Top 5 Tools Every Freelancer Needs to Stay Organized & Productive

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The so-called gig economy is on the rise with more and more people leaving the 9-to-5 ordeal and joining the freelance wagon. After all, the prospect is incredibly appealing for anyone who doesn’t want to be stuck behind a desk 9 to 10 hours a day!

You get a flexible schedule and the chance to work from a comfortable location wearing comfy attire (yes, some freelancers do work in their pajamas!). However, there is a dark side of the coin, and that consists in being organized.

As freelancers, it’s our job to cover the boring aspects of business as well. We need to keep track of project management, work on finding new customers, and deal with financial and accountancy (among others).

Luckily, technology provides the answer for this too! There are countless apps, platforms, resources, and more available online and designed to give you leverage over the boring aspects of being a businessman/businesswoman.

Today, I’ll focus on the ones that help increase productivity and organization, but I also encourage you to look for similar tools that will make life better in other sections of life.

#1: Project Management

When you work on one or two projects, it’s rather easy to keep track of your tasks and deadlines.
However, as the list of customers increases, you will need a project management tool to help you keep track of each milestone. Sure, you can start by working with regular calendars (even Google Calendar can be useful) and make lists on paper, but as your business gets bigger, you’ll understand just how time-consuming and motivational taxing this activity can be.

That’s when you’ll turn to platforms designed to reduce the effort invested in keeping track of your work schedule, such as Asana, Trello, or Bonsai. Some of these tools are free or offer a free version, which can be enough for small businesses.

#2: Tools for Learning & Growing

If you are a freelancer for a while, you know you can’t stay still when it comes to learning and growing. Regardless of your domain, it’s never a good idea to forget about new information and technologies that could change everything from one day to another.

So, find the best e-learning platform that can provide resources, access to teachers and people trained in our field. Also, you have the wonderful opportunity of following people you admire online! Find bloggers that talk about your domain, authors, and more by browsing social media and consuming relevant written and video media as you can (a platform such as Feedly may be helpful in this case).

#3: Accountancy, Bookkeeping & Finances

This is an anxiety-inducing area for many freelancers and business owners. However, if you manage to keep your documents and financial flow well-organized, things should be easier.

Platforms such as Freshbooks, Xero, or Bench will help you stay organized and even identify inefficiencies in your cashflow. Furthermore, you’ll have a clear picture of productivity from a financial point of view.

#4: Team Management

Even if you’re running a one-man-show, you still need to communicate with customers and their teams. So, it’s a good idea to work with an app that’s used globally such as Slack or Skype. These let you organize customers and teams, to keep conversations by project and avoid losing track of information.

#5: Organization & Productivity

Finally, tools like Dropbox, Google Docs, Toggl (time tracking app), Harvest, MailChimp, and more are designed to work for you. They come with lots of cool features that help you stay organized, work in collaborative projects, and transform all that hard work into payment.

Of course, I only mentioned the top apps that cater to freelancers and entrepreneurs, but if you need something more specific and tailored to your needs, feel free to dig deeper. The market for apps designed to help you stay productive and organized is quite rich, and there are plenty of amazing offers out there.

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