updated: May 2nd, 2010 / Ross Johnson / 25 Comments

Free Project Time Management Tools | The Best Software

I will admit it, I hate the project management aspect of my job. While I love talking to customers and doing the actual work, the thought of trying to keep track of everything I am doing, need to do, and might need to do makes me vomit a little bit. The only part I dislike more about running a business is dealing with difficult people. Luckily, there are tools out there that can help make our management lives easier. The bad news however, is most of them are quite costly. Great, now we have to work more to pay for the tools that let us work more.

But wait!!!

Ahhh yes, there is hope. I have found a dozen tools that will help you manage your time, projects, and company with out costing you a penny. Too good to be true? You tell me.

Time Tracking, in deeetail

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If you are a service based industry, then you either charge by the hour or price projects based on how many hours you estimate it will take. Because of that, very detailed accounts of how you spend every minute is extremely important. It is all too easy to cut yourself short on the time it takes to perform a task. After all, even the time opening a program for a revision should be accounted for.

Enter absolutely freetime.

With FreeTime, you can record time and expenses, analyze costs, invoice your customers and generate Reports. FreeTime integrates with MS-Word 97-2000 to produce Invoices, includes ActiveX Drill Downs to allow you to fully analyze your data, as well as the Crystal Reports V8.X runtime which is built in to provide you a host of standard reports and export options for Word, Excel, Email etc.

This way you can hit record and track each minute as they add up accurately. This way you won’t lose those minutes that quickly add up to hours.

Shared Collaboration

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In this digital, high price of gas age, telecommuting is not only smart but efficient. The downside to telecommuting is the decrease in communication. Any way to keep communication easy is going to improve productivity and accuracy. However, many solutions are extremely costly.

Dot Project is a project management solution that is extremely robust. While it doesn’t have the polish of the commercial alternatives, it has more features than most of them. You can categorizing projects between in planning, in process, on hold; as well as a full calendar and ticket system to help prioritize your to-do’s. It really helps you organize your time and help coordinate your long distance employees or freelancers.

Manage your Customers

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Keeping track of your customers really has two benefits. Not only can you cut down on the time of sorting through e-mails, business cards, and contact lists to see when the last time you talked to someone and about what – but you can also increase sales, conversion, and customer satisfaction. SugarCRM is an open source beauty, full of features that will save time and boost business all for free.

It includes a full contact database, tracking of leads, opportunities, cases, activities, and calendar events – sales teams could easily use this as their main project management tool. While it doesn’t cover the production aspect of things, it covers all sales related items and then some.

Documents made easy

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Ok, everyone knows how to use Excel. If you know how to REALLY use Excel, you can create some very powerful application like spreadsheets. There are plenty of times where you would want to collaborate on a proposal, bid, or marketing material. Rather than e-mail documents back and forth, which is a huge waste of time – why not work with them online?

GoogleDocs will feel much like your traditional Word program. It is simple, easy, and quick. However all your documents are stored online and you can share them with your fellow Google users at no cost. Those minutes add up quick, and you can edit at the same time. Use it to track employee hours, tweak content for a website, or bounce ideas back and forth.

Let me know what to do!

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Some people have a better sense of organization than I am. Maybe you just need a quick and easy to-do list? 37 Signals has got you covered with Tada List. This online AJAX application is free and lets you quickly create to-do lists in different categories. Sign on from anywhere and figure out what you need to do next.

Full Project Management

If you are looking for a full Project Management System (PMS), then look to BaseCamp. Basecamp offers a free package that lest you manage internal projects efficiently, and if you need more features then some small fee’s will give you all the functionality that you need. This is the tool that we use internally at 3.7 Designs. While it doesn’t have the best calendar support, the milestone system works quite well and will notify you any time an upcoming deadline approaches.

Now go out there and work

You will find that the better you manage your time, the more free time you will have. You will be able to eliminate the needless delays and hassles that are not only frustrating, but essentially cost you or your company money. While there are some expensive commercial solutions if you need it, there are plenty of effective and free tools that will help you track your projects and improve administration.

25 thoughts Free Project Time Management Tools | The Best Software

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  3. i stumbled upon your blog and couldn’t agree more with you on the fact that the worst part of my job is also having to PM the projects.

    obviously i am very familiar with the tools you mentioned and wanted to also introduce you to a tool we use at our company that really kick ass.
    Is called “the Q” and you can find it at http://www.santexq.com/ is completely free and nothing come close to what we have tried so far.

    hope you like it.

    take care.

    Sean.

    Sean
  4. I’m working for KaDonk, and we have made a free project viewer that may be of interest:

    LiveProject is a free project viewer, that can show tasks tables, gantt charts, and resource tables. You can select multiple tasks and send mails based on templates, and much more.

    We don’t have a trial period, no spam, no adware. Just a free viewer, yours forever.

    Kind Regards,
    Anders
    KaDonk

    Get your viewer at http://www.kadonk.com

  5. Very comprehensive and useful free tools. I have bookmarked some of the sites in here. This is what I am looking for.Thanks a bunch! 🙂

  6. I’m working for Paymo, and we’re developing a cool time tracking product that’s 100% web based and it has a desktop component as well as a mac widget. It’s free for like, for up to three users. If you’d like to try it out, go to http://www.paymo.biz

    Regards,
    – Jan

  7. If you are looking more then a time management tool, even more then a collaboration tool, we’ve developed all-in-one project management solution tool – Comindwork, that includes, but is not lomited to such features as task, ticketing, time tracking, blog, online svn, wiki.

    And it is free for small teams – 5 users, 5 projects.

    Check it out, and give your feedback – http://www.comindwork.com

  8. I see potential in a couple of services. Will definitely try them out..

  9. You also may want to check out CollabTRAK – collabtrak.com it’s a free online project collabtration/tracking tool. Our whole team uses it…

    Phil Hugh
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  12. like this blog..is thre’s such a fast and very well managed time on every project? 🙂

  13. Some great advice here, the Google Docs are just great.

  14. Definitely agree about SantexQ.

  15. We use FreeTime for all of our projects, it’s great. We’ve saved heaps of time compared to the days of manually filling in timesheets, then copying those times onto project sheets, etc. It has a time-tracking widget that sits on your desktop and saves directly into your online freetime account. Working online means we don’t all have to be in the same place to collaborate or access our project information.

    sean
  16. I can also reccommend DAISHO, a Goal, time- and contact management tol with integrated email. There is a free version avaialable.
    As you can install it on a USB-stick, it’s very handy if you very at different client sites.

  17. Se você esta procurando marketing digital visite http://www.btoweb.com.br

    val
  18. Great article!!! All these tools are very handy. Will try to incoporporate them on my daily workflow.

    Thx

  19. like this blog..is thre’s such a fast and very well managed time on every project?plz tell it.

  20. Is there any project on new product development of marketing plz send me i need it urgently………..

    Harun
  21. If you are interested in managing projects the easy way, try Gainlog. With Gainlog you can manage your tasks, keep knowhow data in pages and share files. It also has a small CRM for storing contacts and communication history. Gainlog is free for a single person use.

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  23. these are great tools BUT do you know of ONE tool that does most of these features?

    thanks!

  24. If you need a tool to manage your software development projects including interaction and collaboration with third parties, and at the same time offer your solution in a virtual marketplace, then you should take a look at what Http//www.etask.it has to offer!

  25. Every item on this arbitrary “top 10” list would probably make it onto a list of the top 100 CRM solutions. Nevertheless, what exactly is the value of a list as long as the criteria for making it onto the list is not known? SugarCRM is certainly a fine solution for lots of use cases, but if the list takes into account the number of installations you should probably add MS Outlook and MS Excel as even more people do CRM with those apps.

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