5 tools I can't live without as a freelancer in 2019
There is an app for just about anything these days. I'm quick to jump on these things, but equally quick to jump off when they don’t work out for my business. Here are the five tool's that have stood the test of time and will continue to help me run my freelance business into 2019. I hope they'll help you too!
Best for tracking anything
Trello is a completely flexible tool to keep track of ALL OF THE THINGS. Seriously, there are no limits to how you can use this to track projects, lists, work or life. I personally set up client boards to share project docs, I store content ideas and editorial calendars, I plan my business workflows, and also use it to mange my team tasks. It is a bit of a blank canvas to begin, so jump on YouTube for inspiration on how others are using it, and feel free to shoot me a message and I’d be happy to share how I’m using it too. Give it a go here.
Best for visually planning Instagram
As someone who has managed a lot of social media accounts for clients in my career, I’ve tried almost all of the social media management tools including Hootsuite, Sprout, Later, Planoly, UNUM and PLANN. They’re all great for different reasons, but the one I love using for my own business and personal account is PLANN. This Australian based biz has created a beautiful app that makes editing, planning and analysing your Instagram feed easy and stylish. The only downside is there is no desktop app…yet (it’s due to launch in 2019). And if you just want to give it a go, PLANN is free for 1x account and up to 30 image uploads a month. Plus we love supporting local! Get started.
Best for managing client relationships
This has been a total game changer for my biz and something I’ve only recently invested in. I get giddy with excitement just thinking about it. Dubsado is a client relationship management tool designed with creative entrepreneurs in mind. It can send contracts, invoices, questionnaires, forms and manage all things business in one system, on AUTO PILOT. But there is a learning curve to this one, and you do have to put in the time to set up your docs and custom workflows. The great news is their support team are amazing and offer live chat and free video calls so you can walk through your own goals and ideas to make it work for you. Their templates can all be customised and they don’t plaster their logo on anything (so if you are like me and always thinking about brand experience, this is especially appealing). I could go on and on about this one and feel I’m only scratching the surface of what can be done, so I will save the in’s and out’s for another blog post (because there really is a LOT you can do with Dubsado). It is a paid tool but you can try it for free for a month. Try it out here and if you fall in love like I have, use code ‘coolwow’ to get 20% OFF your first month or year.
Best for managing finances
Money - it’s important and essential to get on top of when managing your own freelance business. Xero makes it super easy to track whats coming in and out with a pretty simple and handsome dashboard. Invoices take no time to set up and send, so if you are still manually writing these up and don’t have a system to track your finances, try this. You’ll definitely get brownie points from accountants and bookkeepers if you use it too and it’s never to early to start! It does come at a cost (the basic package is $25 p/month) but it’s totally worth it. Check it out here and up-level your money game.
Best for making beautiful graphics
This is not new…so unless you've been hiding under a rock, you’ve probably heard about Canva. If you haven’t then I’m excited for you!! Welcome to the easiest online tool out there to create beautiful designs with zero design skills. Canva has awesome drag-and-drop features and pre-set layouts to help you create stunning graphics for your social media channels, presentations, documents and more. Be warned, this can be addictive (I have to give myself a time limit cos I find playing with designs so much fun). Oh and it’s FREE to use. Start creating here.
What tools can’t you live without to run your freelance business? I’d love to hear about them below!!