A lot of freelancers I know, myself included, have a reputation for being surgically attached to their smartphones. The beauty and curse of being freelance is that you’re never far from a couple of taps from work. I’m not entirely sure how I’d even manage my business without my trusty iPhone, and the bundle of apps on it.
When it comes to apps, I have a LOT on my phone. There are a few in particular that are great for maintaining a great freelance lifestyle.
In no particular order…
Pomodoro – Struggling to concentrate? Pomodoro is an app based on the popular Pomodoro productivity method. Set the timer for 20 minutes, then focus entirely on the task in hand. In fact, I’m using it right now to write this!
Mailbox – The latest mail app on the block, this is an amazing app if you use Gmail. With a couple of swipes, you can delete, archive, file or schedule a reminder for later. A vital tool for hitting Inbox Zero.
Bloglovin’ – Now Feedburner has announced its closure, a lot of people have jumped over to BlogLovin’. I’m still mainly using Flipboard, but I really like Bloglovin’ for finding new and interesting blogs.
Podcasts – I listen to a lot of podcasts while I work, and Podcasts is my go-to app for subscribing and listening to them. They’ve recently added a function to create playlists of subscriptions – so I can have my meditation podcasts in one list, comedy in another and lifestyle ones in another.
Dropbox – I really couldn’t function without cloud-storage app Dropbox. It desperately needs tidying up though…
Hootsuite – For tweeting on the go, Hootsuite is a must-have. I look after several different accounts at one time, so Hootsuite is brilliant for this. Plus the scheduling comes in handy.
Wunderlist – I make dozens of To Do lists, which is why I love Wunderlist. Freelancers tend to spin several plates at once, so Wunderlist is great for keeping track of several projects and what needs to be done.
PeoplePerHour – The People Per Hour app works with the site to enable you to bid on jobs or tasks on the site. I often use this to browse late at night, so I can bid before others.
Journey Pro – Freelancing and travelling goes hand in hand. While I prefer to stick close to home, when I do need to go out I like to use Journey Pro, to plan my journey from start to finish. Particularly handy in London, where I always get lost.
GridDiary – This simple, but rather gorgeous-looking, app asks you a few questions at the end of each day. Questions cover who you’ve met, what you’ve achieved, what you’ve done for family and how you felt the day went. It’s basically a mini journal. When life passes so quickly, it’s handy to have an app that lets you take note of the little, important things.
Flipboard – Ah, the app iPads were made for. This is usually one of the first apps I open in the morning, to catch up on my social networks, RSS feeds, Instagram and YouTube. It turns all of these into a magazine style format, so you can flip through it while having your breakfast. You can also now create your own Flipboard magazines of content that others can subscribe to.
PayPal – Some of my clients prefer to use PayPal to pay me, so I often use the app to transfer into my bank account (or leave it there for my next eBay spending mission)
SatNav2/Skobbler – I’ve tried many sat navs on the iPhone and iPad. Google and Apple’s map apps have both failed me since the latest update, but SatNav 2 is consistently brilliant. I also really like Waze, which is user-driven – like a sat nav social network.
Spotify – Every freelancer needs a soundtrack to their day. Spotify lets me stream music quickly and easily – but it’s the collaborative element I love. I have a couple of shared playlists with other freelancers, filled with music to cheer us up, get us knuckling down or chilling out on a Friday afternoon.
Mailchimp – When it comes to newsletter tools, Mailchimp is an easy favourite. While the Mailchimp app doesn’t let me create newsletters (yet…?), I can view reports for opening rates, click rates etc.
Audible – Regular readers will know I’m a huge fan of the audiobook marketplace Audible. Until recently, the app has been a little disappointing, but a recent update has made it easier to listen to audiobooks and track how long you’ve spent listening to them. My only complaint is that you still can’t browse and download audiobooks from the app.
IM+ Pro – Skype and Google Chat are my versions of the office water cooler. I don’t tend to use Skype that often for video, but it’s great for text chat – plus it’s easy to look back on previous conversations.
Lift – An app to help create and stick to habits, whether it be hitting Inbox Zero by the end of the night or necking a green smoothie in the morning.
Calm.com – I’ve got a bunch of meditation podcasts and app on my iPhone, but Calm.com is my current favourite. It’s super simple – choose a background scene and sound, then relax as the app talks you through a meditation session. It’s great if, like me, you’re not really into the spiritual “ommmmmmm” side of things.
Happier – Well, this is a little slice of joy. In my ongoing quest to be more mindful and appreciative, I was recommended this app for sharing daily happy moments. It challenges you to share three happy things each day, with an optional photo. It’s social (what isn’t these days?), so you can view and like other people’s happy moments too. Sometimes, us freelancers are a modest bunch, so it’s nice to have a place to share what things have made us happy.
What apps do you use all the time for freelancing?