It's tough out there for a freelancer. I tried it when I first moved to Louisville, Kentucky, and I didn't last long: It was difficult to stay organized, find gigs, keep my work straight, and know how much to bill.
If I'd had these five apps I might have been a bit better off. All of them fill a niche that every freelancer needs filled. Why do the work yourself when technology can do it for you?
Mileage reimbursement is an important part of employing yourself. All that wear and tear on your vehicle can be reimbursed at the end of the year, potentially saving you a lot of money in taxes you don't need to pay.
SEE: Small businesses are fleeing to cloud computing and mobile apps, says new study (TechRepublic)
Everlance wants to make all that mileage logging simple. Not only does it use GPS to calculate your mileage, it automatically tallies everything up at the end of a trip and calculates reimbursement based on IRS rates.
This handy apps can also be used to log expenses and payments, and all your important data is stored in the cloud and exportable into PDF or CSV format too. It's worth looking into.
If manually entering expenses into Everlance is too much for you Foreceipt has you covered. This is yet another receipt capture app, but with an additional perk: it stores all your data in Google Drive.
You can also use Forceipt to set bill reminders, and it tallies up expenses into easy-to-read charts. Like Everlance, Foreceipt allows you to export data into PDF and CSV formats.
I've covered Thumbtack before, and it's worth mentioning again. Thumbtack does all the legwork for you when people submit requests. Depending on how you register yourself as a professional (say, an interior designer) you'll get requests from the app so you can reach out and initiate contact.
SEE: Five categories of apps you need to transform your phone into a mobile office (TechRepublic)
With Thumbtack you don't need to worry about being bombarded by potential clients—you're the one in control. The entire bidding process is handled through the app, and Thumbtack doesn't take a cut until a deal is finalized.
Time tracking apps are nothing new to mobile devices, but HoursTracker has some cool features that make it worth a look. It uses GPS to automatically clock you in and out if you're doing work at a specific location, can run reports every day/week/month, automatically calculates overtime rates, and even features a Today widget to keep you on your toes about the coming workday.
HoursTracker is also super customizable, making it a good fit for almost any kind of independent worker.
Creative freelancers know how essential collaboration is. Sometimes those words, music, or visuals are stuck in the back of your brain and you need another person to help get them out. Twine can give you a hand.
Twine is a social network for freelancers looking to collaborate. You can search people looking for collaborators, post your own requests, and communicate with potential partners from within Twine, as well as showing off your portfolio.
Twine also has a credit feature, which adds freelancers to a list of credits for any completed project. It's a great way to build a reputation and get the help you need.
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- 4 things every small business owner should know about taxes (CBS News)
Brandon Vigliarolo has nothing to disclose. He does not hold investments in the technology companies he covers.
Brandon writes about apps and software for TechRepublic. He's an award-winning feature writer who previously worked as an IT professional and served as an MP in the US Army.