As the structure of the workforce takes a new shape, the demand for nontraditional forms of employment will continue to increase. Every day people are navigating the new normal of the pandemic, and how it impacts their financial foundation. Resilience and innovation have allowed people to utilize their skill sets in the form of freelancing. As reported by CNBC, job postings for freelancers grew by 41% in the second business quarter of 2020.
The spotlight on freelancers is brighter than ever, making it imperative for them to have a streamlined process for managing and maintaining their business endeavors. There is a slew of project management tools available on the market, making it difficult to choose. When deciding on the platform that will get the job done, consider what your primary duties are, then target the business management tools that allow you to lighten the load of responsibilities.
How to pick the project management tool that best suits your needs
Each business project has its own unique set of demands. The first step to choosing the proper management tool is understanding the essential needs of each project. Some projects may be more social media-focused, while others require large amounts of collaboration within a team setting. Once you finalize what the needs are for each project, you can streamline the responsibilities through these top 5 project management tools.
This app is for the freelancer with services that focus primarily on social media postings. Planoly allows you to successfully manage content for Instagram. You can schedule photo and video posts to the main grid, IG story, and more at your own pace. It can be quite time-consuming and tedious to manually post and promote on a client's Instagram account.
With Planoly, you can create months worth of content all mapped out and scheduled to post automatically. This will free up your time to give attention to other areas of your business projects. Speaking of free, this app is free for users. There are also premium tiers of service that go up to $23 dollars per month. Outside of the planning element of this app, the additional bonus is the ability to access analytics with essential insights that may be of great use to you and your clients. This makes room for business growth and customized campaigns created around that data.
With an unconventional work schedule, it's easy to lose track of the exact hours one has worked. Oftentimes, it is a freelancer's sole responsibility to track their hours of labor. For only $8.50 per month, Everhour will help you keep an organized tally of the time spent on each business project. To reach the final goal of any project, multiple tasks are involved. This tracking integration allows users to pinpoint time spent on each piece of the puzzle. Along with tracking time, Everhour provides scheduling, invoicing, budgeting, expense tracking, and reporting tools. It brings efficiency to business processes while allowing users to analyze where their time is spent and how to properly manage it. Everhour is an efficient way to implement time tracking into business processes.
As one of the leading scheduling tools on the market, Calendly is popular amongst users who need to streamline their meetings, appointments, and events. With many people shifting to remote work over the past couple of years, employees are constantly scheduling sync-ups. This free application alleviates the tedious back-and-forth when attempting to nail down meeting times that fit around everyone's schedule. You can crank it up a notch and purchase their premium plan for $8/month or the pro plan for $12/month. If you dread long email chains or the everso exhausting game of phone tag, Calendly allows you to send your specific availability with a simple link that is accessible to people booking time with you, even if they do not have the app.
If you already have a beloved calendar application, no need to fret. Calendly integrates with a variety of other calendars such as Office 365, Google, and Outlook. It even auto checks all other calendars of the user to ensure there are no double bookings or scheduling conflicts. A freelancer's schedule and availability can vary from day to day so a tool like this keeps their schedule precise.
If you find yourself freelancing under contract with a major corporation, you may be a part of an expansive business project that requires a hefty team. Monday.com is a free application that allows large teams to confidently handle collaboration and streamline workflows, eliminating cumbersome paperwork and the probability of manual entry errors. Outside of the free individual plan, Monday.com also offers basic, standard, and pro plans that are $12 or less a month. This project management tool supports group engagement that positively shapes workflows, pivots to shifting demands, encourages transparency among teammates, and alleviates manual grunt work. The platform syncs all pieces of information into a centralized hub where all parties involved in the completion of the project have access to the overall progress and execution of tasks. Team members and agents can access imperative information significant to the decisions being made as a collaborative community.
This app is user-friendly and offers a range of training materials through Monday.com's website and YouTube channel. The word Monday is grim to many who dread the first day of a new work week and all the responsibilities that come with it. The simplicity and ease of Monday.com make that first day of the workweek more bearable.
Freelancers wear many hats as they operate their business. Honeybook is a user-friendly software for independent workers. It allows users to streamline each step of their business operations from the initial point of contact, all the way to completion of service and closeout. HoneyBook has a starter plan priced at $9 per month, providing users with tools to scout and book clients, generate a service agreement to sign contracts online, manage the progress of business projects, send sales quotes, and process payments. No need to outsource additional assistance for certain tasks when you have this platform that acts as a one-stop shop for the individual who runs their business from top to bottom.
To sum it all up
The modern-day freelancer has so many options for how they can operate their business. Tons of project management tools are at their fingertips. Researching the different applications will allow you to decide which one best suits your business needs. From there, you can incorporate it into your daily workflow to streamline business projects and processes. Freelancing has enough challenges, so utilize these tools to simplify.