Did you ever have this “duh” feeling when you learned about a feature or shortcut months into using a piece of software?
There are many project and workflow management tools on the market. ClickUp, Jira, and Notion are some of the most popular ones, but there are many others.
Is it worth investing your time in learning more about the tools that you use and the principles of organizing efficient workflows? Definitely.
But is it worth spending time diving deeper and passing the certification exam? You don’t always have to spend money – some credentials can be obtained completely for free.
In this article, I’ll review the learning and certification options for popular task management software: Jira, ClickUp, Notion, Asana, and Trello.
I’ll also tell about my personal experience of successfully passing the ClickUp Expert certificate exam.
ClickUp vs. Jira vs. Notion vs. Monday vs. Trello: which project management tool should I invest in?
“Investment” has a few meanings here:
- Investing your money in software fees
- Investing your time in learning the tool
- Investing your time and possibly money in getting a deeper understanding of the tool and potentially obtaining a certification badge.
Each of those tools has a Free plan that provides most of the functionality, with some limitations. Free plans are perfectly fine for personal use or for small teams that have simple workflows.
On their paid plans, those tools lift their limitations and provide additional features like advanced reporting, custom fields, automations, and so on.
Certain tools provide more features than others. But, at the end of the day, remember this:
Your success with the project management software, your efficiency and productivity using it depends on setting up and maintaining workflows.
As the articles and webinars explain how the project management software works, they give workflow and organization tips.
And, as a project management professional, you might want to get a certification to improve your skills and your professional profile.
Related: Which Scrum Master certification is the best?
ClickUp certificate prerequisites and conditions
There are three levels of ClickUp certificates:
- Novice. An introductory level with a short test.
- Intermediate. The exam tests your knowledge of workflow organization principles and various ClickUp features.
- Advanced. A deeper dive into ClickUp setup and administration.
All certificates are free. The point is to let you understand ClickUp better.
All ClickUp certificate exams are open-book and don’t have a time limit. If you fail the exam, you can attempt again right away.
ClickUp exam pass score is 80%.
There are many fun and comprehensive courses you could take at ClickUp University to get to know the software better and learn some productivity tips.
I like challenges, and if there’s a chance to attempt a certification exam for free, I’ll surely take it. Earlier, I had an experiment passing PRINCE2 sample exams with minimal preparation. Read more about my ClickUp exam journey at the end of the article.
Monday.com professional certification costs
Monday.com offers 3 courses with certification exams:
- Core builder certification. Cost: $399. For Project Managers and consultants. Workflow organization and training principles.
- API builder certification. Cost: $549. For Developers. Building custom workflows with code.
- CRM builder certification. Cost: $199. A specialized certification for using Monday for Customer Relationship Management.
All Monday.com certifications are valid for 1 year. To extend them, you need to pass the exam again, at a reduced cost.
The renewal cost is $120 for Core and API builder certifications, and the CRM builder certification renewal has an undisclosed but discounted fee.
Are Monday.com certifications worth it?
The chain of logic goes like this:
- Monday.com certification prices and renewal costs are relatively steep.
- BUT Monday.com connects its certification holders with nonprofits, so they can practice their skills and help people.
- BUT a nonprofit might have relatively simple workflows, so it won’t be much of a skill-building challenge if you already have some experience.
So, getting a Monday.com certification is worth it if:
- You work with Monday for your clients and want to improve your professional profile.
- You want to help non-profits and get some hands-on Monday experience.
If you just want to learn without obtaining the certification, you could check the docs and courses in Monday Academy.
Related: PMP vs. PRINCE2: which project management certification is the best?
How can I become a Notion Certified Consultant?
Notion offers a great deal with its certifications. You can pass the Notion exams for free and get a Credly badge, which can be easily shared and integrated with various platforms.
Notion has three certifications:
- Notion Essentials. An all-around exam, testing everything starting from the basics to databases and formulas.
- Notion Settings & Sharing. Demonstrate an in-depth understanding of team collaboration and workspace architecture.
- Notion Certified Consultant. There are substantial prerequisites to earn this badge: you need to demonstrate contributions to the Notion community and present three case studies – with client references – where you used Notion to efficiently resolve client needs.
To attempt any of the exams, you need to fill out an application form and provide information about your Notion experience.
Notion exam passing score is 70%. If you fail to achieve it, you can reapply for another test in 30 days.
Prepare for your certification by browsing the resources in Notion Help Center and practicing in your workspace.
Are Notion certifications worth it?
Obtaining a certification would be a nice challenge. You’ll refresh your knowledge, will likely learn some new tricks as you prepare for the exam, and get an easily shareable credential to enhance your resume – and all of this at no cost.
Getting a Jira certification from Atlassian University
Jira is a robust issue-tracking and Agile project management software.
If you want to learn more about the fundamentals and best practices of using Jira, you can check the free courses provided by Atlassian University.
Jira certifications, however, all lean heavily on the technical side.
Atlassian certification and credential maintenance structure seem convoluted at first glance. But the credentials are aimed at people who have at least a year of hands-on experience with Atlassian products. At that point, it’ll be clear what type of certification is the closest to what you’re doing – or which one you want to improve your skills and enhance your profile.
Costs for Jira certifications range from $100 to $250 for more advanced ones.
An Atlassian certification is valid for 24 months. It’s renewed by earning a related Pro Skills Badge before the credential expiration date.
Atlassian badges can be displayed via the Certification Portal or shared on Linkedin or your CV with a direct link.
How can I become an Atlassian Certified Expert?
If you earn and maintain several specialized Atlassian certifications, you’re granted the title of Atlassian Certified Expert.
While the title is granted automatically, the credentials it requires change every few years, as some Atlassian certifications retire and new ones emerge.
Are Atlassian certifications worth it?
Jira Atlassian certifications are reasonably priced and easy to maintain with badges. But they’re quite specialized, so earning one makes the most sense if you work with Jira on a regular basis or want to get seriously involved with it.
But, since Atlassian products are well-known and used by many, having a Jira certification would add weight to any resume, and your skills administering the software would be in demand.
Are there Trello certifications?
Like Jira, Trello is developed by Atlassian. It’s a more lightweight solution to workflow management but provides some robust solutions with automation and integrations.
While there are no certifications available, Trello provides a detailed guide introducing you to its core and advanced features and giving some workflow tips and tricks.
Does Asana have certifications?
Asana Academy offers a large variety of free courses and webinars on project management, productivity, team collaboration, and more.
At the moment, there are no official Asana certifications, though you can earn some Asana-related credentials from partnered organizations.
In the forum, Asana team representatives mentioned that they plan to introduce certifications in the future, but there’s no specific timeline.
Related: Professional Scrum Master level III – the most challenging Scrum certification.
Taking the ClickUp certificate exams: my story
While I had previous experience with other project management tools, I only used ClickUp briefly at the point when I decided to attempt the exams. Here’s how it played out.
ClickUp Novice certificate
Even if you dealt with similar systems, it’s nice to see them live to get a better feel for the features and pick some small things you maybe didn’t think about.
I watched the first webinar at 2x speed to get in the mood, then answered the novice quiz, scoring 8/10. There were some concepts I realized I wasn’t familiar with, but I still answered correctly just based on logic.
ClickUp Intermediate certificate
After passing the Novice exam, I immediately moved on to the Intermediate exam.
I just used logic and previous experience to answer the questions and wasn’t sure if I’ll score on some ClickUp-specific questions, but in the end, I answered 44 questions out of 50 correctly – an 88% score.
ClickUp Expert certificate: how to pass successfully
While the Intermediate certification is about using Clickup and its more advanced functions, the Expert certification is more about administration. You need to know your way around the settings.
The first attempt was a failure. No matter how good your intuition is, you do need to know some hard facts about the specific features of the tool.
26 of 39 questions (66%) were correct.
On my second take, I was googling the questions and reading the related materials. Some were quite insightful, like the principles of creating a database with ClickUp.
I still didn’t pass on my second attempt: 28 of 39 Correct (71%).
The questions for the ClickUp expert were taken from a larger pool, so I researched and learned something new with every iteration.
But third time’s a charm: I got 34 of 39 Correct (87%) and obtained the ClickUp Expert certificate.