Out of necessity or out of choice, many tech professionals are choosing to go the freelance routes in the current economy. Here are 32 online tools that can make the venture easier.
With the current job outlook, many people are choosing to go freelance in their tech careers. Sometimes this is a choice; other times it's pushed upon them by unemployment.
While the success of freelancing is largely determined by the freelancer's ability to market himself or herself, there are a number of great online tools that can make the day-to-day elements a little easier. I came across a piece on the site http://freelancefolder.com/ that lists some great online tools. I pulled from the list the ones that pertain to technical freelancers.
- Bubbl.us: A brainstorming tool that lets you put your ideas into bubbles and save your mindmap as an image.
- Relenta: A tool that helps you manage your contacts, emails, documents, and other activities.
- Slideshare: A tool that allows you to create and share slide shows online.
- Toodledo: A Web based to-do-list to help you organize.
- Mint: A very simple and easy to use finance tool for personal use and for managing your freelance finances.
- eFax: Although you might think Fax is outdated, we are pretty sure most of your clients still use it, especially the corporate ones. Use this site to make your life easier when it comes to faxes.
- Webnote: This tool allows you to quickly take notes using a Web browser. You can save the notes using any computer and visit the site later to retrieve notes. It's useful when using public computers.
- Box: Share files online with your clients and friends using this simple tool.
- ReadBag: A bookmarking service that lets you save links that you can read later in your browser, email, phone, and even in an offline mode.
- Stock.xchng: Free stock photography for your blog, site, or any other use that you might have for images.
- YouSendIt: This tool allows you to send files and folder that are up to 2 GB without clogging your or your client's inbox.
- Wordfast: A translation tool that is compatible with any language supported by Word.
- FaxZero: Lets you send free faxes to the United States and Canada.
- Copyright: Find everything you need to know about US copyright.
- RSS 2 PDF: Turn your RSS feeds into PDFs and read them even when you are offline.
- CentralDesktop: Helps freelancers collaborate, communicate, and share files with clients and coworkers.
- InstaCalc: A Web based calculator that includes spreadsheet capabilities, unit conversions, and programming commands.
- Blinksale: Lets you send invoices online, recurring templates, and keep track of your invoices and purchases.
- Skim: Helps you take notes directly on a PDF file as you read.
- Icebrrg: Lets you easily build online embeddable forms.
- ConceptShare: Allows you to invite clients to take a look at your design work and get real-time feedback while you work on the project.
- GoToMeeting: Set up online meetings with clients and colleagues using this popular meeting tool
- Wufoo: Another tool to help you build forms.
- Escrow: Use this service to protect yourself and clients when the stakes are high.
- XE: Most freelancers work with international clients, and a currency converter is a must to determine the payment. This tool takes care of giving you up-to-date information on currency rates.
- ProjectStat.us: This tool allows your clients to view the status of a project using a token.
- Creative Commons: This site provides free tools that lets freelancers easily mark their creative work with the freedoms they want it to carry.
- ProofHQ: Lets you annotate a variety of document types - PDFs, PSDs, JPGs, Word, PowerPoint - and Webpages.
- Proposal Kit: An online tool that helps freelancers with proposal and contract management.
- SlimTimer: An online timer that helps you track time spent on a particular project and bill your clients accordingly.
- Spot Runner: Use this Website if you are planning to build a TV advertising campaign.
- Monkey On Your Back: Allows you to create a to-do-list that you want other people to do.
Get Career Management tips in your inbox
TechRepublic's Career Management newsletter, delivered each Tuesday and Thursday, offers tips for how to find a job and how to cope once you're there. Automatically sign up today!
Toni Bowers is the former Managing Editor of TechRepublic and is the award-winning blogger of the Career Management blog. She has edited newsletters, books, and web sites pertaining to software, IT career, and IT management issues.