With the freelance sector being one of the fastest-growing industries at the moment, it is no surprise that there has been a spate of new tools, services and special platforms for independent professionals. But what is actually going to help your freelance business and, better still, will cost you nothing? Aside from the customary Google Drive and Dropbox, what are the top 8 free services that freelancers should be using in 2019 to increase productivity, organisation and output?
One of the biggest negatives of being a freelancer is the feeling of isolation and seclusion that can come from working on your own. Creative network Freelancer Club was built to create an online community for freelancers, end exploitative unpaid work, provide business resources and fight for the rights of independent professionals.
Their ‘Aspire’ package is free and is worth joining just so you know that you’re not alone and that there are others out there who can offer support and advice.
Upwork is a freelance platform that connects employers around the world with specialist freelancers. It is a great place to be able to find more clients and develop your freelance business. Many different industries and projects are represented, and most freelance services are in demand — from copywriting to IT support, graphic design, translation, customer service and even admin support and accounting
They offer a classic 'freemium' model, it's free to get the basic plan but a percentage of your earnings are taken for any work secured through Upwork.
Freelance platform RescueTime gives you an accurate picture of how you spend your time to help you become more productive every day.
With so many distractions and interruptions in daily life, it is very easy to find yourself procrastinating or getting pulled off-task. RescueTime works by running securely in the background of your digital devices and tracks the amount of time spent on different applications and websites. It’s ‘RescueTime Lite’ package is free forever and will help you focus and understand your daily habits.
We can’t all be photoshop experts, but most freelancers will need a basic level of design to make their documents and social media activity both professional and engaging.
The easy-to-use Canva gives you access to more than 8000 templates, images, graphics, and illustrations that will have you creating social media posts, infographics, invoices, resumes and business cards like a pro. It is free for the standard service, but upgrades are available.
Evernote is basically a digital notepad that you can carry around in your pocket so you can keep track of every brainwave, meeting note, web copy and to-do list. This fantastic app is a really useful free tool for freelancers as you can sync all your devices and never forget a great idea again. The basic app is free but paid plans are available as well.
As free freelance services go you can’t get much better than Slack. This communication software has changed the face of business collaboration in recent years by making interactions between clients and other team members seamless. You can integrate it with other popular tools such as Google Drive, Dropbox and Salesforce.
There is a free plan for basic usage, but paid upgrades are available.
If you manage a team of freelancers or work together with other independent professionals on particular projects, then Trello could be for you. Trello’s signature workflow visualisation boards simplify project management and as a remote business service, it is both functional and motivational. The ‘Free Forever’ plan is worth considering, with a paid upgrade available as well.
TidyForm is crowd-sourcing at its best. This freelance platform is basically a free global directory of hundreds of legal forms, professional documents and high-quality contract templates that you can access at the tips of your fingers.
Get any, or all, of the 8 services above today for absolutely nothing. And then if you want to really fire up your independent business, consider getting Xolo as well. You can choose between Xolo Go or Xolo Leap depending on your needs, and they’ll both help you start doing business and getting paid.
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