Becoming a freelancer or independent contractor is both exciting and challenging. You can make the challenges easier by using the right tools. Here are six fantastic online tools for freelancers that you should be using.
1. Online Accounting Software
Ensuring your accounts are accurate and up-to-date is essential. If you do not want the expense of hiring a bookkeeper, you should use cloud-based accounting software like QuickBooks Online. You can keep track of sales and cash flow, create estimates and invoices, and manage all aspects of your business finances anytime and anywhere. You can also connect your bank account and use QuickBooks to handle payments.
2. A Paystub Generator
Seeing as you will not get a paycheck from an employer as a freelancer or independent contractor, it can be more challenging to prove your income when you need to do so for things like completing your tax return and applying for an auto loan or mortgage. But with an online paystub maker, you can quickly create paystubs to prove your income and employment status. Simply answer a few questions, choose the paystub design you want, enter the relevant details, and your paystub will be generated in minutes.
3. A Calendar
When you work for yourself, it can be challenging to keep track of deadlines and appointments with clients, so an online calendar is a vital tool. One of the best and most popular is Google Calendar. It comes with some fantastic features geared towards business use, including appointment alerts and the ability to input the location and other details about your meetings. Google Calendar also features rich formatting and hyperlinking, so it is great for sharing notes and presentations. Of course, Google Calendar also allows you to keep track of anything happening on any given day.
4. A Time-tracking Tool
As a freelancer or independent contractor, it can be easy for the line between work time and personal time to become blurred. But not having a clear divide between work time and leisure time can end up resulting in burnout. So, it is a good idea to use a time-tracking tool in order to track your work time and take control of your hours.
One of the most reliable time-tracking tools is Harvest. In addition to all the features you would expect in a time-tracking tool, Harvest integrates with management tools like Basecamp, Asana, and QuickBooks. Harvest also enables you to bill clients and share relevant time-tracking data.
5. A Social Media Scheduling Tool
Most freelancers and independent contractors need to put time and effort into keeping their online profile up-to-date in order to generate interest and attract new clients. But regularly posting content to different social media sites can be very challenging when you have so much else to focus on. You can make things easier by using a social media scheduling tool like Buffer. You can schedule a bunch of posts in advance to ensure your social media presence is always up-to-date, even when you are offline.
6. A Proposal Tool
When you start out as a freelancer or independent contractor, you are sure to spend a lot of time scouring online job boards to find clients. But when you gain more experience, you will want to contact businesses directly and gain higher-paying jobs. To make sure you make an impact and maintain a professional approach, you need to get your proposal just right. Thankfully, there are numerous online proposal tools you can use. One of the best is Proposify.
It enables you to create a beautiful-looking proposal in a short amount of time. There are many templates to choose from, and you can also control things like the layout and typography. You can even add a video to your proposal to make it even more engaging.