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I am doing freelance web designing, and most of my clients are not computer-savvy. I would like to integrate a simple management system which will enable them to track the project's progress with the hours (and hence the cost) during the development period.

I thought of writing my own system but that would take hell of my time. Is there any such open-source products available?

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1) You may try Assembla which is pretty much you'll ever need. You as admin can filter tabs your client can see. For example, leaving him Tasks tab only where he can make tasks for you, make comments on each, etc.

2) The other one is to try Trello which is visually richer. Yet again, he may not like drag&drop things, popups etc. So maybe Assembla may be more Win95 in style :) and they may like it more.

Both are free to use and located in cloud.

3) Third option is to use Google Docs where you set a public Excel doc where you both can enter tasks. Some of my clients prefer Excel, especially older ones.

4) Another option which is liked my current older client (55 yrs) is Basecamp room. He can write comments there, post images and docs, all is drag&drop. He is not confused. Good thing is that Basecamp offers you 3 months for free. If you cannot afford Basecamp and project takes more than 3 months, then before 3 months-trial ends, export all the content and open a new free account. In a long run, this is pain and eventually you'll start with a paid account.

But you must be clear with the client that they should put effort in the project as well since you are not coding it alone but together with him.

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    Trello is very good for non-techies. It doesn't do too much which keeps it simple. – ruffrey Sep 11 '13 at 20:12
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I use Kimai as a time-tracking tool and it works well for me, my clients can see exactly how much is on the clock at any time. You give them view-only access to their particular project. The Kimai documentation is a little poor but you'll soon figure it out.

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Freshbooks is one great accounting systems out there, it has everything from Client management, Projects & Time management, Expenses management, Billing and Reporting. If you are willing to pay a little bit for it, it can provide your clients a great way to see everything you do in a very organized way.

Use Box for file management, and sharing files with your clients.

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    Welcome to Freelancing, Amr... could you expand your answer, to explain WHY you can recommend Freshbooks? – Andrew Sep 12 '13 at 5:41
  • Just did @Andrew :) – Amr Gawish Sep 12 '13 at 15:10
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Replicon's project management software can be one of the choice for the sort of work that you are in search of. We use the same in our company that operates in multiple locations in a cloud based platform. The hassle free experience helps make the things all right at all instances. Check out the link here - http://www.replicon.com/project-and-program-management

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