If you’re a freelancer, then you know that working for yourself involves a lot more than just completing the services that you are paid for. There are all kinds of administrative tasks like invoicing, bookkeeping, phone calls, and emails – not to mention all the documents you have to keep track of for tax purposes. You may also have bids to prepare, contracts to draw up, and projects to plan. With all those additional activities, it’s sometimes hard to find the time to do your actual “work.”
In times like those, having the right tools can make all the difference, and there are hundreds of apps and web tools out there to help you. But who has time to browse through all of them to find the best ones for your business? To help you narrow it down, we’ve put together a list of 10 of our favorite apps for freelancers.
Top Apps for Freelancers
Trello is an app that allows you to manage projects in a single view. It’s like Pinterest for your projects – with a board on which you place cards that contain all of the relevant information for your project. Thoughts, discussions, tasks, to-do lists, whatever makes it easier for you to plan, work on, and complete your projects can be “pinned” to your board. Trello’s best features are included in its free version, but you can upgrade for $45 per year if you need other functions, and it will seamlessly integrate with time-tracking apps to boost your productivity.
Wave Accounting is a free app for people who need accounting software. The app helps you manage the day-to-day accounting aspects of your business. Wave is nice because it caters to freelancers, offering detailed reports and allowing users to link their bank information to accounts on the app’s dashboard. Intuitive and user-friendly, Wave also offers helpful advice throughout its use. In addition to being very efficient and helpful for freelancers, the Wave app is free.
The first task that a freelancer has to perform before starting work with potential clients is preparing and winning a bid for the job. Essentially, the bid that you present to your prospects is the first impression that you get to make, so it’s important that it’s not only competitive in pricing but also professionally presented. The Bidsketch app helps you do that – quickly and easily. With proven templates, electronic signature capabilities, and mobile responsiveness, Bidsketch simplifies writing proposals and helps you win bids. The app has several pricing tiers, starting at $29 per month, and it offers a free 14-day trial period.
4. Focus Booster
When you are a freelancer, it’s easy to lose focus and get caught up in the day-to-day operations of your business. The Focus Booster app is designed to help you stay on track as you work. Using the Pomodoro Technique, the app breaks down your work time into 25-minute sections separated by 5-minute breaks. The app will help you concentrate and minimize distractions. The starter plan for Focus Booster is free and you can upgrade to paid plans for access to detailed reporting, analytics, and more.
Creating binding contracts has never been easier than with the Shake mobile app. It allows you to create, sign, and send legal agreements right from your phone. It’s simple to use and contracts and non-disclosure agreements can be created and signed on the platform. Shake is free and has iOS, Android, and web versions available.
The Xpenditure app takes the hassle out of tracking your expenses. This is especially important for freelancers when tax time rolls around. You are able to easily track mileage, digitize receipts, and receive detailed reports, and you can export data straight to your accounting app or software of choice. This app offers a free trial, and then pricing plans start at $4.27 per month, per user.
The Shoeboxed app is another great app for handling your receipts and other documents. You are able to get rid of the shoebox where you store your important tax documents, business cards, and other information. With Shoeboxed it’s as easy as scanning your documents and getting rid of your piles of paper. The app allows you to turn your paper receipts and business cards into accounting entries, expense reports, and contact lists. The app is accepted by the IRS, so you will save time, money, and space come tax time. Shoeboxed starts at $15 per month and offers a 30-day free trial to get you started.
You’ve probably heard of Dropbox before, and the hype is true – it’s a great app. It allows you to sync all of your files, on all of your devices, with a quick and easy drag-and-drop system. You are able to access all of your files no matter where you are. Your files are stored in the cloud, so any place you have internet access can quickly become your office. The app starts at $8.25 per month and offers a free trial period.
The TextExpander app is designed to help you save time writing emails or other documents. In your writing, you likely use a lot of the same text – especially in emails to clients. TextExpander allows you to assign short abbreviations for your most frequently types words, phrases, and even images. Then, as you prepare emails or documents, you are able to use the abbreviations and the app fills in your pre-programmed text or image. It can also be set up to fix your typos, use different signatures based on the client, and automatically insert forms or other documents based on the specific project. TextExpander starts at $3.33 per month and you can take advantage of a 30-day free trial.
All freelancers must have the ability to create bulletproof contracts to protect themselves and their businesses. Bonsai offers users are provided with a solution that gathers templates for various different business activities and adapts them to their specific freelance business. Contracts, e-signing, and invoicing are the most used features, and those services will only cost you $9 per month. If you need additional features, there are other pricing plans. Bonsai offers a free 14-day trial period.