Think back to the first time you managed a project. Let’s say you were in fifth grade, getting ready for a science fair. You probably used tools like poster board, glue sticks, and glitter pens. You likely cooperated with other students to share duties, brainstorm ideas, and execute your concept. This was probably the first time you realized that project management’s not always easy — even if you didn’t know the term at the time.
Today, you’ll use dedicated, powerful project management tools. Two of the best are ClickUp and Jira. They’re both great options but very different — though spotting those differences can be tricky if you’re not a project manager.
Let’s compare ClickUp vs. Jira, unpacking their strengths and weaknesses. That way, you can understand which is right for you.
Why compare ClickUp and Jira when you can have both?
What is Jira?
Jira is a project management tool designed around agile methodology. It’s primarily intended for software development, but other teams can use it for project management too.
It was developed by the Australian company Atlassian, and launched in 2002. Jira is highly customizable, featuring more than 3,000 integrations. That makes it perfect for teams that have a large tech stack that needs to work seamlessly with their PM tool. In fact, the Jira website boasts that “if your team uses it, we integrate with it!”
Jira also offers automation capabilities, reporting, and the standard collaboration interface that every project management platform needs.
What is ClickUp?
ClickUp emphasizes the collaborative side of project management with tools like shared whiteboards and an integrated word processor. ClickUp also has many of the features you’ll find in Jira, such as time tracking, reporting, and some automation capabilities.
But, an important difference is that ClickUp has fewer integration options than Jira. They do offer more than 1000, like HubSpot, GitHub, Slack, Google Drive, and Outlook. That’s because ClickUp markets itself as a turnkey solution. While they integrate with common work apps like Google Workspace, you shouldn’t need thousands of other tools if you’re using ClickUp.
That’s why ClickUp brands itself as ‘the one app to replace them all.’
ClickUp vs. Jira: Features and use-cases
ClickUp and Jira are designed for a common purpose: project management. But that doesn’t mean they’re the same.
Speaking generally, Jira was designed primarily for software development, bug tracking, and IT service management. ClickUp is a broader PM tool that would be excellent for many different kinds of teams — but that lack of specialization can be a downside for software development teams.
But that’s not a hard-and-fast rule about who should use which. To understand whether you should use ClickUp and Jira, you need to understand how their actual features are different. So, let’s break them down.
One of the biggest considerations in the ClickUp vs. Jira debate is how each tool can integrate with the rest of your tool stack.
It’s clear — Jira is miles ahead for integrations. They integrate with over 3,000 tools, and more are being added all the time.
However, ClickUp has a robust number of integrations, too. Theirs are geared towards the most popular business tools, like Microsoft Teams, Zoom, and Slack.
How does your team like to collaborate? Answering this question might be the key to deciding which project management platform is right for you.
ClickUp has a healthy set of collaboration features, thoughtfully designed to enable teamwork for all sorts of projects. You’ll be able to use documents, whiteboards, and dashboards within the platform, as well as features like tasks and real-time collaboration.
Jira doesn’t have quite the same bells and whistles when it comes to collaboration. While you’ll absolutely be able to bring team members together in a Jira issue to get work done and move your project forward, Jira isn’t a one-stop shop for collaboration the way ClickUp is. That’s something you’ll get out of Confluence, one of Atlassian’s other apps.
ClickUp vs. Jira: automation
Automation is a hot topic these days. Unsurprisingly, both Jira and ClickUp offer automation capabilities to help your team work better and faster.
Whether you choose ClickUp or Jira, you’ll be able to automate repetitive tasks, update project statuses, or create alerts. ClickUp has a slightly more nuanced automation structure that allows you to automate more complex processes.
If tracking your team’s time is the priority, you’ll want to choose ClickUp. ClickUp has a native, in-app timer that helps users keep track of their billable hours. You can even generate timesheets from directly within the interface!
In contrast, Jira doesn’t offer a built-in timer. Its time tracking features are built around logging time, not timing work dynamically the way ClickUp does.
Employees could track their time independently and upload that information manually. That said, since Jira is such an integration star, a better solution might be to use a third-party timer through their library of integrations.
ClickUp vs. Jira: Pricing
Finally, let’s not forget an important topic — price!
You can get started with both Jira and ClickUp for free. However, ClickUp is slightly more generous with its free plan. Even though the storage, integrations, and features are limited, you’ll be able to add unlimited team members for free.
Jira’s free plan only allows ten users, as well as limiting storage and some of their more advanced, software-specific features like audit logs.
Both offer two paid tiers and a custom enterprise option, depending on how powerful of a solution you need.
ClickUp vs. Jira: Which is better?
ClickUp and Jira are both great for project management.
Deciding which one is right for you depends on your unique project, industry, and team. In general, the difference comes down to industry, the size of your team, and your level of technical sophistication.
ClickUp works best for small to mid-sized businesses, across industries, who want to hit the ground running with a centralized place to handle their projects. Jira, on the other hand, is better suited to more tech-savvy teams — especially in DevOps and IT — who need to juggle a cocktail of integrations of many different tools.
That doesn’t mean you can’t use Jira if you’re not a developer, or that ClickUp is a bad choice if you work in IT. But it does serve as a good guideline as to which one is more likely to suit your needs, and which you should consider more seriously.
Don’t want to choose?
Did you know there’s a way you can use both ClickUp and Jira and make it easier to collaborate between them? It’s called Unito.
The team at Verivox synced 50,000 tickets between Jira and ClickUp
Unito is a no-code workflow management solution with the deepest two-way integrations for some of the most popular tools on the market. Tools that include Google Calendar, Google Sheets, Microsoft Excel, Jira, Asana, GitHub, Trello, and more. And with Unito’s integration for ClickUp and Jira, you can sync data in both directions between these tools, meaning everyone can work from the spreadsheet tool they like best.
Maybe you’re a ClickUp devotee partnering with a Jira fanatic. Or maybe you’re a bigger organization, managing different teams who each have their own tools. Either way, use Unito to get everyone working together — no posterboard or glue sticks required.
Want to know more?
Here's how easy it is to set up Unito's integration for ClickUp and Jira, and what it can do for your teams