Being a freelancer can be an amazing thing. There are only a few things more liberating. You answer to no one (except clients), you have really flexible hours, you hardly have to show up anywhere fully dressed, and pants are like some foreign attire that you wear once in a blue moon.
However, if you don't have the right tools, it can also be quite frustrating. As a freelancer, you also have more responsibilities than you would have otherwise had. Now, you are responsible for getting more work (and losing them!), you're responsible for getting paid, and you're responsible for maintaining relationships with your clients. It really can get overwhelming if you don't have the slightest clue of what you're doing.
But the good news is that your job can be made easier. With a few tools and products, you may find that your freelancing experience now leans towards the good, rather than the bad. I've been a freelancer for a while, and I've found that these six tools will massively improve your productivity and make your job easier.
6 Products That Will Make Your Job Easier.
Task Management and To-Do Lists
If you're a freelancer, you're most likely dealing with several deadlines and projects. It can be almost impossible to manage your tasks without a working system. Therefore, you must have the amazing organizing ability in order to avoid getting behind on vital assignments. Or you could just, you know, get an app and let it do it for you.
Solutions/Applications like Remember the Milk, Toodledo, Wunderlist, Google Tasks and Google Keep will help you do that and so much more.
To be a successful freelancer, you must be willing to take a number of risks. The first of which is following the freelancing path in the first place. However, you shouldn't take risks with your data— that's partly because it isn't yours, and is for a client. You must have backup solutions so that when it all hits the fan, it doesn't take your career along.
Solutions like Mozy and Carbonite will almost definitely help with that.
Billing and Accounting Software
The good thing about freelancing is that you no longer have to deal with Karen/Sharon/Bethany from accounting. The bad thing is that all the responsibilities of invoices, paying taxes and accounting fall to you. It can be tempting to try and manage them yourself, but if you're not a professional you had best leave it to something that is.
Solutions/Applications that can help you with accounting and billing problems include Freshbooks, QuickBooks, and Wave accounting.
Social Media/Marketing Tools
As a freelancer, you're going to have to find a way to get jobs. You don't own a company, and you don't have a marketing division. All you have are your skills, some work you've done before, and yourself. How does an entity like that get jobs? Well, social media has an answer. Used properly, you can do a whole lot of personal marketing through the use of pictures, posts and tweets.
But you cannot do it alone, especially if you're not social media savvy. You're going to need solutions that make it easier to do those things. Some of these solutions include Hootsuite and Tweetdeck.
A Very, Very Good Desk
It may seem out of place here, but as a freelancer, I can tell you that your work surface is very important. If you're someone who hates clutter but who has a lot of "stuff", then you should get a desk with spacious drawers. It will help you get to work easier and also help you to be infinitely more productive.
A desk like the MonitorStand Workstation S6G/S6T would be amazing for freelancers who work from home (at least I know it's been amazing for me).
Online Collaboration and Presentation Tools
A lot of freelancing jobs require that you work with a team. This means that team members have to be regularly updated about the state of the project. Online collaboration and presentation tools will help with this, and can even totally eliminate the need for physical meetings. Some of these tools include Trello, Asana, Canva, and SlideShare.
If you're a freelancer, you know how difficult it is to cover all bases with clients. You know how frantic it can be to meet deadlines, and how difficult it can be to get new clients. However, with these tools, you're guaranteed to have an easier job than before.
And isn't that why you became a freelancer?