Managing freelancers and contractors can be challenging, especially when multiple freelancers work on different projects across several time zones.
When hiring and managing temporary staff, employers must consider several factors like freelancers and contractors, including productivity, security, project management, payments, hiring, and more.
This article will look at the 9 best tools for managing contractors and freelancers in 2021.
Whether you work with full-time employees, freelancers, contractors, clients, or a mix of all four, you need a password management solution for teams to store and share credentials securely.
Sign up for a 14-day TeamPassword trial to explore the best password manager for small businesses and startups managing remote teams.
Contractor vs. Freelancer
For the context of this article, we'll use contractor and freelancer interchangeably because they're both external, temporary team members. But, there is a difference:
- Freelancer: a self-employed worker hired to complete a specific task or project.
- Contractor: a temporary worker (usually a specialist) hired to complete a project or fulfill an internal role for a contracted period.
9 Best Tools for Managing Freelancers
At TeamPassword, we work with a mix of full-time employees, freelancers, and contractors. From experience, these are our top 9 tools for managing freelancers.
1 - Project Management - Notion
Many organizations use Asana and Monday.com for project management, but Notion is cheaper, easier to navigate, and includes some unique project management features.
Notion is cloud-based and works in the browser, but team members can download the desktop and mobile applications for a better user experience.
One of Notion's best features is the ability to create Wikis and Roadmaps, so you spend less time onboarding and explaining the project scope. Wikis are fantastic for outlining brand requirements, documentation, client expectations, introducing team members, company policies, and more. You can also embed videos if you need to add an explainer or demo for freelancers.
Navigating Notion is similar to a website, so it's easier to find the tasks and information—way more accessible than Asana and Monday. There are also a ton of project templates, so you can save time by copying the layouts and functionality you need for each campaign.
2 - Hiring & Payments - Upwork
Upwork is arguably the most popular freelancer and contractor marketplace in the world. The platform facilitates escrow payments with conflict resolution to avoid the payment risks of hiring freelancers and contractors.
Before hiring a freelancer, you can view their past work and reviews from clients to see their performance. Freelancers can also include their education, work history, and links to notable projects so you can get a clear understanding of the person you're hiring and their ability.
You can set up hourly or fixed-price contracts in Upwork, depending on your agreement and project. When freelancers log hourly time, you have five days to review their time log and ensure they completed their billed tasks.
3 - Password Security - TeamPassword
With password attacks on the rise, credential security is no longer an option for small businesses; it's essential!
Sharing passwords with freelancers and contractors opens your business to security vulnerabilities. Unsecure methods to share passwords like email, notepads, chat, or spreadsheets make it easy for people to share or expose credentials—whether it's intended or by mistake.
A password manager lets you store all your company credentials in one place, so you have complete control over who has access. TeamPassword is an affordable password management solution designed for small businesses, agencies, and startups.
Instead of sharing raw passwords, you provide each team member (employees, freelancers, and clients) with a TeamPassword profile and share access to accounts through groups. Staff can also use TeamPassword for their private company passwords like tools, email, chat, and more.
4 - Creative Assets - Envato Elements
Creative assets are essential for projects and campaigns. Envato Elements has a vast library of stock video, music & images, CMS themes, fonts, graphics, sound effects, and more—perfect for creative teams, social media teams, and content managers/creators.
For a one-off fee ($33 per month or $198 per year in Nov 2021), you can download as many of these assets as you like—saving you thousands of dollars and hundreds of hours creating them yourself.
Envato Elements has a team plan, but we recommend purchasing a single subscription and using your password manager to share the credentials with employees and freelancers rather than paying for multiple users.
Your Envato Elements subscription also gives you access to Twenty20, where you can find crowd-sourced stock images for your content creation.
5 - Writing Aid - Grammarly Business
If you're hiring freelance writers, you need to ensure that your content is always on-brand and error-free. Grammarly is an AI-powered writing tool that fixes common mistakes and offers suggestions to improve sentence structure and messaging.
With Grammarly Business, you can set up banding rules and tones, so writers always stick to the correct message and narrative. You can also create "snippets" of regularly used paragraphs, phrases, and sentences—perfect for listing product features or other repetitive content.
Create a dedicated Grammarly Business account(s) for your freelancers and contractors, and share access through a TeamPassword's password manager.
6 - Web & App Design - UXPin
UXPin is an advanced code-based design tool optimized for remote collaboration. UXPin is great because it combines several user experience design and prototyping tools in one!
You can use popular built-in design libraries (Material, Bootstrap, iOS, and more) or create your own design system to maintain consistency—crucial for projects with freelancers and contractors! You can also add comments and assign design tasks to employees and freelancers within UXPin.
You can also use UXPin's proprietary Merge technology to sync the design editor with a repository so designers can design user interfaces using the same code components you use in your final product.
If you're an agency building websites and apps for clients, UXPin can save you a lot of time and money. Designers can build fully functioning prototypes to present to clients before starting the expensive and time-consuming development process.
7 - Documents & Storage - Google Workspace
Google Workspace is fantastic for freelancers and contractors because you can share files and documents securely (and for free!). Teams can also use Google Meet as a Zoom alternative, saving you money on video conferencing software.
Google Workspace tools to help your employee and freelancer workflows:
- Sheets (spreadsheets)
- Docs (word processor)
- Slides (Powerpoint alternative)
- Forms (web forms & surveys)
- Drive (file storage)
- Keep (note-taking and sharing)
- Chat (messenger app)
- Currents (project management)
8 - Time Tracking - Hubstaff
Hubstaff is a time tracker and productivity manager designed for remote teams, freelancers, and contractors. If you're hiring freelancers on an hourly contract, they can clock in and out using Hubstaff's browser extensions or mobile applications.
Hubstaff integrates with popular accounting software and payment gateways, so you track costs and bill clients accordingly. You can also integrate with productivity apps like Trello, Wrike, Asana, Slack, and Monday to assign tasks and track progress.
9 - Communication & Collaboration - Slack
Slack is arguably the most popular business messaging app for remote teams and freelancers. You can create channels for group chats or message team members directly for one-on-one collaboration.
Slack is a fantastic alternative to email for freelancers and remote workers because it keeps communication and shared files all in one place. Feedback is also significantly quicker, and you can tag team members when discussing topics inside a group with multiple people.
Slack has over 2,400 native integrations, allowing you to sync communication and workflows with your other favorite apps—including those we mention in this article.
Hopefully, you'll find these tools for managing freelancers and contractors as helpful as we do here at TeamPassword.
Security must be a priority when sharing tools with external teams like freelancers, contractors, and clients. A password manager can mitigate password risks while optimizing workflows because teams don't have to find or request credentials to log in to apps, platforms, and tools.
TeamPassword is an affordable password management solution with a minimalist user interface for easy navigation and minimal onboarding.
Here's how easy it is to share passwords with freelancers and contractors:
- Add a freelancer to your TeamPassword account using their full name and email address. Always use their full name so you can track activity in TeamPassword's activity log.
- The freelancer follows the email link they receive to create a master password and sign in to TeamPassword.
- Create a separate group for each freelancer to share the necessary tools and accounts. When they have completed their tasks, revoke access with a single click!
- Workers use TeamPassword's browser extensions (Safari, Chrome, Firefox) or mobile app (iOS, Android) to log into your company's digital assets.
Ready to secure your company's digital assets and improve your cybersecurity with TeamPassword? Sign up for a 14-day free trial to test our password manager with your coworkers today!