Freelancer’s Best Friends – 6 Must-Have Tools for Your Work
Being a freelancer is surely less constricting than a full time job. But you might also be aware of the fact that when you’re your own boss, you also get all the responsibilities. You have to learn how to effectively manage your business, how to interact with clients and figure out how to invoice them.
It can be tough work but luckily, there are some online tools that will make your life easier. From invoicing software that keeps track of everything for you and small time trackers, we’ve put together a list of some of the best software a freelancer can use.
An Online Whiteboard
An online whiteboard, is a software that will help you better interact with your clients. Besides that, you also have some templates you can use for your presentations. It’s easy to use and faster than the classic PowerPoint so you won’t waste any more time on complicated settings and templates you can’t fully edit.
Besides that, an online whiteboard will also allow you to set up business model canvases, user story maps, fishbone diagrams and even mind maps. All of that in just a few clicks.
If you have a team you’re working with, an online whiteboard will allow you to brainstorm and exchange ideas from the comfort of your own home. And since everything is saved in the Cloud, no idea will ever get lost.
When you work as a freelancer, you also work with your own finances. You might be accessing sensitive data (bank accounts, PayPal balances) on a daily basis. You might also have accounts on several freelancing platforms. So you can see why strong passwords and secure storage is a must-have. You have to protect both your private and financial information online.
For that, we recommend you use a password management app. Most of the options online allow you to sync your passwords on all types of devices (desktop, Android and iOS). You can also use a digital wallet where you’ll be storing financial data such as PayPal usernames and passwords.
When you’re working as a freelancer, it’s especially important to have a good understanding about how you spend your time. This is a challenge because it sometimes gets hard keeping track of all the projects and clients you’re working for. So to make things easier and even boost your productivity, you can use a time tracking app.
There are a lot of options out there, either free or paid. You can use such an app on your phone, on your browser and sometimes you can even add it as an extension. It’s a proven fact that when you understand how your time is spent, you tend to perform better. It’s only normal after all – you know you’re on the clock so you try to be as efficient as possible.
Freelancers are the free birds of the working field. They can work in cafes, restaurants, pubs… you name it! These places usually have open wi-fi networks that clients can use. Unfortunately, these networks are so easy to exploit that they pose a real threat to the unaware users. That’s why, as a travelling freelancer, you need a VPN.
A VPN (Virtual Private Network) will act as an extra layer of protection between you and ill-meaning strangers. It will route all your web traffic through an encrypted source so you can remain both anonymous and secure. If you’re working from home, you’re most likely safe but if you travel a lot, consider investing in a good VPN. There are many options available on the market, each with different prices and features.
This might seem a bit unusual, given the context. We’ve been recommending tools that help you exclusively with your work. But a right state of mind is one of the most important aspects when it comes to your job. You can take small meditation breaks during the day to clear your mind and disconnect for a moment.
And if you can’t do that on your own, fear not. There are a couple of apps on the market that will help you set a meditation schedule. In time, you will make this a habit and you’ll notice how the daily stress will be reduced. Some of these apps even have timed breathing exercises to make sure you get the most out of your short break.
As a freelancer, you always have to be at the top of your game. That means you always have to learn and adapt to new info and trends. You don’t have to pay for expensive online courses or endless webinars. Instead, you can just download a few little apps that give you snippets of information every day.
You won’t feel overwhelmed, you will learn faster and this will help you get better at what you do. Some of these apps even allow you to listen to small e-books while you’re working. You can even listen to them while you’re taking a break from work. One can never know too much so these tools are very useful.
The life of a freelancer surely has its ups and downs. Luckily, some nice people thought about that and created these helpful tools to support you in your journey. Whether you need to keep your sensitive information safe, communicate with clients, keep track of your time or just take a mindfulness break, these handy little tools will help you get the job done. Some offer free versions while some also come with paid plans that offer you more features, depending on your needs. You just have to do a bit of research and figure out what you need.