Freelancers can improve their time management by utilizing digital solutions, both free and paid, that are designed to make the operation of their businesses more effective. Because there are so many different apps for freelancers to pick from, it may be challenging to determine which ones are the greatest and which ones are the worst.
Even though I’ve only been doing it part-time for the past year, I’ve been dabbling with freelancing as a side gig for a good deal longer than that. Without the assistance of some of these helpful tools for freelancers, I would not be where I am at this point in time.
These applications have the potential to improve the fluidity and productivity of your company’s operations, regardless of whether you are just starting out or have been in business for some time.
Apps for Project and Organization Management
A solid organizational strategy is required for a freelancer because it is likely that they will have a significant number of customers. There is a wide variety of software at your disposal that can serve as an aid in helping you to maintain tabs on your various tasks and activities.
When it comes to collaborating with clients on a range of projects and aspects of a business, Slack is an excellent platform for team collaboration on the various tasks at hand. You are able to set up your channels within the app, and then you can add members to those channels as required. After that, you will be able to use the application to communicate with other people, share files, create tasks, and do a lot more besides. A history that can be searched is also of great assistance!
When you first begin using the platform, you and your team will only have access to a searchable history of 10,000 messages and ten app integrations. If you use a premium service, you may receive limitless search and integrations for as little as $6.67 per month per active user. This is a significantly lower price than other premium services.
Gmail is a well-known form of electronic communication that ought not to be overlooked. You are going to require some kind of email software in order to organize and monitor the many emails that your customers send to you so that you do not miss any of them.
The Gmail app can be downloaded for free and is accessible for use. Additional services are only something you’ll have to pay for if you require extra storage space or if you want to use the email address associated with your domain.
From a single location, you can use Notion to produce notes and papers, build a knowledge base, manage projects and tasks, and administrate spreadsheets and databases. All of these functions are possible thanks to the application’s modular design. You are able to integrate your data from various different apps into Slack, Google Sheets, and Twitter.
You can get started right away with their free plan, which enables you to save up to a thousand blocks at a time. You have the option to upgrade to an unlimited block storage plan with no file upload restrictions for an additional fee of $4 per month. Team packages, which start at $8 per month per member, come with administrative tools already included.
Dropbox is another useful app that you can use to keep your office organized and in sync across all of your devices. Free to use but with a restricted amount of capacity for storing data. On the other hand, if you are ready to pay for additional storage or do certain things, such as inviting users or installing Dropbox on several devices, you can extend your storage capacity each month without incurring any further costs. Dropbox is a great tool for freelancers who need to work together on different kinds of files, like presentations, designs, or any other file type.
When you’re putting in a lot of effort to meet a certain target date, it’s critical to prioritize effectiveness and avoid wasting any time.
It is a new and exciting tool called Workflow, and it helps users save time by allowing them to create “workflows” that carry out many tasks at the same time.
Once the user has the app set up, it is possible for the app to conduct all three of these processes simultaneously, saving the user time and allowing them to concentrate on other responsibilities.
Apps for Invoicing
When you’re self-employed, it’s essential to ensure that you always have an accurate record of your bills. When it comes to keeping track of payments, you need to be aware of whether or not they have been made, whether or not they have been late, or whether or not they are past due.
To get things started, you are going to require a reputable platform to send out invoices. Below are the apps that can be useful to a person like yourself.
It would be an understatement to say that PayPal is one of the greatest applications for freelancers if one were to include it on a list of such applications. Customers are likely to already be familiar with how to use PayPal and to have a high level of confidence in the service as a result of its broad adoption.
On the other hand, PayPal will deduct a tiny fee from each and every invoice that you send out to your clients.
You may easily send an invoice to your customer with only a few clicks of your mouse.
This piece of software is equipped with a wealth of features that collectively make it much simpler to operate. This software may be used at work to keep track of deadlines, analyze expenses, and even determine how much money they spend on their car each week.
So, what exactly is the deal? Once an invoice has been generated, the tool can be used to process payments after they have been received.
Wave is by far the most well-liked invoicing application for freelancers, particularly those who are obsessive about maintaining an accurate record of everything. This app’s function as a financial accounting program makes it an excellent choice for people who want to monitor their own financial situation.
As a result of this, many self-employed people choose Wave as their platform of choice. This software can be combined with the vast majority of the other apps that freelancers use on a regular basis. Shopify, Stripe, and Square, as well as Acuity, are a few examples of this type of platform.
Wave has a number of different payment options, ranging from free to a monthly membership, based on the user’s preferences and requirements. It’s possible that if you use the free version of Wave, that will be sufficient for all of your requirements.
This app is for people who work for themselves and don’t have the time or inclination to deal with complicated accounting software.
FreshBooks is a cloud service that provides a clear layout, making it simple to use for things such as logging expenditure and time, making credit card payments, and other similar activities.
So that as many people as possible can use it, the application is made available on a wide range of operating systems and electronic devices.
But did you realize that it also has features for creating invoices? QuickBooks is one of the most useful tools for independent contractors and freelancers. If you are already contributing to the cost of QuickBooks, you can take advantage of its ability to send invoices directly to your customers. Sending a payment via this method is a breeze in comparison to using PayPal.
You are constantly able to check the status of your invoices, which is one of the many benefits that come with using QuickBooks. You can look at this information about an invoice no matter if it has been seen, opened, paid, or is past due.
The Best Meeting & Appointment Apps
It is essential to have constant communication with one’s clients if one wishes to be successful as a freelancer. The following apps are among the best for keeping in touch with clients.
The popularity of Zoom has skyrocketed over the course of the past year, and independent contractors are no exception.
I always make sure to have Zoom along with me when I have a consultation call with a new potential client. It would only take a while for us to evaluate whether or not we are a good match for one another in this manner.
Zoom is useful to me since it enables me to communicate with other people in a manner that is less formal than what is possible through email. If you already make use of a calendar planner such as Calendly, HoneyBook, etc., you can combine its use with that of the aforementioned scheduling tools.
Utilizing Calendly provides a number of advantages, particularly for self-employed people who are always on the go. Your primary calendar is evaluated, and then a personalized booking link that you may send to your client is generated. This link gives them the chance to choose a time slot within your availability and allows you to better manage your time. In addition, Calendly offers the following:
They provide a free plan that is quite functional for independent contractors. Calendly also lets you set up regular meetings as well as one-time events, give each participant a unique URL, and send reminders for meetings.
Each appointment will be confirmed through email, along with a link to whichever video conferencing provider you use.
In our list of appointment scheduling tools for independent contractors is the HubSpot Free Meeting Scheduler. The following benefits are included with this free software: You may choose to include these links on your website or to email them straight to your customers.
Customers will be able to see when you are available and make appointments quickly if you add an interactive calendar to your website. This is easy to do because there are many ways to integrate it.
14. Google Calendar
You will automatically receive a free copy of Google Calendar if you sign up for a Gmail account. It also has a number of useful features, such as:
You can get it as an app for your desktop computer or your mobile device. Your calendar software may learn your schedule so that it can make event suggestions and take care of event management on its own as a result of its capabilities for machine learning. The easiest method to choose a time that is convenient for both you and your pals is to just share your calendar with them. Through the use of Google Meet, invites to events can include video conferencing, which makes it easy to organize online gatherings.
In contrast to Calendly, it does not provide your customers the ability to schedule meetings for themselves without first receiving a specific invitation from you. On the other hand, it is free and lets you see all of your upcoming meetings as well as any other events you may have scheduled in your calendar.
Even though it isn’t generally known, this program has recently become an excellent option for freelancers. You can send voicemails and handwritten notes to customers to stay on top of communication.
Many independent contractors utilize Voxer during their clients’ office hours because of the ease with which they can leave a voicemail message. Voxer is also totally free to use! As a freelancer, using this app is the best approach to getting in touch with clients.
Apps for Time Management
These are the greatest time-management and productivity apps for freelancers. Apps like these are some of the most crucial ones that most freelancers use.
When it comes to maximizing one’s output in a given amount of time, picking a few useful and specific tools to use can be the difference between laboriously pushing oneself and working smarter and more efficiently. These apps can assist you in becoming more efficient with the management of your time.
When you’re working for yourself as a freelancer, Todoist is one of the most useful apps you can have on your phone. Because it is comparable to the reminder and note-taking apps already installed on your phone, it is a lot simpler to use if you don’t have time to learn how to use a new app.
Even though it has been available since 2007, the task management tool Todoist has managed to maintain its status as a fan favorite all this time. There is no better way to enhance your productivity as a freelancer than to make sure that everything you need to achieve that day is adequately stated and recorded in advance.
Is it worth the time and effort you put in every day to try to remember the passwords for all of the many apps your company uses? It makes no difference how high the number is; it is still excessive and will only lead to dissatisfaction if it continues. You don’t have to remember all of your passwords if you use the password management software LastPass. It lets you store all of your passwords in a secure vault.
As a consequence of this, you only need to install their browser extension, and it will automatically sign you in to every other service. After signing up for LastPass’s premium tier, you’ll have access to the service for free for the first 30 days of your subscription. It will only cost you $2 per month to subscribe to their most fundamental plan if you are just getting started as a freelancer or solopreneur.
The time monitoring software offered by Clockify gives you the option to charge customers on an hourly basis. Even though I’ve used it for a few different hourly assignments since switching to project-based billing, I still find that I need to keep track of my own time.
You need to know the answer to this question if you want to figure out if you are charging enough for your services.
If the completion of a task is taking significantly longer than you anticipated, you might want to think about increasing the amount that you charge for it. When it comes to keeping track of the time you spend working, the free edition of Clockify is all that freelancers require.
Timeneye is the perfect choice for you if you’re seeking a straightforward and visually appealing method to monitor the passage of time. You have the option of manually entering your time or using the built-in timer on their website. A calendar view provides you with information on the amount of time you’ve spent on each activity, in addition to data and graphs that can assist you in being more productive.
Take advantage of their free plan, which enables you to integrate one account while providing unlimited support for projects and clients. If you choose to upgrade, you will be charged $72 for a year’s worth of access to multiple accounts, weekly email summaries, team status views, and other features.
If you have difficulties keeping track of all of your projects, then you should consider using this software.
It is possible to have separate workplaces for each of the divisions that make up your firm, or it is also feasible to have all of them in the same location. For me to be as productive as possible, I’ve found that keeping separate calendars for each of my customers is the best way to work.
When compared to other productivity and project management applications, the free edition of ClickUp offers a significantly higher return on investment than those other solutions. Unless your business grows to the point where you need more people to use the software, it is unlikely that you will ever need the paid version.
It goes without saying that social networking is an absolute must if you want to find work as a freelance writer. No longer do you have to go to boring networking events or call random people on the phone if you want to get customers or readers through social media.
Using social media to advertise your freelance business has the potential to consume a significant amount of your time if you are not careful. Everyone has fallen into the rabbit hole of endless scrolling on social media platforms like Twitter and Instagram.
One way to have the best of both worlds is to make use of tools that manage social media activity so that you can maintain a presence on these platforms without devoting all of your available time to doing so.
In addition to Sendible, there is a variety of different scheduling and mapping software available on the market today. You have the unique ability to preview your article on Sendible before it is made public, giving you the chance to check that it is visually pleasing before it is published. Text and images do not appear out of place when presented in this manner.
Create a schedule that covers each month of the year using a calendar.
Before your postings are made public on your social media networks, you can preview how they will look there.
However, there is not a single free plan available for selection. You have the ability to select from many different plans, each of which begins at $29 per month, and the trial period lasts for 14 days.
Buffer has provided its users with the ability to schedule posts across a diverse variety of social media platforms. You can get data and analytics that will help you figure out which parts of your platforms are working best.
Since it is an official marketing partner for some of the most popular social media sites, it gives users the confidence they need to plan posts without worrying.
Maintain a consistent flow of new content across all of your platforms. Make use of analytics to keep track of your results and determine when the best moment is to post.
To maintain your audience’s interest in the material you create, use community components. You can make plans in advance on a variety of social media platforms, including Instagram, Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, and Pinterest, to name just a few of these platforms.
You have the ability to post on three different social media networks with our free plan. For the low, low price of just $5 per month per channel, you can have access to an unlimited number of features.
This app gives you access to a wide variety of unique features, some of which include the ability to tag objects in your Instagram posts and to schedule when your first comment will be posted.
Only Pinterest and Instagram are supported by Tailwind, but if you want to limit your efforts to just those two, this could be a good option. One of its best characteristics is that it automatically creates an image that appears to have been designed by a graphic artist.
A branded post can include any combination of text, graphics, additional photos, or anything else. Using Tailwind, you don’t need to be a graphic designer to make your image stand out.
Instagram and Pinterest alone. Once you’ve uploaded a photo, you’ll be presented with a slew of editing options. The image is automatically resized to fit the platform. All of your social media accounts are on the same schedule.
It finds hashtags on its own. The service recommends groups with which you might be able to make contact.