When you quit your job for freelancing, it feels very liberating, until it is not. A year later, you might start wondering if you made the right choice.
Your income might start to flatline; your client base begins to stagnate, and monotony sets in. As a freelancer, you need to expand your business and seek new clients.
At some point, you start to feel boxed in and overwhelmed, feeling like you need to work harder. Working harder is not what you should do since you will end up being less productive and exhausting yourself.
Working smarter is what you need to do, find novel ways to do more work in less time, giving you more time to improve your business and source for more clients. Many tools exist in the market, which helps you to do all these things and more.
Evernote is a productivity tool that allows you to write notes for your pending projects. The app helps you to keep track of and manage your projects. Evernote is an excellent note-taking app and allows you to make a to-do list and create schedules.
The app is a web and smartphone-based and will enable you to track your checklists. Evernote is free, but for extra features, you need to pay. It helps you in:
Let us face it; most of us are poor at bookkeeping, and dread doing it. While it is necessary, most freelancers keep putting it off, forgetting they are a business entity.
A freelancer needs to keep track of his/her finances, and QuickBooks is a great app that can keep track of your earnings and expenditure by linking to all your bank accounts.
This app also helps in your tax estimation and helps you to separate your personal and business expenses. This app is not free and has a monthly subscription, but comes with a 3o-day trial period.
A freelancer’s income depends on the flow of client proposals. Drafting and documents manually is a lot of work and can take up many hours every week.
Proposify is an app that allows you to simplify this process by allowing you to create and modify proposal templates. You can quickly generate brand new proposals automatically.
Toggl is an excellent time management app for the freelancer who finds it challenging to manage time. If you are the type that finds themselves on social media instead of working or playing online games, you need this app like yesterday!
This app helps you track time and ensures you do not miss any deadlines or take breaks for more time than you should. Toggl comes with excellent features such as a browser extension, which starts a timer the minute you start working.
Clockify is another time management app that works well for any freelancer who bills by the hour. You can track time either from your extension, mobile, or desktop via a browser. It allows you to:
Integrates well with other apps
A Virtual Private Network (VPN) is among the best security tools a freelancer can utilize. Freelancers love working on the go, and freelancing perks include working from anywhere in the world.
A VPN allows you to work from a beach in Bali, and show your location like London or any location you choose. A VPN hides your IP address as well as your location and encrypts all your communication.
Since freelancers work on the go, it is common to find freelancers logging into unsecured networks such as airports and coffee shops. Hackers prey on such unsecured networks and can hack into your system or intercept your data while in transit.
A secure VPN connection is a necessity for any freelancer worth his/her salt. Go for a subscription VPN as the free VPNs do not provide the same features, and have a reputation of selling your data to third parties.
For a small price, Open DNS is a program that allows you to control your network. Open DNS automatically restricts access to websites flagged as suspicious and will enable you to set filters that block certain websites.
If you do not want to keep getting distracted by social media while you work, block it.
Open DNS allows you to get internet statistics for a year to see what you have been doing. You can also use the statistics to monitor what your team has been up to during working hours.
For those freelancers whose work involves a social media presence, especially Twitter, timing is crucial. Since you need to work and at the same time, tweet to your followers, you need to time your tweets, which makes them more productive and get a wider reach.
Tweriod gives you a chart that gives you a comprehensive analysis of your followers and the best time to tweet when they are online. Tweriod works in collaboration with an app called BufferApp.
The BufferApp makes use of the data from the Tweriod app and sets a timer for the periods your tweets will be posted each day when your followers are online.
Schedule your tweets to be published from the morning, and you can set them to be posted at certain hours of the day, ensuring your tweets get an audience. It ensures your tweets do not get lost amidst other tweets by perfectly timing the intervals between tweets.
As a freelancer, you have to be careful about how you spend your time. Being your boss is as challenging as it is liberating. Productivity, time tracking, security, and social media apps all make your freelancing journey easier.
Look for an app that suits the task and make use of it to maximize your profits, and gain more clients. Some people are poor at managing time, and others are poor at bookkeeping. You need to identify where you need the most help and choose an app accordingly.