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How can I manage my clients and their projects, I was searching for management software or web apps, I couldn't find any with the features that I want, maybe because I'm searching the wrong way or with the wrong keywords, most of the apps that I found are for project collaboration or client management only.

What I'm looking for, should have these features:

  • client signup and project submission
  • Project status, so the client can see the project's progress
  • and a messaging system

What is a good solution to managing clients and their projects?

We're looking for long answers that provide some explanation and context. Don't just give a one-line answer; explain why your answer is right, ideally with citations. Answers that don't include explanations may be removed.

  • Hi Peter, I edited this to make it sound less like a poll. It's okay to ask for solutions, but try to avoid asking in a way that makes it sound like you want people to just simply list their favorite app. Hope this helps! :) – jmort253 Jul 9 '13 at 22:55
  • @jmort253 Thank you. – Pierre Jul 10 '13 at 8:03
  • I added a post notice to this that has a link to the Stack Exchange blog post, Good Subjective, Bad Subjective. It lists 6 guidelines that make a good subjective question. I encourage those answering to think about these points when composing their answer, as it's those guidelines that will help our site succeed in quality. Hope this helps! :) – jmort253 Jul 11 '13 at 4:08
  • We were also discussing this post in our Freelancing chat room. – jmort253 Jul 11 '13 at 4:18
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There are hundreds of pieces of web and desktop software available that could help you. Most of them will offer free trails so I recommend you try a few and see what works best for you.

Here are a few I use:

Podio.com: this has an iOS app that goes alongside the website, you can have many projects, invite clients to post on message walls, set up projects and goals and customise pretty much everything about it. Layout finance plans, set task lists, assign tasks to collaborators. It's very full featured.

Trello.com: This is similar to podio, but simpler and easier to use. It's basically like a pin board with cards on it, but you can attach images, make todo lists, and rearrange the cards and move them into categories. Good for project management but not so good for clients

HarvestApp.com: This has some really handy time keeping software, all my client information, I can track expenses and projects, and it will generate and send my invoices for me based on the hours I've tracked, per project, and send them to the right client.

Those 3 are probably my favourite, they all come with really good iOS apps (probably android too), but like I said, you should try a few and see what works for you.

From what you've described, Podio might suit you well

  • You should consider changing this from a bunch of service comparisons to a list of what works best in these services and what the OP (and other readers) should be looking for. I do like Trello, though; it's free, and the CEO of the company is Joel Spolsky – Amelia Jul 10 '13 at 16:55
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I think https://pancakeapp.com would do most of what you want - the benefit of pancake is it's self hosted and a one off $49, so it's not a long term commitment.

To expand on this, it has:

  • Time tracking (like harvest)
  • The ability to send over proposals
  • A client area for interactions
  • A nice project management interface
  • Invoicing
  • It's also starting to get plugins that make it more extensible (I suppose this could be integration with payment processors etc).

For me, it kills a lot of birds with one stone and if you are a small business then the one off cost could be a big draw.

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    Sorry for that; bit rough around the edges. Your answer is perilously close to a link-only answer, however, so could you edit it and explain how it addresses the question more? Also, note that the question itself has been edited slightly. – Amelia Jul 10 '13 at 23:38
  • I've expanded on the answer a fair bit now. Apologies. – user319940 Jul 11 '13 at 9:43
  • @user319940 - Nice edits! BTW, we discuss questions and answers for our new site in our Freelancing chat room. You're more than welcome to join in. :) – jmort253 Jul 11 '13 at 13:59
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I suggest Redmine (open source project management solution). It is completely free, endlessly customizable, and uses a wiki-based platform.

  • Whilst this may theoretically answer the question, it would be preferable to explain how exactly the references resource helps addressing the OP's problem. – bytebuster Jan 22 at 13:59

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