10 apps and tools to help creative freelancers grow their business

By: Jenny FU

Leaving your job to go freelance as a creative is one of the most liberating feelings and rewarding decisions of your life. While you are an expert in your creative field, running and growing your freelance business can be challenge. Luckily there are tools and apps out there that help with the business side of things, so that you have more time to focus on making great stuff for your clients.

1. Freeagent

When you are a freelancer or small business managing money can take time away from making money. FreeAgent is cloud-based accounting software targeted at small businesses and their accountants. Whether you do your own taxes or have an accountant, FreeAgent helps you to sort it out, without boring spreadsheets. From tracking your time, sorting out your self assessment or filing for VAT return and corporation tax all in one easy dashboard. Studio Members can get a Get 3 Months free trial with Code THESTUDIO.

2. Notion
Notion combines four tools in one:

  1. Notes & Docs
  2. Knowledge base
  3. Tasks & Projects
  4. Databases & Spreadsheets including a lightweight CRM

If you want one tool to manage your projects, clients, tasks like planning content and data then Notion and its clean interface and clear dashboard can be the right tool for you. Start with the available templates to make your life easier and take it from there.

3. RescueTime

Ever feel like there are not enough hours in the day? RescueTime can help you understand where your time goes each day so that you can optimize your energy and take back contropl. RescueTime tracks how you spend your time r across your platforms including desktop and mobile (no manual entry required) and the Lite Version is Free Forever.

4. Slack

As a creative freelancer you are unlike to work in a bubble. Most of the time you will need to collaborate and therefore communicate  with clients, other freelancers, agencies or anything in between.
Slack is great tool for collaboration because the Instant messaging platform is fully searchable  and great for team communication and project communication. And yes, it is also great for sending animated gifs.

5. Camscanner

OCR (optical character recognition) software recognises the text on a scanned image and document. CamScanner makes this feature finally available on mobile phones, allowing you to extracts texts from images for further editing or sharing. CamScanner is a mobile scanner supporting 16 languages including Chinese, English, Japanese and Korean.

6. Pocket

Pocket is great for saving inspiration when it hits you. Ever seen or read something inspiring or useful online but then been unable to remember or find it again when you needed it? Pocket allows you to save articles, videos and stories from any publication, page or app in just one click, so you can check them out later when you have the time.

7. ContentCal

We know that ContentCal is not the only app out there for autopublishign your Social Media Content. We love ContentCal because it was launched in London and has an approval option, which is very helpful for collaborating with teams and clients on social media planning and content.

8.  Typeform

No more boring online surveys and data collection. Typeform allows you to ask questions in a way that’s friendly and approachable, and as we all know, you catch more flies with honey. It’s very easy to use, too, both for you and your audience.

9. Shotsnapp

Do you need to show off your creative work to your clients without using raw screenshots? For Device Mockups  done quickly and efficiently, we’d recommend Shotsnapp. Shotsnapp works with anything from Social Media Content, Mobile App Design, Documentations and Presentations.
First you choose a device object, next you move it onto the canvas and finally you add the image of your design or screenshot. Feel free to play around with elements like size, colours and positions so that your image looks perfect when you are ready to download it from the website.  

10. Qwilr

Love getting new clients but don't like writing proposals? Qwilr is here to help. You can create proposals your clients will love and pitch with confidence with their professionally designed templates. You can personalize the flow by adding prefilled names, for multiple clients, so they know exactly where to sign, avoid the hassle of printing, scanning and emailing by adding e-sign and even accept optional deposits or full payments on any device by integrating Stripe.

Did we miss an app you cannot live without? Or did one of the above change the way you work? Let us know in the comments.

Article by Simone Eder / Shimeji Creatives Ltd.

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