In a world that increasingly revolves around smart technology, it has never been so easy for freelancers to manage all aspects of their business via a selection of handy apps. This week I want to share with you my top 5 apps for freelancers, many of which are either free or extremely cheap to buy.
Accessible from your desktop (PC or MAC) or iPhone / iPad, Invoice Simple takes all the hassle away from invoicing. It allows you to generate estimates and invoices on-the-go, as well as tick off paid invoices once the money comes in. If you’re working away from a freelance networking site, it’s essential you have your invoices in one place. Trying to manage using just excel could cause you undue confusion. You can try the app for free, and the monthly fee is as low as $2.99.
Trello is a free project management app that allows you to make endless lists about anything you like! You can also access it from your desktop if you need to, and it allows you to organise your day-to-day life in list-form. Create a list for each client, and a separate one for home tasks and other reminders. Add labels, attachments and alerts so that you never miss a deadline. I must warn you, it’s a little bit addictive.
Ok, so this one might seem like a no-brainer, but PayPal is such a convenient way to manage your money when you’re away from your computer. You can not only receive and withdraw your payments on your phone, but convert currency and run reports too (in case you have a whole host of international clients). You can also sign up to PayPal for business once you’ve established yourself. And did you know you can also get a PayPal cash card? There’s no need to withdraw your funds – just pay for your goods with your very own PayPal cash card!
If you write content for social media, or you run your own social media marketing campaigns to promote your freelancing business, Hootsuite takes some of the pressure off. It allows you to schedule posts in advance that can be distributed throughout multiple social media platforms at once. Just spend an hour setting everything up for the month, then kick back and relax! Hootsuite offers a free trial and a range of packages depending on how many social media accounts you have. If you’re managing social media for a client, ensure they absorb the cost of using this.
The Dropbox app might seem like an unlikely choice. After all, Dropbox is a storage facility, and why would you need to store documents on your phone or tablet? The thing I love about the Dropbox app is that, if I’m away from my computer and I want to add a quick edit to an existing document, I can do this without waiting until I get home. Sure, I’d never write a whole article (or even part of it) on my smartphone, but changing a title or sentence is not out of the question. You can also use shared folders with clients so that they can access your documents as soon as you edit them.
So why am I sharing this with you? Well, basically, I want to show you that freelancing isn’t complicated, and that all of your admin can be taken care of by free or cheap apps that can be accessed whether you’re home or away. Please don’t think that freelance writing involves being glued to a computer all day. It doesn’t. While the bulk of your work will take place on a laptop / desktop, the rest can be sorted while you’re walking to pick up your kids, or waiting in a queue at the supermarket checkout.
To learn more about making freelancing work around your existing lifestyle, sign up for your £1.49 trial.