Freelancing has its rewards, but it can also be incredibly challenging. Thankfully, online tools can make freelance life a bit easier. From budgeting tools to productivity hacks, here’s a list of free apps and sites to help you solve common freelancer problems.
1. Delayed Payments: invoicely
Delayed payments put freelancers in an awkward situation. It’s difficult to constantly remind someone to pay up. To spare yourself an uncomfortable situation, use an invoice app that sends automated reminders.
invoicely is one of the best free invoice apps for freelancers and small business owners. The site lets you send five invoices to three clients per month. You can also add your logo and set default or custom emails. The free version allows you to send five invoices to three saved clients per month. Simply upgrade your plan once you gain more clients.
Scope creep happens when a project’s scope suddenly changes and “creeps” up on you. This issue typically occurs when clients change goals, add deliverables, or modify instructions without consulting the freelancer first. Freelancers need to guard themselves against scope creep, which leads to additional workload without payment.
Scope creep is one of the reasons why freelancers should create contracts for work. Contracts accurately outline job responsibilities, task descriptions, and deliverables. If your client changes their mind mid-project, you can remind them about your contract. If they insist on revising the terms, negotiate an additional fee and ask for a revised contract to avoid misunderstandings.
Creating a contract is difficult, especially if you’re doing it for the first time. EasyLegalDocs helps you create a customized consultancy agreement quickly. To download your legal document:
- Type “Consultancy Agreement” in the Search Bar.
- Click Find Template.
- Click Get Template.
- Click Generate Document.
- Fill in the details and download your contract as PDF or Word.
3. Writer’s Block: Rytr AI
Writer’s block hits even the best of us. You may feel under the weather and can’t muster the creative juices to say something clever. Or it may seem like everything about an assigned topic has already been said. If you can relate, it’s time to try an AI writer like Rytr AI.
Rytr AI is a free tool that helps you generate ideas and content quickly. It can write blog sections, cover letters, emails, product descriptions, song lyrics, story plots, video descriptions, and more with just a few instructions. If you’re at a complete loss for words, Rytr AI also helps you develop business ideas, blog topics, and outlines.
While other AI writers may best Rytr AI, it’s one of the most affordable ones with decent output and features. The free plan writes 10,000 characters for you each month. You can subscribe to the Saver plan for $9 per month for 100,000 characters if you generate a lot of content. You can also create a Ryting profile to display your best copywriting work and get discovered by clients. If you’re using an AI writer, remember to edit and fact-check before submitting anything!
4. Unappealing Website: Weebly
Freelancers are often more likely to find work if they have a website. A website displays tangible proof of the experiences you listed on your resume. Aside from this, a website is accessible. Clients can quickly look at your website portfolio by clicking on a link. If you’re applying for jobs or looking for new clients, make your website portfolio one of your priorities.
Weebly is a free site that allows you to create professional-looking websites. With its easy-to-use tools, you can quickly create a visually appealing and functional website. The platform lets you choose from different themes depending on your niche. If you want your website to come up in Google searches, use Weebly’s SEO settings.
5. Unorganized and Delayed Projects: ClickUp
If you’re a busy freelancer working alone or with a team, take advantage of the time-saving benefits of using project management software. You can choose from tools like Todoist or Trello that help you create quick to-do lists and Kanban boards. If you want to write a simple reminder, try Google Keep.
However, if you need more robust features, use ClickUp. ClickUp is a highly customizable project management tool that helps you keep track of individual and team projects. ClickUp moves with your workflow, letting you view your tasks as a mind map, Gantt Chart, calendar, list, or table. You can also add the Workload view to check if a teammate is under or over capacity.
6. Burnout: Let’s Meditate
Burnout is a common problem for freelancers. Since you don’t have a set schedule, you might be tempted to work until late at night and handle multiple projects. You might also feel isolated and lonely if you’re not disciplined about your time.
To prevent burnout, add self-care to your schedule. The Let’s Meditate app lets you download and play guided meditations. You can start your day with a quick morning meditation. To wind down, try the app’s sleep stories, especially if you find it hard to fall asleep. The best part is that everything is free, with no distracting ads!
Download: Let’s Meditate for Android (Free)
7. Lacking Job Skills: Coursera
Do you struggle with self-doubt? Have you ever felt like you’re not skilled enough? One of the best ways to combat imposter syndrome or self-doubt is to define your fears and improve yourself.
Once you’ve identified the skill you don’t feel confident about, take action and start learning. Online learning platforms like Coursera offer an accessible avenue to learn about anything. If you want to know the secret to happiness, Coursera has a class for that. If you wish to learn Cybersecurity, there’s a course for that as well. You can solve your lack of job skills once you take the step to learn.
8. Distractions While Writing or Ideating: Calmly Writer
Notifications, multiple tabs, and pop-ups are common distractions that disrupt a freelancer’s workflow. While some of these distractions are important reminders, they can make it hard for you to go back to deep, focused work. If you’re writing or ideating, distractions make it especially difficult to return to your train of thought.
Calmly Writer helps minimize distractions while working. It’s a straightforward online tool that integrates with Chrome extensions such as Grammarly, an online grammar checker. Open the site, and you’ll see a clean white space where you can type away. Just remember to click Toggle Full Screen to remove multiple tabs from your sight. Once you’re done, remember to save, download, or print your work.
One of the hardest things to beat as a freelancer is procrastination. How can you work on that massive project when you’ve just learned how to watch every Netflix show in any country? The temptation to binge and convince yourself that you’ll work tomorrow is real.
If this sounds like you, try Focus To-Do. Based on the Pomodoro technique, the app sets 25 minutes for focused work. After the 25 minutes are up, Focus To-Do gives you a quick five-minute break. When the timer ends, you’ll feel accomplished for being productive. The app also keeps historical statistics, so you can trace how you used your time for work and personal concerns.
Do you already feel overwhelmed by too many freelancing apps and sites? If you can choose one to start with, try Hectic. Hectic is an all-in-one platform that combines most of the popular online tools like invoicing, project management, and time-tracking.
The site makes it easy to manage your business tasks, from client communication to project management. If you’re always on the go, you can also download Hectic’s mobile app.
These are some of the most common problems you’ll face as a freelancer and the tools you’ll need to solve them. You’ll likely encounter more issues and explore more tools as you go on your freelance journey. If you feel overwhelmed, remember that there’s always help available. While apps may not solve everything, they’ll make your load lighter.
If you’ve used any of these apps and sites, you’ll love that they’re free and functional. It’s a good investment to pay for a helpful app, but check first if a similar free app exists. You’ll be pleasantly surprised to find out that a lot of online tools for freelancers are free to use.