By Barb Anderson, Anderson and Associates
Did that grab your attention? I wish I had answers to share. Unfortunately, I have not found the secret to financial independence even after freelancing for 28 years. But perhaps some thoughts about software and apps I use as an ag freelancer may help someone else hit the jackpot.
As a “seasoned veteran” shall we say, I tend to be old school with some of the tools I use. For example, there are a number of apps that can help freelancers track time, perform project management and even create invoices. I prefer a custom Excel spreadsheet I developed to record income and expenses by quarter, calculate tax payments and hand to my accountant at year end.
It also is hard to do business if you don’t rely on Microsoft Office 365 and various Google tools that help you connect with clients, store and share documents and slides and access the cloud. With that said, here are five apps/tools that help me be more efficient, organized and productive:
Slack. I am a big fan of Slack as a way to brainstorm on projects with clients. I have it on my computer and iPhone set up to receive notifications when someone enters information on a project channel. It is a good way to share ideas back and forth without having to set up an email chain. And I can easily share more information than I would in a text.
Box. I like to use Box for file sharing, particularly when something needs to be shared with several people. Uploading and downloading to the cloud is easy and presumably secure. I match my folder and file names on Box with the same on my computer.
Pocket. Surfing for and reading articles online can become a rabbit hole for me. So rather than get lost in a web of infinite clicks, I use this app to save articles in one place so I can go back and read them when I have more time. I also use this app to collect background information for articles. I can access them on my iPhone and computer.
MileLogger. Many apps are out there to track mileage. I like this one because it is fairly straightforward. I can track business mileage at the IRS rate, export reports for billing clients and document unreimbursed mileage for my taxes. It also tracks personal miles.
Flickr. Already a popular photo storage and sharing tool, it is my go-to when I need to find photos to go with articles and see what clients have available for illustrations.
Finally, if you know how to make millions freelancing, let’s set up a Slack channel and discuss.