Written by Ritu
Over the years the appeal of freelancing has grown tremendously. Some are drawn to freelancing to enjoy the freedom of choosing their own work hours, some as a way to stay ahead during times of recession. Today, there are many individuals on the web pursuing their career as a freelancer. Bloggers, web designers, social media strategists and many others have found that freelancing is a great way to utilize their skills and sell their services through the wonderful medium we call the internet.
Although freelancing appeals to many, the stakes are quite high. I am sure most of you agree with me when I say there are a few sleepless nights, and work often seems to follow us wherever we go since most of us work from home. Like everything else, freelancing has it’s ups and downs.
The benefits of freelancing, however, certainly outweigh the pitfalls – and using the right online tools can help tip the scales even further. Gadgets and online apps are a freelancer’s best friend when it comes to being effective.
35 Tools That Make Your Freelance Career Easier
Here are 35 online tools that can help make your freelancing career even easier:
- Bubble.us : A brainstorming tool that lets you put your ideas into bubbles and save your mindmap as an image.
- Relenta : Helps you manage your contacts, emails, documents and other activities.
- Wridea : Idea management service and collection of brainstorming tools for writers.
- Slideshare : Create and share slide shows online.
- Toodledo : A web based to-do-list to help you organize.
- Mint : A very simple easy to use finance tool for personal use and to manage your freelance finances as well.
- eFax : Although you might think Fax is outdated we are pretty sure most of your clients still use it, especially the corporate ones. Use this site to make your life easier when it comes to faxes.
- Webnote : Allows you to quickly take notes using a web browser. You can save the notes using any computer and visit the site later to retrieve notes. Useful when using public computers.
- Box : Share files online with your clients and friends using this simple tool.
- ReadBag : A bookmarking service that lets you save links that you can read later in your browser, email, phone and even in an offline mode.
- Stock.xchng : Free stock photography for your blog, site or any other use that you might have for images.
- YouSendIt : Allows you to send files and folder that are upto 2GB without clogging your or your client’s inbox.
- WordFast : A translation tool that is compatible with any language supported by word.
- FaxZero : Lets you send free faxes to US and Canada.
- Copyright : Find everything you need to know about US copyright.
- RSS2PDF : Turn your RSS feeds into PDFs and read them even when you are offline.
- CentralDesktop : Helps freelancers collaborate, communicate and share files with clients and coworkers.
- FlightStats : Get up-to-date information on your flight so you can let your clients know about delays and know when exactly they are arriving if you have to pick them up.
- SiteKreator : Helps you create sites instantly, all you need to do is add content.
- InstaCalc : A web based calculator that includes spreadsheet capabilities, unit conversions and programming commands.
- BlinkSale : Lets you send invoices online, recurring templates and keep track of your invoices and purchases.
- Skim : Helps you take notes directly on a PDF file as you read.
- Icebrrg : Lets you easily build online embeddable forms.
- ConceptShare : Allows you to invite clients to take a look at your design work and get real time feedback while you work on the project.
- GoToMeeting : Setup online meetings with clients and colleagues using this popular meeting tool
- Wufoo : Another tool to help you build forms.
- Escrow : Use this service to protect yourself and clients when the stakes are high.
- XE : Most freelancers work with international clients and a currency converter is a must to determine the payment. This tool takes care of giving you up-to-date information on currency rates.
- ProjectStat.us : This tool allows your clients to view the status of a project using a token.
- CreativeCommons : This site provides free tools that lets freelancers easily mark their creative work with the freedoms they want it to carry.
- ProofHQ : Lets you annotate a variety of document types – PDFs, PSDs, JPGs, Word, Powerpoint – and webpages.
- ProposalKit : An online tool that helps freelancers with proposal and contract management.
- SlimTimer : An online timer that helps you track time spent on a particular project and bill your clients accordingly.
- SpotRunner : Use this website if you are planning to build a TV advertising campaign.
- MonkeyOn : Allows you to create a to-do-list that you want other people to do.
Bonus – 5 Blogs You Should Subscribe To
If you are a freelancer or are planning to become one, here are five blogs you should subscribe to for tips and inspiration
- Freelance Folder : The blog that you are currently reading. Launched back in 2007, Freelance Folder is one of the best blogs on the web dedicated to helping freelancers.
- Skelliewag : Written and managed by Skellie, Skelliewag is a blog that you don’t want to miss. In Skellie’s own words “If you want to make a living from your passion, not AdSense, this is written for you.”
- Freelance Switch : A blog that is often referred to as the mother of all freelancing blogs. If you are looking for insightful tips and helpful advice from the veterans, FSW is for you.
- 43 Folders : Launched by owner and writer Merlin Mann in 2004, 43 Folders talks about finding time and ways to do your best creative work. A must read blog to keep your creative juices flowing.
- MenWithPens : Ranked no.2 among the best blogs for writers, MenWithPens offers tips and advice to take your freelance writing to the next level.
I hope I was able to introduce a few new tools that can help your life as a freelancer. If you have a chance, please take a minute and share some of the tools that help you manage your freelancing career – they will probably be useful to others too.
Photo by Amir K.