Freelancing gives you tremendous freedom to take on the kind of work you love, set your own hours, and boost your income. But sometimes success can bring its own problems. You often feel like you’re spending too much time on tedious, repetitive admin and not enough on being creative. And so you find if you’re rushing through the stuff you actually enjoy rather than giving it the period and space it deserves.
The good news is that having the right tools can really make a difference in all of that. Once you automate a task, you’ll find a person can whittle down the hours an individual spend on boring administrative each week to mere minutes. Plus that can be incredibly liberating: allowing anyone to focus more upon your craft, take on an extra client, enjoy more leisure moment, or combine all three.
The bad news is most of us don’t know where to start. From intimidating-looking project management software to AI-driven design equipment, there are countless options, and it may be overwhelming to know where to begin. So most of us are in a Catch-22 situation: we’re too busy at the moment and can’t find the time to research time-saving tools properly.
To help you out, we’ve done most of that will work for you. In the particular article below, we highlight some of the best freelance tools for creatives plus explain how they might help you save time in addition to energy.
So why not ring in typically the New Year by reviewing all the resources and apps you currently use and even asking whether alternatives could make your own practice more efficient? Whether you’re looking to conserve money, run projects with remote teams more smoothly, or discover ways to get better client feedback without slowing down the production process, there are plenty of some great options within our list below.
Accounting / Money Management
FreeAgent is not a new tool: it’s been around since 2007. But it’s still our favourite app for managing freelance together with small business finances because it just works so well inside practice. Whether you want to create invoices, keep track of your expenses, file your current taxes, or manage costs on a big project, it makes everything feel smooth and effortless, and its insights and accounting reports mean you always feel in control of your money. There are some excellent integrations with banking apps as well.
2 . Xero
Founded in 2006, Xero is another popular, long-running data processing tool that’s great with regard to small businesses and additionally freelancers. Its user-friendly interface is nice and easy to use, and there are helpful integrations with online payment platforms and point-of-sale systems, making it a good choice regarding creatives who are selling products such as prints on the internet.
Over 20 years, sales and invoicing software FreshBooks has developed the great reputation among smaller businesses and freelancers. It has particularly strong features intended for time tracking, expenses, not to mention managing on-line payments. It integrates nicely with a range of task management systems and payment gateways. And because it’s so simple, it’s a good option for anyone simply getting started with freelancing.
4. Quick Books
QuickBooks is the oldest software about our listing, founded back in 1983. Yet this accounting tool designed for small businesses and self employed has kept pace along with the times and provides excellent support to help you manage your invoicing, expenses, and also taxes. It’s very scalable, so it is a good choice for sole freelancers hoping to take in staff as well as eventually grow into a new business.
While Harvest offers a broad range associated with features, including invoicing software, project management, expenses, and online payments, time tracking is its strong suit. It offers a variety of instruments and integrations to assist you accurately capture plus bill to get your time, so if you get paid by this hour or even day rather than per-project, it’s an useful one to have.
Another great tool with a focus on time tracking is Toggl, which lets you do so either manually or automatically. In the latter case, you trigger an automatic timer each time you open a particular app or type certain keywords. That means tracking your time doesn’t need to take up any actual time period, which will be a boon whenever most likely working at a breakneck pace and don’t want to be held up.
Want a time-tracking tool but avoid want to spend a lot regarding cash? We recommend MyHours, which has an user -friendly interface together with some excellent features and it is purely focused on time tracking. There’s some sort of free plan to get you started, and even the paid plan is quite affordable.
Invoicely, because you’d expect, offers a range of features to help you create in addition to send professional invoices. It also allows you to track expenses, time, and åmileage and generally manage your finances. Get started with the Free Plan, which allows you to send up to five monthly invoices to your clients.
Need to process payments? Stripe is one of the oldest and most popular online payment processing platforms, and for good reason. It supports a variety of payment methods and currencies, incorporates some useful fraud prevention and security tools, as well as interface is very easy to use. There are good integrations with other tools and services, too.
1Tap is a great tool for tracking and organising your tax expenses to ensure you never miss out on a deduction. For example , you can use the mobile app ‘on the go’ to take photos of your receipts, so they’re instantly included, even if you lose the paper receipt. You can also take a photo of a purchase invoice on your phone and have it posted automatically to make sure you get paid quicker.
Need to book lots of appointments? BookedIn automates the process, allowing your clients to book appointments via social media, your company website or your custom booking link. It then sends automatic confirmations and reminders, including options to confirm, cancel, rebook, custom messaging and more. You could even eliminate no-shows by asking clients to pay a deposit online when booking their appointment.
12. You Can Book Me
You are able to Book Me is usually a great way to handle the scheduling of meetings with customers, customers, collaborators and others. This integrates using your Google or Microsoft calendar and gives you a good personalised booking page. People’s time zones are automatically identified, and even confirmations, reminders and follow-ups are instantly generated.
Calendly is definitely another automatic scheduling platform, and the strong suit is their simplicity. So it’s the ideal choice for anyone who doesn’t want to spend a lot of time setting things up together with wants to get going nice and quickly.
14. Team Today
Managing a team? Team Today can be firmly centered on helping a person plan hybrid working. That makes it easy in order to see at a glance who’s working at home, in often the office, offsite or on holiday. It also helps keep an individual track of office numbers, book hot desks, and sync everything to be able to Outlook, Teams or Search engines.
Want to build a website but don’t understand where to start? Webflow makes it easy for you to create your professional-looking site without knowing exactly how to code. Its visual interface lets you design and additionally arrange website elements, as well as add interactivity and custom functionality, merely through drag and drop. Webflow also offers hosting for your website.
Behance is really a mixture involving a portfolio platform not to mention social media community for creative professionals, which includes people working in design, art, photography, film-making and also 3D. You don’t get some website connected with your own, just a page, but this makes it simple to help showcase the work, get comments, as well as connect having other creatives. Behance is certainly owned simply by Adobe and is integrated with other Adobe tools, such as Photoshop and Illustrator.
Dribbble is a bit like Behance inside that this allows anyone to share your function with fellow creatives and get comments, comments plus suggestions. Nevertheless unlike Behance, it’s not really for finished or published work yet focuses on snapshots of job in progress. Dribbble is particularly popular among web designers, graphic designers, in addition to illustrators. It’s also an useful tool pertaining to networking and even staying up-to-date with the latest trends.
18. Adobe Portfolio
While Behance does not give you a site of your own, Adobe Portfolio does. You get this particular website builder and hosting service as part of a Creative Cloud subscription, also it lets you create a professional-looking portfolio to showcase your work. Additionally, it integrates with other Flag products, such as Photoshop and Lightroom, making that easy to upload assets together with use Flagstone Fonts.
Dunked is normally a simple way to build a portfolio website using drag and additionally drop not to mention showcase your own personal work on the web. Built by simply creatives, meant for creatives, it is templates are great quality, and you can customise them when you want in order to. You may need to be able to understand code, but if a person do, you can tweak your site further through the HTML and also CSS editor.
Semplice is a fabulous WordPress-based profile maker by using a friendly community surrounding it. It’s a good choice if you don’t would like to use a template nevertheless design an important custom web site that meets your level of taste and standards – no coding needed.
21. Clippings Me
Clippings Me is a platform made with journalists, bloggers as well as writers in mind. It allows you to build the writer’s collection quickly and easily by means of adding on the net articles or perhaps PDFs for you to showcase your best stories. You can add videos also, and overall we prefer this to similar apps because the layouts look so clean and attractive.
22. Working Not Working
It can maddening, really. Countless clients are looking for your best talent, and talented creatives are looking for work, yet the two no longer always find each some other. Working Not Working provides a solution by way of connecting innovative professionals, like designers, photographers, and writers, with companies and organisations looking to help hire all of them for short-term or freelance projects.
Project & Task Management
Scared by just the complexity of project management software program? Then try Trello: a new browser-based, Kanban-style list-making application that’s widely used across the creative local community. It’s great for keeping track of multiple projects, planning your time period, and keeping on track through deadlines.
Notion is an all-in-one project administration suite of which brings every thing into one place, including notes, databases, kanban boards, wikis, calendars and reminders, plus enables you to connect them together in whatever way works for an individual.
ClickUp is a project management in addition to collaboration system that provides an user-friendly interface to manage your personal projects and even tasks together with track your time and energy. It’s very flexible and additionally customisable not to mention integrates utilizing many additional productivity equipment, including Google Drive, Slack, and GitHub.
Asana is without a doubt project software designed to help you organise, track, and also manage your work. Is actually designed in order to be flexible and international and do the job with groups of any kind of size. All of us love it has the Focus Mode, which allows you to definitely focus on one task at a time, and its Smart Inbox, which helps you filter notifications according to the top priority.
Monday might be a browser-based app the fact that lets anyone create your own applications and function management computer software. This makes it a better choice designed for teams, especially those with the help of complex or maybe unusual needs, as opposed to individual freelancers. The Forms feature is particularly good for streamlining the process of idea generation.
Things gets a great deal of use here at Creative Boom. This personal task manager for Mac and iOS helps you set up your tasks and to-do lists simply and intuitively. It’s based on the exact ‘Getting Things Done’ philosophy and helps put it into practice with minimal fuss.
Obsidian is a brilliant app just for taking notes and organising your thoughts meaningfully. Described as some sort of “note-taking and personal knowledge supervision app, ” it’s based on the principle with graph databases, which enables you to produce connections as well as associations between your information in a good more powerful and intuitive way than traditional hierarchical or folder-based systems.
Thought everyone used Gmail? Not really us: in Creative Boom, we prefer FastMail, which delivers fast, reliable, and secure private email, along with advanced features you won’t find elsewhere, for example support for custom made domains, IMAP and POP access, plus automatic backup of email data. Thus if you’re looking for a feature-rich alternative to be able to your current provider, check it out.
Worried about the security of the email? ProtonMail is your free in addition to open-source encrypted email service provider founded in 2013 by a group of scientists who met from CERN. It uses end-to-end encryption to protect the contents of your emails. It offers many other security and privacy features, such as support for the purpose of two-factor authentication and self-destructing messages.
32. Zoho Mail
Zoho Mail is a secure, protected, privacy-guaranteed, and even ad-free e-mail service. The idea integrates along with other Zoho items, such since Zoho Docs and Zoho CRM, together with supports two-factor authentication and additionally spam filtering.
Sick of getting emails from people you didn’t wish to hear through? Hey is really a consent-based email that puts you in control. When someone emails your current @hey. com address for the very first time, you decide if a person want for you to hear coming from them or not. If an individual don’t, then you’ll never hear from these people again.
Electronic signatures are increasingly acceptable for legal documents, so why faff close to with printing stuff away, signing the idea physically and then scanning it in again? DocuSign offers a faster alternative, allowing anyone to digitally sign, send, and handle documents. It is fast, secure, and legally binding and is widely utilized by individuals and companies worldwide.
35. Dropbox Sign
Previously known as Hello Sign, Dropbox Sign is actually known for its user-friendly user interface and sophisticated security features. It combines nicely along with Google Apps, Salesforce, Slack, Oracle CPQ, HubSpot CRM and, of course , Dropbox. Really quite expensive but some good option for medium or large businesses together with complex signing needs.
Eversign offers a professional, browser-based software through which usually you are able to generate your e-signature, apply it to help documents, not to mention invite others to affix their e-signatures for your documents. It’s a great choice when it comes to anyone looking for a relatively low-cost app.
37. Panda Doc
PandaDoc is an all-in-one document automation program that streamlines the process of creating, approving, and also eSigning proposals, quotes, contracts, and much more. Drag-and-drop editing assists you build them fast, with the choice of 750+ ready-to-use, free templates. You can furthermore customise your own personal own dynamic versions.
38. Sign Now
Like other e-signature solutions, SignNow lets you sign documents electronically, either on a computer or mobile, and monitor the document’s progress as it is going to be sent as well as signed just by the necessary parties. Other features include the ability to set your personal signature stamp position, add credit card validation for text fields, and to be able to merge files into a fabulous single PDF.
Bonsai tree aims in order to integrate plus automate every step of the business, so it runs seamlessly, from proposal to tax season. It describes itself as the particular “global operating system with regards to freelance work”. We specifically like how the software allows you to craft structured proposals, using clear estimates, in just a few clicks.
Design & Creative
40. Adobe Creative Cloud
Innovative Cloud is a subscription service that gives you access to the latest versions of more than 50 Flag tools, including Photoshop, Illustrator and Premiere Pro. These tools are all industry-standard, professional apps and are constantly being updated, most notably with lots of clever AI that saves you time on previously tedious tasks, such as creating masks in Photoshop. The platform also provides an easy, browser-based way to share your work and collaborate with others. You get cloud storage for your own work, portfolio websites, Flagstone fonts, smart integrations along with Adobe Stock, and other creative resources too. In short, a subscription might cost a lot, but what you get is immensely useful.
If you want a browser-based app for making quick tweaks to your photos, you won’t find the better free one compared to Pixlr. You can make quite sophisticated changes in order to images, plus if you find the ads annoying, you can remove them for a small fee.
Can’t afford Creative Cloud? UK company Serif produces very decent alternatives to be able to Photoshop, Illustrator and InDesign in the form of Affinity Photo, Appreciation Designer in addition to Affinity Publisher. They’re even superior in some ways, such as offering million-plus zoom and the same experience on iPad as on desktop. Yet they’re subscription-free and even available at a new low, one-off cost.
Inkscape is a free, open-source vector editor that allows you to create and edit illustrations, logos, diagrams, maps along with other graphics. Drawing features include a pencil tool (freehand drawing together with simple paths), a pen tool (creating Bézier curves and straight lines) together with a calligraphy tool (freehand drawing using filled paths representing calligraphic strokes). You’ll find excellent shape tools and a text tool here, as well.
No money for InDesign or Cast Publisher? Scribus is free of charge and open-source desktop publishing software you can use to produce newsletters, magazines, posters and additionally more. It supports a wide range of file formats and offers an array of layout and design features, which includes support with regard to colour management, CMYK printing, and importing and editing vector graphics.
44. Google Fonts
Free fonts aren’t all the best quality, yet with Google Fonts, you can be sure you’re getting well-designed professional ones without paying a penny. A person can use Google Fonts in personal and commercial projects, modify them without seeking permission, and use them in logo designs for clients and within any product you sell. Check out some examples in our roundup associated with the greatest Google Web site to play using in 2022 .
45. Noun Project
The Noun Project is a fantastic online library regarding icons, organised by category and subject, for you to download and make use of for free inside your style projects. Icons are available in various formats, which include SVG not to mention PNG, they can be used regarding personal and also commercial purposes, and there are so many if you’re bound for you to find what you’re looking for.
Collaboration & Communication
Sketch is really a vector images editor intended for macOS that’s hugely popular amongst designers for producing icons, trademarks, as well as other graphic elements. It is most often used, though, for prototyping and designing user interfaces for web and mobile applications.
Figma is a vector images editor which stolen much of Sketch’s audience in recent years because it’s free, it’s browser-based (so you may use it upon PCs as well as Macs) and because it has superior collaboration tools. Adobe is currently throughout the process of buying Figma for an eye-watering sum nevertheless promises that will it will keep the no cost tier and will allow its founders totally free reign to continue developing the particular app.
Nothing to do with Iron Man and co; Marvel is a popular design and prototyping platform for mobile and internet applications. Features include pre-built UI kits, design cooperation tools, plus integrations with other design in addition to development tools. It will be available as a web app and even mobile app for iOS and Android devices.
Slack is really a real-time messaging and effort platform to get teams, which came into its own during the pandemic. Features like instant messages, file sharing, and integrations along with other equipment make it easy for teams to communicate and work together inside real-time, even if you’re physically distant from each other. Slack is usually available as a web together with mobile application for iOS and Google android devices.
Where makes it easier pertaining to teams to help connect over video – with no app or software down load required. An individual can personalise your Wherein room having custom names, URLs, and additionally branding. Virtual whiteboards through Miro help you make remote sessions more productive. And some sort of Breakout Groups feature enables you to run classes, events, not to mention workshops by using ease.