Even before Covid-19 happened, working as a freelancer or an independent contractor has been steadily growing in the United States.
In a 2017 study done by Upwork and Freelancers Union, 57.3 million Americans freelanced that year.
That is an astonishing 36% of the workers in the U.S. It is all possible due to the development of technology. As per the study, 71% of Americans claim the amount of work they obtained online increased over the past year.
If you are a freelancer, there are some key tools you should use to get your business off the ground and thriving. Some of these tools you may already know about and some you may never even heard of. Regardless, these tools are extremely helpful for you to scale your freelance career.
Without further ado, here are the 5 tools every freelancer should know about in 2020.
#1: Google Drive
Cloud computing has absolutely changed the business world. It has made documents effortlessly accessible and shared between businesses, employees, and clients. The cloud is an extremely cost-effective way of organizing documents, storing them online, collaborating, and synchronizing teams to be on the same track.
The heavy hitter in the storage and document space is Google Drive. It is arguably the most popular cloud storage and file synchronization solution on the market. There are a plethora of benefits the online storage place has such as a very user-friendly layout, Microsoft documents seamless integration, share files, collaborate, and you can access the documents from anywhere in the world.
Try it out. You get a staggering 15GB of free storage.
#2: Keeper Tax
If you are a freelancer, you are required to file taxes as a business owner. That means you have to pay taxes on the income you earned that year as you are paid without the income being taxed. So essentially, at the end of the year, you’ll owe money. As a business owner, you do have the luxury of writing off business expenses to lower your taxes.
Keeper Tax is a software that will help you do that by automatically finding tax-write offs among your purchases. It does this by scanning your bank and credit card statements for tax-deductible expenses. Most freelancers are severely underprepared for the responsibility of paying for their taxes later. This tool helps you automate the process of tracking write-offs.
As a freelancer, you have to be on top of how you get paid. After all, if you are constantly getting late payments or even not paid at all, it can really hurt the growth of your business. In order to avoid that problem, you Invoicely. It is a free app that allows small business owners to make and send invoices, estimates, track time, expenses as well as accept online payments.
Sales invoices are vitally important to keep records of the sale. Having well-kept invoices are key to track how much money was paid and outstanding debt. All this information will make your accountant’s life a lot easier.
Invoicely offers a free plan that allows for unlimited invoices for an unlimited number of customers.
When you have your own business, it is completely your responsibility to be organized and well sorted out. A popular project management tool for freelancers is Trello. Essentially, it is a high-tech online corkboard. With Trello, you can use it to organize “cards” into lists. Those cards can be tasks, projects, notes, shared files, or anything else that helps you build a personal workflow. You can fit an awfully lot of information in each card and they are all shareable.
For freelancers, the workboard can act as a simple to-do list with a great interface to manage the tasks. Overall, it an amazing tool for project management. Best of all, it is absolutely free to try out.
#5: Last Pass
Being a freelancer can be stressful enough. Wasting your time and getting frustrated because you can’t remember all of your passwords for various sites or online tools you use should be the last thing on you would have to worry about. Last Pass is a freemium password manager that stores encrypted passwords online.
The tool saves your passwords and gives you secure access from every computer and mobile device. Save a ton of time by instantly logging into sites and having the convenience of never having to try to remember or mistype your passwords. LastPass can manage all of your logins.