Voted By Pros

The 5 best freelance project management apps

February 10, 2022

These great project management apps make it easy to get organized, collaborate seamlessly, and scale your business.

How do you know when your freelance business is taking off like a rocket? Aside from your growing bank account, there are other telltale signs: Your desktop and every other surface within arm’s reach are wallpapered with sticky notes. You have multiple notebooks full of scribbled reminders, and a common task featured on your daily to-do list is to organize your to-do lists. If this describes you, it’s probably a very good time to look into some freelance project management apps!

Good project management apps make it easy to get organized, collaborate seamlessly, and scale your business. They will also make sure you never forget about another to-do again! But what are the best project management apps for freelancers?

Read on as we walk you through some of the top freelance project management apps, as rated by freelancers.

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A good freelancer project management app must tick a few important boxes.

  • User-friendliness: For one, it needs to be user-friendly. If it’s too hard to use, too glitchy, or just not your cup of tea, you’re probably not going to use it for long.
  • Project management: The best project management apps for freelancers will allow you to create project boards, easily add tasks, get notifications, provide status updates, and organize communication threads. When deciding between different options, make sure the interface and layout match your business needs as well as your personal preferences.
  • Easy collaboration: Freelancers usually need to collaborate virtually with clients, teams, and other freelancers. Make sure the app you choose has handy communication features like group chats, private messaging, commenting on tasks, centralized workspaces, and emojis (if you’re an emoji power user like us 👍).
  • Integrations: Freelancers tend to use a lot of different apps to get stuff done. The best freelance project management apps enable you to integrate other apps and programs you use like Google Drive, Zoom, Slack, and others.
  • Additional features: Each app has its own unique features. Be sure to explore each app’s unique advantages. As you’ll see below, some project management apps cater to specific types of freelancers.

The good news is there is no shortage of options when it comes to freelancer project management apps. The bad news is that it can be hard to choose one! But we’re here to help you out.

Tip: Most project management apps have free versions so you can try them out risk-free before investing in one.

Now . . . drum roll . . . let’s take a look at five of the best project management apps for freelancers.

Basecamp

Users: 3.5 million accounts.

Good for: Freelancers like creative directors, writers, and virtual assistants who need to collaborate with teams.

Features: On Basecamp, your home base is a dashboard that lists all your current projects. You’ll also always have quick access to your pings (private messages), notifications, recent activity, and tasks from the top menu.

Basecamp dashboard

When you open up a project, you get seven main options. First, you can invite people to the project, and they’ll be listed at the top. Then, you can:

  • Post to the message board
  • Add to-do’s
  • Add docs and files
  • Chat with the group
  • Schedule deadlines
  • Automate specific functions, such as reminders

Basecamp project dashboard

When adding to-do’s, you create a main task and subtasks. Then, you can assign them to team members and add due dates. When the project is done, the person can mark it finished and anyone subscribed to the task will be notified.

Basecamp task list dashboard

Overall, Basecamp is intuitive and user-friendly, which can be great for freelancers who simply want help managing their tasks. However, where it really shines is in its ability to enable seamless virtual collaborations for teams.

App store rating: 4.7

Cost: You can sign up for the free version, designed for freelancers, which lets you create three projects and have 20 users. To get unlimited projects and users, plus additional features, you’ll need to upgrade to the business plan for $99 per month.

Trello

Users: Over 1 million teams worldwide.

Good for: Freelancers who need to manage multiple projects simultaneously, like bloggers, consultants, interior decorators, and crafters.

Features: Trello helps freelancers manage projects through virtual boards. You can create a workspace for your brand or project, add lists to organize tasks, and then add cards for each task.

Trello dashboard

When adding a card, you give it a title and description. Then you can add people, labels, checklists, due dates, attachments, and more. Those involved with the task can also add comments on the task card helping to organize communication. As tasks advance through the workflow, cards can be transferred between lists.

Trello project dashboard

Trello boards are intuitive and easy to read. They improve collaboration by adding transparency and intuitive organizational capabilities to projects.

App store rating: 4.5

Cost: While you can get started for free with up to 10 boards per workspace, you’ll need to upgrade to a paid plan if you want more advanced features.

Hive

Users: More than 1.5 million users.

Good for: Freelancers who create digital media assets, such as graphic designers, podcasters, videographers or photographers, and content marketers.

Features: Hive is a very user-friendly project management app with many of the same capabilities that other freelancer project management apps have, such as the ability to message team members and add projects, tasks, and task details. It also has a variety of integrations available, from analytics and company news pages to timesheets and automation.

Hive dashboard

There are a few key features that set Hive apart. For one, it gives you the ability to choose a layout for each project. Other tools provide a single layout. Trello’s boards use boxes, and Monday.com (see below) uses a basic list layout. Hive, on the other hand, offers a variety of interface options so you can choose which layout works best for you or seems particularly suited for each specific project.

Hive interface options

While that’s helpful, the features that really set this tool apart are the proofing and approval functions. You can upload images and videos to a project and then require approval from designated team members, who can add feedback and annotations directly in the media. This is game-changing for freelancers collaborating with teams on digital asset creation, like videos or podcasts.

Hive proofing and approval functions

App store rating: 4.5

Cost: Hive offers a basic free level, but you’ll need Hive Teams plus the Proofing and Approvals add-on for the features described above.

Jira

Users: Over 65,000 teams worldwide.

Good for: Software developers and programmers.

Features: Are you a software developer that needs a bit more than just task management and team communication? Jira Software is a project management app made with you in mind.

Jira dashboard

It has the task boards with categories and updates but also has additional sections software developers need like version releases, issues, code, product roadmaps, and agile reporting.

Jira task boards

App store rating: 4.7

Cost: Like many project management apps, Jira offers a free basic plan, but it is limited to 10 users. This may be fine if you’re a freelancer working with a small team. You will always have the option to upgrade as your business grows.

Monday.com

Users: Over 125,000 companies.

Good for: Freelancers of all types.

Features: Monday.com is a catch-all app that can help all types of freelancers manage projects and tasks on boards like the one pictured below.

Monday.com dashboard

It allows you to:

  • Create workspaces for different projects.
  • Add multiple boards to each workspace you create.
  • Create groups within boards, such as a planning group and an execution group.
  • Add items under each group and can specify who owns the task along with its status, priority, due date, and cost.
  • Drag-and-drop items between groups.

Monday.com apps marketplace

Other features of the platform include notifications, a dashboard for viewing all of the tasks assigned to you, and a wide range of app integrations, widgets, and automation capabilities. Higher-end plans also include features like SalesForce integration, time tracking, and unlimited guest access.

App store rating: 4.7

Cost: There is a free plan available, but it’s limited to two team members, 500 MB of storage, and doesn’t allow guest access. For additional team members, guest access, and a variety of other features, you’ll need to upgrade to a paid plan.

If you’re still not sure which app will be the best fit for you, don’t be discouraged — there are dozens of other freelancer project management apps that may be better suited for your business. Here are some you can also explore:

Stepping out on your own as a freelancer is a big step, and it’s not for the faint of heart. Fortunately, freelance project management apps can help you get organized, run remote teams, and maybe even help you stay sane when everything else in your business seems to be going crazy.

And while you’re streamlining your business, don’t forget to buy insurance. When you buy Freelance Insurance or Consultant Insurance from Thimble, are protecting yourself from the financial consequences of third-party liability claims and lawsuits. Our policies for professionals combine general liability insurance and professional liability insurance to cushion your business if an accident happens.

Plus, we make it simple for fast-moving businesses like yours. Get coverage by the job, month, or year. Choose how you want to pay and then upgrade as your business takes off. Plus you can modify, pause, or cancel coverage at any time. Download our free app or click “Get a Quote,” answer some simple questions, and get covered in minutes.

January 23, 2022

Our editorial content is intended for informational purposes only and is not written by a licensed insurance agent. Terms and conditions for rate and coverage may vary by class of business and state.

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