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Freelancing is the new wave of employment. Unlike white and blue-collar employees, freelancers are independent workers whose work hours and conditions are self-created. Thus, very flexible. For freelancers, when engaged in work, commitments typically tend to be short-term, workstations are usually changeable, and work hours are not fixed. This makes finding a balance between work and personal life convenient.
As simple and advantageous as this may sound, finding stability between personal life and work time is difficult, especially given common curveballs such as unstable electricity and the internet. If not treated as a serious business, freelancers could suffer high stress and low productivity.
Four common poor freelance habits include poor time management and project management, unreliable storage, inaccurate accounting, and poor communication. You may be thinking, “what can freelancers do to ensure that they make the best out of their work?” Easy! Working towards improving in those four areas by using productivity tools will help freelancers work more effectively and less agitated. As your financial growth guide, we will share 5 necessary productivity tools that Nigerian freelancers can easily access.
In order to be productive, time needs to be planned out intentionally. Scheduling is important even when work hours are flexible. As with time management, being able to organize your tasks is key in freelancing. Being disciplined is hard, but with the right tools, you can be held accountable for the work you are supposed to do. Below are some time management tools you can use:
Think of the notes app on your phone, but make it 10x more advanced. Bear Notes is a minimalistic application for apple devices that allows you to take short notes or write long essays as detailed as you like without lots of distractions. You can track your word count, include hashtags for easy tracking, convert your notes to PDF, JPG, Word, or Docx. The app also has smart data recognition of elements like links, emails, colors, and addresses. It’s free! However, if you want to unlock the Bear Pro, you have to pay a small annual fee of $14.99.
Are you looking to plan, track and deliver quality work without having to be agitated most of the time? This is the app for you. Toggl is a management tool that freelancers, solo users, businesses, and teams use to plan better, track time, and improve their work productivity. In-app are features like task management, project management, planner, time tracker, visual planner, charts, and idea boards that just simply make everything more organized do away with burnout. You can also integrate Toggl with other apps on your phone or desktop for more convenience. Yes, It’s free for individuals and freelancers. However, business owners have to pay $13.35 monthly and teams $8 monthly.
As mentioned earlier, freelancing is a serious business! This means you need to keep track of your finances as you work. You need to record your income and expenses so that you work and spend smarter. The tool mentioned below has been tested and trusted by many successful freelancers.
The traditional method of bookkeeping is not only sustainable for our environment, it is unreliable. It is so easy to make mistakes when your records are all over the place. Plus, lots of people aren’t good at accounting, and that’s okay because Dillali simplifies the process so that anyone can do it at any time and on any device. This free app allows users to list out their customers (along with their information for easy billing), their products and prices, create quotes, invoices, and record their income and expenses. The status of the quotes and invoices can be edited when full or partial payments are made. The app takes away the stress of having to organize records and calculate profit and losses.
Even though freelance work rarely requires lots of communication with coworkers, freelancers need to communicate with their clients. If you’re given a project, you need to be able to understand it clearly and explain your process and results clearly. Here is a popular tool that will help you do so without a hitch.
Stay connected with your clients on this video meeting platform. If the job you’re engaged with happens to be remote, you don’t need to stress. Simply set up a Google Meet with your client from your existing Google account. If you don’t have one, I can bet you do, you can create one for free to enjoy Google Meet and other free Google services. This platform allows you to have safe and private meetings for free on your mobile device, tablet, or computer.
Imagine working so hard on a project and losing everything because the power supply messed up and you didn't save your work. Honestly, if this happens to you in 2022, especially after reading this, I won’t feel sorry for you. You need to store your work safely so that accessing it is not a tedious process. There are free, safe, and convenient ways to store your work and this is one of them:
With Google Drive, you will have all the storage space you need. You can easily migrate files from other storage devices and applications, access the files in your Google Drive on any device, and also sync all your files across devices. In as much as you can share files that you create, you can also control how they are shared. Again, all you need is to be logged into your Google account. Each person has 15GB of space free, and then a tiny fee of $1.99 per month is paid for 100GB of storage space. Isn’t that great!
Freelancers can increase productivity without stressing themselves by sharpening their communication skills, doing better at financial management, organizing their tasks better, and communicating more often and clearly with their clients. It won’t come easy, but if you are able to work intentionally towards improving, you will see progress in your results! We hope you enjoyed reading this article as much as I enjoyed writing it for you. We are rooting for you!