After my previous post about getting into the freelance game, I thought I’d chart out just a few apps I have found extremely useful as a freelancer. The ones I’ve listed below have really made my life easier, so I totally want to share some of my faves. Let’s dive in!
I was trying to find an invoicing system that worked for me, looked professional, could potentially incorporate my logo, and let’s be honest, was free (or at least affordable). Then I found one that did it for free – thank you to Martin!
I did get other suggestions as well – head to my original tweet and you can see what others recommended. I tried one other, but realised Wave had what I needed. These are just some of the things that I like about it:
- It has an easy-to-use interface, including a brilliant dashboard that shows you any overdue invoices, your cash flow over a period of time, and a handy net income table as well as a profit and loss chart
- Multiple customisation options, where you can add your logo and colours to the invoice along with changing certain words on the invoice (example, do you want to charge per “item” or as per “quantity” and so on)
- Direct reminders from within the app for bill payment – which can be automated as well. Remind your clients to pay you on time!
I believe you can connect your bank account to the app; however, I have not utilised this feature. There are many positives to this app, but the above three are my favourites!
When I first started freelancing, I couldn’t figure out where my time was going. And then when I had my first few clients on hourly rates, I was writing down what time I started and what time I stopped. This was NOT effective or efficient. So I started hunting down timesheet-based apps. And then I found Toggl. I didn’t need to try anything else because this fit exactly what I needed. I’m currently on the free feature, but there are upgrades to memberships which offer further insights, customisation, and much more. I am considering upgrading, but for now, the free-to-use version does most of what I’m looking for. So these are the things I love about it:
- User-friendliness first! There’s ways to, well, start and stop the timer without any fuss, and if you miss something, you can enter it manually if needed.
- I love that there’s a dashboard that breaks down the amount of time you’ve recorded doing something in a week, a month, a day, or any time period you specify. Makes it easy to figure out where your week has gone, really!
- And, if any clients need reports, no problem! The website can generate reports based on tasks, time periods, an aggregate – whatever you need.
- The ability to create multiple projects and multiple clients is great – I’m all about lists and colour-coding, so one glance a week and I can see which client I’ve worked for, how long for, and on which project (if I’m doing more than one thing for them).
OK, so in my previous post about getting into freelancer life, I emphasised the importance of financial planning and accounting. While Wave does a great job of accounting for my work, I desperately wanted to keep track of exactly what I was spending on a daily basis. And so after trialling at least 3-4 personal finance management apps, this one is hands-down my favourite. I have upgraded to the paid version because it’s absolutely worth it. These are my favourite features:
- Well, it does what it says on the tin: I can track all the money I spend. As soon as I use my card or cash, I plug it into the app.
- On that note, you can create multiple accounts – so I have one for cash, one for my bank account, one for my credit card etc. Once you upgrade, you can track multiple currencies as well. Which is SUPER useful when you’re travelling, believe me!
- Assign categories! OMG, my list-loving mind adores this feature. I can assign categories to every spend I make, so I can track what I’m spending money on and how much every month. Basically, it can create a chart which shows the percentage of money that goes into my car or eating out or travel or anything else. Once upgraded, I could create new categories rather than whatever are the default sections.
Well, now that you ask… I use other apps because my clients use them and some because I need it for my work. A list of my essentials and one or two apps for my clients thrown in here:
- Google Drive – Just my go-to for working on-the-go and remotely. I (obviously) have folders created for each client where I upload my documents/sheets/whatever, and usually work out of those folders when I’m working from co-working spaces and so on (Find it here).
- Dropbox – I use this to store a lot of my portfolio and to share files and images. I also use it to store all my edited photos. Some clients prefer Dropbox for sharing files, so it works out that I have an account (Find it here).
- Wunderlist – OK so I tried this years ago and just couldn’t get into it, I’m genuinely not sure why. However, this time around, it’s really helping me set my goals and make sure I hit them. With the ability to create categories (as you can tell, I’m pretty organised haha), sub-tasks and deadlines – checking it off is pretty satisfying(Find it here).
- Slack – This is an app I use because a client does; think of it like WhatsApp for work? There’s channels you can use to have a conversation, share and upload files and so on, making all communication flow in one easy thread (Find it here).
So any apps you use that you’d recommend or like? Let me know!