Times have been tough, and for some of us, we have been pushed to make ends meet by working at home. If you are searching for a job, by now you might already realize that stepping into freelance work is a practical choice. It will depend on your work preference, but you will love working freelance if you enjoy flexible work hours, the freedom to choose your clients, and the benefit of working from home. In most cases, your work may include tasks such as editing, distributing, or even transcribing documents, organizing meetings, responding to emails, or writing. For tasks like these, online tools will help gear you towards productivity.
Compared to working for a company where software and online tools are provided, working freelance has its challenges–and one of them is finding the most reliable online tools that can equip you for your day-to-day tasks. On top of that, since you will be relying on your resources, it would make a huge difference if your tools are ones that you can have for free. That said, we made a list of the top five online tools that you should use as you jumpstart your freelancing career. Here they are!
1.PDF Editing and Converting Tools
Whatever your job description is, you will at some point need to handle documents in various formats. And in some cases, you might encounter the need to copy or edit information on PDF files that are not easily editable. That’s when you will need PDF editing and converting tools like PDFBear.
This online tool can convert your documents from PDF to Word, so you can skip the trouble of typing PDF files manually. If you are a freelance transcriber, you can save hours of your time simply by scanning your documents, saving them as PDF, and then converting them on PDFBear to become editable text. You can also use this platform to split, edit, merge, and combine your PDFs, as well as place eSignatures and watermarks to protect your intellectual property.
If you are worried about the security of your documents, PDFBear has got you covered. Unlike other online converting tools, PDFBear promises the use of SSL or Secure Sockets Layer encryption. This prevents other people, even PDFBear, from accessing your files. One hour after your conversion, your uploaded files will be deleted from their servers to ensure confidentiality. Most of all, you would no longer need to use Adobe Acrobat or other paid software to convert or edit your PDFs since using PDFBear is free!
2. Infographic Apps
When it comes to creating visuals and graphics, you might be more familiar with Canva or Photoshop. However, if you’d like to try something new that is quite simpler to use, you should check out Piktochart! It is a web-based platform that is preloaded with stock photos, templates, and other features that can help you create stunning visuals. You can use it to create publicity materials, posters, and flyers if you aspire to become a graphics designer. There’s no need for professional experience since editing and manipulating styles, images, and other elements on the platform are straightforward and easy to do.
Piktochart is perfect for new freelancers since it’s free, unlike other software such as Photoshop. Just keep in mind that on the free version, you are allowed to save only five projects at a time. This isn’t a big deal because, say, you currently have five projects and you plan to delete one of them to make room for a new one. Before doing so, just make sure that you have saved your work and that you no longer plan on making further edits in the future. Nonetheless, Piktochart is an excellent choice for creating visuals and infographics.
3. Writing Apps
Don’t take writing apps for granted because even the best writers can still miss a typo. Whether you are writing an email, a proposal, or an article, writing apps like Grammarly point out grammatical and typographical errors that we tend to overlook.
As freelancers, excellent communication skills through writing are a great way to build rapport with our clients. Your strong command of the language shows your credibility and competence–especially if you are a freelance writer. Even if you’re confident in your writing, it doesn’t hurt to double-check with a writing app. With excellent writing, you can always put your best foot forward.
4. Calendar Tools
In this post, our top choice for a calendar tool is Google Calendar. Some freelancers work in teams but since most work independently, it might be unnecessary to use advanced time tracking platforms to monitor progress. Google Calendar may seem too basic for some professionals, but it gets the job done for freelancers. It is also usable across all platforms. You can access your calendar on your web-browser and if your computer is not within reach, you can receive reminder notifications on your mobile devices if you have the app. Google Calendar is a convenient way to arrange your meetings and make sure that you’re always right on schedule.
5. Cloud Storage
Online or “cloud” storage is a huge necessity for keeping and sharing files because, with this technology, it doesn’t matter if your client is from a distant city or on the other side of the world. Cloud storage like Google Drive is a great way to conveniently submit your work to your clients. Probably, many competing storage platforms are popping in your head right now since there are storage plans that are far cheaper than those offered on Google Drive. But before you think that you should go for other alternatives, here are several reasons why Google Drive is the best cloud storage platform.
The website interface may not be the best and its storage upgrades might not be the most affordable, but these are outweighed by the collaboration feature which isn’t available on other platforms. Also, Google Drive has superior security options like two-factor authentication which makes it more secure to store files. Lastly, on top of being a familiar and widely-used online tool, Google Drive is accessible on all platforms and operating systems–compared to others like iCloud, for example, which only works best across the Apple ecosystem.
Every online tool on this list is free, serving as a big help for professionals who want to venture into the freelance world. Some features might be unavailable if you aren’t on their PRO versions, but that doesn’t make these tools any less valuable for your daily tasks. Perhaps, once you have proven yourself and built a loyal client base, then can you subscribe to the paid versions to enjoy their extra features. We wish you all the best in your freelance career and we hope this post has helped you be a more productive and well-rounded professional!