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Live Freelance or Die Hard

Time-tracking your hours, scheduling meetings, organizing your online archives: If you work freelance, all of these seemingly simple tasks can pile up into a giant, caffeine-addled hassle. 

Keeping track of passwords alone can become a fulltime job–and not a fun one.

It’s likely that somewhere along the way you’ve been tempted by an ad or maybe just the idea of getting onboard with one of the jillion productivity apps out there. 

Good thinking. But sifting through them all to see what works best can feel like a slog. Not only that: Let’s face it, we’re talking about learning a new program on top of everything else, right? So you don’t want to that too many times in pursuit of getting more productive. Kind of a paradox, that.

We want you to flourish, rock it, close your deals, and keep whatever precious time is left outside of work for the people and pups and other stuff you love most. 

We’ve cataloged the few productivity apps our people here stand by, and we thought we’d pass the details of each along to you. Check them out below, and let us know if you swear by any others. 

Trello
Like to see everything you’re working on at once? Trello takes to-do lists to the next level. You can add comments, attachments, due-dates and more. It’s easy to invite collaborators, too, which is critical with most gigs in these hyperallied days.  The interface is clear, clean, and easy-to-use. Think sticky-notes. You can even create entire boards for fun incentives, like that tropical vacation you’ve been wanting to take for the past year. One drawback? There’s not much room for notes, which makes communication on tasks within the app a little difficult. 

HootSuite
Not strictly a traditional productivity app, but hold on … Posting on social media? Of course you are. And it can become a soul-sucking drag. Especially as consistency is king (say the people posting this particular blog a few hours late!) Your followers require a Pavlovian routine. One days you let it slip, and whoops, there some go. And you worked yer arse off for them. Or maybe you want to increase your output on Instagram and Facebook to stir up more engagement. Whatever it is, with HootSuite, you can automate postings to any social media at any time for any number of days. It’s like having your very own social media manager, right on your desktop. Hence, productivity increase. You can only publish posts in advance if you’ve created them already, however. There’s no option to simply “plot” posts out, like a social media calendar. 

Toggl 
Have time-tracking woes? Toggl bills itself as time-tracking software, and it delivers, most of the time. It comes free with cost breakdowns, number-crunching, and even syncing between apps. This program makes it “easy” to organize multiple, multilayered projects and various clients. It even has “idle-detection,” to make sure you’re staying on top of your tasks! The interface is a simple button that can be installed on your favorite browser. It can get a bit heady when you have a large company or when your freelance career really starts to take off, but as far as simple time management apps go, it’s a fantastic addition to your toolkit. 

Zapier
So maybe you’re already a productivity guru. Want to connect multiple apps to speed up your workflow? Zapier has it all figured out. Link apps together using automations and integrations. Sound complicated? It doesn’t have to be. Once you’ve chained together MailChimp, Slack, and your CRM solution to manage and follow up with potential customers, you’ll be finding all sorts of new uses for your precious time. If you’re not super tech-savvy, however, you may need to hire someone to link your workflows together. 

focusatwill
All the apps above are great for making sure your tasks are completed, organized, and efficiently budgeted. But none of that matters if you just … can’t … focus. Focusatwill helps you increase your overall productivity by giving you music that is specifically designed for just that: Focus. Tune in, tune out, and GSD (Get. Shit. Done.). The look and feel are similar to music apps like Spotify, so there’s nothing new to learn other than what music works best for you. 

Obviously there are thousands of productivity apps out there, and these are just a few of the many available to you awesome freelancers. Know of any that are worth mentioning? Tell us in the comments below.

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