Top Online Tools for Creative Freelancers
Creative freelancers that work in the digital space have many things to manage. There’s the web hosting, domain registrar, emails and social media accounts. With so many responsibilities, it can be hard to find the time to focus on their core competencies and grow their businesses. Thankfully, there are many online tools that can help creative freelancers with everyday tasks such as email management and brainstorming. Here are some of the top online tools creative freelancers need to be using right now.
1. Harvest and Toggl
Do you bill based on the hour? Harvest is a time tracking and invoicing software that allows you to keep track of the hours you’ve spend working on the project. The other big feature is that it’s an invoicing tool. The software also features advanced reporting which allows you to make better estimates for future projects. If you’re on a budget and need a reliable time tracking software, you can use Toggl. Toggl is a simple and free time tracking software that also offers premium features.
As a creative freelancer, inspiration can strike at any moment. The question is: are you prepared to capture your ideas? Evernote is a handy app that allows you to collect your ideas and organize them for future access. You can record everything from hand written notes, pictures, videos and audios. Evernote allows you to build on your ideas so that you turn your ideas into something of substance. You can share the notes for collaboration and the notes are searchable even if they’re based on your handwriting.
Trello is a free time and project management that is presented in easy to understand visual boards. You can quickly create projects, add labels to projects and add members to collaborate with your team. Checklists, alarms and deadlines are built in so that you don’t miss a single detail of your project and complete everything on time. There are also many platforms you can import on to Trello like Evernote, GitHub, Google Drive and Slack.
G Suite is a collection of Google apps that offer essential tools for every freelancer. The list includes Gmail, Calendar, Drive, Docs and more. The primary apps to focus on are Google Drive and Docs. These two apps allow you to store your files on the cloud and help you collaborate with others. Google Docs in particular will prove to be indispensable if you’re on the go and need to access important files at any given moment. A great alternative to Google Docs is Dropbox. Dropbox works similarly and allows you to store and retrieve your files from the cloud.
5. Mix Max
Mix Max is an email add-on tool that allows you to track your emails. You’ll know when your emails are opened, the links are clicked through and if it’s even delivered. It also helps you manage conversations. You can quickly see if you’ve replied to your emails and even sync your emails with Google Calendar. This offers a feature that reminds you when you need to send email so that you don’t forget to make those important contacts.
Freshbooks is an accounting software that will simplify your finances. It’ll do everything from time tracking, invoicing, expense management and reporting. They even have added features to accept payments even when you’re on the go. If you often have trouble managing your business finances, then you’re going to want to invest in a software like Freshbooks. The alternative is Quickbooks which is similar in function but focuses less on client management.
Hootsuite allows you to manage your social media from one platform. Instead of logging in to your social media accounts one by one, you can update them all at once. It also allows you to track messages and mentions to reach out to potential partnerships or protect your online reputation. There are also automation tools that let you schedule your posts for the future to better manage your social media campaigns. Reporting features round out the software so that you can make better decisions in the future. The alternative to Hootsuite is Buffer. Buffer works similarly and is more affordable but seems to have fewer features.
Those are just some of the many online tools that creative freelancers should be using. There are so many different ways to apply these tools into your business. For example, Mix Max can serve as a sales tool as it can manage your email conversations and give you an idea of what emails are working in terms of delivery, opens and clicks. It can also serve as a powerful tool that works with your calendar and makes sure you’re responding to important emails. There’s no need to set up complex tracking in your web hosting email service. Put in the time to look at all these online tools and figure out what makes sense in regards to how they can help you and how they fit into your budget.