Top 6 Best Free Management Systems for Consultants

Written by Asim Qureshi
By Asim Qureshi, CEO Jibble

As a CEO of a time-tracking software company, my team and I are constantly looking at the best B2B software to know what’s going on in the market. That means we’re often researching about and/or playing around with their products; you know, it’s part of the job. Here, I share my findings on the top 6 best free management systems for consultants, giving credit to those products where credit is due and letting you know the best products we’ve seen. And so, there you have it, this review, and in it, I try to be honest, fair, and insightful. I hope it helps you make the right decision…


For consultants, juggling multiple clients, projects, and tasks while striving to maintain efficiency and precision can often feel like walking a tightrope. And trust me, I get it – the struggles, the late nights, the need to deliver your A-game every single time. But guess what? We’ve got this, and I’m here to show you how. In this guide, I’ll be exploring a selection of top-tier management systems that have the capacity to revolutionize the way you, consultants, operate for the better – without costing you a dime!

These management systems understand your struggles, and they are here to be your sidekicks in managing clients seamlessly, organizing projects effortlessly, and owning your time like a pro.

The Definitive List

Top 6 Best Free Management Systems for Consultants

1. Jibble

Let’s kick things off with Jibble — your time-tracking companion tailored for a consultant’s dynamic lifestyle. From project initiation to client meetings and beyond, Jibble’s intuitive interface allows you to effortlessly track every second invested.

Now, here’s the catch, Jibble doesn’t just track time; it also understands your workday’s ebb and flow. With Jibble, shifting between tasks is effortless. You just switch the timer to the new project. No mental gymnastics needed to recall where you left off. It’s like having a virtual assistant who’s got your back, helping you take control of your time, boost efficiency, and stay on top of your billing game.

Like, imagine you’re diving into a project for a client, and with Jibble’s timer, you’re on the clock. But life isn’t all work—so, with a quick pause, you’re off for a coffee break. Jibble understands your rhythm, ensuring you track each productive moment while still enjoying life’s pauses.

Key Features

  • Effortless time tracking
  • Seamless project segmentation
  • Real-time insights
  • User-friendly interface
  • Enhanced efficiency
  • Accurate billing
  • Mobile accessibility
  • Customizable task management
  • Collaboration-friendly
  • Personalized insights for growth
  • Location and time-based reminders
  • Integration capabilities

What Users Like

  • Easy to use
  • Mobile app convenience
  • Seamless integration with Slack and other platforms
  • Automated reports

What Users Don’t Like

  • You tell us! We’d love to hear how we can improve

Now, I’m the CEO of Jibble, so don’t just take my word for it. Let the reviews do the talking! When you look across trusted platforms such as Google Play Store, Capterra, and GetApp, Jibble is the highest-rated attendance system out there.

2. Trello

Trello is your virtual project management haven, keeping everything organized visually. With Trello, you get your projects as boards, phases as lists, and the nitty-gritty as cards – it’s like watching your plans unfold in front of you.

And the best part? It’s as simple as drag and drop. Tasks, deadlines, attachments – they all find their place on the cards. All in all, Trello brings order to your consulting struggles, making sure no detail goes unnoticed or unattended.

Key Features

  • Visual boards and cards for task organization
  • Collaborative task assignment and progress tracking
  • Due dates and task reminders for efficient scheduling
  • File attachments and comments for better context
  • Mobile accessibility
  • Efficient priority management
  • Cross-board connectivity
  • Real-time updates

What Users Like

  • Intuitive and visually appealing task boards
  • Real-time collaboration and updates
  • Search ability is superb
  • Ease of Use
  • Non-blocking interface
  • Auto-synced with devices
  • Simplified task management

What Users Don’t Like

  • Needs something like JQL for the exact search
  • Can’t see archived tasks on the calendar as an option
  • Accidental “drag/move/delete” actions are scary, as users may inadvertently move a card when trying to scroll, leading to issues

3. Asana

Asana is your partner in collaborative success. Being a consultant means teamwork, and Asana’s got the memo. Imagine seamlessly working with a client team, delegating tasks, and keeping everyone on the same page. That’s what it’s like to have Asana. It’s like having a digital office designed to bring us all closer.

Asana’s project layout allows you to delegate tasks, set priorities, and engage in real-time discussions. Notifications keep everyone in the loop, ensuring deadlines are met with finesse. With Asana, you can say goodbye to scattered emails and welcome streamlined collaboration.

Key Features

  • Easy task creation and assignment
  • Real-time updates on task progress
  • Portfolios for keeping an eye on multiple projects

What Users Like

  • Easy to use
  • Ability to add tasks to multiple projects
  • Visual organization
  • Turning discussions into actionable tasks
  • Real-time task progress updates
  • Improved team collaboration

What Users Don’t Like

  • Tickets occasionally get lost or buried
  • Can’t copy tasks to another project on mobile
  • Limited storage space
  • Delayed notifications

4. Clockify

Now, let’s dive into Clockify – a time-tracking tool designed to master my consulting hours. Consultants understand the value of every moment, and Clockify’s precision ensures no second goes unnoticed.

And at the end of the day, Clockify’s timesheet reveals your consulting journey in detail. You’ll see where you excelled, and where you could fine-tune – it’s like having a mentor for time management. With Clockify, time isn’t just a number; it’s a resource you harness for consulting excellence.

Key Features

  • Simple and user-friendly time tracking interface
  • Project and task management for efficient workflow
  • Comprehensive reports and insights for data analysis
  • Integrates with popular project management and productivity tools

What Users Like

  • Simplicity and ease of use in time tracking
  • Project and task management capabilities for efficient workflows
  • Comprehensive reports for analyzing productivity

What Users Don’t Like

  • Some users found the user interface to be less intuitive and cluttered
  • Limited project management features compared to other tools
  • Certain features were only available in paid plans, restricting functionality in the free version
  • Integration issues with specific third-party applications
  • Some users experienced difficulties with data synchronization between devices
  • Inability to customize or generate more complex reports

5. HubSpot CRM

HubSpot CRM is your digital companion for client relationship management. Consultants thrive on connections, and HubSpot’s user-friendly interface empowers you to nurture leads, track interactions, and cultivate lasting relationships.

With HubSpot CRM, you can input details effortlessly, and as emails and calls flow, interactions are tracked like magic. It’s not just about data; it’s also about building tailor-made consulting experiences. HubSpot CRM is the key to turning connections into thriving partnerships.

Key Features

  • Activity Tracking
  • Alerts/Notifications
  • Calendar Management
  • Client Management
  • Client Tracking
  • Collaboration Tools
  • Communication Management
  • Contact Database
  • Customizable Fields
  • Customizable Reports
  • Data Import/Export
  • Document Management
  • Document Storage
  • Drag & Drop
  • Email Management
  • Email Template

What Users Like

  • Comprehensive database
  • Intuitive tools
  • Email tracking
  • Having contacts all in the same place
  • Has calling, scanning, lists, integration with other tools

What Users Don’t Like

  • Lack of industry-specific columns or trackers.
  • Hard limit of 1,000 custom fields
  • Learning curve can be steep, requiring time and effort to understand and utilize all the tools effectively
  • The drag and drop isn’t always responsive and can be very slow

6. Toggl

Last but not least, Toggl – your time-tracking virtuoso. Consultants understand that time is a valuable resource, and Toggl ensures it’s invested wisely. With its straightforward interface, Toggl streamlines your day for optimal productivity.

Imagine you’re immersed in a client strategy session, and with Toggl, tracking begins seamlessly. Shifting gears? Just toggle to the new project, no sweat. You can also enjoy the flexibility to edit entries if needed. Toggl ensures your time is yours to master.

At the end of the week, Toggl’s reports showcase your time allocation, offering insights to refine your consulting approach.

Key Features

  • Project-centric time tracking
  • Task allocation and segmentation
  • Comprehensive project analysis
  • Precise client billing
  • Intuitive time entry
  • User-friendly interface

What Users Like

  • Has a browser extension that reminds you to actually clock your time
  • Remembers past entries so you don’t need to retype any frequent activities
  • Reports are really detailed
  • Sends an email when you forgot to stop the timer

What Users Don’t Like

  • You don’t have too many options when using a free version of Toggl
  • Some less frequently used features and tools are difficult to find when needed
  • Minor bugs are encountered when switching workspaces

How to Choose the Best Free Management Systems for Consultants?

Selecting the ideal management system for consultants requires careful consideration. To help you make an informed choice, here are the key factors to consider:

  1. Define Your Consulting Goals: Begin by clarifying your consulting objectives. Are you looking for better time tracking, streamlined collaboration, or enhanced client relationship management? Knowing your goals will steer you toward the most suitable management system.
  2. Identify Key Features: Review the key features offered by each management system. Take into account your specific consulting tasks and requirements. Do you need robust time tracking, intuitive task management, or seamless integration with other tools? Pinpoint the features that align with your consulting workflow.
  3. Consider Collaboration Needs: Consulting often involves teamwork and client collaboration. Ensure the management system allows easy interaction with clients and team members. Look for features like task assignment, comments, and notifications to foster smooth communication.
  4. Evaluate Customization Options: Consultants have unique processes. Opt for a system that allows customization to mirror your consulting workflow. From project categorization to task labeling, the ability to tailor the system to your needs is crucial.
  5. Review User Experience: A user-friendly interface can make or break your experience with a management system. Choose a platform that is intuitive and easy to navigate, reducing the learning curve and ensuring efficient adoption.
  6. Mobile Accessibility: Consulting is dynamic, and your management system should be accessible on the go. Ensure the system offers a mobile app that empowers you to manage tasks, track time, and engage with clients seamlessly from anywhere.
  7. Data Security and Privacy: Given the confidential nature of consulting work, prioritize a system that ensures data security and privacy. Verify that the platform adheres to industry-standard security measures to safeguard your consulting information.
  8. Scalability for Growth: As your consulting endeavors expand, your management needs may evolve. Choose a system that can accommodate your growth, whether it’s adding more projects, clients, or team members.
  9. User Reviews and Recommendations: Consultant colleagues can offer valuable insights. Seek out user reviews and recommendations from fellow consultants who have used the management systems you’re considering. Their experiences can provide a realistic perspective.
  10. Trial Period and Support: Many management systems offer trial periods. Take advantage of these to test the system’s compatibility with your consulting requirements. Also, evaluate the quality of customer support available in case you encounter issues.

Final Thoughts

As a consultant, your time is your most valuable asset. In the journey of managing projects, clients, and collaborations, the right tools can make all the difference. Throughout this exploration of free management systems tailored for consultants, we’ve delved into the world of Jibble, Trello, Asana, Clockify, HubSpot CRM, and Toggl – each offering unique features to streamline your consulting endeavors.

With these management systems by your side, you can focus on what truly matters: delivering transformative consulting solutions. Each click, each task, and each tracked minute adds up to your efficiency, guided by your choices, and amplified by these tools.

Now, you can continue on your consultant journey with your newfound sidekicks, armed with the knowledge that these systems aren’t just shaping your consultancy; but they’re also shaping your legacy in the world of consulting excellence.