Essential Project Management and Collaboration Tools for Freelancers

January 28, 2011 · 59 comments

by Lars

project mgr tools

A while back I posted a few lists of Freelancer Tools for tracking time and collecting money. Great tools but they only take you half the way. There is more to delivering great projects to clients on time than these can offer. Keeping track on tasks/activities, scope, agreements, plans, dependencies etc. is critical and will be more and more essential as size and complexity increase. In this post I have collected some of the most interesting tools for tracking elements of Project Management and Collaboration. Hope you find something you can use and that you will let us all know if I missed a good tool you think deserves to be added to the list!


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Project Management and Collaboration

Writeboard – As simple as it gets really.This this service provides free web-based text documents you can share, that save edits, so you can collaborate, roll back and compare.

project mgr tools

ConceptShare - If you need to share your designs and get feedback this is a cool tool. Feedback can be given with visual annotation tools. Allows you to setup secure online workspaces for sharing designs, documents and video and invite others to review, comment and give contextual feedback

project mgr tools

Wridea – “Idea management service and collection of brainstorming tools”. It’s a free tool for writers focusing on idea generation

project mgr tools

GoPlan – Goplan is an online project management and team collaboration platform. It offers note-taking, calendaring, task management, issue tracking, file management and online real-time chat etc.

project mgr tools

Toodledo – Simple and easy to use web based to-do list wit ha lot of features. It offers a iPhone app.

project mgr tools

Ta-Da Lists – a simple and free  to-do list application that can be shared with the world. The application is provided by 37 signals (known for tools like Basecamp and Campfire) and is the “little brother” of Backpack (next in the list)

project mgr tools

Backpack – Very easy to setup and use service that integrates to-do lists, notes, files, images, and a calendar with reminders that can be sent to your email or cell. See examples here

project mgr tools

ActiveCollab – Very feature rich collaboration and project management tool that also allows you to track time and send invoices. Could be a all in one stop for a free lancer or small consulting company.

project mgr tools

MonkeyOn – Your to-do list for things that you want other people to do! Concept is that you send a monkey… ie. give your monkey a recipient, a description, and a deadline. Monkey On Your Back will send the recipient regular reminder emails to make sure they don’t forget.

project mgr tools

Remember The Milk – To-Do List manager. Receive reminders via email, SMS, and instant messenger (AIM, Gadu-Gadu, Google Talk, ICQ, Jabber, MSN, Skype and Yahoo! are all supported). Use the map to see where your tasks are located in the real world. See what’s nearby or on your way, and plan the best way to get things done. Share, send and publish tasks and lists with your contacts or the world. Remind your significant other to do their household chores.

project mgr tools

Function Fox, TimeFox is the time and project tracking system of choice for professionals in advertising, design, web, communications, and all realms of creative service.

project mgr tools

myclientspot – ClientSpot is a Integrated Project Management and Time Tracking for Busy Teams which handles project and task tracking, time tracking and reporting, calendars, and file sharing.

project mgr tools

statuswiz – Very simple and sleek tool for sharing tasks, create reports and more.

project mgr tools

aceproject.com – This is a very feature rich project, ressource etc. management tool that are free for up to 5 users.

project mgr tools

deskaway – is a Simple, powerful and affordable collaboration service backed by personalized customer service. Loads of features and free for up to 3 projects.

project mgr tools

Proposal Kit – Proposal and contract management tools. Tons of templates and examples.

MemoToMe –  Feature rich memo, todo and reminder service.

TeamLive – an online collaboration tool, great for mocking up website designs and collaborating with clients. Also useful for highlighting changes to existing websites using the capture tools.

{ 42 comments… read them below or add one }

Vitaliy at auto locksmith June 6, 2013 at 2:28 pm

Trully nice

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Zannat March 6, 2013 at 7:42 am

nice & cool list thanks for posting

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Clipping path BD February 10, 2012 at 4:54 pm

Yea, very helpful and effective tools. Thanks for the post.

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Simona July 11, 2011 at 2:46 pm

Great list. Check out OffBureau (http://www.offbureau.com), an online workspace that fuses online collaboration, document management and a social network.

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cheap custom jerseys May 19, 2011 at 10:25 am

Essential Project Management and Collaboration Tools for Freelancers

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lifestyle photography in Miami October 28, 2010 at 9:25 am

I want make my carrier as a project manager. I think and can fill your site open source project management system. :)

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Clipping Design September 30, 2010 at 3:41 pm

Very useful tools for project management. Very informative post for freelancers. Thanks for sharing this wonderful post. :)

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WebJeremy August 25, 2010 at 9:27 am

Managing time, tasks and estimates is fundamental to giving your freelancing business the best chance at success. Thanks for sharing these tools.

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Chris August 16, 2010 at 5:40 pm

Good start – Projecturf is a project management tool that is quite impressive…would be great to see something more comparative.

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Siim @ Online Collaboration Suite July 27, 2010 at 2:52 pm

With more than 1,000 users now, Office123 is a worthy contender to that list: http://www.office123.net. The software glues together various open source software especially to enhance collaboration in a team. Consider project manager, email, calendar, wiki, etc.

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Al Kamal Md. Razib June 13, 2010 at 12:19 pm

Good listing ! thanks for sharing it.

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Project Collaboration Software April 20, 2010 at 12:06 am

HyperOffice (http://www.hyperoffice.com) is another great solution for SMBs. It was founded in 1998, and has to most comprehensive collaboration toolkit in the market.

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John March 1, 2010 at 11:38 pm

Another useful task & project management app for freelancers is Intervals. It was built by our web design and development agency, so it is especially well suited to professionals working in this field.

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Fern February 6, 2010 at 10:46 pm

http://www.wizehive.com is great for collaboration and project management. drag-and-drop task management is great, it’s flexible, easy to set up and use, and you can email notes and attachments right into the work space. twitter integration too.

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Rick January 18, 2010 at 4:36 pm

I would defined remove the old enterprise style products like Ace Project and instead add the newer and much agile products like 5pm (http://www.5pmweb.com).

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Sidharth January 10, 2010 at 12:34 pm

Awesome list .. Also, relevant ..

The Marathon List of Project Management & Collaboration Tools
http://blog.decode10.com/2009/12/13/the-marathon-list-of-project-management-collaboration-tools/

Sidharth.

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patrickheck January 7, 2010 at 9:05 am

Thanks for this great article. I’d like to add another great tool that I use for sending proofs to clients. It’s very handy to manage all changes that are needed for a revision.
http://www.proofhq.com/

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Luke January 3, 2010 at 10:41 am

Great list, though you missed Freelance Total (http://www.freelancetotal.com), which is a great app for freelancers

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Bobby Bree December 9, 2009 at 10:38 am

Hi, Check out Insight, http://www.arquila.com it has been successfully used by freelancers and design teams. It not only manages the projects but also provides all the financial services around these transactions and automates them.

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Project Management Templates November 23, 2009 at 11:59 am

Thanks for sharing this list…!

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Priyanka November 20, 2009 at 12:55 pm

DeskAway is one of the best project management tools I’ve ever used.

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Fraerok November 19, 2009 at 10:51 pm

Me and my team are using project management tools from 5PMweb – http://www.5pmweb.com
Its simple and great with a lot of tools for managing projects, clients, task. 5PM has the best timeline.

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Matt Fenn November 19, 2009 at 3:10 pm

Great list of varied tools.

I’d love to add Moobiz http://www.moobiz.com to the list, as it has great project management features including shared workspaces, document sharing, to-dos, timesheets, project cost proposals and invoicing as well as accounting and business management stuff like shared calendars, mileage tracking and holiday management.

You can run your whole business from £15/month.

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Sneha November 19, 2009 at 12:07 pm

Great list. Have you tried out Injoos Teamware. I would reckon that they have the most comprehensive integrated collaboration platform. With their latest release they have added a new twist to track and execute projects “the social way”. Checkout their Blog http://injoos.com/blog/2009/10/09/seamless-collaboration-with-release-35/

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yuzool November 19, 2009 at 3:41 am

Thanks for the great list. I was just reviewing this week how best to project manage many clients – this couldn’t have come at a better time. Thanks again.

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Denis November 18, 2009 at 8:36 am

If you need just open MS Project file, you do not need to install any software. Just go on http://www.amiproject.com and open it in browser. That is it!

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PM Hut November 18, 2009 at 12:17 am

You’ve covered quite a few, but there’s still a lot out there. I just don’t want to vouch for any tool, they’re essentially all the same thing with a different skin and pricing.

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clippingimages November 17, 2009 at 9:10 pm

Awesome list for freelancer. These tools really helpful for project management for freelancing. Thanks for sharing this nice post.

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Evan Lovely November 17, 2009 at 8:55 pm

Another vote for Open Atrium. Left Basecamp for it.

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tamburix November 17, 2009 at 8:50 pm

Our company uses DotProject.net – simple interface, easy to manage and yet free solution

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PM Hut November 17, 2009 at 7:44 pm

I didn’t know about almost 50% of the tools above (and this is odd, as I run a PM website and I tend to be always up to date with what’s going on the PM Software market). I do believe though, that none of them offer something fresh. This article, on the ideal PM tool, examines what should such a tool have in order to lead the market and offer the Project Managers what they need.

PS: A table comparing the features + pricing of these applications would’ve been nice.

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tripwiremag November 17, 2009 at 9:43 pm

@PM Hut, Glad that I could help you learn some new tools. Since you are an subject matter expert I would like to ask if there are great tools that I left out by mistake? And thanks for the article list. I agree that having a list of key features most people will need is very useful!

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Angel Grablev November 17, 2009 at 7:16 pm

Oh whoever mentioned collabtive… too bad i tried installing it, and had to fix a bunch of bugs before it would even compile… it’s all about http://freedcamp.com the real free basecamp alternative :)

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Anton November 17, 2009 at 5:32 pm

Also check out http://www.easyprojects.net, it features enterprise modules aimed at professional project management including activity, request and issue tracking, portfolio management, real-time conferencing, estimation analysis, interactive gantt chart and support for Microsoft Project file import and export.

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danny November 17, 2009 at 2:18 pm

Check out collabtive for self hosted open source goodness for small teams. collabtive

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luis.tic616 November 17, 2009 at 1:37 pm

Don’t forget teambox.com and Google Sites

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Jojo Toth November 17, 2009 at 12:34 pm

You are missing Open Atrium: http://openatrium.com/

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Moprit Tran November 17, 2009 at 11:26 am

Thank for your list. It’s great

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Lucian Ioan November 17, 2009 at 9:30 am

I would like to also mention RationalPlan:
http://www.rationalplan.com
It is an affordable alternative to MS Project with some extra features like multiple projects management, shared resources and email integration.

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Beth Redfern November 17, 2009 at 7:11 am

Check out http://www.veoproject.com... you can build online project plans and connect shared tasks to email, google calendars, twitter, salesforce.com, and ms outlook.

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Priyanka D November 17, 2009 at 6:50 am

Thanks for featuring DeskAway!

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Angel Grablev November 17, 2009 at 4:46 am

Great list, will need to add freedcamp.com to it soon :)

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