Okay, how is everyone enjoying ClickUp so far? On our first day (which was actually a week ago), we took a quick look around and created a space, folder, list, and task. And with just those skills, you can get started. That probably gives you enough information to use ClickUp in the same way as your current task management system.
But wait, there’s more.
That’s right. ClickUp is so much more than a simple task management system, or even a project management system. The more time I spend with it, and the more time looking at how others use it, I am finding more and better ways to use the product.
Pretty exciting, huh?
But unfortunately, we aren’t going to get too much fun stuff today. That will come later, so stay tuned.
Today, we need to drill into all those settings we skipped over last week. It may be boring, but trust me, it’s time well spent. You may not need all of that information right now, but somewhere down the line you will, and hopefully, remember where you read about it.
Here, I hope.
So, open up your ClickUp app, or log in to the web version and let’s get started.
You will encounter various settings in several places while using ClickUp, but most can be found in one place. That is under the icon at the lower left of your screen, which contains the logo you selected when you set up your profile and workspace.
Click on it and it will open up the menu above. Remember, we talked last week that the menu on the left is for your workspace and the one on the right is your user. You can rename either or both as you will see in a minute, but as I mentioned, you really won’t be coming back here too often, once everything is set up.
Clicking on either your workspace name (mine is orange) or the Settings option below that, brings up the same window. Actually, any option brings up the same window, but different options are highlighted.
As promised, if you click on the name at the very top, you can change it to anything that makes sense. Below that, I have Personal Workspace Layout turned on. As I said in the first release, I won’t be covering team usage in my tutorials. It’s just me. But you could turn it off there to open up more of the team-related options.
Below that you can see these options are labeled as Business. That means they are only available for the Business plan. I may take a look at that at some point in the future, as the upgrade is very reasonable. But for now, I am sticking with the Unlimited plan. The account used in this tutorial is the Free Forever plan. Free is good.
The only thing left on this page is Delete Workspace. Don’t click that. If you changed your workspace name, click Save Changes and let’s move on.
Click on People and you will see there aren’t many people. Just you. So, let’s move on to Spaces.
In our test account, you can see the two spaces we created last week. The original space defaulted to my name and I created the second one, called Test Space, which is where I created our list and folder. You can click Go to Space to go directly back to the space. Again, Shared With is only for teams. One thing to note is that I created different Statuses. The ones you see in the Test Space are the default statuses. In Darryl Brooks’s Space, I deleted the In Progress status.
We will cover statuses in another chapter. There are a ton of fun things you can do with statuses in ClickUp. For now, just know that, at the task list level, if you just want a simple checkmark to click and complete a task, you need to only have two statuses. Anything more than that, and the status will appear as a checkbox which will open up a drop-down of all available statuses. I use plenty of both types in my personal account.
You can customize statuses on the Space, Folder, or List level.
To the right of that are all the ClickApps, with the ones selected highlighted. These are customizable at the Space level and we will cover them in their own chapter. For now, it doesn’t matter which you have selected.
Move down to Import/Export. There’s not much there, but what is there is very important. If you click on Start Export, ClickUp will export all of your data into a CSV file that you can download. If you don’t know, CSV stands for comma-separated values and is a raw data format used by many programs, including Excel. You should do that occasionally just so you have a backup off all your tasks.
Start Import is where the magic is. You don’t need to start from scratch with ClickUp. If you use any of the apps listed, you can import directly from them. Note that some things may need cleaning up after the import.
If you don’t have one of those apps and you want to import, you have two options. One is to use your existing program to export a CSV file and then import it here. ClickUp will walk you through the steps of converting your old fields to the new ones. The other is a bit more clunky but doable. The apps listed will have free trials. See if one of them will import from your app, then import from there into ClickUp. Going through two conversions may or may not mangle the data, but it’s worth looking at if you have a ton of tasks.
I have less than a hundred. This may seem like a lot, but the data entry on ClickUp is very easy. I have always found that when moving from one app to another is a good time to inspect your current tasks. I always clean them up, getting rid of those that aren’t useful anymore, then do a clean start with the new app.
But you do you.
The next option is, again, ClickApps. You can scroll through them quickly to see what is available, but we’ll get back to those later. I promise.
Integrations are another advanced topic we will return to. I don’t use any at this point but will probably add some Zapier and Time tracking integrations in the future. Stay tuned.
The next option is Upgrade. Take a look. I think you will like ClickUp and if you do, I highly recommend going to at least the Unlimited Plan. As you can see, it’s not a huge jump to the Business Plan if you need that extra functionally.
Don’t tell anyone I mentioned this, but see the fine print at the bottom of Unlimited that says, “Or let’s make a deal?” Click that. Trust me.
If you want to use ClickUp and reward me for all this hard work, you are free to use my referral link. I won’t leave the country. It gets me points. I don’t know what I can do with points yet. But I like points.
Below that is the Trash. Here you can find and restore anything you deleted in the last 30 days. Trust me, this is a good thing. In one of the other apps I used recently, trash was trash. In another, it was easy to click on Delete Forever, but harder to click on just Delete, which put it in the trash for later retrieval.
These guys have really thought through the struggles we all face.
Finally, under that is Security & Permissions. Everything here is either for a higher plan or for teams, or both. We will move on.
Under that is My Settings. This will be your settings as a user rather than the workspace level. This is the same place you would get to if you clicked your username or My Settings back in the original menu. I know this workspace vs user stuff can confuse you, but trust me, you can mostly ignore it.
We’ll start at the top of My Settings. As before, you can change the name used, change your email address, or change your password. Two-Factor Authentication is another Business Plan option. Below that, you can change the color theme of your user. This doesn’t do much but gives you some personalization.
Under that are time zone options. The only thing here that may not be obvious is the Notify Me of Timezone Changes. If you travel much, you definitely want to check that on.
Beneath that are some general preferences. We will discuss them one at a time.
Flyout Toast Message
This is just a little message that will pop up for a few seconds after taking certain actions. The most noticeable is closing a task. I have left this turned on as it doesn’t bother me, but it may annoy you. If you are a frequent Undoer, you may want to leave it turned on. Know you can always change things back.
Don’t post comments with ‘Enter’
You know how, if you are typing something on Facebook and you hit Enter for a new line and it posts the message? This is that. Inside of tasks, if you hit enter in a comment, but not in a description, it closes the comments and posts it. Just like with Facebook, if you want a new line, hit Shift-Enter. Set this to whichever way is comfortable. I have it turned on, just because the behavior under comments and descriptions will still be the same.
If you are not familiar, markdown refers to keyboard shortcuts to quickly create a certain type of text, such as headings, bold, italics, etc. If you are familiar with it from other apps, you will probably want to leave it on. If you type things and get strange results because of Markdown, turn it off. If you are creating a lot of docs within ClickUp, I urge you to learn Markdown and use it. It is a great timesaver.
As in most software, ClickUp supplies a set Hotkeys to navigate between functions quickly. I don’t know why you would turn that off, but you have the options.
This is a very handy feature that we will cover in more detail later. But a key element of any productivity system is the ability to get things out of your head and into your system quickly and easily. This option allows you to have a ClickUp notepad in the bottom corner of your browser screen for making quick notes on the fly.
High Contrast Mode
I couldn’t see the difference. Try it on your monitor.
Come over to the dark side. In most apps, I turn this on. For whatever reason, I prefer ClickUp in bright mode. You do you.
Global font support
Useful for some languages.
Up to you. Celebrate. Go crazy.
The next section in the user settings menu is Workspaces. Remember, this is the largest level in the hierarchy. In my personal copy, I only have one workspace. Here, I created a second just so you can see it displayed.
The reason you would want to use another workspace is to have a complete separation between workspaces. Work and Home come to mind.
This is also the reason you wouldn’t want to do it. Within a workspace, you will have an everything view. Here you can view tasks together no matter what space, folder or list they are in. You can’t do that across workspaces. Separate is separate.
The next option is Notifications. I will not go into these individually as there are a lot. There are dozens of different notifications and each one may or may not have options for email, mobile, browser, and desktop.
Just remember where they are. Most notifications are turned on by default. If you are getting something you don’t want, this is the place to turn it off. I have most of them turned off as I don’t need to notify myself of something I just did. Maybe someday I will need this, but not today.
One I do have turned on is a daily email containing all of my tasks due today first thing in the morning.
Under Notifications is Rewards.
This is where I got the affiliate link above.
Beneath that is Log out. You know what it does. Don’t click it.
The last options are under My Apps. This is a variety of apps, including the ones mentioned earlier under Integrations. The only one I would have you check out, to begin with, is under Calendar. If you use Google, Outlook, or Apple Calendar and you want to integrate it with ClickUp, this is the place to do so.
Since A) ClickUp has its own calendar views and B) I don’t want to see every task on my Google Calendar, I don’t use this.
You do you.
Well, that’s a wrap on all the major settings. There are plenty more at each level of the program we will cover when we get there. I know today was a bit boring, but knowing where these are and how to change them will make your use of ClickUp much easier and more intuitive. It is a highly customizable program, so make it yours.
If you have something specific you want me to cover in the next chapter, let me know. Otherwise, thanks for reading.
And if you missed it, here is Chapter One: