Switching from a full-time employee to being a freelancer can be quite challenging.
You’re responsible for all aspects of your business. To be successful as a freelancer, it helps to have a right set of tools.
In the list below you’ll find my top 5 favorite free tools I use every day to run my freelance business.
Without these tools, it would be a lot harder for me to do my job. Most of the tools on the list you probably be familiar with. They range from file sharing and time tracking, to project management and online conferencing.
1. Project Management
Asana is an excellent tool to use if you need to better manage your projects. You can create lists and boards, communicate with clients, assign dates to various tasks and use other task management features.
Often your email can get cluttered and messages can get lost. With Asana you can use conversations or assign comments to specific tasks to keep a better handle on all your communications.
You can also attach files, link your account to dropbox and integrate other 3rd party apps, like Toggl.
Asana also great for keeping all your project related files and communication all in one place.
Price: Free, for individuals and small teams.
Runner Up: Trello, Kanban Flow – These are two other tools I want to recommend for project management. If you prefer board like flow, you might want to try these tools. (Asana now integrates board like project management feature into their system so if you prefer to use boards you can now use Asana).
2. File Sharing
Dropbox is a no-brainer when it comes to file sharing. You can create folders for each project and keep all related files in for that project all in one place. Clients can have access to shared folders and can upload and manage all project related files.
Now there is no need to email huge files since all you have to do is upload large files to dropbox and email the link instead.
Price: The first 15GB of storage remain free, but 100GB costs $1.99 per month.
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Runner Up: Google Drive – you’re most likely already have a Google Drive. It’s similar to dropbox, where you can upload and share files with others.
Being a freelancer means you need to track all your expenses and you also need to get paid.
Waveapps allows you to create quick invoices and set up reminders to your clients about the payment. Clients can then pay online using paypal or credit card and once you connect your account, they payment gets deposited there.
In addition to allowing you to bill the clients, waveapps does a good job of keeping track of all your personal and business-related expenses, which can be useful when doing your taxes.
Price: (Free to use, but they charge 2.9% + 30¢ when payments are made)
4. Time Tracking
If you need to keep track of the time you spend on the project and you charge by an hour, Toggl time tracking can help.
Toggl allows you to set up multiple projects and then track the time you spend on each task. After you done with your project you can generate the report and present it to your client. Toggl also allows you to add clients to individual projects so they can see and track the time you spend working on different tasks.
Price: Free, premium plans available
5. Online Meetings
Live video conferencing can make your project go much faster than emailing back and forth.
I find that showing clients how things work and look can be a much better experience than using it through emails.
Zoom allows you to conduct up to 40 min. meetings with multiple members using the free account. Often that is all you need to ensure everyone is on the same page.
One great feature, Zoom has that Skype doesn’t, is that it gives youthe abilityy to take control over your client’s computer during the call with their permission. This makes it much easier to walk them through and show various features, which can be very useful.
Price: Free account allows unlimited time for 1 to 1 meetings and 40 mins limit on group meetings.
Runner Up: Skype
Skype is another great tool I use for communicating with clients. You can use the chat feature or conduct a video call so you can do screen sharing. Skype is free, but making regular calls requires credit purchase.
This is a list of my top 5 favorite freelance tools I use on a daily basis. In the future posts, I will publish more of my favorite free tools I use to run all aspects of my freelance business.
Want more? Check out our growing list of popular freelance tools on our website.
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