Workflow software: How it helps your team ship better work (+12 tools)
Learn how workflow software makes work faster and easier and discover 12 top platforms to transform business processes.
Workflow software enables teams to refine their processes and ship work with more agility.
Yet for most teams, working seamlessly isn’t something that comes naturally. Bottlenecks and miscommunications slow down projects and put teams behind. Not only that, disjointed business applications that don’t integrate well with each other hold your team up even more.
Issues like these are what workflow software aims to tackle. The key to maximizing software’s potential lies in finding the right tool built to meet your team's needs. To help, we’ve compiled a list of some of the top workflow software as well as what they’re each best for.
In this guide, we’ll walk through:
- What is workflow management software?
- How does workflow management software work?
- The 12 best workflow management software options
What is workflow management software?
Workflow management software helps optimize and streamline your day-to-day business processes. This might look like:
- A sequence of automated tasks running in the background while your team works on higher ROI tasks
- Pre-programmed reminder notifications to keep processes from being delayed
- In-task commenting for improving context and speeding up communications
Whatever the specifics, workflow software provides your team with the necessary frameworks and tools to reach milestones and maintain growth.
Integrating workflow software saves your business time, quickens productivity, and helps keep you on track with schedules and deadlines. It can also help significantly simplify business processes.
How does workflow management software work?
There are a ton of different workflow needs you can optimize for. That’s why finding a one-size-fits-all tool that does the job in every workflow scenario is hard. Yet workflow software is useful in areas like:
- Project management
- Agile management
- Task management
- Project planning
- Employee onboarding and offboarding management
- Vendor workflows
- Employee workflows
- Database management
- Claims management
The 12 best workflow management software options
Teams that streamline processes undoubtedly save time. But first, they must find the best workflow management software built with their goals in mind. Following are the 12 best options to help with virtually any need.
1. Vendr – Best for SaaS purchasing
With Vendr Explore, teams can access the largest database of SaaS buying transactions around. This includes detailed insight into what they should pay for a tool, which helps reduce costs and maximize value.
The overlapping spend analysis feature helps procurement leaders spot where they’re paying for two or more tools with similar features, and automated contract management processes prevent automatic renewals.
With Vendr, procurement teams build customized approval workflows to speed up the purchasing process while maintaining compliance with internal purchasing rules.
Vendr's top features
- Takes a comprehensive approach to IT and SaaS management
- Offers tools to streamline the employee onboarding and offboarding process
Pros of Vendr
The biggest benefit of using Vendr to streamline SaaS purchasing is the cost savings our customers see.
Using Vendr, procurement teams save an average of 8x more than they spend annually.
Cons of Vendr
Vendr may not be suitable for smaller organizations. SaaS spending should be at least $400k a year to get the most out of Vendr’s powerful feature set and realize maximum cost savings.
Vendr offers three pricing options at flat rates.
Platforms Vendr is available on
Vendr can be accessed directly through your web browser of choice.
2. Zapier – Best for connecting different applications
Zapier puts connectivity at the forefront, allowing you to integrate virtually any tool for a more streamlined approach to shipping work. Teams no longer have to toggle back and forth between disconnected applications thanks to eased data sharing and inter-tool communication.
Zapier’s top features
- You’re able to start automated workflows from any application
- Zapier connects more than 3,000 web apps (and counting)
- Comes with a free starter option for small teams
Pros of Zapier
The biggest benefit of using Zapier’s workflow automation software is that it gives you the ability to connect tools that don’t already have native integrations or to supplement already existing integrations with custom connections.
Cons of Zapier
One major drawback with Zapier is that their pricing plans are based on automated tasks completed. As you scale up in volume, pricing increases quickly.
Starting to use Zapier as part of your team’s workflow means paying per task. Initial pricing begins at $19.99 for 750 tasks per month.
Platforms Zapier is available on
Zapier has no mobile apps and is available only through your web browser.
3. Notion – Best for small teams seeking flexibility
Notion’s main goal is to keep teams organized. Think of it as a building blocks app that lets you create a whole world of workflows with a select set of tools. Notion allows you to centralize team projects and share everything from images and links to Docs and embedded videos. It even lets you create different types of frameworks to help structure your workflows.
Notion’s top features
- Easy to learn and flexible, which means it can fulfill several needs beyond workflow management
- It comes with workflow templates, so you don’t have to build them from scratch
- Offers advanced database features
Pros of Notion
Notion makes it simple to document workplace processes and store everything together in a centralized hub.
They offer a lot of helpful documents that guide you through the process of using Notion for various use cases.
Cons of Notion
Notion is a powerful note-taking tool, and those familiar with more simple apps might find the platform a little overwhelming with a steep learning curve to overcome.
Notion comes with a free starter plan. But even small businesses are better off going with a paid plan, which comes with added features like sharing permissions, admin tools, and unlimited team members. These plans start at $8 per user per month.
Platforms Notion is available on
Notion is available on:
- Web browser
4. Miro – Best for whiteboard-style collaboration
If your team often collaborates with brainstorming sessions, Miro can be a unique approach to handling your workflow. It allows you to collaborate across teams and share images and files in real time.
While it doesn’t come with a highly diverse set of tools to help manage every aspect of your workflow, it does help solve the team collaboration issue. Miro is an efficient tool for highly creative teams who think in “blocks” or like to map out processes visually.
Miro’s top features
- Enterprise-grade security
- Great for teams that like to get together and brainstorm visually
- Comes with plenty of built-in templates
Pros of Miro
Miro is an effective workflow builder for teams used to whiteboarding but who now work in a remote environment.
They offer a number of integrations with tools you’re likely already using, such as Slack, Confluence, and GitHub.
Cons of Miro
As good as Miro is, it’s not a perfect replacement for whiteboard or post-it note-style planning. Some users struggle to acclimatize to Miro’s workflows for this reason.
Miro’s $8 per member plan equips you with custom templates and unlimited editable boards. There’s also a free option, but it offers limited usage.
Platforms Miro is available on
Miro is available on:
- Web browser
- Interactive displays running Windows
5. Kintone – Best for small to medium teams
With Kintone, teams can collaborate through workflows they build and share in a way that meets their needs. It’s great for centralizing business data in different formats without creating extra work in the process.
Kintone also allows you to streamline operations by automating repetitive work tasks while tracking team projects in the background. As workflow software, Kintone is flexible enough to be used by everyone from HR teams to sales and marketing.
Kintone’s top features
- Sets up conditional workflows in real time
- Sends private messages and creates threads
- Makes it easy to track project status
Pros of Kintone
Kintone users find the drag-and-drop interface easy to use.
Cons of Kintone
Users regularly comment that many expected features aren’t viable yet and that the user interface leaves them wanting.
Kintone’s professional subscription starts at $24 per month and provides access to up to 300 spaces and 5GB of data.
Platforms Kintone is available on
Kintone can be accessed on:
- Web browser
6. ClickUp – Best for building complex workflows from scratch
Much like Notion, ClickUp offers teams the flexibility to build custom workflows from scratch. Yet ClickUp provides a more advanced set of tools and features for teams that want to manage almost any workflow imaginable.
Tools like whiteboards, custom dashboards, time tracking, and built-in chat help your team stay connected and on top of projects. ClickUp also makes it easy to integrate with your existing set of tools. Its drag-and-drop features help team members make quick changes on an intuitive dashboard.
ClickUp’s top features
- Extremely customizable
- Affordable for small teams
- Easy to import work from other tools
Pros of ClickUp
ClickUp is a powerful project management software that allows teams to build complex workflows to automate repetitive tasks. Their biggest pro is the level of depth achievable when customizing workflows.
Cons of ClickUp
ClickUp’s notification settings are limited. Users regularly complain that they receive far too many email notifications from ClickUp for things that aren’t relevant to their workload.
The $5 per member plan for small teams comes with unlimited storage, integrations, and dashboards as well as access control features like guest permissions for sharing and collaborating outside of your organization.
Platforms ClickUp is available on
ClickUp is available on:
- Web browser
7. Trello – Best for simple workflows
The Kanban approach to workflow management is what Trello is built around. Its task cards, automations, labels, and tags help teams stay on top of deadlines and milestones. With the Kanban approach to workflow management, you get a bird’s eye view of the progress of each project, so your team stays nimble.
It’s important to note that Trello is limited to a Kanban framework. So if you need to manage several different types of workflows on different frameworks, you’ll want to look at more expansive tools that allow you to create better processes for different contexts.
Trello’s top features
- Extremely easy to use
- Highly collaborative with tags, messaging, and filters
- Built-in workflow automations
Pros of Trello
Trello is a powerful project management tool that offers great functionality, even as a free platform.
As part of the Atlassian family, it integrates perfectly with tools you’re likely already using, like Jira.
Cons of Trello
Unlike other project management software platforms, Trello only offers a Kanban view.
You can start using Trello for free and get access to many of its tools, including unlimited storage and up to 10 boards per workspace.
Platforms Trello is available on
Trello is available on:
- Web browser
8. Kissflow – Best for visual workflow management
Kissflow is a highly visual workflow tool built for nimble teams that want to get going quickly. It allows teams to access data from a multitude of devices for on-the-go work. It comes with a slew of templates for different workflows, so you don’t have to start from scratch.
Kissflow’s top features
- Intuitive user interface
- Comes with tools for the creation of low-code applications
- Offers a community platform for enhanced team engagement
Pros of Kissflow
The biggest benefit of using Kissflow is that its no-code builder allows you to easily create custom apps that suit your existing workflows—rather than the other way around.
Cons of Kissflow
While the per-user price of Kissflow is reasonable, they have large minimum seat requirements that put the platform out of reach for smaller companies.
Kissflow’s Basic plan starts at $750 a month for 50 members, with additional members costing $15 per month each.
Platforms Kissflow is available on
Kissflow can be accessed via:
- Web browser
9. monday.com – Best for data visualization
monday.com’s color-coded drag-and-drop interface was built with agile teams in mind. Its easy-to-adopt, intuitive interface makes it accessible to all teams, regardless of whether they’re in sales and marketing or software development.
Its Gantt charts, Kanban boards, calendars, and roadmap views make it flexible enough for teams to optimize their workflows for increased productivity and better collaboration. User-friendly automated notifications keep teams engaged and workflow processes interactive.
Monday.com’s top features
- Easy-to-use drag-and-drop dashboards
- Works great for remote teams
- Built to be intuitive with less of a learning curve
Pros of monday.com
monday.com can act as your project management platform, CRM, and digital workspace. It even has communication functionality built in.
Cons of monday.com
Time and expense tracking is limited in monday.com compared to other similar tools.
You can get started using monday.com with up to two seats for free. However, for larger teams, prices start at $8 per seat per month. Its Pro plan, which includes all its best features, starts at $16 per seat per month.
Platforms monday.com is available on
monday.com can be accessed on:
- Web browser
10. Smartsheet – Best for end-to-end work management
Smartsheet is great if you’re looking for a robust workflow software solution that goes beyond simply covering the basics. Its simple color-coded grid view helps your team stay organized and visible. You can also collaborate on tasks and projects with stakeholders within and outside your team.
Comments, document management, and automated processes keep work consistent and data clear. Smartsheet’s ability to compile information from different sheets to create custom reports eases the workflow management process for teams looking to increase their productivity.
Smartsheet’s top features
- Enterprise-grade workflow solutions and tools for large teams
- Capable of managing resource management workflows
- Comes with content collaboration tools
Pros of Smartsheet
For those who are used to working with traditional table-based tools like Microsoft Excel, Smartsheet is an easy introduction to more powerful cloud-based solutions.
Cons of Smartsheet
Smartsheet offers a handful of integrations but lacks native connections compared to other project management software platforms.
Smartsheet starts at $7 per user per month, giving you access to private sheets, reports, and 20GB of storage.
Platforms Smartsheet is available on
Smartsheet is available on:
- Web browser
11. Asana – Best for remote teams
Asana is an easy-to-use workflow management tool flexible enough for remote teams. It makes it easy to collaborate on projects, whether planning and brainstorming sessions or file sharing. It also connects teams with visible status updates and at-mentions.
Asana equips you to increase team visibility and allows you to set custom fields for more nuanced project tasks. It’s an automation tool that helps you complete more work in less time.
Asana’s top features
- Let’s you easily import data with its CSV importer
- Gives you a glimpse into each team member’s workload for better resource management
- Offers reporting on the real-time progress of your projects
Pros of Asana
The majority of Asana users find the interface easy to use and particularly like the drag-and-drop editor. Process automation functionality is also strong in Asana.
Cons of Asana
Non-paying users complain that the free plan feature set is limited, and many struggle with the need to integrate a third-party time-tracking app since Asana doesn’t have a native feature for this.
Asana offers a free starter plan, which can be great for smaller remote teams just starting. But if you’re looking for more flexibility and access to better features, it starts at $10.99 per user per month, billed annually.
Platforms Asana is available on
Asana can be accessed via:
- Web browser
12. Airtable – Best for enterprise organizations
If you want to seamlessly sync data and operations across enterprise teams, consider Airtable as a workflow management tool. Custom scripting and APIs come together to create a connective environment where teams can access one central source of truth.
Airtable’s top features
- Security compliant with ISO 27001, SOC 2, and GDPR
- Strong administrative control panels for full control of your applications
- Unlimited workspaces
Pros of Airtable
Airtable offers deep customization and is a great way to upgrade from Sheets or Excel but retain the sheet-based work approach.
Cons of Airtable
Some users find that the automation features of Airtable are a little clunky and not so intuitive.
To get started with Airtable, $10 per seat per month gets you 5,000 records per base and a 6-month snapshot history. However, for enterprise-level pricing, you’ll need to contact its sales team.
Platforms Airtable is available on
Airtable has options for access on:
- Web browser
Find the best workflow software for your team
While there are a ton of workflow software tools out there, they are not all created equal. Some are developed with IT teams in mind, while others capitalize on simplicity and ease of use. It’s important to vet each workflow management solution carefully, depending on the workflow management system you want to establish.
That’s why we built Vendr—to help software buying teams easily source the right software tool for their current needs.
Our team of SaaS buying professionals will provide expert advice on software choices, or you can access our database of over 19,000 tools to find the perfect platform. Then use Vendr’s unparalleled price benchmarking feature to fuel your contract negotiations and maximize vendor value.