Across the globe, millions of people are switching to working for themselves, or freelancing, to earn a living. The shift toward freelancing is precipitated by the availability of fast internet connections, the rise of the gig economy, and the fact that businesses are increasingly becoming accommodative of remote working arrangements. Flexibility is one of the key benefits of freelancing. As a freelancer, you get to do what you love in your own time.
On the flip side, becoming a freelancer turns you into a sole business owner. The sheer workload and challenges can end your freelancing career even before it starts. Not to worry, though. There’s a wide range of freelancing tools that can help you deal with these tasks and give you time to focus on what you love. Here are some of the top freelancing tools to help you stay organized, increase your productivity, and grow your business.
- G Suite/Google Apps:
G Suite, or Google Docs as it’s commonly known, is a free productivity suite for freelancers. There are multiple platforms within G Suite, all of which are designed to help you stay productive and organized. These include slides, spreadsheets, and the cloud-based sharing system, Google Docs. These platforms make the process of creating documents and sharing them with clients a breeze for freelancers.
G Suite’s calendar feature allows you to make appointments via G Suite. Since G Suite is a cloud-based service, you need an internet connection to view and work on your documents. However, you can still access your documents without an internet connection by enabling ‘offline mode.’ In a way, G Suite is an all in one tool for freelancers.
Basecamp is a resourceful platform that allows freelancers to communicate with their clients to keep track of their tasks at the same time. The platform combines productivity and communication tools into one simple, yet powerful project management tool. Basecamp is ideal for freelancers working collaboratively on a project with their clients. The platform allows you to create folders containing tasks that need to be completed, allocate tasks to the people you are working with, and proceed to work on the project together as a team. The tasks are completed within the folder. You can view current tasks and what is next up from within the folder. Tasks that have not been done correctly can be returned for correction.
Asana is one of the best productivity tools in freelancing. Just like Basecamp, Asana combines several freelancing tools needed to get work done more efficiently into one, streamlined application. Asana doubles up as a communication tool and a fully-fledged project management package. This project management tool is ideal for freelancers who have a team to manage. Asana takes email inboxes of the picture and keeps you from wasting time with multiple emails by organizing conversations and tasks in one easy access area. When freelancing in a collaborative environment, Asana will help bolster communication with your colleagues, boost efficiency, keep your team on track, and increase productivity.
Everyone, from individual freelancers to groups, can benefit from using Trello. This web-based, fully-featured application is designed to make organizing your tasks for the day, week, month, or year a piece of cake. Trello lets you track your progress through the creation of to-do lists and cards for each project, a simple, flexible way to organize your work. Trello is ideal for group projects, allowing freelancers to plan their workload and manage their teams. Even big companies such as Adobe and Google use Trello. And while it’s perfect for collaboration within teams, Trello can be extremely useful for individuals looking to improve their own efforts across multiple projects and clients. When freelancing on your own, you can use Trello in conjunction with your client.
Hubstaff is a time tracking software that offers a myriad of features that help you make the most of your hours. It shows you precisely how long you work on each project plus the apps and URLs you spend time on, allowing you to understand your productivity. The app also calculates activity rates based on inputs from your keyboard and mouse. Hubstaff automates the process of keeping track of what you worked on so you can focus on actually getting things done.
Hubstaff has an invoicing feature that allows you to set billing rates for different clients and projects, which is particularly useful for freelancers who work on a per-hour basis. You can send invoices to your clients and receive payments from inside the app too. Hubstaff integrates with over 30 project management, accounting, and CRM platforms so you can easily add it into your workflow.
Being a freelancer means that you are the IT guy in the office. Therefore, it’s your job to ensure that your clients’ data is protected against the myriad of cyberthreats out there. Using various data security tools such as VPN is strongly recommended. The way a VPN function is by encrypting your connection to protect your online traffic from snoops and hackers.
Freelancers travel a lot and use free public Wi-Fi quite often, which will expose them to cyber risks like MITM attacks. Downloading a VPN provides protection when connected to networks that are not secured.
Freelancing is a growing trend across the global labor market. Being a freelancer is flexible and can be highly lucrative, but there are challenges. To excel at freelancing, you need to make sure that you have the tools that match your needs, and features that enhance your productivity. These freelancing tools are indispensable when it comes to helping you and your team get things done throughout the workday.