How much time do you spend on managing your projects, invoices, client communications, job boards, and other administrative tasks? If the answer is anything over 30 minutes a day, you need a project management system.
Monday.com is a popular project management solution, but it may not be the best pick for freelancers. Let's look at some of the best Monday.com alternatives for freelancers.
What is Monday.com?
Monday.com is a work management system used by project managers to not only manage multiple projects but also track bugs and inefficiencies and overcome them. The team behind Monday.com markets it as work management software and not project management software. It is because Monday.com can do a lot more than just task and project management.
It has robust project and portfolio management features, but you can also use it to nurture client/customer relationships, manage employee task efforts, and streamline resource management. Hence, Monday.com enables you to focus on not only the tasks but the processes behind them.
The tool is quite visual, and you can use Gantt charts, Kanban boards, and other elements to paint a clear picture of your objectives. Some of the leading brands in the world, like Hulu, BBC Studios, Adobe, Coca-Cola, and Discovery Channel, use Monday.com for its new-age project management features.
Let's look at the key project planning features and other specifications of Monday.com:
- Task management and project management
- Sales, CRM, and marketing management
- Software development and agile methodologies
- Human resources and recruitment
- IT management
- Creative and design management
- Operations management
Monday.com integrates with hundreds of software solutions across various product categories. These range from business management tools like MS Office and Slack to eCommerce platforms like WooCommerce and Shopify.
Let's talk about the pricing of Monday.com. It has five plans:
- Individual: $0 (up to 2 seats)
- Basic: $8 per seat/month
- Standard: $10 per seat/month
- Pro: $16 per seat/month
- Enterprise: Custom pricing
Every paid plan has a free trial, so you can try the software before buying it.
Why do freelancers need a project management tool?
Small business owners and project managers readily use project management tools like Monday.com to streamline their daily tasks. However, using management tools is a new concept among freelancers.
Many freelancers still use handwritten notes or spreadsheets to record their tasks. Doing so has a series of drawbacks. The biggest issue is a waste of time, resulting in poor productivity. A freelancer spends at least 30-90 minutes every day on non-billable work, such as sending emails, job boards, invoicing, and more.
The more time you spend on non-billable tasks, the less time you'll have for billable tasks. Therefore, it's essential to automate these tasks effectively, so you can focus on more important work.
Let's discuss some benefits of using project and business management tools:
- Spend less time on non-billable work and more time on billable work
- Effectively implement agile practices
- Collaborate with clients and team members
- Create and send invoices easily
- Connect your bank and accept payments online
- Stay on top of your earnings and finances
Best Monday alternatives for freelancers
There are plenty of options when it comes to project management tools (Monday being a popular option). And though Monday.com is a robust project management app, it can be overwhelming for most freelancers. The tool is suitable for project managers working in medium-large businesses. The modules of Monday.com focus on managing business processes on a departmental level. It has separate modules for HR, sales & marketing, operations, and IT, which could be confusing for you.
Indy: A great Monday alternative for freelancers
If you want to dodge the long learning curve and need a tool that you can start using immediately, check out Indy. Indy is one of the best Monday.com alternatives for freelancers because it understands exactly which tools you need. It's a freelance business management tool with invoicing, team collaboration, and comprehensive task management features to help you fully manage projects from beginning to end. The best part? Indy's tools are designed to give freelancers a comprehensive experience in managing their business, beginning with onboarding new clients, managing the project timeline, wrapping up projects, and getting paid fast.
All of this and more makes Indy one of the best project management tools for freelancers. Here are a few things you can do with Indy.
- Communicate and collaborate with clients using live chat
- Store and share files
- Create proposals and contracts
- Generate leads using automated forms
- Track and manage tasks
- Manage your schedule using the calendar feature
- Create and send invoices
- Track time
Pricing: Indy is also priced attractively. It has a robust Free plan that gives you unlimited access to all the basic tools you need to manage your business, including task management, time tracking, forms, file storage, chats, and an intuitive calendar. Plus, 3 proposals, contracts, and invoices a month.
The full version, known as the Pro Bundle, is available for $12 per month (or just $9 with the annual plan) and gives you unlimited proposals, contracts, and invoices, plus powerful integrations, workflow automations, white labeling, custom branding, and more features to take your business to the next level.
Most freelancers will find all the features they need in Indy. If Indy doesn't fit your requirements, you can check out these Monday alternatives.
Is freelance work getting too complicated?
Use Indy to make freelancing simple. The useful set of tools will make your freelance admin easier by connecting your work from proposals to payment.
ProofHub is a highly functional and customizable project management and collaboration software available today for teams of any size.
Get more done with this smart project management tool. It lets you plan projects, visualize them in multiple views, create dependencies between tasks, track your progress and make on-the-go changes.
Put all your project work at your fingertips. Use real-time collaboration tools to share files and status updates with clients and get instant feedback. View pending tasks at a glance and keep a close eye on due dates to ensure you deliver your work on time.
With ProofHub, you will be more focused, productive and more proactive with your clients. The tool is simple to learn and easy to use, and has an intuitive interface, which can help even less tech-savvy freelancers to manage their projects effortlessly.
- Online proofing
- Multiple views: Kanban board view, gantt chart view, table view, calendar view
- Custom workflows
- Time tracking
- Instant chat
- File management
- Custom fields
Pricing: ProofHub offers No per user fee & simple fixed price plans. Essential plan is priced at $45 per month when billed annually. Ultimate Control plan is priced at $89 per month when billed annually. It offers you a 14 day free trial and you can also book a demo tour to understand how it works.
nTask is a fully featured and easy-to-use task management, project management, and team management tool designed specifically for service-based businesses. It uses percent complete tracking to show what percent of a project you have completed. It also comes with powerful resource allocation and efficient project management features.
- Task management and project tracking
- Time tracking and task planning
- Complete meeting management module
- Issue management and resource allocation
- Risk management
Pricing: nTask is another affordable project management tool and features four plans: Basic (free), Premium ($3 per user/month), Business ($8 per user/month), and Enterprise (custom pricing).
Workzone is one of the leading project management software vendors in the world. It is a robust solution with powerful features and functionalities. You can use project dashboards to track and manage your projects. It has personalized to-do lists, making it easy to track your progress. Seamless document sharing and unlimited support are some other reasons to use Workzone.
- Manage multiple projects
- Organize, track, and manage tasks
- Time tracking and workload management
- Document storage and sharing
- Customizations and integrations
Pricing: Workzone has three plans: Team ($24 per user/month), Professional ($34 per user/month), and Enterprise ($43 per user/month). There is no free version, though you can take a demo tour of the software.
Originally developed for project management teams tackling software development projects, Asana is another widely used project management system best suited for freelancers and small teams looking to manage complex projects. It is a feature-rich solution and resembles Monday.com in design and capabilities. A user-friendly interface is the biggest benefit of using Asana. It also integrates with hundreds of other apps, so you can work in a hassle-free manner.
- Gantt charts and Kanban boards
- Calendar and schedule management
- Real-time project portfolio management
- Workload management and automation
- Hundreds of app integrations
Pricing: Asana has four plans: Basic (free), Premium ($10.99 per user/month), Business ($24.99 per user/month), and Enterprise (custom pricing).
Used by over 35,000 companies, including NASA and SIEMENS, Project Manager is one of the oldest and most powerful Kanban project management tools in the market. It comprises Gantt charts, Kanban boards, and intuitive dashboards to simplify complex projects and organize tasks more efficiently. It also has a risk management module and a timesheet management module.
- Gantt charts, Kanban boards, and dashboards
- Project portfolios
- Schedule recurring tasks
- Project burn down charts
- Detailed project estimates
Pricing: Project Manager has four plans: Starter (free), Team ($14 per user/month), Business ($25 per user/month), and Enterprise (custom pricing).
ClickUp helps project teams align by planning projects, managing resources, and assigning tasks in a centralized workspace. Team members can collaborate and communicate with one another seamlessly. ClickUp has whiteboards, task management, docs, chats, automations, and customized tasks. You can also create custom dashboards with reporting features. ClickUp offers 1000+ integrations through Zapier, along with native integrations with Jira, Slack, Dropbox, and more.
- Add docs and wikis
- No-code project management
- Time-tracking capabilities
- Lots of integrations
Pricing: ClickUp has five plans: Free Forever, Plus ($5/member/month), Business ($12/member/month), Business Plus ($19/member/month), and Enterprise (custom pricing).
Basecamp is another powerful project management tool used by many project managers and busy freelancers. The software allows you to create tasks and update them as you complete them. It also comes with time and expense tracking features, which can be quite helpful for freelancers. Basecamp makes managing projects and scheduling recurring tasks easier.
- To-do lists and message boards
- Project management dashboards
- Share detailed project estimates
- Treat tasks independently
- Client access and collaboration
Pricing: Basecamp has two versions: Basecamp Personal (free) and Basecamp Business ($99 per month).
Jira is the flagship product by Atlassian. While Jira caters mostly to software development teams, it's a feature-rich and highly-customizable project management system that lets you manage all aspects of your business. It may not be suitable for new freelancers because of the comprehensive range of advanced features it offers. However, it will be a great choice for busy freelancers who work on unlimited tasks with multiple clients.
- Scrum boards
- Gantt charts and Kanban boards
- Roadmaps and other project management options
- Project dashboard reports
- Agile reporting
Pricing: Jira has four plans: Free, Standard ($7.5 per user/month), Premium ($14.50 per user/month), and Enterprise (custom pricing).
You can't really talk about project management tools and not talk about Trello. It's one of the most popular project tracking and management tools out there. Trello is also a simple and user-friendly solution that assists you with better task planning using Kanban boards. The software also comes with essential team collaboration and communication features.
- Lists and cards
- No-code automation
- Integrate with hundreds of helpful tools
- Communicate with clients and team members
- Task dependencies and idea management.
Pricing: Trello has four plans: Pricing Free, Standard ($5 per user/month), Premium ($10 per user/month), and Enterprise plan ($17.50 per user/month).
Hive is an all-in-one project management tool that's great for organizations of all sizes, including freelancers. Get a view of project progress with Gantt charts, kanban boards, customizable project views, time tracking, real-time analytics, resourcing functionalities, native chat integration, and the ability to add comments, dependencies, sub-actions, and more.
- Multiple project views (calendar, table, and portfolio)
- Web and desktop apps
- 1,000+ integrations with popular apps
Pricing: Hive has three plans: Solo (free), Teams ($12/user/month), and Enterprise (custom pricing).
Todoist is one of the more lightweight project management tools on the market. As the name suggests, it's a to-do list app that lets you organize tasks into checklists. You can add sections and subtasks, recurring due dates, and set different priority levels, favorites, and reminders. You can also delegate tasks if you happen to be collaborating with other freelancers on client projects. There are multiple views for managing tasks, including kanban-style cards, labels, filters, and themes. Despite Todoist not having as many advanced features as some of the other project management software found on this list, it can get the job done for task management. However, you may need to purchase other apps to make up for the lack of critical features (like native time tracking) that freelancers need.
- Flexible to-do lists
- Add comments and upload files
- Calendar feeds
Pricing: Todoist has three plans: Free, Pro ($4/month), and Business ($6/month).
With clients like Disney and Microsoft, Toggl Plan is another popular business plan management tool that helps you manage all your basic project tasks in one place. It enables seamless task creation, project budgeting, project reporting, and expense management. It also has a starter plan, which is ideal for freelancers.
- Create projects and project schedule
- Drag and drop interface
- Schedule tasks and manage them
- Deliver projects on time by tracking project progress
- Project insight management
Pricing: Toggl Plan has three plans: Solo (free), Team ($8 per user/month), and Business ($13.35 per user/month).
Airtable sets itself apart from other Monday.com alternatives by taking a spreadsheet approach to managing projects rather than the typical agile project management. Because of this, it may take some time to get used to, but the interface is user-friendly once you get a feel for how things work. Airtable has a vast amount of templates to get you started and you can use a template for pretty much anything. Or, make templates from scratch. Beyond templates, Airtable has time tracking (through an extension), task management, video chat functionality, file attachments, issue and bug tracking, and more.
- Flexible views (kanban, calendar, gallery)
- Customizable database
Pricing: Airtable has four plans: Free, Plus ($10/seat/month), Pro ($20/seat/month), Enterprise (custom pricing).
TeamGantt, as you've probably noticed, gets its name from Henry Gantt, who popularized the concept of using Gantt charts for project management. You can manage projects with timelines, templates, and, you guessed it, Gantt charts. Tasks can be organized with drag-and-drop ease and the software offers other great features like project dependencies, filters, time tracking, file storage, customizable views, real-time progress, and more. There's a lot to offer here, but it comes at a cost (one of the most expensive on the list). TeamGantt may not be ideal for most freelancers, but if you've scaled your business and need advanced features to work with subcontractors, TeamGantt can help.
- Portfolio views and reports
- Multiple views (calendar and list)
- Project plan templates
- Subgroups and tasks
Pricing: TeamGantt has three plans: Free, Lite ($24/month/manager), Pro ($59/month/manager), Enterprise (Starting at $99/month/manager).
Microsoft Project or MS Project is a robust online project management tool that offers all the traditional project management features provided by other basic project management tools. It comes with a substantial learning curve and isn't suitable for new freelancers. However, if you use a lot of Microsoft Products, you can try Microsoft Project and see if it works for you.
- Centralized dashboard and home screen
- Multiple project management methodologies
- Various project views
- Custom reports
- Time tracking and resource management
Pricing: Microsoft Project has two pricing models: Cloud-based and on-premise. The cloud-based model has three plans: Project Plan 1 ($10.00 per user/month), Project Plan 3 ($30 per user/month), and Project Plan 5 ($55 per user/month). The two on-premises solutions are Project Standard 2021 ($719.99) and Project Professional 2021 ($1,409.99).
MeisterTask features user-friendly software with a focus on agile project management. It has built-in time tracking, kanban boards, a customizable dashboard, insightful reports, workflow management, custom fields, and more. It also has robust security features, including two-factor authentication to keep your projects protected. MeisterTask also has plenty of integrations to bring your workflow together in one place.
- Kanban boards
- Plenty of integrations
- Customizable dashboard
- Security features
Pricing: MeisterTask has four plans: Basic (Free), Pro ($8.25/month), Business ($20.75/month), Enterprise (custom pricing).
Smartsheet is the second spreadsheet-style task management tool on our list. It's a highly customizable software to help you organize tasks with multiple views. You can also use kanban boards, set reminders, use filters, attach files, and use a dashboard to manage projects. Smartsheet also has a team portal to help with creating effective team collaboration. Unfortunately, Smartsheet doesn't have a free plan, but it does have a free 30-day trial to get you started.
- Workflow automation
- Plan and review content plans in-platform
- Activity log
Pricing: Smartsheet has three plans: Pro ($9/user/month), Business ($32/user/month), Enterprise (custom pricing).
Wrike is both a task management and team collaboration tool. However, there are plenty of features freelancers can use to manage the project timeline. You can use Gantt charts, kanban boards, customizable dashboards, task and subtask management, and templates for pre-built workflows. There's also time tracking functionality to help with time management and productivity.
- Multiple project views
- Customized workflows
- In-depth intake forms
Pricing: Wrike has four plans: Free, Professional ($9.80/user/month), Business ($24.80/user/month), and Enterprise (custom pricing).
Let's conclude this list with Avaza, a unified work management system best suited for freelancers, solo entrepreneurs, and small business owners. Avaza covers project management and various other aspects of your business. Global organizations like Deloitte, The Irish Times, and Stanford University use Avaza.
- Project management
- Payroll management
- Resource scheduling
- Time and expense tracking
- Quoting and invoicing
Pricing: Avaza has four plans: Free, Startup ($9.95 per month), Basic ($19.95 per month), and Business ($39.95 per month).
We recommend Indy as the perfect alternative to Monday.com. Indy has features designed specifically for freelancers, whereas Monday.com focuses mainly on organizations and project managers. It also has an expensive per-seat pricing structure. Indy is way more affordable.
Monday.com is a robust work management system best suited for project managers in medium and large companies. If you are a freelancer, look for something more affordable and user-friendly, like Indy. You can also try other online project management tools mentioned above and find the one that aligns with your business objectives.