5 Apps Aspiring Creative Solopreneurs and Freelancers Need Now
If you have a smartphone, maximize it
PHOTO CREDIT: Getty Images
You’ve just ventured into the wonderful, yet sometimes harrowing, world of freelancing and solopreneurship. While it’s more flexible than the 9-to-5 you might have left, it’s not all rainbows and sunshine. From having a hard time finding any clients to handling late paying ones, as the millennials say, there is an app for that.
If you haven’t already, here are five apps to download to add to your arsenal:
1. VLC (free)
“You’ll never know when a person will randomly ask to watch your demo reel. I like to keep a copy of my most updated demo reel in my VLC app in case small talk turns into a potential client meeting. No Wi-Fi needed, and it’s more effective than just a business card,” says Drama Del Rosario, documentary filmmaker and YouTube host.
It’s always best to keep a copy of your portfolio handy. For writers and graphic designers, that could mean downloading the Google Drive app with all your samples or for musicians having your songs readily available on your phone’s native music app.
2. Voice Record (free)
Singer-songwriter Frankie Torres uses the free voice recording app on her iPhone to record song ideas. Even if you’re not a musician, the voice recorder can also double as a second audio recording device, particularly useful if you plan to produce vlogs. While native recording apps will work fine, they don’t offer other functionalities.
Says Yoram Solomon in this Inc. article, “The voice memo app that comes with the phone is limited in time and functionality. This free app allows you to control your recording and even see the input signal level as you record”
3. Upwork (free)
This is a popular online freelance marketplace, similar to Freelancer, where freelancers can pitch for various jobs, from web and mobile development to SEO. Freelance writer Hillary Joven says she uses the app to converse with her clients, submit work, and it’s also where she gets paid.
Make sure to deliver work on time to prevent yourself from getting overwhelmed, and overworked, since clients can contact you so easily. In Joven’s experience, because she maintains a good track record, she says her clients don’t need to check in very frequently and at odd times.
4. Google Calendar (free)
Client deadlines are probably the most important thing any freelancer needs to keep track of. Mary Cruz, a freelance graphic designer and full-time teacher, says she uses Google Calendar to schedule her freelance gigs and production days. “What I like about it most is that if you’re working with someone, whatever you edit there, she or he will see and be able to edit too! Very good for partner businesses,” she says.
5. Money Lover (free with paid features)
Money Lover is an app that allows users to track and categorize their finances.
Del Rosario uses the app to keep track of client payments. He says, “One of the worst parts of being a freelancer is that it can take forever to get paid. Money Lover has a super customizable feature for debt and debt collection that helps me keep track of clients who have yet to pay me.”
While these digital tools are only part of the equation, they can definitely help in managing your one-man team so you can focus on what you do best—your chosen craft.