Best Tools and Apps for Freelancers on the Road
If you’re working on the go, you’ll need to be savvy about the best car technology like apps for freelancers that you can use everywhere and anywhere. Why? The time they’ll save you and the productivity benefits will provide you more opportunities to bring in the dollars.
Freelancer. Contractor. Temp. Business Owner. Sole Trader. Entrepreneur. Whatever you want to call it, today’s ever-present accessibility to portable computers, smartphones and (usually) decent internet has opened up a whole new range of cool employment opportunities.
If you’re among the many global Aussie citizens making the most of freelancing, then this article is tailor-made for you.
In this article
- More people are working on the fly: here’s why
- 5 of the best business productivity apps for freelancers
- 11 of the best project management apps for freelancers on the road
- Car technology every freelancer must have
- Car technology that travels in your glove box
- More problem-sol ving articles for life on the road
- Here’s something else you can’t live without …
More people are working on the fly: here’s why
Many of us are choosing to work for ourselves and doing so outside a formal office environment. The flexibility and money making potential that being your own boss offers can be an attractive prospect.
You can work from anywhere… get to decide your own hours… hire your own team members.
Being your own manager means you also get to choose which projects you take on and who you work for. Plus, the range of freelancing software platforms available to find work is growing every day.
Because you’ve got multiple lead sources and wear many hats (business owners are a one-person marketing, accounts, admin and service team) you rely on technology to help you do your job efficiently. We get it.
Let us help you sort through what’s available. Whether you’re starting out or have been in the game for a while, we’ve got a list of some top tools and best apps for freelancers. For your home, car and wherever else you may find yourself (*cough* Maccas run *cough*).
They’re sure to help you achieve your business goals no matter where you are.
5 of the best business productivity apps for freelancers
Working from home can have its perks but to be successful it’s important to set boundaries between work and home life. This means having a dedicated physical and virtual space to work from and the right tools to stay organised and focused.
While this isn’t an exhaustive list, the following apps and digital tools are designed to help freelancers work from home while giving them the flexibility to take work anywhere.
#1. Cloud storage
This might not seem like a time saver at first glance. But having backups of your files in the cloud will likely be the safeguard you can’t do without.
Computers and hard drives have nasty habits of failing without warning. Cloud storage might just save you the many hours of time and heartbreak of trying to recover critical business files if (when?!) that happens.
Of course, there’s the bonus of the ease of sharing files and collaborating with clients. Even those in different time zones.
Think Dropbox, Google Drive, and OneDrive (and there are plenty more). Not only are they about file storage but with the likes of the closely related Google Docs you can also produce professional documents on the fly. Because they’re accessible from all your mobile devices, your entire office is just a click away.
#2. Time tracking tools
Knowledge is power in business. Part of that is knowing where you’re spending most of your time. Is it quoting? Admin? Do the social media hours add up? How long do different projects take you?
Knowing these things can help you quote more fairly and accurately aaaand be more productive. We love RescueTime because it tracks everything automatically by logging how much time you spend in each application.
It’s available as both an Android and iOS app. Track your time at home and while you’re away from your office. Your digital well-being and the ability to correctly allocate hours is so important!
#3. Calendar apps
Now you have a hold on your time, you need to keep track of tasks and appointments. We know you’re probably already familiar with Outlook, Google, or iCloud calendars – and get the alerts on your phone.
In case you’re not already aware many in-car infotainment systems (aka Android Auto and Apple CarPlay) can also notify you of your next appointment, not to mention navigate you there. Sounds like it might be time to invest in one of those swanky luxury cars.
#4. Accounting software
Ditch that shoebox (and keep the tax man happy) by saving your receipts direct into your accounting software so you never lose them. Send instant quotes, invoices and reconcile accounts on the go with small business accounting software such as MYOB, Xero, QuickBooks or Wave.
#5. Video conferencing software
Just because you’re not sitting in the same office with your clients doesn’t mean you can’t speak face-to-face. We love Zoom and Skype as a couple of the best apps for freelancers because they’re straightforward. Record the meeting. Share your screen.
If you’re keen on holding your meeting where everyone else is seated in the same auditorium, or you’d like to be an animated version of yourself, Teams now lets you do that too. Oh, did we mention how much we love its virtual backgrounds? Who doesn’t want to meet from a James Bond style luxury home, or a purple galaxy filled with balloons? The options are endless.
Plus, you can use them all mobile and desktop. Hold a last-minute meeting in the car if you need to (just not while driving!).
Don’t forget a mobile ring light – also great for creating social media videos – and a set of Bluetooth earphones for wireless connectivity. Make them noise-cancelling to keep those extra distractions at bay when needed.
11 of the best project management apps for freelancers on the road
Being a freelancer on the road can be challenging at time. But the right tools and apps for work can help you stay productive, organised and connected.
Here are some of the best apps for freelancers for managing your workload, comms and more, according to us. Of course, they’re certainly not the only ones – the list is endless!:
1. Best project management app for freelancers
Trello is an excellent project management tool that allows you to create boards, lists and cards to keep track of your projects, tasks, and deadlines. It’s user-friendly and accessible from any device with an internet connection. What a useful app for work on the road!
2. Best time tracking app for freelancers
Toggl is a simple and efficient time-tracking app for work that helps you monitor how much time you spend on each project or task. It’s great for keeping yourself accountable and ensuring you’re billing accurately.
3. Best communication app for freelancers
Slack is a popular team communication tool that allows you to stay in touch with clients and team members in real time. It’s an especially useful app for remote work collaboration and quick communication.
4. Best note-taking app for freelancers
Evernote is a powerful note-taking app that allows you to jot down ideas for work, create to-do lists, and save important information. It’s a great way to keep all your thoughts organised in one place.
5. Best expense tracking app for freelancers
Expensify is an app that makes it easy to track your work expenses and receipts on the go. You can take photos of your receipts and categorize expenses to simplify accounting and tax preparation.
6. Best invoicing and payments app for freelancers
PayPal/Stripe are both reliable platforms for invoicing clients and receiving payments securely. They offer various payment options and are widely accepted worldwide.
7. Best language translation app for freelancers
Google Translate can help you communicate effectively with clients who speak a different language, and locals if you’re travelling to foreign countries.
8. Best travel planning app for freelancers
TripIt is a travel organisation app that allows you to consolidate all your travel plans, including flights, accommodation and itineraries all in one place.
9. Best mobile hotspot app for freelancers
A portable wi-fi device (we couldn’t choose just one) is ultra helpful because staying connected is crucial for a freelancer on the road. Consider investing in a portable wi-fi device to ensure you have internet access wherever you go.
10. Best health and fitness app for freelancers
MyFitnessPal is a great app because taking care of your health is essential while travelling. MyFitnessPal can help you track your meals and exercise routines to maintain a healthy lifestyle – a healthy body means a healthy mind, after all.
Remember to choose tools and apps that align with your specific needs and preferences. The better you tailor your tools to your unique circumstances the better you can enhance your productivity and organisation while freelancing on the road.
11. Best AI assistant app for freelancers
ChatGPT is an AI-powered marvel that seamlessly integrates into your freelance workflow, offering a wide array of features that keep you organised, efficient and, most importantly, sane.
Need to create a to-do list while waiting for your latte? ChatGPT’s got your back. It’s a master of setting reminders to ensure no deadlines sneak up on you.
Plus, it’s not just about managing tasks; it’s also a pro at helping you compose those important client emails and project documents. But what truly sets ChatGPT apart is that it can be fine-tuned to align with your unique needs, making it the perfect fit for freelancers with diverse projects.
Car technology every freelancer must have
Many freelancers travel for work. In fact, you might travel…
- from client to client
- to provide in-house services
- to run corporate or community workshops
- as a speaker at, or to coordinate, events and conferences.
This might even happen in a single day.
If this variety-rich workplace environment has you nodding your head, then being able to track and meet each appointment in a timely way is important. It means being able to check your schedule, navigate and find a park easily. Luckily, most modern cars now make this simple.
Stay on schedule, navigate to appointments
One of our fave best car technology apps for freelancers when it comes to managing your road trips is Waze (now owned by Google). It plays well with both Apple Carplay and Android Auto systems and will remind you when you need to leave to meet your next appointment.
There are a few reasons why you might want to dump Google Maps for Waze. These include the way it shows you affordable petrol along your route, shares updates from other Waze users nearby and finds car parking close to your destination.
You can even save the place you parked (in case you’re the forgetful type). Nice.
Parking made easy with some of the best apps for freelancers
One of the most useful car technology apps for freelancers who are constantly on the road is a parking app. Save yourself some time and money by checking out reviews of the best parking apps in Australia.
And don’t forget to log your travel – you’ll need to know the specifics of every work trip at tax time. Get more tips and our fave car-tracking apps in our blog post on the do’s and don’ts of claiming car expenses for business.
Use your digital tools wirelessly
When you’re in the car, there are two beautiful words we want you to remember. Voice assist.
Got an idea you want to write down before memory doesn’t serve you? Ask Google to take a note and it’ll record your voice. Need to make a phone call? Ask Siri to call a contact or a specific number. Google and Siri voice assist technology can help you do so many things for work, including:
- make a call
- dictate notes
- send and reply to messages
- search for information about the business you’re meeting next
- help you research your next project
- get driving directions
- listen to industry podcasts and audiobooks
Plus, as we mentioned earlier, many modern cars have an infotainment system you can integrate your apps with. Talk about making life even easier.
Regardless – as a business owner, these hands-free car technology tools are great ways to keep you moving on time and with minimal effort.
Car technology that travels in your glove box
Not all the tools you need to be a successful business owner on the road will be virtual. Here’s our list of some car technology must-haves you need to keep in your glove box.
- Laptop car charger: There’s nothing worse than having your laptop die when you need it. Save yourself the heartache and humiliation of fussing around with cables and power points in your client’s office with this car technology.
- Mobile wireless charging cradle: Forget fiddly cords when you’re in and out of the car. Charge your phone on the go while it’s in the cradle. Easy.
- Small tripod with remote: Sharing the great work you’re doing with clients is part of many business owners’ promotional strategies. But if you feel awkward asking for a selfie with your client, a tripod and remote is the perfect solution.
More problem-solving articles for life on the road
Here are some car-related blogs that might just solve an issue you’ll run into while on the road or getting ready to go:
- What to Do if You Hit an Animal While Driving in Australia
- How to Fix a Punctured Tyre with Sealant or a Repair Kit
- Are Cars Waterproof? Yes, No, or Somewhere in Between?
- Use this Car Servicing Checklist to Get What You Paid For
- Yes or No… Does Car Tyre Pressure Matter?
- 5 Baby Car Safety Measures You Should Know
Here’s something else you can’t live without…
Whether you’re travelling for work or pleasure, it’s important your vehicle is properly insured. It’s even more important when you’re driving around with expensive work equipment and tools.
At PD Insurance, we can help you get to save money on car insurance. Compare comprehensive car insurance protection with us and you’ll see it doesn’t need to be expensive. Cover the basics then choose from several optional benefits, but only if you need them.
Get our award winning car insurance today. Click below to start your quote.