10 Best Freelancing Tools: Build Your Successful Freelance Career

guest contributor
guest contributor
June 6, 2022
10 Best Freelancing Tools: Build Your Successful Freelance Career

Currently, there are approximately 1.1 billion freelancers in the world, and this number is expected to grow significantly in the next few years thanks to the massive shift in how we work in the post-pandemic world. 

Freelancing sounds fun, but it is not all rainbows and smiles. Most people choose to freelance because they desire freedom, freedom to work at their own schedule and with the clients of their choice. However, working for yourself can be difficult. From keeping an eye on the clients and finding projects, to meeting deadlines and taking care of the finances, there’s a lot that freelancers have to do. That’s obviously a lot of work for anyone, so we decided to round up the 10 best tools for freelancers that make lives and work easier.

10 Must-Have Tools for Freelancers

No doubt you are a great graphic designer or a content marketer, but the truth of the matter is that being great at what you do doesn’t mean you’ll be a successful freelancer. That’s because success in freelancing is not primarily dependent on your skill level. Working as a freelancer means tackling several problems simultaneously. Fortunately, there’s no need to panic because there are now several tools that can help you achieve work-life balance.  Sounds good? Let’s drive straight in.

Time Management Tools

Toggl Track

How to Create a New Toggl Project From a WordPress Form (2022)

Toggl Track is a powerful time-tracking tool. The simple user interface and the wide usability of Android, IOS, and desktops are the reasons for its popularity. With the help of Toggl, freelancers can juggle multiple projects with ease and maximise their time by seeing how much work they’ve got scheduled for the week or month.

Features

1. Billable rates

Many freelancers work with several clients simultaneously, making it difficult to calculate fees for each client. Want to save time calculating your client fees? Add billable rates to your logged time entries. The feature also helps freelancers see how much time they are spending on billable vs. non-billable work.

2.Pomodoro Time Tracking

One of the issues freelancers struggle with is maximising their efficiency while working, while at the same time taking regular breaks. Toggl’s Pomodoro time tracking feature helps freelancers split their work into neat chunks. Within the application settings, you can set up your preferred Pomodoro length. The app stops your time entries when they reach the end of your current Pomodoro interval and notifies you to take a break.

Prices

Free: best for personal use (up to 5 users)

Starter: best for freelancers with multiple clients ($10 per user per month)

Premium: best for growing teams ($20 per user per month)

Calendly

What makes Calendly one of the best tools for freelancers? The fact that it takes away the hassle of back-and-forth emails when scheduling meetings with clients. All you need to do to put an end to the scheduling chit chat is send recipients your unique scheduling link representing multiple meeting options. This way, prospective clients can choose a time that works for them, too. 

Features

1. Calendar management 

Calendly syncs all your calendars to ensure that you are never double booked. All you have to do is set up your preferences, and the system automatically coordinates calendars to ensure a smooth time management experience. 

2.Automatic reminders

Being a freelancer means you are in charge of everything. Juggling multiple tasks can make you prone to mistakes like missing a meeting. However, Calendly leaves no room for such mistakes as it notifies you of cancellations, new meetings, and rescheduled meetings. 

Prices 

Free: best for personal use

Essentials: best for freelancers with multiple clients ($8 per month)

Professional: best for growing teams ($12 per month)

Communication Management Tools

Slack

If you want to keep communication organised in one place, Slack might just be the tool you’re looking for. It is a single space for messaging, tools, and files. The app organises conversations into dedicated spaces called channels – a different one for everything you are working on.

Features

1.Set reminders

Slack offers the feature of setting reminders, through which you can make sure that you don’t forget meetings or key points that can affect the quality of work. To set up a reminder, all you have to do is type “/remind” in a channel and tell Slackbot what you’d like to be reminded of. 

2.Slack message chain

Want to jot some notes for a project you are working on? You can start a Slack messaging chain with yourself. This way, you will be able to access them whenever you want. 

Prices 

Free: best for personal use

Pro: best for freelancers with multiple clients ($6.67 per month)

Boomerang

Boomerang, an email productivity tool works with Gmail or Outlook and allows you to write emails to clients ahead of time and schedule them to send at a certain time. 

It offers various features to make freelancing less of a hassle. For example, the “inbox feature” stops new emails from appearing in your inbox until you are ready for more, and the “respondable feature” determines the chances of you receiving a response from the recipient. 

Features

1.Reminders

The feature ensures that you don’t miss any important notifications. Let’s say you’re working on a project when a new one comes in. To make sure that you don’t forget about it, you can use this feature to display the email to you at a specific time. 

2.Follow-up emails

It can be a hassle to keep track of people who don’t get back to you. With Boomerang, you can set a schedule to send an email if there’s no response for a few hours or days. This saves you time and ensures that your prospective clients haven’t forgotten about you. 

Prices 

1.Gmail

Free: best for personal use 

Personal: best for growing freelancers ($4.98 per month)

2.Outlook

Free: best for personal use  

Personal: best for freelancers with multiple clients ($4.99 per month)

Project Management Tools

Asana

Asana is a project management tool that allows freelancers to break large work into manageable tasks. The tool helps freelancers address issues in one place and eliminate the need for constant meetings.

Features

1.Project and task management

Asana allows freelancers to create lists or boards to host certain projects as a whole. From there, you can divide these projects into tasks and subtasks and even list down the steps to complete them. The feature also allows you to assign start and due dates for projects and add task dependencies to specify which tasks are ready to start and which tasks are waiting on others.

2.Task prioritisation and scheduler 

With Asana, you can create, schedule, and prioritise tasks in different formats, including kanban boards, Gantt, and charts. To prioritise your most important work, you need to first gather your to-dos and create a task list. Then, adopt a task organisation method. And finally, use your calendar to schedule tasks. 

Prices 

Basic (free): best for personal use

Premium: best for freelancers with multiple clients ($10.99 per month)

Trello

Trello is a popular visual project management tool that enables users to organise projects and everything related to them into boards. It helps simplify and standardise the tasks on hand.

It supports integration with various third-party apps and services, including Google Drive, GitHub, Jira, Slack, etc. 

Features

1.Project management

Trello allows users to create boards for each project and track each task’s progress. From assigning deadlines to checking what’s needed in a project, Trello makes every aspect of project management easier. 

2.Kanban Board

Trello is based on the Kanban method, which is the most flexible approach to managing work effectively. The primary benefit of the tool is that it brings clarity to your work process and enhances efficiency by limiting work in progress. 

Prices 

Free: best for personal use

Standard: best for freelancers with multiple clients ($5 per month)

Cloud Storage Tools

Dropbox

Dropbox is a storage tool for freelancers with multiple clients. The tool does more than making file-sharing a breeze. It serves as a space where you can upload your documents for review and collaborate on different projects.

Features

1.View files without downloading extra software

This is hands down the best feature of Dropbox. The feature allows you to watch full-length videos, review PPTs, and read PDFs without downloading extra software. The only software you need is a browser. 

2.Share screenshots

You can use Dropbox’s screenshot-sharing feature on your Mac or PC and automatically save screenshots and screen recordings to your Dropbox account.

Prices 

Plus: best for freelancers with multiple clients ($9.99 per month)

Google Drive

Drive is Google’s one of the best features, which provides encrypted and secure access to your files. This popular file-sharing and storage tool allows you to create folders, add and move documents, and convert files to different file types, which can be helpful for freelancers to stay organised.

Features

1.Advanced search

If you use Google Drive a lot or have worked with several clients in the past, you may have a large number of documents you have stored. So, forgetting where you store a specific document is possible. But, with the advanced search feature, you can search for files and folders that contain certain words in the content, helping you save time on locating files. 

2.Share files

Google Drive allows you to share files and folders with 200 email addresses. Say you’re a graphic designer who wants to share samples with prospective clients. The storage platform allows you to do so just by adding their email addresses under the “share with people and groups” option. 

Prices 

Free (15GB): best for personal use 

Basic (100GB): best for freelancers with multiple clients ($1.99 per month)

Invoice Management Tools

Bonsai

Bonsai is a web-based software that allows you to handle all your client payment communications, including the initial invoice delivery, recurring invoices, etc.

Features

1.Contract Templates 

Jumping into work with clients without a formal agreement in place is a risky move that many freelancers make. Bonsai offers several contract templates for web developers, designers, etc. For freelancers, all you have to do is choose a template based on one of the freelance jobs, fill it, and send it over to the client.

2.Create Invoices

Bonsai’s advantage is that invoices are automatically generated when a contract is created. It also allows users to create new invoices independently of contracts. And accept a variety of payment methods such as PayPal or Stripe.

Prices 

Starter: best for freelancers just starting out ($24 per month)

Professional: best for freelancers with multiple clients ($39 per month)

Freshbooks

Freshbooks is also a great tool for freelancers to create and manage invoices. The platform allows users to set up invoices in no time and accept payment through credit and debit cards, ACH transfers, Stripe, and PayPal.

Features

1.Invoice creation

Freshbooks tool helps create, send, and manage invoices and shows you exactly how your documents will appear when you send them. The tool helps customise invoices, convert estimates, and add a discount, deposit request, or payment schedule.

2.Track Expenses

You can take a snap of the receipt and attach the picture to an item in Freshbooks to log an expense. And it is convenient for freelancers to categorise the expenses, mark them as billable and add them to invoices.

Prices 

Lite: best for freelancers just starting out ($4.50 per month) – 5 billable clients

Plus: best for freelancers with multiple clients ($7.50 per month) – 50 billable clients 

Choosing your right productivity tools

  • Usability – Assess the functionality of the application you are considering. Choose tools that sync with most of the apps and platforms you’re already using. Ensure an intuitive interface for a smooth transition when integrating tools into your workflow.
  • Cost – Purchasing a more expensive tool because it has a long list of extra features isn’t necessarily the correct move, as many of those features might not be useful to you. Therefore, choose a plan based on the features you need.

Freelancing comes with a lot of freedom. However, success in the freelancing world is only guaranteed when you are disciplined. Want to grow your freelancing career? Check out the above-mentioned tools to plan your time well and stay productive. 

Choosing professional freelancer platform – Works

Works is committed to improving the labour market by breaking the traditional recruiting practices and developing the world’s most collaborative talent network. Works connects talents with world’s leading enterprises within 48 hours and gets high-quality job opportunities with the help of Works’ professional experts and AI matching technology. Furthermore, Works’ AI translation helps freelancers communicate effectively via text and voice with clients in different countries so you can reduce the time spent trying to understand or be understood by clients who speak different languages. Most importantly, by eliminating the costly middleman fees and markups charged to the users, talents can keep 100% of their earnings and access long-term community benefits. If you want to learn more about Works, keep reading Works’ blogs or visit Works!

Notice: The tools and services in this article are offered as potential options only. Works does not sponsor or endorse them. The prices of tools mentioned in the article are current at the time of writing and may change at a later date with time or other factors. Each reader and company should take the necessary time to analyse and select the right tool for them before making a decision

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