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No More File Folders: Our Top Picks for the Best Project Management Suites for Freelancers, Startups, and Distributed Teams


When you’re working in a knowledge economy, keeping your work organized is what allows you to hit deadlines, impress clients, and stay sane while you’re at it. And the better your project management system, the better you’ll be able to organize your time to not only hit all of your goals, but also live your life.

The pen-and-paper method can work for a lot of people when they first start out, but as your task list starts to grow, you’ll find yourself needing something more robust. Rather than cascading a series of sticky notes across your desk, reclaim your headspace with one of these project management suites.


For Freelancers: Budget-Friendly Options with the Core Functions You Need

Yes, even freelancers can benefit from a project management system. With a project management suite, you can keep on top of deadlines, track pitches, and make sure you’re giving stellar customer service while you’re doing it. But the advantage of being a one-person company? Is that there’s a whole slew of bells & whistles you can do without, which makes less expensive solutions a viable option.

One great option for freelancers is Freedcamp. This system offers a free version with task and file management, time tracking, subtasks, discussion boards, and a calendar – all the basics you’ll need to run your freelance business.

The only downside? File uploads are capped at 10MB each. But if you need to upload larger files, or if you need a more complex feature set, you can get it for less than the price of a Starbucks latte. The premium plans start at just $3.99 per month, making Freedcamp an affordable option even if you need the paid version.

You can also try Wrike, if you prefer. The UI layout is a little more complicated, but the free version offers integrations with cloud storage solutions like Dropbox and Google Drive, which are only available in the paid tiers of Freedcamp.


For Startups: Simple Yet Powerful Task Management Solutions

No roundup of project management solutions would be complete without mentioning Basecamp. Basecamp is a great solution for startups because it can show everything all in one place, meaning nothing gets lost mid-project. And with automated check-ins & simple email importing, it’s easy to measure progress, keep the whole team on track, and eliminate miscommunications. Plus, the $99/month price tag includes the full feature set for an unlimited number of users – making it easy to keep growing your team without adding on additional expenses.


For Distributed Teams: Maximizing Online Communications and Organization

When dealing with a remote team, it’s important to use a project management system with powerful reporting features. And when it comes to reports, Asana is the king of the hill. With Asana, you can easily update your project status (and colour-code it to make it more prominent), and instantly view task completion over time. The premium version of Asana also offers report integration with Google Sheets, and even has a workflow feature that allows you to designate certain tasks as being dependent on others.

Another tool worth a try – one designed specifically with remote teams in mind – is i done this. Daily status updates, smart reporting options, and integrations with other software make i done this a convenient option for remote teams. And check-ins are as easy as replying to an email.

Email sucks. And sticky notes can only take you so far. With the right project management system, you can stay on top of all of your tasks, ensure better communication with your team or collaborators, and free up some headspace to pursue your big ideas.

What’s your favourite project management system? Let us know in the comments!

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