HoneyBook Review: As Good As It Seems?

Part bookkeeper, part project manager, HoneyBook is packed with features that make it easy to get things done and get back to what you loved doing in the first place.

But, how do you know if HoneyBook is a good fit for you and your business? Is HoneyBook really as good as it seems from the outset? In this HoneyBook review, we’ll take a closer look at the features, options, and opportunities for freelancers, solopreneurs, bloggers, etc within the HoneyBook platform. We’ll outline some of our favorite features as well as places HoneyBook could improve.

Let’s dive in.

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Need a quick answer? After taking a look, HoneyBook is a great way to get started with a client manager, and we love that it can scale with your business. If you’re a one-person business or a very small team, we recommend you give HoneyBook a try. At $9/mo, there’s really very little risk and a ton of potential upside.

What is HoneyBook?

Like other client management software solutions, HoneyBook is made for small business owners to track and keep up with the many tiny details they deal with on a daily basis.

Aside from your own talent and the basic hardware you need to get things done, a great client relationship manager is probably the most important tool you need to run a proper business.

From one simple dashboard, you can keep track of proposals, interactions, invoices and more. It’s a great way to store all of the information you need so that you don’t have to go combing through your email archives to find it.

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HoneyBook is cloud based, so you can use it from anywhere and your data is safe. There is also a convenient app to download for both iOS and Android.

To sum up, HoneyBook is a tool freelancers can use to lighten their workload and spend less time stressing about administrative stuff without sacrificing quality.

HoneyBook features & pricing

Sometimes, adding a project management tool is so overwhelming that it causes more problems than it solves. Luckily, HoneyBook is loaded with options, so you can pick and choose what will truly help run your business.

HoneyBook Features 

Contracts

HoneyBook comes preloaded with contract templates that you can use to onboard clients. Each template is customizable, or you can always import what you are already using if you have contracts set up. It’s a great feature to have especially if you’re just starting out and aren’t sure how to word a contract.

Invoicing

Getting paid can be the most frustrating part of being a freelancer. HoneyBook makes it easier with automatic invoicing. The HoneyBook website claims you can create invoices with your own branding in less than thirty seconds. That will eventually save hours of work.

Proposals

A HoneyBook proposal is a package deal that helps guide clients right through the sales funnel all in one document. There’s an invoice that describes the work you will do, a contract they can digitally sign, and then an active payment link so you get your money right away.

Online payments

This HoneyBook feature is extremely valuable if you aren’t already set up to take digital payments. HoneyBook takes all major credit and debit cards, and you can even set up auto payments for your retainer clients, so you always know when that payment will come through.

Automation

From automatic payment reminders to review requests, HoneyBook is set up to take on a lot of your workload so you don’t even have to think about it. When a prospective client reaches out, you can have the software auto-send a polite note and a questionnaire, or even set up a meeting on your calendar. This instantaneous follow up will make you look like the professional you are, and free you up for billable tasks.

Scheduling

The automated calendar in HoneyBook allows clients to see when you are available and schedule a meeting immediately. This way you can skip those back-and-forth email conversations where you keep missing each other or just can’t seem to find a time that works. You can also integrate HoneyBook with Google Calendar, so it’s really all in one place.

Task management

HoneyBook has a task list that helps ensure you won’t miss deadlines. You set up the tasks, assign the due date, and HoneyBook will always remind you, on both your desktop and your phone. You can also add team members and collaborate on tasks.

Client management

One of the great things about HoneyBook is the confidence you can have that everything is being handled. You can click on any client and see what’s next for them, which is great when you’re working with multiple accounts and may put down and pick up projects throughout the month.

Live orientations

If all of these features seem like a little much, HoneyBook offers a live training once per week where the HoneyBook team will walk you through setup or various features. You can watch the process in action and ask questions at the end. If you can’t make it to the live training, you can always watch any of these recorded webinars in the archive.

HoneyBook Pricing

HoneyBook is more affordable than you might think. $9 per month gets you access to all of the above features and six months of support. The only limit is your monthly billing. As your business grows, HoneyBook can scale with you, and you can graduate to either the $39/month option or pay annually for just $390.

How freelancers can benefit from HoneyBook

When you’re just starting out as a freelancer, and you have one or two clients, it may seem ridiculous to invest money into something like HoneyBook. Working with just a few different businesses isn’t too complicated, especially if you only have a single project going at once.

The problem comes in when you need to scale up your freelancing business. Tracking multiple clients with dozens of projects, all of their different deadlines, contact information, billing preferences, rates, meeting schedules, and more quickly gets overwhelming. If something falls through the cracks or you email the wrong client, it could cause serious issues for you.

HoneyBook is a really good way to grow into your profession, and move from just freelancer to bonafide entrepreneur.

What people are saying about HoneyBook

HoneyBook is extremely highly rated by online users. Almost every detracting comment deals with setup—expect to spend some time upfront uploading contacts, branding elements and templates, and learning how to use the software. Luckily, the weekly orientations and the convenient concierge service will help you get through this.

Here’s some real HoneyBook customer reviews:

“The invoices are my favorite. I love being able to bill clients through HB and not have to use a different program to do that. I get to keep EVERYTHING in one spot which actually saves me money. I don’t need separate software for bookkeeping, calendars, workflow, etc. It’s ALL here. In one place. I’m obsessed. I can’t imagine not having HB.”

“I wish it was a little more upscale looking on fonts, colors and the user experience. My brand is more of a luxury brand so I want customers to feel like when they’re being transferred to the contract or payment portion of our interactions that they’re still receiving a luxury experience.”

“I love how seamless and easy to use it is. It may be a transition at first but once you get changed over you will NEVER go back. The workflow is so easy to use and very customizable. Other softwares i’ve tested are not even comparable to how simple HoneyBook is to use.”

“I am a new user and it’s a little difficult to set up to how I do business. It’s taking me a lot longer than I would like to get things just how I want them. There are things I want to change such as the flow of automatic emails. I am having a hard time figuring out exactly where to change those settings.”

“Honeybook provides many tutorials to help you get the most out of the program. Setting it up is fairly simple and worth the effort for the ease of use in managing your clients and how much time you save when using the features such as email and contract templates and task management.”

Top HoneyBook alternatives

Of course, HoneyBook is not the only client management software out there, and depending on your industry and the features you need, another solution might be a better fit for you.

Here’s some of our top picks:

  1. Hello Bonsai. Hello Bonsai is great for freelancers because it’s simple to use and not too pricey. It may not have as many features, but if you don’t need all the bells and whistles then you won’t miss them. Read our in-depth review here.
  2. Dubsado. Dubsabo is fully customizable so if branding is important to you, this is a great choice. It has a lot of features similar to HoneyBook and the pricing is comparable, although there is no basic, less-than-$30 tier.
  3. Monday. This alternative to HoneyBook is jam-packed with features like time-tracking and project grids. It’s a great option for freelance teams or a small agency, but this isn’t a great budget plan for solopreneurs yet.

Conclusion

If you aren’t already using some type of management software, you should be. Automated tools give you so much time back to focus on what got you into business in the first place. HoneyBook is a great way to get started with a client manager, and we love that it can scale with your business.

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Millo Articles by Kylie Burgener

Kylie Jackson Burgener is a mother of three and a freelance consultant, specializing in public relations, writing and content marketing. She is a cofounder of Measured Melodies, a leveled piano sheet music system for piano teachers and students. She lives in Raleigh, North Carolina with her family.
Read more from Kylie.