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Tools of the Trade: 5 Valuable Resources Every Freelancer Should Know About



Whether you’re working out of a home office in Northern Montana or the best coworking space in South Melbourne, your success as a freelancer depends on more than raw talent. Being an accomplished writer, designer, or programmer will certainly help you land clients. But, if you fail to manage projects effectively or upskill when necessary, those clients aren’t going to stick around for long.  

Luckily, plenty of resources are available to help you succeed. Below are five of our favorites:

1. Time management resources

Managing your time ensures you get projects done by deadline, which is key to freelance success. Furthermore, knowing how long it takes you to finish tasks helps you give clients accurate quotes for their projects. Plus, if you deliver the same standard of work in less time, then you’ve given yourself a pay raise! 

Toggl, RescueTime, and other tools can easily track your billable hours. Alongside that, a Pomodoro-based app such as Focus Booster can help you boost productivity by blocking out distractions. Increased focus will improve your speed, which in turn raises your salary. 

2. Accounting resources

Alongside managing time, freelancing also requires you to manage finances. It may not be fun, but it’s absolutely necessary. Keeping track of your invoices and setting aside funds for taxes helps you plan better for the future.  

Although it’s certainly possible to leave taxes to the professionals, software like FreshBooks and QuickBooks make it easy for most people. Alongside tracking invoices and receipts for taxes, you can also use budgeting software to keep on top of personal and business expenses. 

3. Project management resources

In the world of freelancing, you get to be your own boss. Although exciting, this also means you need to manage your projects efficiently—no one else is going to do it. 

Luckily, plenty of project management tools exist to help you keep track of notes, deadlines, updates, client communication, and key pieces of information. Trello, for example, makes it easy to organize notes into cards, boards, and lists that allow you to see the project in full. Furthermore, it allows you to tag others to make collaboration a breeze. Airtable, Asana, and others provide similar capabilities. 

4. Job Resources

Freelancing, as the name suggests, allows for a lot of freedom—freedom to work wherever you want, whenever you want, and for whomever you want. Although great, there’s a cost to that freedom: stability. Clients come and go.  

That’s why it’s crucial to be able to find new clients when necessary. The simplest way is through job boards. Upwork is one of the most popular. Alongside that, however, there are dozens of job boards ranging from ProBlogger to Working Nomads, FlexJobs to MediaBistro. Some specialize in certain skills, such as web development or design, so it’s important to target the resources that are right for you. 

5. Online training resources

The world of freelancing is constantly changing. ChatGPT and other AI tools only took over last year, yet they are changing everything from SEO to content writing, design work, and advertising. 

As a freelancer who wants to stay relevant, rise above the crowds, and secure higher rates, you need to engage in ongoing education. The traditional college route is one way, but there are also plenty of online options for upskilling. Sites such as Udemy, Coursera, Skillshare, and YouTube are full of courses that can teach you what you need to know.  

The freelancing life is exciting, but it requires you to balance many different responsibilities. Keep the above five resources in mind to build a career that gives you freedom and a steady income.

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