This post covers everything you need to know about managing your users in Teamwork Projects — and how you can optimize your setup for success.

We know that teams, departments, and organizations are complex. No two are the same. And every company has different requirements when it comes to managing people and their access to information. Our goal with Teamwork Projects is always to enable our customers to have full control over the way you manage work and help you to customize it to your own needs. This includes how you manage users. That’s why we designed Teamwork Projects to have a user hierarchy — that is, a few different layers underpinning how users work — to help you ensure that everyone on your team can have the level of involvement and input that’s right for them. Here’s what that user hierarchy looks like:


In this post, we’ll take you through each element of this diagram, what it means, and how to use it.

Let’s start at the very beginning. There are two types of company in Teamwork Projects: the owner company and external companies. The owner company is created when you initially set up your Teamwork site. Think of this as your team’s “home”. External companies are created in addition to the owner company, and can be added at any time. Creating an external company enables you to group users according to their company; associate projects to companies; assign default permissions to all companies; and bulk set the privacy on an item based on company. Site administrators in the owner company are — at least within the realm of Teamwork Projects — omniscient. That is, they have access to everything: all projects, all areas, all private items, everything. They’re designed to be used selectively. Administrators in external companies, on the other hand, will only have access to the projects they’ve been added to by the owner company site admins. Standard users in both the owner company and external companies will only ever see the projects to which they’re assigned, and will be further limited by any project-level permissions applied to their individual account by the site administrators. Learn more about companies here, or see how to add or edit a company by reading this help doc.

Within Teamwork Projects, there are two user license types: standard users and collaborators. Standard users can be given full permissions right up to administrator level. Each standard user is counted in your recurring bill. Collaborators have limited permissions and visibility but can perform basic actions. This user type is completely free and enables you to easily bring clients into your projects without incurring extra costs. For a more detailed comparison of the different permissions and access abilities for standard users and collaborators, check out this help doc. In your site, you can easily tell who is a user and who is a collaborator from the color of the icon next to their name (green for standard users and purple for collaborators). You can also hover over this icon to see the user type.


How should I use different user types?

For your own team members and any other people who will need to use Teamwork Projects every day to create and manage their work — for example, by creating or updating tasks and task lists — you should add them as standard users. Some examples of people we would recommend adding as standard users:

  • Your immediate team or department

  • People from other departments in the company that may be stakeholders on your project

  • Managers or executives with significant interest in the project reports

If you need to give someone visibility of the project or work, but not necessarily take any action on it, you can add them as a collaborator. For example, a lot of our customers will set up clients as collaborators so they can immediately interact with their project plan without getting access to what’s going on behind the scenes. You can also assign tasks for collaborators to complete, which is useful when you need a client to approve or review a piece of work. Here are some examples of the kind of people you might want to add as collaborators:

  • Clients

  • External vendors

  • Contractors or freelancers

If, down the line, you realize that a collaborator needs more permissions than they currently have, you can easily upgrade them to a standard user.

How Teamwork provided Search Station with the visibility they were looking for

How Teamwork provided Search Station with the visibility they were looking for

When asked to recount how Teamwork has helped the Search Station achieve their business goals, David explained that using Teamwork was much easier for the business to use than other software and products, such as Trello. From providing visibility to ensuring accountability across the agency, Teamwork has been the all-in-one tool that Search Station needed to provide great service to their clients.

Customizing the permissions for users in Teamwork Projects is simple, whether you’re working with standard users or collaborators. You can set these permissions when you’re adding a user in the first place, or you can edit them at a later date from the People section of your site by selecting the pencil icon on the far right of a user’s name.


You can also customize user permissions at the project level, depending on which features of the project or information you want them to be able to access.


While collaborators will have restricted options to choose from, you can still adjust the permissions they do have; just be aware that certain options will be unavailable, and these will appear as crossed out. In the second part of this post, we’ll do a deep dive to collaborators and how they’re a fundamental part of working with Teamwork Projects. In the meantime, leave any questions in the comments below or talk to your Customer Success Manager for more information.

Why project management software is key to online collaboration

Why project management software is key to online collaboration

Collaboration is critical to success. More and more businesses are switching to online workflows. The adjustment can be difficult not just for employees, but also for managers. Leaders need to choose their project management software wisely to keep things from slipping through the cracks.