6 Project Management Tools for Freelancers

One of the challenges of freelancing is managing many tasks and to-do’s for multiple clients. There are numerous productivity tools and strategies, and working out of a coworking space or shared office can help you stay on-track and motivated. But, at some point, you’ll need a good project management tool.

As you work with a variety of clients, you may need to familiarize yourself with several project management tools so you can easily work with clients in their own comfort zone.

Here are six of our favorite product management tools. Most of them have a free option so you can take them for a test drive to see which ones work for your style and workflow.

Tools for Freelancers

1. Trello

Trello is a tool that enables individuals and teams to organize projects into boards. Boards contain lists, and lists contain cards. Within cards, you can assign tasks and deadlines, make comments, create checklists and more.

One of the nicest features of Trello is that you can easily move cards from one list to another, which works well in taking tasks from a to-do list, to an in-process list, to a done list. Freelancers who work with teams and multiple clients can share boards, lists and cards with clients and collaborators, or you can simply use the tool to manage your own projects and tasks.

2. Asana

Like Trello, Asana enables you to organize projects, assign tasks, track workflow, work collaboratively, create deadlines and more. However, the two have very different interfaces. Depending on your needs and preferences, one may stand out for you as a clear favorite.

Where Trello has boards and lists, Asana has projects and tasks. It also has some playful flair, such as an animated unicorn that flies across your screen when you’ve marked a task as completed.

3. Basecamp

Basecamp is a project management system that enables easy communication for teams. The platform has message boards, to-do lists, a schedule, a place to store documents and files, and a chat room for quick messaging.

One of the nicest things about Basecamp is that it keeps communication centralized. Instead of having to look at different lists or tasks for comments or notes, you can keep them within message boards or chats.

4. Wrike

Like Trello, Asana and Basecamp, Wrike is a project management platform that lets you create projects, deadlines and assign tasks. It also has a built-in time-tracker that shows you how much time is spent on each project. For a freelancer charging by the hour, this is a valuable tool.

5. Freedcamp

Freecamp is a free project management system that allows unlimited users, unlimited projects and unlimited storage. It offers a list feature, and enables you to move tasks from the planning stage through completion. There’s also a calendar option that lets you see events and tasks in a day, week or month view.

6. Evernote

Evernote has been around since 2008, making it one of the old-school organizational tools. While it’s not technically a project management system—it’s better described as a digital file cabinet—Evernote is a project management powerhouse.

The tool is a powerful and multi-faceted way to organize your own projects and to do’s, collect files, documents and links, create checklists and deadlines, take voice memos, set reminders and much more. It also syncs across all your devices (as do some of the above), which makes note-taking and project management on-the-fly easy.

What’s your favorite project management tool? What do you like about it? Tell us in the comments.

Cat Johnson is a writer and content strategist focused on coworking, community and the future of work. Publications include Shareable, Yes! Magazine, Mother Jones, Triple Pundit and GOOD. She’s the author of Coworking Out Loud, a guide to content marketing for coworking spaces and collaborative teams. Follow her on Twitter: @CatJohnson