For many people, the best advantage to working as a freelancer is not having a boss.
Unfortunately, not having a boss means you have to manage your own productivity. If you need help, consider these 10 awesome productivity programs.
1. Free Download Manager
This open source program can speed up the processing time for downloads. Depending on your system, you may see a 600-percent increase.
FreeMind is an open source brainstorming project. You can organize data into a hierarchical format, export reports, track hyperlinks, and include HTML text. Writers can use the program to organize and outline information and then export the file into a word-processing document with headings and paragraphs that follow the flow of the map.
Do you bill clients by the hour? If so, get Toggl. This time-tracking device can help reduce the time it takes to calculate bills. It has report-generating tools and the ability to manage various projects. You can use the free version or choose to upgrade to a paid version to expand the feature set.
Many freelancers use social media to generate leads and to keep in touch with current clients. It can be time consuming to try to keep up with Facebook and Twitter, but TweetDeck allows you to combine your social networking into one application.
How much time can you save by launching an application with one click? AutoHotKeys allows you to customize keyboard shortcuts to access specific programs and files with a few keystrokes. The further a file is in your system, the more time you save with AutoHotKeys.
Portable document format (PDF) allows you to skip the process of trying to save your files in a specific format. Your clients can access the PDF from any operating system. PDFCreator is a free and open source program that allows you to install the program as a printer. Select it as a print option, and the program converts the document to a PDF.
7. Remember the Milk
This program expands upon the basic to-do list. Set reminders, enter locations for events, and keep notes. The program has a mobile version that will sync with your home version so you can get reminders no matter where you are.
Every business needs an accounting system, and GnuCash can help. Track your expenses, create invoices for clients, and perform other financial obligations from one program. It even works with exported files from your regular bank.
When you and your clients both use Dropbox, you can skip emailing attachments. Instead, you drop the file into Dropbox, and the client can have instant access to it.
Never forget a password again. With Keepass, you can keep all your passwords in one secure location. If you forget your login information, simply find it on Keepass.
Whether productivity products save you time by increasing speed or by reducing wasted time, they help you trim the excess. With these 10 programs, you may save enough time that you can add an extra client into your workload.