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 you’re rushing through the stuff you actually enjoy rather than giving it the time 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 you can whittle down the hours you spend on boring admin each week to mere minutes. And that can be incredibly liberating: allowing you to focus more on your craft, take on an extra client, enjoy more leisure time, 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 tools, there are countless options, and it can be overwhelming to know where to start. 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 work for you. In the article below, we highlight some of the best freelance tools for creatives and explain how they might help you save time and energy.
So why not ring in the New Year by reviewing all the tools and apps you currently use and asking whether alternatives could make your practice more efficient? Whether you’re looking to save money, run projects with remote teams more smoothly, or find ways to get better client feedback without slowing down the production process, you’ll find some great options in 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 and small business finances because it just works so well in practice. Whether you want to create invoices, keep track of your expenses, file your 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 too.
Founded in 2006, Xero is another popular, long-running accounting tool that’s great for small businesses and 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 for creatives who are selling products such as prints online.
Over 20 years, accounting and invoicing software FreshBooks has developed a great reputation among small businesses and freelancers. It has particularly strong features for time tracking, expenses, and managing online payments. It integrates nicely with a range of project management platforms and payment gateways. And because it’s so simple, it’s a good option for anyone just getting started with freelancing.
4. Quick Books
QuickBooks is the oldest software on our list, founded back in 1983. But this accounting tool designed for small businesses and freelancers has kept pace with the times and provides excellent support …….