One of the hardest things for freelancers and the self-employed is finding apps to manage their day to day work. So far we’ve talked about some great services like Trello and Nusii; I’d like to throw 17hats into the mix as well.
17hats is a self proclaimed “All In One Business System for Entrepreneurs” whose features are designed for small business owners, freelancers, and independent contractors.
17hats: The Basics
17hats is a web-based service that offers a CRM (customer relationship management) tool, project management functions, questionnaire generators, a pricing quote generator, contract management tools, a simple invoicing function, takes credit card transactions, bookkeeping, Google Calendar syncing, to do lists, time tracking, workflow management tools, email and quote templates, and lead capturing for your website.
That’s a pretty extensive package of functions which are normally covered by a bunch of separate tools. The idea here is for one piece of software to replace a CRM like Hubspot or Salesforce, Trello, Google Docs, Freshbooks, Paypal, Evernote, Google Calendar, Wunderlist, Basecamp, and I’m sure I’m forgetting a few more products as well.
Like many other cloud-based services, pricing depends on how long you subscribe: Month-by-month subscriptions are $39, while costs drop to $25 per month with a one-year commitment and $17 per month with a two-year commitment.
As of August 2016, 17hats offers a 15-day free trial with no credit card required.
Once you set up an account, a main dashboard page shows crucial information on ongoing and upcoming projects. Setup is quick and users have the run of the site afterwards.
Many of the functions piggyback on your existing Google account; users integrate their email and calendar, for instance, through Google.
Is 17hats Worth It?
Before I answer the question of whether 17hats is worth it, let’s get this out of the way: For the price they charge, 17hats offers a ton of services. The value for money here is unbelievable.
With that said, 17hats is also somewhat more stripped down and features less flexibility than many of its more expensive competitors. At the same time, it’s obvious that 17hats’ creators have a commitment to creating software for the self-employed first and foremost.
For those of us who are used to spending hours using apps designed for teams as solo users (Hubspot, Basecamp, looking right at you), this is a great thing.
It also takes care of 98% of the everyday needs of your typical freelancer or self-employed professional. Users on Twitter, Facebook, and LinkedIn also praise the company’s quick customer service.
The 2% that it doesn’t cover, however, makes me hesitant. As of press time, 17hats has no integration with Xero–something that could hurt a lot of freelancers come tax time. In addition, the timekeeping feature is less robust than even freemium competitors like Toggl.
But, yes, 17hats is worth it. The low cost makes it a must-use for price-conscious freelancers, and the service has a lot of punch for the buck. I’m looking forward to exploring it more myself, and expect further updates about 17hats in the future.