This is a great time to be a freelancer because we are finally being taken seriously by corporate America and snatched up by the entrepreneur crowd that recognize good talent and understand the value of our working relationship. With this new status comes a wide range of tools, apps, and solutions that help us do our job better. While I managed somehow before these, now I don’t know what I would do without the toolbox I now have at my disposal. Here are some of the tools and apps I use that help me be more productive, organized, and enjoy better cash flow:
- WordPress makes me feel like I can actually produce online content that looks great and offers a user-friendly dashboard so I can quickly update my website pages or add a blog post. With this free website and blogging tool, I have no excuse for not staying on top of my own marketing strategy.
- Trello is a great collaboration and organization tool that uses online sticky notes. This has removed the clutter from my desk and computer screen where physical paper Post-It Notes would remain for months on end. Now, I can easily update, toss, and create new notes and task lists while also offering access to others that I may be working with on a project.
- Google Drive provides a way for me to collaborate easily with others on projects. I can create a word processing document, presentation, or spreadsheet where others that I designate can make changes or comments. Gone are the days of continuously emailing each other revised drafts that were often passing inefficiently and where confusion reigned as to who had the most current draft. It saves time and definitely headaches. Plus, I can access it from anywhere to make those quick changes on the go so I can put the ball back in the other person’s court.
- Dropbox is where I can store the visuals I need to use for projects and presentations as well as where I can direct my clients for graphics, visuals, and videos that they need to send me but are too big for email.
- Due.com is a free online invoicing tool that allows me to create professional invoices, set recurring invoices, and email all my invoices to clients. While I previously had to snail mail Word docs to clients who would then send checks, that monthly invoicing routine would lead me to wait weeks longer than I wanted to for my money. Now, I even receive payment the same day from some clients because they can click on a link and automatically pay me through a bank transfer or PayPal. They love it, but I love it even more. Other great features include the time tracker for the clients I bill on an hourly basis as well as the currency converter so I can provide my UK clients with an invoice in pound sterling.
There are many other tools that I’m trying out right now and plan on including in future blog posts. If you are looking for more tools and apps that can help you as a self-employed person, check out this list of tools and apps designed specifically for creatives like writers and graphic designers.