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Working as a freelancer offers an incredible amount of freedom. The ability to pick up and go wherever you fancy and whenever the mood strikes, without sacrificing your career or salary, can be intoxicating. Little wonder then that an increasing number of workers choose to go it alone and make good money in the process.
To make the most out of a freelance career, you need to stand out from others competing in the same field. These tools can help your freelance career and stay at the top of your game so you can keep on enjoying the borderless lifestyle freelancers love living.
Whether you work alone, with a team, or frequently collaborate with clients, Trello is an amazing management tool for your freelancing business. Free to download and to use, it’s also highly customizable to your freelancing business’ needs.
You’re can create boards for different clients or projects, set privacy settings and due dates, and use the simple click and drag system to keep things organized and your work on target. Automatic emails keep you aware of upcoming deadlines and tasks that need attention. Leave notes for yourself or others, and access everything you need through the user-friendly app.
A popular project management tool, Asana provides everything you need to keep your freelancing business running smoothly without getting weighed down in bells and whistles. The simple and minimalist interface is easy to use and daily emails listing upcoming due dates and tasks make keeping track of deadlines and projects a breeze.
You can use Asana on its own or take advantage of the available many integrations, allowing you to customize your experience and streamline the apps you work with. There are multiple plans to choose from, including a free basic version, choose the level that suits your business’ needs, and upgrade if needed as your client base grows.
Freelancers need to keep a close eye on their time. Many charge their clients by the hour, but even for flat-rate work, you want to keep track of how efficiently you’re using your time. Toggl is a great, free option that offers a chrome extension that makes keeping tabs on time easy, even as you switch between browser windows.
Toggle provides highly accurate timing, identifying idle periods and allowing users to program automatic stop times to avoid accidentally leaving the clock running. Available for free on many different platforms, there are also paid options, depending on the needs of your business and the size of your team.
Freelancing can mean taking lots of notes. You may be collecting them during conversations or pulling them from emails and messages exchanged on different platforms. Without a stellar organization system to keep your notes integrated and readily available, you may be losing pertinent information that results in a less-than-satisfied client.
Evernote allows you to take notes wherever you are, and it doesn’t stop with just written words. Images and audio can be included as well. Say goodbye to lost or forgotten ideas, inspiration, and to-do lists with this app. The basic plan is free, but some features are only available with a subscription.
Once you have your favourite apps installed and ready to go, it’s time to think about securing your devices so you can enjoy working on the go. When you’re freelancing (and travelling) you need access to the internet. Outside of your home, you may find yourself relying on unsecured public wifi to get your important — and often sensitive — work completed.
To keep your devices secure and your and your client’s data safe, download a reliable VPN. This software encrypts information, provides anonymity, protects your devices from Man-in-the-Middle attacks, and can keep giving you access to your favourite websites even when you’re travelling in regions with internet restrictions.
You take charge of where you are and what projects you’re willing to spend your time on when you become a freelancer. With the right tools, you’ll find you’ll be spending less time working — even as you accomplish more. When that happens, you can truly enjoy the flexibility and lifestyle that comes along with a successful freelance career.