra Business Network. And of course with a new business, comes a new email address. Seriously, it's like I collect them. Despite the fact that I'm just... not great at email. When BizCBR launched though, I knew I just couldn't take on the management of another inbox, but I also wanted an easier way to stay on top of emails without just giving members of my team access to Outlook. Not just an easier way. A more collaborative way.
Now, of course, I checked out all the email management apps. I love software, so I couldn't not. But I'm already paying a pretty penny for ClickUp (My core team members and I are all on the Business Plan). And we're already developing great routines about using ClickUp as our business hub. So I figured that if there was a way to keep it all within the one piece of software, I couldn't go wrong.
Here's how I decided to manage things:
- First, I created a new list in my BizCBR Workspace in ClickUp, called BizCBR Email Management. I grabbed the list email address so that I could send emails directly to the list and have them created as tasks.
- I then set up an autoforward rule in my BizCBR Outlook. (We had to undertake a couple of additional steps here as Outlook restricts external forwarding as a default - my husband helped me with this as it was a little tricky to set up) The rule states - ANY email sent to the BizCBR inbox will be automatically forwarded to the ClickUp list. It will then be moved out of my Outlook inbox and will be moved to the "Actioned" folder (because I'm an email hoarder and don't believe in deleting emails... ever).
- I created an automation in ClickUp to automatically assign all new tasks in the BizCBR Email Management list to one of my team members, Hannah, who is predominantly responsible for all things BizCBR.
- From here, Hannah can action emails directly inside of ClickUp. If no action is required, she can mark the task completed. If a response is required, she can use the ClickUp email integration to respond directly from our Outlook account INSIDE ClickUp, using our templates and signatures. And if she needs my input, she can assign the email task to me or leave me a comment outlining what she needs to know. That's it! And it works beautifully!
That's all, folks!
Will you use any of these ideas in your business? Which one sounds like it will be most useful? I'd love to hear what you think! As I've mentioned throughout this post, if there's anything you would like more information about, let me know! I'd be happy to dive deeper into these processes within another blog post. Best of luck!