October 22, 2014

The 12 Days of Freelancing

The holidays are upon us, so I have a blog tradition of rounding up posts from across the blogosphere ala The 12 Days of Christmas. Here’s a look at some memorable posts about writing and freelancing from the past year. Happy Holidays!

santa and computerOne Simple Trick for Effective Self-Editing - Freelancedom

Legal Danger for Bloggers: Two Misconceptions, Three Resources, One Suggestion - ASJA’s The Word

Three Books Every Copywriter Must Read -Filthy Rich Writer

Four Ways to Find Your Business Voice - Words on a Page

Five Freelancing Lessons I Learned the Hard Way: Avoid These Career-Killers - Make a Living Writing

Six Ways Bloggers Can Earn More from Their Writing – The Renegade Writer

Seven Knows for Getting Started in Freelancing – Freelancers’ Union

Eight Ways to Master Cold Calls–or at Least Fear Them Less – Dollars and Deadlines

Nine Freelancing Tips for Handling Illness – Freelance Folder

Ten Ways to Use a Writer’s Conference to Market Your Work – WordCount: Freelancing in the Digital Age

Eleven Rookie Mistakes You Need to Stop Making NOW - Mridu Khullar Relph

Twelve Important Questions to Ask as a Freelance Subcontractor – FreelanceSwitch

Image courtesy of imagerymajestic / FreeDigitalPhotos.net

5 Time-Saving Tools for Freelancers

By Gwen Stewart

Time management is a critical tool for freelancers juggling multiple deadlines and assignments. There are a number of online tools designed to help entrepreneurs and creative professionals work more efficiently. Read on for a description of five popular time-saving tools used by freelancers.

  1. FreshBooks: Freelancers spend a lot of time of preparing invoices and handling billing. To streamline the process and handle these tasks more efficiently, consider FreshBooks. This useful app enables you to create professional invoices quickly and easily, bill clients and provide several payment options, and also generate comprehensive billing reports. FreshBooks comes complete with several invoice design options to choose from, making it a great application for small business of all types. You can also import data from several other programs and integrate with other billing systems.
  2. Google Calendar: Entrepreneurs looking for calendar and scheduling applications have a large bounty to choose from, but Google Calendar certainly seems to be one of the most well-liked and oft-used app. The program is easy to use and lets you quickly create multiple calendars to suit your needs for scheduling different projects and keeping track of task progress or events. It can also be linked with public calendars so that you can keep track of client’s progress on projects as well.
  3. PayPal: PayPal is an online payment site that allows individuals and business to accept payments from nearly anywhere in the world. The ease with which you can receive payments and transfer funds to and from your bank helps you save time. PayPal also enables you to create shopping cart buttons, print shipping information, purchase postage, and more. You can request funds, generate and send invoices, and take advantage of several merchant services. [Ed. note: PayPal also has a feature on its smartphone app that allows you to scan checks instead of depositing them at an ATM. However, I discovered that using my bank's smartphone app was quicker than waiting for the money to clear my PayPal account, then transferring it to my bank account. Either way, remote check deposit saves me a trip to the bank!]
  4. Zoho: Virtually everyone is familiar with the Microsoft Office Suite, but now you can go far beyond speadsheets, content creation and presentation tools with Zoho, a web-based suite of tools that includes both office and productivity tools designed especially for small businesses and entrepreneurs. The web-based applications enable you to access tools and documents at any time from any location so you can update an article or resend an invoice even while on the go.
  5. RescueTime: This web-based time management and analytics tool helps you understand how and where you spend your time and attention online. To begin, you tell RescueTime what you consider to be “productive time” online and what you do not. RescueTime simply pays attention to which tab or window you’re currently using and records the time spent. When you’re ready to take the next step, you can ask RescueTime to block certain websites should you find yourself in a more distracted state.

Gwen Stewart is a business development professional and writer for Outbounding.com. Her line of work requires she have a reliable way to send files as well as a solid strategy for meeting tight deadlines. Any spare time she can scrape together finds her hiking, reading, and enjoying the company of great friends.

Image courtesy of Stuart Miles / FreeDigitalPhotos.net