There’s a lot to love above freelancing. You’re essentially your own boss, you can set your own hours, and you have the freedom to work from anywhere with an internet connection. However, managing everything yourself is never easy.
You have to communicate with clients, manage invoices and finances, and stay motivated. The good news is that in 2018 there are numerous websites, apps, and other tools that can help things run smoothly.
Let’s Take a Closer Look at These 8 Essential Tools for Freelancers
Freelancers have to sell themselves and their services. While a few emails might suffice in some situations, others require full-blown professional proposals. That’s where Proposify comes in.
This powerful tool uses an intuitive WYSIWYG interface, with a wide range of templates that help you convey a project clearly to your client. This might include images, video, charts, and graphs, or basic but eye-catching text.
You can have as many slides as required and there is even an option for your client to digitally sign-off on the proposal—an all-in-one package.
Using the service costs from $40 per month.
Note: If you are just setting up your freelance business you might want to consider finding a $500 loan online to help fund the various premium tools on this list.
You might be a professional graphic designer, but that doesn’t mean you know how to write. If you never want to be caught out sending poorly worded emails or proposals to clients, sign-up to Grammarly.
It functions as an advanced spell-check, correcting grammar and even suggesting non-essential improvements if you go premium. Installing the app, browser extension, and Microsoft Word add-on means you’ll be covered in nearly all situations.
Developed by freelancers for freelancers, Invoiced makes creating and sending invoices easy. It can even integrate Bitcoin payments!
The service, which costs from $99 a month, also tracks when invoices have been paid and spits out helpful data for you to analyse. It will also integrate with the Xero and QuickBooks accounting solutions.
ZipBooks is a free accounting tool that can also make invoices, manage your time, handle payments, and even track expenses!
That puts it on par with several different premium solutions and it’s all under one roof.
Everything is managed from a user-friendly dashboard that gives a summary of your billings and collections, and revenue for the past year. You can also click through for more detailed data.
There is even an option to automatically send out late payment reminders to those difficult clients.
Some freelancing projects, especially those with a lot of money at stake, call for the use of contracts and other legal admin. Shake allows you to create your own contracts from several types and templates, including assignments and licensing.
Once you are happy with the contract it can be sent out and electronically signed by the recipient.
You can even have the contract okayed by a lawyer through their system for an added fee.
Freelancing requires strict time management and accurate time-tracking for billing purposes. The browser-based Timely allows you to set everything up via an intuitive calendar interface and you can enter both planned and logged hours.
It keeps a neat history of all your projects, which gives you a good overview of how much time you are actually spending and whether you can improve certain areas.
Freelancy is another service that combines a number of important tasks, including time tracking, invoicing and overall project management. What’s more is it can accommodate the individual freelancer or an entire team.
The service is easily accessible from most devices and includes a Chrome extension for time tracking.
One of its best features is the detailed reports it can produce, which give you insight into many different areas.
Slack is handy for freelancers that work in a team on collaborative projects. The cloud-based service functions as a hub for team messaging and tracking projects. It integrates seamlessly with everything from Google Drive and Drop Box to GitHub and ZenDesk.
It also functions across all major browsers and mobile devices.
While there is an endless list of tools out there that benefit freelancers, these core 8 covers all your bases and are the perfect place to start.