13 Best Tools You Need As A Freelancer

In today’s on-demand and sharing economy almost anybody can become a freelancer, but only a very small percentage of those people will actually become great freelancers. According to Forbes, freelancers will make up to 50% of the labor force by 2020. So what does this mean for you? Well, it means that you’ll need to ramp up your skills in whatever areas your interests and strengths are, so that you can compete and manage your freelance business.

Becoming a freelancer isn’t super easy, you’ll have to market yourself to get new clients, provide exceptional work in order to retain your existing clients, and also manage your time and finances highly effectively. The trick is to learn how to work smarter, not harder.

Here are some of today’s best tools to help you in your freelance business:

1. Managing Time

  • Harvest: Makes time tracking as simple as possible. You set it up within seconds, and it works directly within your web browser. It also provides you with simplified timesheets and timesheets approval process so you can stay focused on your work. The free version allows only 1 user and manage up to 4 clients, however if you want to manage unlimited clients, projects, invoicing, it costs $12/month.
  • Toggl: This web and mobile app is also a great tool for managing and tracking your time while working for clients or doing freelance tasks. The app includes timesheets, reports, one-click time tracking is definitely insanely simple to use. Toggl is free to use, and also has paid features for $5/month

2. Managing Tasks

  • TeuxDeux: If making to-do lists helps you stay focused on your tasks, then you will love TeuxDeux. This very simple app helps you get things done without distractions and keeps you organized. You can seamlessly connect your to-dos from your computer to your phone. The app is free to use.
  • Glip: If you believe that having transparency within your entire team you’re working with and your client, then this app is a perfect tool to use in managing your client projects. You can collaborate directly within the app, manage tasks, keep track of everything that is discussed within the tool. The app helps you to organize your work around your conversations, and is free to use on web and mobile.

3. Managing Projects

  • Evernote: Evernote is a beautifully designed app for mobile and desktop, that allows you to manage various projects, notes, assignments, while being able to freehandedly sketch designs within the app. Never lose track of what you’re working on with various clients again. The app is free to use, however costs $5/month for premium features.
  • Freedcamp: This tool comes with awesome features to help you get up and running as soon as you start using the service, such as creating project templates, managing teams, mapping and so on. This web app is free to use.

4. Finance/Invoice management

  • Wave: This is a full-featured accounting solution for freelancers and is free to use. The web and mobile app “Invoice by Wave,” allows you to create professional-looking invoices from your mobile device. It lets you create, send, and track your invoices from your phone. It also lets you accept payment via credit card.
  • Mint: With this smart money app, you’ll never lose track of your finances again. Mint makes it very easy to create budgets, monitor your account, check your credit score, all within the free app.

5. Miscellaneous

  • Dropbox: Dropbox is a safe and secure tool to upload and access your files and documents anywhere. As a freelancer you’ll be sharing files with your clients, dropbox helps you and your client to be able to access files from any device, and it’s free to use.
  • Shake: Want to protect yourself and your clients, sign a contract. Lawyer fees are expensive in drafting legal contracts, so you can use Shake and their templates to create, sign and send legally binding agreements. It’s free to use, and will help you get your payments.
  • Docracy: Also similar to Shake (mentioned above), provides access to library of free legal documents to sign, negotiate or modify, for your freelance needs.
  • Shoeboxed: Shoeboxed allows you to turn your receipts into expense reports, accounting entries and contact lists. Shoebox is also accepted by the IRS, it saves you hassle when it’s time for tax season, so you can use it for your business without worry. You can use it for free on your desktop or mobile device.
  • Motiv: This is an all-inclusive freelance management app that allows you to create proposals, invoices, time management, expense and even CRM. Though the app is not free, it costs $15/month but would save you the time and confusion of using a few different apps to manage your business flow.

Starting a freelance side-business can be a bit daunting, but these tools should help you ease the transition and start making money on your free time.

Have you used any other great apps or tools that has improved your business significantly? Please share in the comments below!

Featured image via Unsplash.

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