It will come as no surprise that to make it in the freelance world, you have to rely on yourself. However, there are a few pieces of tech that can help you on your way. Running a small business isn’t an easy feat by any means. You are responsible for finding work in the early days, invoicing, taxes, websites, and many other facets of running a successful business. There is somewhere in the region of 54 million freelancers in America at any one time, in a few key areas. Writing, consulting, photography and design tend to be the top choices.
It doesn’t matter if you are just dipping your toe into the freelance pool, or you’ve been at it for years. Here are some tech tools that will help you manage your business that much better.
When it comes to managing your money, you have to be smart. Having a card swiper handy when you go to meetings, or you are wrapping things up with the client is always a good idea. Not everyone wants to pay the fees for online transfers like PayPal. There are also a couple of very popular choices if you are doing your own accounting (and you probably are for the most part).
Wave. This is a free service that helps you generate a dashboard configured to the needs of your business. You can put in information like transactions, receipts, invoices, and other information. It will help you keep everything in order without much fuss. This is suited to smaller businesses or freelancers who aren’t planning on huge growth.
FreshBooks. This cloud-based accounting software system is excellent for tracking things like billable hours, invoices and will even calculate taxes for you. This is a step up from Wave and is suited to businesses that make a decent turnover but need to keep track of their billable hours. This nifty kit can also work out your profit, losses, and provide you with quarterly analysis.
When it comes to freelancing, your time is literally money. If you start a project but waste too much time procrastinating, you are wasting perfectly good billable hours. One of the most popular ways of breaking down a working day is by using a Pomodoro, time tracker. This will improve your productivity and give you a way to track your working hours.
Pomodoro Timer for Trello. If you like to have your projects neatly organized, they chances are you use Trello already. The Pomodoro Timer for Trello allows you to implement this productivity tool in your cards.
Self-control. If you find yourself floating between a research website and Facebook, you can curb that nasty habit quickly with this app. You can block specific sites for set periods of time. So, if you like to work from 10-4 every day, then you can block that period of time each day. Just set the time, click start and work away.
Getting in Order
When it comes to making the most of your time you need to make sure that you have some organizational tech in place. These might be simple checklists, or you might like more comprehensive options.
Wunderlist is a super simple to-do list app. You can access it on your mobile or desktop so you can work easier on the go. You can set your to-dos up by client or project and then break it down into tasks. The extra added bonus for this app is that you can add photos, files, and notes as you go. Plus, you can set yourself deadlines and reminders that will sync across all of your devices. Handy.
Google Drive. This is used by freelancers and businesses the world over, and it’s probably not a surprise to see it made the list of tech that can make your life easier. Some people are terrible at keeping track of their files and can never produce what they are asked for on a whim. Google Drive has options like Sheets which is similar to excel, and Docs which works like any other word processor. You can share things quickly with a link, and you can protect your work with a view only option. You can export into .doc or PDF and a few other file types so you won’t run into compatibility issues. And, you’ll never lose your work as it is all stored safely in the Google Cloud. If you travel a lot, and many of us do, the Dos app is available on your phone if you should need to edit anything on the go or share the files.
For other great gadgertry check out this post - The Essential Gadgetry That Every Business Needs.