8 must-use tools for an easy freelance life
It’s no secret that we love Transferwise. When we read the article Lucy wrote on their blog, we thought that we just had to ask permission to share it with you. If you have international clients,…
10 Minute Read
Updated: 21 Jun 2013 Created: 21 Jun 2013
It’s no secret that we love Transferwise. When we read the article Lucy wrote on their blog, we thought that we just had to ask permission to share it with you. If you have international clients, do check their new feature GetPaid (also, it’s tax deductible 😉 ) .
8 ways to an easy freelance life
By Lucy Culpepper, TransferWise customer & international freelancer.
I’m a fairly typical freelance editor & writer with a couple of bread-and butter clients and several others who come and go. Over the past two years I’ve gone from spinning one plate to spinning lots of them. Some of those plates get a bit wobbly at times but most keep spinning nicely… round and around.
I learnt pretty quickly that to keep those “plates” spinning I need to be as efficient with my admin time as possible. That means using apps and online services to take care of all the tedious faff that I don’t like doing… like project timing, creating invoices, paying tax and even asking for payments.
Here are eight of the best, if not very best, online tools to help you spin all your freelance plates at the same time…and avoid the wobbles.
Project Management & Organisation
Don’t be a disorganised wreck… Get organised with Trello.
This collaborative tool organises my projects and ideas on boards. Each board has multiple lists of things to do. The lists have cards which act like tasks that can be moved from list to list as the project progresses…really helpful for online magazine editing.
Don’t do paper time tracking & figure out an invoice some time later… Use Harvest.
Harvest is a time tracker and invoice maker. Simply set up a client’s name and contact information, add payment info and then click on the timer. When you’re done, and ready to invoice, the system transfers the hours ‘clocked’ to invoicing…easy peasy.
Doing your Finances
Don’t get paid via PayPal… Use TransferWise, and avoid the horrendous fees.
Set up a TransferWise GetPaid link, place it in your invoice and hey presto all your client has to do is click on the link, pay in their currency, then TransferWise converts and pays you in your currency… you and your client will save as much as 6% in fees compared to a bank transfer or PayPal.
Don’t get in a twist about filing taxes… Use SimpleTax.
Easy-to-understand and fully HMRC-compliant online self-assessment tax tool. Gone are my monthly accountant’s fees and gone is the sinking feeling when HMRC’s envelope hits the doormat.
Finding new clients
Don’t “not work”… Sign-up for PeoplePerHour.com
PeoplePerHour is one of largest and fastest-growing freelancer marketplaces. The site is my current favourite for finding new clients – I can really easily promote myself to thousands of companies, and offer my services in the form of Hourlies, which are small, fast fixed price projects. And better still, there are thousands of other companies posting projects each week in the hunt for freelancers, so the work is there for the taking.
Work in the cloud
Don’t write, “I have attached the document”… Switch to Dropbox.
Cloud-based filesharing has become the norm in many circles. My pick is Dropbox, one of the, if not the, fastest tools for syncing files… And its interface is so beautifully clear and free of waffle.
Don’t get stuck if your client won’t use Skype… Try out Rebtel.
Some clients like to be called the old way. Simple as that. When you call using Rebtel, you call a number that’s local to you and then Rebtel connects to your chosen international number. Sign up is very simple and rates are competitive.
Don’t print, sign, scan and return documents… Go paperless with Hello Sign.
Legally binding digital signatures, recognised by US and EU courts. Enough said.
Lucy Culpepper is a freelance editor, news blogger, B2B writer and travel writer. She works with clients in the UK, USA, Panama and Europe.
Access SimpleTax and discover a new free way of filing your return (HMRC approved). Know what expenses will help you lower your tax bill and keep all your records online, safe & sound. Ready to file with one click! Free means free. No hidden costs.
Trusted by over 10,000 subscribers
You don't need to be an expert to complete your self assessment tax return.
Managing your finances has never been so easy.
Start you self assessment tax return today for free.Get Started
A Guide To Being A Self-Employed Hairdresser
16 Jun 2020
How To Succeed (Financially) As A Personal Trainer
08 Jun 2020
Get Your Finances In Order: Essential Lessons From A Personal Trainer
28 May 2020
How GoSimpleTax Works
Simply register for free with your full name and email address.
Select Your Income
Select the income you receive and follow the hints and tips for potential tax savings.
Validate Your Information
Validate your personal information and submit directly to HMRC to get confirmation in just seconds.
Work Anywhere, With Any Device
Gone are the days of fretting over a calculator surrounded by scraps of paper at the eleventh hour.
GoSimpleTax’s tax return software uses the information you upload in real time to calculate your income and expenditure, working out the tax you owe and sending you helpful notifications when there’s the possibility of a mistake.
"The software is intuitive and proved very easy to navigate. I found the whole process refreshingly simple. I saved a lot of money too!"
"Easy to use and value for money. Everything you need to do your tax."
"It fills in all the forms and sends them to the Inland Revenue. Not expensive either. Takes the stress out of doing your tax return online."