Running your own business can be hard — there’s time-tracking, invoicing, and contacts to keep track of, plus knowing what your entire team is doing (especially important if you manage a team remotely). If you’re trying to use a different solution for each one of these problems, things can easily get overwhelming (and the bill can get high!). These apps can help you stay on top of it all at once, in one spot.
Price: $19/month or $199/year for an unlimited account
Features: Project management, invoicing features (including built-in estimates and invoices, payment via PayPal, automatic late payment reminders, and recurring invoices), email scheduling to clients, the ability to easily store links related to a client or project, iPhone and iPad apps, iCal synchronization.
Ideal for: Someone who wants a tool with a pretty user interface, but that’s also got a lot of features. Subernova specializes in features that help creative teams stay on priority (which can be a struggle!), with “days left” being easy to view for milestones and projects, and the ability to receive a daily report with progress updates on all projects and their milestones.
Price: Plans range from $15/month (freelancer plan, limited to 3 team members) to $125/month (unlimited members, storage, and projects)
Features: Light CRM features, integrates with Google Docs and PayPal, visual progress bars for projects, stages, and milestones, ability to create quotes and invoices (including generating quotes from scheduled time and resources for a project), discussions and comments at every level, time tracking.
Ideal for: I see Skylight being useful for teams that need the ability to both see things from the “mile high” view and still be able to drill down to a delicate level of detail for projects, while being able to discuss things at each level. The visual progress bars play especially well into that need.
Price: Plans range from $24/month (10 projects) to $99/month (unlimited projects and other perks)
Features: Drag and drop prioritization of tasks, time tracking, visual views for milestones, file sharing.
Ideal for: Someone who has a lot of projects and invoicing to handle, but who also wants a simple, streamlined interface that’s easy to use. Possibly great for those working with online teams that consist of people not necessarily skilled in the usual project management tools (that we all know can be hard to pick up on the fly!)
Price: Plans range from solo ($9/month for 3 team members) to team ($49/month for unlimited team members)
Features: Project and task management, timesheets and job timers, invoicing, file management, desktop and mobile apps available, finance and productivity reporting.
Ideal for: A team of five or more handling multiple projects, probably best suited for those in a service-based industry (because of the built-in financial tools and reporting). Especially useful if you want to see where your team members are spending most of their time and effort at a glance (because of the job timers).
Price: Free for up to five years, $9/user/month
Features: Podio’s main feature is its customizability — you can customize everything about Podio by adding or removing apps, modifying apps, and changing the appearance of your workspace. Using that feature, you can make Podio an all-in-one business management tool at a fraction of the cost of many other similar solutions.
Ideal for: The team that needs a lot of flexibility with features — Podio’s app market has you covered with everything from project management add-ons, to sales and lead tracking, to job applicant tracking. The user interface is also clean and well-organized, making it easy to use.
Features: Priority-based task and project scheduling, best case/worst case estimates, project analytics and reporting, iOS and Android apps, commenting on tasks and projects, time tracking and timesheet submission/approval.
Ideal for: Tech-savvy teams and businesses that can make the most of its features and need a robust tool to help them manage complex projects — especially projects with dependencies or the potential to get out of scope quickly.
Price: Plans range from $195/month (for up to three users, $39/month for each extra user, no social media or accounting integration) to $595/month (for up to three users with $89/month for each additional user)
Features: Triggers and dependencies for projects, help desk software, billing features (capturing of billable events, recurring invoices, and ability to handle tax and discounting rules), project templates, lead capturing tools.
Ideal for: WorkETC is more expensive than many of the other options here, so it’s clearly meant for a business that’s running successfully with high profit margins, and that’s ready to work on systematization and streamlining behind the scenes, starting with its business management tools.
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