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  • Five of the best organisational tools for freelancers

    Five of the best organisational tools for freelancers

    Running your own business as a freelancer can be a lot of hard work. You have to do your own PR, marketing, HR, finance, networking, admin and negotiating. It’s a tough old job, and you need to be organised (which, if you’re creative, doesn’t necessarily come naturally).

    Thankfully there are some apps to make getting and staying organised a little easier.

    Asana

    I’ve see Asana mentioned quite a bit recently. I’ve only recently tried it out (with thanks to the lovely Jo Shock who introduced me and this video from Carrie at Female Entrepreneur Association).

    It’s a great way to brain dump and organise your business, and see in a clear way what you need to do in each area. Asana is available on the iPhone, iPad, Android devices and online.

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    Slack

    slackdesktopSlack is a brilliant community tool for having conversations with your team. I have my own Slack community for the team I work with, plus I’m a member of two others who use it to communicate quickly with others. You can ask quick questions, drop in files, gather thoughts on images and even import Asana updates. As someone who hates dealing with emails, being able to quickly keep track of a conversation and respond without delving into inbox saves me a lot of time and stress. You can have different sections for different parts (‘channels’) of your business – for example I currently have one for newsletter chat, one for blog chat and one for general discussions.

    Slack is available on the iPhone, iPad, Android devises and online. There’s also a MacBook desktop app.

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    IFTTT

    IFTTT (If this then that) is a tool to create triggers to get life working automatically for you. One of my favourite vloggers, Savvy Sexy Social, has done a great video summarising how it works.

    Love the idea? Check out the post I recently did for Yell Business on Ten ways to use IFTTT to make your business more efficient

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    Buffer

    bufferappBuffer has, hands down, saved me the most amount of time this year as a freelancer. An hour a week spent scheduling social media content (and taking advantage of their suggested content and feeds section), has taken a lot of the stress out of my social media use. Also, they’ve just added Pablo which works like ShareAsImage to create very quick and easy images for your social media. PLUS they’re lovely people generally – after I recently joined in on their #BufferChat Twitter chat, they sent me some free stickers in the post with a handwritten note. Class act Buffer.

    Buffer is available on the iPhone, iPad, Android devices and online. There are also some browser extensions to make it even easier.

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    Productivity Wizard

    productivitywizardappIf you’re getting into goal setting, the Productivity Wizard app is a must to use. I love the way I can create daily, weekly and monthly goals, break them down into smaller tasks which can then slot into my iPhone calendar, reflect on each day with a series of insightful questions and track your progress. You can even add in regular rituals, like meditation and exercise.

    The Productivity Wizard is an app available on the iPhone and iPad.

    Which organisational tools do you use as a freelancer?

  • Freelancer’s Teabreak Podcast #12: Pen or tap? Paper or app?

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    What do you do when you’re struggling to get productive? Turn to an app, an online tool or some other form of tech? That’s my default method. I’m horribly addicted to my phone.

    Remember last week when I mentioned how many hours I’d racked up on my phone? But this week, I’ve shaken things up a bit and returned to an old school method – pen and paper. As if I needed another excuse to stock up on supplies from Paperchase. It’s not just me either – several members of the Freelance Lifestylers Facebook group are also huge fans of pen and paper.

    While I figured getting things down with pen and paper might help me clear my head a bit, I didn’t realise the impact it would have on my productivity. Or how passionate other people were about the benefits of using pen and paper.


    Pssst! Pen and paper enthusiasts – have you heard about the bullet journal method? It’s a great way to keep track of your To Do lists and more (and aside from the cost of a notebook, it’s free)

     

  • Freelancer’s Teabreak Podcast #11: Three essential freelance apps

    Freelance apps

    Last week, I did a little test on my iPhone using an app called Moment. It tells you how many minutes you spend actively using your phone, and how many times you pick it up and swipe it open.

    The results weren’t flattering. I spent almost SIX HOURS on my iPhone in one day. And 72 pick ups. A day where I was training for six hours, away from my phone. That’s almost half of my waking hours spent staring at a tiny, bright screen.

    I should be deeply, deeply ashamed of that, right?

    Um, no. Because if it wasn’t for my handheld treasure trove of apps, I’m not sure how the hell I’d manage to run my business.

    Pop the kettle on and listen to this week’s Freelance Teabreak podcast to find out exactly which three apps I couldn’t freelance without – then tell me in the comments which ones rock your freelance socks off!

    (Bonus points if you confess to what your results were using the Mention app!)