Starting a freelance business is full of excitement, hope… and lots and lots of anxiety lol. You’re mastering your craft, build a client list, manage your time, and fight off imposter syndrome each and every day.
But this post is here to make things a little easier on all fronts… and all without requiring any of your hard-earned revenue, either! Today I’m going to share my best apps for freelancers in 2021. We’ll be taking a look at:
- freelance business management software/apps
- productivity apps
- content & market research tips
So buckle up, here are the 10 Free apps for Freelancers that you need right frickin’ now!
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Just download my Free All-In-One Blog Writing Template and start writing effective blogs quicker and easier today!
Now, onto the free apps!
Notion is a free productivity and organization app that I’ve mentioned in many other posts. I used to be an avid Trello user (and I still do use Trello- which is another free productivity app), but I love Notion because it’s condensed my need for other applications into one.
There’s practically no limit to what you can do in Notion. I schedule my work week, my goals, a journal, expenses, affirmations, Christmas gift lists, and more.
Every business owner needs a reliable way to organize and plan out their tasks, and Notion is a fantastic and flexible tool to do it. You can also download it on your phone and access and edit your boards whenever you want. It can even create spreadsheets.
While it might feel a little overwhelming when you first open it, there are TONS of tutorials and templates on YouTube to get you started.
Seriously, download Notion TODAY.
The free version of MailChimp is great when you’re just starting to build your email list. It’s very easy to figure out, and creating nice landing pages and email campaigns are a breeze.
There are some issues with MailChimp, the main one I’ve noticed is that your emails can sometimes end up in the Promotions (spam) folder for no apparent reason. But if you’re looking for something to help dip your toe into the email marketing ring (here’s a blog all about building your email list), MailChimp is awesome.
Canva is a free design browser app. It’s wonderful for creating social media images, blog banners, etc. It’s also very easy to use, and the free version has a ton of features and options to work with. It’s a GREAT tool for anyone who doesn’t want to invest money into Adobe stuff.
HOWEVER, I DO NOT recommend designing your LOGO or your BRANDING in Canva. Here’s a post by another fellow ‘Kenz’ (the very talented and awesome Kenzi Green) explaining all of the reasons why you shouldn’t use Canva for logos. Check out her blog
Trust me, it’s worth the read- and Kenzi is a fantastic designer who can assist you in creating an incredible logo if you need it. 🙂
It doesn’t matter what niche or industry you’re working in, Pinterest is your friend. Pinterest, while highly-saturated, is a wonderful free resource for marketing your blogs, lead magnets, and products (you can also create beautiful Pinterest graphics in Canva, too).
With some well-crafted visuals, and some time invested in learning the nuances of organic growth on Pinterest, it’s a POWERFUL tool worth learning to use.
The Hemmingway App
Whether you’re a writer or not, you need to make sure that your content (no matter where it’s published) is readable and free of errors. The Hemmingway App is an all-time favorite amongst pretty much everyone in the Content and Copywriting community because it not only helps you catch spelling/grammatical errors- but it also gives you a readability score.
That score is VERY important when writing content that’s digestible for your audience, and this is one app you need to have bookmarked and readily available before you post (almost) anything to the web.
One of the biggest struggles when building your website, blogging or creating visual content is finding beautiful images. Often, that can require huge fees or you run the risk of infringing on someone else’s property (which is an awful thing to do and can ruin your reputation).
If you need some nice imagery, Pixabay.com is a WONDERFUL website where you have access to thousands upon thousands of photos that you can use for free (and without crediting- though it is a nice thing to do).
It’s a great way to avoid infringing on IP, as well as ensuring your website or blogs looks professional.
You can also donate to the photographers that post on the site, which is super cool.
If you’re not ready to invest in formal accounting software like QuickBooks or FreshBooks, PayPal can get you by for now. You can create invoices, track your expenses, and link them to your business account (if you do not have a dedicated business bank account, you need to jump on that ASAP).
They even have a new “debit” option thing, where they provide you with your own PayPal card number so you can pay with PayPal even on websites that don’t otherwise accept PayPal.
This is WONDERFUL for tracking expenses, and will make things easier once tax time comes around.
Toggl is a time management app that I love. It’s easy to use, and you can even create custom projects to organize your time into. I used it to help me really narrow down exactly how long it took me to complete projects for clients, which was hugely helpful in shaping my pricing structure.
Using an app like Toggl will also help you really assess where your time is going and how to better manage it, so give it a try, friend!
If you’re in the writing business like me, a great deal of your actual work time is invested in research. As a copywriter, the most important part of my job is identifying issues that my client’s customers have, and writing copy that helps solve those problems.
A very honest and free way of doing targeted research is on Reddit. With a subreddit for literally ANYTHING, you can find people in your target audience and straight up ask them the questions that you want to know.
It’s very useful, but just make sure you read and follow every subreddit’s rules. Your post could get rejected, or you might get some angry folks in your comments section.
I work exclusively in Google Docs for all of my client and personal work. It’s easy, it’s flexible, it’s got more than enough features for my needs, and the ability to share my work docs with clients is hugely convenient for everyone involved.
I can also use my Grammarly Chrome Extension with it (also free and also awesome) so it makes my work faster. This is one of the best apps for freelancers no matter what industry you’re in because you need a quality writing software.
Google Docs has NEVER lost or messed up ANY of my writing files. It saves practically every time I stop typing, and so I no longer fear the after-effects of power outages.
I’m also pretty sure Microsoft Word is also free on Browser, but I really prefer Google Docs in every way- but try them both out and see which one works best for you!
Go Out & Start Downloading These Free Apps
I hope this list of free apps for freelancers has given you some new resources and free tools to try. Running your own small business is a lot, but it’s incredibly rewarding! I use all of these tools on the regular, and I wouldn’t recommend anything that I didn’t genuinely find helpful.
Let me about a free app or tool that you like to use that I didn’t include on my list! And don’t forget to download my Free Blog Template if you wanna start writing blogs without tons of headaches and wasted time!
Take care, and I send you all of the best 2021 business vibes!
You got this,