Freelancers know how precious their time is. They often have to juggle multiple projects and deadlines at the same time while keeping an eye on their work-life balance. In fact, one of the biggest challenges for freelancers is not being able to manage one’s time properly. This is why we need to rely on tools to make life a little easier. Luckily, there are a ton of totally affordable apps out there for us to make use of. These great apps streamline everything from managing your workload, to building your schedule, to even helping you write effective proposals. With the right set of tools, you can overcome some of the most common challenges faced by freelancers and increase your chances of freelancing success! Check out our favorite productivity apps below:

1. Trello – The Project Management Tool for Visualizers

One of the biggest challenges for freelancers is time-management. Trello helps you stay on top of your projects.

Managing multiple projects is one of the biggest challenges for freelancers. We would recommend giving Trello a try as you monitor and track your progress on these projects. The app’s visual layout and intuitive focus on “cards” make it one of the most popular project-management apps out there. Trello is meant to mimic something like a virtual sticky note board, where you place “cards” and remove them as each task is completed. You can have a variety of boards that represent different stages of a project’s completion, and easily drag cards from board to board as the project progresses. This is an excellent option for those who are more receptive to a visual schedule, rather than one that’s more task oriented. In addition to using Trello as a project dashboard to monitor your progress, you can also use Trello to set goals or create editorial calendars.

2. Asana – The Collaborative Project Management Tool

Compared to Trello, Asana offers more view options.

Asana is another project-management platform that is flexible and easy to use. This tool is incredible for keeping your work organized, especially when you are working on a collaborative project. By using Asana, you can connect with your client or team members on each specific project. Under each task you can assign an assignee, set deadlines, share relevant files, direct questions or comments to specific individuals, set reminders, and even create to-do lists. Unlike Trello, Asana also has multiple viewing options. Not only can you use a ‘virtual sticky note board’ view but you can also opt for either a board view, a calendar view, or a timeline view. Another perk that makes Asana one of the best productivity apps for freelancers – it’s completely free (unless your project has a team of more than 15 people, in which case there is a small monthly fee). 

3. Notion – The All In One Workspace

One of the biggest challenges for freelancers is time-management. Notion helps you keep track of all your different tasks, schedules, and projects.

If Trello and Evernote had a child, that would be Notion. Notion is a minimalist all-in-one workspace that allows you to do everything from taking notes to maintaining spreadsheets. With Notion, you can import Trello boards, create other boards in the same format, type entire pages of text, embed Google documents, create tables etc. The list goes on. You can also share your workspace with your team. While Notion has a free version, it only comes with a 1,000 block storage space. With a small monthly fee, however, you’ll be able to take advantage of their unlimited block storage programs. If you like the idea of having everything to do with a project in one place, it doesn’t get more comprehensive than this.

4. Evernote – The Seamless Note-Taking Platform

Evernote offers the most effective solution for creative professionals and business owners

The queen of note-taking apps, Evernote offers the most effective solution for creative professionals and business owners. Its features, while reliable and robust, are intuitive and flexible enough to suit most people’s needs. The best part of Evernote is its synchronicity. You can start a note on your phone when you’re outside and then access it on your laptop later. You can even write something down offline and then have it sync up later. In addition, Evernote also has a ton of great add-on features, such as Web Clipper, which allow you to save web pages as notes for later reading. This is fantastic for research, as you’re able to “clip” specific pages or articles to different project notebooks, allowing you to effectively keep all notes and research materials in one convenient location.

5. Qwilr – The Professional Proposal Crafter

Use Qwilr to save time and win more work and thus overcome of the biggest challenges for freelancers.

The perfect tool to help you overcome one of the biggest challenges for freelancers — crafting a winning proposal. Everyone knows that the key to growing your freelance business is winning more pitches and thus more work. Qwilr gets you closer by helping you create beautiful and intuitive proposals. Professionally designed templates allow you to easily craft proposals that clients will love, providing a great talking point and giving you more confidence during your pitch. Another reason we love Qwilr: the app lets you track and analyze how your sales and marketing material is browsed. You receive notifications when your document is viewed, and which sections (blocks) your clients spend more time looking at. These analytics can be incredibly helpful for freelancers as we streamline and further customize our proposals.