15 Essential Freelancing Tools for 2021

As freelancers, it’s our job to cover the boring aspects of the business as well. We need to work on finding new customers, track project management, meeting deadlines, and deal with financial and accountancy (among others).

To do that, you need some tools in your metaphorical toolbox, and that is what we are going to look at in this article. Ready to find out more?

Banking, accounting, tax, and invoicing

Hellobonsai 

hellobonsai dashboard

Hellobonsai or Bonsai is an all-in-one freelancing tool whose purpose is to help you run your freelance business more efficiently. Some features such as Expenses can be tracked in any of the 100 supported currencies, but for automated importing from a bank account, the account must be in the US or Canada. The main features of Hellobonsai are:

  • Recommended for US and Canada based customers.
  • Proposals
  • Contracts
  • Time-tracking
  • Projects
  • Expenses
  • Invoices & payments
  • Recurring payments
  • Reporting.

Coconut

getcoconut dashboard

Founded in 2016, Coconut provides an innovative service, helping the self-employed, freelancers and small business owners to manage their expenses, accounting, and tax ( UK bank accounts only ). The main features of Coconut are:

  • Recommended for UK based customers.
  • Open a Coconut business current account or connect existing current accounts and credit cards
  • Automatically sorts your business expenses
  • Snap and store receipts on the go
  • See how much tax you owe as you earn
  • Create and send invoices straight from the app

Accountable

accountable eu freelancing tool

Accountable it’s similar to Bonsai and Coconut but with fewer options. The main features of Accountable are:

  • Recommended for Belgium based customers.
  • Basic Invoicing with legal mentions
  • Real-time overview of your revenue, costs, and profit
  • Tax recommendations tailored to your expenses & revenue
  • Income tax preparation
  • Export in a formatted CSV file

Project Management

Asana

asana dashboard freelancing tool

Asana is a web and mobile application designed to help teams organize, track, and manage their work. The main features of Asana are:

  • Customizable Dashboards
  • Activity Feeds
  • Focus Mode & Individual Task Lists
  • Subtasks assignment
  • Prioritization
  • Custom Calendar
  • Email Integration
  • Notifications & Reminders
  • Automated updates
  • Project/Task Creation
  • Project Permissions
  • Searched Views
  • Tracking
  • Setting Priorities & Due Dates
  • HTML5 mobile site (supported by iPhone too)
  • Integrations
  • Customer Support
  • Multiple Workspaces
  • Adding Followers
  • Group Discussions
  • Tags & Comments
  • Events & Meetings

Trello

trello boards freelancing tool

Trello is a collaboration tool that organizes your projects into boards. In one glance, Trello tells you what’s being worked on, who’s working on what, and where something is in a process. The main features of Trello are:

  • Detailed & Quick Overviews of Front/Back Cards
  • Easy, Drag-and-Drop Editing
  • In-Line Editing
  • Easy Organization with Labeling, Tags, and Comments
  • Progress Meter Checklist
  • Card Records Archive
  • Easy Upload (Local Devices, Dropbox, Google Drive, and Box)
  • File Attachment
  • Data Filters
  • Deadline Alerts and Notifications
  • Automated Email Notifications
  • Activity Logs
  • Individual/Group Task Assignment
  • Information Backup
  • Information Retrieval
  • SSL Data Encryption
  • Mobile-Friendly Views
  • Developer API
  • Customer Support
  • Easy Upload (Local Devices, Dropbox, Google Drive, and Box)
  • File Attachment
  • Individual/Group Task Assignment
  • Voting Options
  • Discussions

Time Tracking

Timely

timely time tracking

Timely is a cloud-based, fully automatic time tracking app with native apps for iOS, Android, Mac, and Windows. Log work hours, track project time, and create weekly timesheets effortlessly with automatic time tracking. The main features of Trello are:

  • Online time tracking
  • Mobile time tracking
  • Project tags
  • Time per project reporting
  • Automatic time tracking
  • Timesheets
  • Reporting
  • Sharable links
  • Dashboards
  • Task scheduling
  • Team management
  • Browser activity
  • Meetings & Events
  • Budget tracking
  • Logged hours
  • Reminders
  • Mobile & Emails
  • Project time tracking
  • Real-time budget tracking
  • Task scheduling
  • Timesheets
  • Project budgets
  • Billable & non-billable hours

Collaboration Hub, Conference Calling

Slack

slack features

Slack is a channel-based messaging platform. With Slack, people can work together more effectively, connect all their software tools and services, and find the information they need to do their best work — all within a secure, enterprise-grade environment. The main features of Slack are:

  • Create open channels
  • Support for private groups and 1:1 direct messaging
  • File Sharing
  • Deep, Contextual Search
  • Always In Sync
  • Chat functionality
  • Tags, keywords & @mentions
  • 1:1 and group calls
  • Screen sharing
  • Activity logging
  • Activity tracking
  • Collaborative workspace
  • File transfer
  • Desktop & mobile messaging
  • Nearly 100 integrations
  • Video support
  • Drag & drop interface
  • Audio / video conferencing
  • Commenting
  • @mentions

Zoom

Zoom is a cloud-based video communications app that allows you to set up virtual video and audio conferencing, webinars, live chats, screen-sharing, and other collaborative capabilities. To attend a Zoom meeting, you don’t need an account, and the platform is compatible with Mac, Windows, Linux, iOS, and Android, meaning nearly anyone can access it.

The main features of Zoom are:

  • Collaboration – Allows collaboration with up to 300 UR and external non-UR individuals, including chat, annotation, whiteboarding, and breakout rooms.
  • Screen and application sharing – Presenters can share their whole desktop or individual applications.
  • Dynamic voice detection – Primary camera view will automatically toggle to the active speaker.
  • Scheduling – Browser, client, and plugin scheduling options, including delegation for co-hosts and schedulers.
  • Recording – Record meetings locally and upload to Blackboard Learn, Box, OneDrive Video, or Youtube.
  • Large room and webinar – Zoom sessions can be expanded to allow larger groups, up to 500 interactive participants in Large Rooms or 10,000 viewers via Zoom Webinars.
  • Mobile devices – Feature-rich mobile apps for iOS and Android.

Note-taking, Error-Free Writing

Evernote

Evernote is a free app for your smartphone and computer that stores everything you could possibly imagine losing track of, like a boarding pass, receipt, an article you want to read, a to-do list, or even a simple typed note. The app works brilliantly, keeping everything in sync between your computer, smartphone, or tablet. The main features of Evernote are:

  • Sync across 2 devices.
  • Clip web pages, images, PDF files.
  • Search for text inside images.
  • Document Scanning
  • Share notes with friends and colleagues.
  • Add passcode lock to the mobile app.
  • Get Community support.
  • Access notebooks offline from desktop app.

Notion

Notion is an all-in-one workspace where you can write, plan, collaborate, and get organized. It allows you to take notes, add tasks, manage projects & more. 

Grammarly

Grammarly is an advanced, full-featured grammar and spell checker that integrates with almost anything you write online. Typing on any text editor field in WordPress, Facebook, Twitter, or email activates the tool by underlining any error(s) in real time. It checks for more than 250 types of spelling, grammar, and punctuation errors, and it enhances vocabulary usage.

Self Organization

Remember The Milk

Remember The Milk reminds you to take care of important tasks! You’ll never miss a deadline!

Google Calendar

Google Calendar application allows users to create personal or public calendars after signing up for a Google account, so you’ll always know exactly what you need to be working on.

Online Payment Systems

Stripe

Stripe Payments is a payment processing platform allowing merchants to accept credit cards, debit cards, mobile wallets, and dozens of payment methods from around the world—all with a single integration. Get access to advanced payment features like 3D Secure 2 authentication, card updates, automated retries, and more.

Paypal

PayPal is the world’s leading payment processing company, which was founded in 1998. PayPal went about dedicating itself to processing payments for merchants. PayPal allows for a rapid method of payment when shopping online, as well as for the transfer of funds between one person and another, either for personal or business use.

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