The average workday of a freelancer is quite dynamic. Quite often, freelancers need to work on several projects at once, while at the same time new deals have to be struck with new clients. Also, often an old client might contact you to review and expand work on some old project you have completed for him. On top of that, you have to send invoices on time and bid on new projects.
It is quite obvious that there is a lot of project juggling going on and that all of them are in completely different states of completion. This is why more and more freelancers are beginning to use project management tools. The primary role of these tools is to make sure that you don’t drop the ball. After all, as a freelancer your pay strictly depends on meeting the deadlines and your reputation. Here are the benefits of using online project management software that you as a freelancer can reap.
Easily Create Projects
In the freelancing line of work, time is a valued commodity. The best project management software is designed to meet many requirements of ease of use.
Its intuitive interface allows users to create projects from scratch in several minutes, even for the most complicated projects with a lot of tasks and task dependencies. You will also have access to project templates that you can edit and use for your own needs.
The projects then appear on the projects page. With just a single glance, you will be able to see how much time you have spent on a project and what the current status and progress is.
Time Tracking Will Increase Your Efficiency
Time tracking tools are neat features of online project management software. Having access to this feature will help you develop trust with your clients, especially if you charge an hourly rate.
When you bill your client, he will know how much time you’ve spent on the project and he will be able to check if you have charged him properly.
Besides this, having access to a time-tracking tool will keep you motivated to stay focused on the task at hand. After you finish the project, you can see how much time you have spent on each task.
This way you can identify the type of task where you lack efficiency, skills or knowledge, so that you can devise a plan for improving your skills. With a bit of work, you can become more competitive in the freelance market.
Keep Clients Happy with Instant Reports
There are all sorts of clients out there. Some of them are easy-going, while others want constant reports on the project status and progress. Writing these reports and sending them via email takes a lot of precious time away from your productive hours. As a freelancer, you need to have a tool that will help generate and send reports in a matter of seconds.
Fortunately, simple & best project management software will do this job for you. The “Generate a Report” feature is quite a handy one. It generates an in-depth report that contains a summary of the chosen project status.
This will make your client happy, because he can see all the tasks and when they are due. Some of the best project management software tools even generate Gantt charts – a very precise document containing all the tasks and timelines.
Billing a Client is Much Easier
There are clients who will ask you to send them an invoice before they can pay you. Now, this is not a difficult task, but it does take some time. It is especially inconvenient if you have to drop what you are doing in order to do so.
After you complete a project in the project management software tool of your choice, you can set up the billable amount for each task independently. The software will then sum up all the figures and automatically generate an invoice. This invoice is ready to be sent to a client.
You will also have access to Financial Add-ons. These are handy when your clients request to see the estimated project expenses. If you were using that time-tracking feature, you will be able to approximate the time needed for each task and to send this estimate to the client.
Collaboration is Made Easy
Some of the projects freelancers work on are more complicated than others. The more complex projects will quite often require you to cooperate with some other freelancers hired to participate on the project. Sometimes the client will also require you to have real-time insight on the project progression.
Online project management software supports this type of collaboration. You can add other people to your project, so that all of you can coordinate better and complete the task dependencies on time.
This software also support file sharing. This means that you can keep all the project-related documentation in the cloud, where everyone can contribute. Which, you have to admit, is much easier and more productive than when you have to juggle documents via email.
More Working, Less Managing and Tracking
In the end, using a project management tool will help you spend more time on your work, since all the tracking and managing is done automatically. You can check the progress of a certain project whenever you choose, and since these tools are mobile-friendly, you will be able to do so on the go.
These are the main reasons why project management tools are so attractive to freelancers. As you can see, the entire work process is streamlined through the use of these tools. The support for report and invoice generation on demand is also a nice addition that will allow you to focus on important tasks.
When we sum up all these reasons, it becomes quite clear that project management tools support a higher level of efficiency.