Freelancer Project Management

Project Management Advice for Productive Freelancing

Tag Archives: Project Management Software

Twelve Free Project Management Software Applications

I’ve been going through some of my lists of free Project Management software applications, checking that they are still free and still available.  I currently have twelve on my list but I would be delighted to hear from you if you have any other open-source software you think I should add.

Clocking IT
ClockingIT is a free hosted application, keeping track of all your tasks and the time you spend on them.

 

 

DotProject

dotProject is a web-based project management application, designed to provide project layout and control functions.

 

 

GanttProject
GanttProject is a cross-platform desktop tool for project scheduling and management.

 

 

 

 

JxProject
JxProject is a free project management software package: a version without adverts is available for $20.

 

 

 

Open Atrium
Open Atrium is an open source team collaboration tool and includes a blog, a wiki, a calendar, a to do list, a shoutbox, and a dashboard to manage it.

 

 

 

OpenProj
OpenProj is an open-source desktop project management application similar to Microsoft Project. OpenProj opens existing MS Project files and is interoperable with Project, Gantt Charts and PERT charts.

 

 

Project HQ
Project HQ is a collaborative open source project management tool, similar to Basecamp and activeCollab.  Project HQ uses a structured workflow to assist you in managing your projects.

 

 

ProjectPier
ProjectPier is a free, open-source, PHP application for managing tasks, projects and teams through a web interface.

 

 

 

 

 

ProjectStat.us
ProjectStat.us is a service that can help you manage your customers’ project info and allow your customers to see up-to-date project information at any time.

 

 

 

 

SugarCRM
CRM-focused software. There is a free Community Edition but other software is not open source and is not free.

 

 

TaskJuggler
Free and open source software project management tool that covers most project management tasks.

 

Teambox
Teambox is a mix of social collaboration tool and online project management for sharing tasks and projects with a team.  Only free for the first three projects, then a pricing plan comes into effect.

 

 

 

Added:

Another 2 free packages:

Project in a Box
The free Community Edition of Project in a Box uses PRINCE2 materials and templates.

Tree.io
Tree.io is a cloud-based service with unlimited projects and storage.  The first 3 users are free – after that you pay $15 per user per month.

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Keeping your eye on the ball: how to stay focused on your project goals

It’s all too easy to get sidetracked by the things that need to be done day-to-day: emails to send, invoices to pay, phone calls, thinking up new ways to market your business… Twitter…

Freelancers have to organise so many aspects of their businesses that it’s easy to lose sight of the bigger picture.  All these things are important, but so is the reason we set up our businesses in the first place: our freelance projects.  There’s not much point in being a freelance writer, event planner or designer if you don’t ever get time to do the writing, planning or designing!

There are four simple strategies you can adopt in order to keep your goals clear and your mind on the result.

1/ Define your project’s scope

It is much easier to keep your goals in mind if you know what they are!  Write down the goals of your project at the outset, and make sure you have agreed them with your client: you could both have very different ideas about what constitutes a successful project.  For more information, have a look at this previous post about the project scope.

2/ Track tasks

I have written previously about breaking your work down into tasks; once your project has been divided into bite-sized chunks it is much easier to keep track of your progress.  You can use a low-tech approach such as Post-it notes and a wall planner to keep track of your tasks, or use one of the multitude of software packages specifically designed for project management.

3/ Set milestones

If you have a larger project you can divide it into phases before breaking it down into tasks.  The end of each phase is denoted by a milestone, which might be something like submitting a piece of work, a website going live, your design being approved or moving from a planning to an implementation stage.

Reaching a milestone can give you a good sense of achievement and a reason to celebrate.  It helps to have smaller goals to focus on within your project when the end is too far away to see right now.

4/ Schedule in time-outs

It can be helpful at various points in your project to have a time-out to review your progress so far and look ahead at what is to come.  Reaching a milestone is an obvious point to do this, although you can do it at any time, especially if you feel that you have hit a wall.

Your time-out can be used to evaluate:

  • What is going well
  • What could be going better
  • What problems you have faced and how you overcame them
  • What you could change as you enter the next stage

By taking the time out to assess your progress you can avoid repeating mistakes and get yourself out of any ruts you might find yourself in.  You can monitor your work and consider whether you are still on track to meeting your goals or whether you are getting diverted or sidetracked.

Photo by Flickr user chispita_666

The Freelance Folder: 10 Free Project Management Applications

Here is an excellent post from The Freelance Folder I found which lists ten free Project Management software applications, plus five paid-for packages if you need something more.  It is written by Laura Spencer, who blogs about freelance writing here.

I’ll be going into more detail about software in later posts, but for now this is a great starting point.

Also, check out the ‘Useful Links’ section (right) for more information about project software.