5 Essential Web-Based Apps For Any Consultant

March 18th, 2008 | Categories: design, marketing, markets, strategy, trends, wikis

Power toolsAs a consultant, I work on cool new projects all the time. This is the glamorous part of the job. Then of course, there is all the grunt work that goes on behind the scenes. This involves client relationship management and dealing with all the admin work. Ugghhh. Luckily, there are web-based apps to help deal with these painful processes.

The following are 5 web-based applications are essential to any web-centric consultant:

  1. Basecamp* - Project management
  2. ConceptShare - Design collaboration
  3. FreshBooks - Invoicing and expense tracking
  4. FunctionFox - Time-tracking
  5. Google Calendar / Gmail / Google Docs - Free web-based application suite

* The entire 37signals suite of products is impressive. Also be sure to check out Zoho’s line of web-based tools.

Obviously there are many others out there. Please be sure to add your favourites in the comments below.


  1. Trenton Says:

    why not buy microsoft office? it does all those things, except better.

  2. Arvind Says:

    Aidan : Thanks a lot for recommending Zoho to your readers!

  3. Tomahawk Says:

    @Trenton, why buy MS Office, when you got all that you need in Google Docs for free? You may say, that there far more features in MS Office then in Google Docs, which is True, but really do you need those bloated features? Google did the smart thing in stripping out the non essentials, and then adding in amazing collaboration capabilities (far better then Office Live Workspace in my opinion). My only complaint, is I wish that Google had a Docs appliance, to compliment there Search appliance, so that I could run Docs on a local intranet that wasn’t dependent upon the internet….oh well there’s always Google Gears.

  4. Mat Says:

    Good list. i hadn’t come across Fuction Fox before. Thanks for the heads up on that one.

    Basecamp is a great product. It may also be worth reviewing Central Desktop (www.centraldesktop.com), which also has great project management features. The GUI is a little clunkier, but it can be better for some types of project.

    If you are looking at design collaboration take a look at ProofHQ (disclosure.. our own app :-) It has a powerful sign off and collaboration features, plus a desktop Uploadr for easy proof sending.

  5. Aidan Says:

    Mat - Thanks for your suggestions and honesty :)

  6. Aidan Says:

    I forgot to mention that Campaign Monitor (www.campaignmonitor.com) is also great for sending out e-mail newsletters to clients.


  7. Jeromy Says:

    I think reputationhq.com would be a good one as well - consultants need to stay on top of their online reputation.

  8. Jarrod Says:

    I whole heartedly agree on google aps over Microsoft offerings. The fact that it archives previous editions of each file is so valuable that it outweighs anything else MS Office can do.

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