January 29th, 2020 | Updated on June 27th, 2022
People choose to freelance because it affords them unparalleled freedom to work at their own pace, choose their clients, and pursue what they’re good at.
However, that doesn’t mean freelancing is all rainbows and smiles as you have to wear many hats to succeed.
You must source and close clients, manage the finances and workload in addition to doing the actual work.
Dropping the ball on any of these tasks can send your freelancing career careening over the edge.
Luckily, there are many fantastic tools and apps on the market to let freelancers be more productive while avoiding burnouts.
However, not all tools and apps are created equal, and you certainly can’t afford to try them all.
Here are our top picks of the best tools and apps that a freelancer needs in their arsenal to enhance their productivity and efficiency.
1. G Suite
Powered by Tech Giant Google, G Suite rolls your Gmail, Drive, Docs, Forms, Sheets, Slides, and calendar into one bundle.
Millions of small and Fortune 500 companies harness the power of G Suite to streamline their operations, boost productivity, and improve efficiency.
The app lets you communicate with your clients through Gmail, Hangouts, and hold video meetings through Hangouts Meet.
You can opt for a custom business email to give your freelance business a polished look.
The calendar helps you plan your work schedule while Google Drive provides you with a free online storage space to back up your documents.
Google Docs is a free word processing program that carries one distinctive advantage for freelancers.
The application ensures that you never lose a single draft should your computer restart or run out of power halfway through a document.
Other useful features in G Suite include Sites, Keep, Jamboard, and App Maker. G Suite is free for personal use, and the business plans start at $5 a month per user.
2. Microsoft Online
This is a web-based version of the MS Office suite from Microsoft and comprises of MS Word, Excel, PowerPoint, and OneNote. Microsoft Online is especially useful for remote nomads as it eliminates the need to carry your laptop every time you travel.
Since its a web-based platform, Microsoft Online lets you access your documents from any computer with an internet connection. Simply log into your Microsoft account, and you’re good to go.
The application lets you work on new documents while on the run and stores every document that you work on while logged in your account. The home plan costs $9.99 per month, while business plans range from $69.99 to $149.99 per month.
With more than half a billion users and more than 300,000 business teams, Dropbox makes for seamless file sharing and storage.
Dropbox provides you with a secure online storage solution to let you keep all your documents and files handy always.
This solution is especially useful for freelancers who share large files with their clients, such as graphic designers. You can conveniently share huge Photoshop files, PowerPoint presentations, Sketches, or videos through Dropbox for easy access.
You only need to upload your files into the DropBox account and share the links with your clients or a teammate.
Secure online storage solutions are crucial when working on a project that calls for inputs from different team members as everyone gets access to the file copy.
The free plan provides you with a 2 GB storage space, but you can opt for the paid plans starting at $12.50 per month if you need more storage space.
Available as an email extension, Streak is a dynamic cloud-based CRM tool for your Gmail. This extension lets you track client emails, manage group emails, and schedule emails, and share crucial emails conveniently.
This web-based CRM is jampacked with useful emailing features that rival most paid CRM tools. This extension is an invaluable asset that will improve your ability to generate sales leads and bolster your email marketing campaigns.
The tool lets you track who opens your emails to help you streamline your email marketing efforts and clean up your contact list. You can also send custom emails to your contact group for a more polished and professional look and improve your outreach.
The app has a free personal plan while the paid plans start from $49 per month.
Adding Hunter.io to your arsenal of freelancing tools takes your career to the next level. This handy tool extracts email addresses from any website you visit, making it an invaluable asset to your outreach strategy.
You can start with the free chrome extension that allows you to find up to 50 emails a month.
If you need more searches, you can opt for the $49/month starter plan and kick up the searches to 1,000.
More than searching for contact email addresses, this tool also verifies each of the addresses you find for validity and supports your cold email campaign.
The tool lets you find email addresses in bulk, a core component of a successful cold pitching strategy.
Hunter.io is also an asset when launching an email marketing campaign as it lets you generate plenty of leads at the click of a button.
Cold pitching is an excellent way to grow your client list and shrug off steep competition as it lets you explore untapped markets.
Hunter.io puts these incredible growth strategies within reach to let you grow your freelancing business quickly and efficiently.
Grammarly understands that you only have one shot at making a positive first impression on your prospective clients.
This grammar and spellchecker tool ensures that all written communication leaving your computer reek of unbridled professionalism.
With Grammarly, you’ll never send an email riddled with grammatical errors, subject-verb agreement mistakes, punctuation errors, and comma splices.
Grammarly picks all these mistakes and more from your emails and presentations to give them a professional flair.
Grammatical errors and typos are the hallmarks of scam artists and most of the recipients won’t hesitate to mark them as spam. That would certainly sound a death knell on your cold pitching and email marketing efforts.
The free plan catches some basic mistakes while the $29.95/month premium plan roots out more complex errors such as subject-verb agreement, dangling modifiers, and run-on sentences.
7. Hemingway Editor
If you’ve heard of Ernest Hemingway, you’d probably know that he was renowned for his clear and concise writing style.
The Hemingway App is on a mission to improve your writing skills. The editor enables you to eliminate passive voice, filler words, long sentences, and improve the readability of your writings.
The people behind the app recognize that web readers have a short attention span and therefore prefer scannable content that uses short sentences.
As a result, the app lets you eliminate adverbs and weak phrases to keep your writing tight, punchy, and concise.
The app lets you churn out professional-grade content that will impress both your readers and prospective clients.
There’s no cost implication when using the web-based version of this tool as it’s free of charge.
Most writers struggle to proofread their work, and this often proves to be a thorn in their flesh.
CorrectEnglish is a powerful web-based online proofing tool that gives your blog pieces, reports, and presentations the shine they need to impress your readers.
This dynamic proofreading tool checks and corrects contextual, spelling, and grammatical mistakes.
The tool proofreads anything you write from resume to social media posts to emails and application letters to let you impress your clients with professional quality work.
By pointing out grammatical errors in your work, CorrectEnglish lets you hone your writing skills to an unprecedented height.
The app provides instantaneous feedback and detailed explanation right on your browser to keep you making the same mistakes in the future.
CorrectEnglish has a limited free plan, a $24 per month professional plan, and a $59 per year Pro Saver plan.
Freelancers often have trouble keeping track of their output and productivity, and that’s where Due comes in to save the day.
This time tracking tool keeps track of your productivity, compliance, and billing to give you excellent insights into your work ethics.
It lets you gauge the time it takes to complete each project that crosses your desk. But Due is much more than a time track as it comes with additional features such as offline and online payment services, reports and analytics, and more.
The app is invaluable when charging clients by the hour as it lets you incorporate a transparent and accurate billing element into all your hourly projects.
That’s an excellent way too build trust with your clients and ensure that you’re compensated fairly for your time.
Due can help you zero in on the most lucrative contract and drop the less rewarding but more demanding clients.
Due offers a free trial to let you get a feel of the benefits it confers on your freelancing career.
10 Rescue Time
Freelancers must understand their daily habits to make the most of their time and operate at peak productivity.
Rescue Time understands that most freelancers struggle with all the distractions that come with high-speed internet.
The app is out to help you understand how you spend your time and identify the various rabbit holes that lower your productivity and gobble up your time.
You get to set daily goals and track your progress and Rescue Time will send you a weekly summary with your productivity levels and scores.
Rescue Time also lets you block distracting websites that can lead you to waste tens of working hours each week.
You can also use it to track your offline activities in addition to customizing your preferred productivity score.
By eliminating distractions, the app improves your ability to focus on your projects and deliver them on time, much to the delight of your clients. Rescue Time features a free plan and a $9 a month premium plan.
Skyrocket Your Freelance Career
Incorporating some of these apps and tools into your arsenal is a surefire way to boost your productivity and grow your income.
Good work ethics increases the likelihood of landing long-term gigs as clients are only too glad to hire skillful and dependable contractors.
A highly polished set of skills reduces the amount of competition you’ll face when applying for remote jobs.
Enrolling for specialized courses such as those run by Small Revolution gives you an edge over less skilled applicants.
It also lets you bid for lucrative projective confidently while increasing your chances if trouncing other applicants. Remember, successful freelancers, don’t spend all their time hunting for clients or working on lowly paid gigs.