Having the right tools to help you through your freelance writing career creates a huge impact on your success. These tools give you the freedom to do more while staying on top of the projects you are working on. It is a matter of trying and testing what fits you best, depending on your workflow and overall lifestyle and picking what is most efficient and effective.
I am sharing with you these online essential tools for freelancing which I use on a regular basis, which cover some aspects of my freelance career. I have included in this list tools for communication, project management, and messaging as well as finances and other business solutions.
I just discovered early this year that I can download Viber for desktop and since then, it has been my go-to messaging app.
When I still don’t have a landline, I also used it to call landline. I lets you buy a few credits via credit or debit card to make calls locally and overseas.
For some clients and colleagues, Telegram is a great way of communication, that is why I decided to install it and use it for easier communication with them.
The mighty Google Docs is a simple yet efficient Google tool for writers and editors. I love how a team can collaborate on editing and writing a draft real-time with effective tracking and saving features. No need for tons of revising and editing sent through emails.
One of the helpful essential tools for freelance writing in terms of detecting grammar lapses and misspelled words aside from the review tab of Microsoft Word is Grammarly. You can either write directly in Grammarly’s editing page which you can download for free or paste the copy from your Word file. In my case, I do the latter just to make sure that I have saved my files first on my computer.
Another helpful app to polish your work is Hemingway. With this tool, it not only checks your grammar and misspelled words but it also analyzes sentence constructions and many others that may slip while you are doing your draft. It also detects conflicts on readability, meaning it highlights portions which are too wordy or lengthy.
However, I do not rely solely on these apps to check on my work. Sometimes, they detect portions and suggests alternatives but it defeats the thought you’d like to convey. In my case, I still lean on to the message I’d like to write while weighing down proper rules on editing.
With Calendly, people can see your available schedules they can book easily sans the hassle of asking each other through emails or chat on their available dates. I usually use this for interview meetings and consultations.
An all-in-one project management team, MS Teams gathers everyone in one platform and perform tasks effectively through various features. It has video and voice call, messaging, and chat boxes for various projects.
Trello features easy-to-navigate lists and cards. You can add cards under it and move them from one list to another. I use Trello a lot for all my existing writing projects so I can track their deadlines, see what is next on my to-do list, and archive all finished ones. Its dashboard is easy to use and understand, unlike other platforms that have unnecessary tabs that are, for me, distracting. I also use Trello in coming up with a to-do list for my errands, say going to the grocery store or in the market to buy or weekly supplies.
*In the past years, I have also used Asana and Slack but I love how Trello is so easy and simple to use.
Graphics + Design
Canva is a free software for basic graphics and design which is helpful for non-graphic artists like me. It has hundreds of free templates you can choose from—be it a social media post, Instagram Story, brochure, greetings cards and even a magazine! You can customize these templates to your own liking all. However, in case you wanted to create more designs and you’d like to expand to using templates, illustrations, and font styles, you may buy these at minimal costs.
I have been using Taxumo for a little over a year now. I got my Php899 plan, which is suited for freelances and small businesses. With Taxumo, I no longer have to go to the BIR Office to file for my taxes as they do the automated filing themselves. I just have to file it at least a week before the deadline. I am also reminded days and months before the deadline of tax filings, which saves me from having hefty penalties. What I also love about this platform is that is has a feature of tracking my finances that is related with my business—from expenses and income, which lets me have an overview of my cash flow.
I find this useful also as it automatically has a downloadable General Ledger I can present to the Mayor’s Office when I am renewing my business permit.
If you are interested in getting an account at Taxumo, you may use my referral code: 1HR17 to avail of discounts.
You can search online for basic billing or invoice templates to be sent out to your clients. But if you want a downloadable and easy-to-fill up one, you can check out And.Co. I used this a couple of times until I was able to make a personalized template for my business.
For eight years already, Paypal has been my go-to online payment platform specifically for international bank transfers. From my early days of freelancing way bay 2012, Paypal is a requirement for online transfers by international clients and I have been a solid user since.
With Paypal, you can also create a personalized Paypal.me link you can give to your clients so they can easily transfer funds to your account.
GCash and Pay Maya
I started using GCash and Pay Maya last year for easier transactions during the lockdown. For local clients, I make it a point to include GCash or Pay Maya for payment options for the work I do so that it will also be convenient for their part.
Moreover, since I can’t go out to pay bills, I always use online bank transfer or these helpful apps because they have a long list of partner establishments which accept payments from them. Not only that, I can also buy load for myself or for someone else, and send money to other people, and cash in, in no time.
How about you? Do you have specific essential tools for freelance writing that you love? Let me know in the comments section below.