Tools every freelancer could benefit from using
Working as a freelancer is great, most of the time. But it can also be difficult. There are times when you get swamped with work and don’t know which way to turn. Plus, on occasion, even when your workload is light, things crop up which eat into the time you have available to work. An easy week can all too quickly turn into a nightmare – one where you are rushing to catch up.
Sadly, there is not much you can do about this. As a freelancer, you do not always have the luxury of saying no to work. You just cannot be sure that more will become available to allow you to keep up with your bills. So, sometimes you will have to say yes and work into the small hours. At least in the early days. But what we can all do is to equip ourselves with tools that enable us to work efficiently. Here are a few that are well worth looking into.
Top of the list is some sort of invoicing software. For example, the kind you will find at freshbooks.com. Using this tool, it takes moments to produce your invoice and send it off. Far quicker than creating them all manually then keying them into your accounts package. The fact that you can have the app on your phone means that each day when you take a moment out for coffee you can instantly send out any outstanding invoices – it’s that efficient.
A time tracking app
When you are a freelancer time is money, quite literally. If you are spending hours working on jobs that do not pay well, you soon get into trouble financially. You need to understand how long each job takes. To look critically at each task and ask yourself if you are being paid enough to do it.
A time tracking app enables you to exactly that. They can enable you to log the time you spend writing an article or creating a design. Then later, add in the time you spent editing and polishing it to the same entry. So, you capture exactly how long you actually spent on each job. You will be surprised by how often you are being paid less than minimum wage for your work. Realising this gives you a chance to give that client notice and seek work elsewhere. It also makes it easier for you to work out how much you actually should be charging your clients.
A task manager
Mapping out the steps needed to complete a project and assigning a time slot to each one is by far the best way to stay on track. There are several packages available that allow you to do this – do your research online and find which one would be best suited to you.
If you are currently working as a freelancer, I would love to hear from you. Please share details of those apps and tools you cannot live without below in the comments.