Will BrennanDesigner

What are the best tools for doing freelance creative work?

Up to this point I've only ever done full-time work as a designer, but am now dipping my toes into freelance work on the side. What are the best tools for getting started, i.e. tax tools, invoices, time tracking, etc. Is there a one-stop solution for all of this?
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8 recommended
  1. 8
    AND CO

    Invoicing, Expenses, Contracts & Payments for freelancers

    Armand JayFounder at Artwxrk.com & Student at CSU Β· Written
    Super simple interface that does everything you need like contracts, time tracking, and invoicing!
    CommentsShare
    Eva RederGrowh Hacker, Traveler, Founder Β· Written
    And Co does more than a lot of other software and ever since they got acquired by Fiverr it's totally free. I used to pay 9.99 USD a month for a similar product with less functionality. Love their contracts & proposals feature!
    CommentsShare
    • Makes it super easy to invoice in a beautiful simple way that clients love. Offering credit card, PayPal and bank ACH payments really feels like it helps me get paid faster and looks professional. It's also a breeze to confirm that I've received payment and is helpful to get reminders of outstanding invoices. Love hearing the chime when money rolls in.

      UPDATE

      Can't believe I forgot to mention the support crew. I'm so used to banking/financial apps making service an afterthought. Whenever I have a question or issue they're on it within minutes and always eager to help.

      Comments (0)
    • Matt NIndependent Designer/Developer in LA

      I've tried every time-tracking/invoicing app there is for freelancers, but when I finally tried AND CO I was instantly sold!

      Both the web app and mobile app are a delight to use. They are fast and just work without any hiccups. The features are great and have helped me save a ton of time on admin work. Sending an invoice or a contract is a breeze. You also get a real, live human to ask for help! Need to invoice a client? Have a question about your taxes? Simply send a message to your CO and they will always have your back!

      Their dev team is also great! I requested a couple features and they were released within a few weeks. That showed me that the team at AND CO listen to their customers and give me confidence to use this app for the long-term.

      It's not often that I fall in love with an app. AND CO is the exception. Highly recommended.

      Comments (0)
  2. 4
    Bonsai

    Contracts, invoices, and expenses for digital freelancers

    Kesava Mandiga14Curious cat. Writer. Explorer. Β· Written
    Hello Bonsai has an entire suite of tools for freelancers. Contracts, time tracking, design, project management, invoicing and so on. πŸ™Œ
    CommentsShare
  3. Ayush Mittal27bro @boombro, Founder RefR ✌ · Written
    I used Upwork earlier and Fiverr for my freelance work. Apart from its database of 1.5 million clients, Upwork is excellent. It lets you set up different client accounts within your freelancer account along with powerful reporting tools for every project. It accommodates both short- and long-term projects, hourly or per-project work and expert-level and entry-level engagements. What is more - timesheets, time analyzer, earnings by a client, lifetime earnings, logs, history, etc.
    Comments (1)Share
  4. 3
    Qbserve

    Automatic productivity & time tracking for macOS

    Ivan Mir3maker of Qbserve time tracking app Β· Written
    Ivan Mir made this product
    Qbserve (our app) tracks project time automatically and generates invoices from collected data. It also gives real-time feedback on your productivity – a very important feature for a person new to freelancing and working from home.
    CommentsShare
    • Kiran KunigiriA guy who makes cool stuff.

      This app is pretty awesome. They made it so detailed that when I walked away from my laptop for 20 minutes, instead of just logging whatever app I was on, it asked me if I was eating, sleeping, exercising, etc. since it knew I was away from the computer

      It logs every single website and app you visit, and almost everything has been categorized for you. You can even make your own categories and projects to specifically log as well. At the end, I can also look at everything I did with charts and a pie chart showing my overall time spent categorized into productive, neutral, and distracted, which is a really awesome way to get a quick overview.

      Comments (0)
    • Ted HanTechnical Lead, DocumentCloud

      Other activity trackers and systems for keeping organized have always stressed me out a ton. Qbserve is the first activity tracker i've used that i don't feel hung up or bad about using through the entire cycle of use. There are periods where i will stop tracking for a while, but Qbserve is always easy to jump back into and use. You get immediate feedback about what's going on, and the color tracking in the dock icon gives a great visual feedback mechanism as a reminder for how on track you've been (or not).

      Classification has gotten better, and the ability to triage stuff yourself is great. I wish there were some way to segment up my twitter use into work related, and time wasting, but that's my only complaint.

      Comments (0)
  5. 2
    Harvest

    Simple Online Time Tracking Software

    Kesava Mandiga14Curious cat. Writer. Explorer. Β· Written
    Harvest makes time tracking easy. Simple and easy to use, it can help keep track of pretty much everything you work on.
    CommentsShare
    • Great product - we went through several time tracking apps on our journey to use Harvest and this is the best for us.

      The Asana integration is wicked!

      Whilst the UI is ever so slightly dated and some functions can be a little hard to find than they should be but on a whole it is, in fact, very functional and infinitely better than some pretty but clunky app.

      Highly recommended.

      Comments (0)
  6. 2
    The New Freshbooks

    Ridiculously easy to use invoicing and accounting

    Kesava Mandiga14Curious cat. Writer. Explorer. Β· Written
    I haven't used this one, so it is based on feedback from other freelancers. One stop accounting solution that does pro invoices and more.
    CommentsShare
    • Matt Pliszkadiscovering SaaS apps at pickSaaS.com

      No matter if you're a self-employed person looking for an accounting solution or a small/medium enterprise co-operating with you accountant, FreshBooks makes accounting much easier to handle.

      Comments (0)
  7. Anton Stenantonsten.com Β· Written
    Anton Sten made this product
    Full disclosure: I'm the author. That said, readers so far have been really satisfied with it and told me it's given them tons of value. For a list of the tools I use, check: https://antonsten.com/tools
    CommentsShare
  8. 1
    Timing 2

    Automatic time and productivity tracking for Mac.

    Daniel Alm made this product
    When you are a freelancer, you want to focus on doing your best work rather than tracking your time. That's why my app Timing 2 completely automates your time tracking. It observes how you use your Mac, then gives you an overview of that time. Some nice extras: - Timing automatically suggest blocks of time that belong together. That way, you can assign a whole day in just seconds. - Timing can even automatically ask you what you did, as soon as you return to your Mac. Of course all the basics (projects, start/stop timers, reports, exporting, etc.) are handled as well :-)
    CommentsShare