monday.com review 2021

Could this popular work management software revolutionise the way your team communicates and collaborates? We’ve tried and tested it to help you decide

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We are a team of writers, experimenters and researchers providing you with the best advice with zero bias or partiality. This article was authored by:

While it primarily markets itself as a project management tool, monday.com is a flexible, multi-faceted software that offers solutions for a wide variety of workplace functions, including HR, CRM, and marketing.

monday.com has been helping teams plan, track, and collaborate since 2012, and counts global giants like Hulu, BBC Studios, Coca-Cola, and Adobe among its 115,000 customers – but is it right for your small business?

To help you decide, we’ve tried and tested monday.com, weighed up its pros and cons, and sourced genuine, unbiased reviews from users for the inside scoop on this popular software.

Read on to find out more. Or, if you’re keen to find out what monday.com can do for you straight away, you can visit the website to try out a 14-day free trial.

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4.7 out of 5
  • Ease of use
    5
  • Price
    4.5
  • App integration
    4.5

Monday.com overview

Founded in 2012, Tel Aviv-headquartered monday.com describes itself as a Work Operating System. It uses customisable workflow templates to help teams collaborate and communicate on any project effectively.

This versatile platform can be adapted to a variety of business functions, including: sales, IT, marketing, human resources (HR), customer relationship management (CRM).

As a result, monday.com has found fans across a multitude of sectors, countries, and business sizes, thanks to its appealing interface, easy to use features, and integrations with countless other popular business tools.

On Capterra, which amalgamates reviews from software users around the world, monday.com has a very respectable average of 4.6/5 stars, based on 2,222 reviews. Reviewers have praised the neat visualisation of tasks, the highly customisable templates, and the top notch customer support.

However, some found the bounty of features and customisation options quite overwhelming, and, to an extent, we agree – the sheer number of elements that can be moved and changed can become quite time-consuming if you’re inclined to being pernickety.

That said, there are some very handy video training modules to help you get to grips with the software, which are definitely worth checking out if you want to fully take advantage of everything it has to offer.

It’s also nice to see that, on Capterra, monday.com reaches out to reviewers who list downsides to their software to see if they can solve the issue, or even just to say that they will share the feedback with their product team. A shining example of customer service right there.


Monday.com pros and cons

  • Highly customisable; suitable for any project, and businesses of any size and in any sector
  • Countless integrations with other popular business tools
  • Excellent help and support

Cons

  • The pricing structure is unnecessarily confusing
  • Sheer number of ways to use the software can make it hard to get to grips with


Monday.com plans and pricing

monday.com’s pricing structure is, shall we say, unique. While many software providers scale their costs on a per user per month basis, monday.com’s works on a per ‘seat’ per month basis.

The number of seats equates to the size of your team, and goes up in increments of 5, then 10, then 100+. So, if you opt for a team size of 20 seats on the £9 per seat per month Standard plan (its most popular), you’ll pay a total of £172 per month. This is billed annually, so you’ll actually pay £2,064 up front.

If you don’t want to be tied into a long-term contract, you can choose to pay monthly, but it will cost you 18% more overall.

However, the per seat per month model means that the closer you are to the cap for each increment, the better value your plan will be. If you have 34 people on your team, for example, you’ll still have to pay for a plan of up to 40 seats.

monday.com offers a 14-day free trial, after which you’ll have to upgrade to a paid plan or lose access to the software. There are three premium plans to choose from, and an enterprise option for much larger organisations.

Looking at customer reviews gives a mixed view of affordability. Some smaller businesses find monday.com’s prices quite steep, while others say they’re very reasonable. For our part, while the per seat per month system is a tad confusing, we think its prices are fair compared to similar products.


Katrina Cliffe, managing director of KC Communications, a PR and marketing agency:

“There is probably so much more that we could do with Monday if we had the time to really dig deep, but as a small business that is often a luxury that can’t be afforded.

“On the whole though we can put absolutely every single task that is needed and ensure that no jobs get overlooked, we can use it to communicate about a task, include links to relevant resources e.g. google docs etc to keep it all in once place which minimises having to use email, and prevents that searching back for correspondence by time you get around to undertaking the task.

“It allows us to easily delegate tasks with no concern that they’ll get overlooked if briefed verbally or via email, and as a business owner I can see everything my colleagues are up to, flagging up any areas of concern.”

Using Monday.com: features and functions

We’ve already explained that monday.com is a highly flexible work management tool – but how does it actually work in practice? Essentially, the entire software is built around highly customisable ‘boards’, which your team can use to track and manage whatever project you’re working on.

We’ve signed up for monday.com ourselves to put the software through its paces, and quizzed a few small business owners who’ve also used the software to give you an idea of what it can do for you.


Templates: getting started

Getting started with monday.com is simple enough. It asks you some basic questions about the size of your business and the sector you operate in, and then suggests some workflow templates based on your responses.

There are more than 200 to choose from, tailored to everything from content production to design and software development. Don’t worry too much about choosing the right one from the off – you can set up new boards for different projects at any time, and it’s easy to switch between them using the sidebar navigation.

Within each template there’s a variety of views (more on these below), which allow you to visualise your project in different ways. Every template offers the ‘Main Table’, which lays out the timeline of tasks on a scrollable window with progress bars, deadlines, relevant stakeholders, and so on. Some views are only available on more advanced plans.

What we really like here are the bold, colour-coded systems, and the huge number of options available. It’s a great way to give everyone full visibility of every aspect of a project, and makes it easy to tailor the platform to whatever project you're working on and the preferences of your team.

As we said earlier, this can be overwhelming. We’d highly recommend making use of the basic training, which provides short video tutorials and more, to help you get the best out of the software.

Using monday.com for different business functions

As we’ve said above, monday.com isn’t just for project management, but it doesn’t have specific features for HR and CRM as such. Rather, it applies the same board-based workflow management system to different functions within the organisation. This means you can choose to add a CRM or HR template, and then create boards within those workspaces to monitor and manage all activity relating to those parts of your organisation.

That said, the monday.com product does show high awareness of what business need in terms of CRM especially and markets itself as a industry-leading CRM tool. Take a look at exactly how monday.com can support your CRM function.

Ryan Walton, founder of video production agency Aura Ads

“Monday.com is super user-friendly. It has lots of templates that you can choose, so that you can find the one that’s best suited for you and your team. For example, content plans to plan marketing content, Gantt charts for project management, recruitment forms for HR, and many more.

“There are also many guides and tips on the website that I’ve used many times. They’re extremely helpful, and not something I think many other platforms I’ve used before offer quite as well.”

Read more: check out the our list of the best project management software.


Boards

The Main Table view, which gives your team full visibility of any project

Boards are the foundations of monday.com. This is where it all takes place: where you organise, track, and store everything to do with your projects.

They’re made up of three core elements:

  • Groups – colour-coded horizontal sections, which can correspond to a period of time, a specific task within a project, or whatever you want. As you can see in the image above, ‘monday.com user testing’ is one example of a ‘Group'
  • Columns – these vertical sections intersect the ‘Groups’, and can contain anything from ‘Progress’ bars to ‘Stakeholders’ and ‘Deadlines’
  • Items – the smallest building block on our board, items are individual rows within each group containing particular tasks that form part of the main project. In the screenshot above, you can see that ‘Write review’ and ‘Research monday.com’ are part of the ‘monday.com Review 2021’ group

Every single element of the groups, columns, and items is completely customisable. You can add new ones, move them, delete them – whatever helps keep the project on track.

Boards have three access levels: main, shareable, and private, which can be changed at any time. You have full control over who within your team has access to change elements within the board. You can even give clients view access of a board for a project they’re involved in, which is a great way to ensure transparency and save them constantly having to pester you for updates.

Cliffe:

“It offers so much flexibility with different board setups. For example, we have project management boards, but we also have sales pipeline boards, holiday booking boards, and much more – and each is set up slightly differently with no issue.

“The dashboards are also something I’m just about getting into using for operational reporting.

“We add our clients so they have visibility of what we are undertaking and where we are at, and the ability to be able to communicate through the tasks too – again reducing email use. But it can be both a blessing and a curse!”


Read more: Take a look at how monday.com compares to other CRM solutions on our Best CRM Systems for Small Businesses page, where we rank and score the UK's market-leading CRM tools.


Views

monday.com is all about visualisation, and ‘views’ are the absolute manifestation of that.

monday.com has views for any occasion, allowing you to organise and analyse your data in a way that suits whatever task or project you’re working on. You can switch back and forth between multiple views at any time using the navigation menu on the Main Table.

The only thing we’d mark it down for here is that some of the most useful views are only available higher up the payment scale. We get that you need to reserve some features for the big spenders, but it feels a little mean-spirited to deny those on the Standard plan access to the Chart view, which we found particularly useful.

Here’s a full list of monday.com’s views:

  • The Files View – allows you to see all files uploaded within your board in one place
  • The Map View – see all the locations related to your projection on a handy map
  • The Timeline View – visualise the dates and timelines of your ongoing projects
  • The Gantt View – a flexible, responsive chart that helps you track milestones and the relationships between tasks
  • The Chart View – create reports for specific boards, and visualise data in pie, bar, and line chart format
  • The Calendar View – visualise all tasks that have a date/timeline column
  • The Kanban View – visualise your board in Kanban format
  • The Forms View – convert any board into a form that you can send to your contacts
  • The Workload View – gives a clear view of how tasks are divided up across your team

Check out more info on monday.com’s Views. 


Integrations

One of monday.com’s biggest strengths is its large number of integrations with popular business tools, including Zendesk, Slack, Shopify, Microsoft 365, and Zoom to name just a few.

It’s a great way to make the day-to-day running of your business even more efficient, and to enable the flow of discussion and collaboration across multiple platforms without losing the thread of things.

For example, you can schedule a meeting in Zoom as part of a project that’s being managed on monday.com, and set up notifications so everyone involved is alerted to any changes.

However, you can only use integrations on the Standard plan and the Pro plan, and you’re limited to a certain number of ‘actions’ per month. An action is any event that occurs while using monday.com in conjunction with another tool, e.g. Creating an item on the board or notifying board users of a status change. So, if you use Gmail to send an email to an email column within monday.com, which will notify multiple users, you’ll use up multiple actions.


Automations

Automations are another handy feature that are only available on the Standard and Pro plans. They’re also measured in actions.

Automations help you save time and streamline your work by allowing you to use an event, such as a particular date, to trigger an action, such as a task reminder.

You can create ‘automation recipes’ for any sequence of events and actions. These are especially useful for triggering reminders for recurring tasks, or ensuring a status change results in a particular action taking place.

You’re limited to 250 actions for both integrations and automations on the Standard plan (£9 per seat per month), which is fine for small businesses that use simple automations and only occasionally rely on external tools.

However, custom automations and two-way syncs with external tools you use every day are going to eat up your actions fast. If you’re a mid-sized business, you’re probably better off on the Pro plan (£14 per seat per month), which allows 25,000 actions for integrations and automations.

Walton: 

“The integration possibilities are endless. What's more, they continually update the software so more integrations are available, so that you can use platforms and software that you’re already used to without having to learn how to use the features of a new software.

“We integrate most with Google Drive, Frame.io, Miro, and Slack, but are constantly checking for more ways we can integrate our systems.”

Monday.com verdict

Truly, there are very few businesses that wouldn’t benefit from investing in a monday.com plan. 

The huge range of templates on offer, the variety of views, and the full customisability of the boards all adds up to a software that can be adapted to the needs of any project and any organisation.

The business owners we spoke to said it was a hugely valuable tool for their organisations, and praised its flexibility and ease of use in particular.

And while some have found the endless possibilities quite overwhelming, making use of the extensive help and support on offer is a great way to get the best of monday.com.

On the whole, while we’d like to see some useful features available on the more basic plans, whether you need to plan a marketing campaign or plot a new product launch, you’ll find monday.com to be a friend indeed.

As Walton says: “The biggest downside is perhaps that we’ve become too reliant on it. If it went down, then we’d be pretty stuck.”

If you think monday.com could be just what your organisation needs, why not sign up and see what it has to offer with a 14-day free trial today?


FAQs

Is monday.com a good choice for small businesses and startups?

Yes, monday.com is a great choice for startups and small businesses that want to plan, track, and collaborate on any project. The flexibility of the software lends itself to all manner of tasks, no matter how big or small – from creating website copy to a full website redesign.

Is monday.com software safe and secure to use?

monday.com is fully GDPR compliant. You can read its Data Processing Addendum (DPA) here, in which it commits to protect your data in line with all GDPR regulations. monday.com has also appointed a full time Data Protection Officer, Aner Rabinovitz, to oversee all ongoing data privacy and compliance matters.

Is monday.com free?

monday.com offers a 14-day free trial, after which you either have to upgrade to a paid plan or lose access to the software.

Is monday.com better than Freshworks CRM?

It’s difficult to compare monday.com and Freshworks CRM directly – the former is primarily a project management tool with CRM functions, while the latter is a purpose built CRM system.

That said, we can judge them purely on their merits as general business software. On Capterra, the average score for both monday.com and Freshworks CRM is a healthy 4.6/5.

We’d say that if you want to invest in a fully kitted out CRM for sales or marketing purposes, your best bet is probably Freshworks CRM. But if you want a more wide-ranging business tool, monday.com is a great all-rounder, offering solutions for a number of key business functions.

Henry Williams headshot
Henry Williams Content Manager

Henry has been writing for Startups.co.uk since 2015, covering everything from business finance and web builders to tax and red tape. He’s also acted as project lead on many of our industry-renowned annual indexes, including Startups 100 and Business Ideas, and created a number of the site’s popular how to guides.

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