Top 5 Web App Combos for Running an Online Business

Mason Hipp

New member

When it comes to freelancing and working on the web, few things are more important than the online applications that make it all possible. From project management, to invoicing, to contact management, and more — each of these apps play a critical role in running an online or freelance business.​

At FreelanceFolder, we’ve been on a sort of quest to find the ‘holy-grail’ — A combination of web apps that completely fulfills a business owner’s needs without breaking the bank or over complicating things. We’ve organized our findings into the following top 5 web app combos:

Combo #1 — Business on a Budget​

This combo is a great way to get started on a really small budget. Most of these apps are well thought out and very functional, but you may have to live with a few extra ads. If you’re just starting out, though, this is really a perfect choice. Total Cost: $27/mo.
  1. Wrike — Project Management – Premium plan, $8/mo
  2. ZOHO Invoice — Invoicing — Basic plan, $5/mo
  3. Gmail Contacts — Contact Management — Free!
  4. RememberTheMilk — Task Management — Free!
  5. Google Docs — Document Sharing — Free!
  6. Skype — Call Management — Skype In + Unlimited World, $14/mo

Combo #2 — Simplicity Rules​

Everyone knows that an online tool is only as useful as its interface. For those workers who need tools that are simple and elegant, without any complication, this collection of apps is for you. Total Cost: $84/mo.
  1. Basecamp — Project Management — Basic Plan, $24/mo
  2. Freshbooks — Time Tracking + Invoicing — Shuttlebus plan, $14/mo
  3. Highrise — Contact Management — Basic plan, $24/mo
  4. Google Docs — Document Sharing — Free!
  5. RingCentral — Toll Free + Calls + Fax — Business Plus, $24/mo

Combo #3 — Host it Yourself​

If you don’t like the idea of recurring charges, and can’t stand putting your data in someone elses hands, then this is your combo. Each of these apps have been picked because 1) they rock, and 2) you can pay for it once and install it on your own server. Total Cost: $298 + Hardware.
  1. ActiveCollab — Project Management — Small Biz Version, $199
  2. Invoice That — Invoicing — $99
  3. Simple Customer — Contacts + CRM — Free!
  4. SmartFTP — File Sharing — Free!
  5. KnowledgeTree — Document Management — Free!
  6. Asterisk — Build your own PBX — Good Luck :)

Combo #4 — Feature Complete​

For those of you who want to have the most possibilities and the most options in the future, this is the right package. Each of these webapps was chosen for its robustness and completeness, though to be fair we made sure they were easy enough to use too. Total Cost: $107/mo.
  1. ActiveCollab — Project Management — Basic Plan, $24/mo
  2. QuickBooks Online — Invoicing + Accounting– Online Plus, $34/mo
  3. — Contacts + CRM — Group Edition, $25/mo
  4. Google Docs — Document Sharing — Free!
  5. Toodledo — Task Management — Free!
  6. RingCentral — Toll Free + Calls + Fax — Business Plus $24/mo

Combo #5 — Open Source All The Way​

For open source junkies, your train has come in. This package features all of the best open source products you need to build the perfect virtual office. Though, we don’t recommend this package for the technically-averse, since code and server knowledge is a usually a must. Total Cost: Free + Hardware.
  1. DotProject — Project Management — Free!
  2. BambooInvoice — Invoicing — Free!
  3. vTiger — Contacts + CRM — Free!
  4. FileZilla — File Sharing — Free!
  5. KnowledgeTree — Document Management — Free!
  6. Asterisk — Build your own PBX — Good Luck :)

What Do You Use?​

Do you know of a better app for one of these combos? Do you use something extraordinary that we need to know about? Let us know in the comments…