7 free tools you need for your freelance business

Spending a bit too much time creating spreadsheets? These digital tools make task management, pitching, invoicing, and everything else you've got to do, a bit easier.

1. Trello

Image source: Trello

Why freelancers will love it: Straightforward task management without a monthly subscription.

In a world of all-singing-all-dancing productivity apps, Trello is the simplest, and potentially the most useful, to-do list out there. Add columns for specific clients or projects and cards underneath for the tasks you need to complete. You can also add deadlines, collaborators, links, and attachments, making it ideal for copywriters, designers, developers, and pretty much everyone else.

How free is it?
The free version has very few limits so you can use pretty much all the features.

2. Mindly

Source: App Store

Why freelancers will love it: Delightfully visual way to organise your ideas at the start of a new project

Linear graphs and lists don't work for everyone. Mindly is perfect for designers, developers, consultants, and anyone else who works on a project from start to finish. Collect your ideas and organise them with images, icons, and connecting lines.

How free is it?
There's a limit to how many icons you can add with the free version but it's just $6.99 to go limitless if the app is really working for you.

3. Hemingway Editor

Source: Hemingway App

Why freelancers will love it: It makes your writing more effective in any context.

Hemingway (named after the famous American writer) is helpful for accomplished, professional writers as well as people who find it hard to express themselves over email effectively. Write directly into the desktop app, or copy and paste some text you're already working on, and it will suggest simpler sentences, alternative words, common grammatical errors, and passive or indirect sentences which could be improved.

How free is it?

4. Clockify

Source: Clockify

Why freelancers will love it: It keeps you organised with very little effort.

Undercharging is one of the biggest financial mistakes a freelancer can make. Clockify will help you track time spent, plan projects, and charge appropriately for everything you do. You can also schedule time off and produce automated reports that show how well you're using your time.

How free is it?
It's free forever with a few paid features to add if you need them.

5. Clearbit

Source: Clearbit

Why freelancers will love it: Free lead generation in a simple Gmail extension.

Winning new clients can involve a bit of cold emailing sometimes. Clearbit's Connect product gives you access to 200 million contacts at 20 million companies, making it much easier to contact the person you actually need to speak to, rather than a generic info@ email address.

How free is it?
The Gmail extension is completely free. Clearbit's full suite of products has a monthly or annual charge.

6. Proposify

Source: Proposify

Why freelancers will love it: It dramatically speeds up proposal creation.

Freelancers often have to pitch their skills before they get on with the work itself. This can be time-consuming and a bit dull, but Proposify's proposal templates and tools can auto-populate the details, save images and bits of content you'll need to use again, and even see how the recipient interacts with your proposal while they're reading it. The full list of tools and features might be a bit much for many freelancers, but the core proposal-builder is very clever.

How free is it?
You can work on up to 5 proposal documents for free.

7. Solna

Why freelancers will love it: They'll get paid faster at no extra cost.

Invoicing is a fact of life for freelancers. Unfortunately, so are late payments. Not with Solna. Choose from stylish invoice templates, track all your due dates in one place, and turn on automated reminders to make late payments and awkward 'have you seen my invoice?' emails a thing of the past.

How free is it?
It's free forever!

Sign up now for automated reminders, beautifully branded invoice templates, payments powered by Stripe, and a super slick due date dashboard.

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