Published September 22, 2015|4 min read
Freelancing is hard work. Sure, freelancers can enjoy sleeping in and open schedules and Bloody Marys at lunch. They can also sometimes make their own hours and wear pajamas as they meet deadlines and work without a micromanaging boss breathing down their necks. But in reality, it’s a hard business that is often sensationalized by media and Hollywood. Because while it may sound good on paper (and look good on TV in shows like Sex and the City and Girls), it requires the kind of organization, dedication, and discipline that not everyone can handle.
That’s why there’s an app for that. Seven apps, in fact, that can help any freelancer slay deadlines, schedules, and expenditures, just in time for a Bloody Mary or two.
Advertised as "The #1 app for solopreneurs", PocketSuite is an easy way to schedule clients, send invoices, and get paid. By allowing you to interact with anyone in your address book to book appointments, send quotes, and remind clients of upcoming meetings, PocketSuite is like having a CFO in your pocket to help keep you on track.
Don’t you hate when someone hands you a file or document at work or a flier on the street? I always want to say, "Cool, thanks for killing a tree, but next time, just email it to me." Since I prefer a clean, paperless workspace, I dig Evernote’s simplicity and organization of ideas. It’s used to view everything from receipts and memos to lists and documents for all of those "Now where did I put that extremely small but important piece of paper I had yesterday?" moments.
Tracking your time in order to bill a client can be tasking. And as a freelancer, you know your credibility is vital so you want to ensure you’re paid for the work you completed (not for the work you weren’t able to finish). Paydirt makes time tracking easier by using a built-in tracker to start a timer for any client in just one click. The app also helps you stay on top of outstanding invoices and unbilled work with graphical, visual overviews.
I am the queen of lists. I make lists about lists, and I hang them on the fridge. I like the idea of seeing what tasks I need to accomplish and the way I feel after I complete them and scratch them off the list. If you’re nodding your head, download this app. If you can’t complete the task by day’s end, no worries – it just rolls over to the next day. Recurring tasks - like taking a shower – can be marked as such and will never be forgotten again. Voila!
How many browser windows do you have open right now? Is your cell battery super low because your open apps are draining it? Did your dad yell at you today via text about your insane data usage? If your nickname is Facebook, it’s time for you to download RescueTime. It allows you to keep track of and analyze how you spend your time on the computer. As a freelancer, since you’re not blocked from various web sites or subject to constant attendance in meetings like your friends are who work in offices, it’s easy to get distracted in a world of puppy videos and clickbait. RescueTime helps save you.
Were you homeschooled or know someone who was? In some neighborhoods, social clubs and sporting leagues were created to cater to kids who were homeschooled and didn’t have the opportunity to participate in clubs or teams that were only available for registered students. Desktime is like homeschool for adults. You get to interact with and share space with people around the world all from the comfort of your home. Desktime allows you to book and track resources, handle transactions, and promote your space, making it a perfect site for freelancers, developers, and especially small business entrepreneurs who may have a budding group of employees of whom to keep track.
Aren’t passwords annoying? One site only lets you use farm animals as your password and another site needs 4 characters, 5 symbols, and an emoji, and they both lock you out for three weeks after one mistake. Hootsuite helps you manage all of your social media with one login, putting both your brain and mind at ease by helping you stress less about password memory and identify theft. It’s a social media management system for brand management (because it’s 2015 and self-branding is what freelancers are and need to be mastering) in which its user interface takes the form of a dashboard to support all of your Twitter, Instagram, Pinterest, Facebook, and LinkedIn integrations. The future is now, baby.
Image: Rob Hampson
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