Working remotely has its perks as well as challenges. Remote workers surely get the freedom to work flexibly but it is not a laptop-on-a-beach-in-Bali kind of situation always. While in a brick and mortar office, you can tap a co-worker on the back and have an official conversation then and there, remote workers need a lot of planning from various perspectives to make things work like a well-oiled machine.
To achieve an optimal level of productivity, a freelancer has to keep the communication streamlined. A lot of things that have to be kept on a track like schedules, availability, time zones, etc., cannot be ignored.
If you are someone who is managing a team of freelancers or you are a freelancer yourself or you are someone who is planning to join the workforce of remote employees which is around 56.7 million currently in America and is expected to rise by leaps and bounds, you need to familiarize yourself with the specific set of tools with which you can make sure you and your team never miss a beat.
8 Tools Every Remote Worker and Freelancer Needs:
ProofHub is an all-in-one work management software. It is an effective collaboration solution as well. You do not need to spend on different tools for chat, collaboration, time tracking or reporting, etc. as ProofHub replaces multiple tools without being heavy on your pocket.
ProofHub can save a lot of your time by making work easier and faster for you. It has a simple interface and it helps in organizing everything from planning to final delivery of your projects in one central place.
Remote workers can easily understand their tasks, deadlines, they communicate and collaborate on tasks without falling into the email web.
Here Is How Proofhub Helps Freelancers:
- ProofHub acts as a central location to place all your tasks across different projects in one place.
- You can view your tasks in various views: Calendar view, list view, board view, Gantt view.
- You can get feedback on your files directly using ProofHub’s inbuilt proofing tool. You will not need to share files using email, just directly attach files with tasks and get clear feedback using markup and annotation tools. This way a designer can clearly understand the feedback right on the design. He can view the previous versions of files as well.
- Collaborating with other teammates is super easy as you can add comments on tasks, move tasks across different stages with a simple drag and drop and everyone is notified.
- You can keep a tap on your productivity using the timesheets in ProofHub. You can use these timesheets for the invoicing purpose and also export them to invoicing apps.
- Brainstorming sessions with other team members are easy as ProofHub lets you initiate new discussions with teammates.
- You can customize ProofHub and set control over who can view what.
While being a freelancer, you will need to constantly communicate, inform, update, collaborate, track time and stay in the loop of all the important happenings if you are working as a remote team member or even as an individual working for a client. ProofHub streamlines all these processes most simply and effectively possible. The mobile app of ProofHub is an added advantage as you can answer queries, reply to comments and provide updates even on the go. ProofHub provides a free trial for you to test drive before making a choice.
ProofHub comes with a free trial so that you can test drive before actually paying for it. The paid plan is for $89/month (limited time offer) with no per-user charges.
Zapier can automate your tasks by developing contacts between 400+ apps. Let me explain with an example- Let’s say you wrote a new blog post about the services you offer as a freelancer, and you are willing to share this blog post on other social media networks like Facebook, LinkedIn, etc.
Now, rather than doing it manually, you can automate this task using Zapier such that all your blog posts will be automatically shared on other platforms.
Automation software can unlock new opportunities for freelancers by killing manual work and making space to scale.
Here Is How Zapier Can Help Freelancers:
- You can use ‘zaps’ and automate your email alerts when gig listings appear on LinkedIn, AngelList, etc.
- You can create a zap to automate all your client information from your onboarding questionnaire form to your CRM, email marketing lists, billing system, etc.
- You can create a zap to download all the attachments you receive in email and save them to your drive.
This way you can automate hundreds of tasks which, when done manually take a lot of time and are prone to human error.
So uncrazy your email situation, save time and become more efficient with Zapier.
Communication remains a constant challenge for freelancers and they cannot imagine their day without a lot of to and fro communication happening. If you are looking for a simple chat tool to maintain effective communication with your clients and teammates, Chanty can be the right choice.
Chanty helps in creating a borderless culture among freelancers, remote teams and distant clients.
Main Features of Chanty for Freelancers:
- Chanty allows you to send unlimited messages to your team members or clients. Also, you can keep an unlimited number of messages in your chat history.
- The feature called ‘Team book’ keeps everything ( all your chats, pinned msgs, discussions, tasks, etc. organized in one window)
- You can mention team members in a comment or message thread to attract their attention immediately.
- Team managers can convert any message into a task and assign it to the concerned person in a second.
- You can set custom roles and control who can start a conversation or who can participate in a discussion.
- Notifications keep you updated with everything happening in your team, get status reports and automate tasks.
Productivity remains the major concern of all the remote workers. Since they don’t have scrutiny over them all the time, they tend to succumb to distractions more often. Toggl can be one such tool that can help them keep distractions in check.
Toggl is a time tracking tool that can help remote workers keep a proper record of how much time they spent on doing what. Apart from this, remote workers can stay focused at work with the help of Toggl.
Here Is How Toggl Helps Remote Team Members:
- It allows you to track your daily activities across different platforms.
- It is available as a web application, browser extension, desktop apps, and mobile apps.
- It does not only track time, rather it has powerful reporting capabilities.
- If you forget tracking time, toggl button and toggl desktop apps remind you to track time. In case, you forget to stop the timer, Toggl will calculate idle time and let you decide what to do with it.
- It allows you to easily switch between tasks and track time.
- The project dashboard lets you see if you are progressing as per your time estimates.
Freelancers can choose Toggl if they want to keep track of their time effortlessly.
5. Google Drive
Google Drive is a powerful platform for freelancers to organize their documents free of cost. All you need is a google account and you are good to go.
Google Drive is a cloud-based platform that acts as a secure and centralized location to keep all your files. Remote workers can save all their shared documents, slide presentations, spreadsheets, etc. in one place. You can use Google Drive to report on your weekly metrics.
Main Features of Google Drive are:
- It is cloud-based so it can synchronize with all your devices and systems and can be accessed from anywhere.
- It provides 15GB free storage.
- You can convert your docs in other formats like PDF or Word easily.
- It provides several free templates that help you make resumes, budgets, reports, proposals, etc.
- You can easily collaborate on files with clients as they can directly provide feedback in your google doc by adding comments. No need to fall in the email chaos.
Most freelancers use Google Drive as essential for streamlining their work. Try for yourself if you have not already as you don’t even need to spend a penny to use this awesome platform.
Acquire is a live chat software that can make the life of a freelancer easier by streamlining their conversations with their clients. It helps the customers and clients engage better with you.
It overcomes the limitation of being able to attend only one client call at a time which consumes all your energy and tires you enough to not attend all clients equally well.
So, with Acquire, you can talk to many clients simultaneously without compromising with quality.
Acquire is a multi-channel customer communication software.
Some of the Main Features of Acquire Are:
- Acquire has co-browsing features, text chat with screen sharing, video call, and live video chat features.
- Instant file sharing, speech recognition, live call recording are some other features of this tool.
- Full chat history and proper analytical reports on the traffic and visitors is yet another capability of this tool.
Filestage is a tool that lets freelancers have control over their feedback and review process. They can easily collaborate with stakeholders on various kinds of files like images, PDFs, websites, etc.
Main Features of Filestage Are:
- Your team members or clients can give feedback on designs, videos, audio files, documents, etc. with a simple click and comment.
- Secure links let your reviewers provide feedback without even signing up.
- The integrated documentation system lets you keep track of all the versions of a document and all the comments.
- You can customize Filestage with your logo and make it a vital platform for client interactions.
- The easy and intuitive interface of Filestage makes it easy for all kinds of clients to handle it easily.
For remote workers, showing projects to clients in person is not possible. In this situation, resorting to emails for such communications can lead to a lack of clarity and misunderstandings. So, with Filestage, clients, as well as colleagues, can mark their annotations directly on the file.
The review process is easy, efficient and documented with Filestage.
Zoom is a cloud-based service that allows users to conduct online meetings, share content and do video conferencing, webinars, live chat, etc.
Zoom’s video platform helps in humanizing the participants for freelancers who have hardly seen a picture of clients or other team members. Being able to see your clients via a video call will lead to better connections and an empathetic relationship.
Collaboration is of utmost importance for remote workers. You might already be carrying out all the important communication with clients and other team members through email or you might also have a CRM to manage some parts of your client communication, but these solutions are not good enough.
Main Features of Zoom Are:
- It makes a freelancer productive and responsive as they can communicate with clients on the go even on their mobile devices with Zoom.
- The ‘whiteboarding feature’ of Zoom supported on iPad allows freelancers to draw mockups for clients in real-time.
- It frees you from tons of text and attachments being shared via email, you can rather simply share your screen with the client via Zoom and annotate directly on what is happening and what needs to be done. You can carve out a particular point or area for the client to focus on using Zoom’s annotation tool.
- You can quickly have meetings with new clients in real-time using a simple procedure without having to wait.
- You can get freedom from the evils of note-taking while meetings as you can record your meetings for future reference and send over a copy to your client as well.
There is no dearth of technological solutions for freelancers to become more successful by streamlining their processes.
We hope that you understand after reading this article how the right technological solutions can increase the scope of your work as a freelancer.
Do tell us what are your favourite tools to organize everything related to freelancing and which of these in the above list are you already using.