Time is money – especially when there is no security of tenure protection you. Here’s a couple of tools I use on a daily or weekly basis to become a more efficient freelancer.
As a freelance journalist – or freelancer of any kind – there are enough things to keep track of; customers, assignments, money, time! No need to add to that list. Luckily, freelancers today have the benefit of the many tech tools available for little or no cost. I have been through a lot of them; some have stuck, some were only downloaded to be deleted again. This is a list of the ones that help me work smarter, not harder!
Todoist is a digital to-do list that helps me keep track of everything. It sits on my desktop and reminds me of all my tasks for the day, or the week if I prefer it. I use it to keep track of all my meetings, assignments, interviews but also for personal things such as doctors appointments or to remind me to get milk. The design is simple and very easy to use.
I have the freebie version for now, but you can go pro if you’d like more options.
Instead of spending hours managing my invoices, I have Dinero. It is a free accounting tool for invoicing, VAT, and bookkeeping. Here I quickly can get an overview of my finances and my customers; who have paid and who needs a reminder. And when I’m out getting coffee with a new client, Dinero keeps my receipts safe in the cloud for me.
If you, like me, half-read articles and stories on your phone because you don’t really have time to read the whole thing, and then you try to save it by not shutting down the tab in Safari or Chrome, but you know you’ll accidentally either use that tab to search for something stupid or close it, then you need Pocket. Pocket saves your reads for later in the app so you can return to them when you have the time.
When I open Feedly, I quickly get an overview of the most important news and stories right now from the sources I’ve picked out. I can promptly scroll through headlines, click in on the most exciting pieces, highlight parts, add notes or share it. My Feedly is full of tech sites, international media companies, and opinion formers keeping me up to date daily.
This is where I keep all my good ideas. Instead of writing them down in Word, Google Drive or the little note app on my phone, I collect them all in one app. Then I can access them from my phone, tablet, or computer and continue working from wherever I’m at. I can divide the notes into different notebooks. I can format the text, take pictures or tag the notes.
To keep track of time, especially when it comes to more significant assignments, I use Toggl; an app that times my work with just one click. I can make reports that show me what is taking up my time and see how long each task take. Also, I can connect Toggl to my browser, so I don’t even have to open it to use on the web.
As a freelancer, it is vital to show your work and be seen. I spend a lot of time on social media, not always enough, but that’s where Crowdfire comes in. This app is my marketing coach. If I really spent time getting to know all the features – and paid a little – I would truly get to grow my brand. For now, it works perfectly on a smaller scale giving me insights into my followers, unfollowers, fans and good content targeting my audience.
Let’s get physical
Not all my tools are online. Always in my purse are my Knomo rechargeable battery power pack, my dictaphone, a pair of noise-canceling earbuds and Filofax calendar.
There are tons of apps and digital tools out there for the digital freelancer. These are just the ones I’ve figured works for me. Try them out and see what works for you!
Photo by LUM3N on Unsplash