ClickUp's organization is based on a carefully constructed hierarchy. Folders and Lists are located right in the middle of the hierarchy, and are essential to its success!

The only thing to understand is that Folders are above Lists, and Lists contain Tasks - Lists act as tabs within that Folder. 



  • This is where tasks LIVE

  • Lists act as "tabs" within Folders and Spaces 

  • You can customize statuses for each List

  • Each task must belong to one List 

  • Can be made private and shared with external guests

ClickUp people create Folders and Lists for things like...

  • People

  • Phases

  • Timelines

  • Sprints

  • Divisions/Departments

  • Groups

  • Locations

  • And really, they can be anything to keep your Spaces organized. 

This extra level of the hierarchy is something unique to ClickUp. We promise - once you get in the habit of using Lists, it forces structure and you'll thank us as your projects grow!

ClickUp Hierarchy

Here's an example of how you can think about each level of the Hierarchy:

  • Workspace: Your overarching organization (if you were running a business with ClickUp, this could be your company)

  • Spaces: The "departments" within your organization (for example, you could have Spaces for "Marketing", "Accounting", etc. within your company Workspace)

  • Folders: Help organize Lists and tasks. They describe the bigger workflows you're focusing on within each Space. (Example: "Marketing" Space > "Social Media Outreach" Folder)

  • Lists: Act as "tabs" within their parent Folders. They provide more detail on the individual action items that make up bigger projects. (Example: "Social Media Outreach" Folder > "Facebook Ad Campaign" List)

  • Tasks: The small, concrete action items that need to be attended to in order to complete parent Lists (Example:  "Facebook Ad Campaign" List > "Create a Facebook Event" task)

This system ensures that every action item has a clearly defined place in your workflow, and makes it less likely that tasks will fall through the cracks.

Make Folders Work for You

There are a lot of ways to customize Folders you create.

When creating a Folder, people can:

  • Create statuses

  • Choose to create the Folder from a template

  • Share the Folder with the entire Space, or with select people

  • Add any relevant Lists to the new Folder (or just start with a generic one named something such as "Tasks")

Folder menu for creating new Folder

Why Require Lists? 

Organization & Growth

We created ClickUp after becoming frustrated with the lack of organization and structure in other project management software. Even if you intend to use a project management platform on a semi-regular basis, you will need a rock-solid process to avoid organizational chaos as your number of tasks increases.

ClickUp Lists prevent this problem from the beginning, making it easy to start and stay organized.

Create a standalone List

You can also create a standalone List that has no parent Folder

  1. Click on the Space's +  icon

  2. Select + New List 

  3. Name the List

This shows how to create a stand alone List

Deleting or Archiving Folders and Lists

If you ever want to remove a Folder or List, just hover over it and click the ellipses ... . This will show a dropdown where you can rename, move, or remove the List or Project.  

Note the difference between "deleting" and "archiving" your Folder or List. When you archive a List or Folder, it can be retrieved for later inspection. Deleting, on the other hand, is permanent.

You can unarchive a  Folder or List at any time by clicking the cog icon next to the ClickUp at the top of your sidebar and selecting show archived.

how to show archived Folders and Lists

Once you've spotted your archived Folder or List, just hover over it and click the restore arrow to unarchive it.

how to unarchive Folder or List

Pro tip: Archive and delete Folders and Lists on the go with our Mobile App!

Be sure to let us know what else you would like to see on our feedback board here!

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