Being a freelancer can be extremely enriching and full of opportunities, but it can also bring a ton of challenges. The fact is, when you’re working directly for a company, there are so many things you don’t have to worry about. For instance, you’re not responsible for managing your taxes.
All those responsibilities are handled by employers. Freelancing is just like running a business. Not only do you have to produce lots of work to tough deadlines, but you also have to be able to develop a personal brand, market yourself successfully, adhere to business laws and file an annual tax return.
This day and age, you don’t have to threat too much about freelancing. There are a ton of great apps and online services that aim to make your life as a self-employed professional easier. They can help boost your productivity, ensure you’re paid on time and keep track of your invoices.
Trello (Android and iOS, free)
Trello is one of the most popular apps for businesses and freelancers. Completely free to download and use, it’ll help you keep on top of all your work and deadlines. With it, you can create task boards, coordinate work with colleagues, friends and family, generate trackable to-do lists, upload photos and attach files. The app is fully cloud-based, meaning you can access your lists and tasks from any device or location.
Google tools (Android and iOS, free)
When it comes to online services and software, Google is one of the best in the business. The tech giant has developed a suite of free, easy-to-use productivity tools for businesses and individuals. Docs is a fully capable word processing system, while Slides deals with presentations and Sheets with spreadsheets. Drive is the company’s own competitor to Dropbox, and it too is free to use. The beauty of these services is that they’re all cloud-based and can be download on mobile devices, for free.
Free Agent (Android and iOS, premium)
If there’s one thing freelancers can find daunting, it’s dealing with finances. Well, there are also apps for managing this often complex area, and Free Agent is one of them. Using it, you can record expenses and take photos of your receipts, create and send invoices within a matter of seconds, view contact and supplier lists, generate quotes and estimates for customers, keep on top of your cashflow and view your bank statements. This service is available to access on the web, Android and iOS. It’s premium, but you can sign up for a free trial if you’d prefer to give it a trial run before committing to a plan.
LinkedIn (Android and iOS, free)
Networking is one of the most important things you can do as a business, although that doesn’t mean you have to go to every business gathering or event. You can also make contacts online, and that’s exactly what LinkedIn is for. Once you set up a profile with your professional experience and education listed, you can go on to create a virtual business network with people you’ve come across in the past or who you may have future dealings with. The platform also lets you watch out for employment opportunities, keep up with the latest news in your industry and participate in online groups.
RescueTime (Android and iOS, premium)
Time is money when you’re a freelancer, and you can easily waste it by becoming preoccupied with mundane tasks or simply procrastinating (yes, that means watching videos of cats dancing on YouTube). RescueTime could change this all for you. The app analyses everything you do on your devices and gives you an estimated picture of how you spend your time. This data can help you spot inefficiencies and become more productive. You can even set goals not to spend time on a certain app or service. For instance, it could be that you aim to spend one hour less on a social media network like Facebook or Twitter a day.
These are only a few apps and services, but they’re all equally beneficial to freelancers and small businesses. Whether you want to spend or not, you’ll find a wide selection of apps out there that can make a positive impact in your freelance career.