Three must-dos for freelancers who divvy, track and print

Freelancing is a world of pros and cons, but many of those cons can be mitigated with the correct tools.

While many freelancers choose to run their business solely from their laptop, there is a variety of additional tools and services that can reduce daily burdens and drastically increase productivity.

And there are even some tools which are just so essential that every freelancer should have them in their work arsenal!

Let’s take a look at both categories – ‘the essential’ and ‘the essential to be efficient,’ so freelancers can use them to turn their one-person outfit into a digital, mobile powerhouse.

Panic printing is so passé

While a large portion of invoicing and other physical paperwork has gone digital, having a printer is still an essential piece of kit for any freelancer.

As a self-employed person, the humble but irreplaceable printer gives you full autonomy when needing to hand out, give in or present documents physically, in person, in the real world. Having a reliable, working printer also means you'll never have to run to a print shop in a panic. Known to be increasingly expensive, these print shops do have their place, yet they can cost freelancers significantly, both in terms of time and money.

What's potentially even more important if you’re a freelancer is that most printers come with a variety of other useful office features, such as a scanner and a copier. In the past, finding suitable and affordable ink cartridges and toner replacements wasn’t so easy. But due in part to the internet maturing with powerful search capabilities, you can now quickly find both ink cartridges and toner replacements online, hassle-free and tailored to your model of printer, all at a reasonable cost.

It counts so you don’t have to

One of the things that too many new freelancers don't take into account when they begin to do their own work is that they have to shoulder all of the administrative work that would otherwise be taken care of by their old employer. The most important ally in this battle is accounting software. You're going to ideally need a platform that creates invoices for you, tracks your work time and can seamlessly divvy up your taxes so that when it's time to file your self-assessment return, you have everything in order already! A good starting point if you’re a freelancer that likes the sound of being efficient in this way is Expensify, although there is a lot of different accounting software out there, so do look around to decide what will work best for you.

No more missed minutes

Time is money -- it's an old adage, but one that still rings true in this modern self-employed world of ours! And when you're a freelancer, your hours or days are your most precious asset. It's for that reason that a time-tracker is one of the most vital tools for any freelancer. Not only will it help you portion out different tasks so you can approach them as neatly and as organised as possible, but in doing so, it will also minimise distractions while helping ensure you never overcharge or undercharge again. Good for clients and good for you too! Check out this pretty comprehensive Time-Tracker list for some of the best and most up-to-date apps dedicated to you never losing billable hours again.

Final thought

So there we have it. Apps, platforms and smart search software – three must-haves or must-uses if you’re a self-employed freelancer and care about efficiency, accuracy and resourcefulness. This trio really put paid to the idea that tools are only relevant to the likes of manufacturing, construction and other non-creative industry freelancers. With this three-fold toolset, why not see just how much your business could benefit?

 

3rd December 2018

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