When you first become a freelancer, you’re probably over the moon to have the liberty of finally being your own boss. Once reality starts kicking in and you develop your daily routine, however, you’ll quickly realize that you alone are responsible for every element of your business, from tracking finances and marketing your skills to managing your time and actually completing your tasks.
All these were probably done by a dozen different people at the previous company you’ve worked at, and you likely never even had to think about the many things it takes to keep a business afloat. But before you start feeling overwhelmed, take comfort in the fact that we’re living in a time when everything is within arm’s reach. Thanks to the technological advances of recent years, you can probably run all branches of your business by yourself on your phone. All you need are the right tools, and some tasks virtually take care of themselves, while others can be easily managed with the touch of a button.
Check out 12 fantastic planning and organizing apps (in alphabetical order) for your phone to help you stay on top of your freelancing game:
1. Duffel – to safeguard your emails
Working in perfect harmony with Google Mail, Duffel makes sure that your most important emails don’t ever get lost. With a simple install, you can add it to your Gmail account and start saving your significant correspondences in PDF format.
2. Evernote – to write down everything
Evernote is the Moleskine of note-taking apps, where you can not only draft your ideas, but also create personalized to-do lists, set reminders and even plan events. Additionally, the app can serve as a journal, offering a very practical platform for tackling tasks that would otherwise require carrying around multiple notebooks at the same time.
3. Focus Booster – to tackle tasks with increased concentration
Based on the world-famous pomodoro time management technique, Focus Booster encourages people to work in short but extremely focused bursts, taking regular breaks in between. It helps with timing your work trajectory and can be extremely helpful to people prone to distractions.
4. Google Drive, Docs, Gmail, Keep, Calendar – to keep track of documents
Google offers quite a few apps that can prove useful for Freelance professionals and remote workers. Gmail lets you categorize your emails with a simple click, Google Drive helps you store and share documents and photos on the cloud, while Google Docs lets you create different types of files, which you can write in, edit and send to others on the go. Google Keep acts as a notepad through which you can sync to the Drive, while Google Calendar features a customizable timetable that helps you in overseeing your tasks, projects, meetings and more besides.
5. Headspace – to help you wind down
Self-care is of paramount importance when you’re a freelancer, because you can’t really focus and work properly if you get ill—and if you can’t do the work you won’t get paid either! Headspace features 10-minute guided meditations which can help you get your bearings, reduce stress levels, improve sleeping habits and enhance concentration levels.
6. Invoicely – to take care of bills
Probably one of the most sophisticated invoice apps out there, Invoicely offers a wide range of services. Through this program, you can issue invoices, track time, receive payments, provide discounts and take care of taxes, all on the same platform.
7. MindMeister – to boost brainstorming sessions
Freelancers working in creative fields will quickly fall in love with MindMeister, an easy-to-use brainstorming app where you can share your ideas and plans with your colleagues. You can not only get access to a complete overview of the project, you can also give and receive input from others, discuss different ideas in real time, and come up with creative solutions within your team.
8. Proposify – to simplify the bidding process
Instead of drafting a proposal from scratch each time you want to bid for a project, you can always turn to Proposify, which offers ready-made templates that only need to be minimally filled out by you. You can generate fresh proposals with ease and modify old ones in an effortless manner with the help of this application.
9. Quickbooks – to stay on top of finances
If you’re in search of an app to simply help you keep track of your finances, both business and personal, then look no further than Quickbooks. It displays your financial situation in real time (after you’ve connected it to your bank accounts) and can also estimate your taxes.
10. Shoeboxed – to help store your receipts
Quite a handy tool for business owners, Shoeboxed makes sure that you never lose an important receipt again. Through its straightforward interface, you can simply take a photo of said receipt and the app not only stores it, it also figures out its most important characteristics, like the date, amount and vendor who issued it. Then it even sorts it into the most common tax categories, which will significantly simplify your life.
11. Toggl – to keep track of your time
Many freelancers work by the hour, having hourly fees and a work schedule that needs to be monitored. This is where Toggle comes in. It’s a time-tracking app aimed at this particular niche that lets you share your productivity intervals with clients through appealing charts and has many other awesome time-managing features that should help you in your work.
12. Trello – to manage all your projects in one place
The ultimate project management app, Trello is used around the world by organizations, companies and freelancers alike. Its simple platform helps you set up boards, establish assignments, check off tasks once they are completed, and keep track of your clients’ or coworkers’ requirements.
BONUS: Upwork, Fiverr and Freelancer
These global freelancing platforms are quite easy to use, offer safety to all parties involved, and connect freelance workers with projects and clients. Once you set up your profile, you can leisurely place your bid on work tasks that interest you, chat with potential clients about specifics, gain valuable feedback and track your financial transactions all in one place. The apps offer a fantastic way to build up your portfolio, especially in the beginning when you’re trying to establish a professional resume of your services as a remote worker.