It isn’t always easy to go it alone, but thankfully, there are plenty of apps to fill in the gaps.

Admin’s a nightmare

Tax time can be a freelancer’s worst nightmare, pulling receipts out of their sock drawers and searching through their Gmail box for old invoices. Shoeboxed helps by turning receipts, business cards and invoices into accounting entries. Using your smartphone camera to log an entry, the app extracts the data then human verifies the key fields, recording, filing and reconciling the results. Everything is then exportable to accounting software like MYOB and Xero.

Eyes on the prize

When you work from home, sitting on your laptop can be hard when you just want to chill. For Mac and PC, Focus Booster can help with that. Based on the principles of the Pomodoro Technique, it’s a mix between a to-do list and a time-management coach, tracking time as you work through daily tasks. When 25 minutes are up, an alarm sounds and you get a break.

Focus is a mix between a time management and a focusing tool, shutting off any distractions from the work set at a specific time. If a freelancer should be on Photoshop, Twitter might be inaccessible. If it’s social media time, it’ll let them tweet.

Shake on it

Every freelancer has been burnt.

A client cancels a job when you’ve turned down another, or they just don’t want to pay for the work. Still only available in the US, Shake allows users to create, sign, and send legally binding agreements from their phones. It has a database of contracts, including ones specific to freelancing.

Stop, collaborate and listen!

Freelancers will often find themselves on one job while having a great thought for another. Evernote allows users to capture ideas, images, or audio clips from your PC or phone, and then lets you sync them all for later recall.

For collaborations, Mural.ly is a creative tool where users and their collaborators can drag and drop rich media files, links, and documents onto an HTML5 drawing board. It works through browsers and is also optimised for iPad, where it’s made gesture-friendly – perfect for gathering and organising ideas.

Maintain a social life

A social media presence keeps freelancers front of mind when work becomes available. Schedulers like HootSuite allow users to keep all their social media accounts in one place and manage each of them from one simple login, scheduling posts and tracking mentions while following all your influencers. While you should still log in for real-time interaction with customers (especially on Twitter), a scheduling tool has the additional benefit of giving you an overview of your communications strategy for the week ahead, allowing you to balance your messaging, and see how it aligns to your broader activity.

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Camilla Gulli

Editor

Camilla Gulli,
Editor

As Editor at Red Wire, Camilla is particularly passionate about diversity in tech, content marketing, social media, and disruptive platforms.

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