Building a successful freelance business doesn’t mean breaking the bank. Once you’ve reviewed market conditions, completed paperwork, and assessed your budget, you can start thinking about the tools you’ll need to help manage your startup.
Here are some of the most useful free online tools for freelancers.
1. Free Document Templates: Jotform
Many sites let you create documents for free, but Jotform offers free templates that you can edit and share. Choose from an extensive collection of business proposals, contracts, purchase orders, and other documents for your freelance business.
Jotform’s free plan includes five forms, 100 monthly submissions, 100MB of form views, and other perks.
To download: Jotform for Android | iOS
Starting a business is also about managing your finances well. PocketGuard helps you easily manage your cash flow and track your expenses.
Once registered, the application will ask you to connect your bank accounts. PocketGuard then automatically downloads all your purchases. It also provides pie chart reports so you can get an overview of your spending habits.
To download: PocketGuard for Android | iOS
You can always hire an accountant to help you file your taxes, but if you want a free DIY tool, try FreeTaxUSA. Create a new account and you can file your federal taxes for free with an additional $14.99 for state filing.
If you want other features like consultations with a tax professional, you have to add a small extra $6.99 for the Deluxe Edition. Visit the site to check if you qualify for free state taxes.
If you wear multiple hats, Google Calendar lets you create multiple calendars and share them with your teammates. You’ll never miss a meeting again since you can set email reminders and desktop notifications days, hours, or minutes before the event.
Use add-ons to your Google Calendar to make it more useful and sync it with other tools. Don’t forget to download the app on your Android or iOS phone to view your schedule wherever you are.
To download: Google Calendar for Android | iOS
5. Communications: Skype
Released in 2003, Skype is still a free and reliable choice for video conferencing, instant messaging and voice calls. Reports say Zoom has eclipsed Skype, but some customers prefer Skype for online meetings and job interviews.
Zoom limits its basic plan to 40 minutes per meeting. Meanwhile, Skype-to-Skype voice calls are unlimited and free, while group video calls can work for up to 100 hours per month with a limit of ten hours per day. For one-to-one video calls, you have a four-hour cap. Video calls are automatically turned into audio calls once you reach the limit.
To download: Skype for Android | iOS
6. Cloud Storage: Mega
Mega prides itself on being the “best protected” cloud storage with end-to-end encryption. The free plan offers a generous 20GB of space with the option to upgrade to four pro plan tiers with up to 16TB of storage.
Google Workspace offers task management add-ons that integrate seamlessly with Google Drive, but Mega’s focus on privacy makes it a worthwhile option. Mega is a good choice if you need secure cloud storage with a simple interface.
To download: Mega for Android | iOS
To avoid email incidents, use schedulers to send emails that you don’t want to send right now. Of course, you can also schedule an email in Gmail, but Boomerang takes it a step further with other useful features. For example, it shows open rates, reminds you to send follow-up emails, and creates templates for frequently sent emails.
8. Email Search: Hunter
If you need to find email addresses, try Hunter. You get 25 monthly email searches and 50 monthly email checks with a free account. Moreover, the platform allows you to send emails to 500 recipients using a single email address.
Hunter can be used by freelancers looking for professional contacts. Unfortunately, it doesn’t allow signups with a webmail account like Gmail, but you can use Proton’s free business email.
9. Graphic design: Canva
Canva is a game changer in graphic design. With its drag-and-drop features and library of free templates, you can quickly develop professional-looking posters, logos, resumes, videos, and other content.
Canva Free offers user-friendly features that make it easy to design new documents. But if you want to access premium content and templates, you can try their Pro free trial.
To download: Canva for Android | iOS
10. Invoicing: Bookipi
Bookipi helps you send invoices in a timely manner to avoid late payments. The app lets you customize your logo, payment options, and signature. The best part of the app is that you can send unlimited invoices for free! The billing app also syncs seamlessly with Bookipi Expense, so you can easily track your earnings.
To download: Bookipi for Android | iOS
11. Project Management: Trello
Trello organizes your daily tasks and massive projects with free template boards you can customize. We love that you can create multiple boards such as personal Kanbans, to-do lists, work goals, and remote team hubs. The platform also helps you share your boards with others for easy collaboration.
Buffer lets you create your captions in advance and schedule your posts to multiple social media accounts. The free plan allows you to manage three channels with ten queued posts.
Apart from scheduling posts, Buffer allows you to view your content on your channels, either weekly or monthly. The free plan does not show analytics but gives you access to customer support.
To download: Buffer for Android | iOS
13. Time tracking: Paymo
Paymo has a native time tracking tool that you can use on mobile or desktop. It also lets you create shareable timesheets, so clients and your team know how much time you’ve spent on a project. This will come in handy for your freelance projects if you get paid by the hour.
If you don’t have to track your work hours, you can also use Paymo to understand how you use your personal and work hours.
To download: Paymo for Android | iOS
14. Wallet Website: Crevado
Crevado helps you create a professional-looking portfolio, whatever your niche. To get started, get your examples and web browser ready. You can also create a Paypal account if you want to sell your work and accept payments on the site.
15. One-Stop Business Management Software: Fast-paced
Hectic markets itself as a “Freelancer OS” and delivers efficiently. Its free plan includes business essentials: unlimited clients, document templates, accounting, project management, and more.
We love that Hectic is also growing with your business. As you scale, you can choose paid plans that include collaborators, automated expense tracking, and custom domains and emails.
To download: Hectics for Android | iOS
You can now start your independent business
If you are just starting out, you don’t need to pay for expensive software so early in the game. With these free online tools, starting your business has become more convenient.