10 Freelance Tools for Project Management and Planning

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Regarded as one of the most challenging tasks, project management is quite a feat to attempt. Whether you are a freelancer, or simply an owner of a small business, it comes in handy to know what is required and needed in order to manage a client’s project successfully. But you don’t have to go at it alone, especially when help is readily available online.

Programmers and engineers have created a variety of tools to make our lives easier when it comes to project management. When you work with global co-workers, who may be difficult to put into the same room together, project management apps like those in this list are even more crucial to the business. Some of these software have extended their reach to mobile versions so you can watch over your projects and businesses while on the go.

Let’s just get right into it, shall we? In this article are 10 tools you should certainly give a go if you need help in managing your future projects.

LiquidPlanner

LiquidPlanner is an online project management tool that provides users with sustainable functionalities to effectively manage projects. It allows you to have full access and display of your project branches by integrating it with a variety of features. LiquidPlanner features team planning tools, project scheduling options, project reporting, dynamic collaboration tools, drag-n-drop scheduling, estimate cases, all displayed to you in a single page.

The service is now extended to mobile platforms namely iOS and Android platforms and it is free to try on a 30-day basis, but even under a paid pricing plan, it’s less than a dollar a day. Educational bodies can apply to use it in class for free and there is a 50% discount for nonprofit organizations.

Projecturf

For freelancers who face difficulties on getting things done, this tool can be very helpful. The concept of Projecturf is to help the users to manage their projects with efficiency. Projecturf comes with a boatload of features, such as dynamic Gantt chart display, robust drag and drop control, time and budget tracking system, advanced lay-outs, customizable templates and many others.

Pricing plans go by the number of projects from $9.99/mth for a single project or $19.99/mth for five projects, all the way to $199.99/mth for unlimited number of projects. There is a 30% discount for nonprofit organizations but if you just want to give it a go, it is free for the first 14 days.

Project Bubble

Sometimes it is challenging to successfully complete a client’s project within a certain time frame and with a fixed budget. Project Bubble can help with that by keeping track of your precious time and budget, while keeping it encrypted, and providing a great environment with simple features to better manage your team and collaborate with them.

Free trial lasts for 15 days and if you decide that this it the management tool for you then you get to choose between three pricing packages, small ($24/mth), medium ($49/mth)and large ($99/mth). The tool also has an app for iPhone users as well as a mobile version for iPad and Android users.

BaseCamp

BaseCamp is one of the most popular project management tools. With close to a decade of experience under its belt, BaseCamp features a clean and robust UI, allowing you to have a full view of all your projects, tools, files and collaborators, all in one page. Keep your workspace clutter-free, everything within reach, schedules and calendars updated and in sync, and constant access to team members even if they are halfway around the world.

Pricing starts at $20/mth for 10 projects and 3GB storage. Power users may prefer to opt to get unlimited projects and 100 GB storage space for $150/mth. Each package include daily online backups and data encryption, and it is now available for the iPhone in the App Store. The mobile version of Basecamp is also optimized for Android, Windows Phone 7 and iOS tablets.

ZohoProjects

ZohoProjects is a project management and planning software. It features a user-friendly interface with a dashboard that allows the users to plan, keep track, and analyze project development with flexibility. You can also sync your ZohoProjects account with Dropbox to have access to your files from everywhere. It also has support for up to 16 languages.

To view clearly the progress of your project, ZohoProjects is equipped with a Gantt chart feature that allows you to have the full picture and reports of the projects you are working. Apart from the free single project you can try, pricing plans stand at $199 to $599 for annual plans, and $20/mth to $80/mth for monthly plans.

Podio

Podio is a powerful tool that aims to help the users to manage projects, tasks, events and meetings. Alongside this tool you can handle recruitment matters of your future team members in a dedicated workspace. The interface is easy to use and provides features such as task management, instant messaging and integration with SkyDrive, Google Drive and Dropbox to help you better access your freelance projects.

Podio is a litte different when it comes to pricing plans as it charges by user rather than by projects. You can start with a team of 5 for free, or pay $19 per user each month under the Podio Team pricing plan. Podio is available on iOS and Android.

Clarizen

Clarizen is an award-winning project management tool. With Clarizen, you have the appropriate environment to collaborate with other freelancers and was built with exclusive features, such as, project roadmap functionality, project monitoring, resource management tools, and even success kits to help project managers be more efficient. It even has its own marketplace featuring add-ons and mobile apps that suit a variety of needs.

Clarizen has support for iPhone and Android. You can try Clarizen for 30 days then opt for a paid plan which gets cheaper the longer you sign on to their service.

Wrike

Wrike not only allows you to manage projects and tasks professionally but it also provides you integrated functionalities with Google Apps, emails, mobile and spreadsheets. There are also loads of features such as, budgeting and task management, dynamic Gantt charts functionality and other team collaboration tools to make your life easier.

Wrike the app is also available for iOS and Android, and you can start using it for free for up to 5 users per team. Paid plans start at $49 for 5 users and 5 GB storage, to up to $199 per month for 50 users and 100 GB storage.

Solo

Solo covers the important needs of freelancers when managing a client’s project. If invoicing to your clients is still a thorny and intricate task, this app can help you a lot with these matters. Just like Project Bubble, this tool has a time- and budget-tracking system which is very organized and dynamic to use. The full display of the project is very robust incorporating the project progress, contract and deadlines.

It’s still at a beta phase at the point of this writing. You can register for a trial with your email, or social accounts namely Twitter, G+ or Facebook.

ViewPath

If you want a professional tool for a professional team, ViewPath is the way to go. This tool was built with a flexible interface that permits the users to drag and drop menus and have a full picture of the project they are handling. Project timeline, inline editing, drag and drop Gantt chart, and daily activity dashboard are features to ensure you will finish your projects successfully.

Users can sign up for a free starter pack and access to all the basic features or upgrade to the Team Edition for $12.95/mth per user, for more advanced features. Viewpath functions on a 1-month, 6-month and 12-month subscription modal with discounts available for multiple user signups. If a user fails to clear payment in time, they will just be downgraded to the starter pack rather than lose all their data or project progress. Give the free trial a go for 15 days, just to get a whiff of what Viewpath has to offer.

Wrap Up

Managing projects involving groups of individuals can be very challenging and sometimes stressful. To get everyone working on the same page, there has to be communication and co-operation plus a working and running schedule to make sure everyone’s progress is charted and on schedule.

Tell us which tool you would use or are using now to manage your projects online.

Author:

Kelvon is a social psychology enthusiast and the mind behind blogthisout.com. When he isn’t writing or reading books, you can find him hanging out on Twitter. Check out his portfolio here.

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