Last Updated on January 13, 2021 by Michael Brockbank
Whether you’re a blogger or freelance writer, being able to organize your day is incredibly beneficial. In fact, I don’t know how I would juggle everything I do without project management apps. And finding a free one can get you off to a great start.
Otherwise, it might be back to spreadsheets and notebooks…which I still use anyway.
But, being able to see what I and my team have scheduled while sharing docs and comments is beyond helpful.
It’s simply amazing.
Let’s take a look at 10 apps that will help you stay focused and productive for 2021.
Why Use Project Management Apps?
Project management apps can help you organize the day. Things you need to write, ideas for content, and setting up completion timeframes can keep you focused and on task.
As a freelancer, you’re only accountable to yourself. And any tool that can help you remain productive is ideal.
For instance, I’ll use Asana to assign myself blogs and video content. I’ll also use it to assign content to others. Since I can keep track of all my blogs as separate projects, I can manage them more efficiently than just trying to remember.
If you handle private clients, you can invite them to keep track of your progress or to make changes and suggestions.
The bottom line is that software like this just streamlines the process of working from home as a freelance professional. And to be honest, it’s helped me be far more productive.
10 Free Project Management Apps Freelance Writers Can Use
There are a lot of project management apps out there on the Internet. But, not everyone can afford the more expensive and elaborate platforms. So today, I’m looking at free systems you can use right now.
If you like what you see, there’s nothing wrong with upgrading from the free accounts. Though, I haven’t had the need to go beyond the basic platform.
In this list, I’m looking at FREE project management apps, and not those that merely have free trials. And, I’m not putting these in any particular order of importance.
I was turned onto Asana as that is a system one of my clients use. It lets you set up various projects and an unlimited number of subtasks under each. In the free version, you can also have up to 15 people working with you.
In reality, I was looking for a good to-do list style of layout. Every time I complete a task, I want to check it off and move on to the next. Asana lets me do this while saving past completed tasks so I can reference them later.
From a blogger’s perspective, there’s probably no other better tool. I can collaborate with team members, set up writing tasks, keep track of ideas, and remind myself to send emails to clients.
A lot of people love using Trello. It’s a great system to let you see projects quickly, including things like comments, attachments, or even due dates. As a writer, this is helpful for keeping track of what you’re doing.
Like most of the project management apps in this list, Trello also comes with an intuitive app available for Android and iOS devices. This means you can stay productive and updated while on the move.
The free version gives you unlimited cards and lists. However, you’re limited to 10mb file attachments. In reality, this is usually plenty for writers. And that’s even if you plan on uploading files to your account.
If you’re looking for something simple for just a handful of team members, Wrike is another good choice. In the free version, you’re able to add up to 5 users on the account.
You can customize the dashboards, share calendars, reschedule tasks, or take a look at project reports. Though, most of the better features are locked behind the paid version of Wrike.
However, you probably don’t need a lot of the bells-and-whistles as a freelance writer. Most of us just need a task management system to check off completed projects. And Wrike can do this with a nice interface.
The Teamwork project management app has a nice appearance and is loaded with various tools. One aspect I like most, though, is the time tracking ability. This helps you create invoices based on billable time, should your client pay you as such.
Another great aspect of Teamwork is the unlimited free client users you can set up. If you decide to collect as many clients as you can, this can help you easily keep track of them all.
Perhaps the only real reason why I don’t use Teamwork is because the free version only provides 2 projects. Since I have a lot going on, this is not ideal. But if you’re starting out as a beginner freelancer, it might be a perfect fit until you expand.
The Bitrix24 app has a lot of interesting features. In fact, it does so much that I could write several blogs about each section of the app.
According to Bitrix24, you get access to contact center functions, telephony, extensive project management tools, a landing page, and an online store (currently in beta).
Need chats and video calls? Bitrix24 offers that as well under its free plan.
While it does have a lot of features, that’s probably one of the downsides for many freelancers. It may seem overwhelming and a bit overkill…especially if you’re just starting out.
In reality, it’s more likely perfect for medium to large-sized businesses. However, it could be exceptionally valuable to the right freelancer. It really depends on just how much you plan to expand your writing business.
6. Citrix Podio
Citrix’s Podio platform has a bit of functionality and is comparable to other project management apps. Most importantly, you have free task management and workspaces for up to five accounts.
The overall layout is clean with projects having detailed and relevant fields to complete tasks. One of the things I like is how prominent it has the comment section.
Although I am a fan of Asana, you have to scroll to the bottom to read comments from others. In Podio, it’s just right of the task itself.
And like some of the others in this list, Podio offers private workspaces. This means you can set reminders and projects that you don’t necessarily want other people to view.
Although nTask has one of the lowest file-storage capacities in this list for project management apps (only 100MB), it does provide a lot of useful tools. For example, you get unlimited workspaces and tasks.
You can set up meetings, track registered issues, or even set up timesheets. Again, this may be useful for a freelance writer if the client is paying per hour or if you are paying employees or other freelancers for work.
If you’re thinking about adding team members, you can easily track progress and collaborate without much of a hassle. nTask allows up to 5 members per team under the free plan.
In some ways, PivotalTracker reminds me of Hootsuite. Probably because of the overall columned layout. You can see various windows in columns to easily keep an eye on projects, comments, and updates.
The analytics segment is interesting, as the system will show charts covering a wide aspect of data. Most importantly for writers, you’ll get task lists, file sharing, and project history.
Though, you won’t get a full history of the project unless you pay for an Enterprise account. But, you might not even need that much.
Using PivotalTracker, you can add up to 5 collaborators on the free plan while being limited to 5 projects. So if you manage more than 5 websites, clients, or other major elements, you’ll have to upgrade.
Perhaps one of the more expansive free project management apps in this list is Freedcamp. On its most basic plan, you’ll get unlimited users, storage capacity, projects, and tasks!
Though, you can only upload 10MB at a time. But unless you’re uploading video content, 10 megs should be plenty.
Like several others here, Freedcamp offers tasks, milestones, an easy-to-use calendar, file access, and time tracking for specific jobs. You’ll also get Zapier integration if you use that application.
One thing that stands out to me is the price to upgrade to a “Minimalist” premium account. It’s only $1.49 per person, per month. This comes with cloud storage integration, added task features, and Google Calendar syncing.
And lastly, we have Todoist. This platform is among the lowest cost on this list should you decide to upgrade. For one thing, it’s a flat low fee as opposed to paying per user.
In Todoist, freelance writers have access to 80 active projects, assigning 5 people per project, assigning task priorities, and integrations with other platforms.
It has a simple design that is easy to navigate while offering a bit of gamification to the project management app.
For instance, you can gain “Todoist Karma.” This helps you set and meet goals as you work to improve your overall score to reach new levels. I like this idea as it helps to motivate freelancers to stay on task.
Not to mention how you can integrate your account with Google, Alexa, Chrome, Slack, Zendesk, Gmail, and many other apps you might use as a freelance professional.
In fact, I might start using Todoist as well just because of the gamification aspect.
Keep Track of Your Day
These are some of the best free project management apps on the Internet. Sure, there are plenty of others. But as I said earlier, I’m only looking at those with free basic accounts…not free trials.
The best part about using apps like this is keeping your day organized. You can be successful without them, but it’s far more difficult. And since these are free to use, why not streamline your freelance writing career?
Unfortunately, maintaining a list like this is quite difficult. That’s because companies often change policies and remove features. I’ve even seen several that dumped their free platforms altogether.
So, if you see anything in this list that no longer supports a free project management app, please let me know. I’ll be sure to remove or replace the app.
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