Whether an experienced freelancer or a novice eager to fast-track your freelance career, you need tools to make your work easier, enjoyable, and faster.
Freelance tools are a must-have for all freelancers. Like a painter or mechanic toolbox, they can help boost your productivity, make your job easier, reduce mistakes, and manage your freelance business effectively.
Here are some of the best freelance tools to make your life easier. For easy selection, we’ve categorized the tools based on your needs! So take your time, peruse them, and go for that which suits your freelance needs.
Why should Freelancers use Freelance Tools?
Even the most skilled professionals rely on various tools to work. So, why shouldn’t you, a freelancer, follow suit?
And if you decide to, what benefits do you stand to gain?
The right freelance tool is like a spanner, wrench, or screwdriver in the hands of a plumber—they help get the job done effectively. But there is more to these tools than just that.
Here are some reasons why freelancers should rely more on tools.
To be efficient, you need to learn the art of time management. It might not be easy on your own, but with freelance tools, it’s easy. There are tools designed for all tasks, so you can save time on multiple tasks that would have taken you hours to complete.
Do you want to create reports without wasting time? There are tools for that.
Are you always falling behind on schedule and want to boost your productivity? There are many productivity tools to select from.
What about invoices? Sending an invoice, especially recurring invoices, can be a hassle, but it’s often more straightforward with the right tool.
In a nutshell, everything becomes easy, more enjoyable, and faster with the right freelance software.
No one likes mistakes—not you or even the most tolerant clients. While eliminating errors is impossible, you can do much to reduce them with the right freelance tools.
Freelance tools are designed to help reduce errors by automating tasks. These tools include accounting software for invoicing, billing, tax calculations, etc., and project management tools to help you manage multiple clients, etc.
Irrespective of the tasks, freelance tools can provide you with spot-on results, making your clients pleased and thus giving them a reason to return.
Most clients look for professionals when searching for potential freelancers for a project. To appear as a professional freelancer, you need to have access to the best freelance tools. That way, you can easily convince clients of your professionalism.
In addition to painting you as a professional, freelancer tools can also help build your professional brand. With them, you can:
- Design a professional logo for your personal brand ( With Canva, etc.)
- Create your website ( with WordPress and other tools)
- Send invoices
Now that you understand the benefits of using freelance tools, you may want to apply them to your freelance business. If so, here are some hot picks to consider.
Best tools for Freelancers: Categorized
Below, we have categorized each freelance tool based on your needs. Let’s begin with one of the freelancers’ most important tools: time tracking tools.
Time Tracking Tools
All freelance projects come with deadlines. If you are lucky to be an in-demand freelancer who handles multiple projects, you may have multiple deadlines swirling around your already occupied mind.
How do you keep track of time in such a situation?
How do you ensure you aren’t spending too much time on a project?
That is where time tracking software comes in! Here are some of the best freelancer software in this category.
1. Office Time
Time waits for no one, not even the most-skilled or high-net-worth freelancers! But, with a tool like Office Time, you don’t need to figure out how to cheat or pause time as it has features that can help you manage your time effectively.
Office Time is a good time tracker and one of the best freelancer tools. It’s easy to use and is compatible with Mac, PC, iPhone, and iPad. In addition, this tool can use an Apple calendar to assign meetings to the appropriate project.
- Mobile and offline time tracking
- Billing and invoicing
- Multiple billing rates
Chrometa is another tool that helps you keep track of time. Many freelancers will love this tool because it can run in the background, meaning you can start or stop the timer with a click.
One fascinating thing about Chrometa is that it helps track time spent on various tasks (like sending email addresses and surfing the internet) and software like Microsoft Word, Excel, Outlook, etc. It can also assign your activities to the appropriate project and make a time sheet.
- Automatic time allocation
- Strong reporting features
- Accurate passive timekeeper
- Compatible with Apple, Android, or IOS devices
- Free plan
Productivity and Project Management Tools
Are you looking for tools to boost your productivity? Are you tired of being disorganized and want to sort out your projects and tasks effectively?
You need a productivity and project management tool.
Here are some of the best project management tools:
As the name implies, Freedom sets you free from distractions. And it does this by blocking distracting apps and websites so you can zero in on what matters.
Suppose you find yourself wandering off to check your notifications on Twitter or how many “likes” and “comments” your recently uploaded photo has gathered on Instagram. In that case, we advise that you use Freedom. It can help block off distractions, thus boosting your productivity.
- Unlimited session and devices
- Recurring scheduled session
- Lock mode
- Advanced scheduling
- Compatible with Mac, Windows, Android, IOS, and Chrome
If you would love to manage your tasks or to-do list with stunning visuals and fantastic project management features, Trello—one of the best freelancer project management tools —is your best bet!
Imagine Trello as a sticker note but an appealing and digitalized version. You can create boards for various projects or clients, like sticker notes. On each board, you can create to-do lists and cards for individual tasks in a project.
With Trello, you can manage projects effectively and track progress. Who says you need project managers when you have the proper project management tools?!
- Easy integration
- Easy collaboration
- Automation for better workflows
Best Freelancer Tools for Communication
Whether you are a one-person freelancer, or one working with an agency, you need to communicate with clients and other team members to brief them on the project’s progress, pitch ideas, ask questions, and give and receive feedback. All these are possible with the right communication tool.
Here are some of the best communication tools for freelancers.
Slack is a great tool and communication platform, popular among freelancers and business organizations. With Slack, you can keep project members in the loop by adding them to a channel where they can see details about an ongoing project, thus ensuring that everyone is on the same page. Slack also has features that enable file sharing, including video or voice calls.
- It can be integrated with many tools and apps
- Has plans that suit small businesses
- Enables file sharing
2. Google Meet
If you have heard of Hangouts, you’ve heard of Google Meet! This tool (previously known as Hangouts and one of the best tools for freelancers) offers freelancers an easy way to communicate with clients and team members. It’s ideal for video calls and online conferences. You can also use it to chat with clients. Many freelancers are familiar with Hangouts as it’s one of Google’s many free products.
- Unlimited number of meetings
- Ideal for business and personal use
- It comes with a video and audio preview screen
- Screen sharing with participants
Freelancers hold meetings regularly, so you need tools to help schedule meetings and keep close tabs on them.
Here are some standard scheduling tools for freelancers:
Tired of racking your brain trying to find the ideal time that works for you and your client? Or do you need help with setting meetings and keeping track of them?
Calendly is your best bet!
Calendly merges your work and personal calendars into a shareable calendar. By viewing this calendar, prospects, clients, and collaborators can select a time that works for you and them. With this tool, the entire process of scheduling meetings is effortless.
- Ideal for flexible schedules
- Team scheduling
- Open API
- Compatible with all devices
- Automatic/custom notifications
2. Google Calendar
Another fantastic product from Google’s impressive ecosystem. Google Calendar is a free tool that you can use to ease the tedious and time-consuming process of managing your schedule. With it, you can monitor upcoming meetings, manage to-dos, and book meetings with internal and external team members or parties.
Google Calendar has a standout feature (the “Find a Time “feature) that you’d love. For example, you can use the “Find a Time” feature to sort out a team member’s schedule without wasting each other’s time.
- Scheduling View
- Simplified appointment slots tool
- Advanced search
- Time tracker
Client Acquisition Tools for Freelancers
To make money as a freelancer, you need a steady work flow. But, of course, you can’t get the latter if you don’t have clients. So you’ll need to leverage some client acquisition tools to land new clients.
Here are some of the best client acquisition tools for freelancers.
With over 675 million members, many of which are business owners looking to solve numerous challenges and freelancers alike looking to outsource projects, LinkedIn remains the best client acquisition platform.
However, before you jump on the LinkedIn bandwagon in search of job postings, note that the platform is not an oasis for freelancers—it’s saturated. So to stand out among the crowd, you need to optimize your profile and post valuable content as part of your inbound marketing strategy.
- In-mail and messaging
- My network for managing connections
- LinkedIn showcase page
- Client management
While the average individual uses Twitter to tweet, monitor trending news and discussions worldwide, and engage with their favorite celebrities, many freelancers use this platform to generate leads for their business.
You can follow suit.
According to a Databox survey, 48.3% of respondents said that Twitter exceeds other social media platforms regarding B2B lead generation. So rather than sleep on a client acquisition machine like Twitter, you can use the platform to grow your following, post relevant content, attract inbound leads, and, perhaps, chat with existing clients.
- Integrated photo-sharing service
- Third-party applications
Suppose you are a freelancer who prioritizes your brand at some point. In that case, you may need to dabble in graphic design to create beautiful logos for your brand, website logos, and visual content appealing to potential clients.
Here are some of the best tools in the design category.
When you hear Canva, what comes to mind? Exceptional graphics, right?
For those who aren’t aware, Canva is an online graphic design tool perfect for creating social media posts, presentations, posters, videos, and anything involving graphics.
While Canva may appear like a normal graphic design tool in the hands of an average individual, it can be a game-changer for your brand and online presence in the hands of a freelancer like you. And before you cringe at the thought of designing with Canva, you should understand that it’s user-friendly. Other alternatives to Canva are Stencil and adobe creative cloud.
- Has free and paid plans
- Drag and drop features
- Photo Editing
- Stock images, icons, and fonts
Behance isn’t a design tool per se. Instead, it is an application used by freelancers—especially freelance designers—to create a professional portfolio for their freelance business and showcase their work to potential clients.
While showcasing your work on this platform, you can become popular among freelancers who may refer you to clients. You can also attract a considerable following depending on the quality of your work and how often you post them.
- Portfolio format
- Build portfolio
- Display work
- Pre-made templates
Tools for Receiving Payment and Budgeting
After offering your freelance services to a client, you must prepare an invoice and send it to the client with a payment option. Rather than break a sweat trying to schedule an invoice manually, you can fast-track the process by leveraging some tools.
Here are some of freelancers’ best payment, budget, and invoicing tools.
If you are an experienced freelancer, the chances are that you are familiar with PayPal. But, if you aren’t, here is a summary of what PayPal is.
PayPal is an online service provider that helps you receive payment locally and internationally—regardless of what you are selling or the service you are offering. It boasts many payment options for your clients, such as Visa, MasterCard, Discover, American Express, etc.
PayPal is secure, available in over 200 countries, and supports 25 currencies. Unfortunately, while PayPal remains a freelancer’s go-to payment system, it usually charges high for its services. However, the good news is that these charges can be removed from your taxes as the cost of doing business.
- You can use it to send an invoice
- Accepts credit card payment
- It can be linked to your bank accounts
- Available in over 200 countries
Payment for freelancers can be tricky due to the location of clients, some of which are scattered across the globe. However, you can receive payment without difficulty with a tool like Square.
Square allows you to accept credit card payments and get deposits the following day. It’s ideal for freelancers and even business owners with e-commerce shops. The latter can benefit from Square’s POS system, which deals in refunds, taxes, and discounts, and has sales reporting tools.
- Sales reporting tools
- Integrates with accounting tools like QuickBooks, Xero, Kashoo
- Customer management
- Invoice tracking ( making it a good invoice software)
- Unpaid invoice reminders
Mint ticks all the boxes if you are looking for a budgeting app for your finances. Unlike some budgeting apps, Mint (one of the best freelancer tools) has comprehensive features that make budgeting enjoyable, fast, and easy.
Mint helps collect all your linked financial accounts and details in a single dashboard, giving you a clear picture of your financial health. The free app allows you to monitor bills, budgets, and investments. In a nutshell, Mint helps you become a better manager of your finances ( a skill many freelancers lack) by keeping track of your expenses.
- Tracking bills
- Investment report
Are you looking to add powerful accounting software to your arsenal of freelance tools? Then, you should consider one of the most popular accounting tools—Freshbooks.
Freshbooks, one of the best accounting software, is a cloud accounting tool with amazing features like invoicing, project tracking, etc. In addition, it has a spreadsheet feature that makes it easy to prepare taxes.
Like most accounting or invoicing software, Freshbooks has free and paid plans. The latter can be enjoyed for 30 days (max), while the former can be at different prices for each plan (Lite, plus, and Premium). The prices range from $15 per month to $50 per month.
QuickBooks is an alternative to FreshBooks and a close competitor sharing almost the same features. While both tools boast impressive business accounting features, your choice will depend on the task and the number of clients you wish to bill.
- Integrates with Hub staff
- Doubles as a proposal software
- Accepts credit card
- Free plan and paid plan
There are many writing tools for freelance writers. These tools—which are major game changers—serve different purposes. They are recommended for freelance writers who want to improve their writing game, impress clients, and scale their careers.
Here is some writing software that can complement your writing efforts as a freelance writer.
Mistakes are common when writing. And if left unchecked, they can affect the quality of your content, leaving clients displeased. The result? Bad review and a lost client.
To check grammatical, spelling, punctuation, fragmented sentence, missing commas and words, and all sorts of errors, you need the help of a tool like Hemingway. Hemingway can serve as that fresh pair of eyes that scour your content for errors you miss or are unaware of.
It can simplify words by providing simpler replacements for your specific audience. It can also help break up paragraphs, notify you of passive voices in your content and offer replacement options. In a nutshell, Hemmingway can help ensure that your content is readable, concise, and error-free.
- Readability score
- Word count
- Online and desktop versions
- Has a free plan and paid version.
- Writing and editing modes
If Hemmingway were the Michael Phelps of grammar checkers, then Grammarly would be the Cristiano Ronaldo, thanks to its popularity among freelance writers.
Grammarly—one of the best freelancer tools—is a grammar-checking software with more comprehensive features and appealing visuals than Hemingway. Like a typical grammar tool, Grammarly helps check and correct spelling and grammar usage. It also checks for plagiarism and alerts users of passive voices, filler words, and complex sentences.
Grammarly can be accessed on desktop, web, and mobile devices with a good internet connection. In addition, it has a language preference option that can be set based on your preferred language and offers a browser extension for Chrome.
- Language preference option
- It has a free plan and paid version
- Editor settings
- It can work as a Google Chrome extension
A website is key to your freelancer’s inbound lead generation strategy and online presence. Also, having a website as a freelancer speaks volumes of your professionalism and serves as the perfect portfolio for your business.
Do you have a website?
No? You can create one without hassle using these web hosting and website builder tools.
Do you want to build a professional website but lack knowledge of HTML and CSS?
With a great tool like WordPress, you can create a professional website without writing a single code.
WordPress is a website creation software used to create and manage websites. It is user-friendly and has many thrilling features; no wonder it powers almost half of the internet. WordPress is used by many business owners, freelancers, publishers, and bloggers to boost their online presence.
- Free hosting
- Unlimited pages, posts, and products
- Flexible post scheduling
- Core upgrade and plugin update
- Automatic backups
- Integrated news and blog posting.
With just $3.95 per month (for shared hosting), you can gain access to the best website hosting provider.
Bluehost is a big gun in the website hosting sphere (it’s hard to think of “web hosting” without referencing Bluehost). It powers millions of websites and has numerous hosting plans to meet your website needs and budget.
Bluehost also has solid security, impressive customer support, and high-performance servers. If you often find it hard to use certain software, Bluehost will be an exception, thanks to its user-friendliness.
- Website Builder
- Domain names
- Professional email address
- Multiple site tools and add-ons
- Free SSL certificate
- 99.99% uptime
The legal aspect of your freelance business can be boring and complex. Unless you are a freelance contract law lawyer or one with a background in contract law, you’ll need help with tasks like drawing up a contract, terms and agreements, and privacy policies.
And that is where legal tools come in.
Here are some of the best legal tools for freelancers.
With $19, you can enjoy Bonsai—software designed to help freelancers like you run their businesses. Bonsai has over 100 fully legal document templates assessed by numerous self-employed people (or freelancers) and professional contract lawyers.
Thanks to Bonsai, you can create contracts quickly and with ease. In addition to creating contracts, Bonsai can be used to make proposals and invoices and track your expenses.
- Expense tracking tool
- Paid and free team collaboration plan
- Integration and payment
How do you get a client living 7,500 miles away from your current destination to sign a freelance contract? Unless you can teleport or cast spells, you’ll need the help of a tool like HelloSign.
With HelloSign, your clients can e-sign your freelance contract template to show that they consent. Without a signature, a freelance contract is as useless as a waste paper with text.
- It has a free plan, including essential, standard, and premium plans
- Digital signature
- Online contract signing
- Document management
Freelancers need tools as much as mechanics need their toolboxes!
Fortunately, there are tools for all freelancers, software developers, translators, videographers, writers, designers, programmers, etc. Your job as a freelancer is to find what suits your freelance needs and go for it. Lucky for you, this post was made to make that job easy.
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