Top Plutio Alternatives for Running Your Agency

Lucija Bakić

December 8, 2023

A screenshot of Productive, a top Plutio alternative software, depicting a list view of a task management dashboard, with priority, assignee, task started and due fields.

Finding the best Plutio alternative can help streamline your agency’s busy schedule.

According to data from PMI, agencies that don’t leverage the power of the latest technology failed 18% of their projects. While switching to a new software solution can feel intimidating, finding the best choice for your agency goes a long way in getting stakeholder buy-in.

In this guide, we’ll introduce you to the best Plutio alternatives currently available, such as Productive, Notion, Trello, and more. Keep reading to learn more about their benefits, downsides, and user reviews.

Why Look For a Plutio Alternative?

Plutio is a project management platform with proposal and contract creation, time tracking, a client portal, basic invoicing, and project budget management features.


source: PLUTIO

The software solution has high customer ratings on review websites such as Capterra and G2. However, users still report some notable downsides, such as:

  • Persistent bugs on existing features and inadequate testing for new features
  • The analytics and accounting features could be more in-depth
  • Certain users believe that the tool is on the expensive side considering its capabilities
  • One reviewer comments that there is no easy way to export data

As for the main benefits of Plutio, users enjoy that it offers multiple features in one, though some think that the team has stretched themselves too thin considering the frequent bugs. Some reviewers also report good experiences with customer support, and that they find the user interface user-friendly and intuitive.

List of 19 Top Plutio Alternatives Currently Available

Here’s our list of various software alternatives to Plutio, from comprehensive agency management tools to specialized billing and client management solutions.

1. Productive – The Best Plutio Alternative for All-in-one Agency Management

Productive is a stand-out Plutio alternative with its extensive project management solutions and collaboration features. As an all-in-one agency management software, Productive goes a step further by providing robust resource planning, financial management, and forecasting features.

If I had to choose the main benefit of switching to Productive, it would be having visibility of everything in one place: from sales through resources, projects to delivery, plus the time logging and profitability figures in one place—being able to track the end-to-end lifecycle of a project.

Jason Devoy,
Delivery Director at Joi Polloi

With a 4.6 star rating on both G2 and Capterra, Productive provides a comprehensive, yet user-friendly experience for business performance management and workflow automation. It’s a tool for professional services agencies of all shapes and sizes, including marketing, development, design, consulting, and more.

Now, let’s explore some of Productive’s top features in more detail.

Project Management

Productive offers many Project Management features that Plutio does, including project templates and various views, from Kanban and Gantt to Calendar. Team collaboration is simplified with custom task fields, to-dos and dependencies, and automated notifications that can be configured for frequency.

You can invite your clients free of charge to view your progress, create and comment on tasks, and even view budgets with specific permissions.

The interface of Productive, a Plutio alternative, depicting time management with brief descriptions of tasks and an automated timer recording hours worked.


MANAGE YOUR BILLABLE AND NON-BILLABLE HOURS

When it comes to time management, users of Plutio on Capterra specifically emphasize that:

It can be easy to forget about the currently running time as it is only displayed on the specific project page.

Productive’s Time Tracking feature resolves this issue with a desktop widget that lets you track time without flipping through numerous browser tabs. Other than using the integrated timer, you can manage your entries manually or even automatically by booking hours with the resource planning feature. With time approvals, managers can mark entries as billable and confirm them or ask for additional information.

See more: Top 8 Billable Hours Tracker Solutions for Professional Service Agencies

Budgeting

Productive’s Budgeting feature offers a robust solution for financial management, adaptable to various pricing models like hourly, fixed, retainer, or hybrid. It simplifies managing cost rates and tracking billable hours with automated alerts for better control over project expenses.

The platform also allows for phased budgeting and automatic retainer setups to enhance cash flow management.


CATEGORIZE YOUR DATA AND GET VISUALIZATIONS OF KEY AGENCY INSIGHTS

Productive integrates seamlessly with leading accounting systems such as QuickBooks and Xero. You can create your brand-friendly invoices on the platform and copy them into specialized accounting software, or send them directly from Productive.

Between the recurring templates that I use and standard line item options, doing the invoicing for 30-40 clients each month in Productive takes me a couple of hours tops.

Lore Hamilton,
Program Manager at Rietta

Find out more about Productive’s Billing.

Resource Planning

A stand-out feature of Productive compared to Plutio is its integrated Resource Planning. It offers an effective way to optimize the employee utilization rate and manage project schedules.

The interface of Productive, a Plutio alternative, showing resource scheduling with heatmaps indicating overutilization (red) or balanced utilization (green). The resource plan is categorized by team member and projects worked.


GET THE FULL PICTURE OF YOUR AGENCY’S RESOURCES

Key features include:

  • Flexible Bookings: Allows for various time allocation methods, including specific hours per day, percentage of overall capacity, or total billable hours.
  • Heatmaps: Offers visual indicators of team utilization, helping to identify over- or under-utilized resources for effective reallocation.
  • Customizable Filtering: Enables tailored views of bookings by people or projects, ideal for large teams and resource planning for multiple projects.
  • Placeholders: Facilitates future staffing scenarios and resourcing needs assessment.
  • Financial Forecasting: Provides real-time updates on project budget burn and profit margins, aiding in client transparency and efficient project change management.

Docs

Productive’s Docs help you keep all your project documentation in one place. Docs are seamlessly integrated with the rest of the platform so you can mention teammates and create tasks directly from pages. The feature also includes real-time collaboration, version history, and an Ask AI feature that helps your team translate their thoughts into text efficiently.

The interface of Productive, a Plutio Alternative, showing pages and subpages of a collaborative documentation tool.


MANAGE ALL OF YOUR DOCUMENTATION ON ONE PLATFORM

Reporting

Productive’s Reporting feature consolidates data from various sources like budgeting, time tracking, and resource management into easy-to-comprehend visualization. It offers over 50 agency-specific templates that can be populated with additional parameters with custom fields and organized into shareable dashboards to facilitate team and client communication.

I’m probably saving 2 hours each week pulling the same capacity report. It used to be that I had to manually pull numbers from our intranet, copying and pasting them into a spreadsheet, and then reformatting all of the numbers. Now I just go to reports and my numbers are waiting for me!

Amy Nichols,
Director of Operations AT Seven2

Additional features: Sales, Automations, Purchase Orders.

Integrations include: Xero, QuickBooks, HubSpot, Breathe, Zapier, Slack, Jira, Google Calendar, and more.
 

Pricing

  • Plans start with the Essential plan at $9 per user per month, which includes essential features such as budgeting, project & task management, docs, time tracking, expense management, reporting, and time off management.
  • The Professional plan includes custom fields, recurring budgets, advanced reports, billable time approvals, and many more for $24 per user per month.
  • The Ultimate plan has everything that the Essential plan and Professional plan offer, along with the HubSpot integration, advanced forecasting, advanced custom fields, overhead calculations, and more for a custom price.
  • You can also check out the Enterprise Plan with custom pricing for companies that would include more than 50 active users per month.

Productive offers a 14-day free trial, so you can decide if it’s the right Plutio alternative for your agency.

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2. Notion – A Good Alternative for Documentation Management

Notion is a popular project management tool that provides a centralized platform for task and documentation management.

Key features:

  • Template gallery
  • Documentation and file sharing
  • Automated workflows
  • Manage and filter task
Task management dashboard of a Plutio alternative showing various tasks with statuses like New, Overdue, and In Progress.


SOurce: NOTION

Notion users frequently praise the intuitive interface and strong collaboration features. It can be a good Plutio alternative for teams that want a more simplified solution. When it comes to the negatives, Notion lacks some key end-to-end agency operations features such as time tracking and invoicing, so keep this in mind.

3. Trello – A Simplified Collaboration Software Solution

Trello is a streamlined collaboration software with project and task management capabilities.

Key features:

  • Project templates
  • Timeline view for workload management
  • Project data dashboards
  • Powerups & plugins
An abstract interface of a Plutio alternative depicting tasks organized through a calendar view.


Source: TRELLO

For teams that enjoy Plutio’s collaboration features, but are looking for something a bit more scaled down, Trello can be a great choice. Users enjoy Trello as a good option for inexperienced project teams. However, agencies who are looking for more advanced agency management should consider different alternatives.

See more: Trello vs Wrike vs Productive: Choosing the Best Software for Your Agency (Features & Reviews)

4. Podio – A Plutio Alternative for Work Management

Podio is a versatile work management solution that offers a range of customizable features for your agency’s needs.

Key features:

  • Task management
  • File sharing
  • API for custom integrations
  • Podio Apps
A view of a Plutio alternative, showing a project management calendar interface displaying scheduled events such as "Weekly planning" and "Video shoot #1".


source: PODIO

Podio allows users to combine various apps to adjust the project management software to their needs. As a downside, this high amount of customizability means that implementation and user onboarding might take a longer time than with solutions with integrated workflows. Keep this in mind if your time is limited.

5. Kantata (Mavenlink) – A Comprehensive Platform for Project Management

Kantata, previously known as Mavenlink, is an integrated platform for project, resource, and financial management.

Key features:

  • Capacity planning
  • Collaboration tools
  • Accounting capabilities
  • Real-time data and forecasting
The interface of a Plutio alternative, depicting a resource allocation chart showing team members with roles like Front-End Developer and Technical Consultant alongside progress bars, indicating task completion rates


source: KANTATA (MAVENLINK)

Users usually enjoy Kantata’s management features for professional services agencies, but many reviewers note that the user interface seems outdated. Additionally, users report that it’s not as intuitive as it could be and that the platform performance can be a bit slow at times.

6. Scoro – A Plutio Alternative With CRM Features

Scoro is a business management software that offers project management, work scheduling, and client management in one platform.

Key features:

  • Project management
  • Resource planning
  • Real-time reporting
  • Sales & CRM capabilities
The interface of a Plutio alternative depicting the weekly work schedule of a project team member, with tasks like Graphic Design, Copywriting, and Campaign Strategy associated to completion percentages.


source: SCORO

Scoro offers valuable insights for service performance, making it an efficient tool for business management. However, its complexity can be overwhelming for new users, and its higher price point may not be suitable for smaller companies or startups with limited budgets.

Related: 13 Best Scoro Alternatives for Growing Agencies in 2023

7. Wrike – An Integrated Project & Resource Management Alternative

Wrike is a project management software with integrated resource planning capabilities.

Key features:

  • Project templates
  • Time tracking and invoicing
  • Workload charts and resource bookings
  • Essential project budgeting
The interface of a Plutio alternative, showing tasks organized into a Gantt chart, with different colored bars depicting the duration of each task.


source: WRIKE

Wrike can be a good Plutio alternative for agencies that need to manage their capacity more closely. Although Wrike has advanced resource management features, consider that budgeting capabilities are currently only available in the most advanced subscription plan. In comparison, tools such as Productive offer budgeting as an integral part of their platform.

See more: Wrike vs ClickUp vs Productive: An In-Depth Comparison

8. Asana – A Good Plutio Alternative for Streamlined Projects

Asana is a project management platform tailored to professional services agencies.

Key features:

  • Integrated time tracking
  • Custom task fields
  • Reporting dashboards
  • Workload management chart
The interface of a Plutio alternative, showing task cards organized by their completion status ('New Requests, 'In progress'). Each task card has a priority and progress tag.


source: ASANA

While Asana is a good choice for essential project management and team collaboration, the tool lacks some advanced features that can help you truly grow your agency. In particular, project managers who want to have a better grasp on their project financials should look for a more budgeting-heavy software.

Related: Top 7 Project Budget Management Tools: Optimize Your Project Budgeting

9. ClickUp – A Customizable Software Solution for Agencies

ClickUp is a task and project management software solution with customizable workflows, collaboration, and automation features.

Key features:

  • Customizable project views
  • File sharing and editing
  • Workflow automation
  • Time & project management
Detailed view of a Plutio alternative, depicting a release project management list highlighting tasks like 'Update contractor agreement' and 'Budget assessment' with assigned team members.


source: CLICKUP

ClickUp is a typical project management tool with custom dashboards and task management capabilities. As for the downsides, users have noted that reporting could be more robust and that the user interface can be unintuitive at times, especially for multi-project management.

See more: Best 11 ClickUp Alternatives: Exploring Top Competitors

10. HoneyBook – A Specialized Accounting Tool for Creatives

HoneyBook is an invoicing and client management software for creative businesses and freelancers.

Key features:

  • Client invoicing
  • Contract creation
  • Automation
  • Online scheduling
Interactive calendar interface of a Plutio alternative software solution, showing selected date and time slots for scheduling appointments.


source: HONEYBOOK

Users enjoy HoneyBook for providing a straightforward invoicing process with a visually appealing user interface. HoneyBook can be a good Plutio alternative for users looking for a specialized accounting tool. For an end-to-end project management tool, consider other alternatives on this list.

11. Teamwork – A Fine Comprehensive Software Solution

Teamwork is a popular project management tool that helps business owners improve their efficiency and client management.

Key features:

  • Time tracking
  • Resource management
  • Project planning
  • Client invoicing
Project management board of a Plutio alternative displaying tasks in various completion statuses (To Do, In Progress, Code Review). Each tasks has an assignee and priority status.


source: TEAMWORK

Teamwork’s comprehensive approach makes it one of the best Plutio alternative project management solutions. However, even though it does offer extensive agency management capabilities, certain features might not be as developed in comparison to competitors — for example, financial forecasting and in-depth agency utilization insights.

See more: 11 Best Teamwork Alternatives

12. 17hats – A Client Management Platform for Small Businesses

17hats streamlines administrative tasks such as bookkeeping, proposals, contracts, and online payments for small businesses.

Key features:

  • Online payments
  • Email templates
  • Quotes & CRM
  • Invoicing
Electronic signature interface of a Plutio alternative, showing one completed signature for 'Mikey Marrell' and a blank space for 'Doug Walker' to sign, part of a document signing feature.


source: 17HATS

17hats provides a good platform for client management, especially when it comes to systemizing and organizing all steps of the process. However, despite being aimed at smaller companies, the pricing points can be considered expensive, especially when compared to similar available solutions.

13. Dubsado – A Good Plutio Alternative With Client Portal

Dubsado is a business management software solution designed to streamline workflows and client management for freelancers and small businesses.

Key features:

  • Customizable form templates
  • Client Portal
  • Online invoicing
  • Workflow automation
Workflow automation interface with options to 'Create invoice' and toggle for 'Relative date?' set to active, reflecting a task automation feature in a Plutio alternative platform.


source: DUBSADO

Users comment that Dubsado has many helpful features for dealing with various project types, such as custom fields, contracting, and proposals. However, certain features could also use some improvements, such as the way client information is stored: “I would love if it could recognize that I have already entered the same clients and maybe update information as needed” (Source: Capterra). Some users also report issues with email connectivity.

14. SuiteDash – A Robust Platform for Client Cooperation

Like Plutio, SuiteDash is a customizable platform with a range of features that support day-to-day agency operations.

Key features:

  • Project management
  • Proposals & Invoicing
  • Client management
  • White label portal
Task management columns showing 'Assigned' and 'Working' tasks with details such as due dates and assignee, part of a collaborative workflow in a Plutio alternative platform.


source: suitedash

Users enjoy SuiteDash for its variety of project management solutions and business performance capabilities. However, many reviews state that there’s a bit of a learning curve involved and that it takes a while to set the software up, especially as there’s no industry-specific template from the get-go.

15. Paperbell – A Specialized Tool for Coaching and Consulting

Paperbell is a client and contract management software designed for coaches and consultants.

Key features:

  • Client management
  • Contract signing
  • Client scheduling
  • Payment features
Client management dashboard within a Plutio alternative CRM system, showing a summary with sections for appointments, purchases, and contracts, and insights on appointments remaining and total earned.


source: paperbell

Users praise Paperbell for its coaching capabilities and well-developed client portal. As for the downsides, some users had issues with the platform’s security features. Another user noted that the user interface might take some getting used as “there’s not a lot of pictures and such as it’s mostly text” (Source: G2).

16. Freedcamp – A Professional Services Tool for Collaboration

Freedcamp is a project management and collaboration software solution for small to mid-sized professional services businesses.

Key features:

  • Project planning
  • Time tracking
  • Permissions management
  • File sharing & storage
Overview of 'Recent Projects' showing cards for projects like 'Web Design & Development' and 'Summer 2019 Campaign' with team member avatars, indicative of a project overview feature in a Plutio alternative platform.


source: FREEDCAMP

Users enjoy Freedcamp as a tool that helps them improve their team collaboration. As a downside, some reviews have mentioned issues with the Calendar project view and the reporting functionality. The tool has a free version with basic features, so it can be a good choice for agencies on a budget.

17. Bonsai – An Integrated Tool for Client Work

Bonsai is a business management alternative to Plutio that combines CRM, bookkeeping, and invoicing.

Key features:

  • Contracts & proposals
  • Time tracking
  • File sharing
  • Financial management
Financial graph illustrating income and expenses with key metrics displayed, such as 'Paid Before Fees' and 'Profit', representing a financial tracking feature of a Plutio alternative platform.


source: BONSAI

Bonsai offers many of the same features as Plutio, especially regarding client management, making it a good alternative pick. However, users note that some notable features are missing: “The only item that I find lacking in Bonsai is there is no Kanban board or other visual way to track tasks and projects” (Source: Capterra). Consider this if you’re looking for an all-in-one project management tool.

18. ManyRequests – A Client Portal Platform for Designers & Creatives

ManyRequests is a client portal software for design, creative, and website development companies.

Key features:

  • Checkout forms
  • Custom invoices
  • Service Catalog
  • Client onboarding
Personalized dashboard with widgets displaying client count, revenue, and requests, indicative of a user dashboard in a Plutio alternative business management platform.


source: MANYREQUESTS

ManyRequests can be a good solution for client work, but it does lack some features that can help you manage your agency’s operations on a daily basis. This includes project management and client budgeting. It’s a good if pricey solution for agencies with specialized needs.

19. Monday.com – A Good Automation Software Solution

Monday.com is a project and task management platform for workflow automation.

Key features:

An abstract interface of a Plutio alternative, depicting the status of project tasks per month. Each status has an associated owner and color-coded status with three states: 'Done' (Green), 'Working on it' (Yellow), 'Stuck' (Red).


source: MONDAY.COM

Monday.com is a flexible project management tool that can be customized to suit your team’s specific needs. However, even though it offers a variety of task management capabilities, it lags behind other all-in-one project management tools due to limited financial capabilities — such as utilization tracking or forecasting.

Takeaway: Exploring the Best Plutio Alternatives

Picking your best Plutio software alternative can feel like an intimidating task. Although having many options can be a good thing, it can also lead to analysis paralysis.

To help you choose between these excellent alternatives, here’s our main tip — no matter which functionalities you’re most interested in, keep an eye out for user-friendly, scalable, and comprehensive solutions. These three factors can significantly streamline your onboarding and implementation process.

To learn more about what integrated solutions can do for your business, book a demo with Productive, the all-in-one agency management software.

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Lucija Bakić

Content Specialist

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