Here’s a comparison of Dubsado and HoneyBook, two very popular tools for freelancers, agencies, and creative teams (photographers, designers, wedding planners)
These tools are built specifically for agencies and freelancers who are looking for a tool to manage their entire business in one place: Invoicing, tasks, projects, contracts, proposals, and scheduling.
In this post we will review the differences and similarities of each tool and provide you with the most unbiased review (we also run a similar tool specifically designed for agencies to manage their clients) to help you make your choice.
Let’s start by finding out what both tools do:
Dubsado is an all in one small business management tool. Mostly used by freelancers, its features comprise forms, invoicing, scheduling, workflows and automations, tasks, as well as lead captures. Pricing starts at $35/month.
HoneyBook is also a client management software for small businesses. Similar to Dubsado, it has all the core features: Invoicing, proposals, contracts, workflows and automations, and projects.
Top differences between Dubsado and HoneyBook
Interface and Layout
The first difference you’ll notice between HoneyBook and Dubsado is the user experience and look and feel of the interface.
Here’s HoneyBook user interface:
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While both Dubsado and HoneyBook interfaces seem clear at first glance, some users reported inconsistencies with Dubsado interface which can seem confusing or have a steep learning curve.
On the other hand, HoneyBook was praised for its ease of use and beautiful interface.
Verdict: HoneyBook is clearly the winner here but our advice is to spend time on using both software and see which interface feels the best for you.
An important consideration for freelancers and agencies are the accounting integrations so that you can automate your bookkeeping.
Here, both solutions differ in some ways:
- Dubsado integrates with Xero and Quickbooks. You can also automate
- HoneyBook only integrates with QuickBooks.
While QuickBooks is the industry standard, we think that it might be too complex for freelancers or agencies that have simple transactions.
Verdict: Dubsado is the winner here as it has a more robust invoicing and more accounting integrations.
Stripe and PayPal integrations
A big difference between HoneyBook and Dubsado are the payment gateways.
HoneyBook does not integrate with Stripe or PayPal and relies on its own payment system and charges a 3% processing fee.
All in all, it doesn’t make a big difference as Stripe and PayPal also charge similar fees but it is important to consider if you already have customers or subscriptions on Stripe.
The second biggest feature that often sought after by freelancers and agencies is the ability to have enough time to try out a solution.
Here, both Dubsado and HoneyBook differ in some ways as well:
- Dubsado has an unlimited trial with up to 3 clients. This is great for clients that run a very small business and want enough time. That said, it also means that if you want to test their application with many clients this might be a burden.
- HoneyBook only features a 7-day trial. This is very short to test out all functionalities.
This said, HoneyBook doesn’t have a steep learning curve and is very easy to get set up. This is perhaps why Dubsado offered an unlimited trial.
Verdict: It’s a tie here. Our suggestion is to try both apps.
Mobile app for on-the-go work
HoneyBook has a mobile app. Dubsado doesn’t.
However, both solutions are mobile friendly so you can always access your business at any time.
Another important consideration is to know how well both apps can integrate with the other pieces of software you already use so that your workflow is not disrupted.
Here, both apps also differ in some ways:
- Payments: Like we mentioned before, there’s no Stripe or PayPal integration with HoneyBook. You’ll have to rely on their own payment system.
- Both HoneyBook and Dubsado integrate with Zapier, which is very handy to run automations or integrate with other apps.
Dubsado features a simple pricing of $35/month which gives you access to all features, unlimited clients, and unlimited projects.
On the other hand, HoneyBook pricing starts at $9/month (with up to $10k in transactions) or $39/month to have all features.
Another difference is that with HoneyBook you can have unlimited team members. Dubsado charges extra for more than 3 users, starting at $25/month (for 4 to 10 users).
Top similarities between Dubsado and HoneyBook
Proposals and contracts
Both HoneyBook and Dubsado are very similar when it comes to proposals and contracts with some small differences:
- Both apps allow you to pull clients information automatically in your proposals and contracts.
- They also both let clients sign and pay automatically by sending them a public link.
- One difference though, HoneyBook also has a very elegant “brochure” feature where you can display photos and a breakdown of what your proposal entails.
- HoneyBook also lets you create proposals and contracts on their app which adds a lot of convenience compared to using a mobile version.
- HoneyBook also features a file versioning system which is really handy if there’s a lot of changes in a proposal. Dubsado doesn’t offer this currently.
- On the other hand, Dubsado has more customization options available (you can add custom CSS for example)
Verdict: While both HoneyBook and Dubsado, HoneyBook is the winner here for its beautiful interface and convenience. However, if you’re looking for more customizations, Dubsado is probably the winner.
Another feature you might be interested in to run your business is scheduling. For example: Scheduling meetings, demo calls, or simply in-person appointments.
Again, both Dubsado and HoneyBook are pretty similar in that regard.
- Both integrate with Calendly which is great for scheduling meetings. They also have their built-in scheduler.
- Both apps also integrate with Google Calendar so you can quickly see which appointments you have with your clients.
- However, Dubsado also has form attachments, booking fees, and padding time.
Verdict: Dubsado scheduling feature is more powerful than HoneyBook, especially if you need a lot of customizations or take payments upfront.
Both Dubsado and HoneyBook provide time tracking in their app (with a stop watch that you can turn on and off). This feature is very useful to know how much time you (or your team members) spend in a project. Both apps also offer manual inputs if you need to edit time.
Customer reviews of Dubsado
Company/Customer: Sarah R.
Review: “Dubsado is one of the best platforms out there for small businesses. It offers a great amount of structure, automation, and is overall the most practical way for me to create workflows for my business. The company is also very hands on, listens to users opinions, and is super helpful in setup and answering questions.”
Company/Customer: Travis E.
Review: “First off the support is amazing!!! The software does everything we need it to do and our team REALLY loves the fact we can have all our agreements, invoices (recurring too), briefing documents and opt-in forms all located in one section and tied to one client and we can also had workflows and automations that have saved us HOURS!!”
Customer reviews of HoneyBook
Company/Customer: Monica B.
Review: “The invoices are my favorite. I love being to bill clients through HB and not have to use a different program to do that. I get to keep EVERYTHING in one spot which actually saves me money. I don’t need a separate software for bookkeeping, calendars, workflow, etc. It’s ALL here. In one place. I’m obsessed. I can’t imagine not having HB.”
Company/Customer: Paige E.
Review: “Keeps contracts in one place, able to accept credit cards. You can network with other vendors, and they seem to really concentrate more on this than actually developing software that works well.”
- If I just start my business, which tool should I choose?
If you’re just starting and don’t have many clients, we recommend going for HoneyBook. While their free trial is really short (only 7 days), they have an affordable plan at $9/month and the software is more user friendly than Dubsado. Dubsado offers more customization options which you might not need at the beginning.
- I run an agency, should I go with Dubsado or HoneyBook?
Both tools have a tie here. If you have a lot of clients, both tools allow you to bulk import them. If you require more customization: Go with Dubsado. However, if you’re looking for a more user friendly interface for you and your clients, HoneyBook will be a better fit.
- Who is Honeybook best for?
HoneyBook is great for wedding planners, photographers, designers, and freelancers.
- Who is Dubsado best for?
Dubsado is great for freelancers and creative teams.
Considering more options?
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2. Modern and fast user interface.
3. Built for agencies and service businesses in mind.
4. Unlimited file storage, unlimited team members, unlimited clients.
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