List of Apps
- Time-tracking apps
- Kanban board apps
- Invoicing Apps
- Appointment scheduling apps
- Email list apps
- Online file storage apps
- Social Media apps
- Collaboration apps
For every type of business, apps and online tools are now an essential component, not least for freelance professionals. There is an app for everything these days and many of our activities are connected to applications and related software, both professional and otherwise.
Especially for freelancers, apps provide a vital support system that makes it much easier to run a solo business.
It's hard work to freelance. Despite the romantic image people in their pJ's have of the freelancer working casually from home, the reality is often very complex. The hours can be long, the workloads difficult, and the life of freelance can also be stressful without careful attention to health and productivity.
That's why freelancers need to take advantage of all the tools and technology available to them. Including those capable of improving workflows, automating monotonous tasks, building customer loyalty, strengthening a personal brand and helping you get paid on time.
The following are 8 types of apps that we think are essential for successful freelancers:
1. Time-tracking apps
When you're a freelancer, the more billable hours you can get into a week, the more you earn, whether you bill by the hour or by the project. Apps for time tracking help you record, monitor and analyze your day of work. Then you can use the data to find more productive ways of working faster, delegating tasks, and automating processes.
We prefer Toggle, another #estonianmafia startup <3
2. Kanban board apps
Kanban boards are ideal for teams and solo freelancers as a project management tool. They provide your workflow visualization and can include multiple different client projects that you may be working on at any given time. The boards can be used to plan, organize, and complete both projects, managers, and self-marketing tasks that are all critical to small business owners.
In Rimuut, we use Trello, and after trying out several dozen of other apps, we fell in love with the design & the power-ups!
3. Invoicing Apps
You need to be paid. You must also request the payment in a way that does not detract from the identity of your brand. This means providing an easy and trouble-free way for your customers to make a payment quickly. For example, Rimuut lets your customers pay in a matter of seconds directly from our panel itself using their preferred payment method. All the data for your accounts will be recorded.
Check our blog post on awaiting payment to learn the ropes of payment collection.
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4. Appointment scheduling apps
The arrangement of appointments is a problem for many freelancers. It can be challenging to find an exact time when both you and your customer are free. A simple solution is to set up a scheduler for appointments where you are predetermining time blocks for meetings and consultations. Your prospect or client then simply selects a suitable time block from the shared calendar for them, and the time for the meeting is set. It's all automatic and it saves a lot of time for everyone.
We use Hubspot's Meeting function, which lets our freelancers book calls, or our prospect users to organize a video call so that we may help them with their question.
5. Email list apps
There are few marketing channels as powerful as your carefully grown email list when it comes to marketing yourself as a freelance professional. A list of subscribers, fans, and customers is yours forever, even if your website is going to disappear or your business is going to evolve. With this trusted and intimate access to the email inbox, you can reach people who are likely to one day become customers.
Just as our top-earning freelancers chose Mailchimp, we choose to go with Intercom to manage our emailing efforts. Though a bit pricey, their claim is on point: "Come for our chat. Stay for everything else"
6. Online file storage apps
Maybe the most important thing freelancers need to do in their career early is to set up an online file storage system. Keeping all of your documents in cloud storage, including the work you do for customers, keeps the work safe. If your computer is going to die a sudden death or be stolen, you might lose weeks, even months, of important paid work that you just can't get back.
We use several apps here, but the majority of the team prefers to stay on Google Drive. Anything goes in this category though: DropBox or Google Drive, they are all great with a different take on file storage.
7. Social media apps
Social media platforms are great for a presence where your target customers spend a lot of their time. Unfortunately, the use of social media can be a black hole as well. What was meant to be updating the timeline of your profile for a few minutes can end up being a costly distraction. Social media tools allow you to write status days and even weeks in advance and then schedule them to go out on set dates automatically. Add in the newly integrated "Screen Time Management" of modern phones, and you may enjoy social media as a personal marketing channel responsibly.
8. Collaboration apps
Freelancing is often a solo career in terms of teamwork, but not always. Some freelance services require active cooperation in complementary fields with agencies and other freelancers. You need to be familiar with the best collaborative apps when this happens. These secure apps enable you to work with collaborative partners on projects quickly and easily, often in real-time, without the need for long email threads.
We know the freelancers' choice here: Slack. As it is with everything, we were using Whatsapp and with an executive decision moved to Slack for everything from scrum meetings to file sharing.
Did we miss anything? What are your picks on these categories? Let us know!