Freelancers are highly aware that having the right tools to run a side business are critical for success. The right productivity apps will keep the individual organized and in tune with the business. That’s why we provide a list of 3 tools all freelancers can use and implement today.
1. Google Apps for Work
Google Apps for Work (formerly Google Apps for Business) is an exceptionable email, calendar, contacts, and collaboration system for freelancers. Email is as essential as the water and power in a business. Email will be the main communication for the freelancer. Contacting potential customers, working with other freelancers, and marketing purposes, will be the majority of email’s usage. Keeping your life in order with a calendar will be your new best friend. All meetings will be scheduled in your calendar and keep your schedule and projects in check. Google Apps for Business comes with a lot more features we couldn’t cover in this post. The big question is how much does this cost? You receive everything mentioned and other features for about $5 per month per user. Not too shabby.
If you have not heard of Dropbox, here is a summary. Dropbox is a file hosting server where users can store, share, and collaborate with others. How can freelancers use the service? There are numerous ways Dropbox can be used. For starters, all company documents can be placed in a dedicated folder. Documents such as non-disclosure agreements, documentation, company spreadsheets, just to name a few. Google Docs which is included in Google Apps for Work is a solution for document storage. When working with customers collaboration and organization is key. Another use for Dropbox is creating a folder for a specific project and sharing the folder with all collaborators. This helps keep all project documents centralized. The service does offer a free account. The free account allocates 2GB of storage space and for $9.99 per month you will be bumped up to 1TB of storage. Who doesn’t want more digital space? Dropbox is a great service that can be used for numerous facets for a freelancer.
Starting out as a freelancer requires you to wear numerous hats. Everything from human resources to the accountant of the business. This is were Freshbooks comes into play. Freshbooks is a jack of all trades software, the service provides accounting, a ticketing system, project time tracking, and automated invoice generation. A WordPress developer can use the service to setup automated monthly billing for customers and use the ticketing system for customers to input feature or website change requests. Freshbooks is a service we have used personally and is highly recommended. As most of the services on this list, Freshbooks offers a free account, but upgrading to the $19.99 per month account is worth every penny.
Being organized and having services work for the freelancer is truly the best method for running an efficient side business. These tools are certainly not the end all be all, but have helped us stay organized with all of our customers, maintain an easy work flow, and keep track of all incoming and outgoing payments. As a business ourselves, we know the importance of making sure all service components associated with the business help us in the short and long run.
We’d love to hear about other services freelancers or businesses have used! Fill up the comments below.