Top free tools to make your freelancing life a breeze

Linh Dao
Journalist

Life as a freelancer can be challenging: the uncertainty, competitiveness and sometimes even frustration. But in exchange, you have the freedom and initiative to do well for yourself. The good news is: there are tools available to help make your life easier.

 

Design

Canva 

The world is becoming visuals-focused. That means pretty pictures, infographics and illustrations can greatly enhance your work’s appeal.  

Now “everyone can be a designer” is not an exaggeration if you use this tool. With ready-made templates to create images for blogs, social media posts, and other promotional materials, you can unleash your inner creativity while still conveying meaning visually. Plus, you can access free images, icons etc. to go with your design. Not sure what good designs are meant to look like? They also have online tutorials and training.

 

 

Checking your writing

Headline Analyser

Ever stuck on coming up with the perfect attention-grabbing headline? This cool (and free) tool not only analyses your blog post titles in terms of grammar and readability but also SEO. 

Hemingway

Also a proofreading tool, this allows you to have your longer writing pieces checked. It also suggests alternative words, helps you reduce unnecessary adverbs and passive voice. When not acting as a helpful editor, the tool lets you write distraction-free.

 

 

Consuming news

Flipboard

As your “personal magazine,” this tool lets you personalise your news feed based on your chosen topics. This is great for discovering great ideas for your work, sourcing content for social media sharing, and keeping up-to-date with industry trends. A similar tool is Feedly but Flipboard has that magazine-like user interface, which might be more visually appealing.

 

Project management

RescueTime

Freelancers can use this time-tracking tool to see how much time is dedicated to particular tasks and projects. You can either use this information to bill clients, or improve your own productivity. The tool runs in the background of your device, so you also know how much time you get distracted while working. 

Asana

Juggling between multiple projects and deadlines? Freelancers can benefit from using Asana to break big chunks of work into smaller steps, assigning due dates and tracking overall progress. Even though big companies use this tool, the free version is sufficient for freelancers who want to be more organised. 

Moreover, integration with other common software platforms such as Google Drive, Dropbox etc. makes it easy for freelancers to manage everything from one place. 

 

 

Document management

Google’s Cloud products

The most devastating situation is losing the work you’ve been working so hard on. Hence, it is useful to form a habit of backing up your documents onto Google Drive. With 15GB of free storage, it should be plenty for freelancers.    

Furthermore, you can streamline the backup process by creating documents using the Google platform itself. Google Docs is basically an online version of your familiar Microsoft Office tools.  

 

Social networking

Buffer

Your busy freelancing life might leave little time for professional social networking. Buffer helps you schedule posts on various social platforms such as Twitter and LinkedIn and also gathers some useful analytics. This not only allows you to maintain an active online social presence but also build your own brand by sharing relevant content. 


Linh Dao
Author

A content marketer with journalism background helping businesses tap the power of strategic storytelling. Follow her on Twitter: @LinhContent

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