Freelancers depend on a lot of tools to keep us on track, up to date and to get our businesses in front of prospects. Most of us have apps, schedulers, productivity boosters, and automation apps that we rely on daily, so it’s tough to know where to begin if you’re new to freelancing.
Luckily there are also plenty of experienced freelancers out there who already know exactly what you need to use, so let’s take a look at some of the ten most useful tools, as recommended by the creative talent listed on The Freelance Collective.
- G Suite – The Most Versatile Tool You Have
Easily the most widely used is Google’s G Suite. G Suite has everything, email through Gmail, Google Calendar, video conferencing, document processing and great security and control features. G Suite is a basic component in the freelancer’s toolkit.
- Dropbox – Secure Storage and File Sharing Solution
Dropbox is the most well-known sharing and storage package out there. With a generous amount of storage, great security and live support Dropbox has quickly is the ideal file sharing tool for freelancers. Whether you’re working from a desktop or laptop, you can quickly and easily find and access files from the cloud.
- Grammarly – Never fail to impress
Grammarly is a must have plugin for all freelancers. First impressions count, so making sure you haven’t made a silly mistake in your copy is paramount. The free version of Grammarly helps detect those critical mistakes and helps you resolve them. If you pay for the upgrade, you’ll get access to a host of other features that will help you ace that first impression.
- Quickbooks – Invoice Early, Invoice Often
Getting paid is the most important part of freelancing (maybe the most stressful too!) so make your life easier by using the Intuit QuickBooks invoicing software. Honestly this is one of the most user friendly and intuitive invoicing packages around, the only thing it doesn’t do is make those uncooperative clients pay on time!
- DaPulse – Project management that keeps everyone on ‘DaPulse’
Having multiple projects on the go at once is great, more projects means more money (which means less stress). What’s not great is trying to manage multiple projects in a DIY spreadsheet. Enter DaPulse, a visual project management suite that helps you, your team and your clients track where your project is and where it needs to be.
- Dubsado – The CRM that makes life easier
Managing leads and clients is something we all wish would take less time, it’s an important but time-consuming part of freelancing. That is unless you’re using Dubsado, which is flexible enough to work for you no matter what your business is.
- Todobook – Use your Facebook addiction to be more productive
Facebook is a great way to find, meet and communicate with clients and fellow freelancers. But if you’re not careful, that initial five seconds of checking notifications turns into eight hours of being an unproductive mess. So check out Todobook, which is a simple Chrome extension that turns my Facebook addiction into a productivity boosting to do list.
- Slack – When you just can’t stop talking
For when emails can’t keep up, there’s Slack, which keeps your team up to date, informed and on task. With a searchable archive of conversations, easy file sharing and availability on desktop and mobile, you’ll never have to wonder whether your emails are being received.
Best of all, Slack integrates into plenty of enterprise and productivity apps – and if you have the skills you can use Slack’s open API to make your own.
- Receipt Bank – Accounting and Bookkeeping automation
Accounting and bookkeeping can be the most tedious part of running a freelance business. There’s plenty of tools out there to make it easier, such as Receipt Bank, which will automate the process, giving you more time to focus on the bits of your freelance business you actually enjoy.
- Your most vital tool is…
If you’re already using everything above there is one more tool you must absolutely and without objection be using: your fellow freelancers. We’re all in this together trying to not just make our businesses successful but also lead a good life while doing so. That is why it is so important to join groups like The Freelance Collective, which gives top Australian creative freelancers a place to promote their skills and be part of a vetted community of talent. And without doubt, having a network of tremendous talent to draw from and endless experience to lean on means that that you’re always in good company.
The Freelance Collective is a community of top Australian creative freelancers in more than 20 categories including journalists, PR experts, graphic designers, copywriters, photographers, web developers and more. Get your profile over here.
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