By Caroline James

Screenshot of Hightail software

Freelancers know every working minute is our bread and (hopefully) some butter.

Nobody is going to pay us just for turning up, so we aim to get maximum output from our work day input.

But our biggest profitability killer is those gloomy hours spent doing things creative freelancers don’t want to be doing (spreadsheet, anyone?) but that need to be done when running a business.

Never fear!

With these nifty apps in our mobile tool boxes, there can be loads more time to freelance our way to greater riches (and more time to spend taking our beloved products to market).

A Cloud-Based Photo Sharing App

This is an absolute must. Somewhere to save and share large images in the cloud is gold for the busy freelancer. No more mucking about with zip files and emailing compressed images.

Dropbox is a proven champ of the freelancer. Other popular options include WeTransfer and HighTail.

A Cloud-Based File Saving App

It’s every freelancer’s nightmare. You log-off your laptop and reboot only to find your operating system has corrupted. You cannot access working files. You forgot to back-up overnight.

Did we mention the deadline is, like, now.

Cue dramatic music: Google Drive to the rescue. If this granddaddy of cloud-based file storage and sharing apps isn’t your thing, Microsoft OneDrive or SugarSync for Business are ready to leap into action.

sugar sync screenshot

Want to connect with new clients, or need an extra pair of hands yourself? Explore Envato Studio

An Invoicing App

Invoicing is a necessary evil for creative freelancers. We need to do it to make coin but can struggle with this time-draining brain-sapper.

A smart, intuitive and easy-to-use app, like Invoice2Go, is invaluable. Others options include Easy Books, Zoho Invoice and Xero’s Mobile Accounting app, which lets you run your business while you run from appointment to appointment.

And, (every accountant’s dream), all have free versions to further boost your bottom line.

Xero accounting software screenshot

A Budgeting App

Do you know how much you spend each week in an effort to make money? If you don’t, find an app to help with freelance money matters.

Boomeringo is a new free app designed to help micro-businesses with personal finance management and budgeting.

Freelancers can track spending and cash flow by allow the app to connect to their bank, credit card or loan accounts to securely download and classify all transactions. It can flag upcoming bill payments and issue nearing-budget alerts.

iReconcile is another freelancer budget app. It’s customizable and automatically updates balances after transactions.

Boomeringo invoicing app


A Productivity Tracking App

Your freelance office – be it kitchen table, desk in co-share office, home set-up or beach – must be a highly productive space to sustain and grow a business.

Knowing where time is wasted helps keep jobs on track. So it’s wise to make friends with a productivity watchdog.

One of note is Todoist, which creates job lists and allows you to colour code and manage tasks.

Screenshot of ToDoist


Rescue Time is another popular option. It motivates by telling you where you are spending time and kindly generates weekly reports and flags if you’ve reached goals.

Read more:

  • 10 Pro-Tips to Boost Your Confidence as a Freelancer
  • Checklist of Skills & Tools Every Designer Should Learn
  • How to Estimate Costs for Your Client

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