Juggling all the aspects of a creative freelancing business is a daily challenge. Streamline your projects and improve productivity with these 12 free online tools.
Trello is a powerful, flexible tool for project management. Create boards for each project, and add cards with checklists, deadlines, color-coded labels and related attachments. Assign team members to boards for easy collaboration.
Manage your entire freelancing business with the tools and apps available in Freedcamp. Create task lists and Kanban boards to visualize the stages of your projects. Use the calendar to plan a project schedule and keep yourself on target. Milestone creation allows you to combine a series of smaller tasks under the heading of a larger goal, and time tracking shows how efficiently you’re working toward each one.
If you’re looking for a platform to handle everything from making lists to prioritizing tasks for your projects,Toodledo’s suite fits the bill. Use lists, alarms, calendars and scheduling to stay focused. Simplify collaboration by sharing tasks among team members.
For businesses with up to 25 customers, Zoho’s comprehensive invoicing tools are free. Track time and expenses, and use customizable templates to send branded invoices to all your clients. Payment reminders and a customer portal help ensure you get paid on time, every time. Or if you like the minimalist approach try Invoice Generator App, it is the simplest possible invoice generator I’ve seen, literally a one pager, and it is completely free.
Store any type of file and access your collection from anywhere using Dropbox. Mobile apps let you work on current projects on the go. Dropbox is also a handy tool for backing up important files and syncing files across devices.
JustCloud (formerly CX)
Completely cloud-based and accessible from both iOS and Android apps, JustCloud offers a full gigabyte of storage space for your project-related files. Store and retrieve multiple versions of files, and protect your work with automatic scheduled backups.
Link your bank account, PayPal and other payment portals to Wave for an easy way to track all business transactions. This completely free alternative to paid accounting software lets you upload images of receipts, create comprehensive reports and generate invoices all from one secure, mobile-friendly platform.
Balance project management and client relationships with Insightly’s collection of business tools. From one dashboard, you can track project activities via pipelines or milestones, generate business reports, manage email and get comprehensive insights on each client. Integrate Insightly with other productivity tools for an even more powerful solution.
Manage your Facebook, Twitter, Google+, LinkedIn and Instagram accounts with HootSuite’s online platform or mobile app. Use post scheduling to maintain a consistent social presence, and set up custom “streams” to stay on top of important conversations.
If you need a time tracking app for small teams, give Toggl a try. Turn it on to track time as you work, or manually input time later. Entries sync in real time, and simple reporting shows you how many billable hours you’re spending on each project.
Stop wasting your days with RescueTime. This simple app monitors the time you spend on various websites and sends a weekly email report to show you where your hours could be better spent. Set personal goals, block distracting websites and create alerts to keep yourself from getting distracted.
Free for accounts with up to 2,000 subscribers, MailChimp is the simple solution for managing your email list. Use an existing template for your messages, or create your own with drag-and-drop editing. Reports and data insights show how well each campaign performs.
Creating a custom suite of productivity tools takes a little trial and error, but when you find the perfect combination, it makes managing your creative freelancing business a breeze.