As a freelancer it can be hard to manage your workflow for multiple projects and clients you work with. From finding jobs, tracking time, managing projects, and securing payments, freelancing can seem at times unmanageable. However, there are some advanced tools that you can start using now to help you. Trust me you are not alone with needing these tools. Freelancing can be stressful without the proper tools, especially if you are just starting out and building your clientele. In a survey put on by Policy Bee, sent out to 2000 Freelancers, they got to the bottom of the biggest challenges faced by Freelancers. The results were:
- 41.8% of freelancers struggle to find clients
- 24.5% struggle with project management
- 17.3% find it hard to handle paperwork, legal, and accounting issues
Here at SpherePad we have a bunch of freelancers so we asked them what tools they loved using. They all had a lot of feedback and couldn’t imagine freelancing without these tools. From free to paid tools suitable for various budgets these platforms will start working for you and help eliminate your challenges.
Where To Find The Jobs?
If you are constantly looking and applying for more contract positions check out all the sites you can sign up for and get freelancing work instantly. No more searching on Craigslist for hours or networking at random events, go on one of theses sites and create your profile and watch the jobs come to you!
Track Your Time
Are you still tracking your hours on an excel spread sheet? Or are you estimating your hours on that old notepad? When you’re freelancing on an hourly basis, it’s best to track every minute spent. Don’t waste your time by using old methods, now use one of the many tracking apps that will help you today. You can choose a project management and time tracking app or integrate a separate time tracking app to work in your project management program.
Toggl (free- $5/month)
Toggl is the simple solution for those seeking a affordable time tracker. This integrates with project management platforms such as Asana, allowing you to start the timer when you are working on projects. It also allows you to set your rate, and share your hours with others.
Thrivesolo was designed for freelancers and will keep track of your your time spent on projects and provide visual overviews of your project timeline. This platform also integrates invoicing and billing.
Klock (free-$20/one time fee)
Klock is a program and desktop application. This program tracks your time and amount of money spent on projects, has time-sheet exports, dashboard reports, and now allows you to create invoices.
Manage Your Projects
Project management can be really tricky when all your projects are happening simultaneously. Not to mention you have to make sure to communicate your progress with your clients. Use one of these tools that were designed with freelancers in mind.
Made by consultants, for consultants. This platform has task creation by projects and clients and includes: reminders, deadlines, recurring tasks, collaboration with clients, review tab, and full reports section. This project management app even includes client management and invoicing.
Wunderlist (free- $5)
Wunderlist is a simple tool with a lot of functionality. The tool allows you to manage tasks based on clients, or projects. Also includes: adding sub-tasks, notes, deadlines, reminders and prioritizing tasks.
Flow allows you to to have complete control of your projects and teams. With email integration this program has task lists, allows you to repeat tasks, add notes, comment, and attach files to tasks. The interface is easy to use and allows you to collaborate with others. It also includes a mobile application.
Podio – (Free- $9 Free)
Podio integrates smoothly with other platforms to keep all your documents in one place. It also allows you to have teams or manage projects independently. This project management app helps you stick to deadlines, and keep all your project files in one shared place. The layout is more visual than a simple task list like many other platforms, allowing you to create your own boards. This is a great way tool for client management, style tools, and perfect for freelancers.
Receive Payments and Send Invoices
Sick of sending out email or document invoices and manually keeping track of billing? Sick of waiting around for that check that seems to be taking forever? Get on one of these apps and streamline the billing process. If you don’t have a full-integrated program here are some you can use to help you with this.
Allows you to manage and send invoices. Anyone can pay through it and does not require a pay pal user to complete the transaction.
Instant online invoicing and payments. This program is great for freelancers and easy to use for clients to make payments. You can even automate payments for the future and it integrates with their accounting tools to keep all your finances in one place!
Harvest allows easy payments, invoicing, time-tracking, and reports. This one will allow you to get paid for every time you spent working and manage that all in one interface.