Thrive Solo, The Web App review

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A rapidly changing work environment has helped freelancing flourish to the utmost. But with the ever increasing number of freelancers, is there anything out there which could help them manage their work? Well, there’s one on the block which has been doing so for a long time, and now it has got even better with a new version 2!

Solo is a web application that is designed beautifully. It is aimed directly at the single freelancer. It is not one of those bulky enterprise applications that’s intended for larger groups, rather it focusses on individuals who need to manage all their tasks online.

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The website is ingeniously designed to help freelancers create projects, manage their tasks, help them with their quotations, review progress and track their time and money. All of it is managed in a centralized location!

What we like!!

When you first open the web application, you are bound to notice the clean typography oriented interface. It almost seems that the developers, Thrive, had a separate team altogether to remove the unnecessary clutter and maintain a simplistic approach.

Technology is at its best when it simply vanishes and never comes between you and your task, and this certainly seems to be their focus. However, none of the design elements would have mattered, if in this process, they would have overlooked the functionality. I was pleased to see that, for the most part, they didn’t.

The moment you sign up and login, you will be greeted with short messages flashing on the home screen in the dedicated Message Area, that assist you with what you can do. You will be redirected to the Dashboard wherein you can review all your projects (populated once you fill in the details), project details, deadlines, time spent on them and other useful stats like client rating, overdue invoices etc. The point is, you get to see a complete overview of your work-in-progress very efficiently and in a visual way.

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The plus sign you see on either end of the page (known as the Add Button) is a life saver. It found on every page and lets you ‘add’ projects, invoices, quotes, contacts, timer entries and more, right off the bat.

One of the most appealing features is the visual look and feel of Solo, which shines in the planner tab. Here, you get to enjoy a nice visual tour of your time allocated to the various projects you are working on. It displays a daily and monthly breakup of your activities.

Hit anywhere on the planner, and you are given the option to add projects, tasks and milestones, then and there itself. Time Sheets lets you see your time entries for each day at your own chosen hourly rates but using Solo’s editable date ranges it’s possible to see entries from a much bigger time period.

The moment you sign up and login, you will be greeted with short messages flashing on the home screen in the dedicated Message Area, that assist you with what you can do. You will be redirected to the Dashboard wherein you can review all your projects (populated once you fill in the details), project details, deadlines, time spent on them and other useful stats like client rating, overdue invoices etc. The point is, you get to see a complete overview of your work-in-progress very efficiently and in a visual way.

 

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It is a nightmare for any person to try and manage their work in its entirety if they have to switch back and forth. Solo seems to have thought about it, and nicely so! It lets you create your own personal to-do-list, contacts, clients and more from anywhere within the application.

It’s auto-creation feature means you just need to fill in all details about your client without having to maintain it separately. The other neat trick it has managed to pull off with this unique auto-creation, is the ability to create quotations and invoices right out of the box. The details you can put in is just about enough and not overdone anywhere.

For those of you with the social bug deep down in your blood, it has the option to go straight in to Solo’s Facebook, Twitter, or Pinterest page. And if you don’t like pop-ups or want to change a thing or two about your home screen, the Settings tab lets you do just that by toggling your preferences with ease.

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For those of you with the social bug deep down in your blood, it has the option to go straight in to Solo’s Facebook, Twitter, or Pinterest page. And if you don’t like pop-ups or want to change a thing or two about your home screen, the Settings tab would let you do just that by toggling your preferences.

The best part is that it comes with a 30 days free trial (with full features guaranteed), which is the time you practically need to understand the process, and use it very comfortably to manage your tasks for that 1 month.

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The best part is that it comes with a 30 days free trial (with full features guaranteed) which is the time enough to understand the Solo and use it very comfortably to manage your tasks for that 1 month.

What could have been better?

By now you would have guessed that we pretty much like the entire content of this application. But is it a 100%? Well, very nearly. What did bog me down a bit was the steep learning curve involved in the first day of using this application. It is indeed neat and well designed, but it took me a while to figure out how to do some of the things, such as handling the timer (alerts popped up saying, timer could not be added to a specific task).

You could get over to the support section to check out a plethora of video tutorials, but it is a time killer and saving time is pretty much the theme of this, Isn’t it? However, this is an application and you wouldn’t expect to learn any other package without a little effort, right?

Wrapping Up

Solo is all a freelancer could ever ask for. It’s a stunningly designed online task management application and keeps the individual freelancer in mind with a rich set of functionality. It is not only about ticking off the spec sheets, it also gives serious consideration to what a user actually needs! Once you get the hang of it, this application could be the entire solution for any freelancer, who might be stumbling upon project management abilities. It speeds up paperwork, makes stats and data easy to understand and – best of all – looks beautiful!

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Review Overview
  • UI9
  • Features8.5
  • Ease of Use8
Total Score8.5

Description...

Abhirup is our guest blogger on education apps and thought partner. He harbors certain thoroughly misguided self-impressions like he has a refined aesthetic sense (our website’s visuals are NOT inspired by his ideas) or that he has a deep baritone. However, we choose to ignore these as he sometimes comes up with good ideas notwithstanding the fact that they are articulated in confusing managerial jargon; perhaps explained by the fact that he is an MBA from IIM Bangalore.

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