by Stephanie Watson
Published on 18 April 2012
This review takes a close look at the program Bunker App, a system designed to help freelancers and those who hire freelancers, keep track of their ongoing projects.
With Bunker App, you can create proposals, track milestones and tasks, keep track of time spent on projects, and collaborate with other workers on the same project.
Freelancers, or anyone who works for themselves, will need some sort of system in place to keep track of their work, and a system like Bunker App is perfectly designed to meet the needs of freelancers and project managers of many types who need this sort of service.
This review will examine several of Bunker App's features and how they can apply to the needs of a freelancer, or anyone who might hire freelancers, and independent contractors.
The Basic Needs Of The Freelancer: Project Management And So Much More
Someone who is doing freelance work might find themselves engaged in several projects at once, and keeping track of the stages of development, as well as due dates, are imperative. Bunker App was designed to help facilitate coordination between contributors to a project by allowing freelancers to create projects and set parameters that help keep them on track to get the project done in a timely manner.
Many details can go into a single project, and if the freelancer is working with others, coordinating who is doing what can also be a hassle. Bunker App allows a certain number of users, depending upon the monthly subscription, to access the same project and make notes about progress. A major problem for a freelancer with many projects on his table is that keeping track of the details of each can lead to a lot of confusion, scattered post it notes, and occasionally the missed detail, resulting in discord with his employers. Bunker App helps eliminate this problem by ensuring that all milestones are met and the project handled correctly and on time.
Another problem encountered by those who hire freelancers, is that occasionally communication can be a problem. The freelancer may have trouble conveying to the client just how much of the project is done and what still needs to be done. The client, should he wish to make any changes, wouldn't know how best to insert them in an ongoing project where he has little direct experience. With Bunker App, since the clients can also log on and check the status of a project, accomplishments and tasks completed, and how much time workers have spent so far, it makes it easy to add to the project. Additionally, for those who get paid by the time, the time tracking feature fills the basic need of the virtual punch clock for workers to accurately track time spent working. Bunker App is the program that combines all the features needed by freelancers into a single program, including invoicing.
If you work as a freelancer, this program is for you, no matter what kind of work you do. The person who works for himself or from home has no supervisor checking in to ensure the work gets done. The freelancer must be disciplined in effective time management, able to set deadlines and goals and keep to them, as well as effectively track work for invoicing. Many freelance sites such as Elance.com already offer multiple features, albeit not as feature-rich as Bunker App offers, such as work tracking and time tracking. The ability to make use of these features is important for anyone who seeks to work for themselves.
A tracking system is also important for figuring taxes. If your client doesn't track for you the amount spent, owed and time worked, these could be important things to have handy come tax season. Certain deductions for working for yourself, as well as the correct amount to report every year, must always be backed up with a paper trail, even a digital one. A program like Bunker App will help you track these important details, especially should you need to prove them. If you are someone who needs this sort of tracking ability, Bunker App is what you are looking for. No more using one app for invoicing, and one app for project management. Bunker App does both.
If you are a freelancer who needs an itemized checklist to ensure your job gets done, with no details missed, Bunker App has that too. Creating milestones and tasks helps ensure that the work is completed in a timely fashion. This is especially useful for the scatterbrained type who has projects in various stages of completion in piles around their desks. Bunker App keeps everything in order in one place, making it convenient to meet milestones by their due dates.
How Bunker App Compares
Time management programs and systems are not new, but not many are geared towards freelancers exclusively. Elance.com only offers its services to Elance members, though even if you are freelancing through such a service, their workroom features are somewhat limited. Other programs might be effective in time management and project completion tracking, but don't offer the collaboration feature between workers that Bunker App does. Other systems were designed strictly for use within a company or corporation and don't cater to the individual needs specific to a freelancer, such as the management of multiple clients from a variety of sources. If they do, these programs or services are usually a bit more on the expensive side, at least for someone working for themselves.
For a small monthly fee, Bunker App offers access of projects amongst 1-7 users, up to 5,000mb of storage and unlimited tracking of invoices, clients and projects. The problem of time management is solved with time tracking of individual workers, and tasks can be set for each worker to complete. Employers can track milestones and time that has been spent on the project. Freelancers can send invoices for payment and save them for personal finance tracking solutions. This, and many more, are features that give Bunker an edge over other time management projects that might not be completely suited to the freelancer's work environment.
Perhaps one of its strongest features is that is requires no installation. Bunker App is a cloud computing service that lives on its own servers, making it accessible from any terminal with an Internet access. You don't even need to be on your own machine to access all of your work data whenever you need it.
The Basics: What Does It Look Like?
Bunker App is a very easy to learn and use system. Because it is a cloud based system, it will work within your existing browser. Data entered is backed up on the server automatically, with the option of several add-ons to your browser for enhanced features. If you are comfortable handling your browser, you should have a small learning curve for learning to use Bunker App.
The service also offers several stylish templates for items such as invoices and proposals. The proposal section creates nice invoices that look very professional, with upgrades and updates frequently to choose from.
Users can choose from a left side menu of features, such as time tracking and milestones. New projects can be easily created and edited and the interface is streamlined and not at all busy or confusing. The uncomplicated nature of the visuals makes it easy to figure out the controls and where everything is located. The system has a very retro feel about it, making it easy on the eyes. It doesn't give the impression of being very complicated to learn, even as feature rich and packed with extras as it is. The interface is quite intuitive, with most features being found where you'd expect to find them, such as time tracking within the worker's own task window for the purpose of completing that one task. Projects can be referenced via criteria, such as active or completed, and workers can be tracked by looking at the milestones and tasks set for each.
Pros And Cons Of Bunker App
Obviously, the pros of the system have already been touched on, but to recap: Bunker App will help freelancers effectively manage the time spent on various project for a multitude of clients, track milestones reached, track payments and taxes, allow for collaboration between multiple workers and set milestones and tasks for completion. The system offers multi-language support, export of documents to PDF and expense tracking as well. These features alone make it a powerful system for anyone who works for themselves as a freelancer.
However, the downside to the system is first and foremost that it requires an internet connection. Bunker's strength as a cloud based system means that it can be accessed anywhere through any web browser, but that also means that access to the internet is required at all times. Furthermore, unlike programs that are expensive but pay once and install, Bunker is a subscription based system. While the prices are not unreasonable, it is still a monthly fee that freelancers will need to factor in to their monthly expenses if they intend to use it.
Will It Fit Your Budget?
If you are unsure as to whether Bunker App will fit your budget, know that the most basic monthly payment for service is around the price of a large cup of coffee at Starbucks. This allows for access by one user and 350mb of storage, as well as unlimited projects, invoices and client tracking. The most expensive package is around four times that amount for 7 users and 5,000mb of storage. This is reasonably affordable by most freelancers, making Bunker a very cost effective management option.
Even so, if you are still unsure, Bunker offers a free trial period for which you can test out the service and ensure that it is the right match for you, your employees and clients. Prices are always subject to change, of course, but Bunker App does offer one of the most affordable project management options available. If you freelance significantly, you will need some sort of management software. Some of the cheapest programs you can buy and install run around $60 or more for features that Bunker App offers.
Is It For You?
Bunker is a well-designed, easy to use, user friendly and nicely implemented service for freelancers and project managers in need of tracking, invoicing and multiple user access to project management. Out of ten, it should receive around a nine, due to its accessibility, features and options. It receives slightly less only because of the fact that it requires a monthly service payment and is limited to only seven users as its maximum allotment of those who can access it. While seven users is ample for most, it may not be enough for those seeking to expand their business and move beyond seven users in the future. It would be worthwhile for Bunker App to consider allowing for more growth. Bunker gets the job done, and nicely so. It will help you do the same.