If you work as a Freelancer chances are you have a bunch of clients and projects you need to keep track of. That’s why we put together our guide on the best project management tools for freelancers.
Sure, you could use Excel or Google Sheets to create a table of tasks that you constantly need to update. But neither of those options are going to do the best for your productivity.
Instead you might want to look into a project management or task management tool for freelancers. Something that makes it easy to create and manage tasks, projects and your workload.
Put simply, choosing to adopt a proper task management tool as a freelancers allows you to focus on what matters most. Providing a high quality service to your clients, rather than getting bogged down in the administrative burden of tracking and managing your workload.
When compiling our list of the best project management tools for freelancers we looked at tools that provided all of the core functionality a freelancer would need to create and manage their tasks. We also only covered tools that offer a free tier as often minimising cost is a core requirement of freelancers or independent contractors.
So, with all that out of the way, let’s look at the best project management tools for freelancers.
Task Pigeon – The Best Project Management Tool For Freelancers
Task Pigeon is a straight forward, yet powerful project management tool for freelancers. It is designed to provide a central dashboard that makes viewing and managing your tasks easy.
With Task Pigeon your tasks are broken into categories and sub-categories. For example you could create a new category for each client and then use sub-categories to manage specific projects you perform for each of them.
In addition to the ability to create a well organised dashboard of tasks, Task Pigeon, also supports a variety of views. This includes the default task tile view, a list view option, as well as kanban boards. All of which offer the ability to quickly filter between tasks that are in-progress, due soon or already complete.
On the task front, Task Pigeon supports the ability to create recurring tasks, checklist tasks and private tasks. Private Tasks (and the associated private category feature) may be of most interest to freelancers as they allow you to restrict who can view and interact with each task. In doing so you can invite all of your clients to a central dashboard without the ability for them to see or interact with your other clients tasks.
Best yet, Task Pigeon is an ideal task management tool for freelancers as it has a 100% free tier with their paid option costing only $9 per user, per month.
Task Management Tools For Freelancers – Trello
Trello is another task management tool that may appeal to freelancers. Trello is primarily built around the use of Kanban boards with individual cards representing the tasks you need to work on.
Using a kanban board approach like that provided by Trello makes it easy to move tasks between their various stages. For example if you create multiple boards titled, “to-do”, “doing” and “done” you can easily track the progress of tasks. You can of course also use different boards for different clients or projects you work on.
Trello also lets you assign uses to tasks, create checklists, comment on tasks and add “power ups” or integrations to extend the flexibility of the platform.
Like Task Pigeon, Trello, also offers a free and paid tier which makes it another suitable project management tool for freelancers who are working on a budget.
Task Management Tools For Freelancers – Asana
Asana bills itself as a “work management platform” and while it may be a bit bloated for the use of a solo freelancer it can still be a viable task management solution for freelancers. Especially if you work in a team environment.
With the free plan of Asana you can view tasks on boards (i.e. kanban based view), using lists and on the calendar. You can also create and assign tasks, as well as add due dates.
Compared to Trello or Task Pigeon above Asana has more of a focus on creating a “project” rather than a central view, dashboard or kanban board for a particular client. As a result it is suited to projects where there is a definitive start and end process, rather than just ad-hoc tasks or work.
With Asana, freelancers may find some of their more premium features appealing such as the ability to set task dependence, milestones and use of the timeline view. The paid plan of Asana starts at $9.99 per user, when billed annually in advance.
Task Management Tools For Freelancers – Clickup
Clickup is similar to Asana in that it is built more around managing specific projects, rather than ad-hoc tasks or clients as a whole. That said, Clickup offers a host of views and options, including timelines, lists, boards and a box view for displaying your tasks.
When it comes to creating tasks, Clickup also offers a lot of flexibility for freelancers. In particular it offers the ability to create custom statuses, task dependence, recurring tasks and goals. It also offers a host of integrations with various other tools and services including those to help you track time and sync comments or notes.
Despite this list of features however, Clickup, may in fact be “too much of a good thing” with the additional features adding unnecessary bloat and complexity to the task management process for independent freelancers or smaller teams.
Clickup does offer a free tier with a limit of 100mb of storage space, but strangely doesn’t allow for an integration with Google Drive or Dropbox like most other free tiers on competing services. Clickup’s paid plans are also 45% more expensive if you opt to pay monthly, rather than annually in advance which may be something to consider.
Task Management Tools For Freelancers – Notion
Notion is a minimalist workplace management tool to keep track of notes and tasks. It also provides a “wiki” and database style tool that can work well as a lightweight CRM for freelancers.
On the task management side, Notion lets you create checklist style tasks, as well as use boards, similar to kanban boards, that can be grouped in various ways. For example you could group tasks on the board by the status of the task.
Like each of the other task management tools we have considered for freelancers, Notion does provide a free tier. However it only provides a 5mb upload limit and therefore wouldn’t suit instances where you are looking to upload and host files or documents associated with your tasks. For that you would need to upgrade to their personal plan for $4 per month.
Freelancers who want a simple tool may find Notion perfectly suitable, however if you are chasing more advanced features like recurring tasks, multiple dashboard views or a wider number of integrations then some of the above mentioned tools may suit better in this instance.
Task Management Tools For Freelancers – Zenkit
Zenkit is another minialist style project management tool for freelancers. Like some of the other tools we have discussed above it offers a variety of task views. Including list view, kanban boards, table views, a calendar view and mindmaps. As a result it will suit users who like flexibility in how they view and manage their tasks.
For a task perspective, Zenkit provides a number of features that will appeal to freelancers, such as the ability to track activity, collaborate with colleagues or clients, checklist tasks and statuses.
There is also the ability to sync with your Google Calendar which makes Zenkit a good fit for users who have specific start and end dates for tasks and projects.
From a pricing perspective Zenkit provides a free plan for teams of up to 5 users, with 3 gb of attachment space. Accessing the paid plan opens up their premium features, such as recurring items and user roles, and starts at $9 per month, per user.
Task Management Tools For Freelancers – Nostromo
Nostromo is primarily a paid task management tool, but they do have a free option for solo users, which could easily suit a freelancer.
Nostromo is a task management tool that is primarily built around a kanban board style view. They do however have a nifty feature that allows you to allocate hours sent on individual tasks or projects. Something that could appeal greatly to freelancers, especially if you bill by the hour.
In addition Nostromo allows you to break down a project into individual to-do list items, plus also get summary graphs detailing KPI’s and providing an overview of tasks and progress towards goals.
Nostromo also has a focus on marketing or design based teams with the ability to upload designs and collaborate with your team or client on the proposed design. To utilize this feature you will however upgrade to one of their paid plan to allow additional users into your account. Nostromo’s pricing starts at $10 per month.
Summary Of The Best Task Management Tool For Freelancers
As the above outlines there are a number of task management tools that can be utilized by freelancers. To find the tool that will work best for you, you should give consideration as to whether you need to provide access to other team members or clients. If you need to have multiple team members in your account then this might immediately rule out one or two of the above options, especially if you want to stay on the tools free plan.
After that you should give strong consideration to the usability of the tool. If a task management tool is hard to adopt then you and your clients could struggle, ultimately come frustrated and give up on the tool altogether.
Once filtering to find a tool that you feel is easy to use and understand you should give consideration to the specific features available in each. For example do you need to be able to create recurring tasks, issue invoices or track time?
After giving thought to all of the above you will have the best task management tool that suits you as a freelancer.