Are you a freelancer? Then you are in the right place today.
We know that you have to be everything for yourself most times —colleague, boss, supervisor, and employee. Sometimes, you might even have to wear the hat of a personal accountant and human resource manager.
All that can become overwhelming —especially if you do not have the right tools to make things easier. That is why we have come up with a list of tools for freelancers to make your journey even smoother than before. How about we get right to it?
We are starting here because we know that poor password habits are on the rise.
For someone who probably manages a lot of accounts like you, that should not be the case. Note that any file loss from a breached account will not only affect you but your client and reputation too.
Thus, we recommend that you download password managers. This way, you can have a separate password for each account and not forget them anymore.
Pro Tip: Most password managers come with a password generation tool. Use this tool to get the strongest passwords for your accounts.
Sometimes, you have a host of clients on your hand —and you have to satisfy them all. At other times, you have a lot of tasks from the few clients you are managing.
One thing that freelancers know is that their clients do not care if they have other clients. The work must be done as at when due. So that you do not get overwhelmed, you need time management tools.
We recommend getting a scheduler in this case. Set time prompts for each task to know when to start them, and when you are expected to finish. That way, you can stay accountable while never missing a deadline again.
Depending on your niche, you might need to download a lot of files over the internet. Sometimes, these are files sent by your clients. Since you do not know if they are who they say they are, you need to be careful of file downloads. After all, a hacker might pose as a client just to trick you into downloading malware.
That is why you need anti-malware apps. These apps will also come in handy when connecting external storage devices to your computer/ vice versa.
Lest we forget, getting a VPN will also protect you from dangers such as man-in-the-middle attacks, data snooping, conversation hijacking, etc. These attacks are common on unencrypted networks. They are usually the menace of freelancers since most are digital nomads that will just connect to the first Wi-Fi network that they find.
One of the mistakes that we made when starting was not effectively tracking our work.
Most times, we used to leave things until the end of the month before tracking. It did not take us long to discover that this was hurting us more than it was helping us. Then, we discovered spreadsheets and how great they are at tracking tasks. Definitely, they are one of the best tools for freelancers.
Open a spreadsheet today and log your tasks/ hours there. This will give you a comprehensive list of how many hours you had worked at the end of the month. With shared spreadsheet packages (like Google Sheets), you can also keep your client in the loop as to work done in real-time.
Between keeping to deadlines and chasing clients down for payments, there is little to no time left for the freelancer. How about if you do not have to manually remind the client about your payments anymore?
That is where invoicing tools come into the mix. Some specialised apps will send automatic updates to the client if they are yet to complete the invoice. Likewise, having an invoice gives your business an air of authority rather than just requesting payments another way.
Also, invoices are also a great way to track all of your income in a specific timeframe. A win-win for you.
Which of these tools have you been using before now, and how have they changed your life too? For those who have not started using all of the tools on this list, which one do you feel would impact your lifestyle as a freelancer the most?
Please share your thoughts with us in the comments section.