The holidays are all about loved ones and being grateful. For freelancers, some of that graciousness goes towards the tools that make their business function. They’re essential too many and without them, hours get longer and processes become harder.
Freelancers have to operate as a business, regardless of their profession. Day-to-day tools and apps help us walk the line between our work and business needs.
For that freelancer friend of yours who works tirelessly at home or from their local WeWork, they deserve gifts under the tree too. Here are 30 apps that help make the lives of all freelancers and entrepreneurs much, much easier:
Want to know the going rate for development or design work? Then use Bonsai's helpful tool that factors in skills, experience, and location to reveal what the market is charging.
QuickBooks has been the premier name in business management for years. In this case, freelancers get all the coverage they need handling taxes and finances, including mileage tracking, instant expense reports, invoicing, and much more for a low monthly rate.
Users love Xero's ease of use and real-time cash flow reporting. You won't get much flash with Xero, but you will get a useful financial tool - and that's what matters.
ZipBooks aims to simplify bookkeeping and get you paid fast. Users have loved its back-end management for years now. Though, it currently performs better on iPhone than Android.
Shake is the more affordable app equivalent to LegalZoom crossed with DocuSign. Effortlessly create, sign, and send contracts with Shake using its easy templates. Many features are available without a cost, while it also has paid features for more legal coverage.
We could pick every Adobe tool from mobile to web app. So, to make it concise, we’ll include it all in one swoop. Discover what you need in your creative professions and Adobe is sure to have it.
Canva is an excellent app for writers and non-designers as well. Whether it's building a brand or creating an original visual for an article, Canva is an excellent, easy to learn app for a slew of freelance professionals.
Prezi makes your presentations stand out without having the design background to make it possible. Fast templates and easy analytics will make understanding your presentation's effectiveness a cinch.
Squarespace is one of the premier names in simplified website building. In addition to its excellent web experience, it offers a suite of mobile apps covering facets including analytics, blogging and point of sale (POS).
Graphic Design and Inspiration
Behance is the creators’ community. Whether looking for inspiration, collaborators, or even jobs, Behance is a go-to destination for creatives. Be careful, you can get lost for days in a world of incredible designs.
Freedom members are thankful that they are able to stop looking at distracting websites. With Freedom, you can choose what is distracting and how long you need to block it out.
IFTTT brings synergy to your apps and devices. Do everything from automating your workflow to automatically storing notes in a Google Doc. IFTTT is excellent for both freelance and personal work.
Instead of eliminating distracting noise, Coffitivity leans into it. Proving that not all noise is distracting, Coffitivity recreates the sounds of your familiar coffee spots. In doing so, your mind is transported to a place of productive buzz. Caffeine not included.
RescueTime takes the cake when it comes to immersion and improvement efforts. It requires a bit more effort to set up, but you will soon see its benefits. With productivity tracking, you'll feel committed to improving your work efficiency.
Asana is one of the premier names in project management. Freelancers and teams benefit from its efficiency, and they love its design. Asana claims to move work forward, and it's hard to deny that.
Before Asana, there was Trello. Just like Asana, Trello has legions of fans that are thankful for its easy job and board creation. Those seeking a minimalist approach to their task management love Trello.
We could have gone with Basecamp here but Wunderlist gets the nod for its life management capabilities. Life gets busier when freelancing. Wunderlist makes it so both work and life to-dos get prioritized and accomplished.
Project Forecasting and Tracking
Cushion users love how this sleek app manages the daily grind of freelancing. From schedule forecasting to achieving financial milestones, Cushion is the tool that helps freelancers get where they want to be. Consider it a complete time and business management system.
Users that love simple time tracking love Toggl. Those especially fond of the Pomodoro Technique are gaga for it. It touts an in-depth list of integrations and has earned itself a reputation for having everything you'd want for tracking time.
Timely syncs with your schedule to seamlessly track time. Its web app stands out, as you get to compare your planned-out day versus the actual work you've done. In doing so, users get to further explore their work and just how effective they performed every day.
Google’s Suite is much like Adobe’s. We could make an entire list just out of these great apps. It’s touted as everything you need in one package, and it’s hard to argue that.
By now, Grammarly is one of the most go-to tools for anyone dealing with words in the workplace. That’s a lot of people. Grammarly makes them all thankful for its quick and highly accurate editing suggestions.
Teams of all sizes and locations use Slack. For freelancers, they’ll often be added to team chats. But they can also use Slack to network with other freelancers across its many threads worth exploring.
Though Slack has become a significant force in office communication, Skype is still worth our thanks. After many years, it remains a reliable tool for chatting and video conferencing across the globe.
Customer Relationship Management (CRM)
Streak’s integration with Gmail makes pipeline management much more manageable. Managing essential details, queuing emails, and note-taking come with the free feature. For a few dollars a month, its task management tool can be quite helpful.
This is another excellent Gmail integration tool worth giving thanks for. Users enjoy its simple interface and user experience. Freelancers also enjoy its no-cost option for solopreneurs.
Funnel aims to keep it uncomplicated for small business owners. It not only gets points for that, but also for its engaging design. Thankful users also note Funnel's useful features, including customizable contact forms, proposal creation, and Gmail integration.
Freelancers often face an additional deal of headaches when searching for insurance. PolicyGenius helps streamline the search while pulling options from the public and private marketplace. Saving hours analyzing insurance options? Now that’s something to be thankful for.
When it comes to cold outreach, finding emails can be a time-consuming task. Find That Email works as a Chrome extension to pull your target’s info straight from their LinkedIn page. With 90% accuracy, you can streamline your searches for more efficient outreach.
Rocket Reach is another trusted name in information sourcing. It boasts a search through many of the top networking platforms to provide you with accurate contact information.
Get the key info you need with one app. Rapportive makes your Gmail conversations that much more beneficial by giving you your contact's key information. With Rapportive, freelancers get key info like:
- Social media profiles
- Job and Title
- App activity on other tools
With this information in hand, you’ll be able to make informed decisions and set up meetings with close by targets.
Skillshare is home to over 17,000 classes and 3 million members, all working to level up their skill set from their talented and accomplished teachers. It’s the perfect community to better your talents or learn complimentary skills to run that successful business of yours.
Did we miss any apps that you are thankful for this year? Be sure to let us know in the comments!
This article was originally published on Skillshare.