How BUSINESS MODEL changes the ClickUp Hierarchy (Space vs. Folder. vs. List vs. Task)

The ClickUp Hierarchy (deciding if your project should be a Space, Folder, List, or Task in ClickUp) is hard enough…but did you know the “right choice” will depend heavily on your BUSINESS MODEL, not just your team size?

That’s right.

Organizing ClickUp for eCommerce requires a different setup than how you’d maintain your online membership on ClickUp. And if you also do custom consulting? Well…it gets complex.

If you’re a business with multiple income streams sporting multiple products and services, it’s important to remember that you’ll need to craft context for EACH of these business structures within your ClickUp Workspace. In this ClickUp training, I’ll go through some of the most common business models and an example way we’d structure that business model inside ClickUp.

Don’t have a ClickUp account yet? You can use our affiliate link to create a free account (and support our free content at no cost to you!) by signing up using this link!

(These examples are just EXAMPLES — we are NOT suggesting there is one “right way” based on industry alone. There are MANY variables that go into making this decision which we spell out in our Decision Tree inside the ProcessDriven Membership.)

How BUSINESS MODEL changes the ClickUp Hierarchy (Space vs. Folder. vs. List vs. Task)

What is the ClickUp Hierarchy?

ClickUp Hierarchy starts with the Workspace. It is your overall account.

Below that, we have Spaces.

Below a Space, we have Folders (which are just containers much like spaces) then we have Lists. Lists can either float on their own, or Folders can have Lists within them.

(Watch the video above at timestamp 7:14 for a more in-depth explanation of this!)

What variables matter for the decision of the ClickUp Hierarchy?

So now we understand the ClickUp Hierarchy, the natural decision is, well, where do we fall on it? The decision is not only guided by your business model. It is also guided by several other variables in your business:

(Watch the video above at timestamp 11:33 for a deeper dive here.)

  • Process is the biggest piece of the puzzle, and that’s where the business model comes in.
  • Feature Requirements is all about what ClickUp features you’re relying on. Layla does not go into detail with this very much here but you should know that it’s a variable when deciding on your hierarchy.
  • Team Size matters because the larger the team, the stronger the systems you’ll need.
  • Aesthetic Preference is a bit of a wild card, but sometime you might just prefer a certain setup for no technical reason. That’s fair, too!

3 Methods to choose what the right hierarchy is for you:

Trial and Error

This method Is highly accurate but moves very slowly. It’s where most new ClickUp users start.

The best practice here is to let your structure build organically, rather than taking a burst method and building everything out at once.

(Watch at timestamp 16:36 for an in-depth explanation.)

Layla’s Shortcut

This method is very fast but rather inaccurate. We take the conventions that everyone tells you for ClickUp — where a space equals an organizational department, a folder equals a project almost equals the phase of that project, and a task equals a task — and we kind of put it on a slider. That’s it!

(Watch at timestamp 20:01 in the video above for more info on this.)

DIY with a Process Org Chart

This method is highly accurate but takes a longer amount of time. This is generally the idea of building your business structure in terms of functional areas.

Having a process org chart is an exercise we teach inside ClickingUp, that helps you define your business in terms of these functional areas that then gives you a recipe for translating each of those areas into ClickUp.

(Watch at 30:04 for a deeper explanation here.)

What does this hierarchy look like for different types of service models?

  • “Whale” Service (meaning one client makes up 70% or more of your revenue) or Employees (Watch at 20:40)
  • Custom Projects (Watch at 21:45)
  • Virtual Assistant or hourly contractors (Watch at 36:00)
  • Contractors or businesses that offer one-time bespoke projects (Watch at 37:42)
  • Retainer custom services – Such as a lawyer or marketing agency (Watch at 39:13)
  • Recurring services – such as Bookkeepers (Watch at 40:45)
  • Complex Event-Based Services – such as Wedding Photographer, Vendors, Caterers, etc. (Watch at 42:13)
  • One-time productized events (like a consultant’s strategy sessions) (Watch at 48:02)
  • Memberships (Watch at 52:06)
  • eCommerce (Manufacture then Sell) (56:01)
  • Brick & Mortar (Reseller)

Key Takeaways:

No matter what your business model, there are 2 main takeaways here:

  1. Simplify your hierarchy, and keep it simple!
  2. Create a structure template (you can either get one that is already built out by joining the ProcessDriven Membership or create one on your own).

Should your ClickUp project be a Space, Folder, List, or Task? Take our FREE Hierarchy Quiz to find out!

Keep Learning:

“Adulting” with ClickUp | How to Organize Your Personal Life in ClickUp (Tour)

3 Types of RECURRING ClickUp Tasks | Difference between Legacy Trigger, Legacy Schedule, & Simple

Build a ClickUp CRM | Relationships & Rollups Use Case Tutorial

Related Resources:

Why My ClickUp Looks Weird: ClickUp’s New “Simple” Sidebar Layout

Quick ClickUp Tour for Beginners | Is ClickUp right for you?

ClickApps EXPLAINED | ClickUp Tutorial for Workspace Admin Settings

ClickUp Views EXPLAINED | ClickUp tutorial for beginners on Filters, Group by, Sort by, & Me Mode

Layla is a Vetted ClickUp Consultant who helps growing teams define their business workflows and translate them into a business instruction manual inside ClickUp. She spends most of her days teaching ClickUp, creating content, and providing unlimited feedback within the ProcessDriven Membership. The rest of the time? She's focused on creating value over on her YouTube Channel and free Facebook Group.