Many freelancers struggle with project management.
When working on multiple projects, it can be hard to remember what has been done and what needs to be done.
This issue exponentially becomes more difficult if you work with a team or subcontractors.
And on top of all of that, you need to clearly communicate your project status to your clients.
Below are 6 tools that will help you better manage your client projects.
Slack has been making headlines for a while now. It seems everyone is using it and talking about it.
But Slack deserves all the publicity it receives because it solves a major pain point many team experience.
Slack gives teams one line of communication so that everything can be easily organized and found when needed. No more having to search through emails or texts to track different conversations. Everything is in Slack.
It may seem incredibly simple, but that is exactly why it is so popular.
You can start with Slack for free, or upgrade to a paid version starting at $6.67 a month per user.
Most CRMs (Customer Relationship Management) offer a lot of functionality. But with that functionality comes complexity, a steep learning curve, and high price point.
Highrise is the opposite. It is a CRM stripped down to just what is necessary, which is all that a majority of freelancers require.
Without all the complexities, Highrise becomes an easy and enjoyable software to use.
You are provided with a contact manager you can share with your team. And every time an interaction takes place with a client, you can add an entry to that client’s page. You can even keep track of deals that your team is working on and create tasks and reminders.
Highrise also integrates with a large number of outside software to provide even more functionality.
Highrise offers a free plan for up to 2 users, no file storage, and 250 contacts. Or you can upgrade to a solo plan for $29 a month which allows 1 user, 5GB of storage, and 20,000 contacts.
Many freelancers meet with clients virtually. Most of the time, it is by phone.
But meeting by phone can be limiting: if you need to walk a client through a website design, or need to have a conference with multiple people.
MeetingBurner makes holding virtual meetings easy. Clients or team members can call in from using just their computer mic and speakers, or call by phone into a conference line.
You also have the ability to share your screen with meeting participants. And if needed, you can make another participant the presenter so they can share their screen.
Plus, you can record meetings so you or your client can review it later.
And unlike many of the existing meeting software available, MeetingBurner is both easy to use and affordable.
They offer a free plan with some limited functionality, or a paid plan that starts at $39.95 a month.
One of the hardest parts of project management, for me at least, is tracking my todo list. Too often, I’ll start a list that either becomes overwhelming, or that I’ll forget to update as I go along.
But Todoist is a to-do application that makes todo lists easy.
First off, you can use their software on numerous platforms, including iOS, Android, Chrome, Firefox, Gmail, and much more. Which means you can access your to-do list from wherever you are.
Their interface is simple and easy to use, necessary for someone like me who avoids most to do lists because they become unwieldy.
And you can easily share and collaborate your tasks with other team members…or even directly with your client.
Todoist is free, but you can upgrade for even more functionality for just $29 a year.
If you just can’t stand to do list, then perhaps you would like something more visual. That’s where Trello comes in.
Instead of just a to-do list that you can add and mark tasks on, they’ve created a friendly interface where you can organize projects into separate boards, add various lists to each project, and add cards to each list.
Very similar to working on a desk with post-it notes.
The way I use Trello is to create a list for to do, doing, and done. And within each, I’ll add a card for each part of the project.
As I work through each task, I’ll move the card to the next list over, adding any comments I need to.
I then share my Trello boards with clients so they can see the status of all tasks. I will even create a separate list for my client, so they know what information I need from them and when.
Trello is free, but you can upgrade to a $5 a month plan for some added functionality.
The final tool on this list is one that is now essential to my business.
The old way of sending and receiving files from clients was to either use an email program or file sending service. This is fine until you start sending larger files or need to find older files.
Dropbox makes it easy by providing an interface where you can organize files into folders, and then share either individual files or entire folders with clients.
When you share an entire folder, customers can log into their Dropbox account and add files to the folders as well, or see all files that have been uploaded.
This is perfect for collecting content such as images or text that you will need for a client’s site, as well as allowing clients to see all past versions of documents, such as mockups.
No more having to spend 30 minutes searching through your email to find that file your client sent you three months ago.
You can get 2GB of Dropbox storage for free, or upgrade to a 1TB plan for just $99 a year.
What Tools Do You Use?
In your own business, do you use any tools or software that make project management easier?
Let me know if the comments below.