Repetitive tasks that are just waiting to be automated plague productive hours of employees and business owners. Fortunately for us, workflow automation software is a common sight. It is increasingly being adopted by businesses worldwide for freeing employees from bot-work.
This article discusses the what's and why's of workflow automation software and reviews some of the best available solutions. Let’s dive in!
What is workflow automation software, and why do we need it?
According to IBM, a workflow is a system for managing repetitive processes and tasks in a particular order. They are the mechanism by which people and enterprises accomplish their work, whether manufacturing a product, providing a service, processing information, or any other value-generating activity.
Workflow Automation Software helps businesses automate repetitive tasks that are time-consuming and mundane. It also enables teams to optimize workflows to achieve higher efficiency by removing manual attention on redundant tasks.
Managing workflow is far more complex than checking items off a to-do list. Managers have to handle multiple projects, complex teams, and problems, and that too within a given structure and time. Workflow management tools help organize ideas and help turn them into reality, no matter how crazy things may get sometimes.
Businesses can easily automate a lot of processes they run daily. Automation-driven software boosts employee productivity and optimizes resource allocation—all this and more at a fraction of the cost, time, and effort.
Some common features of workflow management software:
- Scheduling tasks
- Managing workflows effectively
- Evaluating processes and teams
- Creating and evaluating tasks
- Sharing a document with others
- Optimizing resource utilization
- Syncing tasks across the team
- Ensuring smooth collaboration across the team
- Enhancing employee productivity
According to a report, the workflow automation market will reach $18.45 billion by 2023, at a CAGR of 23.56%. However, a general misconception about these apps is that big businesses can only use them, but that is not true.
Small businesses need workflow automation as much as large businesses do. Workflow automation software’s primary job is to automate repetitive tasks, but the direct benefit is that it streamlines all information and workflow to ensure everybody is on the same page. Further, it makes managing project progress and productivity easy!
Workflow automation software is easy to set up and use - they do not demand prior technical expertise. This means anyone can quickly build workflows and streamline tasks and activities to help them manage their teams/tasks.
List of Top 10 Workflow Automation Software for Small Businesses
With tons of options available in the market, it can get confusing to identify the right fit for your needs. Therefore, we have listed the ten best workflow automation software for small businesses to help you get started.
Keep the problems you want to solve in mind while you look at the features, and consider your budget fit to decide which solution might be best for you! Most of the software listed in this article offer free trials for a lifetime if you need limited functionalities.
SmartTask is an award-winning all-in-one work management platform that helps with workflow automation, project analysis, task management, time tracking, and team collaboration. It offers CRM, sales tracking, custom analytics, and reporting features. It is also known for its simple user interface, which does not require training.
SmartTask integrates with Zapier, Integromat, and Pabbly Connect, enabling you to connect with more than 1000+ applications to automate your workflows.
With SmartTask, you can look at all the current projects and their deadlines with the help of “Portfolio View.” You can also automatically reschedule tasks in case of missed deadlines. Furthermore, you can analyze where the delay happened precisely with a “Baseline Comparison.”
The best feature of this app is Video conferencing, using which you can initiate a video meeting with someone directly from the chat and task window. You can also monitor your team’s performance with the help of productivity scoring and custom charts.
SmartTask has gained popularity as the cost-effective alternative for ClickUp, Asana, and other software applications in the work management space.
- Tasklist, Board, Calendar, Timeline, and Portfolio Views
- Recurring Tasks, Dependencies, & Reminders
- Video Meeting from task and chat view
- Project Milestones, Task Auto-Scheduling, and Workload Management
- Sales Prediction, Call Tracking, and CRM Analytics
- Time Tracking, Instant Messaging, and File Sharing
- Advanced Search, Productivity Scoring, and Custom Charts
Pricing - Free plan with basic features for unlimited users. Paid subscriptions start from $5 per user/month and $8 per user/month when billed annually.
Asana is a go-to app when businesses are thinking about streamlining workflows. Asana recently launched a new feature named “Workflow Builder” that helps create efficient workflows with the help of a visual tool to connect teams, organize work, and streamline projects in one place.
It also connects with common work apps like Microsoft Teams, Trello, Freshdesk, Google Drive, Evernote, and more than 100+ other apps that make your life easier. Asana also allows you to create your own rules to automate the boring stuff. It also provides customized templates and workflows to help you get started.
- Workflow Builder
- Readymade Templates
- Timeline, Board, List, and Calendar Views
- Task & Project Management
- Team Communication
- Set goals and track them in one place
- Real-time reporting
Pricing - A free plan for every feature that most startups and small businesses require. Premium and business plans start at $10.99 per user/month and $24.99 per user/month when billed annually.
Zapier is synonymous with automation. It can automate literally anything and integrate with anyone. Zapier connects with more than 4000+ web apps without writing any code. This makes processes faster and more efficient.
Also, with so many integrations, you can create custom workflows with Zapier. They also have a separate academy online known as Zapier University that makes people aware of Zapier and its uses.
The pricing of this amazing tool depends on the tasks and zaps you need for your business. Zaps is a customized integration available on Zapier. It can be a simple lead collecting form or complex workflow automation.
- More than 4000+ integrations
- Multi-step zaps
- Unlimited permissions, apps, and guests
- Zapier University
- Great Community
Pricing - Free plan for up to 100 tasks per month. Paid subscriptions start from $19.99/month to $599/month when billed annually.
ClickUp has everything on its platform. It has every feature, starting from Tasks, Docs, Chat, Goals to Apps. It has one of the best docs apps that helps manage and monitor strategy and progress. It also comes with an intuitive design and integrates with various platforms.
ClickUp has 15+ powerful views and great customization available according to your needs. It also automates routine work and processes with 50+ actions, triggers, and conditions. To start with, you can use pre-built automation templates and customize them according to your needs.
The best part about ClickUp is its whiteboard, where everyone can post their ideas and discuss them in real-time. It also has a dark mode feature that gives an app a sleek appearance.
- Customizable tasks, subtasks, and checklists
- Dashboard, Workload, and Box Views
- Goals and Milestones
- Time Tracking & Estimation
- Real-time reporting
- Bulk Rescheduling
- Dark Mode
Pricing - Free plan for forever up to 100 MB storage. Paid plans start at $5 to $19 per user/month when billed annually.
5. Appy Pie Connect
Appy Pie Connect is one of the best workflow automation tools that allows you to easily connect your different business apps without any coding. Easy-to-use, Appy Pie Connect has everything to help you automate your business processes, right from basic assignments to complex workflows.
A cloud-based workflow automation platform, Appy Pie Connect lets businesses like manufacturing, logistics, IT services, etc., create, edit, and run a wide range of automated tasks and workflows easily and efficiently.
Appy Pie Connect provides a user-friendly and intuitive interface for connecting various apps, helping businesses fill the data gaps between their sales, marketing, and customer care services.
Appy Pie Connect ranks among the Top 5 of G2’s cloud data integration software categories. You can use this amazing workflow builder to connect apps like Zoom, Slack, Discord, Microsoft Teams, HubSpot CRM, Zendesk, Dropbox and many others.
- Easily automate workflow without writing a single line of code
- Automate repetitive tasks across multiple environments
- Thousands of readymade templates
- Create custom workflows that fit the way you work
- Apps from different CRM, e-commerce, project & task management categories
- More than 500 apps with dozens of apps added every month
- Features triggers, actions, formatters, filters, and webhooks
- 24/7 customer support
- Complete security of data shared between apps
- Powerful editing tools for integrating web and mobile apps
Pipefy is an excellent app focused on making workflows with no code. It allows you to build custom integrations from chat apps to ERPs. It facilitates a seamless flow of information among processes that trigger a response. Its portal also allows you to centralize all your request forms in a single place.
Pipefy also boosts productivity with automated emails. They also have a list of pre-made templates ready to choose from.
- Service Portals
- Sharable Forms
- Request Tracking
- Email Automation, Email Templates, and Comments
- Approval Flows
- Dashboard & Process Connections
Pricing - Free plan for first-time users with limited features. Paid plans start from $18 to $30 per user/month when billed annually. They also build custom billing plans.
Nintex is a process management and automation platform. It is a very simple app along with an average UI. You can create lead capturing forms with Nintex and improve user experience with advanced logic. You can design complex workflows with the help of Nintex and automate the whole process. You can also easily create documents by importing data from any app in minutes and getting deals done faster.
Nintex has robotic processing automation, using which you can automate all the boring tasks. In short, Nintex is a complete digital transformation kit for you.
- Process Mapping & Collaboration
- Workflow Automation
- Robotic Process Automation
- Digital Forms & Document Automation
- Process Analytics
Pricing- Starts from $910/month with plans upto $1400/month.
8. Kissflow Workflow
Kissflow is an end-to-end workflow platform made for people with zero coding experience. It claims to be the internet’s most powerful no-code tool. You can create your workflow visually and make changes to it anytime you want. You can also enable dynamic tracking and directly assign tasks to employees.
It has a simple UI that is easy to understand. As a result, you can build and edit forms with rich content without writing a single line of code.
- Visual Form & Workflow Designer
- SLA & Escalations
- Automated Workflow Routing
- Algorithmic Task Assignment
- Third-Party Integrations
- Ticketing System
- Contextual Collaboration
- Reporting & Analytics
Pricing - Starts from $10 to $20 per user/month.
Integromat is very interactive as you can watch how your automation is executed, and that too in real-time. In addition, you can look at how data flows through the scenario. The best part is that Integromat allows you to retrieve data from the past once you run your scenario. It has built-in routers that can divide your task into multiple routes. It has more than 1500+ scenarios ready to help with the initial setup.
Integromat can connect with almost any app without writing a single line of code because of its HTTP/SOAP and JSON/XML modules. As a result, you can duplicate your scenarios to speed up your work. It also works great on mobile devices.
- Real-Time Visualization
- Error Handlers
- Aggregators & Iterators
- Scheduling & Filtering
- Unlimited Steps
Pricing - Free plan available! Paid plans start from $9/month to $299/month, or a custom plan if you need one.
Automate.io is a straightforward and intuitive app with the help of which you can visualize your whole workflow without writing a single line of code. It has pre-built templates and has a drag-drop feature to map data flow.
You can also create multi-level workflows with the help of advanced logic and connect with 200+ apps using Rest API Connector.
- Drag & Drop Interface
- Pre-Built Automation Templates
- Multi-Step Workflows
- Rest API Connector
- Shared Folders & Unified Billing
Pricing - Free plan for up to 300 monthly actions with 5 bots. Paid plans start from $9.99/month for personal use to $159/month for business use.
Integrify helps companies work efficiently by streamlining processes with the help of visual process designers. It builds responsive, web-based forms to capture leads.
With the process reporting feature, you can also track and maintain an audit of all your workflows. In addition, you can connect anything with Integrify because of the API.
- Process Builder
- Form Designer
- Service Portal
- Process Reporting
- Process Integration
Pricing - Integrify provides flexible and customized pricing based on preferred approaches and requirements.
12. WebWork Time Tracker
WebWork is a time tracking software that automates the whole process of a project’s time tracking and management. It's extensive features track, monitor and deliver the results to you without requiring extra effort. You simply need to set the necessary settings in advance and the tracker will do the rest. These settings include choosing the working hours, the screenshot mode and assigning the tasks.
WebWork Time Tracker works across all platforms, such as Desktop, Web, Mobile, and Chrome Extension, enabling you to use it wherever is more comfortable to you. Plus, it works not only as a time tracker but also as a project management platform.
Best for small businesses, large enterprises and freelancers.
- Task Management System
- Attendance Monitoring
- App and Website Usage
- 4 Screenshot Modes
- Billable Hours and Invoice
Pricing - Free trial of 7 days, plus 30 more days to use and pay later. The paid subscription is $2.99 per user/month.
Deploying a workflow automation software goes a long way in streamlining and future-proofing your business processes. We hope the products we’ve reviewed in this article help you understand what workflow automation software have to offer, and how they could help your business!