Great Daily Tools for Freelancers

Designing and developing a web project is difficult enough, but adding project management, invoicing, hosting, file sharing, and staying on task to the mix? That's exactly what freelancers do though. There are a ton of tools and apps out there designed to help freelancers complete projects and stay organized. Here is a few of my favorite apps and tools that I use on a daily basis.


Designing and developing a web project is difficult enough, but adding project management, invoicing, hosting, file sharing, and staying on task to the mix? That’s exactly what freelancers do though. There are a ton of tools and apps out there designed to help freelancers complete projects and stay organized. Here is a few of my favorite apps and tools that I use on a daily basis.

Productivity

teuxduex.com

Teux Deux is a great web app for staying on top of projects. Its got a great user interface and it is super easy to use. Just pick a day of the week and add a task. If you don’t get it done, it rolls over to the next day. There is no need to login every time you use the app and its free!

wunderlist.com

Wunderlist is another great, simple task management app. It’s basically just lists of stuff that you need to do. Just create a new list and start adding tasks, its really pretty simple and it’s also free. There is a web app or desktop version.

Knowapp.com

Knowapp is a great project management tool for allowing others to keep track of the projects your doing for them. Just set up a ‘board’, add your tasks to the board and share it publicly with your clients. Your client can then subscribe to the board and every time you update a task, they get notified. It’s really pretty slick and there are a lot of great features.

Evernote

Everyone knows about Evernote, but that’s just because it’s a great versatile app that you can use for taking notes, writing up to do lists and sharing documents. Now, I generally just use it for note taking so I’ve never paid for it, but I hear there are even better features with a premium account.

Invoicing/Time Tracking

Curdbee

I use Curbee, it’s great. Curbee is a simple web app that allows you to add unlimited clients, build invoices and bill clients. It also has a lot of other nice features like: SSL encryption, multiple currencies, data import/export and accept payment via Paypal or Google Checkout. There is a basic free package and a pro package for more tricks.

Harvest

Harvest is another great billing app that also has a time tracker and report generator so you can really manage your freelance projects. It’s very simple and easy to use and comes packed full of features. There is a free trial to get you hooked, but freelance pricing is a steal at twelve bucks a month.

Ronin

If you are not only managing yourself but other contractors who help you with your projects, might I suggest Ronin. This simple small business management app allows you to bill and time track as well as create estimates, manage clients and delegate tasks to staff or contractors.

File storage and transfer

Dropbox

Dropbox is awesome, if you don’t use it yet, sign up today. Dropbox is more than just a file storage app. You can use it to collaborate and share files as well as host images for sites, test sites and even host small sites. Dropbox can also be used for fully backing up your computer and files.

WeTransfer

WeTransfer is a great way to share large files with clients, contractors or other designers. PSD and AI files are too large to share over the email, WeTransfer is a quick and easy way to email files and it’s got a real slick interface that won’t bore you as you upload and download files.

YouSendIt

YouSendIt is another great file sharing app. YouSendIt can store up to 2gb and you can load and share entire files. It can also hook into other apps like Dropbox, Outlook, and Yahoo. You can download the desktop app, mobile app or just use the browser plugin or web app.

Hosting

Bluehost

Bluehost is a great, in-expensive hosting service. Bluehost has my favorite Cpanel back-end that allows you to create and manage domains, files, databases, FTP clients and email services. Bluehost has unlimited domain hosting, unlimited file transfer and unlimited email accounts.

HostGator

If you are looking for dedicated hosting, VPS hosting or even reseller hosting than HostGator is probably the place for you. As a freelancer you may have the need for dedicated hosting to host your own projects, portfolios and sites. HostGator offers great time saver tools for the freelancer also, like: easy install scripts, great 24/7 support, and my favorite, the Cpanel control panel.

WebHostingPad

Webhostingpad also has my favorite control panel, Cpanel but they also offer very inexpensive, unlimited hosting for your freelance projects. Webhostingpad also offers some great eCommerce tools for hooking up shopping carts.

Forums

CreateBlog Forums

If you need a little help troubleshooting photoshop, scripts, CSS, HTML or any other web related topics the createblog.com forum is a great place to start. They offer forums ranging from graphic design to coding to marketing.

Webdesignerforum.co.uk

Webdesignerforum.co.uk is a great forum for anything web design or development related. One thing I like most about webdesignerforum.co.uk is its user interface. The interface and design of this forum is very different than your typical forum and it’s really easy to use and navigate.

Sitepoint forums

The sitepoint forums are a great place for expert advise. Whenever I’ve had a question about anything web design I always get some answers really quickly. The only bad thing about the sitepoint forums is the pop up windows, but they are not bad enough to warrant not visiting.

Turtorials

Lynda.com

Lynda.com is by far the best place to learn all things web design and development. From taking full courses to just watching a few quick videos, Lynda.com offers a huge library of video tutorials on everything from photoshop to CSS to Word. It will cost you $25 a month but if you are in school you can probably get a significant discount. Trust me, the $25 a month is well worth the education, even if you only sign up for a few months and cancel.

NetTuts

NetTuts is another great place to learn. They offer tutorials on anything and everything web related. One great feature to netTuts is that they offer free tutorials as well as premium ones, and the free tutorials aren’t just garbage they are great, in-depth tutorials that is most case you can download and keep for future reference.

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Patrick is a UX Designer at Instructure (Canvas LMS) by day, freelancer and UX consultant by night. He also enjoys family, snowboarding, sports, bacon and is jealous of your beard.

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Website: http://patrick-cox.com

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  1. 6

    Jason – I’ve heard that ProjectBubble is pretty awesome. I’ve haven’t tried it out yet… but, maybe its time to give it a try. My buddy uses it and he is in love with it.

    Eric – I’ve never used Dreamhost but I only hear good things.

    Ralph – I have tried Minutes.io too and its pretty great, but I’m just lazy and I always default back to Evernote.

  2. 7

    Hi Patrick,

    I would like to recommend cronsync – web based time tracking and invoicing for the category “Invoicing/Time Tracking”

    http://www.cronsync.com

    There is a demo and a video tour.

    We have launched cronsync this year. I look forward to your feedback!

    Best, Jakob

  3. 8

    I use an offline tool called Ora Time and Expense and it is very great to manage work, clients, time-tracking, expenses, reports, and much more. It uses Adobe Air to run and best of all, IT’S FREE!!

  4. 9

    E11WORLD – Just downloaded Ora, I love FREE tools.

    Jakob – CronSync looks pretty slick.

    There are so many good tools out there for Freelancers and web designers it’s incredible!

  5. 10

    Thanks for sharing these great services!

    I’ve been using couple of them in your list and these are my thoughts,

    Hostgator – I’ve been with them for last 4 years and can recommend them to anyone looking for a great servers backed by real people.

    Curdbee is pretty amazing and probably the only free invoicing service without any restrictions.

    Dropbox takes of the pain in file backups and sharing.

  6. 12

    Hi! I would like to suggest Doolphy for your list. It’s a project management tool with powerful features. They have released a new design of the app and web recently. Drop by http://www.doolphy.com and check it out.

  7. 14

    Hi thanks for posting up a great list of useful things! Currently I am using Wunderlist to schedule in work and add reminders etc. In my personal opinion I think Wunderlist is a great application, with the ability to effortlessly sync lists across multiple computers, add personal comments, tasks, reminders and more, I definitely think its worth checking out, and the best part is its FREE! Wetransfer looks like a nice little app worth checking out too, Ive used yousendit before and it worked seamlessly so lets see how this one gets on! Thanks again.

  8. 18

    I heart Curdbee too :) I recently upgraded to their all-inclusive package and its amazing to have all the vital stuff in a single interface and save more $$$ that way.

    Hostgator offers excellent customer support which no one else can match.

  9. 19

    I’d also like to recommend Intervals for freelancers. It’s an online time, task and project management app developed and used by our web design agency.

  10. 20

    Hi Patrick,

    I would like to recommend agreedo.com – share agendas in advance to meetings and collaborate on them. Saves lots of time by avoiding time spent in meetings

    http://www.agreedo,com

    There is a walk-thru and a demo video.

    We have launched agreedo last year. I look forward to your feedback!

    Best, Hannes

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