By now, you`re probably aware of the fact that the freelance market is on the rise. We’ve talked about it in one of our previous blog posts - Why You Shouldn’t Miss Out on Starting Your Freelance Career in 2021? Working from anywhere, being your boss, choosing your own clients doesn’t sound like a bad way to earn a living, right?
But, just as Peter Parker, many freelancers-to-be should learn the same lesson - with great power comes great responsibility. Freelancers need to wear many hats to maintain their lifestyle and income, which can be stressful. Luckily, we live in a time where technology is on our side, and freelancers can use it to improve their productivity, effectiveness, and overall job success.
That’s why Brybe’s editorial team will share 11 tools that can help any freelancer become better at their job.
Working & Organizational Tools
There’s one tool that freelancers from all industries can use - Google Drive.
You’ve probably heard about Google Drive one way or another - it’s a cloud storage service by Google, enabling you to have access to all the files, media, and other important files for you. It’s free, and you can access it only by creating a Gmail account.
Google Drive offers 15GB free storage and for any additional storage, you can check out the paid plans. Most freelancers choose Google Drive as their all-in-one tool because of its simple interface, easy synchronization, and access from all devices- especially iOS, and Android.
Google Drive enables you access to their software tools - Google Docs, Google Spreadsheets, Google Forms, etc. You can use them all to write documentation, organize your work, prepare presentations, and many more. You can share all these files and documents with your clients. Plus, you can use Google Meet for your meetings - once you schedule a meeting, it’ll automatically get added to your Google Calendar too. As a freelancer, it’s important to keep track of meetings and deadlines, so the best way to be organized is to use a calendar.
Next, let’s check out other tools as well.
Project Management Tools
If you’re one of those lucky freelancers who work with one client only, you might not even need a project management tool. But, many freelancers out there prefer to work with multiple clients. The freelancers at our Brybe Marketplace like that way of working, too - it gives them flexibility and a chance to learn and work for numerous clients.
It sounds impressive, but it’s a challenge to keep everything going smoothly. That’s why you need to use certain project management tools to make things easy on yourself.
Asana is an all-in-one project management tool designed to help teams and organizations to create a steady workflow. Project managers can create tasks here, manage teams, specify deadlines, create and read reports, etc. It has a beautiful, user-friendly design and the free plan has limited features, but it’s ideal for freelancers. Plus, you can integrate it with more than 100 tools and software. That being said, Asana may be a bit too much for first-time users and freelancers. Just try it out for free and see how it will suit your work.
A workboard for all the tasks? That’s Trello and judging by its success and the number of users, the workboard is a winning recipe. Trello is a visual project management tool. You can set up all of your projects and tasks on the dashboard and have visual control over them. You can personalize the boards, move cards from one point to another and share the dashboard with clients, if necessary. The visual progress of the working process is Trello’s biggest advantage. Plus, it’s free too.
Basecamp is another project management tool that can help you organize your work. With Basecamp, you can create to-do lists, schedule meetings or calls, organize your files and documents, etc. It’s actually quite convenient for freelancers as the company is focused on promoting the remote way of work. Plus, there’s 30 days free trial plan, ideal for freelancers to try it out.
Organizing your work is crucial to get the job done, but it takes a lot of self-discipline to constantly bring the same level of productivity and results. Many freelancers feel like they spend their entire day in front of the computer because their job is at their homes. That’s why using productivity or time tracking tools can be more beneficial than you actually think - you’ll be able to gain more control over your time.
Productivity and Time Tracking Tools
Being your own boss has its perks but also its downfall - procrastination. It’s easy to get distracted when you’re working from home, and that’s why you need to manage your own time by using different tools. Here are our suggestions:
Hubstaff is an excellent tool for tracking time. The software is designed to take screenshots of the work that you do and based on them and your work, it can create productivity reports and measurements. Plus, you can use it to send invoices too. As a freelancer, a lot of your clients may ask you to use time-tracking software so it’ll be a lot better if you adjust yourself to the idea by downloading Hubstaff, installing it, and use it for yourself.
Freelancers don’t get distracted just by their surroundings - they have distractions all over the Internet. So, in order to do the job in a timely manner, the best thing to do is to stay focused.
StayFocusd is software that limits your time on certain websites - social media platforms mostly. Install the extension to your browser and set up a time limit. Once you exceed that time limit on particular websites (usually social media platforms), StayFocusd will block that website for the entire day. The tool is quite useful and you’ll be able to get your job done a lot faster.
What happens if you need to communicate with your clients? Most likely, you’re going to communicate via some of these communication platforms.
Communication is key, especially in the freelancing world. Clients need to communicate things with you as a Freelancer either on a daily or a weekly basis and most likely, you’ll have some things to discuss with them as well. To do that, you need to use sophisticated and secure tools, such as:
Everyone knows of Skype! It’s an application that enables you to call, video chat, or message anyone on your contact list. It’s secure, fast, easy to use, and most importantly, free. You can create groups if you want to talk to multiple people at once. It’s a pretty practical communication tool for any freelancer.
Zoom got really popular last year - in March 2020, the company experienced a massive 200 million daily participants - free and paid! Zoom is a software platform that enables its users to communicate via video messaging. You can schedule calls and everything else via the platform. It’s intuitive and easy to use.
Slack has become one of the most popular communication tools for work. Employees use it all the time. It has a unique design, clean. If your clients use Slack for communication, you’ll get an invite to their channel and you can talk directly with anyone.
Last, but not least - finances.
Freelancers take care of their own money and that’s not an easy task to do. As a freelancer, you need to be aware of the payment options you have, and here are some of them:
PayPal is by far, the best payment method for freelancers. It’s secure, easy to use, and most of the clients are comfortable using it to pay for your work. It’s available in over 200 countries and supports 25 currencies. We at Brybe Marketplace use PayPal for our freelancers too. However, as of May 31st, 2021, they have new fees which can be pretty high for some freelancers, you can check them out here.
As mentioned on their website, Mint is the most downloadable finance app right now. With Mint, you can easily manage your budget, track your expenses and monitor your spending habits. For a freelancer, it’s crucial to know the big picture of its finances, and Mint can definitely help you with it. Plus, it’s budget-friendly.
And that’s it!
Let’s hope that with this guide and our suggestions, we can help you become a better freelancer in every way. The first step though is to create a profile, right here at our marketplace and start your search for the perfect client today!