Affordable Tech: Apps To Increase Productivity

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Working as a freelancer, having the right tools for the job can make all the difference

I am not talking exclusively about job-specific tools here either; freelancers have sole responsibility for structuring their time, as they only have themselves to account for. Improving output and productivity are top priorities to boost your income and business.

You shouldn’t fall prey to downloading every free tool out there, but try to find apps that streamline your commitments and work as a freelancer. If an app does not save you time or improve your organisational skills, bin it.

Here are a handful of apps to aid your endeavours as a successful freelancer. 
 

Thingthing keyboard

Thingthing transforms your smartphone’s keyboard into a shortcut between its apps and services, allowing you to switch less and do more. You can check your calendar or attach documents and photos, while chatting or writing an email, without the need to tediously switch between apps. It’s a lifesaver for freelancers who need to multitask on the move (and who doesn’t?) This nifty app features a built-in calendar, syncs with file repositories, including Dropbox, OneDrive, Box and Google Drive, and gives quick access to photos from Facebook, Instagram and many more. It is free to download and works with the iOS platform.

 

24me

The 24me app may look and feel like a calendar, but it offers freelancers a lot more through its host of tools to sync financial accounts, bills, tasks and social connections. It is an intuitive, sleek app to help you manage all of the day-to-day tasks you may otherwise struggle to organise across multiple accounts.

The app is free, available over iOS and Android, and combines all of your most important data into a single interface, without being weighed down by endless options and sluggish menus.

 

Dragon Dictation

Tapping away on a tiny screen is not a productive way to work. This clever app features an easy-to-use voice recognition program where you speak and instantly see text content for anything from blog posts and tweets to email messages.

Currently only available for Apple iOS devices, the app promises to send texts and emails up to five times faster than typing. A handful of users complained of inaccuracies between the spoken and written word, but the app is designed to improve the more you use it and has an excellent copy-paste function so you can transfer with ease your copy where it’s needed.

 

HEADSPACE

Mindfulness, the meditative process of sitting still to focus on your breath and thoughts, has surged in popularity, with a boom in apps, articles and online courses praising the practice. The Headspace app offers guided meditations on your smartphone, is used by more than 4 million people and promises improved productivity, alongside a host of other benefits. For those in the freelance community, taking a break and time to reflect is often an overlooked luxury.

Available on Apple iOS and Android platforms, the app is free for the first 10 days and then users can sign up for a monthly fee of around £5, depending on your subscription, or sign up for life for just under £250. Once you’re signed up, you can select a series of meditations to work through, track progress, earn rewards and connect with the Headspace community. If you fancy giving mindfulness a go, then Headspace is the place to go.

 

Hootsuite

It’s tough to juggle all the social media platforms you need in order to get noticed online as a freelancer. You not only need to be visible, you need to be engaging, interactive and informative.

Hootsuite is a social media management system that allows you to log in with one username and password, and manage all your different social media profiles in one single place. You can schedule posts, so can effectively tweet while you sleep or post to Facebook while you’re busy doing something else entirely.

The free Hootsuite service offers you a highly interactive interface to manage all your chats, tweets and posts. It includes five different social profiles, posting, scheduling and basic analytics reports. Hootsuite Pro allows an unlimited number of accounts, in-depth analytics and for someone else to post on your behalf for £6.99 per month.

 

Wunderlist

Wunderlist is the ultimate tool for to-do lists. This feature-rich app allows you to create and sync lists across all of your devices, set deadlines and reminders, start conversations about your to-dos, make notes, attach files and photos, delegate and collaborate with ease.

The tool is the perfect solution to manage your professional and personal tasks. You can do anything from plan a holiday with a loved one to collaborate on an important work project. It is free to use or you can sign up for a Pro upgrade, which is available for a small monthly fee.

 

TOGGL

Toggl is a great desktop and mobile time tracking app that’s free for teams of up to five people, is simple to use and provides intuitive reports so you can analyse how and where your time is being spent. You can upgrade to the Pro or Business plan to unlock a host of additional features, but for small businesses or individuals, the free app is a great addition to your app arsenal. As a freelancer, your time is now your money, so a time tracking app is a must. Toggl allows you to monitor where you are spending time on a project-by-project and client-by-client basis through its reporting features, so you can work out if you are over or undercharging for specific tasks or customers.

 

Article by Gemma Church

Gemma is 'the freelance writer that gets tech'

@geditorial_uk

Technology