Every freelancer knows that the trick to the trade is knowing what software freelancers and coaches use to help manage their business more efficiently. Running a business single-handedly is not an easy task. Yes, you may be enjoying the perks of being your own boss, but remember, you are also the secretary, the accountant, the purchaser, and the messenger!
Juggling multiple roles and tasks is tricky. Imagine forgetting to go to a meeting because you are at a supplier’s store buying materials for a project. That would be absolutely stressful. So if you do not have the budget to hire an assistant, or simply do not want to, keep in mind that there are software and apps that can help you make your life easier.
Software Freelancers and Coaches Must Have
One of the struggles of being an all-around professional is having a good productivity rate. Having a high productivity rate means your product is equal to the number of hours you spend on the project. So good productivity rate means you are managing your time and resources appropriately. It is not very inspiring if you spent so much time and energy on a project and earn very little from it.
While a high productivity rate sounds good to the ear business-wise, it also means you are more likely to be less stressed and are actually on the right track. If you want to land high-paying clients and big projects, know how to balance your time and resources properly.
So how do you balance your time and resources? How do you make sure you are not at your witts end in finishing a gig? It’s simple, actually. Have the right tools. There are software freelancers and coaches can use which are even available for all devices. You can have these on your desktop computers, tablets, and even smartphones.
Some software is free, while others require fees for opening an account. Others are free to use but have additional charges for specific services. There are a ton of options, and to help you out, here’s a list of must-have software freelancers and coaches should know about:
1. Productivity Software
Productivity software streamlines all the essential elements as you go along with your project. These basically help you run your business without missing the tiny details and small tasks. Productivity software may be used by an individual so you wouldn’t have to handle several things at once. IFTTT, for instance, may be used to put together all social media apps so you don’t have to manage this one by one. Software like Notion, on the other hand, is designed for team collaboration so you can always check on each others’ progress. There are different types of productivity software:
a. Time Management
Admit it; keeping track of several appointments and schedules is hard. Most especially if this is not the only thing on your mind. For example, you may be focused on finishing a layout that you missed a scheduled meeting. This sadly happens to everybody.
If you do not manage your time wisely, you will end up definitely missing an appointment or, worse, double-booking a meeting. You do not need this anxiety. What you need is a smart digital secretary. And that is why apps and software like Calendly exist. For time management apps and software, you simply need to input your appointments, meetings, and other activities. Alarms are usually set to make sure you are alerted of an upcoming schedule.
Time management software does not only help you with appointment setting, these also have a things-to-do list and reminders alert features. You wouldn’t miss sending a birthday greeting to your mother anymore when using time management apps.
Here’s a list of some online scheduling apps and software you can explore:
b. Academic and Research
One of the more important software freelancers and coaches use are those that help in their research and documents. As a writer, you may want to have plagiarism detection software and Grammarly, just to be safe. There are online testing tools that support coaches and health professionals. You can also utilize online hubs that collect journals and research papers.
A simple software like Pocket, which allows you to store articles for later reading is convenient, especially if you do not have time to read at the moment. Blinkist, on the other hand, is an app that you can use if you want to listen to books and podcast discussions while walking or driving.
Some software and apps used for academic and research purposes aside from Grammarly, Pocket, and Blinkist:
- Hello Audio
- Reedsy Book Editor
c. Accounting and Finance
And then there’s math. With all the things you have to juggle, you should not let poor bookkeeping or delayed payment collection get in your way. Having software that provides accounting and finance-related features like invoicing and payment portals is a must.
When tax season comes, you do not want to be burdened by mountains of paperwork. You wouldn’t want to spend hours balancing a year’s worth of income or lose your mind looking for a missing transaction invoice. Bear in mind that your records are very important, and there are software and apps that can help you manage your finances. Check out some of your options:
- QuickBooks Online
- Zoho Books
d. Project Management
If you want all of the above features in one complete package, get a project management software like Kosmo. Project management software combines all the important business aspects, from creating proposals to appointment setting to sending out invoices. Look for platforms that also allow receiving of payments through various payment options. Clients appreciate fully digitalized transactions.
Some, if not most of these platforms not only have the necessary technical features but also offer customizations. For example, you can create templated invoices or add your logo and digital signature to your invoices.
Think of it as your own digital team of admin support. As a freelancer who does not have a team to delegate tasks to, a complete project management software will do the trick. What’s more is that in having a complete project management software, you wouldn’t have to switch to different apps to stay on top of your projects. Everything you need is just a click away, without leaving the platform. Isn’t that convenient?
These are practically the most effective software freelancers and coaches can use.
If you take an in-depth look at project management software and apps, you will realize that besides their very functional features, they will also help you keep your sanity. With project management apps doing the admin work for you, you can have more time to focus on your product. Or have time to take breaks. Or sleep-in.
Other than Kosmo, there are other project management software you can check out:
e. Industry Specific Software
There are software and apps that are specific to certain types of fields. There are photo editing software for photographers, digital design programs for architects like AutoCAD, and even music writing and scoring software like Sibelius First. For life coaching professions, apps like Quenza are very helpful.
Some other examples of industry-specific software are:
- Lightroom for photographers
- CATIA for engineers
- Audacity for music producers
- Pinlearn for online tutors
- Sketch Up for 3D rendering
2. Designer Tools
Whether you are a creative expert or not, designer tools like Canva and, of course, the Adobe Creative Suite will help you in your business. In starting your career, you may want a logo, right? Or maybe have a digital signature. Designer tools will help you brand your works. Visual arts software usually also include photo and video editing features that you can use to create ads, posters, and other marketing materials. Some even offer royalty-free photos, and audio and video clips.
At any stage of your gig, you will need to make a presentation, right? Whether it’s a sales pitch or a status report, you will need a creative software to help you produce a good material. If you want to record a speech or discussion that you need to show to multiple clients, these types of apps and software will come in handy. What makes these apps even better is that they have made these user-friendly. You simply drag and drop the elements you want, and presto, you’ve made an amazing calling card!
Software like Canva and the Adobe Creative Suite are also available:
- Design Wizard
3. Buy and Sell Software
Commonly known as job boards, software that serve as an online marketplace for freelancers and coaches is very useful. Many clients go to job boards to search for specific services and products. It is an additional platform for you to market your gig, and these are usually free to use, so why not use it, right?
Many, many years ago, people with specific skill sets posted their services and goods on community bulletin boards or got out to the streets handing out flyers. Nowadays, thanks to the rapid development in technology, you can place your ads and profiles on these job boards in the comfort of your own home, in a coffee shop, or aboard a plane.
Job Sites or Online Marketplaces online :
If you want good market reach for your service or product, of course, social media is always the best platform. Buffer is an example of a social media marketing app that helps you build an audience within your target market. It analyzes and schedule materials you want to be shared across various social media apps.
If you are willing to do cold emailing, Hunter.io can be helpful for you. Hunter.io is an email hunter that helps you find contacts and potential clients that may be relevant to your field of service.
The secret to building good relationships with your suppliers and clients is having excellent communication. As a freelancer, you definitely rely on digital forms of communication for easy and quick exchange. Emailing is a popular form of communication, but sometimes, we do miss specific important emails or mistakenly send out one. A software like Boomerang is helpful in these situations as it helps schedule emails and track responses.
Of course, what are other better ways to communicate to clients than to be able to speak to them? The problem with email is the exchange usually takes time. Well, video calls are here. It is faster and more efficient. Zoom, for example, has a lot of great features like file sharing through its chat feature, screen-sharing so you can easily present and discuss projects, and even record conversations. Just remember to be mindful of what your mic and camera may pick up in the background during your meetings.
Another must-have software freelancers and coaches may use are client-reporting tools. Some clients want to be updated every now and then, with details explained to them as the project develops. Filestage and Hightail are some examples of review and approval platforms. Through these software, clients can receive files and send feedback on your projects.
Other software that can help improve communication:
- Microsoft Teams
- Google Workspace
The advancements in technology are definitely doing the gig economy a favor. Aside from having the gadgets and devices to help you run your business, software and apps are being developed by the minute. Shifting to digitalization is convenient and practical. Imagine if you have to depend on hard copies of each and every paperwork and document for your business. Imagine if you lose a document? Or your pet ate it?
As a freelancer or coach, you are presented with many, many software options. There are actually so many that it is hard to choose the perfect one for you. Yes, the list goes on and on, with features and offers getting more and more better. Use these to your advantage. These software freelancers and coaches must-haves are definitely your lifesavers.
Get Organized & Win More Clients
Kosmo has everything you need to run your freelancing business.