This article is part of a larger series on Project Management.
The best workflow automation software solution allows users to set up triggers and actions even with little to no technical expertise or reliance on a development team. It supports various third-party integrations, facilitating smooth automation with popular project management and productivity apps.
Moreover, it notifies users of every successful automation and suggests ways to address process loopholes. In this article, we evaluated different workflow management software solutions to come up with our top recommendations.
Best Workflow Automation Software at a Glance
Best Workflow Automation Software
Monthly Starting Price
monday.com: Best for intuitive workflow automation
4.81 out of 5
$10 per user
for three seats
ClickUp: Best for no-cost task automation
4.78 out of 5
$10 per user
Pipedrive: Best for sales management
4.76 out of 5
$21.90 per user
Zoho Creator: Best for software development
4.61 out of 5
$12 per user
Zapier: Best for third-party integrations
4.56 out of 5
HubSpot CRM: Best for marketing automation
4.50 out of 5
(for 1,000 marketing contacts and two paid users on the Service and Sales Hub Starter)
monday.com: Best for Intuitive Workflow Automation
*Pricing is for three seats. Save 18% by paying annually.
monday.com is the best overall workflow automation software solution, making automating tasks easy and simple with a vast catalog of pre-built automation recipes. These templates are applicable to different industries, including marketing, sales, and customer service. Creating automations is as easy as selecting a template and filling out the underlined fields with the options provided in drop-down menus.
Similarly, scaling automations with this reliable workflow management software solution is straightforward. Create your own automations by filling out the trigger (“When this happens”), condition, and action (“Then do this”) fields. Add several actions to a single workflow automation template and generate more complex workflows.
monday.com features automation notifications, sending alerts when it finishes an action by itself. This makes monitoring different activities within the workspace easier. Unfortunately, the platform requires a minimum team size, making it unsuitable for solopreneurs and freelancers. Other workflow automation software solutions listed here, like ClickUp and Pipedrive, don’t have a minimum number of users for their subscriptions.
- Customizable boards: monday.com’s workflow boards can be configured to reflect your specific project needs. In the columns, you may add people (responsible parties for specific tasks), due dates, timelines, and priority levels, to help you oversee the progress of projects better.
- Guest access: Allow external stakeholders, like partners, vendors, and clients, to see your project roadmap. An “Invite” button at the top of the board lets users enter external contacts’ email addresses and offer guest access.
- Dependency column: Reduce the risks of project delays by managing task dependencies. The dependency column makes it easy to identify which assignments need to be finished in a specific order.
ClickUp: Best for No-cost Task Automation
*Save up to 37% by paying annually.
If you’re a small team looking for free workflow automation software, ClickUp is the most suitable solution, as it provides a generous suite of tools at no cost. Unlike other providers that only offer automation features in paid plans, ClickUp’s free version already includes such capabilities, letting users create up to 100 automations a month.
While Zapier also has a free plan that provides plenty of automation credits, it only allows one user. ClickUp, on the other hand, has unlimited users in its free version. The best part about ClickUp’s zero-cost plan is it enables custom integrations through its API. Maximize up to 100 API requests per minute per token.
However, note that this workflow automation software solution has limited native third-party integrations. If you’re looking to connect the platform to more apps, Zapier is the best choice, as it connects with more than 5,000 platforms.
- Custom statuses: Label the progress status of your tasks according to the terms your team uses. Save the new statuses as templates to keep them handy for other projects.
- Mind maps: Detail the steps in your workflow visually and outline specific tasks under each step. It’s easier to keep track of accomplished steps with the mind map.
- White labeling: Reflect your brand on the workspace’s logos, color palettes, and URLs. Note that this feature is only available in the Enterprise subscription plan.
Pipedrive: Best for Sales Management
*Save up to 32% by paying annually.
Pipedrive should be your top choice for automated workflow software if you’re focused on nurturing leads and increasing sales. Its automation features are geared toward improving the sales process. For example, its AI-powered Sales Assistant analyzes previous actions to recommend ways to streamline the workflow.
Its automation templates feature sales-focused tasks, including adding products to new deals, re-engaging with inactive deals, reaching out to new customers, and sending a campaign to lost deals. Before choosing Pipedrive, note that it doesn’t have a free version. The best workflow automation software for those looking to start on automation without cost is ClickUp, as it has robust tools in its free plan.
- Automatic assignment: Let the platform assign deals to team members. Set up the rules to launch this automation: assign new deals to specific people or an existing deal to a person after it moves through the pipeline.
- Deal card customization: A deal card provides all the information about a particular sales opportunity, including the linked contact person and organization, deal value, and deal owner. Pipedrive allows users to customize these deal cards and add more details, including the deal activities to do, dates the deal was created or closed, and the customer’s alias or birthday.
- Deal reports: Get an accurate forecast of revenue based on the current pipeline value to make strategic decisions for improving sales within a given period. Identify team performance gaps and guide representatives toward optimal productivity.
Zoho Creator: Best for Software Development
*Save more than 30% by paying annually.
**The Blueprints feature is a visual representation of a particular business process.
Zoho Creator is the ideal automation workflow software solution if you handle app development projects since it’s essentially a low-code app builder. It features different types of workflows that automate routine actions within an app.
For example, as an admin, you’re able to create form workflows, which automate tasks based on form activities. This includes updating inventory records when the order form is submitted through the app. There’s also the approval workflow, which automates the entire approval process, for example, in a reimbursement or leave management platform.
Note that Zoho Creator doesn’t offer third-party integrations in its entry-level subscription package. To connect the solution to external platforms, you must upgrade to its highest-tier plan, priced at $37 per user. If you don’t want to pay more for integrations, consider the top workflow automation software ClickUp, which provides unlimited integrations in its entry-level plan, costing $10 per user only.
Zoho Creator Features
- Approval process automation: Make approvals on key documents more efficiently using the platform’s criteria-based approval triggers and automated alerts. Zoho Creator allows decision-makers to respond easily to approval notifications via their mobile devices.
- Dashboards: Monitor revenue trends and total service costs through the platform’s analytics dashboard. This feature allows you to set up alerts on issues, so you can make adjustments right away when you don’t hit your targets.
- Schedules and notifications: Set a specific date and time for running workflows. Or, launch them when a variable in any of your forms is satisfied, for example, notifying users about a meeting a few minutes before it begins.
Zapier: Best for Third-party Integrations
*Save 33% by paying annually.
**Zaps are automated workflows.
Zapier is the best workflow automation solution if you’re looking for robust integrations because it connects with more than 5,000 apps. These include project management solutions, such as Trello, Asana, Jira, and Wrike. With excellent connectivity, overseeing and automating tasks for optimal efficiency is easier.
Aside from integrations, Zapier boasts an intuitive no-code editor, helping users launch automations faster. Other tools like duplicate and reorder steps and version history make creating automated workflows more convenient for teams.
Unfortunately, Zapier has the most expensive entry-level subscription fee among the solutions listed here. Its entry-level plan starts at $29.99 per month, offering 750 task credits. monday.com and ClickUp are the most affordable providers in this guide.
- Audit log: Check how automated workflows are used across your account. The activity retrieval duration depends on your subscription plan, but for the highest-tier package, you get one year of audit log.
- Drafts: Edit existing workflows without disabling them in the platform, letting them run while you make adjustments. Zapier automatically saves drafts, ensuring that no work will be lost and wasted.
- Copy and paste steps: If you want to put the same triggers, action steps, or paths in other automated workflows, copy and paste those elements to save time. These functions are available in the Zap editor.
HubSpot CRM: Best for Marketing Automation
*The Starter and Professional subscription fees lower to $18 and $1,600 a month, respectively, when you pay annually.
If your team focuses on automating marketing tasks, HubSpot CRM is the ideal solution. Since it features integrated CRM and marketing tools, you’ll be able to track customer activities and use that data to beef up marketing automations. Set up triggers, conditions, and actions to send personalized emails to the right prospects, according to where they are in the sales process. Use advanced segmentation and directly include contacts in workflows.
The disadvantage of using HubSpot CRM is you must upgrade to its Professional plan to unlock a generous amount of automation credits. Its entry-level plan only allows 10 form and email automation actions, so you must choose the $1,000+ package to get the unlimited feature. In contrast, Zapier’s Professional Plan, which costs $49 a month, offers unlimited automated workflows.
HubSpot CRM Features
- Live chat: Respond to website visitors instantly through real-time chat. By answering questions and providing relevant information, you’re more likely to turn curious visitors into customers.
- Channel switching: Let chat representatives move from one communication channel to another without losing the context of the conversation. Channel switching offers visibility on messages from other communication platforms.
- Visual editor: Create workflows on the visual editor to have a better view of all the necessary steps for various projects. This feature has an if-then branch that makes it easy to determine triggers and corresponding actions.
How We Evaluated the Best Workflow Automation Software
To come up with a fair assessment of the best workflow automation solutions, we identified different criteria points, including affordability, robustness of features, usability, and customer assistance. We also included our expert score, which comprises our evaluation of the provider’s value for money and popularity, among other considerations.
Learn how we evaluated the best workflow automation solutions by clicking on the tabs below:
20% of Overall Score
To weigh each provider’s affordability, we considered if they have a free plan and if their entry-level plan costs less than the prevailing fee in the market. We gave more points to providers offering annual discounts, monthly plans, and more than three subscription packages.
25% of Overall Score
The general features we looked at were data import and export, task management, and single sign-on. Because many businesses need a solution that supports mobility, we included mobile apps in our assessment.
20% of Overall Score
Analytics and reporting tools were part of our evaluation of niche capabilities. We also considered app templates and gave more points to platforms with milestone tracking and robust integrations.
10% of Overall Score
Software solutions with intuitive interfaces earned more points in the rubric. We also determined if technical skill is required to set up and operate the system.
10% of Overall Score
We considered the common communication channels businesses use to reach out to providers: live chat, phone, and email. We checked the customer service hours of each vendor and gave more points to those with 24/7 operations.
15% of Overall Score
Stand-out features, value for money, and ease of use were part of our expert score. We also determined popularity by referring to user reviews on third-party sites.
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)
A workflow automation solution is a tool that allows users to set up rule-based logic, which enables the system to perform a series of tasks on its own without human assistance. Some tasks include updating task statuses or sending notifications about to-do’s.
By automating tasks, a software solution offers these benefits to businesses:
- Increased productivity: Since team members won’t have to manually perform tasks, they are able to focus on more complex and high-yield to-do’s like developing marketing strategies or building relationships with customers.
- Fewer errors: It’s inevitable to make a few mistakes when team members process forms and approvals. Automation removes human error and ensures accuracy in workflows.
- Better team accountability: It’s difficult to keep track of manual work but with automation, you’ll be able to see every task’s progress and check team members’ contributions.
monday.com allows you to automate the following tasks:
- Change task status
- Remind users about due dates
- Create recurring tasks
- Notify key people about status changes
- Generate monthly reports
A workflow automation solution helps businesses get more work done efficiently, saving time and reducing errors in the process. It connects with various third-party platforms to support users’ project management and communication needs holistically.
Out of all the platforms we reviewed, monday.com stands out as the best, given its intuitive design that makes launching automations easy and simple. Moreover, its affordable subscription rates allow small teams to access the platform with minimal cost. Sign up for monday.com’s 14-day free trial today to see if it fits your automation needs.