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15 Must-Have Apps and Tools Every Freelancer Should Use To Maximize Work

15 Must-Have Apps and Tools Every Freelancer Should Use To Maximize Work

Seeking a full-time job or a single career may not be a great choice these days especially with the rising prices of commodities. Working from home and having multiple part-time jobs can help you land to a more profitable venture. However, you cannot figure out everything by yourself. With the right tools, everything you need is a few clicks away from living your life as a successful freelancer.

As Rich Moncure, President of On Hold Marketing, puts it,

“Freelancers bring an invaluable outside perspective to a project. In one instance, we needed body copy for a web page. We knew what to write, but wanted to make sure it was understandable by our target market of non-technical buyers. The freelancer took our original content and replaced the industry jargon with language that made the benefits of doing business with us clear to any reader.

We’re always looking for a freelancer who’s on top of things, beats deadlines, and communicates well the status of a project. If you have these skills, then we’ll surely have a great relationship. However, if you are unprofessional and not able to complete projects on time, it probably won’t work out. ”

Turning new clients to loyal clients is your goal. This means more work, more projects, more income.

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From increasing productivity to storing your files in a cloud, these apps and tools will surely help you grow your clientele.

Productivity Tools

1. ZenDay

This psychology-based app allows you to have a virtual planner where you can prioritize and plan tasks ahead of time, at the same time maintaining your work-life balance. The fluid 3D timeline display provides you easy navigation and clear view of your schedules and tasks. These are also automatically readjusted depending on every user’s needs and top priorities. With just a screen tap, you are ready to insert a new task, add a heading, and you’re done. Boost your productivity by keeping with ZenDay’s cycle of “Plan, Do, Debrief” and sync your commitments on all your devices.

2. Tmetric.com

To track your work real-time, have a shot at this work time tracker suitable to most freelancers because of its zero-cost benefit. Every minute of your paid time counts, so take advantage of its built-in activity timer. The simple interface gives a user-friendly impression. It also boasts of its multi-tasking ability to switch between differing tasks, creates detailed work time reports, integrates with multiple project management systems like Asana, Trello, RedMine and many others. You can also monitor your team members online. TMetric lets you export the most detailed time entries on each activity reflected in your TMetric dashboard or timeline.

3. Stayfocusd

This tool is a web extension applicable for Google Chrome browser users. As it name implies, its aim is to stay focused on the task at hand and prevent you from other unnecessary distractions that lead to procrastination. It works by restricting the amount of time you spend on time-wasting websites. It doesn’t necessarily limit the internet usage; instead, it is customizable as to what type of sites you want to restrict. When the timer finishes, all indicated sites will be blocked until the following day. This internet guardian is a bit strict. No cheating.

Communication Tools
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    Image Credit | Highrise

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    4. Campfire

    Designed to promote team collaboration, Campfire works like a group instant messaging app. With the easy-to-learn user interface, this web-based app is a powerful tool to organize your projects with several individuals. Share group notes, files, messages to other members online. Managers also have the privilege to assign tasks and update members of what’s going on and what needs to be done. Secure your messages by setting up password-protected chat rooms within a few seconds. Widen your network as you invite clients and partners to chat and team up.

    5. Highrise

    What better way can you manage all your contacts in one indispensable tool? Highrise is a CRM (Customer Relationship Management) tool which helps you track customers and potential clients. Dubbed as the most comprehensive CRM package that’s free of charge, this app can monitor your customer relations and dealings. It constantly reminds you to stay in touch with them and when to follow up. Inclusive is a built-in contact and task manager and a reminder service. Entries can be added to each client’s page whenever an interaction takes place.

    6. Glip

    Huddling with your colleagues is so much easier with Glip. This software tool is good for task management and puts all forms of communication in one place. Share files and calendars, chat online, and set up video conferences. You do not have to consume and waste all your time checking your inbox. Glip provides built-in versions of everything you need. All communication is searchable and easy to find. Never have the hassle of switching from one window to another ever again.

    Project Management Tools

    7. Redbooth

    Get started free with Redbooth as you keep your projects organized. Hit deadlines even before they come running after you. Redbooth assures to help you with your day-to-day activities and in managing your team’s projects more efficiently. Forgetfulness is not an excuse when it comes to Redbooth. Its persistence in sending notifications is unstoppable unless you mark your task as completed. There are Gantt charts, Kanban boards, file storage, checklists, workflow reports, and automatic archiving features that will assist the user in managing a remote team. Plus, you may use its HD video conference call for a quick meeting.

    8. Asana

    Despite the stress of working from home, keep your work tools easy on the eyes by opting for a simpler and cleaner layout like the Asana tool. The “Highlight” option allows you to apply color codes based on the projects created and their sub-tasks. Loop in your clients and partners when you upload attachments or apply any changes to tasks. Project templates are also readily available for easier completion of work. This project management tool is free for use for a maximum of 15 people.

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    9. Trello

    Whether you are a freelancer or have multiple business personalities, Trello is an ideal project management web-based tool for you. It boasts of its simple and easy-to-use dashboard that helps users to move easily between projects. Adding separate boards or cards for each project and member can help the team better understand what needs to be done, what is going on at the moment, and what was done already. It also encourages your team to have in-card discussions. The email notification feature decreases the time of having to open the tool every now and then.

    Accounting/Invoicing Tools
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      10. Xero TaxTouch

      When it comes to ease of use, Xero is your best accounting companion. Track your expenses with a mere swipe of your finger while you’re on the go. It has both options for business and personal expenses. Xero works by providing full accounting and payroll solution for small businesses. On the other hand, Xero TaxTouch is specifically created for freelancers to help them monitor their expenses against their income. With this mobile app, your tax filings become simplified. Send the required tax form data to Xero accounting professionals with just a click.

      11. BoxBilling

      A free billing and client management software, BoxBilling permits its users to create a pseudo online e-commerce website. It includes automated billing, accepts one-time and recurring payments, invoicing, and supports multiple currencies. This tool is personal as you can customize its features according to your liking. Tailor taxation rules for every invoice depending on your needs. You can also issue invoices, notify your client, and receive money from them. BoxBilling provides a wide range of time-saving automation functions for fast and reliable use.

      12. Invoicera

      Invoicera is an online finance tool that will assist you in simplifying accounting and invoicing processes. It is a combination of bookkeeping, client and inventory management, subscription billing, expense tracking, and reporting. It enables members the usage of multiple languages as well as currencies. And if you want to impress your clients with a professional-looking invoice, Invoicera is the one. Receive payments from more than 20 payment gateways. Also, every client has their own portal where they can login their account and check details.

      Data Cloud Tools

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        Image Credit | OneDrive

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        13. OneDrive

        If you are an avid Microsoft user, OneDrive is the perfect cloud storage for your business. Although it is designed for Microsoft’s operating system, iOS and Android users also have available versions. Its “Fetch” functionality is quite interesting as it lets you retrieve a non-uploaded file from a Windows computer (as long as it’s connected to the internet). There’s no worrying if you forgot to upload that important file and you need it ASAP. Ideal for on-the-go individuals, OneDrive works well with other Microsoft Office tools accessible anytime, anywhere, and on all devices. Lastly, it sends real-time notifications when someone edits a file in the drive.

        14. Evernote

        This cloud data tool, Evernote, stores every essential note in the system, including receipts, and other files connected to your projects. It is a versatile platform which can serve as your “file cabinet” for all the information you want to keep. Access your documents wherever you are without having to worry if your computer shuts down accidentally. Furthermore, it can act as a task manager with its option to add checklists and tags to its notebook system for a more efficient organization.

        15. IDrive

        One of the most convenient cloud storages there is, IDrive has the capability to backup all of your files and sync them on all your devices. It doesn’t only get business-related documents, but also memorable pictures from your social media accounts. Real-time updates are done across all devices’ file locations. Drag and drop with ease the files you want to restore. Uploading of files can be paused and resumed whenever you want to. It’s also safe to use as it supports a private encryption code.

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        Jane Dizon

        Nurse, Ninja Mom, Digital Marketing Specialist and Writer

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        Last Updated on September 18, 2020

        How to Be More Self-Assured and Get More Done During the Week

        How to Be More Self-Assured and Get More Done During the Week

        Time is a great leveler isn’t it? We all have the same 24 hours in a day. Even if you’re self-assured, the day may never feel quite long enough.

        Why is it that some people can be so much more productive and achieve so much more in a typical day, while others struggle to achieve anything apart from feeling time crunched and overwhelmed?

        Everyone I know and work with wants to make the best use of their time. They want to learn how to be more self-assured, happier, and work less—all while growing in their career.

        How effectively we use our time—and how we actually work in our business—can make a huge difference to the amount we accomplish in a day or week. It can also make us more focused and more confident.

        Do you want to have more thinking and creative time? Do you want to spend more time working on your business rather than working at or in your business? In this article, we’ll show you how.

        Get More Done by Gaining Confidence

        What if you had a strategy for making the best use of your time that brings you more joy and allows you to focus on the biggest activities and opportunities in your business? You may find the following outline below to be helpful:

        1. Create an Exciting Vision

        If you don’t know where you’re going, how do you know when you get there?

        You want to be more productive and spend more time getting the right stuff done. Well, you need to create a compelling and exciting vision of your future.

        What does this future look like? How will you feel when you get there?

        Creating a new vision, especially one that is a lot bigger than where you are right now, has a way of igniting your passion. It may be something that feels hard to achieve, but every step you take towards that bigger vision will certainly build your confidence.

        Create a vision board to feel more self-assured.

          Commitment to this vision, and accomplishing continual daily progress depends on your ability to look at any situation you’re faced with or currently in, feel self-assured, and see something bigger ahead.

          Also, when you know where you’re headed, you will instinctively start to see all the new opportunities and connections that will get you there.

          Make a vision map to get you started on the path to better productivity. This doesn’t have to be fully actualized, but you should know at least what direction you are heading.

          2. Build a Strategic Plan

          Once you have your future vision mapped out, the next step is to build a strategic plan to get you there.

          Your future vision may be for 3 years or 5 years, or you may choose a longer time frame. Any timeframe over 3 years may feel like a long way away.

          You may wonder how you are ever going to feel confident and motivated on this bigger future years from now when you feel as though you have so much to accomplish today.

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          The first step is to decide on some specific goals for the next 12 months. Don’t list too many or you may begin to feel overwhelmed.

          The magic number for me and my clients is usually five annual goals.

          These are big goals that will create massive change in your business and life and bridge your current situation to your bigger future; accomplishing these goals one by one will help to increase your confidence on a daily basis.

          3. Get on Goal Planning

          Get yourself a piece of blank paper and a pen and divide the paper into 4 columns: A, B, C, and D.

          Ask yourself the question: What is great in my business and life right now? Write these things down in Column A. This might be a couple of things, five things, ten things, whatever feels right to you.

          Then ask yourself: What things are happening right now that I don’t want in my future? Write these things down in Column B.

          This is your opportunity to take a step back and look at the things that are simply not working. You may list people that are bringing you down or projects that you don’t want to work on any more. Maybe you’ll include a service offering that’s going nowhere. It could be the people you’re working with, or it could be your pricing.

          Now, let’s look at your personal strengths. Write down everything that you’re great at in Column C.

          These could be things that you’re doing right now and having success with. It could also be things you know you’re awesome at but you’re not spending enough time on.

          Column D is for your biggest opportunities. Is there a new service/product you could offer your ideal customers? Is there a new innovation you could bring to market? Just take some time out and really think and list these things in Column D.

          Once you’ve analyzed everything you’ve written down, take some time to really think about what goals you want to set for your business and life in the next 12 months.

          4. Set Outcomes to Build Confidence

          You now have your goals, and you’ll feel self-assured and raring to go. They are written down and you’re committed to achieving them. You feel self-assured and motivated.

          But how do you ensure that you stay on the correct course to achieve these goals?

          Managing and juggling day-to-day projects can get in the way. Dealing with problems can get in the way. Staying on top of orders, managing cash flow, and handling day-to-day stuff can move your ship off course.

          You want to be productive and achieve your goals, but you also need to ensure the day and week runs smoothly.

          One way to ensure this happens is to set 90 Day Outcome Goals; within those Outcome Goals, put some specific process goals that need to be undertaken.

          Let’s say you want to get 10 more speaking jobs in the next 90 days, and you know that you typically convert 50% of opportunities.

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          Therefore, your process goal needs to be to have 20 conversations in the next 90 Days to deliver the 10 new pieces of work. You will then work out who you can have those conversations with.

          It’s smart to overshoot, so you will more easily hit your target. This is a clear plan to work through because with every win, your confidence will grow.

          5. Completely Commit to Your Success

          If you are not truly committed to achieving your goals, then chances are that you won’t reach them.

          Motivation can only take you so far. It is the intentional commitment[1] and emotional investment in your future success that will move you forward.

          Think back to any time that you really committed to achieving something. There must have been a reason you actually achieved what you set out to achieve. What motivated you?

          Were you fully invested? Why did it matter? Did you have to be really courageous to achieve it?

          How did it feel when you achieved it? What difference did it make?

          When have you felt truly self-assured? When you are committed to something, then you are propelled into action. Your mindset is focused, and your body follows; you want to get it done.

          And, when you do get it done, your confidence goes through the roof. You feel a level of certainty in achieving the goal you set out to accomplish.

          6. Focus on Your Strengths

          To feel self-assured and build up the confidence needed to achieve our biggest goals, we need to focus on our strengths.

          What are you best at? What are your unique skills? You want to spend as much time as you can working in the areas that you’re great at.

          Multiply your strengths. These areas are where you add the biggest value. They often bring you the biggest amount of joy, and you feel more and more confident when you are using your unique skills.

          If you think there is a specific capability you need to learn or be better at, spend more focused time in that area.

          Many of us want to do it all. We want to be good at everything. We want to offer a lot of services. But, in reality, there are some very specific things we are great at; nobody is good at everything!

          Spending more time adding value in the areas where you excel can create breakthrough results and boost confidence.

          7. Embrace the Present

          Sometimes we spend so much time thinking about the future or worrying about the past that we forget the present moment[2].

          Are you spending most of your day reacting to things, or have you taken the time to think about what your perfect day looks like?

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          We all have the opportunity to create rather than react, to decide what we do with our day. All of our future success can be created in the present moment if we just take a step back and take action.

          Sometimes, doing it now is more important than doing it perfectly. There are hidden opportunities in every moment. We need to make sure we don’t miss them if we want to feel self-assured.

          8. Calm the Whirlwind

          The day-to-day life in business and life can be hard, which leads us to feel less self-assured.

          Your mind may be full to bursting with all of the things you feel you have to do. The phrase “I don’t have time” has almost become an instant reaction by so many people when new opportunities are presented.

          There is a whirlwind happening inside our minds.

          Appointments, notifications, tasks, phone calls, errands, cash flow, staffing issues, networking, marketing all can clutter up our timeline. The sheer volume of things we feel we should do creates procrastination, stopping us from pursuing the projects and people that matter.

          Many of us feel we have to do everything within our business.

          Rather than simplifying things and doing less, we do more. We work longer, which creates a lack of energy and focus. Because of this, we lose clarity on our biggest opportunities. If you feel this way, take some well-deserved time off.

          Look at where you’re spending your time. How much of your time is being spent moving your ideas forward?

          In the next 90 days, if you could delegate or outsource more daily tasks and spend more time focusing on where you add the biggest value, what difference would it make?

          Calm the whirlwind by slowing down and doing less.

          Focus on areas that you add the biggest amount of value. By doing this, your energy levels will increase, your confidence will grow and you will have more success.

          9. Take More Time off

          This may seem counterintuitive, but taking more time off to recharge and refocus can pay huge dividends.

          If you are constantly fighting fires and caught up in the myriad of different activities that you have to do each day, then how can you move your business forward?

          You may be being pulled in difference directions without any focused time on your biggest projects. If that’s the case, then it’s almost impossible to gain any real momentum in moving your business forward and hitting your goals.

          The best way to get off that treadmill is to take more creative time out of the business.

          Could you realistically take one day off per month to work on your business? If you could, what would you do with this time?

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          Just imagine no distractions, only focused time on the strategic development and growth of your business.

          Every day off per month could have a different focus: New product innovation; Thinking about your biggest clients; Improving operations.

          Add to this a quarterly review to check in with your goals progress, and this could have a dramatic effect on where you spend your valuable time.

          10. Celebrate Wins

          Sometimes you just want to get through the day, right?

          You have so much to do. There are so many things on your task list that you just complete what you can and then start another day. But what would happen if, at the end of each day, you took some time out to look at what you’ve accomplished?

          Celebrating success keeps you motivated and helps you become more self-assured. It is not just another day. It’s a day that included things that should be celebrated.

          If you’re struggling to feel motivated, try celebrating a couple of wins each day.

          Celebrating success combined with the gratitude you have for achieving those wins will boost your confidence and inspire you for the next day.

          11. Give Yourself More Space

          When was the last time you gave yourself time to think?

          Within the hustle and bustle, it can be difficult to give yourself a little bit of space and time to just think[3].

          Imagine giving yourself just an hour a day to just let your mind wander or think about a specific thing.

          If you think about it, we can all free up an hour a day for something without really losing any efficiency or really impacting our business.

          In fact, that hour could be transformational for your business and life.

          A new idea for a product could form, or an idea for adding value to your existing clients could materialize. Perhaps you could do a check in to your ideal future and your goals. You could decide that you want to take your business in a new direction.

          Try this: Just sit alone for an hour with a notebook and let it be your creative thinking time. See what happens.

          Final Thoughts

          Ultimately, being self-assured happens when you have a clear direction.

          This, coupled with having clear goals and working in your unique skill-set, gives you the biggest opportunity to be more productive and get more of the right things done.

          The old mantra that “less is more” is right on the money. By giving yourself more time to work on your goals, you will inevitably increase your confidence; at this point, your ideal future can be anything you want it to be.

          More on How to Be Self-Assured

          Featured photo credit: Nathan Dumlao via unsplash.com

          Reference

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