Freelancers and small-sized outfits that offer professional services will be happy when they find CreativePro Office. For once, it’s an online app that actually delivers on everything it says it will. It’s an all-in-one office suite for the freelance professional: project management, time tracking, invoicing, job quoting, and more.
For use of their site on their server, the service is free. For $150, you can purchase the application to install on your own server (and brand, if you’d like). Either way, the price is rightâˆšÂ¢â€šÃ‡Â¨â€šÃ„Ã¹especially when compared to some of the alternatives.
When you first set up an account and log in, your dashboard is pretty bare. A calendar, a couple of notes, and that’s about it. This brings us to the most powerful part of CreativePro Office, in my opinion. The ultra-configurable dashboard. There are a huge number of things you can put on that dash and move around to your heart’s desire. Twitter feeds, calendars, to-do lists, project alerts, free-form notes, RSS feeds, and lots more.
The people at CreativePro are continually adding new stuff. The site is funded by purchases of the one-time download license (no recurring fees) and by donations from happy users. It’s been around since 2007 and has over 14,000 users so it’s definitely vetted. So far, over $46 million in projects have been invoiced through the site.
Client lists and projects (per client) are unlimited and clients can log in to see their current projects and information, respond to invoices (which can link to several pay sources off-site like PayPal), give input, and so forth. The information about your clients that you input can be as detailed as you’d like. If you don’t plan to have your clients log in, for instance, just a quick âˆšÂ¢â€šÃ‡Â¨â‰ˆÃ¬whoâˆšÂ¢â€šÃ‡Â¨Â¬Ã¹ and âˆšÂ¢â€šÃ‡Â¨â‰ˆÃ¬whatâˆšÂ¢â€šÃ‡Â¨Â¬Ã¹ is enough.
When setting up projects, some very useful fields pop up like URL pointers (so you can look at projects and link directly to the job), maleable categories, tasks/milestones, etc. Most of these interact with one another and your dashboard, so if you enter milestones and include a date, that will automatically update your calendar, for instance.
Timesheets and other tracking tools are also built-in and highly functional. You can manually input the time daily, weekly, etc. Notes and other details can be added for further annotation. Currently, these time sheets can’t be integrated with an invoice (that is promised soon), but clients can log in on their end and view these time sheets if they prefer transparency.
Speaking of invoicing, CreativePro Office doesn’t just do invoices, but also finances. You can set up invoices to bill by the hour, day, job, etc. and you can also track expenses (whether billed or not) to see your own bottom line.
For those nervous about data storage (like me), no downloadable database or offline utility is available (yetâˆšÂ¢â€šÃ‡Â¨â€šÃ„Ã¹a desktop app that integrates with the site is set for a future release). CreativePro does offer the ability to print or download-to-PDF information stored on the site in projects.
This is a great app and one of the best I’ve seen in quite a while on the Web. I think that nearly all freelancers who look at this site will sign up and use it. It quickly becomes invaluable!