Let me say first that I am not a promoter of any of these sites; I just wanted to offer some helpful information, especially to those starting out, on tools that are out there to make your life just a little bit easier. The sites are not linked in any way (as far as I know), but rather are just places I think might be helpful.
That being said€
Hopefully, we all know how hard freelancing can be. It may seem luxurious to some€”working for yourself, setting your own hours, some flexibility with who you choose to work with€”but those of us in the trenches know it takes a lot of work to become successful. After all, there is a lot to do. You have to keep the clients happy every step of the way.
However, new technology and software out there can be a tremendous help in making your work easier, and also ensure that you always present yourself and your work in the best fashion. I mean that€™s the point of new tech, right? Ideally, we can incorporate it in such a way that we are able to advance our individual careers (or of course, just play with the tech).
But enough of my rambling.
Here are four sites/apps I have stumbled across that have helped me tremendously!
Most of us are already aware of how difficult it is to put together a good bid, and how crucial it is that it is done correctly. The bid is your opening gambit, and the first time a client will get a firm sense of how you will proceed in business together. Therefore, it is sooo important for your bid to be professional and meet current formatting standards. That is where bidsketch.com comes in. They offer you templates and instructions for how to write your bid, and indicate whether it adheres to the proper formatting. This can be immensely helpful for people who are new to freelancing, and are looking for a little guidance in this area.
*Bidsketch.com is a paid site, but I saw it does offer a 1 month free trial!
The first words that pop out at you on Cushions website are [Peace of Mind for Freelancers}, and that is exactly what Cushionapp.com offers. Right at the beginning of getting into freelancing, one of the first obstacles to overcome is how to organize all the information, leads, and business that starts coming your way, and it can be difficult to keep track of them all if you are not prepared. You might scribble an appointment time down on a piece of paper and forget to put it in your calendar. You might put an important financial figure in your phone, and forget in which note taking app you put it. Cushion puts all of this information in one place, and can essentially serve as a hub for all information pertinent to your freelancing business. It gives you a few different pre-made sections with categories for material, making it easy to keep budgets, invoices, and your schedule clear and in one place. Once again, when you are starting off, this site can be a lifesaver.
*Cushionapp.com is a paid site, but they do offer a 14 day free trial!!
One of the most difficult problems I have found in freelancing is keeping track of finances. It can be a bit chaotic, as I already mentioned, with money coming in from all different directions and for different reasons. That is where Wave.com comes in. While CushionApp.com does give you a place to store all of your budgets and invoices, it is more like a place to lay down a plan. Wave.com actually gives you a forum to receive funds and create invoices. It helps you stay organized with reports that indicate your business performance and tracks it. This site can be very helpful when figuring out how to manage the financials of your operation. Best part about it, totally free!
One of things I remember most vividly about the 3rd grade is venn diagrams, you know, the three circles that overlap and create a space to compare two different things. I still use them all the time for brainstorming. Sometimes though, it can be difficult to format brainstorming in such a way that is relatable to clients or peers. You can€™t just show them a wadded up piece of paper with some circles on it! Rather, you need some kind of clean and professional way, hopefully to distinguish your ideas and communicate them concisely and clearly. Mindmeister.com can help you do exactly that. It gives you a template to lay your ideas and thoughts down on the page (or on the screen).
*Mindmeister.com is a paid site, and as far as I could tell, no free trials
Those are sites that have helped me. What about you?