The Best Tools for Freelancers in 2019
A few months ago I wrote a guide to the best tools for freelancers in 2018, but I’ve started using a lot of different things since then and thought I could do an update. As a freelancer, I juggle a lot of things. I juggle my blog, client work, and sales pitches.
This takes a lot out of me, as you can imagine. So these tools for freelancers in 2019 are a serious godsend that make every day a little less stressful. Let’s jump right into it.
Upwork and I have had a confusing relationship in the past few years. After Amanda Cross of The Happy Arkansan wrote a great guest post on Samanthability about how she uses Upwork, I’ve been motived to go all in.
Since devoting more time to Upwork, I’ve become a “Top Freelancer” on their platform (whatever that means), and I’ve landed two really great clients.
Do I think Upwork is the ultimate best way to find high-paying clients? No. Do I think it can be a great tool if you’re willing to put in some work to weed out the quality clients from everyone else who just wants to pay pennies? Yes. I’d highly recommend reading through Amanda’s Upwork tips to land pitches before you get started.
Boomerang is a tool I first discovered when I needed to quit my day job via email and couldn’t find the courage to do so. Boomerang has a lot of features for Gmail, but the best one is that it allows you to easily schedule your emails for later in just a few clicks.
It’s completely free, and now I use it to schedule client follow-ups on the go. This is useful because if you send an email at the wrong time, you run the risk of it being ignored. I’ve had way better success with Boomerang.
3. Moleskine Classic
As a freelancer, I find that a lot of traditional planners don’t do it for me. They either don’t allow enough flexibility, don’t include space to write to-do lists on the weekends, and they’re just not built for that lifestyle. With a Moleskine, I can just write lists to my heart’s desire.
I generally use a page for every week, and I include endless to-do lists, memos, and reminders. Because it’s so well made, I can shove it in a backpack, carry on, or on my dining room table without worrying about it ripping or falling apart. It’s the best notebook I’ve ever had.
I just recently posted about the importance of having an email list amidst the recent Instagram blackout. While it’s true email lists are more popular for bloggers, don’t mistakenly think freelancers can’t benefit from them too because they totally can.
Why create an email list as a freelancer? It’s how you bring clients to you. If you have a freelancer website (which you should), you can create content that draws in your target clients. When you encourage them to sign up for your mailing list whether through a special offer, ongoing tips, or a free download, you’ll build a relationship while positioning yourself an expert.
I’ve talked about the importance of having a contract before, and I’ll talk about it again. You need a contract if you’re doing any kind of online work. I don’t care if it’s your friends mom or someone you met on Tinder, get a contract.
You don’t need to be a lawyer or hire any expensive legal team to write a basic contract. Just make sure these things are covered:
- Length of project
- Outline of project
- What you’ll deliver to the client
- How it will be delivered
- How many edits/revisions are allowed
- How much you’ll be paid and how
From there, use a fancy-as-heck program like HelloSign to show you mean business. You can get 3 free contracts signed a month with HelloSign, so there’s no excuse not to use it. Basically, you upload the contract, indicate where you need a signature, and HelloSign will email your recipient for you. Signing for them is as simple as clicking on your contract.
I’ve recently re-discovered my love of Canva. Yes, I pay Adobe a million dollars a month for creative cloud and continue to use Canva, sue me.
Canva is a free, easy to use graphic design tool that includes numerous templates for blogging, websites, and social media. Basically, it’s like years worth of art school in one platform. Use it.
7. Creative Market
Sometimes you need special graphics or downloads that you just can’t find for free. Creative Market makes it easy to find what you need in just a few clicks, and it’s never expensive. I’ve used Creative Market for fonts, WordPress themes, mockups, and stock photos.
Sometimes it pays to think outside of the box with your tools for freelancers. Creative Market has always been a favorite of mine, alongside Etsy.
Tools for Freelancers
Are you using any of these tools for freelancers in 2019? From the best notebook ever to graphic design, you can’t afford to miss out on these.
Freelancers have a lot on their plates. They often take control of many parts of their business at once, no matter their experience level. Take charge of your own freelancing business with these tools above. You’ll be glad you did.