As the gig economy continues to rise, more and more companies and other professionals are looking for freelancers to help with their projects. Expertise in demand may vary greatly, ranging from content writing to building websites from scratch.
However, aside from producing quality work, freelancers also need to showcase time management skills by delivering projects on time. If not, it can be detrimental to your reputation and increase the risk of losing clients to competitors.
One way to help with this problem is to use tools to help manage your work. So if you’re looking for must-have tools for freelancers, you’re in the right place.
This article will cover solutions for productivity, finances, communication, project management, and design. Continue reading to find out what they are.
Productivity tools help freelancers organize and manage their work more efficiently. Same as WordPress hosting services are designed to specifically cater to WordPress users, productivity tools concentrate on helping you become better at your job.
Google Calendar helps freelancers manage their time and schedule their projects. It helps set up appointments, tasks, and reminders.
This tool is intuitive and easy to use, with smart suggestions for event titles, people, and places. When arranging an appointment with a client, you can insert the location, and it will automatically sync with Google Maps.
It’s also possible to leave notes, attach documents, and insert links, so the invitee is well informed about an event.
Another good practice is time blocking – physically booking a time period for a specific job on the calendar. That way, freelancers can stay on top of work and visually see what to expect each day. More so, users can select multiple views from daily, weekly, to monthly.
Toggl is a time-tracking tool to help freelancers understand how long projects really take.
It tracks hours logged and turns them into reports for invoicing, so you can save time creating them for clients. It’s also possible to filter and sort the details you want to share. Additionally, the files are ready in .CSV or .PDF.
This tool is available across devices and will sync automatically. You can track time via browser extension, desktop, web, and mobile app. In addition, you can start the timer directly from integrated apps such as Google Docs, GitHub, and Visual Studio.
Aside from taking care of invoicing and billings, financial tools can also widen your audience reach through its vast currency options. Below are two must-have financial tools for freelancers.
PayPal is a popular online payment system that’s perfect for freelancers. It partners with popular freelance marketplaces such as Upwork, Fiverr, and 99designs.
Additionally, freelancers can take their work to a global audience as PayPal is available in over 200 marketplaces worldwide.
This service is also flexible as it offers over 100 currencies covering more than 200 countries. Clients without a PayPal account can pay using debit or credit cards, or regional payment options.
This payment method also helps make more sales. Customers are 54% more likely to make a purchase from businesses if it accepts PayPal, and 59% of PayPal users have abandoned a transaction when this method wasn’t an option.
FreshBooks is accounting software for easier invoicing and faster payments. It offers features such as automated payment reminders and recurring invoices.
The interface is intuitive with client-related affairs like proposals, estimates, and client account statements. It also has a time-tracking feature to ensure accurate billing.
FreshBooks integrates with over 100 apps to help automate work. For instance, you can sync Shopify clients and orders to ensure all accounting activities are stored within a single place.
This service can also help with taxing. It automatically tracks payments, mileage, and expenses year-round, so you can spend more time finishing projects instead of calculating taxes.
Project Management Tools
From time management to collaboration, here are project management tool options to help you streamline your work.
Trello is a project management software with intuitive and easy-to-use features. It uses a Kanban-style of listing that looks like a whiteboard with movable post-it cards.
Trello lets users set up different boards for different projects, which is useful if you take on multiple projects at once. A great tip is to color-code each board to help identify different projects.
Users can also add members to projects and assign them to tasks. They can then check off lists as each task gets completed. That way, users can collaborate and streamline the process efficiently.
Additionally, members can attach files from their computers or cloud-based services such as Google Drive, Dropbox, and OneDrive.
Trello also has a filter feature, which can be useful to quickly find cards based on due dates, members, and labels.
Asana is an all-in-one project management software to plan, organize, and manage work with teams. Users can coordinate tasks so members can share feedback, files, and status updates.
It has a progress tracking feature to view updates and reports in real-time. Therefore, you can tackle any rising issues before they get out of control.
The interface is also great for streamlining communication. It saves your conversations with teammates, clients, and vendors in one place.
It’s also possible to work on multiple projects at once. You can create different projects and invite other teams to work on each one individually. As such, this tool is suitable for freelancers that are involved in multiple projects simultaneously.
Connect with clients and team members better using communication tools such as Google Meet and Twist. This section will discuss their features so you can understand which software suits you best.
7. Google Meet
Google Meet is a voice and video conferencing service to hold real-time meetings via browser or mobile application. With it, you can share your video, desktop, and presentation with clients and teammates.
Meetings also come equipped with live messaging to share files, links, and other messages.
For free, anyone with a Google Account can create an online meeting with up to 100 participants with a one-hour time limit per meeting. That said, you can hold unlimited meetings to make up for the time limit.
Twist is a communication tool to help remote workers collaborate efficiently. It prioritizes an organized and distraction-free environment, so team members can find and share information easily.
The app uses threads to keep conversations organized by topic, so it’s easy to come back to them at a much later time – be it hours, days, or even weeks.
If you’re working with a large team, this is useful because there can be hundreds of conversations happening at once, and essential information can easily get lost.
Twist removes online/offline indicators, so workers don’t feel pressured to stay connected all day and respond immediately. Instead, you can focus on work and send a report afterward.
You can also extend its functionality using integrations. It connects with tools such as Asana, Google Calendar, and Trello.
Freelancers need tools to help produce designs for proposals, social media posts, and presentations in order to come out on top. Let’s find out the tools to help.
Canva is one of the most versatile design tools for freelancers. It offers templates for a variety of purposes, starting from presentations to social media. In addition, each template comes with precise sizing.
Freelancers can also collaborate with others. Invite clients to edit or set your whole team up to leave feedback and get approvals.
The editor comes with built-in elements for texts, backgrounds, and elements. However, it also offers the freedom to upload your own images, creating a unique design.
Another standout feature is the styling element. With it, you can switch between color schemes to see which one works best for your design. Additionally, select from over a dozen different font pairings to complete the look.
This tool allows exporting in various formats such as .png, .pdf, .jpg, and .gif, which can be useful for different needs.
10. Adobe InDesign
Adobe InDesign is a design software to craft page layouts for print and digital media. It comes equipped with tools to create and publish books, digital magazines, eBooks, posters, and interactive PDFs.
Additionally, the software offers graphics designs, typography, and imagery from Adobe Stock to help create beautiful visuals.
Aside from that, Adobe InDesign is also built for collaboration. You can share designs to the web and manage feedback right within InDesign. Reviewers can select text for commenting, replace text, and add highlights and strikethroughs.
As a freelancer, it’s crucial to deliver quality work on time. Otherwise, these mishaps can be detrimental to your reputation.
Here’s a recap of ten must-have tools that can help streamline your work:
- Google Calendar. A productivity tool to manage time and schedule your projects.
- Toggle. A time-tracking tool that helps turn reports into invoices.
- PayPal. An online payment system that works with popular freelancing marketplaces.
- FreshBooks. Accounting software used to create faster payments.
- Trello. An intuitive project management tool for individuals and teams.
- Asana. An all-in-one project management software for planning, organizing, and collaborating.
- Google Meet. A voice and video conferencing service for real-time online meetings.
- Twist. A communication tool for remote collaboration.
- Canva. A web-based design tool with vast template options.
- Adobe InDesign. Design software to create page layouts for print and digital media.
Now that you know the essential tools to help freelancers, it’s time to take action and start managing work better. Best of luck.