Life as a freelancer can be incredible. You get to be your own boss, choose the projects you’d like to work on and have the freedom to schedule your days as you please. The reality of the gig, however, can sometimes be tough. It can often be a struggle to remain productive and on top of all your tasks and deadlines. That’s why we’ve compiled a list of the 10 Best Apps For Freelance Efficiency, to make the job you love even better every day.
This is a brilliant team communication app that reduces the number of emails in your inbox. If you happen to be working on a project with a bunch of other people, Slack is an excellent way to keep in touch with everyone. The app makes communication not only easier but also more efficient. Send off a quick Slack message to someone and they’ll reply when they have time. It’s great for asking simple questions and eliminates the need to type up an email. You can create different channels to categorise all your questions and ideas clearly in Slack. For example, if you’re a graphic designer working with a client on some branding, one channel could be named “stationery” and another “website imagery” to keep ideas clearly separated and organised. All of the conversations are searchable too, making it easy to dig up any information or files you might need in the future. Available for desktop and also for iOS or Android, Slack lets you stay connected while you’re on the move.
Sign up to Slack.
This online visual planner is a great way to keep on top of both professional or personal tasks. Trello is a web-based workspace that’s helpful for individual schedules or collaborative projects. We use it ourselves at Rushfaster and think that it’s one of the best apps for freelance efficiency because it helps you to visualise exactly what you have to do for the day or week. You can use it to assign certain tasks to people and everyone can see who’s in charge of what. Simply add a specific member to the card and their avatar will pop up on the screen. The beauty of Trello is that you can set it up to suit your personal needs. Make lists according to what your workflow requires. You can categorise items in columns such as “to do” or “done” or have a task list for each day of the week, the choice is yours. It’s been designed to be flexible and suit a variety of different needs.
Sign up to Trello .
Do you jot something important down, just to lose the piece of paper later? If this sounds familiar then Evernote could make your thought catalogue feel much more organised. You can store any information you might want to reference later to the cloud for safe keeping. Write a note, record audio or upload a photograph. This is the ultimate app to keep all of your ideas in the one spot. It’s a particularly helpful tool for journalists or writers who need to keep a record of lots of little details. The voice memo function is fantastic and surprisingly accurate, converting voice to text easily and storing it directly to your account. With Evernote, you’ll never need to spend hours rifling through your computer’s hard drive for files again.
Sign up to Evernote.
We think that Planoly is one of the most beneficial apps for freelance efficiency because it significantly ups your Instagram game. It’s an incredible tool that manages all of your content and is perfect for freelance social influencers or content creators. The app is the first visual planner for Instagram that allows you to schedule photos, respond to user comments, and also track post analytics, all from your computer. Posting and managing several Instagram photos a day used to be quite a task until Planoly came along. But now it’s never been easier to upload a nice, big selection of images and have them all ready and raring to go. We recommend Planoly to anybody who needs to post a lot of Instagram photos for work. The app really streamlines the whole process and makes it super quick and efficient. Did we mention that you can also pre-write all captions beforehand? Yep. This is a complete game changer and saves so much valuable time.
Sign up to Planoly.
A brilliant app for artists, designers and anyone who is very visually minded. Inkflow is a fantastic way to sketch out ideas digitally and is one of our favourite apps for freelance efficiency because it lets your personal character shine through. Not only can you draw onto a digital pad, you can also add typed text, images and even photos of notes that you’ve taken on paper. Once imported into Inkflow, these become objects that can easily be moved around on the page. Inkflow feels a little bit like having Adobe Illustrator on your iPhone or iPad (currently only available for iOS) and is fantastic for designers or architects who need to just pump out a quick sketch. Simply use your finger or a stylus to draw or write on the screen. It is a little bit fiddly at first but you find your groove pretty quickly.
Download Inkflow for iOS.
A big part of being your own boss is dealing with expenses and receipts. It can definitely feel like a chore, to say the least, but it’s crucial to the operation of a business. Instead of sorting through endless receipts come tax time, try using Shoeboxed instead. This invoice and receipt tracker does all the hard work for you, inputting all of your expense data into an online account. You can either snail mail or email your receipts to the Shoeboxed team and they’ll take care of the rest. The numbers will all be neatly arranged in a spreadsheet, as if by magic. An even quicker way of sorting out your expenses is by downloading the mobile app, which uses your camera to snap a quick pic of your receipt. The app’s incredibly accurate optical character recognition technology will then automatically fill an expense report so you never have to manually enter this in.
Sign up to Shoeboxed.
When you’re a freelancer, time is your most valuable resource. You really have to stay on top of deadlines which can sometimes be difficult. A couple of minutes on Instagram or a quick browse through your Facebook feed all adds up quickly in wasted time. To keep you on top of important tasks, we recommend using Freedom, a distraction-blocking app that helps you remain focused and on track. The app restricts access to all your devices including your computer, tablet and smartphone. Don’t worry, they won’t be inaccessible forever. You can assign block lists to a schedule that suits your needs. In our modern world of information overload, it’s hard to switch off sometimes, that’s why Freedom is fantasric, keeping you on track and productive.
Sign up to Freedom.
A big part of freelance life is paperwork. It’s important to know how to draft up contracts properly and invoice clients. We know, it’s boring, takes up time and you’d much rather be doing other things. But with Bonsai, you can reduce the headache of all this admin work considerably. This is one of the more practical apps for freelance efficiency that we have on our list. It doesn’t look particularly flashy, to be honest, but that’s what we love. It’s straightforward and easy to navigate through, making complicated things like contracts and invoice a breeze. Bonsai has a bunch of saved templates to choose from, each of which are easily customisable. Don’t spend unnecessary time formatting documents to send to clients, Bonsai can do it for you. The pièce de resistance, however, is the ability to track payments and set up auto-reminders for your clients. Bonsai can automate this tedious process for you so you don’t have to spend precious time chasing up unpaid invoices.
Sign up to Bonsai.
Money is probably the hardest thing to juggle when you’re a freelancer. Income can be sporadic so it’s really important to be able to stay on top of cashflow. That’s why we love Cushion, this super visual money management tool is designed to make freelance life much less stressful. Not only does it help you clearly predict your future payments, you can also easily see your availability to avoid overbooking clients. Cushion is one of the more fun, brighter apps for freelance efficiency, with a user interface that’s vibrant and engaging. The app makes it a nice experience to check up on your finances, instead of staring at a boring spreadsheet filled with numbers. Being your own boss is made a tiny bit easier thanks to Cushion.
Sign up to Cushion.
Boost your productivity significantly with our selection of apps for freelance efficiency. Spend less time procrastinating or worrying about money and focus more on reaching those deadlines every day. This will ultimately lead to less stress and you’ll actually be able to enjoy the self-employed life.