FREELANCING / SEP. 08, 2014
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Top 10 Tools for Freelancers Who Want to Work Hard on a Budget

Freelancers are nearly always paid by the job, rather than by the hour. This means they’re better off working as hard and as fast as they can. Naturally, our clients want to see us as people who have the ability to use all the latest and greatest tools to produce the best work we possibly can.

If you’re a bit low on the cash front, you need to find more affordable tools. In this article, we go through 10 of the most awesome tools for freelancers who want to work hard and fast on a budget.

#1 WEEK Plan

The WEEK Plan is a weekly planner inspired by a number of best-selling books on productivity, such as David Allen’s Getting Things Done: The Art of Stress-Free Productivity. It works very much like Google Calendar. The difference is WEEK Plan also allows you to mark certain tasks as more important than others, so you can see how important each task is.

This is the advantage it has over Google Calendar. By looking at tasks visually, you’re less likely to miss something out when you have a packed schedule.

#2 Ginger

The Ginger grammar checker is ideal for the freelancer who still struggles with grammar. Everyone knows how damaging a grammar mistake can be. It can obscure a sentence’s meaning, or it might just make you come across as a babbling idiot. And many freelancers have lost out on jobs because of it.

Ginger is a grammar checker with a very strong strike rate. Try it out if you’re prone to missing the occasional comma or capital letter.

#3 BoxBilling

BoxBilling is a client management and billing system. Use this to create and track your invoices. You can also suspend accounts automatically should a client not pay within a certain amount of time. You can use the limited free version or pay for the extended one at $5.95 per month.

The reason why this is so awesome is because it allows you to get paid for the hours you would have otherwise spent compiling invoices. By using BoxBilling, you’re going to have more hours to earn more cash.

#4  StayFocusd

Did you know the average computer user spends 15 hours on Facebook every month?

If you fall into this group, check out StayFocusd. It limits the amount of time you spend on offending websites by physically blocking you. If you use the site for too long, it will automatically lock you out until the next day. You have full control over the timings, so you can be as strict with yourself as you feel necessary.

Think of the hours you could claw back!

#5 Selz

Freelancers sell their services, but if you don’t have an online eCommerce solution you can’t do much selling. Selz is a framework for creating an eCommerce platform. It enables you to sell physical and digital products easily.

There are charges attached. For every transaction made through this platform, you lose 5% of every sale plus 25 cents. It’s user-friendly and has a strong reputation for being professional and for its simplicity.

#6 Fiverr

Fiverr is a marketplace where you can find anyone from writers to designers. Every job will only cost you $5. You can find people for practically any job available. You can even offer your own services, if you’re that way inclined. You’ll be shocked at just what you can get for a few dollars.

Always remember to make sure you check the reviews before employing anyone. Yes, it’s only worth $5 to you, but this doesn’t mean you should expect anything other than the best.

#7 Canva

Most freelancers prefer to stay away from a situation where they have to create logos and banners. They believe they aren’t artistic enough for that. With Canva, you don’t have to have an artistic bone in your body.

This simple app enables anyone to create graphics that look like they were created by a professional. All you have to do is use the templates given and you’ll have a cool custom graphic in a matter of minutes.

#8 Weebly

If you can’t afford to have a website created by a professional, it doesn’t matter. Weebly can step in and give you a hand. It’s a free resource that supplies a range of templates for small businesses. All templates are usable on mobile devices and can be used with a custom domain. If you don’t have a name, feel free to use the Weebly sub-domain free of charge.

#9 MailChimp

A long email list is like a pot of gold. It’s how you can stay in touch with people and update them on your special offers and deals. MailChimp gives you the chance to send bulk emails to up to 2,000 subscribers entirely free of charge.

Feel free to make your emails as simple or as complex as you like. There are no limits to what you can send to your subscribers. All your subscribers have to do is sign up using a completely customisable form.

#10  Hootsuite

Managing social media is an important part of living life as a freelancer. It’s how you stay in the public eye and continue to attract clients. Hootsuite helps to reduce the amount of time you spend on marketing.

Use it to schedule your social media updates. Whether you’re online or offline, Hootsuite will post on your Twitter, Facebook, and LinkedIn accounts even when you’re offline. You can do this with up to five social media accounts on the free version. The paid Enterprise version allows you to post on 25 social media accounts at the same time.

These are the top 10 tools you have to have if you’re going to make the most of your time. Freelancers have reported that they have enabled them to become more efficient and cut down on wasted (and unbillable) hours. Download them today and see how they can revolutionise your business!

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