Freelancing seems like the new ‘trendy’ option with all the freedom to work as much you want and earn in the same proportion, isn’t it? Well, I won’t deny the fact that you certainly get the option to choose to work on the projects that interest you instead of having to do whatever comes your way in a 9-5 job. But having a freelancing experience of more than 3 years, I must tell you that being a freelancer is a much a commitment as it is to be a full-time employee.
In fact, you will be dealing with multiple project deadlines from different clients/companies and you would not have the option to tell a client that you couldn’t complete their work because of some other client. Nor you will have the option to delegate your work to anybody else, unless you have a helpful friend who has the same expertise or you are ready to split your remuneration with some other freelancer (just like you are entrusting your workload).
Hold on! Don’t start sweating about the fact that you won’t be able to manage your freelancing job alone, because the good news is that you are not alone in this techy world. You have your smartphone and laptop from where you can easily manage all your projects. And to make things easier from you, I am going to list 10 tools that I have used and they have helped me fulfill my freelancing work commitments throughout these years.
As big a market freelancing is, it’s really risky business too. Most of the times you would be working with people who live in a different city or maybe country, thus making it difficult for you to track them down in case they won’t pay you after getting work done. This uncertainty factors makes it more important that you have a contract e-signed by your employer and Bonsai helps you create contract documents with ease for free.
One of the important aspects of getting freelance work process is creating the customized project proposals for every client. However, it is quite time consuming and you will not even get paid for that time invested. Bidsketch makes the process less hectic and more organized for you by providing pre designed templates in which you can create proposal in less time.
In most of the freelancing jobs, you get paid according to the number of hours you have worked for, thus making is necessary that you keep a track of how much time are you exactly investing in each project. Besides, this free for iOS app will help you analyze if you are putting in too much time or too little time in any particular task and maintain the balance in your efforts accordingly.
From a multinational company to a homemaker, everybody needs a management tool that would help them list down their tasks and to-do lists to ensure easy recall. As a freelancer, you are certainly going to need a project management tool and Trello is the most fun, organized and visual platform that is being used by the employees of big giants like Google and freelancers around the world.
One of the things that really distracts me while working on my phone or laptop is the additional articles and videos that pop up in the suggestion boxes while you are surfing for something relevant to your work. The headings seem so interesting that you feel like extracting all the knowledge from those articles and that’s where all the work time gets wasted. With instapaper, you will be able to save those ‘extra’ reading materials, videos and audios for later viewing.
As a freelancer, most of your conversations with the clients will be happening over the mails and it is really hectic to keep a track of all the mails when you are continuously receiving notifications every other minute for a new email in your inbox. Well, Mixmax is actually your smart emailing tool which allows you to set reminders and snoozes for mail while tracking them.
Money management is one thing that you need to do along with managing your work so that you have a track of where you are spending and how much. Also now that you are working, you would also be thinking to start saving, right? Mint is an amazing tool with really easy interface that allow you to set budgets for each month while tracking all your incomes and expenditures.
Whether it is your past assignments which you will need to save for your portfolio or future references or the current projects you are working on, the data of which you cannot afford to lose as you have strict deadlines to meet, you will need lots of storage space and there is no safer place than cloud to save your data. Apart from Dropbox and GDrive that come with storage limit, you can sign up on Mozy for automatic synchronizing and security of your data.
Being a one-person entity, you will obviously be performing the job or advertising your skills and talents yourself too (of course, you will have testimonials from your clients as an additional benefit too). So, you will have to update and post on multiple social media accounts to let your prospect clients updated – tiring, isn’t it? Ping.fm makes it easier for you to update everywhere from a single platform. As a bonus, it shortens the length of the links you share automatically too for portals like Twitter.
Since we are talking about advertising and portfolios, you certainly need a tool that would let you present your work creatively and attractively to get the attention of your client. After all, what could be a better way to impress somebody by organizing your work in the form of a presentation? Besides, SlideShare alone has a base of more than 60 million visitors which could be quite resourceful for you.
I can vouch for all these tools as they have been quite resourceful for me. However, all of them might not suit your workstyle and objectives so it is best that you research about the tool you are going to use and go for a free trial first to know if it would be useful for you.
If there are any tools that you have been using till now to help you with your freelancing tasks, share with us and we would be happy to share them with the world!