What an awesome list – you’ve put your time in here. Looking into some of the productivity tools now, which is my main need at the moment. And the coffee, gotta agree there!
70 Tools Freelancers Rely on Most
Posted December 16, 2008 in Tools/Resources
A little while back, when we first launched the forums, someone started a thread to share all of the tools we each rely on most. After three pages of great responses, I decided to compile a list of the most used tools. To see the topic that inspired this post, click here, otherwise read on for the full list.
Obviously, we all require a computer to do our jobs (especially if you’re reading this blog). This first list of tools speaks to the very basics of operating a freelance business.
- Windows Desktop
- Apple Desktop
- Windows Laptop
- Apple Laptop
- Two Monitors (or more)
- Good, fast, wireless Internet Connection
- Wacom Tablet
- Good mouse and keyboard
At least some sort of design software was basically a must for all types of freelancers, even many of the writers. There’s no surprise here that the Adobe Creative Suite dominates, but GIMP was mentioned several times too!
Word processing and document management is another category that almost every freelancer will need some of, no matter what their specialty. Understandably, there wasn’t too much variety in these responses.
CMS / Blogging
Content management systems were a favorite item for many freelancers, especially WordPress. There were a few big proponents of ExpressionEngine also, and a mention or two of Joomla.
File transfer is another important category, one that is vital to developers and web designers. There were a surprisingly large number of good programs mentioned, so we trimmed this list to the most common ones.
The development group really came out strong with these suggestions, offering numerous choices for editing code. Check out the forum thread for some more juicy details.
A few more recommended tools for anyone in freelance development:
Here’s another category that is universal to almost all freelancers. Given the number of available choices, it was a bit surprising how popular some of these clients are (I’m looking at you, Gmail).
Invoicing, Accounting, Bookkeeping
Administrative stuff, ugh! Freshbooks and Quickbooks were the two most mentioned in this category, both receiving a lot of praise. There were also some other good picks:
Collaboration software is another favorite among Freelance Folder readers. Basecamp and ActiveCollab were the most mentioned by far.
With the amount of information freelancers are required to juggle on a regular basis, it’s no surprise that organizational software ranks among the most important. Here are the favorites:
I don’t think it’s even necessary to say which of these was mentioned the most (twitter).
Listening to music while working is one of the perks of freelancing — here are a few suggested ways to go about it:
Some other necessities…
That’s it for the list of our forum responses, but as you can imagine this is only a few of the many tools freelancers rely on. Which ones do you use? Do you have any recommendations that aren’t on here?
- 40+ Networking Tools For Freelancers
- Top 6 Most Useful Color Tools For Designers
- Mega List of Web Based Font, Text, & Type Tools
- Handy Designer’s Tools “On The Fly”
- 12 Tools I Use Every Day as an Independent Web Designer
Unleash the true potential of your business. Get The Unlimited Freelancer and start transforming your freelance business,
now only $19.
December 16th, 2008 at 5:34 pm
December 16th, 2008 at 7:45 pm
This is such a great list.
EmilyDecember 17th, 2008 at 11:01 am
I recently discovered this wonderful open-source photo editing program called Paint.net. I love it! For non-professional photographers who just need to tweak or enhance photos, it’s easy to use and an inexpensive investment. I just wrote a guest post on it at http://www.bonavita.wordpress.com.
December 17th, 2008 at 11:22 am
Im on a Mac, and for FTP I use Transmit (panic.com/transmit). Love it! Oh, and Entourage for email…which I guess is MS’s version of Outlook for Mac.
for another option on DB, spreadsheet, documents and invoicing, check out Zoho.com. Great free tools there.
December 17th, 2008 at 2:57 pm
This is awesome! Thanks to everyone who thought of FreshBooks while this list was being built : )
Rayanne Langdon — Marketing Coordinator, FreshBooks.com
December 17th, 2008 at 6:41 pm
Great collection of tools. What makes this even better is that you give me 4-5 options for each category. Thanks!
December 17th, 2008 at 10:42 pm
Great list!! I would like to add in one of my must haves!
This is the best password manager and I can’t live without it. If I had to keep track of all my passwords and clients passwords etc I would be spending hours a week of unnecessary work!
Your 1STOP Business Service Shop
Outsource your way to success!
December 18th, 2008 at 10:50 pm
Good stuff, really impressed by variety.
michael(UA)December 19th, 2008 at 12:23 am
Web developers who using WAMP(AppServ) or such like that all in one are not perceived seriously. Web dev must know basics how to config webserver. Don’t advised that for beginners
Sorry, but it’s true
December 19th, 2008 at 3:10 am
I am not sure such a list is very useful.
Adding linux, linux, linux, eclipse, VisualStudio 2008, Subversion, BibbleLite, netradio, xterm, LAMP would make it appeal to me. I am quite certain that the list would depend on geography as well.
December 19th, 2008 at 3:11 am
Ah, I forgot cygwin for projects where I am forced to use Windows.
December 20th, 2008 at 2:07 pm
Thanks for the list…This has helped out a lot.
December 20th, 2008 at 6:00 pm
Great list, well done. WordPress especially is outstanding.
For firefox, I reccomend trying FireFTP, its a super sweet FTP client, I’ve never looked back since I used it for the first time. Plus its free. Woo :)
December 21st, 2008 at 1:35 pm
Good list… One good text editor I like to use is NoteTab… It is worth a look.
December 22nd, 2008 at 12:52 am
Looks like a free lancer has quite the array of tools to choose from. I have not had to deal with one yet, but I know I will soon. I am currently working on my online income success blog, and it is great to know that there are people here to help. Any advice on finding someone that can help edit code on my site?
AliceJanuary 8th, 2009 at 11:32 pm
I found a desktop tool to remind me for the new coming jobs from several big sites, works great. http://www.easynth.com/profriend
JarnoFebruary 25th, 2009 at 2:57 pm
As a music source, there is no real challenge for Spotify (www.spotify.com). Pretty much all music, free, legal. Don’t know if it works in the States, but for fellow Europeans it’s a must. You can get invites quite easily by Googling.
November 28th, 2009 at 4:00 am
I would like to suggest HourDoc Time Tracking Software. It is useful for freelancers. http://www.HourDoc.com is right treatment for time tracking of virtual assistants, has to be an easy-to-administer and affordable solution for Freelancers.They offer free application to Freelancers/companies less than 50 Users. You must Try it!
May 12th, 2010 at 3:38 pm
Great list, I’ve seen the word joomla around but I’ve never really known what it is. Is it essentially a blog platform like wordpress?
October 21st, 2011 at 12:36 am
Pretty very good publish. I just stumbled upon your weblog and wanted to say that I ve genuinely enjoyed reading your weblog posts. Any way I ll be subscribing to your feed and I hope you post again quickly!
October 28th, 2011 at 8:38 am
I would like to recommand OroTimesheet for time tracking. It is an excellent for invoicing and keeping track of the time you spend on your projects.
February 8th, 2012 at 8:22 pm
Wow this is awesome! I’m so glad I found this old blog post, as there are some great resources here that I didn’t even know about!
April 9th, 2012 at 8:16 am
Your amazing posts are quite beneficial.
April 24th, 2013 at 2:14 am
Awesome website thanks
April 24th, 2013 at 2:15 am
- AndySowards.com :: Web Development Nerdy Daily Links For 12/17/2008 | AndySowards.com :: Professional Web Design, Development, Programming, Hacks, Downloads, Math and being a Web 2.0 Hipster?
- bluelectric.org » Linkschleuder
- 70 herramientas necesarias para trabajar por tu cuenta | Cosas sencillas
- Links: 2008-12-19 | Meryl.net
- Wordpress Blog Services - 2008 Most Popular Design posts, Tutorials and Resources
- 2008年最佳Web设计文章、教程及资源 - 刀客征途
- Jahresende-Links « Authsider
- 2008 Most Popular Design posts, Tutorials and Resources | Web Hosting and Domains
- 2008 Most Popular Design posts, Tutorials and Resources | SulVision
- 2008 Most Popular Design posts, Tutorials and Resources
- AMB Album » 2008 Most Popular Design posts, Tutorials and Resources
- 2008 Most Popular Design posts, Tutorials and Resources | Web2.0
- Business Basics: Managing your clients and money | Guerrilla Freelancing
Sign up for our product discount list to get a free copy of Why Some Freelancers Thrive and Others Barely Survive. You can unsubscribe anytime.
- SEO Techniques All Top Websites Should Use
- When a Client Can't Afford You: Why It's Still Better to Bid High
- How To Stop Scrambling For Clients And Get A Steady Stream Of Paying Gigs
- A Simple Way To Stop Clients From Rejecting Your Proposals
- 3 Reasons Your Rates Are Still Low (And How To Start Raising Them)