Starting and maintaining a successful freelance career can be both challenging and rewarding at the same time. But with the right freelance tools in hand, the life of self-employment can not only prove to be worthwhile but also turn out to be a better choice for you.
Here at .ME, we’ve talked about various tools and resources for remote work on several occasions. However, since remote work does not always translate well to working as a freelancer, we decided to write a little organisational guide to help you sort out the most important freelance tools and resources to make sure your freelance work runs smoothly.
For a better overview of freelance tools and resources, we’ve divided them into eight groups.
- Create Your Website
- Project Management and Organisational Tools
- Time Tracker and Invoice Software
- Communication and Collaboration Tools
- Tools for Writing Proposals
Create Your Website
To run a successful freelance business, you need an online address where people can see your work, read about you and ultimately contact you. And while not all of us have designer and developer skills up our sleeves, here are a few tools that will help you build your freelance website in no time.
Essentially created having creatives in mind, Format is a website builder that allows you to easily customise your own online portfolio. You can tailor every tiny detail to your needs and preferences in order to showcase your work in the best possible light. Of course, your portfolio will be adaptable to all screen sizes and platforms.
Dunked has an array of templates that were expertly designed to complement your creativity and focus on your work. Their template collection is ever-growing, and you can switch between themes when it suits you, and customize them when you want to.
This popular website building tool allows you to easily create your own portfolio, online shop or blog. Besides, they said ‘A website makes it real’, and with their easy and intuitive website building tools, you’ll be surprised how easy it is to make a website and let the world know you are in the freelancing business.
A .MEr service, WebWave is a web design software that allows users to create websites without coding. If you are ready to create your unique and jaw-dropping website, there are three packages you can choose from. If you want to know more about it, read about WebWave in our Success Stories here.
Project Management and Organisational Tools
Project management tools are a key ingredient for structured and well-organised work. We’ve searched high and low to find the most effective and user-friendly management tools to boost your freelance career.
Project management and organisational tools give you a clear picture of our progress, and a great way to avoid possible pitfalls due to an unforeseen error in your organisation. This means that at any given moment, you can see what tasks are in progress, which are in the backlog, and what is being reviewed (by your clients). Quite dandy, right?
This is a project management tool more suitable for those who appreciate graphics and visual elements. In Trello, you can create bulletin boards and add boards that represent the tasks you have to carry out or have assigned to you. Trello is very flexible and can be used for anything from managing personal activities to activities related to your business and projects.
Basecamp helps you break up your work in separate projects. Within each of these projects, you can assign tasks, deadlines, attach documents, delegate tasks to other freelancers you are working with and so on. Basecamp is one of the more popular project management tools out there.
This organisational tool is for those who crave simplicity and straightforwardness. Things is the award-winning personal task manager that helps you achieve your goals. This award-winning to-do manager will help you be on top of your tasks, with its beautiful design, user-friendly interface, and never leaving you to feel your tasklist is messy or overbearing, no matter the length of it.
We all lack enough hours in a day to finish all we set our minds to. That’s where assistants jump in to help us out and keep our tasks up to date and organised. As a freelancer, getting a full-time assistant (or a part-time one) can prove to be quite costly. But with Magic, you can employ a (real person not a bot) to help you with administrative or other tasks on an hourly basis.
Time Tracker and Invoice Software
Both time tracking and invoice software are tools that will make running your freelance business easier. It might sound cheesy, but the most important currency for any freelancer is their time. For projects that are billed by the hour, time tracker tools can help you manage your time more effectively, and invoicing your clients will be much easier.
Toggl is one of the simplest time trackers available. It allows you to track time with a single click. It is possible to easily switch from one activity to another and create reports. You can download the tool as a desktop application or as an extension of Google Chrome.
StayFocusd is an extension of Google Chrome that will limit the time spent on websites that waste time. Since our brains take 25 minutes to recover concentration after a distraction, this tool will help you improve productivity.
Award-winning accounting software through which you can time-track, invoice, create estimates and even manage your own bookkeeping and cash flow. FreeAgent’s bonus feature is the ability to link it to the bank account you use for your business to the software and feel at peace with your taxes.
Coconut is a financial companion for self-employed people. It automatically categorises all of your business expenses for tax as you spend – no need to worry about them later. Instant notifications remind you to snap the receipt, add notes and record VAT.
Communication and Collaboration Tools
An email is a mighty tool, but having to email back and forward with your clients, even for the slightest of things can get, well, exhausting. Not to mention, no matter how organised your email is, it’s always a hassle finding the right conversation and whatnot. Not to mention that sometimes it is easier to have Solution? Easy!
This is an easy to use communication tool that lets you communicate with your clients or freelancers you are collaborating with. Slack allows you to organize spaces for everything related to a project, topic or team.
With Google Hangouts you can connect with the people worldwide as long as their email is linked with Google. Besides video calls, you can chat through Hangouts. If you have the Hangouts Chrome extension, Hangouts will open in a new window. Then all you have to do is enter and select a name or email address.
Fleep is a great alternative to Slack, although it promises it is much more than a communication tool. Combining messaging with file sharing and tasks, Fleep has everything you need to coordinate your team’s work from idea to execution.
A highly popular tool for conference calls, Zoom has positioned itself as your go-to tool for online meetings, conference calls, and video webinars. Zoom also allows you to send messages and share files with those who you are on call.
Freelance Tools for Writing Proposals
Writing proposals is an important part of your career as a freelancer. In order to acquire clients, you need to be able to formulate your ideas and methods. The proposal is aimed to suggest your idea to the client, therefore an effective proposal will help you get the job. It is safe to say that even though these and therefore it is safe to say you should pay close attention to this part of your work as a freelancer.
Proposals you write through Qwilr are interactive, beautiful, and mobile-responsive. This tool lets you create an impressive experience for your prospective clients. These proposals can easily set you apart and land the sale.
Proposify is a proposal software through which you can create, send, track, and e-sign winning proposals, contracts, and agreements. You can integrate Proposify with some of the top business apps, which allows you to improve your efficiency. Import contacts, link deals, create projects and generate invoices.
Nusii offers you professional proposal templates, open notifications, your own custom domain (we might be impartial, but we vote for .ME), proposal tracking, personal branding, automation, online signatures and much more.
QuoteRobot helps you create winning proposals, contracts and send invoices. Its professional design helps you show your best features. It helps you remember what you charge for each item automatically, as QuoteRobot mines line item data from your quotes, invoices, and proposals.
Before You Go
A good organisation that leads to heightened productivity is the key to your success as a freelancer. The point being, you should focus all your efforts on acquiring clients, performing your gigs well, and not lose the precious time on tasks that can be automated, or kept in a more organised manner with a help of few tools and resources. Therefore, study our list well, see what works for you and at last, focus all your attention on your successful freelance career.
Some important news before you go: stay vigilant and come back to our blog, as we’ll be sharing some great advice on marketing skills every freelancer should know!