The Finest Tools & Apps for Freelancers (May 2014 Edition)
Since I’ve been freelancing full-time (a little over a month now), I’ve had to develop a number of different ways for handling all the stuff I never really cared much about while working a full-time gig. I started a few twitter accounts, woke up the Facebook pages and updated my LinkedIn. But it’s an absolute pain to manage all of that (despite it’s supposed importance), so I’ve automated at least a bit of it. Job searching was something I spent too much time doing on my off days. I’m in a very small freelancing market and if a job comes up, you need to respond in detail within the hour. I had to find a better way, with the help of IFTTT, all of my alerts are now automated. There’s plenty of other things I now hand off and let automated services take care of, here are just a few along with a couple other helpful apps.
Credit for featured image goes to Rachel.
If you’re not already using this service, you need to get on board immediately. Here’s an article that will get you up to speed. It covers everything from automated notifications for job sites to posting one status update to multiple social networks simultaneously, and it’s free.
Feedity is a webpage to RSS generator. It’s a handy way of tracking any changes to a website, and can do everything from updated comment threads to new job postings.
This is hands down the best email app I’ve ever used, and using it has allowed me to get to inbox zero for the first time ever. They also have a beta version coming soon for OSX.
A Gmail extension that allows you to schedule email to go out at a certain time. It also allows you to “boomerang” an email back to your inbox if you haven’t received a reply to it within a designated period of time. Integral for maintaining inbox zero until the Mailbox for OSX beta drops.
I have a few other sites that I neglect a bit more, as well as a company site. Every once in a while I will drop 5 dollars to get a killer SEO report (seriously, it’s well worth the money), or any other diagnostic report on my website. It’s easier than doing it myself, and more thorough. There’s a few other things that will help automate your website maintenance as well.
I can’t personally recommend this, it’s too much information for me and I’m not enough of a social media maven to really see the benefit. Despite my social media shortcomings, plenty of successful people use it to manage their vast swath of social networks simultaneously. It is pretty easy to set up, so it might be worth a shot even if you’re just curious.
If you don’t have a portfolio site, or a business website (preferably with your name or business name in the URL, check if it’s available here) then you should get started now. If you do have one, you can get some free critique from other people having their site looked at. It works on a free credit system, although there is a paid version. In exchange for reviewing someones site, your site gets reviewed. Every review is glanced over by a moderator, and I haven’t received any trolling responses yet.