Entering the freelance world takes gusto, discipline, and a clear vision. However, with your entire business leaning on one person, you should always supplement your strong spirit with some effective tools.
Read on for our must-have tools for freelancers ready to take their industry by storm.
#1: A Comfortable Office Environment
This first item is actually a collection of tools that form an ideal work environment during this time of instability and unease. To take advantage of the rest of the gadgets and software at your disposal, you’ll want to focus on the basics first: the office itself.
When putting together your work environment, don’t neglect these must-have components:
- The Perfect Chair – Most freelance work requires several hours of sitting and typing, no matter your job. All those sedentary work hours mean your back will be begging you for a break by the end of your first week. If you want to preserve those hard-working vertebrae and stay motivated to work for hours on end, invest in a top-of-the-line office chair with the lumbar support—and style—to boot.
- The Right Lighting – Instagram stars aren’t the only ones who thrive in good lighting. Freelancers working from home (or in a rented space) also need to mind how they get those sweet rays of Vitamin D. Make sure you’re in a space with enough natural light to keep you awake, productive, and in a good mood to work. Just avoid sitting in direct sunlight so you can actually see your computer monitor.
- The Desk of Your Dreams – A desk is so much more than a surface for doing work. It’s an incubator for your best ideas (second only to your shower), a beacon for focus, and a posture-promoting tool. The only way to guarantee these benefits, however, is by investing in a good one. We recommend a top-notch standing desk to encourage better posture and circulation, or even a treadmill desk if you’re too busy for the gym.
#2: Software That Has Your Back
The digital world can be as mysterious as it is beneficial. With all the documents, messages, and processes floating in the digital realm, it can be exceedingly easy for freelancers to get lost in the fold.
If you want to effectively manage all the technical, managerial, and creative aspects of your freelance business, first check out these stellar software programs to keep you grounded while in cyberspace:
- Trello – Task management has never been easier with the help of Trello’s integrated to-do lists, idea boards, and organizational features.
- Coconut – Where bookkeeping software meets tax-return-tool, this app has everything you need to automate the financial side of your creative business.
- Bonsai – This app offers an all-in-one management software that integrates billing, expenses, time tracking, tasks, projects, and more.
- Dropbox – Freelance work, especially in the digital world, requires immense amounts of storage and accessibility. Dropbox helps you save all your files in one place and access them no matter where you are.
#3: A Killer Computer Setup
As a freelancer, you’ll have to rely on your computer setup almost as much as you rely on yourself. To fully realize your enormous potential, you’ll need the right technology on your side.
Don’t skimp out on the tools that make your virtual world go round. These include:
- Ergonomic Mouse and Keyboard – Even if you’re fresh out of college, typing and scrolling with poorly designed tech can severely hamper your productivity, comfort, and joint health. Mitigate the effects of all that work time by investing in an ergonomic mouse and keyboard set—your hands will thank you.
- Processing Power – Don’t let your motivation go to waste with a slow computer. Arm yourself with a top-notch computer tower for lightning-speed processing and a ton of memory.
- More Screen Space – Just like frozen yogurt, once you experience a second monitor, you won’t remember a time without it.
#4: A Virtual Assistant
Even though you’re in charge of every facet of your business, you don’t have to go at it alone. With the help of a virtual assistant through companies like Magic, Zirtual, and Delegated, you’ll be able to rid your day of the tedium of management and instead focus on what you do best.
Remote assistants are ideal for busy freelancers and entrepreneurs who need help scaling their business, managing their assets, and retaining customers.
When you simply can’t chew any more than you’ve already bitten, virtual assistants will be there to take a stab at all that work.
The Most Important Tool of All
Investing in effective tools and high-tech gadgets is always worth the extra time, energy, and headspace you can then apply to your true passions. However, remember that the most valuable tool of all has been inside you this entire time: confidence. Whether you’re just kicking off your business, or are decades into your endeavor, never lose sight of the light and fire that guides you.
You can do this.
Now, get workin’!