Review of Project Bubble
Many work-at-home moms have a hard enough time trying to keep track of all their "home" duties; adding in a bunch of work tasks just makes things more difficult to manage. It can be done, of course, by using traditional tools like a sticky note, notebook, excel spreadsheet, or even your email programs. Sometimes, however, it just pays to have a professional project management program that can expand with you.
I recently took on a few new clients, and trying to note all the details of deadlines, projects, and conference calls was too much for my day planner. I also found that my white board was being erased by little hands who were not supposed to be in my office! I tried Project Bubble as a deal on App Sumo, and I am so glad I took the plunge! Here are the finer points of my new favorite web-based project management application.
Setting up the program took less time than I thought it would (an hour or two for over a dozen clients). I started by picking one client( my review blog for example), and I added my first project. In this case, I titled my project "Ad Revenue" -- this would be where I would track the new advertising for my blog, as well as keep track of existing ad contracts. Under this project I could add both "tasks", which are items that I need to do with a larger scope, and "sub-tasks", which are more of quick "to-do" type items. Here you can see the difference between the two:
Tasks allow for a detailed description, due date, and the ability to include collaborators from your team (like my partner husband) to access the project:
Sub-tasks can be added and crossed off -- but not much more can be done with them. This function is appropriate for items that you don't want to spend too much time "tracking" -- a quick client call or email, for example:
Once everything is added into the system, you will be presented with a summary of your projects upon logging in. My home page, for example, shows that I have quite a few tasks that are overdue by a day or two (not untypical, actually), as well as a few projects due in the next day or two. Client info has been blacked out for confidentiality.
You can set up your account to send emails first thing in the morning with projects that are overdue or due, as well as have a team of people set up to receive these same alerts. I added my husband only to the tasks that he is responsible for, but he can log in as me anytime and see all of the projects that our company is working on!
There are quite a few components to the app that I haven't played around with yet, including the time tracker, billing, expenses, and invoicing. My first week using Project Bubble leaves me feeling confident that it meets all my time management and task assignment needs. I also believe that, if I start integrating the financial tracking components that it comes with, I'll have a leg up filing taxes as a freelancer.
Project Bubble isn't cheap, but it doesn't have the same limited functionality as "bargain" project-management tools; it is a comprehensive suite of solutions that are easy enough for a monkey to master. Even if you are a team of one, I recommend the small teams package (just $24/mo). I can see adding an employee or two independent contractors within the year, and this is the only way I can visualize managing virtual teams effectively. If you are set on going solo, however, the $12 a month "freelancer" plan might suffice.
Get the full scoop on this 1099-mom approved product at the Project Bubble website!