Hey there, freelancers! Do you want to avoid juggling multiple clients and trying to keep track of deadlines, invoices, and communication all on your own? Do you feel like you’re constantly playing catch-up rather than spending time on the work you love doing the most? If the answer’s yes, it’s time for you to start using a client management tool.
But what exactly is client management software, and how can it help you as a freelancer? And with so many options, how do you pick the best one for your situation? Don’t worry; we’ve got you covered. In this guide, we’ll explore the ins and outs of client management tools and share our top 9 picks for the best ones for freelancers in 2023.
What is client management software?
Client management software, also known as project management software or client relationship management software, is a valuable tool or platform that helps you organize and keep track of your interactions with clients and projects. You can use these platforms to manage everything from communication and scheduling to invoicing and payment tracking.
Some typical features of client management software include:
- A central hub for storing and organizing client information, including contact details, project details, and communication history.
- Task and project management tools, such as to-do lists, calendars, and project timelines, help you stay ahead of deadlines and priorities.
- Invoicing and payment tracking, including creating and sending professional-looking invoices and tracking when they’ve been viewed and paid.
- Collaboration tools like file sharing and commenting help you work more efficiently with clients and team members.
Do client management tools help freelancers?
Using a client management tool can be a game-changer for freelancers. Here are just a few ways it can help:
- Streamline communication: A client management tool can help you keep your communication with a client in one place instead of being scattered across multiple emails, texts, and phone calls. This can make it easier to stay on top of what’s been discussed and agreed upon and reduce the risk of miscommunication.
- Stay organized: A good client management tool will allow you to manage multiple clients and projects all in the same space. This includes deadlines, priorities, and tasks. This can help you stay organized and on top of your workload and reduce the risk of missing something important.
- Improve productivity: By streamlining your workflow and reducing the need for manual tasks, a client management tool can help you work more efficiently and get more done in less time. This can free up more time to focus on the work you love to do and potentially allow you to take on more clients.
- Save time and money: By automating tasks such as invoicing and payment tracking, a client management tool can save you time and reduce the risk of errors. It can also help you get paid faster, which can be especially beneficial for freelancers who may have to wait longer for payment than employees.
How to pick the best client management tool for your freelancing business
With many client management tools available today, finding the best fit for your needs can spin your head. When you start your search for the right client management tool, keep these in mind:
- Price: Think about your budget and whether you’d prefer a tool with a free trial or a free version that you can test out before committing to a paid subscription.
- Features: Make a list of the essential elements, and look for a tool that offers them. For instance, choose one that includes those features if you need a tool to handle invoicing and payment tracking.
- Ease of use: It’s essential to choose a user-friendly and easy-to-learn tool that will allow you to get started efficiently without any hassle.
- Integration with other tools: If you use different tools in your business, such as a time-tracking tool or specific invoicing software, ensure the client management tool you choose can integrate seamlessly.
- Customer support: Consider the level of customer support offered by the tool. You should ensure you have access to help if you have any questions or issues.
Keep these decision criteria in mind. Then, you’ll be able to choose the best client management tool for your freelancing business and take your client management to the next level.
9 best client management software for freelancers in 2023
Hectic is a client management tool designed to help freelancers streamline their workflows and manage their clients, projects, and tasks in one place. With Hectic, you can easily keep track of your invoices, set custom rates and project budgets, and track your time spent on each task. The tool also includes a messaging feature for accessible communication with clients so that you can stay up-to-date with your team and clients. In addition, Hectic allows you to manage your projects and tasks with features like project templates, task lists, and the ability to assign tasks to team members. Whether you’re working on your own or as part of a larger team, Hectic is essential for streamlining your workflows and staying organized. Its intuitive interface and powerful features make it an excellent choice for freelancers looking to improve their productivity and efficiently manage their clients. Overall, Hectic is a comprehensive solution for managing your clients and projects as a freelancer.
- Invoice creation and sending: This feature allows you to easily create and send professional invoices to your clients with just a few clicks. You can customize the layout and branding of your invoices and even set up automatic payment reminders to ensure timely payment.
- Time tracking and billing: Keep track of your time on each task and project with this feature. You can record your time manually or use a timer to track your work automatically. This can be especially useful for freelancers or consultants who bill by the hour.
- Project management and task organization: This feature helps you keep track of your most important client projects and tasks. You can create project templates and task lists, share lessons with your team, and ensure that your team is on track. You can also use this feature to track the progress of your projects and identify any potential bottlenecks.
- In-app messaging and collaboration: Stay in touch with your clients and team members with this built-in messaging feature. You can send updates, ask questions, or collaborate on projects in real time.
- Custom rates and project budgeting: With this feature, you can set custom rates for your services and define project budgets to help you manage your financials. It’s also helpful to understand your business performance when tracking different expenses and profits.
- Project templates and task lists: Streamline your project setup process with this feature. You can create project templates that include all the tasks, deadlines, and resources needed. This can save you time and effort when starting new projects.
- Task assignment and progress tracking: Use this feature to create lists of tasks for each project and assign them to team members. You can also use it to track the progress of each job and see which tasks are overdue or completed. This can help you stay on top of your workload and ensure that your projects stay on track.
Free trial: Yes
Pricing: Free forever plan. Pro pricing starts at $11.99/month.
Bonsai is a comprehensive client management tool designed to help freelancers and small businesses streamline their invoicing and payment processes. It offers a range of features to make managing your clients and projects more manageable, including customizable invoices, payment tracking, and proposal management. With Bonsai, you can easily create and send invoices to your clients, track payments, and manage proposals all in one place. The tool’s clean and easy-to-use interface makes it an excellent choice for busy freelancers who need to manage their clients and projects efficiently. In addition, Bonsai offers a variety of integrations with popular business tools, such as QuickBooks and Google Calendar, to help you seamlessly manage your workflows. Overall, Bonsai is a powerful and user-friendly solution for freelancers and small businesses looking to improve their invoicing and payment processes.
- Invoice and proposal creation: This feature allows you to easily create professional invoices and proposals for your clients.
- Time tracking: Keep track of your time on tasks and projects to accurately bill your clients for your work.
- Payment processing: Hello Bonsai makes accepting payments from your clients easy, with support for various payment methods.
- Project management: This feature allows you to keep track of your tasks and projects, set deadlines, and collaborate with team members.
- Contract management: Hello Bonsai helps you create, manage, and sign contracts with your clients, all in one place.
- Contact management: This feature allows you to store and organize client and vendor contact information in one central location.
- Reporting and analytics: Hello Bonsai provides a variety of reports and analytics to help you track your business performance and make informed decisions.
Hello, Bonsai is a powerful tool that can help you streamline your business operations and stay organized, saving you time and hassle.
Free trial: Yes
Pricing: The starter plan is $17/per month
Hive is a cloud-based platform aiming to streamline and simplify how businesses and organizations manage their projects, tasks, and clients. It provides a range of features specifically designed to facilitate collaboration and communication among team members, including file sharing, commenting, and real-time updates. Hive’s user interface is designed to be modern and intuitive, with a focus on ease of use and navigation.
In addition to its project and task management capabilities, Hive also offers a range of tools for invoicing and financial management. This includes creating and sending professional invoices, tracking payments, and generating financial reports.
Overall, Hive is a comprehensive client management tool designed to help businesses and organizations streamline their workflow and improve the efficiency of their operations. Whether you are a freelancer, small business owner, or part of a larger team, Hive can help you manage your projects, tasks, and clients more efficiently. So, it is a beneficial tool for project management.
- Keep track of all your clients in one place: No more scattered spreadsheets or lost emails – Hive has got you covered with a centralized client database.
- Stay organized with custom tags and notes: Need to remember that your client is allergic to peanuts? Just add a custom tag! Hive makes it easy to keep all client details organized and accessible.
- Streamline your communication with in-app messaging: No need to switch between different apps – use Hive’s built-in messaging feature to chat with your clients directly.
- Get paid faster with online invoicing: No more waiting for checks to arrive in the mail. With Hive, you can easily create and send professional invoices to your clients and even accept online payments.
- Get a clear overview of your workload with the project dashboard: The Hive dashboard gives you a birds-eye view of all your current projects, so you can see at a glance what needs your attention.
- Collaborate with your team in real-time: Whether you’re working with a small group or a large organization, Hive’s collaboration features make it easy to stay on the same page with your colleagues.
- Say goodbye to bland, generic proposals: Hive’s proposal template makes it easy to create professional, personalized recommendations for your clients. Just fill in the blanks, and you’re ready to go!
Free trial: Yes
Pricing: Free forever plan. The teams plan $12/per user per month.
ClientFlow is the ultimate client management tool for freelancers and small businesses. This platform offers a variety of features to help users efficiently manage their clients and projects.
With ClientFlow, you can say goodbye to the chaos of managing multiple clients and hello to a more organized and productive workday. This innovative tool provides all the resources you need to streamline your workflow and improve client communication. Here are a few more reasons why ClientFlow is a must-have for busy professionals:
- Task Tracking: Streamline your project management with intuitive task tracking and project organization.
- Customizable Email Templates: Simplify client communication with customizable email templates and a built-in messaging system.
- Online Invoicing and Payment Tracking: Get paid faster with online invoicing and tracking.
- Team Collaboration: Keep your team on the same page with team collaboration tools and project-specific subgroups.
- Client Profiles: Stay organized with comprehensive client profiles and customizable project workflows.
- Customizable Project Templates: Automate your workflow with customizable project templates and integrations with popular tools like Google Calendar and Trello.
- Client Portals: Keep your clients in the loop with customizable client portals and progress reports.
These features make ClientFlow a powerful tool for freelancers looking to streamline their client management and stay organized.
Free trial: Yes
Pricing: $10 per month for the basic plan
17Hats is here to help freelancers like you keep track of all your clients, projects, and deadlines. This comprehensive platform offers a range of powerful features to help you stay organized and efficient, including customizable project tracking, invoicing tools, and email integration. With 17Hats, you’ll have everything you need to take control of your freelance business and succeed. The platform’s central dashboard gives you an overview of all your current projects, deadlines, and more, so you can stay on top of your workload at all times.
- Task Management: Stay organized and on top of all your tasks with this feature, which allows you to create, assign, and track the progress of tasks for yourself and your team.
- Contact Management: Keep all your client information in one place with this feature, which allows you to store, track quickly, and communicate with your clients.
- Proposal and Invoice Generation: Say goodbye to the tedious proposal and invoice creation with 17hats’ automated tools, which allow you to quickly and easily generate professional documents for your clients.
- Lead Capture and Qualification: Easily capture and qualify leads with this feature, which allows you to create custom forms and automatically filter and categorize incoming leads.
- Calendar and Scheduling: Never double book again with the 17hats calendar and scheduling feature, which allows you to view and manage your schedule, book appointments, and send reminders.
- Time Tracking and Reporting: Accurately track and report on your time with 17hats’ time tracking and reporting tools, which allow you to record your time, generate reports, and bill your clients accurately.
- Integrations: 17hats seamlessly integrates with various other tools and platforms, making it easy to streamline your workflow and manage all your clients and tasks in one place.
Free trial: Yes
Pricing: Starts at $19 per month
Timely is the ultimate freelancer client management tool that will revolutionize how you run your business. With its powerful features and customizable options, Timely makes it easy to manage your clients, projects, and the team all in one place. One of the standout features of Timely is its advanced project management capabilities. You can easily track the progress of your projects, set deadlines, and collaborate with your team in real-time. Plus, Timely’s comprehensive reporting functions allow you to see exactly where your time and resources are going, so you can make informed decisions about how to optimize your workflow. Overall, Timely is a must-have tool for freelancers looking to streamline their workflow and grow their businesses. With its advanced features and customizable options, Timely makes it easy to manage your clients, projects, and the team all in one place.
- Project Management: With Timely, you can easily keep track of all your ongoing projects and make sure they stay on schedule.
- Invoicing: No more tedious invoicing processes! Timely lets you create and send professional invoices in just a few clicks.
- Time Tracking: Are you tired of losing track of how much time you spend on different tasks? Timely’s time-tracking feature helps you stay organized and efficient.
- Resource Scheduling: Need to schedule a meeting or assign a task to a team member? Timely’s resource scheduling feature makes it a breeze.
- Reporting: Want to understand better how your business is performing? Timely’s reporting feature gives you insights into your project and time data.
- Team Collaboration: Working with a team? Timely’s collaboration feature lets you share files, leave comments, and stay on the same page.
- Mobile App: Need to stay productive on the go? Timely has a handy mobile app that lets you access all of these great features from your phone or tablet.
Free trial: Yes
Pricing: The starter plan is $10/user per month
7. Time Doctor
Time Doctor is here to revolutionize the way you handle your workload. With many advanced features, Timedoctor makes it easy to stay organized and on top of your tasks. From time tracking and task management to communication and collaboration, this tool has everything you need to manage your freelancers like a pro. But the best part? You can try Timedoctor for yourself with a free trial. That’s right – you can test all the unique features without committing to a subscription. See how Timedoctor can transform how you manage your freelancers and clients. And with top-notch security measures in place, you can trust that your data is safe and protected. So take advantage of this opportunity to take your freelancer management to the next level. Give Timedoctor a try and see the difference it can make for you.
- Time tracking: Time Doctor allows you to track your time when working on client projects, so you can see where your time is going and ensure you’re being productive.
- Screenshots and activity levels: Time Doctor takes regular screenshots of your screen while you work, so you’ll have the receipts to share with clients for your work at any given moment. It also measures your activity levels to see when you’re most productive.
- Online timesheets: Time Doctor generates online timesheets that show you exactly how much time you spend on different tasks and projects. You can use these timesheets to bill your clients or track productivity.
- Invoicing: Time Doctor makes creating and sending invoices to your clients easy. You can customize your invoices with your branding and set up automatic payment reminders to make sure you get paid on time.
- Team management: Time Doctor has tools for managing teams of freelancers or employees. You can see how much time each team member is spending on different tasks, and you can use the software to communicate with your team and assign tasks.
- Project management: Time Doctor includes project management tools that allow you to create and track your
- Integrations: Time Doctor integrates with various other tools and services, including Asana, Trello, and Slack, so that you can use it alongside your other favorite productivity tools.
Free trial: Yes
Pricing: $7/user per month
ProjectManager is the ultimate project management platform, empowering teams to supercharge their productivity and efficiently achieve their goals. Our advanced Gantt charts, task lists, and progress-tracking features provide unparalleled organization and clarity. At the same time, our collaboration tools and integrations with top platforms like Microsoft Office and Google Drive allow your team to work together seamlessly. With ProjectManager.com, you’ll have everything you need to conquer even the most complex projects and come out on top. So why wait? Start managing your projects like a pro today with ProjectManager.com!
- Real-time tracking: This feature lets you see how your project progresses, so you always know exactly where you stand.
- Gantt chart: The Gantt chart feature lets you visually track the progress of your project, making it easy to see what needs to be done and when.
- Collaboration: ProjectManager.com has a built-in collaboration feature that allows team members to work together in real-time, no matter their location.
- Resource management: This tool has powerful resource management features that allow you to see how your team is being utilized so that you can optimize your workflow.
- Task management: The task management feature lets you assign tasks, set deadlines, and track progress in one place.
- File management: ProjectManager.com has a file management feature that allows you to easily store and share all of the essential documents and files for your project in one place.
- Reporting: ProjectManager.com has a range of customizable reports that allow you to track your project’s progress and see how your team is performing.
Free trial: Yes
Pricing: $16/person per month
ProWorkflow is a powerful and reliable freelancer client management tool designed to streamline your workflow and help you effectively manage your projects and clients. With ProWorkflow, you can easily track your progress, communicate with your team, and ensure that you complete your client campaigns within their budget and on time. Whether you are a freelancer working on a single project or a business owner managing a large team, ProWorkflow has the features you need to organize all of your client work and stay organized. From project planning and scheduling to invoicing and time tracking, ProWorkflow has everything you need to manage your projects and clients with ease.
- Customizable dashboards: ProWorkflow allows you to create personalized dashboards that display the information and metrics that are most important to you.
- Advanced task management: With ProWorkflow, you can easily create, assign, and track tasks, including subtasks and dependencies.
- Collaboration in real-time: ProWorkflow includes a real-time collaboration feature that allows team members to work on projects in real time, regardless of location.
- Predictive project scheduling: ProWorkflow uses advanced algorithms to predict project schedules, helping you to identify potential delays and adjust your plans accordingly.
- Automated workflow: ProWorkflow includes various automated features that ensure a seamless and stress-free workflow. These include automated task assignments and notifications.
- Secure file storage: ProWorkflow provides secure storage for all your project files, ensuring they are safe and easily accessible to your team.
- Customizable templates: ProWorkflow includes a range of customizable templates for documents such as invoices, contracts, and proposals, allowing you to create professional-quality documents easily.
Free trial: Yes
Pricing: $20/user per month
As a freelancer, using a client management tool helps to improve productivity, save time, and improve the number of clients you can serve at one time. Considering your budget and the most critical features, you can choose the best client management tool and start reaping the benefits.
So don’t let the juggling act of managing multiple clients weigh you down any longer – give one of these top 10 client management tools for freelancers a try and take control of your workload. Your future self (and your clients) will thank you.