Freelance means being free. You can do whatever you want, however you want – it’s got a lot going for it. But it’s also true that it not all peaches and cream.

Freelancers are constantly juggling projects in different stages of completion. They need so much to keep in control and manage – from proposals to pitches, drafts to deadlines, and work on several pieces at once. It calls for a need to depend on at least one project management tool to make sure you don’t drop the ball.

The best freelancers have a project management system in place to see where their time is going and keep clients in the loop on hours used.

But with so many options out there, how can you choose? Here’s some of the best out there:

  1. ProofHub

There are many freelancers using platforms like The Freelance Collective to build a profile on and connect with businesses. Regardless of the type of work you do, freelancers that use ProofHub are able to keep collaboration and project management on one page.

The great thing is that you can organise your freelance lifestyle and projects using ProofHub. You can also keep your clients in the loop so they can see your workflow moving through different stages.

ProofHub Pros:

  • Reliable customer support
  • Doesn’t charge per-user (unlimited users)
  • Mobile optimised
  • Sync ProofHub calendar with external calendar apps

ProofHub Cons: ProofHub has integration with many third-party apps like Freshbooks, Google calendar and iCal, Box, Dropbox, Google Drive, Onedrive and Outlook, though doesn’t allow integration with Zapier.

2. Wunderlist

Busy freelancers want a quick and easy way to keep all the projects organised, prompting many to check out Wunderlist, which can be used by freelancers and clients to add to-dos. You can streamline your to-dos with the help of this tool.

The app helps freelancers stay focused on tasks and be aware of what other team members are crossing off the list. If the due date is given, add it to your Wunderlist. You can set a reminder for each task before it is due. 

Wunderlist Pros:

  • The user interface is extremely easy to navigate
  • Can share your lists with others easily
  • Cross-platform support
  • Prioritise or distinguish a specific task

Wunderlist Cons:

  • There’s a lot of notifications
  • There’s visual representation in the timeline
  • And no different coloured flagging options

3. Podio

Apart from basic task management, Podio also has in-built ability to tag, add labels, schedule projects, add reminders and build task lists. You can also create project templates, giving you the ability to replicate similar projects. When it comes to personalisation, it lets you completely control the design of each project outline.

Podio also allows freelancers with tasks that need to be replicated within subsequent projects. You can access this through a customised project template, a feature offered by Podio.

Podio Pros:

  • Data is accessible anywhere
  • Ease of use price (free option is great)
  • Very customisable
  • Strong automated task assignments

Podio Cons:

  • The interface is a little clunky
  • It needs inline editing of records

4. Redbooth

This all-in-one platform to streamline discussions so you are executing the tasks productively. It has a very simple dashboard, with up to $15 per month for 50GB storage and unlimited workspaces.

When you’re managing freelancing projects, it’s easy to lose track of things. Redbooth allows you to organise, communicate, and visualise.  You can scale up your project management, making individual tasks faster. If you are a chronic procrastinator, Redbooth is idea – it allows you to track your performance and gives you a report of how you’re handling projects.

Redbooth Pros:

  • Get alerts of finished projects, questions or comments is a time saver
  • Ease of use and elegant design
  • Calendar to set delivery dates for your tasks

Redbooth Cons:

Administrator settings are slightly tedious

The user interface is slightly different

5. Bonsai

Another cool freelance project management tool is Bonsai, which has everything you could ever need to help you put your freelance project management on autopilot. It’s designed to help freelancers organise all the bits and pieces when juggling several projects on your lonesome.

It allows you to create client proposals and contracts, track your time and expenses or invoicing your clients so you’re getting paid on time. The Bonsai app has a really great 30-day trial you should definitely check out. If you really hate project management, Bonsai could be the help you’ve been looking for.

Bonsai Pros:

  • Keeps track of various documents
  • Track the time you spend easily
  • The content of the documents is automatically created

Bonsai Cons:

  • Contract creation tool has its limits
  • Time tracking feature doesn’t capture evidence of your work

Deciding what’s right for you

Freelancers need to get a system in place to ensure they’re ahead of the game. There’s plenty of other options out there – it’s a matter of trialling a few and seeing which one works best for you.

If you’re a freelancer, we’d love to know which project management tool you use, so let us know in the comments below.

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