Running a freelance writing business is not as easy as it seems. Writing is not just writing and delivering content. Being self-employed, you have to manage several managerial tasks apart from writing.
This involves keeping track of payments, accounting, organizing your schedule so you don’t miss any deadlines, automating social media posts etc. At the initial stage, you probably cannot afford to spend money on premium software and tools required for such tasks.
I spent a lot of time looking for free tools that would grow with me as my freelance writing career expands. And I found some gems that help me stay sane and automate routine tasks.
Here are the 7 free tools that I use and will help you start your freelance writing career.
1. Wave Financial
Sending invoices to your clients not only makes you look like a professional but also helps you track your income. Wave is an accounting and invoicing software that is completely free to use for everyone.
It lets you create and send invoices and record payments right from your mobile phone. There is also a receipt scanner app to track your expenses.
The interface of Wave Apps is easy to use and offers lots of customization options. The ability to automate sending invoices to regular clients is a huge time saver for me. This software is a must-have for all freelancers.
Another saviour for me! I tend to make a lot of typos while writing speedily and fixing those mistakes would take significant time if it wasn’t for Grammarly.
There is paid version which offers advanced features but the free version of Grammarly is able to catch almost 99% of all my spelling and punctuation errors. It even manages to catch most grammatical mistakes.
Grammarly is currently the most popular and efficient grammar tool. And I will definitely upgrade to the premium version in future.
Trello is a project management and organisation tool which allows you to create workflows and to-do lists to manage projects. The visual interface and drag and drop feature make it super easy and interactive.
I use Trello to manage the entire content creation process for my beauty blog Demure Beauty. I also use it for long term projects to submit work to the clients and believe me, it has saved me from hundreds of emails.
This free productivity app is for all those who are addicted to their phone and need help to concentrate. Once you set up a timer in Forest, it blocks you from opening any other apps unless you kill a tree first! (no, not a real one).
Every time you make it through the timer, a tree is planted on your virtual forest land. And exiting before the allotted time will kill one. Watching my lush green forest die prevents me from the temptation to use my phone.
Forest is available as a chrome extension and an Android App.
Wisestamp is a freemium tool to create an email signature with your photo, website and social media links.
Just create an account, add your image, website and social media links and set up their chrome extension. Then every time you compose an email from the browser, the signature will be automatically added to the email.
The free version has Wisestamp branding and gives you limited design options. But it works until you are ready to upgrade to the premium version.
6. Google Keep
As a writer, the best ideas will strike you at the oddest times. And it is important to note them down at that very moment or they are gone forever.
For me, it is always when I am lying in bed or out having fun when the ideas form.Google Keep is a note-keeping app that helps me note down anything of importance right into my phone.
It also has a feature to set up reminders for tasks. Google Keep even allows all notes to be colour coordinated to make sorting easier.
I would have lost of great ideas if it wasn’t for this one. Another good option is Evernote.
I have tried 3 different social media scheduling apps and found Buffer easiest to use. (Sorry Hootsuite lovers, but the UI is just too boring for me.)
The free plan allows you to connect 3 social media accounts and have a maximum of 10 posts at a time in the queue. This should be enough for most beginners. The Later allows up to 30 posts in a month, but the mobile app required to schedule Instagram posts is not available in India yet.
So if you don’t use Instagram, Later is a good option too for scheduling social media posts.
All these tools have helped me tremendously to manage my freelance writing career efficiently at an early stage. Which ones of these do you use? Let me know if you have more suggestions.