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99 Tools to Enhance Your Freelance Lifestyle

99 Tools to Enhance Your Freelance Lifestyle

The world of freelancing is incredibly competitive, even now more than ever. If you want to be successful as a freelancer in the 21st century, you need to be using the best tools available to you.

Here is a list of some of the best around to ensure you work smarter and more efficiently to make a living as a freelancer.

Writing

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    • Grammarly- If you are a freelance writer, you know the importance of high-quality, mistake-free writing. Your entire job can hinge on the misspelling of a word, or the lack of a comma. Since critiquing your own writing is scientifically proven to be pretty much impossible, tools such as Grammarly come in handy. This simple Chrome extension does extensive checks for both spelling and grammar in whatever web document you are working out of, so you can see what mistakes you are making and how to quickly and easily fix them for cleaner writing.
    • Hemingway- For the most part, readers absolutely hate fluff in content. And if you are a freelance writer, more than likely, the company or individual who has hired you is not hiring you for fluff writing, but for factual, right-to-the-point content. With the Hemingway app, you can plug in your content and get edits for all fluff and meaningless run-on, just like the famed writer would do himself.
    • Portent Content Idea Generator- As a freelance writer, a large majority of your time will be actually writing the content. But what may be just as time consuming is coming up with the topic to start with. When you hit writer’s block and can’t come up with another topic, Portent is here to help. Simply plug in a few different keywords and the headline generator will give you a seemingly endless array of different topics with those keywords.
    • Medium- As a freelancer, many ideas can come as inspiration from things that have already been written and created. Putting your own spin on a topic is one of the best ways to create something successful. Medium is an outstanding tool for this process as it curates the best and brightest content around the Internet all in one place for you to easily navigate and sift through.
    • Cliche Finder- Are you a freelance writer who is trying to cut down on the amount of filler statements and sentences throughout your content? Cliche Finder is an excellent way to cut the fluff from your writing by targeting common words and phrases you may hear or use in daily conversation, but which simply don’t work in the written world. With this tool, you can quickly sharpen up your content and improve your long-term skills.
    • Editorial Calendar Chrome Extension– Are you in a position where you are forced to stay on top of an incredible amount of content at one time, or need to ensure everything is being written and published on the correct days? With the Go Editorial Calendar Chrome extension, you can quickly view and record the blog post you need done next. With helpful writing strategy and marketing tips, this is an excellent all-around tool to help improve your content and its performance.
    • Buzzsumo- Finding topics can be difficult to do after a while as a freelance writer. It may feel as if you have written about every single topic under the sun. With tools such as Buzzsumo, however, you can find out what people are actually reading about and talking about on social media, helping you to come up with topics you may have never thought of, and creating targeted content people have proven they are interested in reading about.
    • ZenPen- If you aren’t a fan of Microsoft Word for your writing process, there are still plenty of outstanding resources available to you to create your content on. With ZenPen, you get a beautiful, minimalist writing zone that allows you to do one thing and one thing only: write. With plenty of necessary formatting features made easy to use, this is an outstanding all-around writing tools available today.

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      • Quick Sprout- Is your freelance website struggling to get adequate traffic, but you don’t know exactly why or what exactly you can do to fix it? With Quick Sprout, you can get an quick and easy evaluation of your website and detailed problem points and what you can do to improve and make your site more successful.
      • Moz Open Site Explorer- Having quality backlinks and a well structured inbound link profile are just a couple of the keys to an SEO-optimized website. With the Moz Open Site Explorer, you can quickly find out your domain authority, page authority, and number of established links on your website to see how you are stacking up against the competition and what areas you can improve upon.
      • Yoast SEO- If you do a lot of your blogging on WordPress, the Yoast SEO Chrome extension is an absolute must-have tool. This outstanding plugin will help you analyze your post and allow you to see what it will look like in search results so you can make sure everything from your headline, to your meta description, to photos and more are all properly optimized for search engines.
      • Google Analytics- Whether it is your social media profiles, or specific web pages on your site, you want to know exactly how everything is performing with your visitors and clients whenever you can. With Google Analytics, you can easily track a wide range of statistics and view page views, click through rates, and more all down to the minute so you can better enhance your freelance setup.
      • Nibbler- Want to know how well your website is really performing? Nibbler offers freelancers a free tool to test any website they want and get instant feedback on accessibility, SEO, social media performance, and technology. All of this important data comes together so you can see where you can improve and boost its overall performance.
      • Browseo- With Browseo, you can really get down to the nitty gritty of the overall structure of your web pages. From the basic HTML coding, number of internal links, number of words on each page, the heading, and every other SEO tag that factors into any given post. Browseo gives you a detailed and accurate report so you can see what is performing well and where you can improve.

      Finance

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        • InvoiceHome – Managing your finances and ensuring you get paid for all of your hard work is absolutely essential as a freelancer. When your job is up, you need to provide your employer with an Invoice to detail all of the work you have done and the necessary charges for it. With InvoiceHome, you get access to over 100 different invoice templates to present a professional receipt and bolster your reputation as a freelancer.
        • Mint – As someone who runs their own business, essentially a business of yourself, managing your financial records is crucial to being successful. As a freelancer, Mint is one of the best overall money management tools available today. With the ability to manage payments accounts, and much more across all of your different devices with the utmost privacy and security, you can rest knowing the money from all of your important work is safe.
        • Wave – With freelancing, you are more than likely in charge of your finances for your personal work. With Wave Accounting, you can easily and accurately manage all of your invoicing and payments, accounting, and even payroll if necessary. With Wave, you can easily access your accounts and information whenever you need to, on an array of different devices and ensure everything is entirely safe and secure.
        • Freshbooks – Running your own small business as a freelancer means handling your own finances and accounts. If you are running these elements of a business yourself, Freshbooks is the tool for you. This top of the line resource allows you to handle all of your invoicing when your jobs are done, track every expense you have, track the amount of time it takes you to accomplish tasks, and handle all the payments for your business.
        • QuickBooks – From small business owners to freelance accountants and more, Quickbooks is one of the best all around software tools available to you. With this resource, you can run your entire business’ financial side from the accounting, payments, expenses and more. If you are handling money and need to stay on top of everything, then QuickBooks is the tool for you to use.
        • Xero – As a freelancer, handling the accounting for your individual business is crucial for your long term success. With Xero, any freelancer can easily tackle the accounting and finances of their business. This top of the line resource helps you with accounting, invoicing, payroll, and can be accessed on mobile devices, making it one of the best all-around accounting tools on the market today.
        • FreeAgent – With a software already trusted by over 40,000 freelancers and accountants alike, FreeAgent is one of the best accounting tools available to you on the market today. Handling your finances as a freelancer can be a tricky task, and FreeAgent helps walk you through everything to make it as easy and painless as possible. With incredibly easy to use features such as expense, invoices, and even tracking your time of work, FreeAgent helps you handle everything easily and efficiently.
        • Lite Accounting – Working as a freelancer, invoicing is one of the most important aspects of your job to ensure you get proper payment for all of the hard work you have put into any given project. With the Lite Accounting tool, you can easily create high-quality invoices to send to your clients in order to properly outline your work and get payment. With access anywhere you can get Internet, Lite Accounting helps you to track your important finances wherever you are.

        Communication

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          • Gmail- Staying on top of communication is essential to the freelancing world of the 21st century. No matter what field you are freelancing in, Gmail is arguably the best possible setup for you. With an easy-to-use email that can go with you on the go, a top of the line Google Drive to help you store and share documents, you can stay on top of everything at any given time and make sure the necessary information is being shared and communicated to your clients and more.
          • Skype- Whether you need to make a business call, or simply do a quick chat to see how things are running, Skype is one of the best business communication tools around. With the ability to video chat and also do simple instant messaging with one or more people, Skype easily helps you stay connected and informed at all times.
          • Dropbox- Need to share important files with one or more people and keep them safe and secure? Dropbox is hands down the easiest file-sharing service around for all your important documents, images, videos, and more. Access these files across all of your devices and you can stay connected to your specific projects whenever you need to be.
          • Convoi- These days, many people don’t want to take their work home with them. While this is virtually impossible for a freelancer to accomplish, you can at least keep your personal phone separated from your work phone. With Convoi, you can communicate with anyone involved with your project through text or call and stay as updated as you need to be with your own, private business line.
          • Client Proofer- As a freelancers, the most important aspect of your work life is being able to communicate quickly and clearly with your clients and employers. With Client Proofer, keep all of your communication with the client in one place so no miscommunication ever occurs when they need a change made. This service also protects all of your work, time stamping each edit and alerting you when, and how many times the client has viewed your work.
          • Slack- If you are a freelancer needing to communicate with a handful of people on any given basis, you know it can be a real hassle and a hinderance. With Slack, you can easily gather all of your necessary communication in one convenient place, helping you stay on top of any tasks, requests, and other elements of whatever project you are working on.
          • HipChat- Stay on top of everything you have going on with your group of clients and colleagues in a safe and secure manner with HipChat. This one of a kind communication tool allows you to private chat, share important files, and integrate different ideas and work on shared documents so you can make sure everything is happening on time and in the manner in which everyone needs it to be done.
          • Help Scout- As a freelancer, keeping contact with your clients and customers and ensuring their needs are being met is key to making sure you have a successful long term career. With Help Scout, you can do exactly that. With accurate, real time customer communication and help desk software, you can answer the questions and solve the problems your clients are having more efficiently.
          • Calendly- Scheduling appointments and meetings can be a difficult and confusing task, especially if you are a freelancer who is handling it all on your own. With Calendly, you can quickly schedule meetings with your clients and allow for simple, instant communication to happen as they can always view when you are available to speak with them.
          • Agreedo- Have you ever gotten out of a meeting and instantly forgotten some of the more important details that were discussed? With AgreeDo, you don’t have to worry about this problem any longer. Easily set up meetings with your clients and this software will keep track of the minutes so you can go back and reflect on and review everything that was discussed.
          • Campfire- Keeping up constant contact with your clients is one of the most important elements of the freelancer’s line of work. With Campfire, you can easily send quick direct messages to your clients in groups so you can ensure everyone is on the same page moving forward and there are no hiccups along the way.

          Social Media

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            • Hootsuite- There simply aren’t enough hours in the day to be manually posting all of the social media updates you need in order to be successful in your freelance business or with the client you are handling social profiles for. With Hootsuite, you can schedule all of your social posts across Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Google+ and more to give you more time to work on other important projects.
            • Buffer- Just posting to social media isn’t enough anymore. Your posts need to be targeted and going out at specific times in order to generate the best possible interaction and response. With Buffer, your posts are sent out at the best possible times for each platform, including Facebook, Twitter, Google+, Pinterest, and LinkedIn.
            • Twitonomy- When getting your Twitter follow count right, you don’t want to be wasting your time on accounts who aren’t following you back if they aren’t contributing anything of quality to your newsfeed. With Twitonomy, you can keep track of who is following you and who isn’t, as well as view how active accounts are to determine if they are still worth following and interacting with.
            • Tweriod- Just like any social media platform, the time of the day your posts are going out will play a massive role in the overall performance of the post. With Tweriod, you can find out exactly when your followers are on Twitter the most so you can schedule your posts to be seen as much as possible to ensure more interactions and responses.
            • Circloscope- Google+ can be one of the trickiest social media platforms to navigate and manage as you try and find the perfect balance of people you follow compared to who is following you. With Circloscope, you can easily manage your circles according to a wide range of different factors so you can ensure your circles are as efficient and effective as possible.
            • WriteRack- Are you live covering an event, or need to send out a large series of tweets? With WriteRack, you can quickly and easily tweetstorm as a new paragraph starts after 130 characters, allowing you to type away instead of having to pause to send the tweet before starting to type up again.
            • Click to Tweet- Do you have a post or message you want shared by your followers with as many people as possible? With Click to Tweet, you can easily set your posts for easy sharing by your followers so they can tweet out the link with one click of a button and grow the overall reach of your original post.
            • Bitly- When it comes to posting on Twitter, character count is essential to creating the best post possible. With links, however, you can easily hit 140 characters in no time. With Bitly, you can quickly shorten up links to leave room for more important things in your tweet such as images, your content, and more.
            • Spruce- Do you want to create stunning images that have text overlayed on them? These posts have been proven to gain great responses on Twitter, and with Spruce, you can upload your images, type out your text, and the software will quickly create the quality image and make it perfectly optimized to be tweeted out to your followers.
            • Social Analytics Chrome Extension- Don’t want to bother with tricky websites to figure out what is going on with the social analytics of a website? With the Social Analytics Chrome Extension, you can go to any URL and quickly get the social data from Facebook, Twitter, Google+, LinkedIn, Pinterest, and more so you can see what is performing well and what is struggling.
            • Klout- When you are sharing content with your audience, you want it to be as refreshing and original as it possibly can. With Klout, you receive suggestions for world class, shareable content that your audience more than likely hasn’t seen yet. Content that they have shown interest in and are more likely to share once they see it.

            Stock images / Design

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              • Canva- Creating images and aesthetics that your audience will gravitate to is essential to social media success. Whether it is memes or motivational quotes, these images with text have proven to perform well with audiences. With Canva, you can easily create top of the line images with either their stock images, or by uploading your own for free and be on your way to creating professional quality content.
              • Pixabay- As a freelance writer, finding images for your posts can be incredibly difficult at times. With Pixabay, you can finally find an excellent library of quality images, all for free with zero attribution required. While the keyword searching can be tricky at times, this is an excellent source for quality images for your blog posts.
              • Meme Generator- Arguably the best performing images on social media, memes have practically become their own culture. With Meme Generator, you can easily create your own memes by utilizing one of the many famous photos typically used, or even upload your own for a more original design.
              • Kraken Image Optimizer- In order for your images to perform well and become suited for SEO, they need to be properly optimized. With Kraken Image Optimizer, this software will perfectly optimize your photos so best ensure fast website loading times so you can keep visitors on your site for as long as you possibly can.
              • Pixlr- Take your images for your social media and blog posts to the next level with Pixlr. This magnificent software works on both desktop and mobile to allow you to replace color, transform objects, and much more to create the most customized look possible for a completely unique look your visitors won’t find anywhere else.
              • Awesome Screenshot Chrome Extension- When it comes to blog posts, screenshots are one of the most valuable visual tools you can have when proving a point or explaining certain elements. With Awesome Screenshot Chrome Extension, you can easily screenshot an entire web page, or just a little section of it. With the ability to draw lines, circle different items, and more, this is one of the best overall tools for images around.
              • Flickr- Finding quality images for your blog posts can be difficult at times with so many sites charging for they stock images and more. With Flickr, you can access a host of top of the line photos uploaded by users, and utilize them in your posts with little or even no attribution needed in some cases.
              • Stock Up- Stock images are one of the valuable tools available to a freelancer who is creating blog posts on a regular basis. While so many sites will charge for you to use high quality stock images, Stock Up connects users to thousands of top of the line stock images without any payment or attribution needed.
              • Unsplash- Finding stock images can be a challenge at times, but finding high-quality stock images for free can be nearly impossible. With Unsplash, you have instant access to a plethora of fantastic, free, stock photos, even sorted into easy to use and navigate collections so you can find exactly what you are looking for.
              • Pexels- No matter what image material you are looking for, there is an excellent chance you will find it at Pexels. This outstanding site offers a wide array of top of the line stock images for you to choose from, all for free. If you are a freelance writer looking for images for your blog posts, Pexels is a must go-to site.
              • Splashbase- Finding high-resolution stock images and videos for free doesn’t have to be an impossible task anymore. With sites like splashbase, you can sift through a huge library of top of the line content, all available to you without any attribution or payment needed.
              • Mazwai- At Mazwai, you can find a plethora of free, high-quality, one of a kind videos from some of the best independent photographers and videographers around the world. From setting videos to one of a kind flyovers of different regions, you are sure to find a video that will make your audience’s jaw drop when they see it.
              • New Old Stock- Not many photos create inspiration and nostalgia quite like a vintage, historic, black and white photograph. With New Old Stock, you can search through a plethora of one of a kind, vintage photos which are all free of any attribution required, making them ideal for whatever historic or nostalgic piece you happen to be working on.

              Productivity / Focus

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                • Glip- Whether you are working by yourself, or with a group of people, productivity and communication is essential as a freelancer. With Glip, you can communicate with everyone involved in real time with integrated task management, adjustable calendars, and even video conferencing to take your communication to the next level.
                • Toggl- Do you feel as if you aren’t accomplishing as much work as you possibly could be? Then Toggl may be the answer for you. This one of a kind site allows you to track exactly how much time you are spending on certain sites and see how long it is actually taking you to accomplish specific tasks throughout the day so you can better see what your productivity levels are and find ways to improve.
                • Evernote- Whether it is keeping track of basic notes, or more in depth research, Evernote is the best all-around information tracker out there. With the ability to access your notes across all of your devices and update in real time, you can always stay on top of things and make sure you never forget an important piece of information.
                • Rescue Time- Wondering how much time you are actually spending on time wasting sites compared to your actual work-related sites? With Rescue Time, this software runs quietly and securely in the background, tracking the amount of time you spend viewing pages so you can accurately see where your time is going and learn where you can improve to become more efficient in your work.
                • StayFocusd Chrome Extension- With a simple chrome extension, the StayFocusd app is one of the best out there for helping you realize how much time you are spending on time wasting websites. With customizable plans, you can see where you need to improve so you can take the necessary steps to become a more efficient and focused employee or employer with your time.
                • Self Control- These days, it is easier than ever to simply log in to your favorite time wasting site and spend more time than you should be at the office. With SelfControl, this simple yet effective free Mac app helps you avoid these distracting sites by allowing you to block the URLs of your choice so you can’t access them during certain hours of the day, helping you to become a better worker in the long run.
                • Noizio- Do you become easily distracted by the noises in and around the office? With Noizio, you can receive calming and peaceful sound right from your computer that helps you block out the distracting noise and focus on your work. Whether you want the sound of a crackling fireplace, or to be whisked away to a peaceful waterfall, Noizio can help you hear only the sounds you want to hear.
                • Defonic- The noise in the office and around your place of employment can easily be very distracting and damage your ability to work quickly and efficiently. With Defonic, you can block out these sounds and listen to the simple, peaceful noises of nature right on your computer to create a more calming setting to help you focus and be more productive during the work day.
                • Cold Turkey- Do you find it too difficult to keep yourself away from distracting, time wasting sites on your computer? With Cold Turkey, you can block the websites you don’t want to go near permanently, or for just a certain amount of time to help yourself focus on the work you need to do and build better habits for the time you spend at work.
                • Focus Booster- Do you find yourself wondering where you time has gone throughout the day? With Focus Booster, you can find out exactly what you are spending your time working on, and what amount of time you are wasting on distracting sites or not working at all. Find out what you are being successful with and where you can improve with Focus Booster.

                Inspiration

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                  • SiteInspire- As a freelancer, your website needs to be as top notch as it possibly can be. With SiteInspire, you can browse a wide variety of different sites for a variety of quality freelancers and designers around the world to help with your design block and take your website to the next level with fresh ideas.
                  • One Page Love- Are your web pages lacking creativity and originality? At One Page Love, you can browse the best and brightest web pages around the world. Discover the most unique and one of a kind designs of web pages being used today and take the inspiration to make your web pages even more stellar for your visitors to enjoy.
                  • UI Parade- These days, you website has to do much more than wow your audience with its overall visuals. Your web pages need to be interactive and truly engage with your visitors to keep them hooked and coming back for more. With UI Parade, you can view some of the best interactive web pages in design today to help you find the inspiration for creating your next top of the line look.
                  • Agile Designers- Whether it is graphic design, UX design, web development, or any other web design features, as Agile Designers, you can research all of the best resources in one place and find your next inspiration for your website, specific web page, or whatever it is you are working on next.

                  Project Management

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                    • Wunderlist- As a freelancer, properly managing your projects is arguably the most important part of your job. With Wunderlist, you can make sure you stay on top of everything you need. From communication, updating your to-do lists, calendars, reminders and more, Wunderlist has everything you need to properly manage everything for your freelance career.
                    • Podio- No matter what kind of job you are working on, each freelancer has a different way they go about their schedule and project management on a job. With podio, you can create a completely customized project management schedule and solution that both you and your clients can trust to make sure everyone on your team is accomplishing everything they need to be doing in the time it needs to be done.
                    • Redbooth- From communication, project management, time sensitive collaboration and more, all of these things come together in the overall process of accomplishing a task as a freelancer. With Redbooth, you get a distraction-free, collaborative workspace that allows everyone to see what is being worked on and communicate when necessary to ensure everyone stays as focused as possible on the task at hand.
                    • Quire- Working on any project no matter how big it is, can be an overwhelming and stressful task. With Quire, you can break down your entire project into bite-sized, easy to work through steps that help you produce better quality work in the long run and ensure each step is taken care of completely and in the best way possible before moving on to the next one.
                    • Trello- Arguably one of the best, if not the best project management tool around, Trello provides you with everything you need to accomplish your tasks as they come either by yourself or with your team. With a unique board system that allows you to pin each one of your tasks to different to-do lists and eliminate lengthy email threads, spreadsheets, and any other inefficient materials you use to communicate and accomplish tasks.
                    • Solo- “Freelancing’s touch. Luckily you’ve just found your wingman.” This quote dons the top of the Solo website, and it couldn’t be a better representation of what they have to offer freelancers. This top of the line software helps you to better organize and analyze your projects so you can better track what you have done and what you still need to accomplish in an orderly fashion to allow for more efficient work along the way.
                    • Projecturf- As a freelancer, making sure your projects are being accomplished in a timely and orderly fashion is crucial to your overall success. One of the keys to this is real-time collaboration which allows you to see what is being accomplished at any given time. With Projecturf, you get exactly this resource, along with file sharing and many other features that help you to be as successful as you can be.
                    • Project Bubble- When it comes to dealing with projects with both your clients and your team, you need things to be as simple and efficient as possible. With Project Bubble, you get just that. From task dependency lists, time tracking sheets, and even simple to use payment options, Project Bubble is the best all-around tool for your freelance project management.
                    • Zoho- Have you been looking for a quality, all-in-one tool to help handle your entire freelancing set up? Then look no further than Zoho. Whether you need assistance with your sales and marketing, your client communication and team collaboration, or handling the finances of your company, Zoho provides you with every element you need to successfully run your business and keep it thriving.
                    • Wrike- Online project management takes a huge step forward for you and your team when you begin utilizing Wrike as your go-to freelancing tool. With a combination of project management, real-time collaboration, and safe and secure file sharing, you can make sure everyone is on the same page and working together as efficiently as they possibly can to make accomplishing your jobs easier and more efficient.
                    • Viewpath- Working on your projects online and successfully collaborating with your team is essential to the overall success of your work as a freelancer. With Viewpath, you get a simple, easy to navigate project workflow so you can make sure everyone is on the same page through each individual step of the project itself.
                    • Asana- Do you have trouble tracking your results and tasks when working on a bigger project? With Asana, you don’t have to deal with this problem anymore. This top of the line tool helps you track projects step by step, from the very start and view how things are being accomplished in real time along with the all-important real-time communication for the most successful set up ever.
                    • MindMeister- When working on a project, mapping everything from start to finish is crucial to the overall success of a project and ensuring everything is completed on time. With MindMeister, you can easily track each element of your projects from start to finish no matter what system you are operating on to make sure you don’t miss a single step in the project.
                    • OnlyOffice- As a freelancer, having access to all of your important documents in one place is essential to accomplishing your projects as efficiently as you possibly can. With OnlyOffice, you can access all of your marketing solutions, utilize simple CRM tools, and more all in one cloud based office solution.
                    • Toodledo- Do you find yourself getting lost in an endless to-do list when you are working on a project? With Toodledo, you never have to have this feeling ever again. This top of the line software helps you stay on top of all your important tasks and stay as productive as possible as you go from job to job.
                    • EasyProjects- Don’t rely on endless email threads, spreadsheets, and other outdated tools of communication and collaboration. With EasyProjects, you can utilize a collaborative, real-time workplace to allow for more efficient communication as everyone can see how work is accomplished to make sure each task is accomplished smoothly and efficiently whenever possible.

                    Learning

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                      • Skillshare – As a freelancer, it is important for you to stay on top of your game and continue to learn new skills. With tools such as Skillshare, you can easily learn a plethora of new creative skills to help take your overall work performance ability to the next level and land even more freelancing jobs than ever before.
                      • Coursera – Couldn’t get into Stanford, Penn, Johns Hopkins, or any other of the highly demanding schools when you came out of high school? No problem, you can still take one of a kind, top level courses from the best universities in America with Coursera. This fantastic tool gives you free access to a handful of the best courses from the best colleges to help better your skills and become a more well-rounded freelancer.
                      • Khan Academy – Are you wanting to learn a plethora of new skills, but can’t do them in a quick amount of time? With Khan Academy, you can learn a handful of helpful skills with some of the best resources available, all on your own schedule. No rush to hurry through a class. As a freelancer, Khan Academy is one of the best tools available to you for outstanding flexibility.
                      • TED Talks – As a freelance worker, you typically do not have a ladder of people directly above you to go to in order to find help from those who have been there before. Fortunately, TED Talks can fill the void. This library of video talks from all around the world are from the best and brightest minds around. With thousands of talks readily available for free, you can quickly learn a plethora of new skills and tips to become a better freelancer.
                      • Startup Talks – Wondering what the brightest minds in the startup world are talking about? Want to learn some of the best tips available to make your freelance work even more efficient and effective? With Startup Talks, you can watch video talks from the best in design, business, engineering, marketing, and investors. If you want to learn helpful new tips, these are the talks to watch.

                      Organization

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                        • Remember the Milk – Do you find yourself struggling to remember what task you need to do before anything else? Organization is crucial to being successful as a freelancer, and Remember the Milk is one of the best to-do lists around. This magnificent tool also allows you to access and edit everything across all of your devices so you can better stay on top of everything.
                        • Freedcamp – Need to better communicate with the members of your team? As a freelancer, successful communication and organization is key to success on any job. With Freedcamp, you can easily stay informed on everything your team is working on in real time for unlimited users for unlimited projects, for as long as you possibly need it for zero cost. For team organization, Freedcamp is ideal for any freelancer.
                        • NowDoThis – With any project, there are always tasks that have higher priority than others, and if you want to be successful as a freelancer, you need to stay on top of everything to successfully complete your projects. With NowDoThis, you can quickly and easily set your to-do list to a list of priorities and work your way through each project step by step.
                        • Time to Note – Keeping open communication and proper organization is crucial to being a successful freelancer. With Time To Note, you can easily collaborate with everyone on your team, coordinate emails, tasks, projects, and everything else you need. Complete with Google Calendar integration, this resource allows you to accomplish everything you need to take care of your job smoothly and efficiently.
                        • Netvibes – When managing a brand, making sure everything is running smoothly and orderly is crucial to both short term and long term success. For those doing this kind of management, Netvibes is the ideal tool to use. This one of a kind tool allows you stay on top of your brand, your competition, watch your ROI, and even track your marketing campaign results.
                        • Bitrix – Do you have everything for a brand you are running all across a wide variety of different platforms and tools? Bitrix is the ideal resource to combine them all together and run everything efficiently. From social media platforms, Google Drive, email, documents, CRM, calendars, and much more. For a large project, this is the best all-around tool to have at your disposal.
                        • Mozy – There is truly nothing more frightening than losing all the work you have done on any given project. In order to be successful as a freelancer, backing up all of your work whenever you can is absolutely essential. With Mozy, you can backup all of the important files you need at any time, and make sure you don’t lose all of the hard work you have done on a project.

                        Featured photo credit: Markus Spiske / Flickr via flickr.com

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                        Published on November 9, 2018

                        How to Improve Your Computer Skills to Get Ahead in Your Career

                        How to Improve Your Computer Skills to Get Ahead in Your Career

                        Technology has taken the business world by storm. People and businesses are progressively reliant on technology world these days. As a result, the people with impressive knowledge and experience with a computer are in demand.

                        Considering this growing market trend, if you too wish to bag a profitable job, this article is apt for you. Here, we will dig deeper into the business and technology world to look into what are the best computer skills one should invest in and what resources to get help from.

                        So, are you ready? Here we begin.

                        6 Most-In Demand Computer Skills This Year (and Beyond)

                        When talking about computer skills, following are the 6 computer skills that can fill your mailbox with endless job opportunities (besides, having an English and Hindi typing speed of 40+ WPM):-

                        1. Spreadsheets and Databases

                        Considering the treasure trove of data companies are handling these days, Spreadsheet and Database management skill tops the list. It is considered the most wanted job skill in the market, with a salary of around $53,129/yr for an entry-level position. However, the spreadsheet skill does not confine to auditing data from cells.

                        To get hired based on this computer skill, you need to become a Spreadsheet ninja. From storing data to organizing them, applying complex mathematics formulas, and creating complex macros, you need to be an expert at all.

                        In other words, you need to have an expertise at working with:

                        • Microsoft Excel
                        • Microsoft Access
                        • Statistics
                        • Data Analytics
                        • Adobe Campaign
                        • Quickbooks
                        • XML Database management system
                        • Filemaker Pro
                        • MATLAB
                        • Hive
                        • FORTRAN
                        • RDBMS (Relational Database Management System)
                        • SAS

                        2. Social Media, Email, and Blogging

                        Though people are socially active, not everyone knows how to use the social media tools on the professional front. In such a scenario, having an expertise at writing engaging yet professional emails, writing blogs, and managing social media activities is a ticket to entry in reputed organizations.

                        Some of the skills related to social media, email and blogging that will have a leg up in the hiring process are:

                        • Content Management System (CMS)
                        • Google Analytics
                        • Cascading Style Sheets (CSS)
                        • Email Marketing
                        • Web Page Design
                        • WordPress
                        • Digital Media
                        • Search Engine Optimization (SEO)
                        • Campaign Management Software

                        3. Graphic Design and Word Processing

                        A solid grasp of skills to present the gained information in the much readable form is another market need. When considering this computer skill category, you need to enhance your skills at:

                        • Adobe Photoshop
                        • Adobe InDesign
                        • Adobe Illustrator
                        • AutoCAD
                        • CorelDRAW
                        • Microsoft Visual Studio
                        • Maya
                        • Microsoft Word
                        • Microsoft Publisher
                        • Operating Digital Cameras

                        4. Software and Hardware Design and Development

                        The Software and Hardware development, in simpler language, means designing, implementing, and testing the computer software/hardware applications. It is the most profitable computer skill, with a different job opening, including Software Architect, Software Analyst, Software programmer, Hardware configuration, etc.

                        To be capable of developing and testing the software and hardware, you need to peruse your users’ needs and build an application that hits their pain points. You need to work with different web and mobile app coding languages for gaining the attention of your audience, some of which are:

                        • HTML
                        • C/C++
                        • Java
                        • Python
                        • XML
                        • UI/UX
                        • LINUX
                        • CISC and RISC architecture
                        • Embedded Processor Hardware Design
                        • Memory Management
                        • PCB Layout
                        • SQL

                        5. IT Troubleshooting

                        Working on computers is one thing and having a knack of looking into the associated issues and resolving them in real-time is another. There are various employees and graduates who work with computer systems in their daily lives, but get confused when it comes to dealing with frozen programs and performing routine maintenance.

                        So, if you are familiar with the basic anatomy of computers and machines and know the tricks to perform such tasks to streamline the working process, enter the IT support arena. The prime IT troubleshooting skills one needs to work upon are:

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                        • Backup management
                        • Diagnostics
                        • End User support
                        • Client-Server management
                        • Installation and configuration
                        • Issue tracking system (ITS)
                        • System administration
                        • Tech support

                        6. Enterprise Systems

                        Many Enterprises have their own enterprise solutions like PeopleSoft for managing their data and operations.

                        Becoming a master at using the enterprise solutions mentioned in their ‘Requirements’ area can also lessen the barrier to get a job.

                        The Roadmap to Excel Your Computer Skills

                        Now that you know the 6 most popular computer skills in the market, the first decision, you need to take is which computer skill you want to work upon. All the skills are equally considerable for making a career ahead. So, choose one as per your interest.

                        Once done, look forward to the following resources for boosting your computer skills and getting a reputed, handsome job.

                        Depending on the computer skill you opt, here are the online courses you can turn to for elevating your career opportunities:

                        1. Become a Spreadsheet and Database Ninja

                        a. Microsoft Excel Training Online Course – Basic & Advanced

                        Whether you are a beginner, intermediate or expert at working with spreadsheets, this online course has something new for everyone to become excel efficient users.

                        Divided into 48 interesting lessons, the course empowers you to learn the technique of using mathematical, statistical, logical and text functions, sorting and filtering the data, creating Pivot Tables, building macros, finding a value with VLOOKUp, and much more.

                        b. Excel- Online Courses, Classes, Training, Tutorials on Lynda

                        This is another impressive course to unlock the power of Excel. Designed for people from all walks of life and familiarity with Excel tools. This course helps you gain in-depth knowledge from the experts about this data-analyzing tool and make the magic in spreadsheet creation and management process.

                        c. SQL & Database Design A-Z™: Learn MS SQL Server + PostgreSQL

                        Build a successful career in the data analytics world with this online course.

                        Revolving around the two top databases, MS SQL and PostgreSQL, this course will give you a comprehensive knowledge of the working of the databases and understanding of all the related elements, including how to create, update, organize, and safeguard the data.

                        2. Rule the Social Media World

                        a. Free Social Media Course by HubSpot

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                        Introduced by the top experienced inbound professors from Hubspot, here you will get a comprehensive knowledge of Social media marketing.

                        From understanding how to build relationships on different social media platforms to creating a perfect strategy to engage them, leveraging the benefits of social advertising, and analyzing your social media ROI, this course will bring out the best out of you.

                        b. Write Professional Emails in English by Coursera

                        This online course will be the right weapon to look into the differences and similarities between different email styles, improve your English writing skills, write effective subject lines, maintain the formality tone in emails, and more to make a powerful impact on the receivers with your email.

                        c. Ninja Writing: The Four Levels of Writing Mastery

                        Founded by Udemy, this online course will excel your skills to build a masterpiece everytime you write.

                        Here, you will get the guidance from the editors of the top newspapers and websites, and understand what kind of words and tone to use for leaving a spellbinding impact on the readers.

                        3. Launch Your Own Software or Hardware Equipment

                        a. Hardware and Software Courses by Coursera

                        From Big Data to IoT, Sensor Circuit Design, Embedded Software and Hardware Architecture, and Motor Control Circuit, this course will give you a glimpse of all the hardware devices, equipment, and programming languages to build wonders.

                        b. Free Software and Web Development Certifications Online by Alison

                        Become the software developer market demands with Alison’s Java, C#, Python, R, PHP, or MySQL database course. From backend to frontend development and software testing.

                        The course helps you to learn how to design, develop and test software and working in a team while contributing to the team success.

                        c. Free Online Software Development and MOOCs Course by Class Central

                        The Class Central online course will make you a master of software development. Here, you will learn the basic concepts of development like Agile, Design Patterns, and Version Control with Git, along with gaining experience of working with the top programming languages.

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                        4. Live and Breathe Creativity

                        a. Udemy: Introduction to Graphic Design

                        It is a top-rated program for the new learners and designers to explore the Graphic Design world.

                        From the history of communication to the design principles, the course will help the students to learn everything specifically and implement in the real world.

                        b. Canva Design School

                        From a beginner to advanced level, this course will provide you with an elaborated and comprehensive knowledge of graphic design. In the form of 4 modules, this course will help the interested graphic designers to try out their skills at Graphics, ranging from fonts to colors, backgrounds, images, shapes, and layouts.

                        c. Microsoft Word – Basic & Advanced

                        62 personalized lessons, premium video tutorials, and unlimited tests and quizzes – this certified course has everything that will make your entry to the business world easier.

                        d. Microsoft Office: Word, Excel and Access Productivity Bundle

                        The course will make you productive in Word, Excel, and Access through video lectures, articles, and various other supplemental resources.

                        Besides, it will offer you exclusive tips and tricks to enhance your skills at using Microsoft office.

                        5. Raise Your Reflexes to IT Troubleshooting

                        a. IT Troubleshooting Skill Training by Udemy

                        IT Troubleshooting Skill Training will upgrade your logical concepts over technical components to find and repair faults.

                        It will provide you with a methodological approach to learn the basics of troubleshooting, practice them via exercises and drills, and enhance your IT troubleshooting intelligence.

                        b. IT Help Desk Online Course on Lynda

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                        The Lynda’s IT troubleshooting online course will train you how to respond to the issues related to Windows 10, Office 365, JIRA software, and more, from a local as well as a remote location.

                        Mobile Apps and Websites to Enhance Computer Skills

                        The aforementioned online courses will undoubtedly train you for a successful career ahead. But, in case you want a long-term support, turn towards the following websites and mobile apps:

                        • Duolingo – Duolingo app will improve your spoken and written communication skills in different languages. With the magic of gamification added to the study, the app will make learning a fun and addictive task.
                        • Hemingway – Hemingway app defines the length, complexity, and common errors associated with the sentences. In this way, it helps you to write effectively and go ahead in the career.
                        • Udemy – The Udemy, with its 2000+ courses, is a great platform to master new skills, advance your career and explore the newer technologies and programming languages. Enrol a course as per your budget and make a brighter future.
                        • eDX – eDX is yet another commendable platform you can look forward to. The platform offers you the best of the tutorials prepared by the business professionals and technology experts, ensuring a great boost in your computer skills.
                        • Excel Easy – Excel Easy, as the name depicts, will make working with Excel easier for you via their detailed tutorials and 300+ real-life examples.
                        • GCF LearnFree.org – It is a one-stop platform for accelerating your future in the computer world. From graphic design to Microsoft Office, resume writing, enhancing adaptability, and much more, the top experts will guide you with everything on this platform.
                        • QuarkXPress – The QuarkXPress will aid you to add soul to your design with its unparalleled collection of font style, size, and typography. The best part is that it is avails all the options in different languages, including English, Spanish, German, French, and Italian to name a few.

                        Bonus: Tips to Accelerate Your Approach For a Better Career Ahead

                        Though these resources will make you stand out from the crowd and get hired at once, you need to focus on various other things, such as:

                        1. Practice, Practice, Practice

                        It is common to forget what we learn. To ensure that you do not miss any opportunity just because you forgot, keep practising.

                        Make it your routine. Polish your computer skills and you will surely end up getting an offer letter from a recognized firm.

                        2. Work on Your Efficiency

                        Remembering what you learned is not enough; practice to enhance those skills to do better.

                        For example, if you take around 50 minutes to create a design, target for 40 minutes.

                        3. Look for Shortcuts

                        Smart work rules over hard work more often. So, look forward to learning shortcuts to do any task. This will increase your chances to crack an interview and get selected.

                        4. Apply for an Internship

                        Last but not the least, apply for an internship to see what’s trending in the market and how much you are ready for it. While doing an internship, pay attention to your weak points and work on them. This will ensure a success when you apply for your dream job.

                        By the late, it’s never too late to be an intern or grab whatever opportunity to learn something new! Here’s how:

                        How to Start Over and Reboot Your Life When It Seems Too Late

                        The Bottom Line

                        Seeing the current market scenario, it is evident that having computer skills is a boon for a better career ahead.

                        So, rather than struggling with thousands of other things and trying to crack interviews, focus on the computer skills mentioned in this article. Utilize the resources and experts’ tips shared and look forward to having a successful and prosperous future.

                        Featured photo credit: Glenn Carstens-Peters via unsplash.com

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