Top 25 Apps for Freelancers
Being a freelancer means working your way at any time of the day or night anywhere. The world can be your oyster (and your office) thanks to these top 25 apps for freelancers:
- TeuxDeux makes it easier to break up with Post-It notes and clears your workspaces of paper by putting all of your lists in one place. It also allows you to make recurring to-do items and automatically rolls over those things you weren’t able to check off. As an iPhone app and web app, you can update it wherever you are and stay on top of what you need to do in your personal-professional life mashup. The app is free for 30 days and then you can choose to pay by the month for $3 per month or pay for a year in advance for $24, which breaks down to $2 per month.
- UpWork (formerly ODesk) is a great app for Android and iPhone as well as offers a Web platform for finding freelance gigs. Always in search of more work to sustain your freelance business, you will find that UpWork does much of the heavy lifting for you by connecting you to companies looking for all types of talent, including developers, writers, marketers, sales gurus, legal eagles, engineers, architects, and more. It’s free to join and, once you start getting projects, UpWork takes just a 10% fee from the total payment.
- Time provides a way to track all projects at the same time. As you know, freelancers do not work on one project at one time but are driven by a need to work on multiple projects simultaneously and jump between clients and assignments throughout the day and night. As a web platform and an iPhone app, Time follows that hectic pace with you, delivering your schedule and tracking how you spend your time so you can control the past, present, and quite possibly the future.
- FocusBooster helps you stop getting lost in thought (or Facebook) by reminding you to take a break and step away. With a built-in timer, it will remind you when to stop and rest as a way to boost your focus and productivity plus it will allow you to track your time on project and import this information into reports and invoices. A 15-day trial allows you to take it for a spin. After that, you can get a free version with all the features except it only saves your data for three days, while the $2.99 per month/$29.99 per year plan offers unlimited saved data.
- Shake is a free legal service for creating, signing, and sending legal agreements that add a formal framework to your relationship with clients. They offer a template library and a quick, professional way to keep everything legal. Offered through an iPhone app and web platform, with an Android app to come, the personal version is free while the professional version is $10 a month and allows you to customize the available forms with branding and photos while integrating with your preferred cloud storage device.
- HootSuite is a must for staying on top of the numerous social media platforms you use to market yourself. Plus, it works great if you are in charge of your clients’ social media platforms. Not only do you want to maximize your time to get on to other projects, but you also might want to disappear on a mental health break for a few days. With HootSuite for web, iPhone, iPad and Android, you can schedule posts in advance plus it loads to multiple platforms at the same time rather than manually putting a similar message on each one. It also measures the impact of your posts so you can track your marketing efforts and results for clients. There’s a free version for up to three social profiles or a Pro version that comes with a 30-day trial and up to 100 profiles for $9.99 per month.
- TextExpander from SmileSoftware understands every minute counts, including being able to shave off a few minutes for each email you have to send that very often says pretty much the same thing. It provides snippets that it learns from previous emails so these can be inserted into future emails plus it offers standardized greetings, signatures, and phrases most often used in business emails. Offering a free trial, it is then available for $44.95, which provides you ownership over the software to use it however you wish.
- Shoeboxed helps you de-clutter by turning all those business cards and receipts into digitized data fro creating expense reports and preparing for tax season. This forever-free app works with your smartphone GPS to also track mileage plus integrates with other programs you may use like Evernote and QuickBooks.
- Bidsketch offers a way to drive new business through the creation of professional proposals. Since you are not making money while doing the proposal, you want a way to get these done quickly, but have them still look good so you get future revenue from the effort. Bidsketch gives you the designs and content plus includes PDF export and the ability to get electronic signatures for the documents you create. It comes with a 14-day trial and then is $29 per month for freelancers. A Studio version is $79 per month and adds the ability to have three users, real-time collaboration, and team management.
- Trello lets you put email threads behind you as a way to locate for information and check on project updates. You’ll spend less time searching and wondering what needs to be done and more time doing billable work. That’s because Trello puts it all in one place with lists and cards that can be dropped, dragged, shared, and updated by using the Web or app versions for Android, Windows 8, Kindle Fire, and iPhone. Trello is free, but you can upgrade to Trello Gold that provides you a way to upload much larger files for $5 per month or $45 per year.
- Skype is the way to go when it comes to staying in touch with clients, offering a free way to reach out, ask questions, and update each other no matter where you are in the world from your computer, tablet, or smartphone. You can make calls, video chat, or send instant messages to keep the work flowing.
- PayPal is still one of the best ways to get paid because your clients can send their funds in just about any currency and you can instantly exchange it for your own currency without any fees. You will get paid quickly, safely, and effectively whether your client opts to use a bank account, line of credit, or credit or debit card to cover your invoice. Use a PayPal debit or credit card or almost instantly transfer the money to a designated bank account.
- LinkedIn keeps you in the loop and opens doors to new opportunities. Not only can you market yourself to others within your network who then can share your information with their networks, but you can also tap into knowledge libraries, find out about offline and online events, receive job listings in your freelance area, and follow the thought leadership of others. While most of the resources are available with the free version, you can upgrade for a small fee to receive even more information that can enhance your freelance biz.
- Oh Don’t Forget realizes you are split in many different pieces as a freelancer and something is bound to be lost in the process. To keep you from doing that, this app gives you a way to schedule text messages and SMS reminders about anything important that you or others should not forget about.
- FreedCamp is a free way to collaborate with others similar to BaseCamp, including digitizing the Post-It note concept, offering task lists, and delivering a comprehensive calendar for free. To leverage some greater functionality for your growing freelance business, you might want to consider some other paid packages for this app, including $2.99/month for the Wiki version to provide more documents to share; $6.99/month to add invoices and time tracking; $10.99/month for Issue Tracker to use advanced project management functionality; and $12.99/month for the CRM features to effectively manage campaigns and engage with customers.
- ContactMe helps you consolidate all your contacts to create a powerful contact management system for turning leads into clients and tracking and updating information related to all of your contacts. It syncs with Google Calendar, Mail Chimp, WordPress, Facebook, Constant Contact, and Gmail for greater convenience. You can even create a free ContactMe button and web form to put on many online platforms to collect contact data more effectively. It is free for personal use or $3.95/month for more functionality or $7.42/month for the BizPro edition that offers the greatest number of features.
- Unprinted lets you take your portfolio of work with you because you never know where you will get lead, plus carrying a printed portfolio can be cumbersome and difficult to update. Instead, this app makes a portfolio (or multiple portfolios) of your work available through your iPad to edit and share in real-time. For just $2.99 through the Apple App Store, you can create a great presentation that just might get you more to add to that portfolio.
- Hippo Remote Pro turns your iPhone or iPod into a wireless keyboard, remote control, and mouse for your computer. For just $4.99, you can control your computer and have a log-in manager wherever you are to ensure you can access important work at any time.
- eVoice turns your smartphone into a multiline phone so you can have a separate business line without needing any other devices. The freelancer plan comes with a 30-day trial and then is just $12.99 per month for two extensions, six numbers, 300 minutes, voice mail that goes to your email or text, a toll-free or local number, and an attendant.
- Joomla lets you build an incredible, user-friendly website using open source designs and tools without feeling like you need to go to school or hire a designer. And, since you most likely will want to refresh your website or scale it up as your freelance biz grows, you can return to Joomla for more features and functionality.
- Prezi has you covered when you have to create and show presentations for your freelance business or develop them for clients. As a cloud-based solution, Prezi lets you present anywhere from any device, including tablets, smartphones, and the web. Its cheapest version is $4.92 per month, which gets you 4 GB of storage, access on any device, and technical support.
- Expensify provides an efficient way to track all your receipts by scanning then into one platform and syncing this information with Quickbooks or Xero as well as integrating with Evernote, Dropbox, and more. It is IRS-compliant and saves considerable time staying on top of all those expenses that need reimbursement or that can be tracked for tax purposes. It’s only $5 per month and comes with 30-day trial.
- GoDaddy Online Bookkeeping (formerly Outright) simplifies the bookkeeping process for freelancers and small businesses. For $9.99 per month, this app imports and categorizes data from such places as your bank, credit cards, Etsy, eBay, PayPal, and Amazon. It does your Schedule C for you and provides help with self-employment tax, estimated taxes, and financial statements like profit and loss.
- iFreelance keeps the leads flowing and delivers access to hundreds of projects you can bid on across all types of freelancing careers. They do not take a commission or tack on fees. However, they do charge anywhere from $6.25 to $12 per month to access their database and various features that allow you to market and differentiate yourself in their marketplace.
- Google Drive goes everywhere you go so you can never be without the information you need to update a document for a client, collaborate on a project, or make a quick edit when inspiration strikes. You can also be rest assured that your documents are safe and available on any device. Google provides 5 GB for free or you can upgrade to 25 GB for less than $2.50 per month.
Of course, we think that we’re also a pretty darn good tool for you freelancers out there.