Are you a freelancer who is looking to boost your productivity in order to increase your income? With so many distractions online, it can be tough to focus. Having the right freelancer tools can help you mitigate this problem.
Some apps can even help you block specific apps and websites so you can concentrate solely on your work.
Also, If you have a lot of clients, it can be difficult to keep track of everything. This also can cause productivity issues. Luckily for you, there are plenty of tools out there to help you manage all of your passwords, projects, and time.
As a freelancer, I have experience using a variety of these tools. I’ll share my experience using each one, and list some others I have seen recommended.
Freelancer Tools You Can Use to Boost Productivity
From being a freelancer for the past year, I have discovered certain tools that help me manage my client work. One tool was Trello, a project management tool I had to use because a client used it to keep track of freelance pitches.
This required me to create yet another account that I’d have to remember a password for. With so many logins, how would I go about remembering my login information?
The solution was to use the first of the four tools we will discuss today:
- Password managers
- Project management/T0-do list tools
- Online time trackers
- Distraction Blocking Tools
1) Password Manager Tools
Password managing tools allow you to manage your passwords for multiple sites. Instead of having to remember a thousand passwords, you only have to remember one, which is the master password (do not forget this password).
The password manager I used to keep track of all my clients login information is called LastPass. After having to call the bank I have an HSA account with to reset my password for the fifth time, I decided to create an account and try this one-password tool.
Whenever I want to login to a client’s WordPress or social media account, I just hit a button and it automatically fills out the password for me. In addition, it has a feature that automatically generates a unique and secure password for every account you login to. This feature helps keeps your client’s information safe.
I’ve been using the free version for over half a year now and it as been sufficient for my needs.
Here are some other password managers you may want to try:
Once you have signed up for a password manager, the next step would be to look into signing up for a project management tool.
2) Project Management/To-Do List Freelancer Tools
Project management and to-do list tools help you organize your projects and break down your tasks. While you can use paper to do this, I have found it quite useful for saving notes and determining what tasks are essential to getting a project completed.
As I mentioned early in this article, I use Trello. I was introduced to it by an editor who used it to manage a team of freelance writers. The editor invited me to the Trello board, which allowed me to see what everyone was working on
Once your pitch was approved, you could set a deadline for the article’s completion. After completing the article, you could submit a link to the Google Doc for the editors to review it.
I loved this tool so much that I created a Trello Board of my own that I used to help me manage my client work. It’s called a To Do’s: Eisenhower Matrix Style board.
Eisenhower Matrix To-Do Board
Dwight D. Eisenhower, our nation’s 34th president, is responsible for creating the Eisenhower Matrix.
It is a decision-making tool that has these four quadrants:
- Important and Urgent Tasks
- Important and Not Urgent Tasks
- Not Important and Urgent Tasks
- Not Important and Not Urgent Tasks
According to a few articles I have read on the matrix, you should make the first two quadrants a priority. These are your high-value tasks. Items in the third quadrant should be delegated, if possible. For the last quadrant, tasks listed in this column should be deleted or not done at all.
By using the Eisenhower matrix, you can ensure that you are getting your most important work done first. If you choose to use Trello’s version of it, once you are done with an item, you can drag and drop it to the done column.
Similar tool recommendations are:
Another tool that can possibly be used in conjunction with the ones above are time tracking tools.
Time tracking tools allow you to track how much time you are working on specific project. I’ve found that they are especially important for hourly contract work.
For one of my side hustles, I manage a social media account for an hour a day. Before using a tracker to track my hours, I thought I could just guesstimate how much time I was spending doing client work. This was a terrible idea because social media can be a huge time sink.
Not only that, but some of my time was spent answering client emails, which I didn’t account for. The solution I found was to download the time tracking tool Toggl. It allows me to keep track of my time via a browser extension and app on my phone.
Now, whenever I am working on client work, I can easily keep track of my time. You can even use its data from the weekly reports it provides to help you accurately calculate your real hourly wage.
If you are having trouble focusing on your work while on the web, this next tool may help.
4) Distraction Blocking Tools
Distraction blocking apps help you block specific apps or websites. For example, you can set a time limit on your Instagram or Disney+ usage by using an app like StayFocusd.
After signing up for the app, you can give it administrative privileges so you could not override the block. I have found that these apps have helped me somewhat curb my addiction to social media.
Spending less time on those addictive apps can be a real productivity win. While this is a somewhat extreme solution, they are worth a try.
Once you get your work done, you can always go back and catch up on the latest episode of the Mandalorian. 😉
Here are some more distraction blocking apps that might work for you:
Selecting the Right Freelancer Tools For You
In order to find out which tools above work best for you, I’d suggest picking a few above and testing them out. What works for me might not work for you.
The most important thing is that you actually do the work. Try not to stress too much about picking the ‘perfect’ tool. There is no such thing.
What freelancer tools do you currently use? Have any of them helped you increase your productivity?
AUTHOR Jerry Brown
Jerry Brown is an adventurous bibliophile who loves personal finance. He is the mastermind behind the blog Peerless Money Mentor. When he is not reading thought-provoking books or studying finance, he is spending time with family, biking, or taking a random adventure somewhere.