Tools to Free Up Time for the Freelancer
The Small Business & Entrepreneurship Council estimates from the current U.S. Census data that there are more than 22 million solely-owned businesses in the U.S. That’s a lot of individuals responsible for every aspect of their business. Save some time doing those mundane tasks with these tools. You’ll have more time for the creative endeavors that drew you to freelancing in the first place.
This application lets you track your time and break it down however you want for billing purposes. The Office Time data can then be downloaded to a spreadsheet for analysis. You can create client project folders and sort the time by category. Timers record the actual time you worked on a task, which is useful for tracking time on business correspondence or email. Know where all of your time is going so you will have a record of all the time to be billed.
Office Time is available on the PC and Mac. It is also available as an app for the iPhone or iPad for $7.99. Record your time worked while on the road and sync it up with your desktop or laptop version when back in your office.
Simple invoices can be created with this cloud-based application or on its Apple or Android app from your smartphone or tablet. Zoho supports online invoicing and works with many of the online payment processors such as PayPal and Google Checkout. It integrates with other Zoho products such as project management and CRM applications.
You can also customize your invoices with Google Apps integration and use Gmail to send them. You can use Zoho for free for up to five customers. Your invoices will display the Zoho logo. For $15 a month, you can support up to 500 customers and you can customize the invoice and remove their logo.
Mint.com is a company owned by Intuit, the makers of Quicken. Mint is an online tool to review all of your financial accounts in one place. The home screen gives you a summary of all of your balances. Click to drill down into individual accounts and transactions. It will give you alerts when balances are below budget targets and when bills are due. It will help you with some simple business budgeting, too.
Mint is free for use from any browser, so you can work with it from your PC or Mac. It also has a free Apple and Android app version for those times you need to check balances while on the road or at a client site.
This is a cloud-based backup service that enables you to automatically backup any type of files you use in your business. Photos, audio, video, text and proprietary file formats can all be backed up on Mozy servers. You can easily restore lost or damaged files from your backups with the browser or mobile tools.
All of the data is encrypted. Automated backups can be set up from multiple devices. With the right Internet service for your business, you can set up automated backups for all of your critical files to Mozy. You’ll never again need to worry about losing data.
Mozy is available for Windows and Mac computers. For $5.99/month, you get 50 GB of space in which to backup your files, and $9.99/month gets you 125 GB. You get one month free for signing up for one year.
When she is not reporting on the latest mobile technology, Blanche keeps busy on social media.