As an agency leader, does it ever feel like the top software tools on the market just weren’t built for the way you work?
Hive is a project management solution that many organizations turn to for their task management and team collaboration needs. It’s especially effective among fast-moving software development teams, large companies, and hybrid work environments.
But is it the best task management solution for your agency?
Several facets of the product (like its challenging user interface and the lack of ability to create dependent tasks) limit its effectiveness in some contexts — especially for client work.
The good news is there are alternatives out there that make sense for the way you operate. Here we’ll review the top five Hive alternatives for powerful agency project management.
Why your agency should seek alternatives to Hive
Hive is a cloud-based project management tool that brings a lot to the table — task management, collaboration features, and analytics tools, to name a few. But even the most avid fan of Hive will admit the platform has its downfalls — particularly for teams doing complex client work.
In our analysis of the best project management tools, we’ve identified four significant limitations to Hive that could be deal breakers for many agencies.
Limited mobile functionality
Hive does offer an iOS app for use on iPhone and iPad (as well as a poorly reviewed Android app available on the Google Play store). But compared to the desktop version, the mobile apps have significantly less functionality and need to be improved to make them powerful enough to cope with the demands of busy client service teams.
Challenging user interface
The Hive UI is very minimalistic. With so few visual cues, it’s hard to tell what’s where, what’s clickable, and what’s editable. As a result, Hive is typically difficult for new users to learn.
It takes time to adapt to some of the tools and features because they just aren’t as intuitive as they could be. Hive also lacks a strong library of templates and integrations. These could have been a way to improve the user experience, but the fact that they’re missing creates even more user experience challenges.
Hive also suffers from the same flaw as some other “new approach” style apps (ClickUp comes to mind). It’s so open-ended, you’re practically forced to hire a consultant to build a project management environment that actually makes sense for what you do.
Inability to create dependent tasks
One big issue with Hive is that you can’t create dependent tasks, period — a problem we found with other “lightweight” project management solutions like Trello.
If your projects are all relatively simple and linear, this limitation won’t bother you. But if you deal with more complex projects with parallel workflows or subtasks, you’re going to need to create dependencies to organize your workflow.
If you use Hive, you can’t do this, plain and simple.
Hive handles notifications within their desktop and mobile apps, as well as via email. However, the settings here can be a little janky. You can turn off email notifications, but then if the app notices you’re away from your primary device, it will turn email notifications back on — whether you want that or not.
This can make notifications a little overwhelming. Hive gives users the ability to modify what does and doesn’t ring the bell, but many users find getting the right balance both difficult and frustrating.
5 best alternatives to Hive for project management
Turned off by Hive’s limitations? These are the five best Hive alternatives we’ve found to address the shortcomings of Hive’s project management software.
Teamwork.com is the all-in-one project management platform built for creatives, agencies, professional services firms, and anyone who does client work. With a user-friendly interface, you can plan projects at a granular level or zoom out to see the big picture using lists, Kanban boards, tables, Gantt charts, and more.
Intuitive time-tracking features help you keep up with team capacity planning and accurate client billing, and the robust mobile apps keep you on track no matter where you’re working.
Teamwork.com also supports complex project workflows, including subtasks and dependencies, and you have full control over your notifications.
All together, Teamwork.com is the perfect Hive alternative for teams of all sizes.
All-in-one project management
Some project management tools are great for one slice of your workload or a specific function within a department. But when you try to use them for your full workflow, they get cumbersome or can’t keep up.
Teamwork.com is different — it’s all-in-one project management done right. It gives users the ability to work on all aspects of a project in one place, and it cuts out numerous manual processes and repetitive tasks thanks to powerful automations and a large template and integration library.
Teamwork.com also delivers the ability to collaborate with colleagues in the system—and contributors and clients, too. Client reviews can happen directly within Teamwork.com, keeping teams and clients from the need to leave their project management dashboard for another app.
Not only that, Teamwork.com includes a complete set of tools for the entire client lifecycle. Desk, Chat, Spaces, and CRM all round out the core project management experience. That’s what we call all-in-one project management — done right.
Built to scale projects with you
This high level of customization was built in from the start, helping you overcome the challenges of growth and scaling. The central dashboard is easy to understand as well, giving project managers strong visibility into every project.
Sleek and intuitive user interface
Teamwork.com’s interface is attractive and sleek, but even more importantly, it’s intuitive. Your team members will know what to do with little training because the interface just makes sense.
That’s because Teamwork.com was designed and built by people who ran an agency themselves: When they couldn’t find a project management platform that worked for them, they built Teamwork.com! (And when you’re ready to dive deeper, there’s plenty of training available in Teamwork.com Academy.)
Resource and workload management tools help you understand capacity now and in the future.
Creative and client work focus lets you manage creative projects without complex workarounds or extra tools.
Milestones and Gantt charts help you track projects with greater detail.
Client and Collaborator modes allow your third parties to access your Teamwork.com environment at whatever permission levels you set.
A lengthy list of integrations helps you work seamlessly with your existing tech stack.
Teamwork.com offers a free plan for up to five users. Paid plans start at $5.99/user/month for the Starter plan and $9.99/user/month for the Deliver plan. The popular Grow plan is $19.99/user/month, and the Scale plan uses custom quoted pricing.
ClickUp is a popular project management solution that’s well-known for its adaptability. It’s impressively flexible and allows you to track and manage projects in whatever way makes sense for your needs. Intelligent analytics can identify bottlenecks and potential bottlenecks, even beyond the critical path, and the automatic reschedule is a nice touch.
ClickUp addresses several of Hive’s limitations. You can set up dependent tasks and do more via mobile (including email-based task triggers). However, it suffers from similar notification fatigue, and people are divided on the user interface. Some peoplelove it; othersnot so much.
But the downside is that ClickUp is almost a blank slate. You’ll need to build out an environment that makes sense for your needs, which is something that trips up some companies and users.
Unlimited tasks are included in every plan, even the free tier.
ClickUp can be adapted to virtually any scenario.
Automatic task rescheduling repopulates timelines and schedules when you drag and drop to adjust a task.
Powerful recurring task and automation features streamline work and reduce manual steps.
ClickUp offers four price tiers (including a free tier), plus custom enterprise pricing. Most agencies won’t find the free or $5/user/month plans useful and will opt instead for either the $12/member/month or $19/member/month Business and Business Plus tiers.
Asana is a user-friendly project management solution that we’d classify as lightweight to middleweight. It can do more than Trello and (in some ways) goes deeper than Hive, but it lacks some of the robustness you’ll find in tools like Teamwork.com and ClickUp. (For example, you won’t find Gantt charts or waterfall matrices here.)
With Asana, you can view all your tasks in list, board, and timeline views, and an overview tab keeps users oriented when assigned to multiple projects.
Asana integrates with other popular tools like Google Workspace and Slack, and the interface is easy to understand and grasp quickly.
There’s a lot to like about Asana, but the big question is whether it does everything you need.
The intuitive interface gets users working almost instantly.
Users can view their entire workloads at a glance across several useful views.
Dragging and dropping tasks is smooth and straightforward.
A wide variety of integrations keeps your software tools communicating with each other.
Asana offers a free tier for solo use and small teams. But to use it to manage projects of any complexity (or to integrate with other tools), you’ll need either the $10.99/user/month Premium tier or the $24.99/user/month Business tier.
Airtable is a table- or spreadsheet-focused project management platform that got its start as something like a superhero-grade Microsoft Excel. For teams used to managing projects in spreadsheets, Airtable was (and still is) a natural transition. It can do so much more than Excel, but it still retains that spreadsheet-esque vibe.
In recent years, Airtable has begun evolving into something more, with low-code and no-code apps inside the Airtable platform.
If you’re used to spreadsheets and want your project management experience to stay familiar, or if you have a concrete idea of what you want to do and build, Airtable is incredible. But it’s a little less incredible for teams that just want a project management platform that works well with no fuss.
The spreadsheet interface is familiar to many project management veterans.
Users can add file attachments, calendars, and even Kanban card stacks to that spreadsheet interface.
Low code and no code apps within Airtable greatly expand its capabilities.
Flexible architecture allows teams to use Airtable for specific key functions or for broader project management (or both).
Airtable offers a free plan for up to five creators or editors, but it’s limited to one sync and one extension per base. The Plus plan bumps you up to three of each, and it costs $10/user/month. The Pro plan costs $20/user/month and adds 10 extensions and seven sync integrations, including support for Jira Cloud.
Aha! is a product development software suite designed for software developers. It’s a set of tools (Roadmaps, Ideas, Notebooks, and Develop) that, together, cover the gamut of what software developers need to get stuff done.
Because Aha! is a different kind of product, it’s going to cost you a whole lot more than everything else in this article, but if you’releading a complex software development team, it could make good sense.
Roadmaps module helps teams chart out where their project is headed — perfect for Agile development, Scrum, and other agile methodologies.
Ideas module lets teams gather feedback (from customers, testers, and team members) and then work that feedback into the product roadmap.
Notebooks module includes collaborative whiteboards, documents, and more.
Develop module helps integrate product management and project management.
Aha! is a different sort of product, so for the complete software development product management solution, you’ll pay at least $59/user/month.
But the company offers standalone modules as well, like an Ideas portal ($39/user/month), Aha! Notebooks ($9/user/month), and Aha! Develop ($9/user/month).
Elevate your team's project management to new heights with Teamwork.com
If you’ve been considering Hive for your project management needs — or if you’re already using it but are frustrated by the limitations — there are better solutions out there.
Teamwork.com is the ideal Hive replacement. It addresses all the crucial limitations of Hive, including support for subtasks and dependencies. And it does so with a clean, intuitive user interface that your nontechnical team members can understand and use.
Ready to leave the Hive and start regaining control of your projects?Try Teamwork.com for free now.