What apps should freelancers download and use?
To help you make your way through an endless string of freelance apps available, we’ve compiled a list of the most recommended tools for.
General apps for freelancers
No matter your profession, your freelance career will always need a boost from the following essential freelance tools:
Clockify – time tracker and billable hours calculator
You’ll get all the assets you need to streamline your time-use and professional documentation:
- manual time entry
- tracking time as you work on activities
- adding time in a timesheet
- 4 types of hourly rates
- the option to define whether your time is billable or not
- Weekly and visual Reports showing how you’ve spent your time on a project, client, or task during a time period
- the option to save project reports and send them to clients
- an automatic calculation of the amount you’re due (based on your hourly rate and billable time tracked) to put on your client invoice
As a highlight, you’ll also get a productivity dashboard with a breakdown of the time you’ve tracked in total.
You’ll also be able to:
- export stunning Reports in PDF
- integrate with 50+ popular apps
- track time across various devices
- track idle time
- compare billable vs non-billable time to see whether the time you’ve spent on a project paid off
💡 You can also try Clockify’s free Time Card Calculator without making an account or leaving your email. After entering your time, you can print your timesheet in PDF format or download a CSV file with your data.
Alternatively, you can embed Clockify’s Time Card Calculator on your own website via the embed code and use it freely.
TeuxDeux – Getting Things Done app
This app offers a Getting Things Done approach to freelancers, so you can:
- add tasks
- set your schedule for today in a simple manner
- mark tasks as done as you complete them
- have all the work you haven’t finished today automatically transferred to tomorrow
You can also set recurring to-dos, drag & drop them across days, and even form a bucket list of tasks you want to tackle sometime in the future.
To Do – to-do app and task manager
As a Wunderlist’s natural successor, To Do has a lot of features Wunderlist had. It lets you:
- make to-do lists and share them with your family, friends, and coworkers
- assign tasks to collaborators
- add attachments to tasks
- prioritize tasks
- add notes if you want to include extra information
You can also add tags to your tasks to keep them organized, for example, #work or #personal. It facilitates finding tasks in each category, all you need to do is click on the hashtag or type it in the search bar.
Cushion – planning app
Specifically, you can:
- plan your work in a Calendar
- view all your tasks (deadlines included) in a Gantt-like chart
- send and track invoices
- estimate the final price for clients
- keep an eye on your financial goals
- generate graphs showing your client work, projects, and lists
This app also helps you maintain a work-life balance – there’s a separate section where you can plan, keep track of, and schedule vacations.
Bidsketch – proposal app
This app promises to cut the time you need to create and send out proposals in half, with:
- reusable content features (with the option to have new client information inserted automatically)
- data showing whether clients have opened your proposals, when, and for how long they viewed
You can also increase your proposal approval rate – the electronic signature feature may prompt potential clients to accept your pitches easier and faster.
Brand24 – brand monitoring tool
Specifically, you’ll be notified each time someone mentions your brand (either in a positive or negative way). And, if you get negative mentions on the web, you can immediately tune in into the said discussion and turn matters around.
Within this app, you can analyze:
- the number of mentions, likes, shares, and comments your brand is getting on a daily, weekly, or monthly basis
- your Social reach across Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and various forums
Later on, you can generate reports based on these results, export data, and create infographics.
You’ll even get a list highlighting your most popular mentions and most popular authors, complete with the extent of their online reach and influencer status.
Mint – budget planner
With this app, you can sync your bank accounts, credit cards, and your PayPal account. And, you’ll also:
- be reminded when you go over budget on projects
- get a straightforward system to track transactions
- receive weekly summaries of your financial state
In case your mobile phone gets lost or stolen, you won’t have to worry about your confidential financial data being compromised. Instead, you can easily disconnect your Mint account and your phone from your browser account at any time.
Postbox – email manager
Among other features, you’ll get:
- a simple search engine to quickly find what you’re looking for (across accounts)
- a “focus pane” that helps highlight only important emails
- numerous shortcuts to help you navigate through your correspondences
You’ll also gain access to 70 response templates, for when you quickly need to send out various types of emails, such as job applications, introductory greetings, and outreach emails.
💡 Looking for your next freelance gig? Check out our list of the best websites for freelancers:
Freelancer apps for programmers
Freelance developers are always in need of a reliable code editor, open-source framework, and an app to help them plan and make sense of their ideas – and here are the best such apps:
UltraEdit – code editor
You’ll get a chance to:
- find and replace lines and lists of lines in files
- highlight syntax for most coding languages
- pick an editor theme
- manage files from remote servers
- view an informative status bar showing last modification time for the file, the file size, and current line number
You can even add extremely long lines of code to this text editor – even up to 20,000 characters before wrap.
Mindly – planet-based mind mapping app
Visually, the interface mimics a planetarium system, where you define the main concept (the sun), and then add related ideas (planets) around it. Each related idea can have its own string of related ideas (moons), and the “planetarium” grows accordingly.
Once your ideas pile up, you can structure your work by displaying only one branch at a time.
You can further categorize and define your development concept by:
- adding images (with their original URLs included)
- attaching text boxes with notes
This app’s bonus points go to its sharing options – you can add collaborators, as well as discuss and visualize your software development ideas together with your team.
Oh My Zsh – an open-source framework
You’ll get to enjoy:
- themes that offer various additional information to your editor
- plugins for various packaging systems and programming languages
- auto-completion for paths
- various fonts
- spelling correction
- kill tab completion
- easy setup for environment variables
- shared command history where you can search through all your active shells
You’ll also get a number of features meant to speed up your work:
- automatic tab completion to help you quickly find the tab you want
- typing <UP> and part of a command to find a previously used command
- a list with all your favorite git command aliases
- a red/green arrow meant to indicate whether your command was successful or not
💡 Looking for great places to find your next development gig? Check out this list of websites that cater to freelance developers looking for work:
Freelancer apps for designers
If you’re a freelance designer, you’ll need an efficient collaborative design tool, a straightforward project management tool, and a nice mind mapping tool to map out your ideas – and here are your best picks:
Figma – collaborative design tool
In essence, you’ll be able to:
- build and share reusable elements and components
- override images when you need to
- easily add and style text
- enjoy effective collaboration with your team (define and share custom colors, grids, text, effects across your entire team and all your projects)
This tool also secures an effective link between the design team and the development team. Developers can inspect, copy and export all work performed by designers as CSS lines they can immediately add to their codes.
InVision – project management and prototyping tool
You’ll also be able to:
- present your designs to clients and get feedback
- create and share mockups, and then organize and categorize them
- define mockup status (whether it’s in progress, awaiting approval, finished, etc.)
- comment directly on prototypes
This app also offers a way for you to test out your designs directly in the app – there’s a Sketch plugin that allows you to devise prototypes for each of your designs without ever leaving the app.
Coggle – branch-based mind mapping app
To visualize your ideas, you can:
- create diagrams
- upload accompanying images and floating text
- manage loops and branches
You can move each branch around the main concept, but also copy, delete, transplant, or comment on the said branch from a context menu.
To make your ideas pop, you can add custom color schemes, but also backtrack your way and search for old design concepts in the document’s history.
You’ll also be able to export your mind mapping trees as PNG and PDF files and hold discussions with your collaborators in the app’s chat system.
💡 Looking for great places to find your next designer job opportunity? Check out this list of websites that cater to freelance designers looking for work:
Freelancer apps for writers
In order to craft excellent content, you’ll need to optimize your texts for SEO, as well as make sure your work is void of grammar, spelling, and style mistakes. You’ll also need to work in a user-friendly text editor.
So, here are the freelance tools for writers to help you check off this list:
Grammarly – grammar and spell check app
You’ll get to:
- correct your mistakes (typos, repetitive words, comma usage, punctuation, and grammar)
- enhance your writing style and vocabulary
- create a personal dictionary
- track your improvements through performance stats
You can even set Grammarly to capture and notify you of genre-specific writing mistakes, and you also get genre-specific style checks.
Google Docs – online text editor
The interface is non-obtrusive, to help you focus on your writing – you get the basic writing, formatting, and editing features, as well as the option to add links, images, and tables. And, everything gets automatically stored and saved.
The sharing options are this tools’ best feature – once you’re done polishing the text, you can:
- share the document’s link
- send it in your email pitches
- have editors comment on them directly in the document, or make their own edits
Hemingway editor – style checker app
You copy your text to the editor and all problematic areas are highlighted in an instant – this includes:
- uses of the passive voice
- phrases that have simpler alternatives
- sentences that are too long and hard to read
- adverbs you’d be best to remove to help improve the text’s flow
This tool also shows the readability level of your text, the number of letters, characters, sentences, paragraphs, and words, but also the approximate reading time.
Ahrefs – a collection of SEO tools
You’ll get to use an array of features to plan out fully optimized content for your blog – some of the more prominent features include:
- a keyword research tool with a large number of keywords per word (the keyword “productive” returns 35,000+ related keywords, which is much more than what you get with competitor tools)
- traffic estimates for the top 10 pages on any subject in the Keyword explorer
- keyword difficulty scores that show how difficult it will be to rank for a certain keyword given the competition (you’ll also get easier-to-rank-for alternative keywords)
The keyword database is updated on a monthly basis, and you can list all your favorite and most frequently used keywords in one place – and that’s just the tip of Ahrefs’ iceberg.
💡 Looking for great places to find your next writing job? Check out this list of websites that cater to freelance writers looking for work:
Freelancer apps for virtual assistants
For virtual assistants, it’s usually all about planning and scheduling – here some great virtual assistant apps to help you with that:
Doodle – scheduling app
You’ll be able to:
- manage your tasks from a to-do list
- schedule phone calls, conference calls, Skype sessions in a calendar view showing days and hours, in one click
- manage your client’s appointments through the MeetMe page that shows your client’s availability in terms of scheduled events
- send automatic reminders for events
You’ll also be able to arrange meetings in agreement with your client or other participants in the conversation (if you’re handling a Doodle account in the place of your client) by creating a tool that helps all collaborators indicate whether a certain time slot works for them or not.
Buffer – social media manager
You’ll get the means to:
- schedule and automatically share posts to various social media accounts (anything from Facebook updates to retweets)
- optimize your posting schedule
- analyze post engagement, as well as handle additional activity analytics
- create your own visuals to accompany posts, or add images and videos
This app’s biggest strength lies in its approach to scheduling – you can plan content months ahead in Buffer’s calendar, get tips on the ideal time to post content, and enjoy custom scheduling.
Time Buddy – world clock and time converter
This browser app offers a simple work clock and time converter, where you can enter your location and your clients’ locations, to make comparisons. Once you enter this data, you’ll see:
- the time difference between multiple cities
- the exact time in multiple cities in a parallel view
- what day it is in a certain city (for example, it may be Monday in Sydney, but it’s still Sunday in Los Angeles)
Once you have this data, you’ll be able to easily schedule conference calls, meetings, or briefings between your client in Beijing and her business partner in Moscow, even when you live in Toronto.
💡 Looking for great places to offer your virtual assistant skills? Check out this list of websites that cater to freelance virtual assistants looking for work:
Freelancer apps for photographers
Photographs need to be captured in optimal conditions, taken by a quality app, and further edited to perfection. So, here are the best tools for freelance photographers to make these essentials into reality:
Camera+ 2 – all-in-one photo app
Some of the more prominent features include:
- the focus mode that highlights all subjects who are currently in focus
- the action mode that keeps objects in focus and sharp by tracking them
- manual shooting that allows for precise control of your photos
- various texture and gradient filters meant to enhance your work
- the focus peaking feature that ensures photos are only taken when the desired objects are focused and sharp
You’ll also get various shooting modes for various occasions and conditions – the highlight includes the Smile mode, which captures photos only when every subject is smiling.
The Photographer’s Ephemeris – map-centric sun and moon light calculator
This app helps you plan ideal outdoor photos by telling you how the light falls on a specific location in real time. You’ll gain a better understanding of when light falls on land, under what angle, and when it’s ideal to schedule a photo session.
Some other features include:
- list of saved locations for places where you often shoot at, with details on latitude, longitude, timezone, elevation, actions, and other notes
- details on sunrise, moonrise, sunset, crescent, and moonset times for any location
The standout feature is the 3D package – TPE 3D visually simulates a location where you want to shoot in 3D, complete with lighting, shadows, and terrain, during day or night.
Photoleap – photo editor
You’ll be able to:
- make double exposures
- add graphic elements to photographs
- combine different layers
- cut and paste photos together
- add text to enhance your images
- set filters, styles, backdrops, effects
- Elevate your work through added drawings and doodles
You’ll also get a number of advanced editing features, such as custom preset, light leaks, tone curves, and customizable filters, to really make your business flyers, contemporary art, or your next poster commission pop.
💡 Looking for great places to find your next photography project? Check out this list of websites that cater to freelance photographers looking for work:
What are your favorite apps? Which ones help you the most while working freelance? Let us know at firstname.lastname@example.org!