One of the hardest things about being a freelancer is managing your time. Time is something you’ll have very little of as a self-employed creative. You may find you’re working on several projects at once, trying to source new work leads and doing your business admin all at the same time. You can see why this could be a recipe for disaster unless you manage your working day properly and get on top of your task list. Luckily there are several tools available to take the hassle out of time management. Here’s our rundown of the top 5:
Toggl is a really simple tool that lets you track how long you spend working on a project. It’s a virtual stopwatch that lets you organise your billable hours for different projects. Get an instant overview of which projects you’ve been spending time on. Use it as an individual, or as a team. Plus, we love their intro video of kids carrying out day-to-day office tasks (sometimes we feel like taking a hammer to our keyboards too!). Basic plans are free.
Like Toggl, Harvest also lets you track your working time and has a simple, intuitive interface. It has powerful reporting tools that help you keep your projects on time and on budget – great for planning ahead. But what’s really great about Harvest is that you can create invoices and bill the client straight from the app. It handles all your freelancer admin from one place, which is a lifesaver.
This handy Chrome browser extension limits the amount of time you can spend procrastinating on time wasting websites. We’re looking at you Facebook and Twitter. You can block websites entirely or set a daily limit for the amount of time you’re allowed to spend browsing sites. Very useful for those of us who don’t have the willpower to ignore those Facebook notifications (which, let’s face it, is most of us).
Remember the milk is a smart to-do app. You write down all the things you need to do, and the app will remind you about them. Receive reminders through Skype, GMail, Twitter or notifications. You can share lists too, which is great for creative teams.
Any.do is a task management app. It lets you organise your day by creating events, lists, tasks and notes. It syncs across all devices and offers offline access too. Manage everything, personal and business related, from one app. Share tasks between team members too – great for creative teams.