Being your own boss brings many benefits, but sometimes the sheer number of things you need to do can feel overwhelming. Keeping track of time, paying tax and continuously communicating with clients are amongst the tasks you’ll likely have never considered before.
There’s a range of apps available to reduce the time spent on operating your business, however. We’ve put together five of the best ones.
Google Drive for collaboration
Constantly emailing clients with amended documents makes it difficult to work together, as well as keep track of which file is the most recent version. Google Drive allows you to work in real time with clients, and there’ll be no time wasted trawling through emails for documents.
Rather than keeping client folders on your desktop, create a shared folder where you can both drop any files. You’ll be able to access everything you need on the go – you can even track your time using Google Sheets so they can see where you’re up to.
Evernote for collecting
Evernote acts as your ‘second brain’ – here you keep everything you’ll need to know for later. This is particularly good if much of your work is online. With the web clipper, you can snap sections or pages of websites and annotate them, and the app allows you to store links, handwritten notes, attachments and audio recordings.
There are shortcuts available too, so you can return to your most frequently visited searches, notes and tags. Whatever you can’t memorise now can be easily stored in Evernote to come back to in the future.
Harvest for timesheets
With this app, you can start and stop timers for your tasks, meaning you won’t have to wonder how much time you clocked later. Or if you don’t have access to your smartphone whilst working, you can enter all your hours together into a Harvest timesheet.
You can also automatically turn timesheets into invoices. The app enables you to quickly email them over, and is integrated with Stripe and PayPal so clients can pay in a timely manner. And if a client hasn’t paid yet, it sends them reminders, minimising the time you’ll need to spend on chasing them up.
QualityTime for reducing procrastination
On a similar note, QualityTime tracks time too – but how you’re wasting it. It’ll tell you the apps that are consuming the most time and, if you think you’re using certain ones too much, you can set usage limits on it.
There’s even a ‘take a break’ feature to minimise distractions. You can customise it so that you’re only permitted to use certain apps or answer incoming calls from specific people whilst the feature is on. And once the break is over, any blocked notifications will come through, so you won’t have missed anything.
GoSimpleTax for Self Assessments made easy
The GoSimpleTax app enables you to keep on top of your Self Assessment throughout the year – scan in expenses and enter data, and it’ll automatically adjust the tax owed. It even offers tax-saving suggestions so you can minimise your tax liability.
It’ll get you into the habit of doing your taxes in real time, which is especially important with . And when your tax return is complete, you can submit it directly to HMRC through the app. You can also submit various other forms, including Property (SA105) and Self-Employment (SA103).