A freelancing career is similar to launching your own smaller sized business. So, if you are just about starting your career as a freelancer, then one of the most crucial elements of business you need to manage is your finance or budget.
The great news is we have plenty of free resources out on the market that can help any freelancer, from any career line, work intelligently and economically.
Since there are so many, you may get confused between the good, average and most suitable one for you. We have made your work easier by assorting 15 great tools and apps for freelancers, which will help you to harness your business tighter and stronger.
15 Free Tools and Apps for Building Freelance Career
From managing tasks to controlling finance, from promoting your services to dealing with clients, these 15 apps and tools aid every aspect of freelance professional life. Most of these platforms are free to get started with and have a flexible pricing structure.
Finance and Accounting
1. Zoho Invoice
Zoho comes with a comprehensive set of tools for project management, team building and CRM. It is one of the most recommended software for your productivity, where invoicing smoothly integrates with other Zoho Products.
It also works effectively as a standalone option. A single user can have upto 5 customers in the free version.
Wave is the ultimate finance and accounting software that addresses all your bookkeeping and accounting needs, for free.
You can generate revenues through add-ons such as payrolls, payment gateways and sponsored messages and also send and track as many invoices as you want without going through any investment.
NowDoThis is a simple and nifty software that manages all your business to-do lists, without complicating processes. It doesn’t have too many features nor have distractions or ads.
The app helps you to stay focused on your goals by simply allowing you to write down your tasks in a text box and hit ‘Ready’. It displays tasks one at a time before you check out.
Teambox is another strong competitor in the project management space that keeps everything simple and tidy with the help of flexible boards, where you can lists tasks, share conversation and update notes.
Teambox dashboard also accounts a summary of your most pressing tasks and provides Gantt charts that determine your project progress.
Trello is just like a digital noticeboard that lets you to collect ideas, collage thoughts and programmes, set tasks, and pretty much do everything that a project management tool can carry out.
It is a lightweight visual process management system that uses a series of ‘Cards’ in which you can add notes, images, files, videos, and due dates.
We know pretty much everyone owns a Gmail account today. However, Gmail is not only the biggest free email service platform on the internet, but it also offers several add-ons and flexible plugins, that it can be considered as a full-on productivity suite itself.
What’s more ironic is it’s powered by the powerhouse search engine, Google, making it business reliable, smart and easy to use.
Share files and folders, send instant messages, make voice and video calls, record audios and lot other interesting features only at Skype, world’s number one communication platform.
With Skype credits, you can make calls to landlines and mobile phones across the world. You can also set your own landline-style number to receive calls.
Dropbox is the go-to tool for document sharing, which lets you to store 2GB of files in the cloud and another 16GB if you get others to sign-up. Dropbox is a desktop as well as mobile app that perfectly syncs files across your devices, saving a lot of emailing and documenting time.
Simple, yet sophisticated, Evernote is that best friend who helps you to recollect and remember things, wherever you are placed.
Things you can do with the desktop/mobile app include: input notes, forward emails, save web pages, screenshots and online ideas on the browser based web clipper, and use tags to keep notes& checklists organized.
There is a lot difference between using social media for fun and using social media for business. You need Hootsuite to help you monitor and maintain profiles across different social media accounts.
It helps you to tag potential leads, schedule tweets, updates to run for optimization, and also keeps a track on the traffic to your account, post and feed.
Buffer is the slimmer version of Hootsuite embracing the fascinating ‘Auto-Schedule’ feature, which slots in to your browser and helps you to allocate and load distributable content or messages across the web. It then shares your slots in intervals, set by you to get maximum engagement.
This particular tool gives you a scalable and in-depth overview of all your contacts and also keeps your business processes right on track with suitable reminders, work summary and useful information of your sales pipeline.
The free version can manage upto 250 contacts with unlimited leads and sales. It is an all-in-one enterprise and customer relationship manager.
Managing customers, even a handful, is an important element of business practice which determines effective flow of communication with each customer and monitor potential leads at the right time for maximum benefits.
With the help of Insightly, you can now manage up to 2500 contacts for free. You can also integrate Insightly with other productivity tools such as Evernote and Google.
Editing and Documenting
For freelancers, who are not photographers or designers, who need to occasionally edit or sharpen a pic or two or quickly edit graphics, then Adobe Photoshop could be a bit expensive. Instead, you can try Photoshop Express, an online free editor for image processing. It is also an iPad application.
15. Google Docs
A free site to deal with Word documents and Excel spreadsheets, Google Docs can also be a reliable, flexible and smart cloud based manager for your freelance workflow.
It is extremely useful for content developers as it allows you to collaborate with people across the world, while working on the same document at the same time without the need of sharing and emailing.