The nature of freelancing means you’re constantly working on different projects, with different teams, and with different clients. On top of that, it’s your duty to always been updated and organized because your reputation depends on meeting your deadlines, and providing a good service to your clients.
Are you nodding your head up and down? Does this scenario look familiar to you? Well, it is familiar to all of us freelancers!
When you work on different projects, you need to track the progress of every assignment, to make sure you can respect deadlines, and, in case of problems, you’ve plenty of time to ask for a delay or amend things.
Luckily, there are some great online tools out there to track the progress of every project on your docket, avoid missing deliveries, and causing problems both to your scheduling and to your customers.
These are the best project management tools we recommend to every freelancer out there.
Trello is an easy tool to create and manage projects of every kind. The layout is easy to use and to understand, and it helps you visualize your tasks in a simple and effective way. You can (and you should) create a board for every client/project you’re working on, and inside every board, you can create lists based on your tasks and the type of project: one could be In Progress, another one could be Done, and so on.
For every list you can define a card that is the specific item linked to a specific task within a project; every card can be enhanced adding a description of the task, a deadline, an attachment if you need external documents, and also choose labels to differentiate a card from another.
Cards can be easily dragged and dropped from one list to another to mark and each Trello’s board can be shared with other users.
Trello is free and you can try it here.
Wrike has more or less the same structure as Trello: you create boards, identify tasks and cards, and assign deadlines to the users. But it has some interesting features you want to consider if you’re looking for a fully functional project management tool: your subtasks, for example, can be further broken down into specific activities and this will help you create a visual map not only about the overall project but also about the single items within a project.
One of the biggest features for freelancers in Wrike is the tracking system: in fact, it tracks how much time you spend on each task, giving you an idea on how to making better use of your time or how to adjust your rates depending on how much time you have to spend on specific tasks.
Wrike comes out with stats to create reports to show to your peers or the company you’re working with, in case you need to give them another reason to keep working with you.
You can invite people to your projects, and they don’t need to be Wrike users: send them a link, and based on the permissions you’ve given to them they will be able to contribute to your stream and your project.
Wrike offers 5 flexible enterprise pricing plans; you can start with a free plan for teams up to 5 users: the free plan is limited and doesn’t offer the same features as the paid ones, but it’s a good way to start using this project management tool and then decide to go for a paid version.
You can try Wrike using this link.
Asana is a big player in the market of project management tools and it’s been around for quite a long time: its layout is similar to a personal organizer and it’s visually clean and easy to use. Once you’ve created different boards within a project, you can create cards where to put specific items to be completed: every card can be customized with links, colors, notes and can be individually assigned to one or more people. You can drag and drop tasks and columns to organize your work during the various stages.
One of the most interesting and useful features is the Calendar where you can visually look at the various tasks and their stages if you’ve associated a due date to tasks and subtasks.
If you work in a team of freelancers, using the Conversations tab will help you stay on track of everything happening and also keep in touch with the other people working on the project: basically, with Asana you also have Slack integrated into your board, and that is a remarkable and extremely useful feature.
Asana offers 4 different plans starting from the Basics that is free and it’s perfect for individuals, even if limited in terms of things one can do and features.
You can try Asana using this link.
The name of this project management tool tells everything: ThriveSolo has been launched specifically for freelancers flying “solo”, and it’s a nice tool to master and use for your short term and long term projects.
It gives you the flexibility to create projects and set deadlines, but you cannot share the boards with external people. The best thing about ThriveSolo is that it not only helps you prioritize your workload giving a breakdown of the time spent on each task but also tracks the expenses and it can be used for invoicing purposes.
In the Client section, you can organize clients, prospects, and suppliers so you can not only keep track of everything but also decide what’s type of business you want to work with to match your existing clients.
ThriveSolo is not free, but since it has so many features we really think it’s a valid and useful tool for freelancers and solopreneurs.
You can try ThriveSolo for free here.
Bonsai is one of our favorite tools when it comes to project management and organization. If it’s well known for being one of the best tools for invoicing for freelancers, it also integrates a Task Management Feature. With this feature, you can add new tasks, tie them up to your client to create a specific workflow from the start to the end, and also invite collaborators to your projects to assign tasks and add comments for each other.
A perfect tool if you need to manage your own digital workspace, your client list, your tasks and your invoices as well.
The pricing starts at $19/month for the Workflow Plan, but you can try HelloBonsai for free using this link.
ZenKit is another project management tool for freelancers, but also for the biggest organizations. It offers the same features as its competitors such as collaboration, calendar management, task management, file sharing, and the advanced search but also a mind-mapping option.
The layout is easy to understand and to use and you can switch from a Kanban board with your tasks grouped into rows and columns to a spreadsheet-style grid, a to-do list, or a calendar.
One of the most interesting things about ZenDisk is the storage space for your attachments.
The Personal plan is free for all and includes up to 3 members, up to 5 workspaces, and up to 100 collections. Pricing starts from $9 per month per user. Try ZenKit here.
AND.CO may be known as an invoicing tool but it’s way more than that. It’s also a perfect task management tool for freelancers and self-employed: the Magic Tasks feature automatically creates tasks based on your deadlines, projects, and contract terms.
From here you can organize your tasks into custom lists and you can manage all of them in the My Desk section of the tool, where you can take action.
The Task Manager is completely integrated with the other features, so you can create a perfect workflow for every client you manage from the beginning of the contract to the invoicing stage: AND.CO it is really one tool for all your needs!
Free account for freelancers with very low demands, while the PRO version costs $18/month and of course includes more features (such as removing AND.CO branding from invoices and documents).
Yet another all-in-one solution for all the freelancers out there: FreshBooks is very well known for its accessibility and the fact that it gives you a set of tools you can easily manage online to make sure your freelancing business can run as smooth as possible.
The Projects Tab is where you will manage projects and decide who can have access to your projects and files, based on your needs and your tasks; you may, for example, grant access to your client, to make sure they’re on board with what you’re doing or to your fellow colleagues if you work with a team on a specific project/task.
From here you can also assign a rate or hours to a specific project for a client and once you’re done, you can easily create an invoice based on the time spent on the task and the rate you’ve agreed upon.
FreshBooks is perfect if you want to use just one web-based tool both for project management, invoicing, and keeping track of your expensed and your time.
You can have free unlimited access to FreshBooks for 30 days (no credit card required) and after your trial is up, you can choose from one of several paid plans; pricing starts from 15$ for the Lite Plan (up to 5 billable clients).
Monday is one of the most recognized project management tools for individuals and remote workers. Aside from being perfect to create and assign tasks, one of the main features of Monday is that it is accessible from the outside so you can always invite people without an account to join your board and/or check on progress and tasks.
If you want to monitor your performance, you can do directly inside the management tool, so that it becomes easy to adjust your rate based on how much it takes for you to complete a task.
One of the signature things you can find on Monday is the “communication” tool, that allows teams and individuals to chat and discuss projects without the need for calls or emails. You can use one of their ready-made templates or create yours.
Monday starts at €8/month for the Basic plan and you can go for the monthly or yearly payment. You can start your 14-day free trial here.
What’s the Best Project Management Tool for Freelancers?
Based on the above, what’s the best project management tool for freelancers? We have a simple answer for you: the one you feel more comfortable with. A good project management tool needs to help you feel more in control and efficient and for this reason, you need to pick the one that answers better to your needs. Use your free trial to try the best project management tools for freelancers, judge based on your needs and your business goals, and choose yours.
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