January 5, 2021

4 Free Online Tools To Help Freelancers Improve Themselves

Jeff Barron

These free online tools can seriously help freelancers achieve their 2021 New Year's resolutions.

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Now that 2020 is behind us, there’s a moment of self-reflection that I want to believe everyone goes through. We look back at what we have been up to for the past 365 days and determine what went well, and maybe what didn’t work out. Even if this past trip around the sun hasn’t been particularly incredible, there’s always the thought that maybe next year things will be a little better. We all fall short of perfection, but we continually try to be a little better the next time. Maybe your time tracking could have been more on-point. Or perhaps you’re just trying to keep healthier habits. Here are some tools that can help you be a little better in the coming year, and maybe even save you a few bucks.

1. Creating New Habits with Habit List

Building good habits is one of the more difficult things to do in life. Habit List makes it easier to stay accountable to your goals. Whether that’s just keeping up on your daily to-do list, or just trying your best to stay hydrated. It contains a lot of helpful options to keep you reminded of your tasks, and motivate you in the right way when you complete your routines. If you’re looking to hold yourself a little more accountable, there’s Habit Share that can share your habits more publicly with friends.

2. Logging Your Hours Properly with Toggl

As a freelancer, time tracking is the name of the game. It’s also one of the more tedious games to play. Toggl is a cross-platform service that is completely free to use (however it has a paid plan to unlock more features). If you’re a person who wants a simple timer, they got that. If you’re looking for something maybe a little more on top of your attention span, they also provide an auto-tracker that will trigger timer entries based on the software you’re using. Time tracking, aside from assigning value to your work, is also a very useful way to visually see how you spend most of your time on a project. Maybe you spend more time on Slack than you suspect and that’s actually taking away from your productivity. Seeing these trends on a timeline gives you better insight in how you can improve your scheduling.

3. Staying on Task with Focus-To-Do

Logging hours is one thing, but what if your type of work doesn’t revolve around hours? Maybe your work is based on a flat rate. Well all the more reason to be efficient with your time, and stay on task! The world is full of distractions—you’re not alone if you have trouble sticking to finishing one thing at a time. Enter Focus To-Do, a free cross-platform app that is based on something called the Pomodoro Technique. The idea is to use a 25 minute timer to break work down into intervals, separated by short breaks (3-5 minutes). It makes working on a task feel more manageable, but still allows you to check that odd email in between intervals. The app also syncs all your information between devices. So if you work on a Windows laptop, but also use your iPad—it’ll keep all your information saved and up to date regardless of what you use to work with.

4. Saving A Little For the Future with Lili

There are times where saving seems like a tomorrow goal. There’s too many bills to consider right now, and there’s that fear that maybe the $50 you throw into a savings account will actually need to be used for that sudden parking ticket you just got. But you have to start somewhere. Lili, a banking service specifically designed for freelancers, now offers a new feature called the Emergency Bucket. It helps you set aside a little money here and there so that you’ll have something built up for that unforeseen parking ticket. It doesn’t have to be much, in fact you can just set it to save $1 a day. While $7 a week won’t make you a millionaire overnight, you’ll still be $365 richer by the end of a year.

So here’s to making small changes with big impacts in the coming year! 

2021, don’t let us down!


Written by

Jeff Barron

Jeff Barron is a Tech enthusiast, freelance everything and sudden cat dad.

Banking Designed for Freelancers

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