Mastering ClickUp Status vs Stages

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Task management is a critical aspect of running a successful business, and with the rise of digital tools like ClickUp, managing tasks efficiently has become easier than ever. 

However, navigating the complexities of ClickUp statuses and stages within ClickUp can be confusing for users. In this comprehensive guide, we will delve into the difference between ClickUp statuses and stages, how to effectively apply them in your workflow, and why they are crucial for streamlining your business processes in ClickUp.

Understanding Clickup Statuses:

In ClickUp, statuses represent the different statuses of a task, such as :

“to do,”
“in progress,”
“waiting internal,”
“waiting external,”
“proof,” and

Status VS Stages story - Ask Yvi

These statuses are action-based and indicate whether a task is being actively worked on or is awaiting action. Setting up ClickUp statuses at the list, folder, or space level allows for customization to match your specific workflow requirements. By using consistent action-based statuses like “to do” and “in progress,” you can easily track the progress of tasks across different projects and departments.

Differentiating Stages from Statuses:

While ClickUp statuses focus on the action being taken on a task, stages in ClickUp are task-based and reflect the different phases a task goes through in its lifecycle. For example, in a video production project, stages could include ideation, preparation, recording, editing, SEO optimization, scheduling, publishing, and repurposing. Unlike statuses, stages provide a clear picture of where a task stands in terms of deliverability rather than the current actions being taken. This distinction helps to streamline workflow processes and improve overall project management efficiency.

Setting Up Statuses and Stages:

Configuring ClickUp statuses and stages is straightforward. When creating a new space, you can define custom statuses based on your specific workflow requirements. Additionally, stages, which do not exist as predefined options in ClickUp, can be created using dropdown fields. By consistently applying action-based statuses and task-based stages across your projects, you ensure clarity and uniformity in task management, making it easier for team members to understand the status of each task and where it fits in the larger project timeline.

Editing Statuses and Stages:

Flexibility is key when it comes to adapting your ClickUp statuses and stages to evolving project needs. ClickUp allows users to easily edit statuses and stages within their workspace, enabling them to rename, color-code, and rearrange them as required. By regularly reviewing and optimizing statuses and stages based on project feedback and performance, you can ensure that your task management system remains effective and aligned with your business objectives.

Importance of Utilizing Stages in ClickUp:

Integrating stages into your task management process in ClickUp provides valuable insights into the progress of tasks and projects. While statuses indicate the current action being taken on a task, stages offer a comprehensive view of where a task stands in its lifecycle. For instance, knowing that a podcast recording is scheduled, but the graphics are still pending, gives a clear understanding of the task’s overall status and helps in identifying potential bottlenecks or delays in the project timeline.

Optimizing Workflow Efficiency:

By leveraging the power of statuses and stages in ClickUp effectively, businesses can enhance their workflow efficiency and ensure smoother project execution. Action-based statuses enable quick identification of task progress, while task-based stages provide a holistic view of project milestones and deliverables. Implementing a consistent and well-organized system of statuses and stages not only improves task management but also promotes cross-departmental alignment and collaboration within the organization.


Mastering task management in ClickUp requires a clear understanding of ClickUp statuses versus stages and how to leverage these features to optimize workflow efficiency. By implementing action-based statuses and task-based stages consistently across your projects, you can streamline your business processes, enhance team collaboration, and drive project success. With the right approach to configuring and utilizing statuses and stages in ClickUp, you can transform your task management practices and elevate your business operations to new heights of productivity and efficiency.

Video Transcription:

Yvonne Heimann [00:00:00]:
Are you still confused about what ClickUp statuses to use, what custom fields to create, and what stage your task is supposed to be at? I’ve been in your shoes many, many times and so has my community and my clients. Let me guide you through all the whys and wheres so you dont make a mess of your ClickUp workspace. Otherwise youll probably have to spend hours trying to clean up and fix it. This specific one is a huge time sucker if not done right. Hi everybody, I’m Yvonne Hyman, aka Yvee from askevi.com comma, a ClickUp verified plus consultant and business strategist since way back when. I’m here to make your life easier and your business thrive and today we are going to talk about the difference between statuses and stages, how you should apply them, and why they change in your business process, and why they are so important for your business processes inside ClickUp let’s start by talking about what are statuses and what are stages. Specifically in ClickUp. ClickUp calls the statuses statuses and those are the ones that you see on your tasks right here, for example, to do in progress waiting internal waiting external proof complete.

Yvonne Heimann [00:01:21]:
You can set these statuses on a list level. Underneath your list settings. There you will find your list statuses and you have them. You can set a whole bunch of different custom statuses within ClickUp, on the list level, on the folder level, on the space level. And that is exactly where this problem comes in that we are going to be talking about. You have the possibility to set those statuses at whatever you want to set them at. And with ClickUp growing this big and getting this much recognition and being everywhere, the problem of status versus stages has come up again, because there are so many new consultants that haven’t gone through the pain yet of what it means when statuses in ClickUp are implemented wrong. So this is technically statuses.

Yvonne Heimann [00:02:13]:
We will be digging deeper into what all of this means. Stages within ClickUp are, rather than doing based which are your statuses, they are task based, meaning your deliverability, in this case a YouTube video. Deliverability is that video. Building this video which now goes through their own I’m gonna say this wrong. Once that video goes through their own stages, from idea to preparation. See, I can’t even say it wrong anymore. This video goes through their own statuses. Let’s forget this right away.

Yvonne Heimann [00:02:45]:
There are stages of ideation, prep, record, edit, SEO optimization, scheduled, published and repurposed. That is your deliverability. That has nothing to do with telling you is somebody working on it or is it not? Your status should be action based. Your status should never be edit. It’s not. Your status within ClickUp needs to be cross applicable. All the folders, all the lists, all the spaces, they need to be action based for you to know who is working on something or who is not working on something. Editing doesn’t tell you if somebody is editing something, it tells you that the task needs to be edited, the video needs to be edited.

Yvonne Heimann [00:03:25]:
It doesn’t tell you that your editor is actually working on it. To give you another example, podcast there’s a lot of stuff going on. There is so much more going on than in my YouTube videos. These are complete, as you can see, the exact same statuses. And these are the statuses you should be using. Nothing else, only variations of this to do in progress. Waiting internal, waiting external a potential proof status and complete. Those are action based statuses.

Yvonne Heimann [00:03:52]:
They can always answer the question, is somebody working on it or not? Then we have a podcast stage. Cool. We are prepping a podcast. We are scheduling the recording. The recording is scheduled. We have some automations with that. That’s why we make the differentiation between it. The recording is done, the assets are done, the podcast is scheduled.

Yvonne Heimann [00:04:12]:
Or we might never have scheduled it because somebody didn’t show up. We also have a speaker stage that tells me what level they are at. Where did they come from? We also have a graphic stage that tells me is the graphic in draft? Does it need to be proved? Has it been approved? Is it ready? Yes. You potentially have two proof statuses. If you are sending it off to a client, you need to mark this proof and make it waiting external because the client has to prove it. So now that you have an idea of what status versus stages means, again, status doing based, is somebody working on it or not? Where a stage is, what is that status? Let’s use this for the last time. Your deliverable goes through. Now if you start understanding this before we dive deeper, go hit that like button and show me that you are really getting this understanding of process based and doing based.

Yvonne Heimann [00:05:08]:
So let’s dive deeper into this. Again. How do we set up statuses? Really simple. When you set up a new space, right away it’s going to ask you what statuses you want. You can always go back into your list settings as well as your folder settings as well as your space settings. There is all of your custom statuses in here. Again, statuses and their named statuses in ClickUp two are action based. Is somebody working on it or not? If your status cannot answer that question, it’s wrong.

Yvonne Heimann [00:05:42]:
Now to do is somebody needs to do it. In progress is, hey, I’m actually working on it. Waiting external means we are waiting on a client. We might wait on an external contractor to finish something up. Something outside of our company needs to happen before we can finish it. Waiting internal means yes. This is my job to take care of, but I’m waiting for the boss, the CEO, the CMO, whoever on the team to take care of what they need to take care of so I can finish mine. This is ready for proof now.

Yvonne Heimann [00:06:14]:
Proof means it’s in proof status. However, you could potentially have multiple stages in there with external proofing or internal proofing. Not gonna go too deep into that. That is a lot of process mapping, and we get really nerdy on that and then complete. How do we set up stages? Stages by name do not exist in ClickUp. Technically, a stage is nothing else than a drop down field because you always should just be able to have one stage. You can’t be editing a podcast and it’s published at the same time. It’s just simply not possible.

Yvonne Heimann [00:06:52]:
So use a drop down field by adding a column drop down and. And call it whatever stage. I always like to use the word stage with it so I can find them all. Because maybe we called it podcast stage, maybe we called it byb pod, maybe we call it whatever. Adding the name stage in there means I can always find it with that. Again, your status, your drop down field is location based, meaning if you add it into a list, you need to pull it up into a folder. If you want to have it in the folder. If you want to have it in the space, you need to pull it up from either way, the list or the folder folder into that space.

Yvonne Heimann [00:07:31]:
How do we edit that? How do we edit statuses in ClickUp? How do we edit stages in ClickUp? Really simple. Just like we can set them up, you go into that specific location and choose, choose the highest one. I always like to go the highest one for right now. Let’s just go right here into the list statuses, and you can rename them. You can change the color, you can rearrange them in here however you like. I’m not going to play changes because we want to keep them that way, and that’s how you can adjust them. Again, your statuses should be applicable at at least 90% of your ClickUp space. And I’ve been working with this since 2018.

Yvonne Heimann [00:08:11]:
Right from the beginning, this was one of the downfalls of being able to do all the things that I have seen really hurting companies and unexperienced ClickUp consultants are bringing this issue back, which is why I’m recording this video for you. We have literally not change these since 2018 because they work, because these statuses and variations of these statuses work for workload management. To figure out what is your team working on or not? Are they getting things done? Where are things? They make sense across departments, across spaces. So when team members switch around, they don’t have to relearn anything. And that additional information of where this task is, that’s where we used to stages. And even with stages, you can always edit your drop down field and rename them and change them as need to be. Yes, I am hot. I am out of breath.

Yvonne Heimann [00:09:08]:
This is, this is a big undertaking. If you haven’t implemented this yet, this is a lot of work. It is. I promise you, it is worth it in the long run for your business to run more efficient within ClickUp. So why don’t you hit that subscribe button and let me know in the comment section, have you implemented status versus status? Are they still questions to clarify? Again, status active based. Are you working on it or not? Stage is deliverable based. Bring on. Bring on all the questions.

Yvonne Heimann [00:09:37]:
I’m here for it. I know in the beginning it can be quite confusing because ClickUp lets us do whatever we want to do. Last but not least, let’s dive really deep into those customers stages. Why are they important? How do they change your processes inside ClickUp now? By applying stages within ClickUp and really using stages, you give your tasks more information when you look at this. Yes, to do in progress. Cool. We know this, but it doesn’t tell you where in that process of video production are we at? In process of what? Writing the script? In process of editing the video. In process of what? Huh? So the stage gives you more clarity of all of the things happening all at the same time.

Yvonne Heimann [00:10:31]:
When you look at this video production in specific, I know that this podcast is scheduled, or I know that the recording is scheduled, or I know that I have recorded it, but the graphics might not be done yet, or they are done. You really get, especially in the list view, a really simple view of all the things that are happening all at the same time, potentially in one task, and give you a simple, easy view to see and know exactly where all of the bits and pieces are. While the statuses right here in ClickUp tell you specifically and precise if this task is moving forward and somebody is taking care of it or if it’s stuck somewhere and now suddenly the time and status feature within ClickUp is really, really helpful to tell you where in your process of working with your team, things get stuck. I do talk about those basics, those best practices, how you really can get the most out of your ClickUp. Within my book, mastering the basics of ClickUp, actually, I have a whole chapter only explaining those best practices you need to be doing with in your ClickUp. So if you haven’t already, go click the link in the description. Grab your physical copy on Amazon. It’s literally just $19.99.

Yvonne Heimann [00:11:56]:
You can’t master the basics more easily and more cheap than with a book. And once you got it, don’t forget to claim your bonuses. So we talked a lot about status versus stages. This is a big change. This can take time. If you haven’t implemented this right from the beginning, take your time and really focus on adjusting your statuses and stages accordingly. I promise you how many years now since 2018 I have seen the impact in businesses. I know the fight in the beginning.

Yvonne Heimann [00:12:25]:
I get it. I’m there with you. It is so worth it for you to have less stress and less trouble in the future. And hopefully this helps you with all the questions and confusions you guys have been having regarding status versus stages within ClickUp. But if there is still unanswered questions, please leave them in the comment section. I am here to answer you. You know, I also have the Facebook group for you to join and we also do have power up your ClickUp where you get to talk to me one on one on a Zoom call and ask your question and get hands on help from me. And now that you learned all you need to know about status versus stages, and why don’t we take it a step further further by automating them.

Yvonne Heimann [00:13:06]:
It’s good to save a little bit more time here and there and let just do technology do the work for you. I do have a full video about that right here for you where I talk about how you can easily automate and scale your business with repeatable systems. And if you’re telling me I can’t put my business on autopilot with repeatable systems because everything is just so fancy in my business, I gotta tell you. Sorry, your business is not that fancy. Everything can be built on repeatable systems. So go automate and scale your business with repeatable system. And as always, don’t forget to subscribe because I want to see you in the next video.

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