Freelancers are their own administrative assistant, accountant, negotiator, editor and marketer. It's not easy, working for yourself, but there are resources out there to help make your freelance career a bit less hectic and a far more organized. Apps can help you to manage your time and resources wisely by aggregating many of the tools a larger organization has at its disposal into your own personal device of choice. Here are a few must-have apps for the seasoned or new freelancer.
MyPrice is one of the best applications to have on your phone if you're a freelancer. Period. The application is a great tool for estimating your hourly and project rate as a freelancer. It bases its estimations off of your experience, skills, expenses and what type of project you're working on. It also aggregates great freelancing tips and job opportunities.
NeverLate is an excellent, and free, replacement for the default iOS calendar application. The app is particularly useful to freelancers because is specializes in business meetings and events by tying into your LinkedIn, Evernote, and iOS accounts. It centralizes meeting and event information and can instantly update locations, times, relevant notes and discover who will be at a particular meeting, even if you haven't met them in person before. It also features traffic tracking, and will give you an estimate of when you need to leave a given spot to make a meeting, even if the traffic situation changes.
Dropbox is an essential cloud-based file-sharing platform for freelancers and full-timers alike. Regardless of content — videos, photos, audio, text or otherwise — Dropbox lets users share their work in a quick and easy manner. Users get two gigabytes to begin with, but photo or multimedia freelancers can find subscriptions up to 100 GB available.
Focus doesn't come easy, especially today. That's where 30/30 steps in. 30/30 is a simple timer application which can help keep you focused on the task at hand and to build up solid workflow. The application lets users create multiple timed lists, outline and modify the order of tasks, and just turn their phone or tablet into a productivity-focused timer.
Mint is a fantastic, and secure, financial tracking application, which allows users to set budgets (and budget notifications), keep track of personal and business related expenses, and get solid financial advice catered to their financial background. Mint is a part of Intuit (the folks who bring you Turbo-Tax), and is free.
Evernote is the go-to note-taking application. It's versatile, easy to use, and is an incredibly well thought-out knowledge retainer. Find an article you’d like to quote, cite or use for later? Use Evernote's web clipper and you can bring that information into the corresponding folder, complete with recommended tags, and have instant access to that clip nearly anywhere in the world.
Let's face it: if you're using the Internet for any sort of basic research, you're likely using Google. If you telecommute and collaborate with clients, you're likely going doing it through Gmail or Google Docs. And there's nothing wrong with that: Google has some excellent services to offer freelancers, from keeping track of who visits your website to video conferencing over Google Hangout. Google's calendar offering, too, is an essential application to keep track of multiple contracts and dates, and those calendars can easily be shared between G Cal and third-party applications like Sunrise. Is using Google and its products necessary in every case? No, but you ought to familiarize yourself with the Internet giant's layout because, rest assured, you'll be using one or more of their products somewhere down the line.
John Gower is an analyst for NerdWallet, a website dedicated to helping people find the best CD rates, checking accounts, credit cards and more for their business or personal needs.