You chose to live tiny because it would allow you certain freedoms in life that included leaving the corporate desk job behind and instead, working for yourself. You have joined the world of freelancing. You are officially a digital nomad. You are location independent and you can work wherever a WiFi signal presents itself. How though do you maximize your time so you don’t end up working late hours and stressing over deadlines? How to keep track of how much time you scroll Facebook versus how much time you pursue new clients?
A freelancer is in some regards a business owner. Your product is yourself. You are the marketing team, the project manager, the HR department, the finance department, and even the cafeteria crew, all in one! The following five tools will help you balance these responsibilities effectively and with success.
TASK MANAGEMENT. Dissecting a project into tasks while meeting deadlines is perhaps the most important part of being on your own. No matter where you are or what you are working on you will want to check in and see what tasks have been completed, what is on the horizon, and if there are any notes or attachments related to completing the task. Asana is by far the top tool for freelancers as it allows for managing both individual and team tasks. With it, you can set deadlines, describe tasks, assign tasks, make notes, and attach important files.
TIME MANAGEMENT. One of the most important concerns for any digital nomad should be time management. Time is so valuable both in work and life. By tracking time we are able to gauge whether or not a project is running smoothly or is going to cause a series of late nights. It is also essential in order to maximize the time of other resources such as sub-contracting and finances. Using a tool like Toggl allows you to set priorities by tracking your real-time work, creating work blocks. and projecting time allowances. All in all, it means expert quality control of your product.
CALENDAR AND SCHEDULING. No one likes to forget an appointment or have overlapping commitments. That is just one reason why an up-to-date and always available calendar is important. If you are already using Gmail or other Google tools than Google Calendar is a no-brainer. With Google Calendar you can:
- Schedule events
- Add reminders
- Share and view calendars
- Create a team calendar
- Customize your calendars
LOCATION. LOCATION. LOCATION. Perhaps you have a deadline that is nagging at you but you are in a new city without a single contact. Maybe you need to use a co-working space that has broadband Internet, a large format printer, and a video-conferencing suite. Enter WORKHARD ANYWHERE. The app pinpoints over 7,800 places to work from, all crowdsourced from freelancers, entrepreneurs, and digital nomads around the world. Each location is evaluated on a series of criteria including how fast the Wi-Fi is, and the availability of seats, outlets, and parking.
INVOICING. Face it. No one works for free. That is why you should be using Hiveage. This simple interface allows you to generate quotes, invoices, and receipts. You can charge per hour, per project, or per service. You even have the option of branding and personalizing all aspects of the invoicing process. If that weren’t enough, you can integrate Hiveage with your PayPal account for one-click payment.
Being a digital nomad or freelancer can be feast or famine. It can cause a big sigh of relief or a call for Ibuprofen. In order to be successful, you need to use (and understand) all the tools available to you. Work smarter, not harder!
What apps do you use regularly? Can they apply to the digital nomad life? Share in the comment section below or visit our Facebook page to interact directly.