Hectic vs. Bonsai: Which is better for freelancers?

Don’t pay more for freelance tools that do less. See how Hectic can help you run your business, your way, for half the price.
Hectic vs. Bonsai: Which is better for freelancers?
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Every business owner gets to a place where they realize their current processes just aren’t working. Whether you’ve redecorated with sticky notes, filled your desktop with spreadsheet shortcuts, or maxed out your budget with numerous software subscriptions, you need to find a better, more cohesive way to manage your business.

Finding the right tools, however, can be its own headache. This is especially true when you are comparing options that may seem similar on the surface, such as Hectic and Bonsai.

As you compare these options, it’s important to remember that how a brand meets your needs is just as important as the tools it offers. Hectic gives you more for less, but that’s not the only way we’re helping freelancers succeed. From our customizability to our support and resources, Hectic makes every effort easier — today, and every day that follows.

If you’re looking for a better way to start, manage, and grow your freelance business, here are a few of the ways Hectic empowers you to make your dream a reality.

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Hectic vs. Bonsai: Why choose Hectic over Bonsai?

Hectic is the Freelancer’s OS, built for all freelancers, no matter the size or stage of their careers. Its tools are simple enough for someone’s first client but designed to handle the complexities of numerous projects, tasks, and clients as you grow.

Bonsai, on the other hand, gets harder to use as you add more work. Since you can only view your business on a task-by-task basis, you may have to dig through a long list of tasks or constantly adjust your filters to see where you stand at any given moment.

Instead, find the view that works for you with Hectic’s varied options, including Kanban, calendar, and timeline. You can organize your workflow by projects or deliverables, plus get an at-a-glance look at what’s coming up in your Focus section.

Growing your business also means expanding your skills and knowledge, so we offer countless resources through our blog, podcast, guides, social media, The Hectic Academy, and more. If you want freelancing tools that actively empower success, Hectic is the place to be.

“This is truly the best freelancer project/client management platform I've come across and I think it deserves nothing less than 5 stars.” - Dimitar

Affordable for everyone

Hectic is always free for anyone who wants to sign up, no matter how many clients you’re bringing with you. More importantly, you get all of the tools you need to run your business with our free plan. 

That’s right, free.

If you want some extras, such as the option to add collaborators or schedule meetings through the tool, you can sign up for our Pro plan at just $11.99 per month. You’ll get the essentials plus:

To add team members to your workspaces, you can sign up for our Teams plan for $19.99 per month.

Bonsai starts at $24 per month, but that’s just for its Starter plan. You will have to sign up for its Professional plan ($39/month) or Business plan ($79/month) to get access to more tools. 

If you want to track your expenses, you will have to pay an additional $10 per month for Bonsai Tax. Adding team members to your account also requires an extra $9 per user per month.

“I’m able to accomplish everything I need for my new business with their free resources and metrics which is amazing. It has all the features I need when I’m ready to grow so I won’t have to move to a different platform.” - Rosa K.

Customizable, automated workflows

Finding the processes that support your particular method of madness is essential to your business’ success. Since Bonsai’s rigid structure limits your control over your processes, you may not be able to reach your highest level of productivity.

With Hectic, you can find your perfect workflow. The platform is flexible by design, so you can manage multiple clients, projects, deadlines, and more as you see fit. Hectic is designed to handle the business side so you can focus your efforts on the things that matter more. 

Proposals flow seamlessly into contracts and projects. Simple time tracking turns seconds into dollars. You can easily analyze each client and project’s health to strategize next steps. Then, just as easily, jump into invoicing, task management, and more to handle daily tasks. As your business grows, you can also easily adjust your workflow as needed.

“Hectic has improved my efficiency, attention span, and writing endurance. I can focus on the work at hand instead of all the management duties in the background. ” - Jason L.

All-inclusive and collaboration-minded

Collaborating in Bonsai can sometimes be tricky and hard to coordinate, taking up more of your valuable time.

When you want to collaborate in Hectic, easily invite clients directly into your workflow to talk, exchange files, sign documents, make payments, and more. You can avoid the complications of international time zones and endless phone calls by managing your entire project in one shared space.

“The app is full of useful features all in one place, yet is easy to navigate and simple to use. It is great for both solo pros and team collaboration.” Lily

Personalized support for every need

If you have a question or concern, you can jump on our chatbox to talk directly with someone on our team. All of us, from founders to designers, take a turn on the support schedule, so you will never have to deal with a chatbot or someone who doesn’t understand the platform.

We’ve made Hectic for you, so we’re always open to suggestions. You may even see your recommended feature on the app within the same day.

For advice about your business, craft, and mental health, look to our blogs, podcast, guides, educational videos, and more. Hectic is more than just an app. It’s the best place to go for anything you need to take your business to the next level.

“Customer service is superb too -- the team is extremely quick and knowledgeable.” - Mark P.

Every tool, in your pocket

Hectic puts the free in freelancing with our full-featured mobile app. From sending proposals to invoicing to signing contracts, you can handle it all on your phone. We’ve made a full version of each tool available on the app so you never feel tied to your desk.

Though Bonsai has a mobile app, it only offers limited versions of each tool for on-the-go use.

“The Hectic team is working very hard to build a tool that empowers freelancers... and they've done it!” - Greg M.

Let’s compare features

How do Hectic and Bonsai’s tools differ? Take a look at the chart below to see how you can get more for less.

How does Hectic stack up to Bonsai?

 

Hectic

Bonsai

CRM

  • End-to-end management for unlimited clients
  • Send leads from your website, Facebook ads, and email
  • End-to-end management for unlimited clients

Project management

  • Input full project details
  • List, Kanban, and Calendar views
  • Better project management, including high-level overviews and automated payment and time tracking
  • Attach documents to projects and tasks
  • Assign tasks to collaborators
  • Input full project details
  • Limited, task-focused project management
  • Add documents, payments, tasks and timesheets to projects
  • Assign tasks to collaborators

Invoicing & payments

  • Collect digital payments through Stripe, Venmo, and PayPal, as well as credit/debit cards and ACH
  • Accept payments in international currencies
  • Customize invoices to your brand 
  • Automate recurring invoices, reminders, and late fees
  • Collect payments through credit/debit cards, ACH, and PayPal
  • Accept payments in international currencies
  • Automate recurring invoices, reminders, and late fees
  • Lock attachments and enable partial payments 

Proposals

  • Simple drag & drop proposal builder
  • Use templates or build from scratch
  • Customize to your brand
  • Integrate project deliverables, contract and invoicing into the proposal
  • Get notified when the client accepts the proposal
  • Use comments to talk with clients within the proposal
  • Add deliverables packages
  • Use templates or build from scratch
  • Customize to your brand
  • Can integrate proposals, contracts, and invoices into one document
  • Get notified when the client views the proposal
  • Add deliverables packages

Contracts

  • Have clients review & sign online
  • Use lawyer-approved templates or build from scratch
  • Customize to your brand
  • Get instant notifications when the client signs
  • Have clients review & sign online
  • Use templates or build from scratch
  • Customize to your brand 
  • Get instant notifications when the client views and/or signs
  • Automatically remind clients to sign

Accounting

  • Track and bill income and expenses
  • Upload receipts
  • Integrate business credit card or checking account for accurate outlook
  • Track and bill income and expenses
  • Import expenses (Bonsai Tax only)
  • Get tax reminders (Bonsai Tax only)
  • Integrate bank accounts (Bonsai Tax only)

Time tracking

  • Use time tracker or add time manually on your computer or app
  • Add details to tracked time
  • Automatically add tracked time to invoices
  • Use time tracker or add time manually on your computer or app
  • Automatically add tracked time to invoices

Calendar & scheduling

  • Filter calendar by client, deliverable, deadline, or project status and take action directly from the calendar
  • Integrate Google and iCloud calendars
  • Schedule meetings through the meeting scheduler
  • Calendly integration

Mobile app

  • Get full versions of your tools on both your computer and phone
  • Get limited versions of your tools on the mobile app

Client portals

  • Enjoy extensive customizations for your client portal for easier communication and collaboration
  • Use a client portal for easier communication and collaboration

Sales pipeline

  • Client inquiry management
  • Discovery forms
  • Track your sales pipeline
  • More extensive form options

Collaborators

  • Create different workspaces for different teams
  • Add, tag, and assign tasks to collaborators
  • Unlimited team members
  • Unlimited team members
  • Add and tag collaborators

Pricing

  • Free plan with all essential tools
  • Pay $11.99 per month for Pro plan extras
  • Use Teams plan to add team members for $19.99 per month
  • Pay $24 per month for Starter plan
  • Pay $39 per month for Professional plan
  • Pay $79 per month for Business plan
  • Add $10 per month for Bonsai Tax
  • Add $9 per team member

Free use

  • Everything you need is always free
  • Try the platform for free for 14 days

Freelance smarter, not harder

You don’t need freelance business tools that will just help you manage everything better than before. You need resources that will empower you to earn more, do more, and create a thriving business.

Get your time and sanity back with tools that turn chaos into control. Join Hectic today to start, manage, and grow your freelance business your way.

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Emily Finlay
Emily Finlay is a freelance copywriter who thrives working with a great team and moonlights as an amateur home baker. Throughout her career, she’s had the pleasure of working with clients of all sizes, from local businesses to Fortune 500 companies. Aunt to eight nieces and nephews, she loves freelancing for the time it allows her to spend with her family and friends. When she’s not puzzling over the perfect word, she enjoys taking long walks, geeking out over her many interests, and trying new decorating techniques for cakes and cookies.
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Hey, Freelancer.
Control your freelance business so it stops controlling you. From client to project management, time tracking, invoicing, and everything in-between — Stay on top of it all in one intuitive platform with Hectic.

I highly recommend this platform if you're a freelancer seeking a client/project management system that allows you to focus on nothing else but the quality of your work.

Jason Little