The Way We Work
November 29, 2011 by Stephanie Gonzaga

web apps for freelancersIs "improve productivity" an item on your long to-do list? Do yourself (and your to-do list) a favor and find yourself some new web applications.

From collaborating with others to tracking your time and budget, you can use apps to trim your usual workload and keep projects organized and accessible wherever you go.

There are literally thousands of apps available, but here is a great place to start: 10 useful web apps that can make life a bit easier and your to-do list shorter. (Bonus: Most of them are free!)

1. Screenr (Free)
This web app can instantly record a screencast – basically, a video of what you are doing on your computer – and generate a link for you to share with others. Screenr comes in handy if you create tutorials, troubleshoot issues that are too complicated to explain via email, or want to show off your work to a potential client.

2. Solo (From $10 per month)
Solo is a great-looking project management tool created for freelancers. Not only does it help you manage multiple projects, it also makes it very easy for you to visually track your projects, tasks and time.

3. Teuxdeux (Free)
Minimalist but attractive, Teuxdeux is a web-based task management app known for its horizontal and calendar-like interface. This lets you add tasks, strike them off, and jump from one day to another – all within one clean view.

Google docs logo4. Google Docs (Free)
Google Docs is one of the best tools available when you need to share documents or collaborate with fellow freelancers. You can easily create and edit a variety of file types like documents, spreadsheets, forms and presentations. A recent update added some helpful new features, including a more-streamlined sharing process.

5. Picnik (Free)
Need to resize an image or crop a photo? Picnik should do the trick. It is a very simple-but-useful editing tool that you can use to crop, resize and automatically enhance your images and photos. It also has an extension for Google's Chrome browser.

6. Ge.tt (Free)
With 2GB of free space and the ability to share files while uploading, Ge.tt is a file-sharing app that makes uploading and distributing files of any size pretty seamless. You can also reuse links and get statistics for your documents – keeping track of how many times your file has been downloaded, for example.

7. Wave (Free)
If numbers are not your specialty, life just got a bit easier. Wave is a free accounting application that looks after your bookkeeping so you can focus on your work. For example, it can automatically categorize your expenses, and it learns as you use the program. You can also access Wave through its Google Chrome app.

feedly app8. Feedly (Free)
Feedly is a multi-platform, cross-browser web app that syncs with Google Reader and displays your RSS feeds beautifully – it practically invites you to sit down and read through every article. Beyond its attractive interface, Feedly lets you share articles via social networks and save content to read later.

9. Simplenote (Free)
If you are looking for a note-taking application that is not too heavy on features, Simplenote is one of the best. Using your free account you can create notes on your computer or phone and organize them using tags or pins – which help keep specific notes at the top of the pile. You can also review older versions of notes and sync your account with third-party applications.

10. Freckle (From $12 per month)
Freckle is a time-tracking tool for freelancers – but it is more than that. It creates easy-to-manage projects (you do not need to set them up separately), generates invoices, and helps you track your time so you can make more accurate estimates in the future. It offers time tracking and project management rolled into one beautiful and colorful app.

There are so many web applications available, which ones are indispensable for your business? Do you use any of these, or do you have alternatives? Share your favorite apps in the comments section below.

Stephanie Gonzaga

Freelancer, Blogger, and Creative Writer

Stephanie Gonzaga is a freelancer on oDesk and blogger of The Freelance Pinoy, a freelancing blog for the Pinoy solo professional.

  • Paula Gómez

    Another great tool for collaboration and project management is Advanseez you should try it! It's useful to share ideas and take better decisions in group with your team members as well as to manage your projects and track your action plans and tasks.

  • Jane Berry

    Great list. Thank you! But I'm surprised that proofhub (www.proofhub.com) didn't make it onto this list. For me, it is the best online tool for project management. It is more than a task management and project management. It allows you to collaborate in real time with all team member, and to manage your tasks and project in a visual way. Try it. :)

  • http://planscope.io Brennan Dunn

    We're brand new, but over 900 freelancers are already using Planscope, a project management and client collaboration tool built for freelancers.

    • http://www.nimbyist.com Amy

      Hi Brennan,

      Wow - Planscope really is fresh out of the gate. Congratulations! Thank you for adding your application to the list; the integration with Freckle (also on our list) is a nice touch.

      ~ Amy

      • http://planscope.io Brennan Dunn

        Thanks Amy! Yeah, we've had a lot of great success so far. In fact, we just got the first "your product helped me land a new client even though my rates were higher than the other guys!" email. Such an awesome feeling.

        We're working on integrating with as many invoicing and time tracking tools as possible. So far: Freckle, Harvest, Toggl and Freshbooks. FreeAgent is coming next :-)

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