Because I am always searching for new applications and programs to work more productively, I compiled the following list of resources that I currently use, have used in the past or trying out for possible alternatives. It is by no means an exhaustive list, the amount of resources and programs available out there is overwhelming and confusing that researching all of them becomes a bit of information overload. So I selected several programs within each category.
Trello is project management tool that allows you to work on several projects at once. Each project board allows you to list, color code, and name tasks according to priority and due date. When assigning tasks to a team, by double-clicking on the “card” or task and adding comments, attachments, and instructions it allows you to “chat” with your team members and get a general progression of your project. Although considered a collaborative project management tool, it is great for freelancers who are tackling many projects at once or who freelance in more than one area ( as I do). The beauty of this program is its flexibility; you can arrange it to fit your needs. The kanban board (workflow board) is a very practical feature. As you move and complete tasks, you can drag and drop them under the To do, Doing and Done columns of the board, so you see your own progression. I personally use this program and love it so far. I can have several projects( boards) open at once and can set weekly tasks by date for each project. I use it mainly as my content calendar and social media schedule board for each of my blogs and keep track of my translation projects as well.
- Full integration with Dropbox, MailChimp, Evernote, Twitter and others (paid version), Calendar view, desktop notifications for important tasks.
- Web, IPhone/ IPad, Android, and Kindle applications.
- Available on Firefox, Chrome, Safari and Internet Explorer browsers. It is a free tool with unlimited board capability. You can upgrade for more functions.
- No time tracking but does integrate with time tracking apps in the paid version.
- Phone apps are not fully integrated with all the features of the web application making tasks difficult to access.
- Less powerful than other tools because its lack of features. Although it has the ability to comment, there is no ability to “chat” with team members on the task (on the free version).
This is great for freelancers to visualize, brainstorm and collaborative ideas.
Asana is another project management tool pretty much with the same functionality as Trello. However, unlike Trello, Asana differs in its more structured layout. In one view one can get a snapshot of the project’s progress or daily tasks When you click on the project it gives you the Today , Upcoming and Later ( a bit similar to the kanban board in Trello) but you get the conversations, attachments, and results in one view rather than clicking on each card to see this in Trello. The recurring task feature is also a great plus in Asana. It also has reminder notifications via email prior to the task due date. (This can be a plus because you get various reminders within the week of the task coming due)
- Full integration with Dropbox, Google sheets, MailChimp, Evernote (paid version). Calendar and email notifications.
- Web, IPhone/ IPad, Android, and Windows phone applications. Free tool up to 15 team members.
- Works on Chrome, Safari, Firefox, Explorer browsers.
- No time tracking but can integrate with Everhour app and others.
- No “chat” capability but can also integrate with chat applications with paid version.
Freelancers, mid-size companies, small businesses, enterprise
Overview- Initially, Wunderlist was primarily a to-do list application that extended into a collaborative tool. What I love about this application is its sleekness and ease of use. What I do love about it is that unlike the previous two it does have a handy desktop reminder tool and alerts (ring) when the task is coming up. Like Asana, it has the left panel with the projects names and on the right panel the calendar and reminder setup, file uploads, sub-tasks and notes space for additional information. Teams can share lists and assign tasks as well. It does have a chat feature (paid feature). I still use this app essentially as a list application and use Trello for planning.
- Can be downloaded to your computer or as a web application. Integration with Outlook, Dropbox, Slack, Evernote and calendar (paid version)
- Firefox extension and Chrome extension. Android, IPhone/IPad, Windows, Chrome, Amazon applications.
- Free task management tool with advanced feature capabilities for Business (paid subscription ) . Task reminders notifications and alerts.
- No time tracking (but has integration capability). There are limitations to the free version, you can only assign 25 tasks in a team (unlimited tasks for paid version). 25 subtasks per tasks.
- Limited attachment size. Limited backgrounds.
Task management for freelancers, mid- sized and small businesses.
ADDITIONAL PROJECT MANAGEMENT PLATFORMS
4. Wrike- https://www.wrike.com
5. Podio- https://podio.com
TIME MANAGEMENT (Time Tracking)
1. Toggl –https://toggl.com/
I started using this application fairly recently and most of the programs offer it as an integrated feature for program management (paid version) . It allows you to time projects for billable hours (paid feature). I use it though to become a bit more productive and efficient with my time. It can be used for just about everything and every task you want to time not just business. The good thing is it integrates (through Chrome) with Trello and Wunderlist, two of the programs I am using now.
- Easy and simple to use. Can be used for pretty much every task you want. It does have a reminder feature.
- Billable and unbillable hours calculated (paid version).
- Integration with many other programs.
- Applications for Android, iPhone-iPad, iPhone, Linux, Mac, Windows, and is a web-based program as well.
- For Chrome browsers only.
- There is no Firefox extension yet for this program.
Small business, freelancers, mid-size business, large enterprises
2. Harvest https://www.getharvest.com/
Harvest offers time tracking, invoicing, expense tracking, and time-based reporting. Users can send automated payment reminders from the software in case clients haven’t paid an invoice on time.
- Free trial. Integration with most programs
- iPhone, Android, Mac, Google Apps, Quickbooks, Xero, Basecamp, Trello, Asana
- No Firefox extension. Chrome only
Small business, freelancers, mid –sized business, large enterprises
3. Everhour- https://everhour.com/
Everhour is a simple and effective time tracking web app that you input into a single entry field. You may filter the project by tagging it or by @mentions to set it as well. Filter projects and create reports easily and determine the productivity of each team member.
- Works with Asana, Trello, Basecamp, Pivotal, Github. Are available in Chrome and Firefox extensions.
- Creates reports for teams informing how much time each member spent on the task and who spent the most time on the task.
- No free version.
The product will be perfect for small businesses, startups, freelancers – basically anyone invoicing for the hours worked.
I absolutely love this program because it not only a task manager (to-do list) but it also acts as an outline for your ideas, reports, blogs or whatever you might like. This is great for the person that writes every minute detail of their workload. When you are tackling a project that you need to brainstorm ideas, put them into a timely, orderly and workable project, this is the program for you. It acts as a mind tool of sorts albeit in outline form. I use it for my yearly goals and follow-through. You can tag your entries, create hashtags or @mentions and make notes within the entry as well. Perfect for writers and freelancers like ourselves.
- Works with Gmail and free to use.
- There is a pro version as well but you get a lot of features in the starter version.
- Acts as a bullet journal too but can expand into a detailed view of tasks
- You establish the outline. There are no preset templates and it can be a bit confusing at first. Once you get the hang of it, you will love this flexibility.
- It can get a bit messy if there is too much writing. To do’s, after all, should be simple. No offline access (sync with iPhone on the horizon, who knows with Android).
- Limited features: tags & mark-completed is all. No dates, links, percent-complete.
Writers, freelancers, brainstorming ideas. Similar to mind tools programs.
2. Remember the Milk-https://www.rememberthemilk.com/
A web-based task and time management tool, RTM allows users to manage and create multiple tasks from a computer or smartphone, both online and offline. The integrated google Maps feature allows users to save commonly used locations and added tasks can be edited (or not) to include various fields. Tasks can also be organized by tags. Tasks can be postponed, and Remember the Milk will inform users of the number of times a given task has been postponed. Users must pay a subscription to synchronize among multiple devices more than once a day. Remember the Milk offers integration with Gmail, Microsoft Outlook, and other services.
- With Gmail integration and mobile apps for Android and IOS, RTM allows you to search everything in your list via tagging by project name and your list and tasks and subtasks appear on the screen .
- You change the priority of tasks by simply pressing 1,2, 3 or 4 (which are also color coded) or select a task by date by pressing “d” on your search.
- You can search everything in your list via tagging which is the most efficient way to search for your projects.
- Any changes or edit you do to your notes appear on top of the task so you are aware of any changes to the project. Smart searches can be saved and you don’t have to be online to use the service. Work offline.
- Does not appear to have been updated much. They have not added new features to the application.
- No file upload.
Freelancers, small business
Toodledo is a powerful task and note manager, that provides time tracking and voice to text option. It is available for the iPhone and iPad. You can use Toodledo as a standalone application, or sync it with your web application at Toodledo.com. For those that use Evernote, the voice to text option is similar to this one. Toodledo is flexible enough to work with many different productivity styles. It can be used in a desktop web browser, smartphone web browser or using the iOS or Android app.
- Toodledo allows you to set up rules so that it can automatically create a hot list of your highest priority items.
- It offers several options for setting priorities, so you can segregate personal from professional tasks, or differentiate between projects on a list.
- The Scheduler is a very useful feature. If you use this feature, and there is a slot of time available, the scheduler finds the highest priority that can fit the time slot.
- You can share tasks or sub-tasks with other people, so if you are working on a project collaboratively, you can see each other’s status.
- With the upgrade, you can upload files and attach them to tasks. The option to upload files is not available with the free or pro version.
- Subtasks may be entered on your device, but will not sync.
- Limitations in syncing the reminders with tasks in other devices. They have to be entered prior to the due time (1 hour).
- Toodledo does not store exact reminder times.
Freelancers, Small Business
ADDITIONAL TASK MANAGEMENT PLATFORMS
* Wunderlist and Evernote are also task managers as part of their other functionalities.
And there you have it. The first 15 that I thought could be of value to most of us that have or are starting a freelance translation business. There are literally hundreds of options but price, functionality and ease of use are main factors (at least for me) .
So back over to you.