5 essential smartphone apps for the organized freelancer

June 9, 2011 by Dean Rieck
Filed under: Productivity 

smartphone apps for freelancersWhenever people find out I freelance, and have done so since the 1990s, they invariably say, “Oh, I’m not disciplined or organized enough to do that.”

Well, maybe if they had some of these handy smartphone apps, suggested by app guru David Sumner, they’d change their mind.

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Everyone knows the score; a freelancer has traded in the confinements and limits of a traditional working life to enjoy the freedom and flexibility of being self-employed.

However, not having a boss there to tell you what to do means you are solely responsible for your work and success, which will only come with some organizational skills.

There are many apps out there perfectly suited to organizing your work and expanding your client base with ease. However, many apps are developed purely for entertainment purposes so you need to know which smartphone apps are the real deal.

timr

This app is perfect for the freelancer who has to juggle appointments and phone conferences but wants to keep a tidy workspace free from hundreds of post-it notes.

The timr app also tracks your working schedule including when you clock on and clock off. If you need to co-ordinate your schedule with colleagues, this app you can record your working hours with ease, allowing you to track how much time you have spent on each individual project.

This attention to detail and efficient time-keeping means you can bill your clients with minimal difficulty. The app comes with an easy-to-use dashboard and is a must for all freelancers no matter what platform you have.

Tweetdeck

The popularity of twitter within the freelancing community is massive. Anyone can publicize their skills and expertise by gaining more and more followers on twitter, never mind the fact that the platform itself functions as an excellent way to get in contact with potential business partners and clients.

However, one drawback with twitter is its rather basic interface, thus TweetDeck is the solution to all of your twitter concerns. With TweetDeck you can create a dashboard where you easily follow all of your most important contacts with a dedicated channel.

In addition, you can create a separate channel to follow particular hash tags (#) allowing you to observe the buzz about a particular subject. For example, if you are a freelance web writer, then you can follow any tweets labeled with the hash tags “web writer” or “web copywriting jobs” to find work.

Doodle

If you work as part of a team, or if you want to improve your service and give your clients and contacts a variety of feedback options to choose from, then Doodle is your answer.

With Doodle, you can create an easy-to-use poll in an instant that allows you to create multiple options on which the users can vote. You can invite users in your phonebook simply by sending them the Doodle URL, allowing them to cast their vote in seconds.

The Doodle app makes scheduling easier than ever, and if you work online remotely with a number of colleagues, then with the Doodle app for the iPhone and Android you can co-ordinate a task or get instant feedback on a project.

Skype

Everyone knows how difficult it can be to communicate with clients and contacts in different cities or even different countries. However, since Skype burst into the market a few years ago, this problem has largely been solved.

It is now possible to call and chat with prospective clients and partners wherever they may be with ease. The Skype app is available for all platforms, and enables any freelancer to keep in touch with the needs and concerns of their clients throughout the working day.

For the freelancer with a tight budget, Skype is indispensable as it’s free of charge to use when calling other Skype contacts and offers vastly reduced rates for calls to a land line. Skype gives you the freedom to schedule important meetings and hold them wherever you wish, in your office, in the car, or at the beach.

ibluesky

Before you dive into your next project, why not try out the ibluesky mind mapping app to help organize and structure your plan of action.

With this handy little app, you can create an unlimited number of branches to flesh out your ideas and steps without the use of a pen and paper. You can swipe across the entire mind map, meaning you can create one of any size. If you need to edit a branch, just tap on the branch to change the text.

You can use color to identify which branches are more important than others, plus every mind map can be exported with ease to your desktop by email, meaning you’ll never lose track of your plans whenever your next bolt of inspiration hits. The only drawback with iBluesky is that it is so far only available for iOS systems.

No matter what field of freelancing you are in, these apps can help you stay organized and productive.

David Sumner works for twago, Europe’s largest pan-European online project platform for freelance programmers, web designers, copywriters, and translators. He has a passion for freelancing and for Smartphones and is always on the hunt for new and exciting apps.

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