Being a home-based freelancer or managing your self-employed small business at home requires you to manage several tasks at once. If you’re a writer or designer, you don’t only do one job. You are also expected to negotiate well, communicate on time, track your productivity, and even issue an invoice for your service. Fortunately, there are available tools online that can help you manage your workload better. Here are some applications and programs that will aid in you in thriving to be better in the competitive world of freelancing.
For File Storage
One of the best things that ever happened to file-saving is the development of online storage. It has now become convenient to save data and access them from anywhere you are. If you work through different devices or don’t use the same desktop at all times, it is important to get a tool that allows you to do this. SkyDrive, for example, features a 25-GB disc space and allows you to access your files somewhere else. There is also the Dropbox, which likewise offers online storage and sharing. The simplest you can make use of is GoogleDocs. It is a free tool that offers the basic features you need in working with tables and texts, and it can be edited and shared by several people.
For Time Tracking
Whether it’s for billing purposes or you just want to measure productivity, you can always find a way to keep track of your time. A good time tracking tool allows you to utilize it from anywhere you are, through desktop or mobile. You only need to create an account and you can instantly access it even while on the go. Toggl is popular for such service at $5 per month and with a 30-day free trial. This tool is designed to help record time for different projects and sums it all up at the end of a job. It is also available as an iPhone App so it’s not browser-based timer.
For Your To-do List
Daily tasks are overwhelming enough for the self-employed, but adding other must-do items for the coming weeks can be too much to remember. Forget about noting something mentally and make sure not to miss an important task ever again. Seek help from a to-do tool like the TeuxDeux. With a minimalistic design, it offers basic functions like providing the week’s overview, allowing you to shift tasks and marking them as completed. It features a helpful function, Someday Bucket, which archives the tasks with low priority, so they can be handled once the order situation leaves some space. The TeuxDeux offers a free 30 days trial, after which access is charged at $3 per month or $24 a year. You can also get Remember The Milk, a classic to-do app available in Android, iOS, Blackberry, Outlook, Gmail, Twitter, and Evernote.
To Manage Billing
One important item to track and keep a record of is billing. To aid you in doing so, get an online invoicing app FreshBooks. An comprehensive accounting and billing app, it is ideal for small business as it combines all the features you need into one piece of cloud based software. Another invoicing system that you can enjoy is the CurdBee, which is known for having one of the best free packages that includes many features that you can only avail of when getting paid apps.
For Chat and Call
While email is a good form of communicating with clients and coordinating on the project, there are also times when instant messaging through chat, video and audio conferencing become more effective. These are methods that will give you better turnaround time when it comes to decision making. Skype, Polycom, and even Facetime for iOS offer free services for basic chat and video call features. This is an app you can equip your devices with so you can always stay connected as a self-employed entrepreneur.
Amanda Smith is a blogger based in San Diego, California. She loves writing about technology and gadgets, travel and arts, health and wellness, and just about anything that tickles her fancy. When she’s not writing, she’s busy catching up on her favorite sitcoms with her yellow Labrador, Chandler Tribbiani. You can catch more of her works at her gang’s hangout, wordbaristas.com.