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Ask HN: Project Management for Freelancers?
11 points by hpvic03 1422 days ago | hide | past | web | 11 comments | favorite
Freelancers & Independent Tech Consultants: what do you use for project management?

I would like something that can handle some client communication, enable online discussions, and keep files & notes together so I don't have to search my inbox for them.

I think Basecamp is too cluttered. Pivotal Tracker isn't what I want either - it seems focused on keeping teams of developers organized for very complicated projects. Asana is too focused on tasks, and I don't think my non-tech savvy clients could figure it out.

What do you recommend?

Stop looking for your "dream tool" because it's a form of procrastination. Most tools are feature cluttered given the tasks that most of us have to do.

Honestly you'd be amazed what taking out one hour a week and a .txt file can do for your life. Another low-tech tool you can use is to print out a calendar and pencil in dates.

The reality is that "project manager" is a job title, so either you take time for it or pay someone to do it. It's also hard for people doing the work to manage themselves -- and this isn't a new observation but something that Drucker was writing about eons ago.

I'm asking because if I don't find something that works well, I'm going to build something.

Right now I use a .txt file, Gmail, & Dropbox to keep things organized, but I'd like to a place online that works with all that instead of trying to replace it.

- What kinds of tasks do you need to do?

- How do the objects you create (.txt files, emails, etc.) relate?

- What are the big headaches you run into?

A few sharp guys I know just launched http://www.getblimp.com/

I built Planscope (https://planscope.io) specifically for freelancers and consultants.

I wanted: * To know how scope changes affected overall budget * My clients to know what tasks they were spending money on * Stupid simple and a no-brainer for clients * Integrated time tracking

Planscope does all this and more. Check it out, and if you have any questions drop me a line: brennan@planscope.io

I really like Redmine. It's got source integration, a wiki, a task manager, multi-project support, can email notifications, has different user levels and great permission configuration, and also provides time-tracking out of the box.

IIRC, it also has a forum and other features that we never used.

I don't know how complex you want it to be, but the tool I've been using for almost 10 months now is pretty great. I think you should take a look at Paymo ( http://paymo.biz ) maybe it's up your alley.

You can take a look at Planscope:


Have you tried the new Basecamp? I never got to appreciate the old one but the newest version I've been a happy user for a couple of months now. It supports all the things you need and I personally think the UI/UX is amazing.

I took a look at it, and I just don't think it would work for my non-tech savvy clients. There's too much going on.

Try Breeze (http://letsbreeze.com), it's a Basecamp and Trello hybrid, plus adds some extra stuff like budgeting, reports and time tracking.

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