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10 Basic Online Tools Every Freelancer Must Know About

It ain’t easy being freelance, but the payoff can be amazing. Recently we wrote about how determining your worth as a freelancer is probably the most important thing you can do. One of the other most important things you can do whether you are a journalist, a web designer or a publicist is be as organized as possible. When it comes to your clients, money, emails, etc., organization is your friend. Here are some great tools that you must know about to get your freelance business going.

Bidsketch

Creating a project proposal is a very important part of freelance life. But it can be a real pain if you spend hours working on a proposal for no money and then have it rejected. BidSketch provides you with a template which will half your time.

SlideShare

Similar to the idea of BidSketch, this goes hand in hand with showing clients what you can do, but in a more organized and less laborious fashion.

FreshBooks

If you are a freelancer, invoices will become the bane of your existence. Some days will just be spent writing and organizing your invoices. A great and simple invoice system will be a Godsend. FreshBooks has honestly been a great resource for me. It is straightforward and free until you have more than three clients but totally worth the $30 per month.

OfficeTime

Freelancer Laura Shin swears by OfficeTime as it helps manage a freelancers’ most important asset: time. It allows you to see exactly how much money you are earning per hour. This is what every freelancer needs, especially in the beginning, because it is going to show you who is really paying you your actual worth.

EchoSign

In this modern day of technology, having a printer seems so prosaic. And it is. Until you realize you need to sign contracts and send them to people so you can make money. However, good news freelancers. You don’t have to buy a printer, look for stamps under your bed or practice writing your signature. With EchoSign you can do everything online. You don’t even download the document. You are saving trees and getting paid. Your handwriting will still suck but hey, we can’t win them all.

HelloSign

But what if you don’t even have the document you need to sign online to upload into EchoSign? I mean if you don’t have a printer there is a probably even smaller chance that you would have a scanner. But HelloSign is an app that allows you to scan!

MailChimp

How do you get your work out there? By sending an email marketing newsletter of course. Keep your clients updated about a new post or product with this simple template platform. It offers a free plan which is a major bonus for those just starting out.

Wunderlist

There is nothing more satisfying than crossing something off your seemingly impossible to-d0 list and Wunderlist provides you with the ultimate to-do list. It syncs across all different platforms. Plus, you can assign tasks to other people! Nothing better than that!

Trello

Get your collaboration on. For those of you who love to have a good organized brainstorming session, this is the tool for you. It is a free, online collaboration tool that’s organized by boards, lists and cards. You can attach files, images etc. to each card and add as many people as you want on board for collaboration and changes appear in real time.

Sanebox

Keep that inbox under control with Sanbox. As we all know, your inbox is actually the hub of your business. It brings you joy, it brings you sadness and it brings you sadness. Keep it together with this organization app.

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9 comments

  1. Clay Replied

    I prefer using software that I can download onto my MacBook, and found an app called SideShark. I use it to manage my clients and projects, write proposals and invoices, and track expenses. It saves me a ton of time; a great tool for freelancers.

  2. Zachary Siswick Replied

    If you’re like me, and want to invoice on the go, you should check out http://www.rubyinvoice.com. It’s the first truly mobile friendly billing tool I’ve found that let’s you send unlimited invoices for free.

  3. A well written article, does highlight some important points. Being in the online freelance industry, i must say that the industry is getting more and more competitive. I do believe that its important to show your advocacy in your field. Its important to engage in blogs, articles etc. and contribute something extra. Creating a social presence is also important in the field of freelancing. Lets not forget that the freelancing market is growing by the day and the competition is getting tougher.. we have posted a new blog on tips to be a credible freelancer.. Please do give it a read and let us know your thoughts..
    Cheers !! https://www.towoglo.com/blog/best-tips-for-building-credibility-as-a-freelancer.html

  4. Benjamin Replied

    Sanebox brings you joy, sadness and sadness? How sad… :D The other tools seem great, though!

  5. Todd Dunphys Replied

    Hi Meredith,
    Love your list, thank you. I’m a Nutcache fan too. It might offer less comprehensive support than Freshbooks, but it’s a minor drawback since everything else is free to use! Have a good day!

  6. Jessica K Replied

    Great list – I love Wave for managing invoicing and estimates, tracking income and expenses, managing sales taxes and receipts, etc!

  7. Jakob Petrussen Replied

    Valuable list, thank you so much! I would only add Nutcache, as an alternative to Freshbooks, both perfect for my needs, except that Nutcache (www.nutcache.com) is totally free!

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