7 Ways to Manage Approvals in ClickUp

Setting up your approval process in ClickUp in a way that works best for your team is CRUCIAL to keep everyone on the same page and make sure small mistakes don’t slip through the cracks.

Here are 7 Different Methods for Organizing your Approval Process inside ClickUp:

Let’s dive in to the Pros and Cons of each option:

Option #1: Assigning a comment manually to the team member you need to give approval.

  • Pros: The simplest option, requires no set up on the front end.
  • Cons: You have to manually type the comment every time you need a review or approval, there is no due date option available, and it can be easily missed in your teams’ Notifications.

Option #2: Use a “To Review” Status

  • Pros: Relatively simple to use and set up by pairing with a time and status Custom Field.
  • Cons: In Everything View, complex statuses do not scale well. It can become difficult to see who on your team actually moved a task to the next status, leaving it up to the team to remember who owns what status, and whether the task itself or just the revision should be marked complete. (And if you’re human, like us, you run the risk of forgetting.)

Option #3: Use a “To Review” List

  • Pros: Works with ClickUp automations.
  • Cons: The due date here can get confusing, as it shows the due date for the completion of the project as a whole, not just for the revision. Also, the task ownership gets hairy here again, leaving the team to figure out and remember who’s supposed to do what when it comes to changing that revision status.

Option #4: For you planners out there, build in Approvals as Checklists or Subtasks.

  • Pros: These Checklist and Subtasks can be baked into your ClickUp Template.
  • Cons: Those tasks will be sitting there waiting, no matter where the project is in the workflow. Adding ClickUp dependencies in here can help alleviate that confusion. But without them, it can be hard to tell when those revisions are needed in the process.

Option #5: Custom Field for the Review Process

  • Pros: You have the ability to add a few options to this Custom Field here! By adding Automations for reminder comments you can also create a view to help keep those revisions all in one place, or even embed it in a Dashboard.
  • Cons: Because it’s not a status, this won’t show up in Everything View. (Although, this could be beneficial as it won’t clutter other areas in your ClickUp Account.)

Option #6: Using a Subtask Custom Field (This is similar to Option #5, except it automates a Subtask rather than a comment.)

  • Pros: This allows the reviewer to implement their own due date here, and makes that assignee a Watcher on that subtask without becoming a Watcher on the overall task. (This keeps their ClickUp Notifications from being taken over by tons of updates.)
  • Cons: The reviewer has to use the Parent Task as a reference point, and adds an extra step of changing the Custom Field in the Parent Task as either “Needs Revision” or “Approved”.

Options #7: Combine all of the above methods, to create an Approval workflow in ClickUp!

This ClickUp structure includes:

  • A Dropdown Custom Field
  • An Automated Subtask
  • A Review Tag so that we can report on it
  • An Automation aligned with the change in the Custom Field that sends all assignees notifications, so everyone on that project knows what stage they’re at.

Key Takeaways:

The key here, is to stick with the simplest structure that works for your business, while keeping those safeguards in place and keeping a high visibility from a managerial perspective.   

  • If you’re a one-person team, using a simple status would probably be suffice.
  • If you have a few members on your team, start by adding those Subtask or Assigned Comment Automations and Custom Fields.
  • As your team grows, continue adding Automations, and even pair your Approval Process with a Dashboard, to make sure that everyone on your team knows exactly what stage the project is in and who owns what statuses.

Whatever option you choose, try not to over-structure! Do what works for the size of your business, and you’ll be mastering your Approval Process in ClickUp in no time.

Don’t want to take a “blind leading the blind” approach to ClickUp? Let us train your team! We can get your team up-and-running quickly by taking over the burden of ClickUp training, new user onboarding, and more! Click here to learn about our training program and ClickUp online course, ClickingUp.

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