Freelancing is a growing phenomenon in the world today. Freelancers are individuals who work on a per-project basis, hiring themselves out to complete projects that are often short-term contracts. A freelancer can be anyone from an individual who wants to sell their artwork or writing skills to companies that need help with advertising and social media marketing.
The rise of freelancing has also seen a rise in the number of mobile apps designed to assist freelancers in their work. While many of these apps are designed with specific freelancing industries in mind, such as content writing or graphic design, others are more general in nature and can be used by anyone.
Here’s our list of 2021’s top 5 apps for freelancers:
Best Apps For Freelancers 2021
TeuxDeux – Getting Things Done app
TeuxDeux is a to-do app for people working remotely – there’s a browser version for when you’re working from home, and an iPhone app for when you’re on-the-go.
This app offers a Getting Things Done approach to freelancers, so you can:
set your schedule for today in a simple manner
mark tasks as done as you complete them
have all the work you haven’t finished today automatically transferred to tomorrow
You can also set recurring to-dos, drag & drop them across days, and even form a bucket list of tasks you want to tackle sometime in the future.
To Do – to-do app and task manager
If you liked using Wunderlist before it was discontinued, you’ll like the To Do app too. It’s another Getting Things Done app, but this one will help you balance out work and life – when you work freelance, lines can get a little blurred.
As a Wunderlist’s natural successor, To Do has a lot of features Wunderlist had. It lets you:
make to-do lists and share them with your family, friends, and coworkers
assign tasks to collaborators
add attachments to tasks
add notes if you want to include extra information
You can also add tags to your tasks to keep them organized, for example, #work or #personal. It facilitates finding tasks in each category, all you need to do is click on the hashtag or type it in the search bar.
Cushion – planning app
Cushion is a planning app built by freelancers, so you can expect it caters to freelancing needs. You’ll be able to schedule and plan your work, control your budget, as well as manage your projects, emails, and expenses, all in one place.
Specifically, you can:
plan your work in a Calendar
view all your tasks (deadlines included) in a Gantt-like chart
send and track invoices
estimate the final price for clients
keep an eye on your financial goals
generate graphs showing your client work, projects, and lists
This app also helps you maintain a work-life balance – there’s a separate section where you can plan, keep track of, and schedule vacations.
Bidsketch – proposal app
Every freelancer needs to know how to craft a winning proposal – and Bidsketch helps you streamline your pitches to clients.
This app promises to cut the time you need to create and send out proposals in half, with:
reusable content features (with the option to have new client information inserted automatically)
data showing whether clients have opened your proposals, when, and for how long they viewed
You can also increase your proposal approval rate – the electronic signature feature may prompt potential clients to accept your pitches easier and faster.
Brand24 – brand monitoring tool
Brand24 helps you track the position of your freelance brand across the web – you’ll learn what people think about your brand and be prompted to react in real-time.
Specifically, you’ll be notified each time someone mentions your brand (either in a positive or negative way). And, if you get negative mentions on the web, you can immediately tune in into the said discussion and turn matters around.
Within this app, you can analyze:
the number of mentions, likes, shares, and comments your brand is getting on a daily, weekly, or monthly basis
your Social reach across Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and various forums
Later on, you can generate reports based on these results, export data, and create infographics.
You’ll even get a list highlighting your most popular mentions and most popular authors, complete with the extent of their online reach and influencer status.
Mint – budget planner
Mint is a free planner and budget tracker that helps you manage your finances – you can track your bills and financial goals, manage your budget, as well as receive alerts and financial advice.
With this app, you can sync your bank accounts, credit cards, and your PayPal account. And, you’ll also:
be reminded when you go over budget on projects
get a straightforward system to track transactions
receive weekly summaries of your financial state
In case your mobile phone gets lost or stolen, you won’t have to worry about your confidential financial data being compromised. Instead, you can easily disconnect your Mint account and your phone from your browser account at any time.
Postbox – email manager
Emailing is a huge part of every freelancer’s life, and Postbox is designed to help you manage your inbox workload. You’ll have a place to store, organize, and group all your email accounts in one view.
Among other features, you’ll get:
a simple search engine to quickly find what you’re looking for (across accounts)
a “focus pane” that helps highlight only important emails
numerous shortcuts to help you navigate through your correspondences
best productivity apps for freelancers
When it comes to keeping all of your important tasks, notes, schedules, to-do lists, and research materials together in one easy-to-access place, few apps are better than Evernote. This cloud-based storage app is one that I personally couldn’t live without.
When you create a “note” in Evernote, you can rest assured that you’ll be able to gain access to it anywhere there’s an internet connection. The app regularly syncs between your desktop and mobile device, and you can visit the website at any time, log in to your account, and instantly have access to all of your important documents.
Another great function is Evernote’s Web Clipper, which is a browser extension that allows you to take things that you find across the web, and save them into your Evernote app. This is fantastic for research, as you’re able to “clip” specific pages or articles to different project notebooks, allowing you to effectively keep all notes and research materials in one convenient location.
Finally, Evernote can also be integrated with many other useful freelancing apps, such as Slack, Salesforce, IFTTT, Smartsheet, and Nozbe. For example, when the app is integrated with Slack, you’ll be able to access, search, and share all of your Evernote documents with your team on the messaging platform. You can also clip conversations and other useful content from Slack into your Evernote notebooks, making this app endlessly useful!
This project management tool is incredible for keeping your work organized, especially when working on a group project. By using Asana, you can connect with your client or team members on each specific project. Under each task you can easily communicate, set deadlines, share relevant files, direct questions or comments to specific individuals, set reminders, and even create to-do lists.
All that you need to do is create a new task for each project that you take on, and then invite relevant team members to that task. Asana also allows you to personalize various “stages” for each task, and “assign” the task to the appropriate individual.
One of the greatest things about this app—especially for many cash-strapped freelancers—is that it’s absolutely free in most cases. The only time that there’s a charge is if your project has a team which includes more than 15 people, in which case there is a small monthly fee.
If you’re looking for an app to help you keep track of your time, there are few that are better than Toggl. With Toggl, you can easily track the time that you’re spending on each task. As the old saying goes, “time is money,” and nowhere is this truer than in the freelance market.
As a freelancer, you are likely juggling multiple jobs that are paid by the project, making your hourly rate largely dependant upon how quickly you’re able to complete a given task. With this app, you will have a clear sense of which tasks are taking the most time, and which ones you’re completing more quickly. This will help you not only better schedule your days, but also price projects appropriately.
Knowing the amount of time that you are dedicating to different clients is essential, particularly if you plan on setting up a monthly retainer. Having this data can also be incredibly valuable when it comes to discussing project scopes and fees with a client. Transparent reporting ensures clients that your time is being well-spent, and can also help you cover your costs.
One of the more tedious aspects of being a freelancer is the need to constantly be creating client proposals in the attempt to land new work. Not only is this time consuming, but in many cases you are repurposing old material, so there is also an element of redundancy.
This is where Proposify comes into play. This handy app comes with a variety of tools and templates to help you create, save, and modify proposals with minimal effort. This will give you more time to spend on daily activities, such as dealing with clients and completing any current projects.
Proposify is extremely simple and intuitive to use:
First, you decide on the formatting; you’ll have a choice of using either a template that you’ve previously saved, one of Proposify’s premade templates from a number of different categories (e.g., marketing, design, software, contracts, etc.), or to start from scratch
The next step is to input some important information, such as the name of the proposal, client information, and the proposal due date
After this, you’ll be taken into the Proposify editor, which gives you a number of options to design and customize your proposal (e.g., add images, text, videos, tables, signature buttons, etc.)
Once your proposal is complete, the final step is to send to the client; you can do so either directly through Proposify, or, if using a platform such as Upwork or Freelancer.com, you can save the proposal as a PDF and attach separately
Like Asana, Trello is another project management tool. The main difference with Trello is its unique layout and heavy focus on cards to organize projects. While Asana uses cards within its dashboard as well, its layout is more task-based rather than card-based (where tasks are listed in order of priority, in a less visual manner).
Trello has a much more visual approach to managing tasks, meant to mimic a Kanban board. The result is essentially a virtual sticky note board, on which you can place “cards,” and remove them as they’re completed. You can have a variety of boards that represent different stages of a project’s completion, and easily drag cards from board to board as the project progresses. This is an excellent option for those who are more receptive to a visual schedule, rather than one that’s more task oriented.
Trello allows you to set tasks, collaborate with a team, simultaneously run a number of projects, and monitor progress. You can create group or solo projects depending on a job’s requirements. Many people love Trello due to its intuitive layout, visual style, and easy-to-learn interface; that said, it offers many of the same functions as Asana, so which tool you choose is largely a matter of preference.
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