9 Helpful Apps to Streamline Your Freelance Business Jeanna Barrett Are you the type of freelancer that views time as your friend, or your enemy? I think most freelancers can at least agree that time is your most valuable commodity, mainly because of the many different roles you lead throughout the day and the #1 freelancer rule — your time is money. How you charge, and how efficient you use your time, both increase your bottom dollar. If there’s anything you can do to have more time, you’ll likely take it. That’s why we came up with a list of our favorite apps that will help you streamline your solopreneur business and give you back some of that precious time. PROJECT MANAGEMENT Project management is a core function of your business. And good project management helps you complete your projects and deliverables on time. Not only do you need applications for lists and scheduling, but communication, too. Get started with these three apps below. Trello This project management app allows you to create specific boards that you can share with clients or other collaborators. Each board has the ability for you to add tasks, assign people to those tasks and instill deadlines. It’s also super easy and intuitive to move tasks around when priorities change. There is a chat function within Trello, which allows you to comment and add notes, ultimately eliminating those long email chains. It also syncs with your devices — from mobile, to tablet to desktop. If there’s one tool I’ve mentioned to people throughout my years of marketing and freelancing that I can’t live without, Trello is it. Calendly It can be a real challenge to schedule meetings when your client has one email application, and you have another. Eliminate those back-and-forth emails with Calendly. This app will help you schedule those meetings by generating a link you can share via email (or embed it on your website). Your client will have direct access to your calendar and vice versa. Slack Another way to eliminate numerous emails and email chains is through the use of Slack, a real-time messaging, search and archiving application. Slack can help you unify your team’s (or client’s) communication, manage your workflow better and easily find files. Not to mention you can integrate other apps and services, such as Trello and DropBox, making it even more efficient. Plus, Slack is fun with animated gifs and threading comments, it can allow you to feel more connected to remote resources or people you work with. ACCOUNT MANAGEMENT Account management is arguably another area of business that takes up a lot of your time when you’re trying to execute client needs. Below is a list of apps that will help make your processes more efficient – from invoicing and time tracking, to proposal-generating. Proposify Just because you’re a freelancer doesn’t mean your proposals can’t look professional and creative. Proposify allows you to create beautiful proposals, with an easy digital sign-off to help you grow your business quicker. The app also gives you metrics on your close rates, the status of your current deals and state of all your proposals. Sighted This app allows you to create customized invoicing and expense tracking and is built specifically for freelancers and solopreneurs. A few features: create invoices and receipts in any currency, web- and mobile-friendly, profit and loss reports, integration of online payments and more. And, in general, a CRM system is very beneficial for freelancers to help you manage contacts, automate follow-up and provide insights from data collected. With the numerous options out there, you are sure to find one that best fits your, and/or your client’s needs. EXECUTION MANAGEMENT Execution management is your money-maker. As a freelancer, it’s often that you execute multiple different initiatives for a client because outsourcing your work is costly. There are a whole slew of apps out there to help execute that email campaign, enhance a photo or edit videos, or build websites. Snapseed Snapseed is a photo editing app created by Google. It has over 29 tools and filters, can open JPG and raw files, and allows you to edit, crop, etc. This is a great app to use when your client provides photos that need just a bit of enhancement. Weebly Need to create a website, online store or blog for your client? Or, even for yourself? Weebly makes this easy through a drag and drop website builder, integrated eCommerce platform, and responsive themes. You can add photos, content, choose from templates and even ensure it’s responsive on mobile. Another great option here that is increasingly more popular for widgeted/templated website design is SquareSpace. Ahrefs When building your client’s sites, you want to understand where competitors or ranking within Google and what you can do to outrank them. Ahrefs provides a whole gamut of tools for SEO, such as backlink checking, competitor analysis, keyword research and more. These tools are important to help your client’s gain a competitive edge and attract more customers through an efficient and relevant website. Managing a freelance business can be a lot of work and require a significant amount of time, especially if you’re a multi-tasking freelancer, managing more than one role. While this list only shows a snippet of what’s available out there for you, these apps and others like it will also help you strengthen your talents and give you back time to keep growing your solopreneur business.