Project management tools can help you organize your projects and provide services. Consultants need applications that can meet their business needs, like working with clients, scheduling meetings and having task management features for workflow. Many of them offer very affordable plans, and others have more useful features behind a paywall. It’s important to consider each one carefully to avoid a costly mistake.
- Top project management software for consultants comparison
- Top consultant project management software
- Key features of consultant project management software
- How do I choose the best consultant project management software for my business?
Top project management software for consultants comparison
Below is a table of quick facts on project management options for consultant needs. You may have other features in mind you want, but these are a great place to start.
|Free plan||Free viewers||Automation||Integrations||Pricing|
|Notion||Yes||Yes, free guests||Yes||Yes||Starts at $8/user/month, billed yearly|
|Wrike||Yes||Yes||Yes||Yes||Starts at $9.80/user/month, billed yearly|
|ClickUp||Yes||Yes||Yes||Yes||Starts at $7/user/month, billed yearly|
|Todoist||Yes||Yes||Yes||Yes||Starts at $4/user/month, billed yearly|
|Nifty||Yes||Yes||Yes||Yes||Starts at $5/user/month, billed yearly|
|Evernote||Yes||No, but you can export notes||No||Yes||$129.99 yearly|
Notion: Best for collaboration on a budget
Notion is a user-friendly project management tool for small teams, freelancers and individuals. With this software, individual consultants can collaborate with clients and small consulting firms in a shared workspace. It is affordable for freelancers and small teams and has an enterprise plan for the more demanding needs of a consulting firm.
- Free: Up to 2 users and 10 guests.
- Plus: $8 per user per month if billed annually, or $10 per user per month if billed month-to-month.
- Business: $15 per user per month if billed annually, or $18 per user per month if billed month-to-month.
- Enterprise: Custom pricing for your organization.
- Work views like kanban, list and calendar.
- Unlimited blocks for projects.
- Free guests in all plans, starting at 10 guests in Free plan.
- Page analytics for monitoring progress.
- Admin user roles and advanced security in Enterprise plan.
- The Free plan has unlimited blocks for individuals.
- Notion connections to popular integrations like Slack and Zapier are included in all plans.
- The software is intuitive and easy to get started with.
- It includes priority support for paid plans.
- Notion AI writing assistant improves workflow.
- Higher tiers can be pricier for single consultants.
- Not as feature-rich as other project management tools.
For more information, read the full Notion review.
Wrike: Best for growing and large teams
While Wrike can be a costly project management solution, it’s stocked with reporting and analytics features that can benefit organizations and growing businesses. The free plan it offers also allows unlimited users and has basic features that can help individuals and small teams.
- Free: Unlimited users.
- Team: $9.80 per user per month, billed annually.
- Business: $24.80 per user per month, billed annually.
- Enterprise: Custom pricing for teams that want more advanced security.
- Pinnacle: Custom pricing for teams that want more advanced analytics.
- Work views such as kanban, Gantt, calendar and table.
- Multiple languages supported in all plans.
- Reporting and business intelligence for in-depth insights.
- Budgeting and resource management.
- Data visualization analytics.
- Custom branding for the Business plan and up.
- Allows collaborators (viewers) in all plans.
- Enterprise-grade security in all plans.
- Limited automation per plan.
- Limited work views in the Free plan.
- Under 15GB of storage for all plans, except for Pinnacle.
For more information, read the full Wrike review.
ClickUp: Best for consultants with complex projects
Similar to Wrike, ClickUp has abundant features and unlimited users in its freemium version. However, ClickUp is more affordable and has plenty of storage, as well as automation and collaboration features for remote teams. The plans can fit the needs of consultants in the early to later stages of their careers.
- Free: Unlimited users.
- Unlimited: $7 per user per month if billed annually, or $10 per user per month if billed month-to-month.
- Business: $12 per user per month if billed annually, or $19 per user per month if billed month-to-month.
- Enterprise: Contact sales for custom pricing.
- 15 different work views, including calendar, Gantt and timeline.
- Unlimited custom views, storage and project spaces for paid tiers.
- Natural language processing and smart notifications.
- Over 50 native integrations for all plans.
- Video recording and chat messaging on the app.
- Time tracking in all plans.
- Great for Agile sprint workflows.
- Two-factor authentication for all plans.
- Free view-only guests in all plans (guests with special permissions incur extra costs).
- Limited automation in all plans.
- Tableau connection only available in Enterprise plan.
- Custom user roles and permissions available only in Enterprise plan.
For more information, read the full ClickUp review.
Todoist: Best for individuals and teams on a budget
Todoist is one of the best project management tools for small teams and individuals. If you’re a freelance consultant or small firm, then you can save money while collaborating. While it’s not brimming with features like Wrike or ClickUp, you can still get work done with its basic workflow functionality. You can get started right away with its free version for individuals or its free plan for teams.
- Beginner: Free for 5 projects and 5 guests.
- Starter: Free for 5 projects, with unlimited admin and guest members.
- Pro: $4 per user per month if billed annually, or $5 per user per month if billed month-to-month.
- Business: $6 per user per month if billed annually, or $8 per user per month if billed month-to-month.
- Custom task views for current and upcoming due dates.
- Shared workspaces for collaboration.
- Collaborators for your team and free guests per plan.
- Integrations for time tracking and automation.
- It offers two free plans — for single users and teams.
- It allows free guests for all plans.
- The Business plan has admin and security controls and is less expensive than most competitors.
- Fewer features than most competitors.
- Not ideal for complex projects.
For more information, read the full Todoist review.
Nifty: Best for managing your business
If you’re looking for software with a variety of plan options, strong features and affordability, Nifty is a great choice. The software has plans for individuals, small teams and large firms. Consultants who want capabilities to help them manage their business can benefit from its budgeting and time-tracking features.
- Free: Unlimited members and 2 projects.
- Starter: $5 per user per month if billed annually, or $9 per user per month if billed month-to-month.
- Pro: $10 per user per month if billed annually, or $16 per user per month if billed month-to-month.
- Business: $16 per user per month if billed annually, or $25 per user per month if billed month-to-month.
- Enterprise: $399 per month, billed annually.
- Work views like kanban and list.
- Task and milestone dependencies.
- Chat within the app for team communication.
- Workflow automation and budget tracking.
- File proofing and native forms.
- Affordable plans for startups, individuals and teams.
- Storage for paid plans starting at 100GB.
- Unlimited guests and clients.
- Majority of project management features available in Free plan.
- Two-factor authentication for all plans.
- Higher tiers can be pricey for small budgets.
- Workflow automation is available in Pro plan and up.
For more information, read the full Nifty review.
Evernote: Best for individuals and team notation
Evernote is designed for personal and business project management needs. Its pricing is based on the number of devices you need and for small teams. It’s ideal for personal notes organization, customization and overall task management. If your workflow requires a lot of writing and organizing your personal thoughts, then Evernote is a great choice.
- Free: Allows 2 devices.
- Personal: $129.99 yearly, or $14.99 per month if billed monthly.
- Professional: $169.99 yearly, or $17.99 per month if billed monthly.
- Evernote Teams: $24.99 per user per month, billed annually.
- Fonts and colors for customization.
- Handwritten notes and ability to annotate images and PDFs.
- Attach media and create audio notes.
- Task management features.
- Filter searches that can be saved for later.
- Integrations with Slack, Microsoft Teams and preferred calendars.
- You can have both personal and professional accounts.
- Users can export notes as PDFs or use links for sharing with clients.
- Two-factor authentication is available for all plans.
- You can create custom templates.
- The Free plan has fewer note customization features.
- Evernote Teams requires you to buy a minimum of two seats.
- Only the Professional plan has full access to integrations.
Key features of consultant project management software
The following won’t be the only important features for consultants, but these will highlight some of the very important capabilities to help in saving time and money and increasing productivity.
Consultants who are self-employed need to save as much money as they can, and committing to an expensive software solution is risky. Consultant management software with free plans offer not just low-cost solutions but also a great way to fully test before buying. When you’re ready for the pricier tiers, you can make the purchase with a better understanding of the software’s learning curve and overall usefulness.
After considering the free version, it comes down to whether the price is worth the features. For many feature-rich project management tools, important functionality is pushed up to the higher tiers. Not every capability is worth the extra cost, so when choosing, it’s important to figure out what features you really do need. Most free and second-tier plans of project management pricing models won’t have the best features, but they won’t break the bank.
Saving time is a major benefit for individuals and teams. Working with clients should have your full focus so you can build relationships and deliver your best work. This means small things like ensuring steps in the project workflow aren’t forgotten, flagging deadlines, automating reminders or streamlining tedious tasks are integral to saving time. Freelance consultants or teams with overwhelming workloads can benefit the most from automation.
Guest or client viewing
When your projects are made with someone else in mind, it’s important to be able to show them progress or even collaborate. At the very least, you need to be able to show them what you’re doing. Sharing or inviting viewers or guests with limited access can be pushed up to more costly subscription plans, while more affordable plans will give you access sooner. The types of guest or viewer access differ from software to software, so make sure to double-check offerings before purchase.
If you are adding new software to your tech stack, it needs to work well with your current applications and be able to work with new tools that upgrade your workflow. If you choose cheaper software with basic features to save on your costs, then its available integrations can fill the gap in capabilities. Individual consultants can certainly benefit from cost savings as well as find new options to improve productivity.
How do I choose the best consultant project management for my business?
The best project management software for consultants are those that are affordable, easy to use, and allow collaboration with team members or clients. The more features you need, the more costly it can be for things like automation, guest seats and time tracking.
If you want to ensure productivity and avoid wasting money, choose software with a free plan you can thoroughly explore before committing to expensive subscriptions. Tools like Wrike and ClickUp save certain features for more expensive plans, but after buying, you may find the learning curve or overall feel of the software isn’t for you.
Make sure to take your time and avoid using a freemium version for a week and then immediately jumping in. Share it with your team, max out everything it has to offer, and you may even find the free version meets more of your needs than you thought.
If you choose a subscription or software that’s cheaper but offers fewer features, look for as many free integrations as you can. As long as your productivity isn’t held back by fewer features, it’s worth the savings.
When considering the best software for consultants, we looked at important capabilities like being able to report back to or collaborate with clients. Another big factor was offering plan variety, like free plans and lower-cost tiers. Consultants running their own businesses expect a lot of costs and fees, so saving on software to help them manage their work is ideal.