Freelancers need the right tools for communication, scheduling, CRM, payment, graphic, SEO, project management, financing, and cloud storage. Whether you are a beginner or a seasoned freelancing, the right freelancing tool can help you save time, effort, and money. Using the right freelancing tools can improve efficiency and increase productivity as a freelancer.
Fortunately, thousands of freelancing tools and software abound to make life easier and smoother for freelancers. While some of these tools are paid, a large majority are free. Although there are freemium (free + paid) freelancing tools, you will find tools for every budget and task. For beginners or experts working on a budget, you can use free tools to streamline your tasks to get the best output.
You will find thousands of freelancing tools on the internet but I have helped you narrow the list into 32 best free tools for freelancers. Let’s roll!
Gmail is the most popular email service on the planet and I dare to say almost every internet user owns a Gmail account. You can use this to register on new sites, send emails, and keep up with other Google services with ease. Gmail is free, fast, easy-to-use, and reliable, making it ideal for businesses of any size.
2. Google Drive
Similar to Dropbox, while offering more for free, Google Drive is an office suite that allows you to work online, store files in real-time, and collaborate with your team or clients. Google Drive comes with free 15GB storage space to store your Docs, Slides, and Sheets. You need to opt for a premium plan if you need more storage space. Google Drive can also synchronize with your PC or tablet, giving you access to your online files.
3. Google Docs
Use this web-based platform to share your Word documents and Excel spreadsheets with multiple users in the cloud. Google Docs is easy to use, free, and reliable.
4. Google Contacts
Although Google Contacts isn’t a CRM (Customer Relation Management) yet, it can be an asset for starters. With Google Contacts, freelancers can save new email addresses to their contact. But first, you will need to create a Gmail account.
5. Google Calendar
Google Calendar is one of the best calendar management tools for freelancers. It can help you keep tab with schedules, meetings, appointments, etc. Don’t worry if you have multiple devices, with Google Calendar, you can easily synchronize and access your data.
As a professional freelancer, you are likely already to own Facebook, Twitter, and Pinterest accounts. That is interesting, but managing individual social media platforms can be a pain in the neck. This is where Hootsuite comes in.
Hootsuite is a social media management tool that helps you monitor and maintain your social media profiles across multiple social networks. Use this tool to schedule tweets, keep track of your posts, find potential sales leads, and more. The free version allows you to manage up to five social profiles; you get more when upgrading to a premium plan.
Every freelancer needs bookkeeping and invoicing software, and this is what Waveapps provides. With Waveapps, you can generate invoices, process payrolls, integrate payment gateways, and more for free.
Are you a freelance content writer, an email marketer, or social media marketer? You will need a tool to crosscheck punctuation, words, and spellings in emails and content before delivering to clients or audiences. Grammarly is a priceless tool that fits that job description. With Grammarly, you can fix grammatical errors, modify placements, and detect incorrect spelled words in your content. Grammarly also features a plagiarism checking tool that comes in handy for every freelancer.
Sometimes, responding to your clients at the best possible times can boost conversion. Boomerang helps freelancers schedule emails and send them during regular working hours (not hours or convenience or free times). Besides, Boomerang provides you with in-depth analysis on whether/how your email has been opened, read, or clicked. You can also use this tool to set up automated follow-up emails. Boomerang comes with free and paid versions.
If you have a Twitter-based audience, Tweetdeck comes in handy. Tweetdeck is a platform for viewing, monitoring, and scheduling your tweets across multiple accounts. Tweetdeck is entirely free and available on desktop or web-based apps.
If you own a website or an online store, you cannot escape creating and publishing terms. Terms are to be put in place before you offer any product or service and it protects your business legally in case any issue arises. Let’s face it; so many freelancers (including myself) don’t know how to create terms and agreements. Thank God for tools like Termsfeed; we can now create different terms and agreements without stress. All you need is to fill in your business name, business email, the current date, and a few minor details.
Using a reliable payment service is crucial for freelancers to receive payments from clients or customers. With PayPal, you can do just that and more. PayPal is an established payment gateway that any business can use. They accept integration with business credit cards, Stripe, WordPress, Shopify, Wix, and more. Note that PayPal charges 2.9% + $0.30 for each online transaction.
When the time comes for communicating with your team members or clients, Skype is the go-to communication tool. You can use Skype to make voice/video calls, send instant messages, and share files for free wherever they are in the world. With a monthly subscription, Skype can be a tool for making calls to mobiles or landlines.
Hunter.io is an email-finding tool that helps freelancers find specific email addresses to send emails to. All you need to do is search for the business website, and this tool will find available email addresses.
Trello is a fully-functioning project management tool that uses a series of flexible “cards” to set tasks and collate ideas for you. You can add images, dates, notes, and files to this digital notice board.
Sometimes, laziness can creep into your routine as a freelancer. When this occurs, it might be challenging to complete tasks and meet deadlines. NowDoThis.com is project management software that helps freelancers to manage their to-do lists. Using this tool is the best way to avoid distractions and meet your daily goals.
Streak is a CRM tool that helps you keep track of your communications right on your Gmail account. This advance CRM tool is currently free, and I hope it stays free forever.
Canva is my beloved photo-creating app. I love this app! Over the years, Canva has grown to become a professional graphic creating tool for freelancers. It is packed with thousands of templates that can be used to create beautiful social media posts, infographics, Instagram posts, banners, logos, you name it.
1Password makes it easier for freelancers to save passwords for many websites and social media accounts. This Google Chrome extension creates a unique database for storing all of your logins. Without further ado, I recommend this tool for freelancers.
As you grow as a freelancer, you will create contracts and e-documents for your clients. Bonsai makes it easier for freelancers to create contracts and invoices. This all-in-one app comes has built-in templates to make the process less overwhelming for freelancers. The bonus part is that Bonsai offers seamless integration with PayPal, Coinbase, and Stripe.
A portfolio is an essential tool for a freelancer. You will need to create a portfolio to showcase potential clients of your previous tasks or jobs. Portfolios are usually created on websites, but if you don’t have the budget or technical skills required to create one, you can consider using Behance. Behance platform allows freelancers to create a portfolio to showcase their works – no coding skills required.
StayFocusd is a Google Chrome extension that limits time-wasting activities. For freelancers who cannot avoid distraction, StayFocused helps you focus on your projects, improving productivity.
Mint is a comprehensive app that helps freelancers to compile, analyze, and track all financial accounts and information, including tax savings, budgets, bills, and investments, in one dashboard.
Slack is a sophisticated communication and collaboration tool that can help freelancers manage all their projects on a browser, tablet, or an iPhone or Android smartphone. I use this tool to organize communication with clients and assign tasks to my team members on the go. Slack integrates seamlessly with third-party apps Google Calendar, Google Drive, Asana, and Trello.
Do you want to create professional business proposals and don’t know how? Proposify is the solution. Proposify is mobile-friendly and comes with beautiful templates that will impress potential clients.
Why pay for a project management tool when you can use one for free. Freedcamp is a project management tool that allows you to create unlimited projects, set up project templates, invite clients or collaborators, including email reminders, add deadlines and milestones, and so on – for free.
Loom is a Chrome extension that allows you to record your screen in real-time. This tool comes in handy when you need to create “how to” videos or tutorials on different topics.
As the name suggests, KWFinder is an SEO tool that is important for freelancers. Although it offers similar services as Ubbersuggest and Google Keyword Planner, KWFinder offers more lookups per day for free. You can also use KWFinder to research and optimize keywords for different search engines and countries.
29. Photoshop Express
Are you looking for a free image or video editor for your next project? Photoshop Express is one of the best FREE image editing tools for freelance designers and photographers. Any beginner can use this tool to bring an image to life.
Evernote helps you save that idea that pops up while you work. I love this tool because it offers something different from the norm – you can save anything from screenshots, web pages, texts, images, name it.
31. AND CO
Owned by Fiverr, AND CO is a freelance administrative tool for invoicing, time tracking, expense tracking, and more. AND CO is quite similar to Bonsai, only this is free.
The Hemingway app is an advanced grammar checking tool that reforms content, making it easy to read and with correct pronunciation and spelling.
There you go – the top 32 freelancing tools for beginners and experts. While there are hundreds of freelancing tools on the market, those as mentioned earlier can offer everything you need as a freelancer.
Around 56.7 million Americans are currently freelancing, out of which 66% are full-time freelancers. That speaks volumes on how people switch from working the 9 to 5 to be independent. Should you consider becoming a freelancer, we have written a comprehensive guide on how to go about it.
Did I miss any freelancing tools? Feel free to share your best freelancing tools in the comment section below. We hope you find this article helpful. You may also click here to see other amazing tips on succeeding as a freelancer.