People choose to freelance for several reasons—many see the true value of their work more and want full credit for a job well done. But most importantly, freelancers want to be the boss. Anyone who gets a taste of freedom working for themselves could surely want more.
Freelancers make their own schedule, work at their own pace, and choose whom they work with. They get to do something they’re passionate about—something they worked had to learn a craft that takes years of blood, sweat, and tears for them to master.
However, freelancing is not always blue skies and sunshine. Freelancers have to do everything themselves. They have to crunch the numbers and manage their finances, oversee projects, and handle every client. Thus, freelancers are the management and production team, compensation and benefits, and at times, human resources too.
Although, if you think about it, it’s not half bad. Being both the employee and employer has its perks. It’s thrilling to be able to start and manage your success, with no one telling you what to do, how to do it, and when, except for your clients, of course. You get the opportunity to keep doing what you’re good at as little or as much as you please.
With the emergence of the gig economy, freelancers are starting to become an increasingly huge percentage of today’s workforce. A 2020 study suggests that 59 million Americans worked as freelancers in the past year. That is 36% of the country’s entire workforce. But it doesn’t stop there. Expect the number of freelancers to grow and exceed 90 million by 2028.
Seeing the steady climb of freelancers, big businesses and entrepreneurs saw this as an excellent opportunity to develop tools to help efficiency.
Here is a list of a few essential tools for the modern freelancer:
- Time-Tracking Tools
Time is a currency for freelancers and is their most valuable asset. That’s why time management is of paramount importance.
As a freelancer, you may feel burned out because of the precarious balance between your work and home life.
At the beginning of your journey as a freelancer, time-tracking tools are essential in determining the time you spend on your endeavor. As your business starts to grow, time-tracking can also be beneficial for documenting your remote teams’ time. Many time-tracking tools use screenshots of your user’s online activity to ensure that workers are on task and productive. Many compile data needed to process payroll and hone in on potential product and software issues.
- Project Management Tools
Inadequate project performance can cost USD$122 million for every USD$1 billion investment. With this in mind, project management tools are essential for watching over assignments and not leaving money on the table. Project management tools will help keep your project from becoming a steaming pile of failure. Most of these tools will have cloud storage, message boards, and functional to-do lists.
- Communication Tools
Communication tools not only help you stay in touch with the people who are interested in your business, it can help you create a shared workspace to collaborate with an ideal number of people. Many applications can integrate into your computer and help you pull together a team, use chat instead of email, see likes, mentions, and replies, customize by adding notes and websites, securely edit files, and video conference—all at the same time. Regarding video conferencing, you can view this page to learn more about alternatives.
- Financing Tools
Managing budgets, dealing with taxes, and receiving payments are just some of the tasks that freelancers have to watch. Financing tools make it easier to handle the banking part of the job. Although there are many options to choose from, all financing tools should have a secure website and payment system to process transactions. Having the opportunity to add these financial tools to an online store or business is another major plus. It is crucial to remember possible fees to use certain services, so be sure to shop around for which company would best fit your business.
- Design tools
Knowledge and skill in graphic design are a must-have for modern freelancers. It may take some time for a person to learn graphic design, but there are user-friendly composition tools that can be a quick-fix for your designing needs such as photo enhancement, making memes and posters, or any visuals needed for your advertising campaigns.
- Writing Tools
With a growing interest in Search Engine Optimization (SEO), content writing is one of the most in-demand skills today for freelancers.
Statistics show that content marketing is an effective way to generate leads to your website. The website traffic subsequently could convert qualified readers into customers.
You can write content effectively by using writing tools for either you or your client’s brand. Many digital assistance tools detect spelling, grammar, punctuation, word choice, sentence construction, plagiarism, and other shared writing errors. Even words spelled correctly can be seen as incorrect if used in the wrong context. Use the browser extension option to add these tools, so client emails, freelance websites, social media, and blog posts are proficient and concise.
- Calendar Tools
Calendar tools are usually pre-installed or default applications on mobile phones; often overlooked by mobile users. This tool, however, is one of the most important tools for a modern freelancer.
Just like the traditional calendar, online agendas can help you keep track of your schedule by marking the dates of your appointments. You can set an alarm for your scheduled consultations and even get notified prior to the date you marked on your calendar.
- Cloud Storage Tools
A cloud storage tool helps you store your files without using your device’s memory. This cool, innovative feature gives you more space for your important files, especially the ones you share often.
If you are collaborating with other freelancers, you can easily share the files you’re working on by granting them access to that specific file in your storage. Linking is available to anyone with an internet connection and can help you complete tasks in a shorter time. Cloud storage also serves as an effective backup solution and is less likely to have your files corrupted compared to hard or external drives. Thus, you can maximize productivity while keeping your files secure but available for easy access all at once.
Freelancing has never been easier, especially when equipped with the best essential tools at your disposal. It’s up to you to decide which tools will best suit your freelancing needs and any tasks at hand.
Choosing the right tools for the job can help your business—particularly, your earnings—grow in the most effective way possible.
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