Bonsai

Updated November 10, 2022

Bonsai is an all-in-one contract management and HR solution that’s specifically designed to meet the requirements of self-employed workers as well as small businesses. It’s intended to fill a number of common needs such as time tracking, taxes, and customer relationship management. Subscriptions currently start at $17 per month when paid annually.

bonsai logo

What is Hello Bonsai?

Hello Bonsai is a Y-Combinator-backed freelance work platform with both free and paid resources. For example, users can take advantage of a self-employment tax calculator, expense tracking spreadsheet, and electronic signature generator at no charge.

The main advantage of Bonsai is its focus on freelancers and small businesses. This contrasts with most HR solutions, which tend to target small to mid-sized companies. Based on our experience, Bonsai could make your workflow significantly more efficient if you’re struggling to optimize your practices as a freelancer or sole proprietor.

bonsai dashboard screenshot

The Bonsai dashboard covers basics like income, expenses, and financial reports, with other modules available in the left-hand menu. Source: Bonsai free trial

The Bonsai contracts module streamlines the process of creating NDAs and other common contracts. You can use their pre-set templates and make changes as needed to match your specific needs. From there, simply generate an electronic signature, send the document to the client, and configure automatic reminders to trigger if they fail to respond in time. This is just one of many areas where Bonsai can make a complex process much more simple.

bonsai automation creation tool screenshot

Automation creation tool with various triggers and subsequent actions depending on the situation. Source: Bonsai free trial

With that in mind, we gave Bonsai strong marks for its impressive functionality, excellent range of features, and strong performance in user reviews. A few customers mentioned a lack of automation capabilities compared to other solutions, but this will only be a minor concern for most users. We feel confident recommending Bonsai to any freelancer or small business owner that needs help with basic practices like contracts, invoices, CRM, accounting, and time tracking.

bonsai time logging tool screenshot

Bonsai’s time logging tool supports both time tracking and manually added hours. Source: Bonsai free trial

Bonsai Pros and Cons

Pros
  • Positive user reviews
  • Perfect for freelancers
  • Easy to use
  • Email and live chat support
  • Helpful template library
Cons
  • May not be suitable for mid-sized businesses
  • No free plan
  • No listed support hours

How much does Bonsai cost?

Bonsai plans start at $24 per month, with more robust subscriptions available for $39 and $79 per month. You can get a significant discount on any plan by committing to a full year, bringing the effective rates down to $17, $32, and $52 per month.

Starting price:
$24 per month ($17 per month paid annually)
Free trial:
14 days
Free version:
Not available (some free resources)
Hello Bonsai Pricing & Plans
Starter Professional Business
Starting at $17/mo paid annually Starting at $32/mo paid annually Starting at $52/mo paid annually
One user (five collaborators) One user (15 collaborators) One user (15 collaborators)

What’s included in every Bonsai plan? Every Bonsai subscription comes with basic features like time and expense tracking, invoicing and payments, client CRM, and access to the full collection of templates.

Which features does Bonsai offer?

Contract Management Software Features
Audit Trail
Mobile Application (iOS and Android)
Templates
Document Storage
Full Text Search

Other notable Bonsai features

  • Invoicing and payments
  • Task and time tracking
  • Customer relationship management (including client portal)
  • Expense tracking
bonsai proposal templates screenshot

Bonsai proposal templates including basic designs as well as specific templates for individual use cases. Source: Bonsai free trial

What types of support does Bonsai offer?

Data Migration
1-on-1 Live Training
Self-Guided Online Training
Knowledge Base
FAQs/Forum
Email Support
Live Chat
Phone Support
bonsai help center screenshot

Bonsai help center with articles about onboarding, general usage, and specific functions. Source: Bonsai website

Bonsai software user review highlights

We analyzed 174 user reviews about Bonsai from five third-party review websites to provide this summary.

  • Ease of Setup – Bonsai excelled in ease of setup with positive comments from nearly all users. Despite the depth of functionality, customers agree that onboarding is relatively quick and painless.
  • Ease of Use – Again, ease of use is one of Bonsai’s key strengths. For example, one reviewer said “What would have taken me countless hours of research, copying and pasting from other online sources, took mere minutes with their easy-to-use contract templates.”
  • Features – As mentioned earlier, the main criticism we found was that Bonsai doesn’t go far enough with its automation capabilities. However, users have great things to say about the rest of the platform’s features.
  • Quality of Support – We weren’t able to find any clearly listed support hours, but user reviews are still very positive when it comes to customer service. Help is available through both email and live chat, and there is also a fairly detailed knowledge base.
  • Value for Money – With plans from just $17 per month paid annually, we weren’t surprised to see comments about the value proposition offered by Bonsai. Many customers felt that they were getting more functionality for less money compared to other HR platforms.

Bonsai Contact Information

Parent Company:
None
Headquarters:
San Francisco, CA
Year Founded:
2015
Website:
hellobonsai.com
Facebook:
facebook.com/hellobonsai
LinkedIn:
linkedin.com/company/bonsai

Hello Bonsai alternatives

Software Starting Price B2B Reviews Score
Bonsai $17/month 4.75
ContractSafe $299/month 4.75
PandaDoc $19/month 4

Bonsai Reviews

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