Workers have been jumping on the freelancing trend in record numbers over the past few years. According to Forbes, the number of freelance workers grew from 33.8% to 35%, and there are no signs of this trend slowing down any time soon.
And with that record growth, the rise in freelancer burnout has risen too. That’s because there are a lot of different things that freelancers need to manage as you make the move to becoming your own boss.
You have to be able to create your own schedule, design professional contracts that protect you and your work, manage all of your project work, prepare invoices, handle client communications, keep track of work hours, and a host of other administrative tasks that come with running your own business. With all of these tasks building up, things can quickly get overwhelming.
But what if freelancing didn’t have to be stressful? What if there were tools out there that could help you manage your business effortlessly so that you can focus more on your craft? And giving you more free time in the process? Fortunately, there are plenty of tools that can help you! Let’s walk through some of the best productivity tools and see what they can do for you.
Freelancers need a powerful solution to help them manage every aspect of their business, and that’s what makes Indy such a robust software for freelancers. Indy is a project management platform that has everything a freelancer needs to take full control of their business, from beginning to end, with one intuitive software solution.
The great thing about a project management platform is that you can do it all in one place! Instead of signing up for multiple apps to get work done, you can use Indy to reach out to and onboard new clients, manage all of your project work, and wrap up client work with automated invoicing that makes getting paid quick and easy. You’ll get access to proposal templates, contracts, forms, task management, time tracking, invoices, calendars, chats, and file storage, giving you nine productivity tools to grow your freelance business with ease.
Price: Indy has a free forever version that gives you limited access to Indy’s most essential features. Or, you can sign up for the Pro Bundle and get unlimited access plus 500GB of file storage for half the price of competitors at $5.99/month.
- Generate new leads with proposal templates
- Send professional contract templates that can be customized to fit your needs
- Keep track of work hours with just the click of a button
- Seamlessly communicate with clients through chats
- Upload files to get feedback and approval from clients
- Send forms to get the information you need to begin working
- Stay on top of your to-dos with task management
- Keep your projects on target with calendars
- Use auto-generated invoices that make getting paid a breeze
Depending on your chosen career, sometimes freelancers are tasked with working on group projects for clients. Asana is a workflow management platform that is geared toward helping groups better manage their workflow. You can build Gantt charts, see and keep track of your work with Kanban boards, manage tasks, and create strategic goal planning. They also have calendars, a workflow builder, forms, analytical reporting capabilities, and more. While Asana isn’t designed with freelancers in mind like Indy, it has a lot of useful functions for freelancers.
Price: Asana has a free forever plan, but if you want access to their forms and other advanced features, you’ll need to upgrade to their Premium plan at $10.99/month.
- Create automated processes to coordinate your workload
- Build Gantt charts
- Track your work with Kanban boards
- Submit and manage work requests
- View your work in calendars
- Set goals and track progress
Part of being a freelancer involves having to manage all of your social media profiles to get your services out there in front of potential clients. Although, with so many other tasks to manage, it can be challenging to find the time to keep your socials updated. SmarterQueue aims to give you an easier way to manage all of your social media accounts. You can create posts and schedule them across each of your accounts from one user-friendly dashboard, saving you the time of having to log in to each individual account. You can also read and reply to all comments right from the dashboard, as well as use SmarterQueue’s detailed reports to learn what type of content is working and what isn’t.
Price: Smarterqueue currently doesn’t have a free plan, but their solo plan is aimed at bloggers and freelancers and costs $16.99/month if you pay annually.
- Categorize your content types
- Evergreen recycling to boost engagement
- Content creation to easily search for engaging content to share
- Visual calendar to view your scheduled posts
- Actionable social media analytics
Time management is key to growing as a freelancer, and Toggl is a time management platform that has two apps that are relevant to freelancers: Toggl Plan and Toggl Track. Toggl Track helps you manage your time with a time tracking app, plan project budgets, and get helpful reports for actionable insights.
Toggl Plan, on the other hand, is a project management app that is built for teams to collaborate on projects so they can stay on the same page. You can create deadlines, use Gantt charts, assign tasks, and set work timelines. While it’s designed for teams, freelancers can use these features too.
Toggl Track Price: Toggl Track has a free plan with unlimited time tracking for up to 5 users. The Starter Plan costs $9/month and gives you access to advanced features like time estimates, billable rates, project templates, saved reports, and calendar views of tracked time.
Toggl Plan Price: Toggle Plan offers a 14-day free trial. After that, you’ll need to pay $8/month to continue having access to their tools.
- Keep track of time
- Plan and set project budgets
- Send invoices for billable hours
- Reporting for actionable insights
- Integrates with Google Calendar
Evernote is a note-taking app that comes in handy as you brainstorm ways for how you can grow your freelance business. Instead of having notes scrawled out in different areas, you can keep all of your great ideas in one place. A major part of growing a business is coming up with actionable steps to get you where you want to be over the coming years. And Evernote acts as a sort of vision board to help you do just that. You can sync and bring organization to all of your notes. It integrates with other helpful apps like Google Drive, Slack, and Microsoft Teams to help with your workflow.
Price: The free plan will let you take notes, but if you want more advanced features like a customized home dashboard, linking to Google Calendar, and adding due dates and reminders to tasks, you’ll need to upgrade for $7.99/month.
- Sync and organize your notes
- Use templates to take more detailed notes
- Save web articles and screen captures to your notes
- Create tasks to go along with your notes
- Scan documents directly into the app
Having the right productivity tools can make a big impact on how you grow your business. And if you’re looking for even more tips for how you can master the life of a freelancer, you can get more insight here. Productivity tools are vital for freelancers to prevent the stress that comes with feeling overworked. And that’s why productivity tools have quickly become an important part of a freelancer’s business.
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