The 16 Must-Know Tools For Any Freelancer
Freelancing

The 16 Must-Know Tools For Any Freelancer

By
Derek Abram
|
CEO of Prio
|
7 min read

The 16 must-know tools for any freelancer

The Covid pandemic affected the way people live in general and the way we work in particular. Along with working from home becoming a necessity and the norm in a lot of industries, the number of freelancers has also increased exponentially. 

So much so that an estimated 1.57 billion people, a number that constitutes 46.7% of the world’s workforce, are now freelancers.

With numbers like those, it is no wonder that being a freelancer can get extremely competitive. If you’re looking to carve a niche for yourself, a stack of freelancer tools may be just what you need to give you that edge. 

Why your freelancer toolkit is important

There are multiple reasons why a customized toolkit is important for every successful freelancer to have. 

Here are three of the most compelling reasons why you need your own freelancer tool stack.

1. You’ll be better organized

Efficiency is one of the cornerstones of success. There are certain freelancer tools that are designed to help you streamline processes and make you more productive. 

You can have more control over your workflows, payment follow-ups, invoicing, time management, and a lot more.

2. Easy visibility for clients

Some freelance tools help increase client visibility by helping you be more transparent with your clients about the progress of their projects, enabling collaborations, and making project management more seamless. 

You’d definitely want one of these in your freelancer toolkit. 

3. Gain client confidence

Clients always enjoy working with freelance resources that are proactive, open to feedback, and pleasant to work with. The ideal freelance tool stack should enable you to offer your clients just that.

While there are plenty of freelancer apps and freelancer tools on the market, a lot of them are specific to certain business verticals. 

Here is a carefully curated list of 16 of the best tools for freelancers that you ought to know about.

The ultimate toolkit for freelancers

All of the 16 freelancer tools featured in our list of the ultimate freelancer toolkit are types that all freelancers can use, irrespective of the type of service they offer or the businesses they support. 

We’re going to divide these tools by function into marketing tools, calendar-based tools, repository tools, tools that help with creating contracts, time trackers, and project management tools. 

1. Marketing tools

First up, we got the marketing tools.

- Mailchimp

Emails are still one of the most commonly used marketing tools, with up to 80% of all small businesses using email marketing as a tool to reach their target customers.

A newsletter is a great way to engage with your target community and generate interest among potential clients. If you’re not using HTML-based emails for the purpose, Mailchimp is one of the best services for you to reach out to a large number of people with the click of a button. 

The content could be updates about the kind of work you’re doing, the type of clients you’re working with, or even about your skills, portraying you as a subject matter expert.

Mailchimp can be used for free if you have fewer than 2000 subscribers. If your subscriber list is larger, the amount you need to pay depends on the number of emails going out.

- Drip

Drip is a great marketing tool, especially for those freelancers in the e-commerce industry. This tool allows you to collect and analyze customer data, which in turn allows you to personalize your approach to each customer while targeting them on multiple platforms.

- Hunter.io

Hunter.io is another great email marketing tool that allows you to bypass gatekeepers and directly target your email marketing campaign toward decision-makers. 

A word of caution, though. You may want to recheck the credentials of the people you’re going to be emailing on LinkedIn and make sure they're accurate. 

- Sumo

Sumo is one of the most trusted tools for increasing website traffic, which is very important for a freelancer, especially if you host your portfolio on your own website and/or write blogs as a part of your marketing strategy.

Sumo can help you increase traffic to your website, build email subscriber lists easily, automate certain HTML tasks, and more.

- Dribbble

Dribbble is a platform for creative freelancers, ranging from designers to graphic artists and more, to showcase their best work and discover freelance opportunities.

While you could build your profile on Dribbble for free, a paid subscription would allow you to post videos and multishot project photos, thereby increasing the visibility your profile gets and the chances of being noticed by potential clients.

2. Calendar-based tools

Next, we have the best calendar-based tools.

- Google Calendar

Google Calendar has become the industry benchmark when it comes to calendar tools that help freelancers. The tool allows you to set reminders for appointments and meetings, including dates, times, locations, and hyperlinks to the platform being used if the meeting is virtual.

You can also use hyperlinks and rich formatting to share notes, presentations, and more during meetings as well.

- Calendly

Calendly makes scheduling meetings easier by allowing you to share your open schedule with your clients and letting them decide when they can sit down for a discussion with you.

Be it team meetings or one-on-one conversations, Calendly facilitates virtual meetings with ease, syncing seamlessly with Google Calendar, Salesforce, Outlook, iCloud and more. 

The tool even recognizes the difference between time zones, ensuring you can schedule meetings at convenient times even with international clients. 

3. Repository tools (Cloud backup)

Having a common repository is essential for any productive business.

- Google Drive

Google Drive has a lot going for it as a repository tool. For starters, anyone with a Google account has free access to Drive. You get 15 GB of free storage, with the option to purchase more storage as and when required.

A whole suite of Google tools comes complimentary with Drive, such as Google Sheets. Google Docs, Slides, and more, all of which make collaborating and file sharing very easy. 

You can have Drive installed on your desktop and get your online files to sync with Drive automatically. 

- Dropbox

Like Google Drive, Dropbox offers users a certain amount of free space with the option of buying more. You can also get more space by installing the tool on multiple devices.

Dropbox also allows you to store and share large files with clients, and once you have the desktop version downloaded, it allows you to sync your online files for access later. 

4. Contract creation

Here is a tool you can use to craft the perfect contract agreement.

- Bonsai

An ironclad contract agreement between freelancers and their clients is important for many reasons. These documents specify the extent of a freelancer’s responsibilities, the extent of a client’s involvement in a project, payment terms, preferred payment methods, and more.

Bonsai makes creating a contract, reviewing it with your clients, making changes to it, and legally signing these documents a breeze by giving users access to multiple easy-to-use contract templates. 

5. Time tracking

It’s important for employers and employees to know where they’re gaining or losing on time in terms of their project.

- Prio

Prio’s time card calculator makes it easy for you to track the amount of time you spend on a project, and since it also takes your hourly rate into account, it will easily show you whether the effort you put in is justified by the revenue you generate for yourself, as well as help you track your productivity.

6. Project management tools

Here we have two of the best project management tools.

- Trello

Trello makes the cut on our list of project management tools because it makes tracking freelance projects easy and relatively transparent. 

By allowing you to assign different stages to your project, Trello makes project tracking easy for you and your clients. Every time you complete a stage, you check it off your Trello list and move it to the next stage of the project.

- Asana

Asana is a project management tool that allows for more than just tracking. It allows for real-time collaboration with your clients, syncs with Google Calendar, allows you to schedule meetings, and more.

The tool’s features have made it a firm favorite among the designer community, allowing them to store hex codes, custom fonts, mood boards, and more for their clients. 

7. Communication

Here is easily one of the best communication tools for any business currently in the market.

- Slack

Proactive communication is one of the keys to success as a freelancer. This makes it necessary for you to have a tool in your tool stack that lets your client and you communicate with each other without having to send an email or call every time.

Slack allows you to communicate with your clients via short texts. The tool is compatible with both computers and smartphones, so you can communicate even when you’re on the go.

Slack also syncs with other tools like Google Drive, Trello, and Asana, allowing you to even share documents. It is no wonder that businesses of all sizes and verticals use Slack as a communication tool.

8. Invoicing and payments

And lastly, we have the invoicing and payment tools you can use.

- Prio

Along with the freedom that comes with being a freelancer also comes the responsibility of making sure you get paid on time and paying your taxes on time. This makes payment invoices essential to track the payments you’ve received and when you’ve received them.

However, creating invoices can get repetitive and painstaking at times. Prio’s free invoice builder allows you to create invoices in three easy steps, making it easier for you to track your payments. 

- PayPal

If you work with a lot of international clients, getting payments can be both expensive and time-consuming. This is why a lot of freelancers prefer to use PayPal to receive their payments.

PayPal is accepted as a payment tool in over 200 countries, is secure, and supports 25 currencies. 

While PayPal may charge steep fees for you to receive payments, these charges are tax deductible if you show them as a business cost. It is no wonder, therefore, that over a million freelancers, 300 million consumers, and 25 million businesses globally use PayPal for ease of payment. 

Get Prio on your toolstack today

Your freelancer toolkit needs Prio’s tools on it, and here’s why. We can help you with time tracking, invoicing, and project management, three of the most important aspects any freelancer needs to have covered. 

The icing on the cake is that, for freelancers, these services are absolutely free!

Click here to learn more about how to sign up and get Prio today!

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