Project Management Tools
Insightly is a CRM software that helps you nurture and manage leads, discover connections and deliver projects. If you constantly correspond with customers and clients but have trouble keeping track, this is the tool for you.
You can use it on your own or with a team. It also integrates with different apps like Dropbox, Evernote, MailChimp and QuickBooks.
Freelancers are independent, but often work with their clients’ teams, which can make communication can be a major headache. BaseCamp is a project management tool that streamlines communication and projects so it’s easy to see who’s working on what, what needs to be done for which project, etc. You can also store all your files there, so everyone can have easy access to documents.
Since BaseCamp allows you to chat with other team members and has a native to-do list function, it can save you some money you’d normally spend on other tools to do those things.
There’s so much information on the web that you want to save for later, but bookmarks just don’t cut it. Evernote is an excellent organization tool that clips pages into notebooks. So if you come across a page or article you’d like to save, you can use the browser extension to save it to Evernote and highlight passages you want to remember.
Sort of like a better version of a to-do list, Trello is an app that helps you organize and brainstorm projects, either for yourself or for your team. Its intuitive drag and drop design makes it easy to create and move things around. It may seem deceptively simple at first but comes with more features than you might think.
A powerful project management tool, Asana looks great and is good for keeping you (or an entire team) on task. It functions by assigning tasks to people, projects or teams that you can refer to as a checklist. You can also organize them by calendar or board view.
It’s free for up to 15 team members, and is particularly suitable for people who like to look at to-do lists and enjoy checking things off as you go.
Cloud storage is commonplace these days, but Dropbox is still the top dog. Simplicity is its best feature. All you need to do to upload a file to the cloud is to place it in a Dropbox folder, so you never have to log in anywhere because everything is so well-synced up.
If you’re on the free plan, you get 2GB of storage to store your most important files. But you can also earn more space by referring friends, or simply completing the “getting started” guide.
True to its name, Pocket is a tool that saves what you want to read for later in your “pocket.” This includes articles you really want to read but don’t have time for right away, or videos you want to watch later.
The best part is that once you save something, it’s available on any one of your devices offline. It works best on your desktop through the browser extension, but you can also save from mobile by sending the link as an email to firstname.lastname@example.org. It’s completely free to use, though there’s a premium plan as well.
Feedly is a useful tool for the voracious reader. It’s basically your personal feed for all content, so you don’t have to browse individual websites for stuff you want to read. You can add whatever blog or publication to the feed and it will automatically pull from those sites. The UI is clean and simple, so you can read without distraction.
Use the browse feature to find more sources to your liking. You can also share your feed with others, which is especially handy if you want a team reading list.
TickTick is a no-frills to-do list app. If all you want is an effective to-do app and you don’t need any fancy features, it’s a great place to start. It’s free to use and the design is simple and intuitive. You can also tag team members and share your list.
The “next 7 days” view is fantastic for planning for the week ahead. But to get more functions like calendar view and smart lists, you’ll need to upgrade.
Todoist is another great app to manage your to-do list. It’s full-featured and has useful integrations with Google Calendar and Zapier. The distraction-free design helps you focus, and you can color code tasks according to priority or projects. The Todoist Karma feature gives you a visualization of your productivity, which is a cool feature to help you stay motivated.
If you’re a fan of mind maps, you can create them online with MindMeister. It’s a useful tool for practically anyone who likes to brainstorm a project. The presentation feature turns your mind map into a presentation, or you can just share your mind map with others.
It’s free up to 3 maps. For other plans, you can compare the prices and features here.
31. Google Calendar
Google Calendar does everything you want a calendar to do, so much so that it’s really hard to find a suitable alternative. It makes it easy to see other team members’ schedules or your family’s calendars for coordination.
It’s got many features that may have even escaped your notice. For example, you can add an event to your calendar by typing what you want to add into the Google search bar. You can also set up your calendar so it only shows weekdays. To see more tips, here’s a longer list.
32. Google Drive
Most things need to be stored in a cloud these days, and Google Drive is a good way to get all your files in one place. If you use Google Docs, Sheets, Photos or any other applications in the suite, they’ll be saved automatically on Drive.
Download the app to backup your files easily from your desktop or mobile device. Everyone gets 15 GB for free, but if you want more storage space, you can subscribe to a monthly plan.
Asynchronous design collaboration can sometimes be annoying, but InVision makes it simple. You can upload all your designs to the platform for others to leave notes, directly onto the design. This is highly useful for communication with your clients.
If you don’t work on a team, you can use InVision for free and receive unlimited feedback on your designs from clients. The mood board is also useful for visual brainstorming.
Zapier is the ultimate integration tool. Whatever apps you use and want to sync up with each other, Zapier takes care of it with its impressive 750+ integrations. Here’s a full list of the apps you can sync.
There’s a free version for your most used apps, then the pricing goes up based on how much you want to automate your apps. Try it for free for 14 days here.
Airtable is a spreadsheet database app that creates spreadsheets that are much more flexible and fun to use. The different display options allow you to use them for things other than your standard spreadsheet as well, such as brainstorm boards, task lists and galleries.
You can also upload files to the database, up to 2GB under the free plan and more if you upgrade. Their templates gallery is a great place to start or get new ideas for organization.
Need to schedule meetings? Calendly will do it for you so you don’t have to do a back-and-forth email exchange to coordinate the time. Just enter the times and dates you’re available, send the link to your clients or partners and let the tool do the work.
It’s free with unlimited meetings unless you want team functions, metrics or customization. It also syncs to your Google Calendar, iCloud, Office 365 or Outlook.