Even though the perks of operating a freelance business are many, the downsides can be discouraging. Ergo, the reason we bring you these essential tools to help you manage your freelance business successfully.
From effective time management to presenting your ideas to potential clients, here are the essential tools you should explore today.
Trello and Asana can automate your workflow and shave hours off the time used to plan specific tasks. We love these two apps for many reasons, but their ability to help you gain clear insight into your task progress and performance certainly takes the cake.
Trello can help you gain impeccable organizational skills. It brings seamless collaboration to the table and offers at-a-glance insight via its intuitive dashboard. It’s very easy to use, whether you prefer the web version or mobile app. Trello gives up to 10 team boards for free per user.
Similar to Trello, Asana is one of the best project management tools on the market. Its features include customizable dashboards, sub-tasks assignment, email integration, and prioritization. A team of 15 people can use Asana for free.
The main difference is that Asana offers more workflow functionality while Trello, on the other hand, makes workflow automation possible.
As a business owner, it’s essential to keep track of your earnings and spending. To start, make sure you have set a business budget and separated your business and personal accounts. Also, consider adding due dates to your invoices to facilitate on-time payments. The tools that can get this job done are FreeAgent and Expensify.
FreeAgent is a cloud-based accounting software designed specifically for freelancers. It offers small business owners time-tracking tools, profit and loss statements, templates, and recurring invoice tolls. Other features include PayPal, Stripe, and GoCardless integrations, as well as the ability to customize invoices.
Freelancers gravitate toward Expensify for its ease of money management. To use, take a picture of your receipts and upload it to your account. There are many things you can do with this tool, including advanced tax tracking, real-time expense reports, and one-click online reimbursement.
FreeAgent and Expensify don’t have a steep learning curve, so you should feel comfortable navigating the platforms in no time.
Tracking your billable and operational hours can play an integral role in the success of your freelance business. This is why we recommend Toggl and OfficeTime. At the crux of both tools is the opportunity to discover how much your time is worth so you can charge accordingly.
If you charge by the hour, Toggl is the time management tool for you. It’s a simple app that can help you set your hourly rate or let you know how long it takes to complete a specific task.
Conversely, OfficeTime offers powerful features that include expense tracking, easy invoicing, summary graphs, and intuitive time-tracking.
Both of these time-tracking tools allow you to pause the timer if you need to step away for a bit. Here are a few tips to help you achieve your time management goals.
Download: OfficeTime for iOS (Free)
Download: OfficeTime Pro for iOS ($ 7.99)
Whether you’re looking to get more clients or managing the ones you already have, you need exceptional organizational skills to ensure that you meet their needs.
Start with a Google Calendar, a web-based and mobile tool to help manage your schedule. You can set events, schedule meetings, and get reminders for upcoming activities.
You can also add attachments to your events calendar, enjoy smarter sharing, and use other Google Workplace apps all within the app. We love it because you can create multiple calendars to meet your business needs.
If you often forget to check in with potential and existing clients, we’ve got the perfect tool for you. FollowUp is an email extension that lets you set perfectly-timed reminders right from your inbox.
It also allows you to set up customized reminders on any social media platform or website. You can add FollowUp to Gmail or as an extension to Chrome for free (subscription required). With these tools, important tasks will no longer slip through the cracks.
Download: FollowUp for Google Chrome ($ 23/month, free trial available)
If you’re in the business of creating proposals to get new clients, you need to bring your A-game. Two of the best presentation tools to help bring your vision to life are SlideShare and Balsamiq.
SlideShare is the largest professional content sharing community in the world. It helps you to create and present proposals and infographics. You can upload the presentations privately or publicly, and even embed them on any platform for the benefit of your client. The slide hosting service offers features that include multi-file compatibility and social media integration.
Our second presentation tool is Balsamiq. Balsamiq helps you take your idea a step further by enabling you to create UI concepts and mock-ups. Your clients can now see what you intend to bring to the table. A great feature of this handy tool is that it makes collaboration effortless.
You can work directly with developers, clients, product managers, and designers in real-time.
Get: Balsamiq Cloud ($ 9/month, 30-day free trial available)
Manage Your Freelance Productivity
Operating a freelance business means wearing multiple hats. While it’s a big responsibility, it’s definitely doable if you use the relevant technology to your advantage. For the right tools, assess your business and select the apps that will help you accomplish your freelance goals.
The tools we’ve discussed can change how you conduct your freelance business. Be it tracking your time accurately, getting new clients, creating better schedules, or managing your tasks. With these apps, you finally have smart assistance within reach, giving you the time to focus on the job you adore.