Becoming a freelancer nowadays is easier than ever and it offers a vastness of possibilities, flexibility, and opens doors for many future projects. However, starting out as a freelancer, as well as starting any other business, requires keeping an eye on your budget.
Luckily, there is a plethora of tools and apps that you can use completely free of charge. So, if you want to do it right and save significant amounts of cash, we will provide you with an insightful guide to the best online resources divided in separate categories specially designed to make a beginner freelancer’s life easier!
Online Tools to Help You Succeed as a Freelancer
Skype has been around for quite a long time and is an irreplaceable platform for making video or voice calls, sharing various files and sending instant messages. It is a perfect way to be in touch with your clients regardless of their location.
If you are, nevertheless, willing to spend some money, you will get some additional perks, such as making calls to both mobiles and landlines via your Skype account.
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You probably already have a Gmail account. And if you by any chance don’t, what are you waiting for? Gmail is the largest email service in the world, completely free, and effortless to use!
It has many add-ons available and it has always been fast and reliable. It is a perfect choice when it comes to both individuals and businesses of every size.
This is yet another great emailing service, and it differs from Gmail in some details – Mailchimp is more elegant, and it offers users fun ways to create newsletters while also providing valuable analytics.
It is free of charge, unless you have more than 2,000 subscribers. But if you do manage to reach that number, you probably won’t mind paying a small fee, after all!
If you are charging your services by the hour, you will most probably need a great solution to track time. Paymo offers you flexible handling of project management and invoicing as well.
There are additional mobile apps and add-ons which enable you to track your hours on the go. Moreover, there is a free desktop app called PaymoPlus that can run both on PC and Mac.
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Waveapps is a powerful and fully featured software solution for invoicing and accounting. It enables you to send an infinite number of invoices as well as to keep an eye on your accounts.
#6. Zoho Invoice
This is Zoho’s invoicing solution which possesses an all-inclusive toolkit for client relationship management and project management.
It can work both as an option for itself but also can be integrated with other Zoho’s products. It is free of charge for single users with the maximum of 5 customers.
Being probably the most popular document sharing tool, Dropbox enables you to store 2GB of files to the cloud. But that’s not it! If you get your friends to sign up, it will grant you with 16GB of additional storage space.
With Dropbox, you no longer have to email your documents, as it keeps them in sync across all of your devices.
This platform can be both basic and sophisticated, depending on how you decide to use it. Evernote lets you forward your emails, save screenshots and webpages, and input any kind of notes that are valuable for you directly into a mobile or desktop app.
Moreover, it lets you add due dates and checklists, which makes it your own task manager.
This is a free-of-charge alternative to the project management tool Basecamp. Here you can create an unlimited number of projects, set up templates, add deadlines, and invite clients.
Your Freedcamp dashboard will give you an overview of everything that needs to be done, serving you as a great reminder.
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Trello is like your own digital bulletin board for collecting ideas and setting tasks, but can nevertheless be used as a project management tool.
Trello uses the Kanban approach as a basis for development while putting a strong accent on managing processes visually by utilizing fully adjustable tabs or “cards” in which you can add notes, files, images and dates as you see fit.
Asana is an advanced tool, and while similar to Freedcamp, it is a lot more complex. Since 15 team members can use Asana for free, you don’t have to worry about extra charges for the premium package as a freelancer.
Although a pay to play version does exist, it is virtually the same as the free one since the latter offers almost the same features as the paid version.
This makes it easy for you to control your projects and cooperate with your customers and other team members all from one place on your laptop, smartphone or tablet.
NowDoThis is for people who do not like to spend their time learning how to use a complicated piece of software for project management and for those who like to keep things simple yet practical.
It is quite similar to writing your to do list in a notebook, just much more elegant.
NowDoThis is extremely easy to use, simply type in your designated task, click “ready” and it will show you every single task, one by one, until you click “done” after which it will continue to the next one.
Easy to use and practical, NowDoThis is basically a focused list of things to do which you can use to stay concentrated on achieving your goals and completing your tasks.
This is another easy to use tool which is becoming increasingly popular among freelancers, which is why it poses as quite a competitor to other tools in the “freemium” category of software tools.
RedBooth utilizes a system of easily adjustable boards where you can share conversations, pin notes, add daily tasks etc.
The dashboard is an amazing place to begin your workdays since it gives you a drilled down overview of your most immediate tasks and also provides you with Gantt charts which can give you a clear view of how your projects are coming along.
Coding is tricky unless you can get someone who can do it for you; while many sites sell code even at low prices, none give it away for free. Having said this, Codester features free files every week.
These files cover anything from an IP address finder to news applications and every week there is a new set of free files. Free is always good, but with a bit of patience and a bit of luck, you might stumble upon just what you needed.
Tools for Editing and Documents
If you are new to freelancing then you will probably quickly come to know how freelancing includes a wide array of administrative responsibilities besides the ones you have signed up for. This means that tools for standard office services such as processing numbers in a spreadsheet or word processing are something you absolutely must have.
Since you’re reading this article you probably don’t want to throw money around on stuff like Apple’s iWork or Windows Office, but this doesn’t mean that you have to give up on all the benefits these tools provide, as OpenOffice is a well-established and long running equivalent of the aforementioned.
#16. Photoshop Express
Although many freelance designers and photographers prefer to use actual Adobe Photoshop since it is a professional software for editing photographs and designs, a lot of people could use nice and easy to use software to just occasionally sharpen an image or edit some graphics without having to pay a lot of money for a lot of unnecessary features.
This is where Photoshop Express comes to save the day; it’s a free and easy to use online editor and iPad application which you can use to quickly edit your photos or whatever you need.
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#17. Google Docs
Google Docs is similar to OpenOffice in that it can operate Excel spreadsheets and Word documents free of charge, but it is also a very solid and adept way to control your work in the cloud.
With this easy to use internet-based platform you can work together with people from across the globe working on the same projects and same documents simultaneously. You can also access your files and documents wherever you have internet connection.
Tools for Client Relationship Management
If you use Gmail, Streak will enable you to operate your CRM without ever having to abandon your inbox since it is positioned comfortably on top of your Gmail which helps you keep track of your conversations easily, without the hassle of switching platforms.
At the moment, Streak is free, since it is in beta version, but it will probably provide a free version for freelancers even after the beta.
Other than just looking good, CapsuleCRM is also quite useful as it can help you keep track of all your contacts. CapsuleCRM can also help you stay on track with developing your business with reminders, tasks and an insightful summary of your sales.
It offers free packages which allow you to manage up to 250 contacts and it is easily adapted to any type of business.
Well, this covers pretty much most of the stuff that you need to get started at least. Whether you are just starting out as a freelancer or you have been in the freelancing niche for a while, you could probably use some free software to ease your burden and we hope this article helps you find what you need!