The concept of freelancing or self-employment, has been on an upward trajectory in the past few years.
Fast internet connections, remote roles, and the emergence of the gig economy have all contributed to the rise of freelancing. Freelancing is flexible, allowing you to work when you want and on projects of your choosing. But there’s a downside. Working for yourself means that you are responsible for everything, from handling taxes to creating contracts.
No matter how good you are in your trade, freelancers face challenges when it comes to finding new clients and keeping them happy, not to mention the mountain of admin tasks they have to deal with. The good news is that there are a plethora of freelancing tools designed to help ease stress for freelancers. These tools can help you improve client relationships, enhance workflow, and maintain demand.
A – Project Management
As a freelancer, you don’t have to deal with nagging from your boss. However, you still need to manage and organize your projects — and yourself. Use these tools to manage yourself and others you may be working with.
1 – Asana
Asana is the ideal management tool for freelancers who have a team to manage. Asana will help you keep your team on track, increase productivity, boost efficiency, and support better communication with your team. This tool keeps you from wasting time with multiple emails by organizing your team’s conversations and tasks in one easy access area.
2 – Trello
Are you looking for a tool that can help you organize and manage your projects sans the complexity of conventional project management software? Consider using Trello. Trello is ideal for freelancers. It helps you create lists and cards you can use to manage your projects and track progress. If you are not freelancing on your own, Trello is also great for managing teams.
3 – Toggl
A freelancer who can’t effectively manage time will end up disappointing clients, and may even end up losing their business. Toggl is a well-developed time management resource that helps you plan your daily tasks. You can customize your tasks by client or project and set up notifications. Toggl creates charts that can help you track your time and avoid time wasting or taking too much time on a single task.
B – Security
Freelancers need to protect their clients’ data, as well as other sensitive information. That’s why you need security tools as a freelancer. Here are some security tools to consider.
4 – VPN
A Virtual Private Network (VPN) is a tool that every freelancer needs. Part of being a freelancer is the borderless lifestyle. Freelancers could be using free public Wi-Fi quite often, which will expose them to cyber risks like Men-in-the-middle attacks. You can use a VPN for improved security. It can encrypt your data and provide protection against these threats.
Freelancing is flexible, allowing you to work on projects you like wherever you are. But freelancing also means that you are working alone. You are responsible for every aspect of the business. These freelancing tools will help you manage yourself, stay productive, and build lasting working relationships with your clients.
C – Productivity
As a freelancer, you need to make sure that you are getting things done throughout the workday. Productivity is key to the success of your career in freelancing. Therefore, you need to ensure that you have tools that help you stay productive and build lasting relationships with your clients. Top productivity tools for freelancers include:
5 – Office 365
There isn’t much that you can do without Microsoft Office in business. Office 365 is the cloud version of Microsoft Office. At £80 a year, Office 365 may appear out of reach for freelancers who are just starting and don’t have a lot of money to spend. Fortunately, there are free versions of Office apps on the web.
6 – G Suite/Google Docs
In freelancing, you need documents. You need slides to pitch your ideas to prospective clients, spreadsheets to create a budget, etc. G Suite is a productivity tool that offers slides, spreadsheets, and documents in general. G Suite also gives you space to store and share your files on the cloud (Google Drive). Just like Office 365, G Suite is cloud-based.
7 – Bonsai
Creating contracts is one of the most challenging tasks freelancers have to perform. Bonsai is a productivity tool that helps you create ironclad contracts for any type of freelance work, and then e-sign them. You can create contracts free of charge. Bonsai also helps freelancers create invoices and get paid online for just $1.
D – Communication
Good communication is key to the success of any business. As a freelancer, you need a way to stay in touch with everyone whether you are working from home, the client’s office, or the local café. Here are the top communication tools to help you stay connected with your clients anywhere you are.
8 – Slack
Slack is a professional chat app that can be really useful for freelancers who work with other teams on a regular basis. Slack is free at the base level. If the client you are working with uses Slack inhouse, they can add you to their in-office channel. There are also channels that can help network and market your skills but you need to be invited to join.
9 – Skype
Skype is one of the most popular video calling apps out there. It’s free to make voice and video calls to other Skype users. However, you will have to pay for Calls to mobile phones. A lot of people complain about the quality of calls on the Microsoft owned app. However, it’s convenient, affordable, and a good option for freelancers.
10 – Gmail
Email is the most common mode of communication in business. Google’s Gmail is free and offers plenty of useful features. It’d help to create separate Gmail accounts for work and personal use. The interface allows you to switch between two accounts easily, so you can turn off the work email on the weekend or during holidays. Choose a professional, personalized email for your work account.
Brad Smith is a technology expert at TurnOnVPN, a non-profit promoting a safe and free internet for all. He writes about his dream for a free internet and unravels the horror behind big techs.
Wish you nothing but success!