Freelance Tools (Part I)

Time, Projects and Finances

By Mike Suárez C.

Make the decision to be independent and dedicate yourself professionally to what you do, whether it is Photography, Programming, Design, Writing, Translation or Consulting among others, is not easy. So if you are in that way I congratulate you and wish you much success, I hope this material will help you in your projects.

In my personal experience I passed from Web Development to Interface Design, which is what I do today, it took me a little time to organize, probe many platforms and applications, but all the best tool is called Discipline, it is very necessary if you want to take All in order and on the right track.

Te voy a contar qué herramientas y plataformas estoy usando, también cómo las uso para que puedes hacer tu propia rutina. Algunas seguramente ya las habrás usado, otras quizás no. Espero que te sean tan útiles como a mi.

– Time

Time is worth gold (trite but true)
To do or not do. It’s no use trying, just doing — Yoda, Jedi Master …

When you are a freelancer, the most important asset you have is time, knowing how to manage it and knowing what your value is is one of the most important things in this mode, because it will determine your costs to compete in the market.

Before you continue, you probably had the same problem that I had when I started, I did not know the price of my work hour! . That’s why I’m going to leave you this HelloBonsai platform reference that is sure to help you a lot to estimate costs.

Let’s get down to business …

I use two applications for the tracking of the time that I dedicate to each one of the projects.

1.- Tick : This tool is extremely simple and practical to use from any device, allows you to create a project and segment it in phases to assign tasks with percentages of hours.

It’s great for long projects that need to be meticulous over time and ideal for presenting a client’s hours report at the end of each stage, giving transparency to your work process.

Official Website Tickspot (Free for a single project)

2.- AND CO: This platform is incredible and I really like it because you will not have limitations of any kind, very good to organize some clients and projects, taking prices and time.

As I told you before you can create a project with all the details (Names, Costs, Dates, etc), setting the time meter with the cost of hours to automatically create a receipt for the customer, ie the price is Depending on how long the job has taken you.

The only point against it is the limited amount of receipts you can send (only 2), but it is more complete than just a time tracker, I invite you to explore and comment on how it looks.

Official Web And.co (Free with subscription plans)

Tip Extra: Timezone.io, get organized with your friends or clients in different time zones and view them on a single platform.

– Projects

Each thing in its place
Ideas are easy, implementing them is difficult — Guy Kawasaki, founder of AllTop.

There are many tools for managing projects (Asana, Bonsai, Google apps) but today my recommendation for you to start with something simple but powerful is Trello.

This collaborative tool allows you to segment your project in several parts to work in an orderly way, so you can structure your workflow in small lists of tasks organized on cards.

When creating a card with a task, you can assign a description, and put due dates to strictly comply with deadlines, and create a list of sub-tasks within each task to make the process more agile.

It is very good for small projects, for some very big you need something more robust, for the moment this is a good start, it is available for all platforms and has a fairly easy to handle interface.

I leave this tutorial that I found in the web, so that it serves to begin with :)

Official Web of Trello (Free)

– Finance

Clear Accounts
Take care of customers and the business will take care of itself. — Ray Kroc, Founder of McDonald’s

The weak point of all freelancers, do not feel bad if the accounts do not give you, it is the most normal thing in the world, especially if you come from a company where you had periodic payments. The point is in, that now you are the company and you must learn to manage the money.

I introduce you to Wave HQ, this tool has been my most recent ally facilitating many tasks to manage finances and clients.

One of the things I like most is that it allows you to separate the personal register from the business register, ie you can take your daily accounting (laundry, shopping, beer, etc.) and you can create one or several business accounts to carry all Your customer activity. It also allows you to import your bank or account movements as paypal.

Another interesting thing is that you can create your client directory, with all the data, to make faster loading of information when you create receipts. And last but not least, you have the possibility to customize your receipts and send them to your customers by mail, allowing you to mark whether they are full or partial payments, pure magic!

Official Wave Web (Free)

– Extra point

Payment methods

Pro Tips:

  • The customer pays the fee or commissions, add to the cost of your work the collection fees established by Paypal. (Use this calculator to find payment rates for your country.)
  • If you combine with services like Payoneer, you can place the bank account and the credit card to be able to withdraw your balances by cashier.
  • Charging in Bitcoins, through services like Bitpay you can make it possible.
  • If you are in Argentina, try MercadoPago, Satoshitango or Nubi to receive payments for services such as Rapipago or withdraw into your account.

We will continue with Part II (Archives, Feedback and Communication)

Thanks for taking the time to read and add it to your favorites , if it was useful write me to continue sharing material like this!