Running a freelance business can be overwhelming. But what if I told you there’s an easier way to Freelance Smarter™?
That’s what Hectic does for freelancers — helps you take control of your business so you can go from overwhelmed to being a boss.
New or seasoned, you should know that you can only run a freelance business that will survive if you are organized and in control. That’s because, truth be told, there’s just so much to do.
You want to stay out of chaos because you need to stay in business.
To be of help, today I’m reviewing this freelance software called Hectic.
What is Hectic?
Hectic is a tool that claims to help freelancers solve this massive need for control and order.
It allows freelancers to manage and grow their business by putting all their fronts into one app. Yes, from project management to accounting, customer service, invoicing, and a lot more – it can be all done with Hectic (you will still have to clean your own office, though).
Who is Hectic best for?
Hectic is a tool entirely focused on freelancers.
Yes, you and me. It was made for the typical and the not-so-typical freelancers.
And this is not an ad. After testing it for a while, I can tell it is true, and it was no surprise to me that one of Hectic’s core values is to “Put Freelancers First.”
About that, they said this on their website:
UPDATE: Our new favorite freelancing tool, Hectic is now completely FREE for a limited time. 🎉 Proposals, CRM, invoicing, calendar, client portal, and lots more. Join for FREE with no catch or hidden fees.
“If it doesn’t serve our community, it doesn’t serve us. Freelancers are at the core of every single decision we make, from the way we’re priced to the people we work with along the way.”
Still, Hectic has the ability for freelancers to grow into founders, solopreneurs, and other independent professionals and teams.
I love that because if you ever decide to explore other business models, hire a team, or grow big, this tool can go with you.
What’s included with Hectic?
From my time as a freelancer and agency employee, I have seen several methods to manage clients, integrating different apps and information management services, but never an all-in-one solution.
By supporting invoices, time worked stats, client information, files, forms, proposals, and more (for all your clients, plus all of the other features I will be talking about soon) Hectic’s solution becomes something unique in the market and a very solid product at an insanely affordable price (more on that coming soon).
This is where you can get into the specifics of your work and use Hectic to thrive.
Hectic allows you to manage every project with all of their tasks and subtasks from 0% to 100%.
- Collaborate with other team members
- Add notes and feedback and view it as a feed
- Attach files
- Set statuses
- Time worked
- Different dashboard views (including Kanban)
- And more
Use these features in a way that fits your work style and make sure that everything gets done.
In the meantime, happy clients and an inflow of new clients will result from how good you are at what you do and that you deliver on time.
Don’t let bookkeeping intimidate you.
Hectic makes it easy to stay on top of every financial detail so that you can pay taxes, bill expenses, calculate profits, and more—no sweat.
Never forget who owes you what for what again. In Hectic, you can categorize expenses, attach receipts, and assign costs back to specific clients.
Proposals & Contracts
This is an area where every freelancer needs to be smart, fast, and effective.
With Hectic you can create what I would call “client-signing funnels”.
Added to the fact that you can visually and practically manage your sales pipeline in the backend, Hectic also allows you to create proposals that can be sent in a landing-page-like form.
This is simplified and optimized even more by the fact that you can include a contract in your proposal for it to be reviewed and signed in the same step.
I see this as something very innovative, and that could make a positive and true difference in your close rate.
Organize your operation by unifying your activities.
Events, collection, pay dates, and basically, everything in your business can be placed here so you can be as productive and timely as possible.
The Hectic app calendar allows you to schedule your work time and track it so you can know how much time you are using to run your business and how much time is spent on actual work for your clients.
You won’t need a different app, but Hectic’s calendar can integrate with your Google Calendar in case that’s ever needed.
Invoicing can be a chore. But it’s a chore that gets you paid. Hectic helps you invoice efficiently and effectively, and accept online payments so that you can get paid faster and easier.
I love that Hectic makes it simple not only for you but also for your clients.
You can create a professional-looking invoice with just a few clicks, and send it/share it with your clients who will be able to pay it even faster.
You can customize the invoices with your own branding, and Hectic will support features like recurring invoices (via Stripe), email follow-ups, and even late-fee options.
The coolest part is that every feature is included in their Unlimited Plan without you having to pay more as you grow your income or number of clients.
If you’re a freelancer that despises (or avoids) time tracking, you’re not alone. But time is money—and while guesstimating might get you by, it’s also likely to leave you underpaid and overwhelmed.
Hectic addresses everything you hate about time tracking so you can make more of every day.
Hectic makes it easy to collaborate with other freelancers or even with your client on shared projects.
Add a user to a single project as a project collaborator, or give another person full access to your Hectic workspace as a team member.
Project collaborators can track time on a project and view, edit, and create deliverables.
While a Hectic team member can do basically everything you can do in Hectic, besides of course changing/removing the account owner.
Being a freelancer means you don’t have to be tied to anything you don’t want to be tied to—like meeting culture.
Hectic’s Meeting Scheduler gives you full control of your time, while also making it easy to connect and collaborate with clients.
No back-and-forth emails necessary, and no further booking software needed. It’s all in Hectic.
Hectic Academy is an online learning hub made just for freelancers that you can have handy while you use Hectic to run your business.
Here, you’ll find all of the insights, lessons, and advice you need to become the best freelancer you can be.
And what you can see in the Academy section is just the beginning of a resource that the Hectic Team will continue to build on with valuable insights for freelancing smarter, not harder.
My experience using Hectic
Signing up for Hectic
Signing up for Hectic is super easy. You can get started with a fully operational plan (not a limited-time trial) as soon as you create your account. The Starter plan doesn’t require a credit card and the option to upgrade as you grow is always available.
This is how I signed up.
- I went to the Hectic website and clicked on “Get started for free”.
2. I chose to join with my email. You can choose from the options available.
3. I added my information and clicked on “Sign Up”.
4. I checked my email as prompted and confirmed it.
5. I input a few details about my business.
6. “All set, lets go!”
Boom! My dashboard is here.
This process took me about three minutes.
As you can see, it is super easy to get started and there are several prompts to ask for help in case you need to.
Two things that I noticed, and that are worth mentioning were:
a) A pop-up message, where Darryl, Hectic’s CEO, was asking me to share why I was looking for a solution like Hectic and more about the work I do.
b) A “Welcome” email from Darryl, with information about my plan and tips for getting started.
These efforts, though simple, made me feel that the Hectic Team cares about the customer experience and about improving their product for them.
Using the Hectic App for Project Management
I was very interested in testing Hectic for project management.
This was mainly because I have tested a ton of apps in the market for this purpose (most of my freelance work is improving operations performance and managing teams).
Since an SOP review and optimization project was handed to me recently I decided to try the Hectic app.
This wasn’t a very complex project, however, I think it served the purpose of showing how well Hectic can help you with project management.
I created one deliverable, which was a “New Version of the Main SOPs in Notion”.
As you can see below, I just had to customize the fields according to the deliverable: client, project, due date, tasks required, etc.
Some functions to note:
- Toggle the time tracker from the deliverable card
- Copy a link to the card so you can easily share it with your collaborators
- Total record of time worked
- Attachments section
- “Feed” for notes, comments, feedback where you can also tag collaborators, clients, and team members
- See your work progress through customizable statuses until everything has been completed
Using Hectic’s Invoicing Features
Okay. The time to bill SGE for my work has arrived.
1, Just head over to the “Invoices & expenses” section on the left sidebar.
2. Click on “Create a new invoice” (top-right corner).
3. Choose the type of invoice.
(I love that besides a regular invoice they also allow you to collect deposits in advance and apply the amount collected to future invoices.)
4. I selected “Standard” and just filled in the invoice details and terms.
I need to note, that this was my first time generating an invoice for this client, so it wasn’t a two-click thing, however, it wasn’t long or hard at all and I’m sure it can become super simple once you have your clients’ information saved.
The image above is a sample invoice. I didn’t include my or my client’s business address for privacy reasons but it can illustrate many things.
- You don’t create invoices from scratch
- Their template is professional and you can brand it
- You generate the items from tasks you have logged and tracked or you can create an item manually
- You can customize taxes, discounts, currencies, etc.
- You can add attachments, payment instructions, and notes
- You can customize the payment terms from the following options:
It’s important to note that Hectic integrates directly with Stripe, so you can be 100% sure that your payments are secured and will get to you fast.
Tracking my time with Hectic
I had a very positive experience with Hectic’s time tracking feature.
My favorite part is its simplicity. The Hectic Team didn’t try to reinvent the wheel but rather provided a solution that was functional and easy to use.
What I observed:
- You can start tracking your time from different parts of the app. This makes the feature super accessible.
Example from the left sidebar:
Example from the Deliverable Details card:
- You can add super detailed notes to your tasks tracked. This allows you to be super transparent about the work you are doing if you are required to report what you worked on and for how long.
- Clearly know where your time is going. Hectic’s built-in dashboard makes it easy to visualize your time by project, client, month, day, and more.
- The time tracking features integrate seamlessly with Hectic App’s invoicing, so you can easily track your work and get paid for it.
Hectic’s Accounting Features
They call it freelance “business” for a reason.
Managing your business includes accounting, and this is something that can get a lot more simple using Hectic.
With the Hectic app, you can manage your invoices, expenses, list of vendors in one place and with great efficiency.
Something practical is that Hectic puts all of the data you capture regularly into a Profit & Loss report that you can see in your dashboard, filter per specific dates, or even download as a report.
I will be straightforward here: Hectic’s pricing makes it a no-brainer.
Their pricing structure is composed of three levels.
Hectic’s Essentials plan is forever free and it doesn’t require a credit card, but it’s a real plan and not just a very-limited trial.
Unlimited clients (yes, for free), and access to everything you’d need, including:
This is Hectic’s most popular plan.
For a very low price, Pro includes everything on the Essentials plan PLUS this:
The price for this plan is $11.99 per month.
From my perspective, this is ridiculously low compared to other competitors in the market or to the cost of separate tools that would cover each of the features that Hectic provides. And compared to the Essentials, this Pro plan is icing on the cake.
This is Hectic’s third and final offer, for growing businesses.
It includes everything on the Pro plan PLUS this:
So, loyal to its minimalist approach to business, Hectic’s pricing structure is simple, transparent, and focus on supporting freelancers worldwide.
Pros & Cons of Hectic
An all-in-one solution
Hectic’s main competitive advantage is that isn’t just a time tracker, or it isn’t just an invoicing software, or just a project management tool… it is Hectic! It combines all that you need in one place.
Made for freelancers
Even though Hectic can be a good fit for solopreneurs, digital entrepreneurs, and other types of businesses/business owners, the product was designed thinking about freelancers and their needs. This means that Hectic is more likely to solve your freelance business needs than a lot of other solutions on the market that are more generic or that were created for a different audience.
A very transparent charge of $11.99 per month makes this product super affordable. Hectic has zero hidden fees, the price is the same even if you earn more, and it doesn’t come with any upsells.
Also, putting it in perspective – how much profit do you generate with one project or a new client?
I’m pretty sure that the ROI you would see from a smart solution like this would easily justify the monthly cost.
Easy to use
Learning to use each of the features of Hectic didn’t take me any time at all.
The organized and neat design, as well as the minimalist approach to features, makes it very efficient.
Also, the absence of distracting or unnecessary buttons or features favors focused work.
Certain features may be “too simple” for some people
Hectic is an all-in-solution for freelancers. Since the app was meant to be a comprehensive solution, it doesn’t go too deep in some of the features that it supports.
While its simplicity may be seen as a pro by some people (like me, for example), it may be considered a con by other freelancers that may require a more specific solution for some of their projects.
In the meantime, I think that’s just part of the market. There’s not a solution that would be perfect for everyone.
More important questions about Hectic
Is Hectic worth paying for?
Short answer: From what I experienced during my trial, I would say that paying for Hectic is definitely worth it.
Hectic is super affordable, it’s actually ridiculously cheap.
Why? Because it doesn’t just provide you with the technological tools to succeed as a freelancer in every way…
It actually gives you a feeling of order and control that directly impacts your confidence, motivation, and the quality of your work for good.
For many people, it’s an opportunity to save by combining the value of the services they receive from different providers into one monthly payment. And that’s just from the financial standpoint.
What price would you put to the opportunity of running a freelance business that’s free of chaos?
This is what Hectic can do for you.
Does Hectic have good support?
Yes! Unlike other companies that try to keep communication with clients as silent as possible so they can keep doing busywork, the Hectic team is readily available on their site and wants to learn from you, what you do, and how they can provide you with a better product.
Does Hectic have a mobile app?
The Hectic mobile app allows moving your business forward from anywhere, even when you are exercising or walking your dog.
- Use the time tracker on mobile (so you charge for the time you give to your clients away from your desk)
- Send invoices from your mobile (faster collection)
- Send proposals and contracts (keep the pipeline full)
- A lot more…
What freelancers are saying about Hectic
“Hectic is making it much less difficult to do the admin side of my work (definitely my least favorite part) by having everything in one place.”
Caitlin Rulien, Digital Strategist
“I tend to underestimate time and in turn undercharge – this is my first step in being a business rather than a creative with some projects. Thanks for creating the software I needed!”
Ryan Irving, Graphic Designer
“I’m a project management junkie and have tried pretty much everything, but Hectic is the *Chefs Kiss* this already replaces my other task/project management apps! Thank you for making this!!”
Eve Zaunbrecher, UI/UX Designer
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