From productivity and organization to social media management and billing, there are 10 must-have apps for entrepreneurs and freelancers.
Before I started my business, I never really bothered with apps. I had a bunch of social media apps of course, but other than talking, I used my phone to listen to much.
These days, I use my phone and various apps to keep myself organized so that I can keep my business and blogs organized and running smoothly.
I’m still partial to pen and paper ( I love me a good agenda), but there are a few must-have apps I’ve come to depend on. From productivity and organization to social media management and billing, there are 10 must-have apps that every entrepreneur and freelancer should at least try.
Evernote is one of the very first apps that I downloaded. I wanted to find an app to help me keep track of notes, clients and information like user admin and passwords. I work with a few clients on their website and social media strategy and each of them come with their own unique admin info.
Evernote helps me keep all of that organized. I have separate notebooks for each client, with individual notes for each aspect of each project. Plus I keep notes for my blogs and my podcast including post ideas, titles, links and topics that I want to explore or plug into my editorial calendar.
You can keep unique notebooks for all of your projects and collect notes, images, and reminders within that notebook.
This is definitely a must-have app that entrepreneur, bloggers, creatives or anybody with more than one thing on the go should have. Plus it syncs from desktop to laptop to phone.
Google Calendar keeps my schedule organized. Between in-person meetings, Skype meetings, Google Hangouts, podcast interviews and social meet-ups, I was desperate to find something to help me out.
When I realized it was right in front of my face the whole time, I was relieved. As soon as I confirm a meeting, event or interview via email — I turn that email into an event and I plug it into the calendar. It’s that simple!
If you have Gmail, you have Google Calendar. Download the app on your phone and you’re good to go. Set notification reminders a month, a week, a day or an hour in advance. You’ll never miss another meeting again.
I mainly use Google Drive for keeping my files organized. Especially because I stock up on a lot of images, graphics and logos that I want to use either on our social feeds or on the blogs. For my clients, I advise them to upload and send me their creative assets either via a Google Drive link or via Dropbox.
Dropbox is another useful app to keep all your files safe, synced and easy to share. Bring your photos, docs, and videos anywhere and never lose a file again.
Social Media Management
I use Later for Instagram scheduling. Before I started using this service, it used to be a huge pain to get images from my computer to my phone to post on Instagram.
With Later, we upload images from our computers to the free account (allows for 30 uploads a month), write each post and open that image on the app when we’re ready to post. Instagram doesn’t allow third-party automation, but at we can upload and write our captions from the desktop.
We can even include hashtags to make sure we’re aligned on all our social channels. Read my previous post on using hashtags as part of your Instagram marketing strategy.
For all other social media scheduling, I use Hootsuite. The app itself is free, but Hootsuite is a paid social scheduling service that I can’t live without. You might find it useful as well especially if your business has multiple accounts on multiple social channels.
I have personal accounts on Twitter and Instagram, but See Girl Work is on Twitter, Facebook, Google Plus, Tumblr, Pinterest and LinkedIn (not to mention Snapchat). That’s a lot to manage!
I’ve tried using free scheduling services that only manage one social media channel, but having everything laid out for all of my accounts makes things much more manageable.
FreshBooks cloud accounting software is what I use to track my billable hours, client tasks and expenses. I can also create project quotes. But what I love about Freshbooks is that once I create the invoice, I never have to think about it again.
Everything becomes automated so it does all the follow ups and reminders for me. Plus with Freshbooks, I can accept Paypal, direct bank deposit and even credit cards.
With Freshbooks, I can also brand my invoices so everything looks professional. I downloaded the app on my iPhone to track expenses and working hours on the go.
Another alternative for client and team management is Timely — perfect for freelancers and collaborative teams and those looking to add a little order to the chaos in their lives.
Timely allows you to schedule and track the time you’re allocating for different tasks for yourself and each client.
LinkedIn is a great source of marketing-related updates from my community. I follow various marketing groups and news hubs, so I love getting up-to-date posts in my LinkedIn feed.
When it comes to real local news, I downloaded the CityNews Toronto app. I love living in Toronto so I find this app great for letting me know what’s going on outside of marketing. I think as business people, it’s important to have a sense of the larger world around us.