As the number of clients and projects grows, the need to stay organized and efficient is incredibly important. These tools will help you stay on top of timelines and due dates, improve the process for presenting comps, speed up your timesheet and invoice process, and make payroll a breeze. We use these tools on a daily basis, and couldn’t live without them.
- Todoist. Todoist is a great to-do list and task manager. In addition to having native mobile and desktop apps that allow you to access your tasks anywhere, it allows you to invite clients to specific projects speeding up collaboration and keeping everyone on the same page timeline-wise. You can also assign specific project-related tasks to specific people. For us, we assign due dates for feedback to clients, speeding up the overall process, and protecting us against a situation where feedback is a week late, but you still need to hit your deadline (we’ve all been there). To boot, it’s well designed in incredibly easy to use.
- InVision. Invision is an incredible prototyping, collaboration and workflow platform. Similarly to Todoist, you can easily invite your clients (or collaborators) to specific projects for collaboration. For example, we invite developers to web projects early in the process so that we can solve design-development issues prior to the clients seeing anything (and falling in love with that thing that will cost an extra 2K to develop). Invision allows you to collaborate in real time, and as of today, you can create guided tours through projects. We love you, Invision.
- Freshbooks. We’ve been using Freshbooks for more than 5 years. It makes keeping track of time, expenses, and invoicing clients a breeze! And when tax time rolls around, creating your year-end reports is a snap. Plus, you can keep an eye on your P&L throughout the year and make sure you’re staying in the green. Plus, you can assign projects time-estimates to see if your billables are in line with time spent on projects.
- Zen Payroll. We used to use Paychex…and paid out the nose for not a lot of service, a ton of paperwork, and an outdated, clunky web platform that required a special degree to understand. Zen Payroll is insanely efficient, much more cost-effective, and paperless (yay trees). With a couple clicks, you can run payroll, pay freelancers, update employee info, and run reports. Employees and contractors get emails when they’re paid, can update their own bank and account info, print out check stubs if they want–do everything on their own without requiring their employer (or Paychex) to be involved. It’s awesome-sauce.