The Best Project Management Tools To Work With Freelancers
Freelancing

The Best Project Management Tools To Work With Freelancers

By
Derek Abram
|
CEO of Prio
|
8 min read

It isn’t uncommon to find businesses of all verticals and of all sizes frequently working with freelancers. 

This is a practice that found more takers during and after the Covid pandemic. 

However, if your business has hired multiple freelancers to work with simultaneously, keeping track of activities and deliverables could get to be a handful.

Having an efficient project management tool as a part of your toolstack can help you stay abreast with what each of the freelance resources under your umbrella is doing. 

Let’s take a look at some of the best project management tools to work with freelancers on the market right now.

What is a project management tool?

Before we get into the list our experts have curated, let’s start by understanding what a project management tool is.

Simply put, a project management tool is any tool that helps you get an accurate insight into the status of your ongoing projects. 

These software packages allow people to become managers, which is what you essentially are if you’re working with different freelancers on different projects, on almost every aspect of a project.

You can use these tools to allocate tasks to different resources, plan the flow of projects, monitor their progress, facilitate collaborations, control budgets, and much more. 

There are plenty of project management software that businesses can use to manage how they work with freelancers, a lot of which have unique functionalities.

Why use project management tools while working with freelancers

Here’s why an efficient project management tool will be a boon to have in your toolkit while managing multiple projects with freelance resources.

Planning

With the help of a project management software, you can plan how you want your projects to be executed, break them up into multiple tasks, allocate resources to the tasks, and schedule deadlines for these tasks as well as for the entire project, 

Communication and collaboration

A lot of projects need multiple resources with different skill sets to work with each other to see the project to fruition. 

However, in the case of freelancers, you will also need to consider that these resources may also be in different geographical locations.

A good project management tool will help you communicate with all of them using a single platform, use one dashboard to invite collaborations, facilitate transparency about the progress being made to all stakeholders, and increase productivity.

Delegation

If you have a vendor list of multiple freelancers you have worked with, reaching out to all of them individually to find out availability can get time consuming. With a project management tool, you could easily check availability and delegate tasks to available resources a lot more efficiently.

Sharing

While it is commonplace to use shared drives such as Google Drive to save and share project related documents, a lot of project management tools allow for seamless file sharing as well as storage spaces capable of annotation, collaboration, and the exchange of feedback. 

Risk mitigation

Since project management software gives you a close up as well as an overall view of how your projects are performing, it will give you the ability to foresee bottlenecks and pitfalls before they happen and remediate the situation. 

By allowing you to take informed decisions without wasting time, project management tools can help reduce risks to a very large extent.

Budget control

Projects can often lose focus and direction, heading off their rails into unchartered territories and pushing both delivery timelines as well as budgets beyond what was planned for.

By using a good project management tool with abilities like time tracking as well as productivity tracking, you can maintain control over the progress of the project, thus ensuring it is completed within the set budget. 

Best project management tools to track freelancers

Let’s now dive into our list of the best project management tools to use while working with freelancers.

Asana

Asana is a preferred project management tool for companies all over the world for a lot of reasons. 

It comes with a flexible and easy to use interface, allowing you to move your project task list around easily. You can monitor what your freelancers are doing using its dashboard activity feed.

Tracking progress is also simple in its visual project timeline section, using which you can see who is working on what tasks, when they are due, how much has been done and more. You can also change schedules using this part of the tool.

Asana also easily integrates with multiple applications, from Slack and Dropbox to Google Calendar, Unito, and more. This allows for more control over every aspect of your business and allows for collaboration.

However, a lot of features aren’t available on the free version of Asana. The tool is also designed for basic project management, and is therefore limited in its capabilities.

While there is a free subscription version of Asana, the Premium version will cost around $13,99 per month per user—an ideal version if you have a small team of freelancers—while the fully loaded version, or the Business variant, as it’s called, is $30.49 per month per user.

Trello

Trello is a more basic and easy to use project management tool than Asana is. 

The Trello board allows you to assign tasks, and the completion status of these tasks can be changed by the resources working on them and they can be moved to the next stage. You can add custom fields to these tasks, define priorities and easily add tags as well.

Assigning , scheduling, and editing tasks and projects using Trello is as easy as dragging and dropping them. It has a basic time tracking feature included as well.

Trello power-ups can allow projects extra features such as calendar views, easy file sharing capabilities, and an integration with Google Drive.

There are plenty of downsides to Trello as well, unfortunately. 

For one, it has only one view, the Kanban view. It is incapable of reporting, charts, and other features a lot of project management tools have. 

It isn’t very collaboration-friendly either, in that you cannot assign more than one resource to a project at a time. It is also limited in the integrations that it enables. 

Trello has only two variants, the free version and the Business variant that costs $9.99 a month per user. 

ClickUp

ClickUp is best described as a mix between a productivity application and a project management tool. It comes loaded to the hilt with impressive features, making it one of the most sought after project management tools on the market.

For example, it offers you 15 different dashboard views to choose from, from Kanban to mind maps and table views, allowing you to choose how you’d like to view your projects.

The OKR section allows you to set your team of freelancers tasks or goals and track the progress in real time. 

Its functionalities extend to minute aspects, such as assigning comments to particular resources so that the tool sends them a notification when you do, the ability to track progress using Gantt charts, detailed reporting, and even allowing you to easily move your projects and data from other project management tools like Trello or Asana.

ClickUp also integrates with various tools such as Slack, Drop Box, Google Drive, Salesforce, Time Camp, Hubspot and more. 

However, the mobile phone version is limited in that it does not support table views, and the sheer number of features available can make learning to use the tool difficult. 

ClickUp offers subscribers three options to choose from. The Forever Free option comes with 100 MB of cloud storage space and lets you work on unlimited projects. 

For $5 a month per user (billed annually), you get unlimited projects and users, unlimited integration opportunities, and advanced reporting capabilities.

If you subscribe for $108 dollars a year, you get additional features including Google SSO and two-factor authentication. 

Proofhub

Proofhub is another popular project management software with a host of user-friendly features. 

Its easy-to-use interface enables you to organize tasks, assign them to resources, and organize multiple projects from the dashboard. You can also set status alerts to help you easily manage projects.

You can customize various aspects, such as color schemes, and even add your business logo to your home page. The tool supports multiple languages, including French, German, and Spanish.

Another really useful feature is that, along with assigning tasks, you can also control which parts of the tool your freelancers get access to, based on their role in the project. 

Proofhub works equally efficiently on both the iOS and Android platforms. 

However, it has been reported as needing frequent bug fixes. It also does not handle large projects and lacks certain features, like budgeting. 

There are two variants you can choose from with Proofhub. For $45 a month, you get the Essential Version, giving access to an unlimited number of users, 15GB of storage, and usage for up to 40 projects.

The Ultimate Control Version, costing $85 a month, comes with access for an unlimited number of users, 100GB of storage, no limit on the number of projects, and a lot more features. 

Workzone

Workzone is probably the oldest web based project management tool still in use, having been around since 2001. What still makes it relevant to this day and age is that it is strong on functionality, without any of the bells and whistles.

On its dashboard, you will find all your projects, and clicking on one will open up subtasks, who’s working on them, and delivery dates.

You also get access to a variety of reports, including individual productivity reports, project progress reports, and time management reports. You can even choose to view these reports as a variety of graphs, if needed.

However, the user interface is rather dated, and the tool itself isn't optimized for mobile devices. 

The Teams variant of Workzone costs $24 a month per user and gives you 100 GB of cloud storage and a full suite of features. With the Professional variant, which costs $34 a month, you get more features than Teams, and 150 GB of cloud storage space, 

Bonus: Prio’s time tracker

One of the hardest things for anyone who works with freelancers to keep track of is the amount of time the freelance resource actually spends working on your project. Does the time spent and effort actually justify the costs?

Well, Prio’s time tracker is a simple to use tool that we believe every freelancer ought to have in their toolstack. Encouraging your freelance partners to use this tool will enable both of you to actually keep track of how much time and effort your project takes. 

In the long run, this will help you estimate how long projects ought to take more effectively and, as a result, help with forecasting budgets as well.

Here's a link if you’d like to learn about Prio’s time tracking system before you suggest it to your freelance partners.

Conclusion

One of the prerequisites to being a good manager is to always know what your resources are doing. And that control is exactly what a good project management tool will give you when you work with multiple freelancers.

In addition to helping you organize your resources more efficiently, these tools also help you streamline processes, increase productivity, mitigate risks, enable collaboration between teams, and a whole lot more.

That being said, the needs of every business are unique, which means you will need to explore different tools before you know which one works best for your needs. We hope our carefully curated list of project management tools helps narrow down those choices for your business. 

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