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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.

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automate freelance job search

Using IFTTT to Automate Your Job Search & Everything Else

I have been smitten with the online service IFTTT (which stands for IF This Then That)for about a year now, and now that I’m freelancing full-time, it makes life far easier. I have everything from my job search to my coffee being controlled through this service. And I could even make my job search cue the making of a pot of coffee. You don’t need to know a single line of code, something I wished I had known before I devoured a few weeks worth of CodeAcademy, and it can make everything you do online easier. Sold yet? It’s also free, responsive, and has iOS apps. Read about a few ways I use the service on a daily basis to automate the job search after the jump.

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freelance education

Informal Education vs Traditional Education for Creatives

Credit for featured image goes to  Zach Roszczewski

(Disclaimer: I did two years of schooling in a design related field, before I quit the formal education route and ventured out on my own. Hopefully this is a fair representation of both sides.)

There’s no actual way of knowing for sure whether a formal education is the right path of education for you to pursue. If you do better under constant coaching, enjoy being guided into doing certain projects, and have the money, a formal education might be one to look into. You will learn different aspects of your craft then you would have on your own. You will have a built-in network upon graduation, people to fall back on, and the benefits that being an alumni gives (one person I work with from time to time has a verifiable farm of interns working for him because he maintains an active relationship with the school he graduated from). You will quite possibly also be saddled with student loans for a degree that may get you laughed out of other collegiate circles. The flip side of not pursuing formal education, is what I’m going to go into after the jump.

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