By Alyssa Gregory

Solo: Project Management for Creatives

By Alyssa Gregory

I love project management apps, productivity and anything that streamlines the work process. So I was intrigued when I heard about a new project management tool for creatives. Solo is self-described as “the beautiful new project management tool for the modern freelancer.”

The tool is the work of Jerome Iveson, and here is a rundown of the features.

Dashboard View

The dashboard is the main tab of the tool, giving you all of your most important data at a glance. You can view a list of deadlines, overdue invoices, projects to invoice, average hourly rate and all of your core project data, and then jump to the details of each aspect.

Project Tracking

Whether you work on many projects or have just a few at a time that you need to manage, you can track how much time you’ve spent and what you’ve spent it on with this tool. You can also generate graphs to show a visual project breakdown, and check status including the time to deadline, project progress and project contacts.

Invoicing Capability

Traditionally, most freelancers don’t have a need for a separate comprehensive bookkeeping app, so Solo blends in invoicing capability that merges projects, work and the billing process. You can electronically send branded invoices to your clients, and view when they’re due to be paid, are overdue or need to be sent. You can also view turnover reports for your current year, month or week. Sage and Quickbooks integration is coming in a future update.

Time Tracking

If you bill hourly, or even if you track your time for your own productivity, you can use Solo’s built-in timer to automatically create weekly timesheets. The timesheets show you how much time you’ve spent per day and on which projects.

Notes, Meetings, Tasks, Contact Management

Solo helps you manage deadlines, milestones, meetings, tasks and to-do’s all in one place. You can also keep important data for your business contacts right in Solo to help you manage your clients, subcontractors and prospects. They also anticipate rolling out an Apple iCal and Outlook integration in the future.

My Take

Solo just launched, so there are a few features still in development, but it appears to be an aesthetically pleasing, easy-to-use project management tool for a very affordable cost. The functionality addresses many of the top priorities for freelancers, without a lot of bulk.

What do you use for project management, and do you think Solo would be a fitting alternative?

  • ideasbuenas

    Solo is a tool for newbies. Not yet in a proffesional stage. If they want pro to test it they must do it the right way: give it for free for ever. A 10 days trial is not the right choise.

    • Jerome Iveson

      I’m not a great advocate of the freemium model, not for startups anyway. I’d love to be able to give it away just to get thousands of happy customers. But in reality I think most startups need to make a profit as well. Once we are more established I think freemium is something that may work, just not now.

      I’m definitely looking at lengthening the trial period.

  • Seth Etter

    I’ve started using Solo as well within the past month or so, and it’s been great! I was actually about to write a review of the Application myself, but seems you guys beat me to it so I’ll just put my positive comments here, haha.

    Solo is wonderful, though. If nothing else, it’s absolutely the most beautiful project management app I’ve seen to date. Definitely worth checking out.

    • Jerome Iveson

      cheers for the support Seth, you’re a star

  • Stella

    Been using Billings – think it came as part of a package – seems great so far, don’t know if it has as many features but seems very similar.

  • TraceyLea

    I use BaseCamp but I am going to go trial some data in this product. If it does what I need I’ll probably switch to it because it is prettier.

    I suppose the main benefit of BaseCamp over Solo is the number of people using it and the ability for sharing project information with other users/companies.

  • Radiant_Luv

    Just a 10 days free trial. atleast a month would be great.

    • Jerome Iveson

      I think we will extend this to what I’m not quite sure yet. maybe 20 days. What do you think?

      • netnerd85

        21 days to form a habit. There is a very good reason why people offer a 30 days trial, there’s an even better reason why Adobe offer a 60 days trial.

  • Jerome Iveson

    Hey Alyssa, I’m designer and founder of Solo. Just like to say thanks for the great write-up. It’s really pleasing people are tuning in to what we’re trying to do. Makes all the hard work worthwhile.

  • Guest

    Not to put you down Jerome, but it might not a good idea for you to reply to all positive posts about your product especially when you say you’re the designer and founder of Solo. It sounds like you’re the only one in the team…
    Also, there’s a lot of free management tools out there with limited features. i.e. Freshbooks is really good and allow you to manage up to 3 clients.
    Perhaps try to think of provided basic (limited) and advance versions of the app?
    I used to work for a start up too and I know how it feels, but first you need lots of audience to agree it’s a great product! Good luck!

    p.s. I was just about to try out Solo but decided not to after reading the comments… So some times it’s better to stay quiet.

    • cahura

      Hey Guest, you may be generally right on your counsel to Jerome. However, you may miss out on something good by deciding not to try it out!

    • Gabrielle

      I thought it was good that he was answering questions Guest. I agree with cahura, you are the one that looses out.

      I love the look of Solo, just signed up for the free trial.

  • Daniel Nordstrom

    Nice one, I like the interface, perhaps designed by Jerome above. I’ll still keep using my good friend Freshbooks like I’ve done for over a year now, but I’ll definitely keep an eye on this. It will be interesting to see where it is going in the future.

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