12+ Helpful Productivity Tools for Busy Freelancers

Productivity means money for freelancers. The more productive you are, the more you can earn. It’s just that simple.

Getting things done on time is one of the ongoing challenges of a freelancer. There are so many things that can slow you down.

Part of being productive is knowing the right tools to use and using them. That’s why I created this post.

In this post, I share over 12 productivity tools that can help you to get more done. If you like this post, you may also like 5 Productivity Tools To Boost Creativity.

Helpful Productivity Tools

You know that you need tools to help you become more productive, but what tools should you use?

I went looking for tools to help and I found over a dozen productivity apps that you could use to get more done. Many of these are free or have a demo version available.

In alphabetical order, here are the tools I found:

  1. Asana. This handy app lets you share your task list with others. If you’re on a freelance team or delegate work, this can help you coordinate the project. The tool supports iPhone and Android devices. (Price varies, free version available)
  2. Bento. Use this handy tool on your mobile device (iPhone or iPad) or Mac to create a customized database. Use it to keep track of clients, meetings, projects, or whatever else you need to track. (Price varies)
  3. Box. This great tool lets you share and organize information online securely. If you ever share files online, you’ll want this tool. It’s great for remote work too. The business feature also lets you track versions. (Price varies, free version available)
  4. CardMunch. This LinkedIn plugin lets you use your iPhone to connect with people who give you their business card. If you do any face-to-face networking, this could be a huge timesaver. You’ll never lose another business card. (Free)
  5. Clear. Just when you think you’ve seen enough To-Do list applications, Clear comes along and shows you what a To-Do list can be. It’s got a great, colorful interface. Your list is stored in iCloud. Clear works with your Mac or iPhone. (Price varies)
  6. Engagio. How many social profiles do you have? Social media networking can be a lot to keep up with. Well, online networking just got easier. This is also great for tracking trends across several social media sites. You can respond from within the app. Pinterest and Quora are not currently included. (Free)
  7. iDoneThis. You get more done than you realize. Track your finished tasks with this easy to use tool. The tool reminds you daily to record your accomplishments. Use it for project management too. This tool can also help you keep up with a team of freelancers. (Price varies)
  8. Paperless. This is another helpful tool that lets you organize tasks or take notes with your iPhone, iPod, or iPad. You can also share lists through email, or duplicate lists. Use it for personal and freelance chores. (Price varies, free version available)
  9. Photosynth. This app from Microsoft turns your iPhone, iPod, or iPad camera into a panoramic camera by letting you stitch shots together. This app lets you present the whole picture. (Free)
  10. Pocket Informant GO!. It’s time to replace your paper calendar. With this app, you’ll get all the visual ease of a paper calendar right on your iPad or iPhone. You get the comfort of a familiar calendar interface with the convenience of an app. ($4.99)
  11. Priorities. What should you do first? With this great tool for your iPad, iPod, or iPhone you can stop wondering what to do first and start doing it. You can integrate the tasks with your calendar. It features a priorities page that lists all high priority tasks in one place. ($2.99)
  12. Pulse. It can be tough to keep up with the news and with all your favorite blogs. This app lets you see blogs, and online news at a glance with its visual interface. Just tap anything that interest you and read. This is available for a wide variety of devices including the iPhone, iPad, Android, and Kindle. (Free)
  13. Bonus tool: Zotero. This invaluable research tool should be invaluable for anyone who writes or blogs. Collect and organize your information in one place. This Firefox plugin also helps you to cite sources accurately. (Free)

Note: The prices listed were current at the time the article was written, but may change over time.

Your Turn

What is your favorite productivity tool?

Share your answers in the comments.

Image by avrene


  1. says

    Ha ha, this is definitely what I’m searching for. I will try all of those, one by one.

    At this time, the essential tools for me are Evernote, Dropbox and Wunderlist.


  2. says

    Thank you Laura for including Engagio on this great list. Incidentally, we’ve just launched today new capabilities relating to Search, Discovery and Email Alerts. So, you can monitor/track keywords, people, topics etc…

  3. says

    Thanks for sharing the blog article Laura (got here from StumbleUpon).

    On an aside, can you recommend social media tools? I’ve used Hoot Suite … I need to pare down Twitter users that are not following me back.

  4. James Flynn says

    Favorite app is Mobileday. I use my cell phone instead of a land line which has its pros and cons. I am on conference phone calls with clients at least 10 times/week. It is an app that is like makes these calls bearable. i only have to tap the screen once to join the calls when i am ready to join. No dialing and I get there on time. I will never go back!

  5. says

    I don’t use a lot of tools (aside from smatterings of WordPress plugins), but Tweetdeck certainly upped my productivity a lot. By scheduling advanced tweets, and easily using multiple accounts at the same time, I could actually start using Twitter to chat with people a bit more spontaneously instead of spending all my time on it managing accounts!

  6. says

    Another list of productivity tools. OMG! If reading wasn’t part of my scheduled tasks, I would be really unproductive going through it all. Using the tool matters more than the tool itself.

  7. says

    Thanks Laura, I will check that post out.

    On another note: I see Twitter users that have a handful of tweets, and thousands of followers. Obviously they are using automated software to follow people. Would you recommend this?

    I manually follow other Twitter users. While this makes sure I have relevant follows and followers, it does take awhile to build up a following.

  8. says

    Martin E
    Personally, I believe that organic growth is best.

    But in some cases, for example if someone is a celebrity, they may attract thousands of followers without tweeting much.

  9. says

    I advice you another tool for time tracking: Timeneye (http://www.timeneye.com).
    I recommend it because it integrates with Basecamp and lets track time commenting on completed to-dos.
    You can also track time on the go with the mobile companion app.


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