I'm setting up my freelancing business and need a way to store my client data securily which includes: Password Notes Invoices Projects Etc.

What is the Best Way to Do that? Access Database or any web based app?


Wow, I cannot say NO enough to some of the answers here!

You need a password manager for your passwords! KeePass is a good free one, as is LastPass. Check out their websites for a comparison between them. Do NOT store customer passwords in plain text, as it opens you up to a liability claim if the client discovers it! DO NOT USE PLAIN TEXT!!!

Additional benefits of a dedicated password manager? You don't suffer from having to remember them all, and you don't have the horrible security issue of using the same password everywhere! Plus, they allow you to store your SSH keys, if you need to SSH into a Linux/Mac server. Keep your master password safe!

As for other customer information, you need to find a system that works for you. I created an Access database many years ago that would let me invoice the customer, create the work orders, and fill them in while on site (I used to have a Windows server I could Remote Desktop to with my phone). Times have passed, and I've moved on to Linux. I really liked SugarCRM (free, or paid version), as it allowed workflows to be made on the projects, and integrated well with Microsoft Office (assuming you're using that).

SugarCRM runs on Apache with MySQL for the backend, and I can access it anywhere, even on my phone. Highly recommended, even if it's just the free version.

Last note, just to be clear...


  • 1
    So, I think you're saying not to store passwords in plain text. 😊 Feb 27 '16 at 15:45
  • Almost... I'm saying a big Mac meal with large fries, diet coke... And DON'T STORE PASSWORDS IN PLAIN TEXT, no ice in the diet coke
    – Canadian Luke
    Feb 27 '16 at 15:47

There are many CRM + accounting software that will help you store the entire business chain suchlike:

  1. Microsoft Small Business suite - Dynamics
  2. Intuit Small Business Products (includes Quickbooks)
  3. Zoho

For example, Microsoft Small business application suite - Microsoft Dynamics. This includes CRM to handle customer relationship, ERP to track from the purchase order to delivery and can handle multiple currencies, and could collaborate with various other Microsoft Office (MS Word, MS Excel, etc) suite of application.


I use Zoho Invoice platform for creating/storing/sending invoices/proposals, tracking expenses, getting statistics and managing all my clients business information as well keeping private notes for them. It is offered for free with limitations on the number of records which is good since you can try before you buy.

It can be also bridged with more platforms from Zoho like CRM, Projects Management, Campaigns Managements and many other features including API, all or individually for a very low price per month.

It is very easy to manage it even if you are new to all these and it is pretty comfortable since you do not have to install anything to your computer as it runs online (SaaS).


While you are starting out and have less than 5 clients under your belt, I recommend using Google Drive or DropBox as make-shift CRM by having a folder for every client and having an excel file with their client info in it. Make sure to keep is uniformly formatted so its easy to jump between different clients and not get lost. This also makes it easy to upgrade your CRM in the future to something like ZOHO or BaseCamp (my favorite).

Furthermore, you can either keep all your related documents in the clients folder, or in separate folders for every project you do.

For example, my folder structure is something like this:

Web-Design-Projects > 20160226-Starbucks-Menu-Design

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