Those cramped at work for eight hours a day may dream about having freelance jobs that allow them to work from home where they can work at their own preferred time. The truth about working as freelancers, though, is not as simple as being free to choose the working hours, the office locations and the outfits to wear. In fact, your success depends heavily on your own self-management, effectiveness and efficiency in accomplishing tasks when you sit down to do work. Even more complicated, in countries with strict tax policies, freelancers need to be competent enough to handle their finances.
Getting help through tutoring or coaching from top management and financial experts is surely an option, but it may cost a lot of time and money. Alternatively, in this digital era, freelancers are lucky enough to have the option of getting some free assistance from these incredible applications.
One of the ultimate skills needed for freelancers to master is the time management skill. One good app for this is called Harvest. The way to use this app is also simple. As long as you activate the app and are logged in, your computer activities will be monitored and reported. In that way, you can actually figure out how much time is spent on a project. Not only does it help to be the base for project invoices (especially those working on hourly basis) by providing detailed information about the project hours, but it also keeps you on track as it enables you to see the big picture of your time distribution. Using this app, you will be able to tell which projects are worth your effort and time, and whether you have been focusing too much on a certain project or existing clients, and have not done much to bring in new ones.
Other than Harvest, you can also use Wunderlist, which can serve as your personal digital secretary managing your to-do-lists. The app is quite simple. You need to input project names and deadlines. If necessary, sub-projects and extra notes can be added to the app. Even more practical is its function to sort out projects based on priorities (for this, you only need to give “star”) and give alarm reminders. In this case, your time management will be more efficient because the time to set multiple reminders and alarms is automatically done by the app. In addition to those functions, all the things put on Wunderlist can be synced to all other devices, making it possible to check, edit or simply view to-do-lists, due dates, prioritized projects and notes without having to carry your personal gadget around.
Now that you have got apps to act as your time manager and personal secretary, it may be useful to get an app that helps you focus while working on your project. It is called Focus Booster and it is especially necessary for freelancers that find it challenging to be cut off from their social media attachment. It works based on a technique called Pomodoro, which divides project hours into several 25 minute sessions. After each session, there is a five minute break, which hopefully will boost concentration and minimize online distractions.
Another app that has been found effective for freelancers is the sharing platform app, like Google Drive or Dropbox. It allows data sharing among multiple devices (computers, mobile phones, laptops) and at the same time making collaborative work more efficient. Without meeting face to face, the ideas, data and revision are shared among team members. Meanwhile, for those working individually, the app eliminates the need to transfer data from one device to another and to carry around certain gadgets to simply get on with your freelance work.
The other useful app is called Shake. The app comes in handy when there is the need to create legally binding agreements, such as confidential freelancing work, merger, property renting, etc. The process of creating, signing and sending legal contracts via this app can all done through mobile phones, which undoubtedly saves your precious time.
As for handling finances, there are two apps: Wave Accounting and Qapital. While Wave is good for daily cash flow, Qapital is more into long term financial plans. Should you need some assistance to deal with invoices, payment from clients and getting your bank account linked to your online account, Wave is the answer. However, if you are concerned with paying your taxes, insurance premiums, and money saving, go for Qapital. To use the app, first you need to have a Qapital account. Then, each month, around 30% of your income will automatically be deducted and saved into your Qapital account. When the bills arrive, the savings there will cover them up.
All in all, having apps simplify your tasks tends to improve your productivity and you’ll soon notice the obvious difference in the quality and quantity of the work you complete.
If you want to read more about the most used time management apps to keep you productive, we suggest you check out the interesting article here: The 15 Best Time Management Apps for 2017.