Single post
Toggl

4 Apps & Tools for Freelancers and Entrepreneurs

When you’re starting out your business, it can take awhile to figure out the best websites and apps to help your business run smoothly.  I’m still figuring things out and making changes, but these four are working well for me right now. While each of these applications have both free and paid versions, the free version is still working fine for me with each of them. They are all available as websites and mobile apps with smooth syncing between the two.

 

Toggl

Toggl

Toggl is a time tracking tool available as a web application and a mobile app. While most of my work is project based and not an hourly fee, I still like to track my time on all projects to get an average as well as a maximum of how long a given type of project takes me, to ensure I’m charging an appropriate amount. I also find it easier for me to stay focused on my work if I have a timer running and can’t move on to something else unless I stop the timer.  I generally use the web version since it’s quicker and easier for me to enter the description that way. The app is a nice option for when I don’t want to have an internet browser open at all, to remove the temptation of opening another tab and getting distracted. If you start tracking time on the web version, the mobile app will track time as well, giving you the option to close the browser and stop time from your mobile device. You can pull reports to see total time for the week, month, or year for all clients or a specific client or project.

 

HelloSign

HelloSign

HelloSign is a Google service that allows you to sign documents electronically and send them to others to sign. When I first started freelancing, I sent contracts to my clients as pdfs. They had to print them, sign them, scan them, and send them back to me. It wasn’t long before the first client told me she didn’t have a scanner. Oh. Now what? With HelloSign, you can sign documents by typing your name, drawing it with your mouse or finger, or uploading an image of your signature. I generally have a signed contract within hours or even minutes and can get started on the project right away. You can sign and send up to three documents a month with a free account.

 

I'm not sure why Jamie Hyneman is on the Evernote homepage, but it made for an awesome screen shot for this post.

Evernote

Evernote is an application for, well, notes. While I often use the app to type notes on my phone, I find it most useful for taking photos of paper notes and organizing them.

Evernote note

I never know when I’ll get a phone call about a project or job, so I’ll usually just grab whatever piece of paper I can find to jot down notes while on the call. I then can use Evernote to take a photo with my phone  and add it to my virtual notebook. It’ll be there for me to refer to when I need it without worrying about losing the paper or my photo getting mixed in with the hundreds of photos I’ve taken of my toddler. This function is also great for when you get a package in the mail that includes a paper with a coupon code for your next order. You can use Evernote to snap a quick photo and discard the paper. The best part? Even hand-written notes in photos are searchable. I did a search for “Gotham” in Evernote and it pulled up this hastily written note.

 

Buffer

Buffer

I’ve just recently started using Buffer, but I’m already liking it more than Hootsuite. Like Hootsuite, it allows you to send updates with multiple social media accounts and schedule updates for specific times. Also like Hootsuite, it has a Google Chrome extension available to make it easy to share the content you’re viewing. I like how the design looks cleaner than Hootsuite and also how it suggests content for you to share. I always open the links before just automatically sharing them, but I often find the content to be worth sharing. One downside is that you can only connect one Twitter account and one Facebook profile or page, so if you need to post across multiple accounts, the free version won’t work for you. The free version also doesn’t allow you to view your feeds like Hootsuite does, but that isn’t a feature I use often.

 

How about you? What tools help keep you organized in your business and life?

theme by teslathemes