Best Mobile Apps To Enhance Freelance Productivity Today 1 Best Mobile Apps To Enhance Freelance Productivity Today Mobile apps

Best Mobile Apps To Enhance Freelance Productivity Today

There are certain mobile apps you must learn to use and use well if you want to succeed as a freelancer today. These mobile apps make your work faster, more efficient, and organized. They keep you updated on industry trends, help communicate with your clients and team, and handle your projects. Some of these mobile apps also help you find new jobs and discover new opportunities.

Using these mobile apps on your smartphone, not only on a laptop or PC, ensures that you are always available and on top of any tasks you get on your plate. Some of the mobile apps below cater specifically to Africa-freelancer problems and scenarios. We will continuously update this list as we discover new favorites.

Know of any other must-have apps for freelancers from Africa and elsewhere? Please share with us in the comment section below. All contributors get a link back to a professional profile of their choice.

Table of Contents

AND CO From Fiverr - bst mobile app for freelancers

1. AND.CO

Fiverr initiative, AND.CO, is a cloud-based accounting and tracking software. It streamlines processes with tools such as expense trackers, contract templates, and invoices. It offers mobile app support for iOS and Android. 

AND.CO aims to bring ease and efficiency to freelancers, small business owners, and entrepreneurs. This makes it one of the best mobile apps for freelancers to use. AND.CO enables its freelance users to record time by activity and project without jumping a beat. 

With AND.CO, client payments can be accepted directly to the app through several methods. For instance, users can personalize a “PayMe” page, which guides clients to payout options such as PayPal or ACH transfers without any additional fees. 

Price: It has a free package, but its monthly paid plan ($18) allows you to customize contracts.

I’m a freelancer, how can AND.CO help me?

As a freelancer, you are your boss. Unlike full-time employees with benefits, you’re an independent worker; thus, you must protect yourself and your interests. Creating a firm contract should be on top of your priority list. You need to ensure transparency and legal protection from the outset.

Without a legal background and a lawyer, however, creating a legal contract might seem like rocket science. AND.CO helps with this. You can easily attach AND.CO’s contract customizable templates directly to your proposals or send them to potential clients.

AND CO overview

Pros

  • It breaks down the complex aspects (legal jargon) of contracts you send.
  • You can easily monitor your clients’ invoices and projects and request monthly income and expenditure reports.

Cons

  • There is no automatic notification for client invoices. 
  • You cannot regroup skipped transactions.

Backlog in green and white background describing the best mobile apps for freelancers

2. Backlog

Backlog by Nulab is a collaboration and project management tool that helps technical and marketing teams monitor ongoing projects such as web development and design. 

This application’s leading features include issue management, subtasks, burndown charts, file sharing, and project management. With its Gantt charts, Backlog allows users to picture their daily timeline and project workflow. 

Backlog offers services on a monthly paid basis that covers support through chat, email, and an online knowledgebase. 

I’m a freelance worker, how can Backlog help me? 

If you’re a freelance software developer, Backlog is an excellent software for you. It is simple yet powerful. Backlog’s core use is to make collaboration with designers and clients easier. With its bug tracking attribute, Backlog allows clients to identify and set goals for each problem, thereby enabling you to fix them as soon as possible.

Overview of Backlog in action

Pros

  • It has a chart-based tracking feature which makes it easy for you to identify clients’ issues.
  • It allows you to collaborate with your team and clients in real-time.
  • Easily integrates with Subversion and Git repositories.

Cons

  • It has only three default priority levels. 
  • You cannot easily access charts on mobile devices.

Bidsketch logo in white and dark green background describing the best mobile apps for freelancers

3. Bidsketch 

Bidsketch was founded by software developer, Ruben Gamez, to remove the hurdles associated with proposal processes. It is a SaaS software that allows you to create, customize, design, and track proposals. It assists sales teams in closing clients quicker, thereby boosting revenue. Bidsketch has an automation feature that sends messages to clients immediately after they approve the proposal. 

For extra convenience, Bidsketch provides professional templates you can easily export to PDF. It also allows users to create a landing page for clients where they can see, approve, export, and comment on each proposal swiftly. This feature makes interaction with clients straightforward and organized. Bidsketch’s price plans are between $23 to $119 monthly. 

Here are some of the Bidsketch key features:

  • Drag-and-drop sections 
  • Subdomain customization 
  • Ability to insert images, videos, and tables 
  • Built-in WYSIWYG (What You See Is What You Get) controls 

I’m a freelance worker, how can Bidsketch help me?

Proposal writing is art. And while you may have an engaging elevator pitch, you may not be able to visualize your pitch in an irresistible format. This is where Bidsketch comes in. It provides you with a structure that helps you build your proposal. 

Bidsketch has several options of dazzling design and simple templates, thereby boosting your proposal and leaving a lasting impression on prospective clients.  

Bidsketch overview

Pros

  • It has a professional look and is straightforward to use.
  • It reduces time spent on proposal writing. 
  • It has customizable branding which you can use for personal branding purposes. 

Cons

  • It can’t format pasted text. 
  • Its price plans are a tad expensive for small freelancers. 

Buffer logo white and black describing the best mobile devices for freelancers to use

4. Buffer 

After discovering enough demand for a bespoke social media scheduler, Joel Gascoigne founded Buffer in 2010. Initially, Buffer worked only with Twitter. Fast forward to 2013, and Buffer had expanded to over 1million users. Presently, it works with LinkedIn, Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, and Pinterest. It is one of the biggest and most reliable names in social media marketing

I’m a freelance worker, how can Buffer help me?

As a freelancer, you need to build and market your brand and also those of your clients. Digital marketing is among the top marketing streams a freelancer needs to attract new clients and reach a wider market.

Social media marketing is a great way to stand out from the pool of freelancers. Whether you have a love/hate relationship with social media, you cannot do without it as a freelancer.

Unlike large companies that can easily employ a social media manager and marketing team to handle social media activities, it’s not easy for freelancers to manage both their jobs and social media. This is where Buffer comes in. Buffer is an easy-to-use streamlined platform with convenient social publishing options.

Pros

  • It is easy to use. Buffer has features that make it convenient without needing a technical background. Anyone can use Buffer. 
  • Customizable posts. With Buffer, you can customize posts for different social media platforms. For instance, you need shorter captions for Twitter, more hashtags for Instagram, and beautiful photos for Pinterest. Buffer makes it possible to handle all your social accounts without crumbling under pressure.
  • Optimized timing. If you don’t have a specific time to post your content, Buffer can help you pick optimal time best for your posts. 

Cons

  • Expensive analytics. You might need to break your bank account if you want to use Buffer’s community management and analytics feature. 
  • Problems with Instagram integration. While Buffer communicates with Instagram, it can’t manage personal Instagram personal accounts. This functionality poses a considerable challenge, though it stems more from Instagram than Buffer. 

Calendly logo in white background describing the best mobile apps for freelancers

5. Calendly 

Going back and forth with clients via email threads before finally agreeing on a convenient meeting time is so 2005. Thankfully, Calendly is a calendar setting app that solves scheduling issues. 

The Nigerian-owned software company operates on a freemium model. The paid plan costs $96 per year. Calendly allows you to show available dates on your calendar. When you share your link, recipients, such as potential clients, can go through the available times and select their preferences. 

I’m a freelancer, how can Calendly help me?

When building a career as a freelancer, getting rid of administrative work is critical to growth. With more than enough on your plate, Calendly removes the burden of scheduling meetings. 

When you use Calendly as a freelancer, you can focus on building your freelance business and developing lasting client relationships. 

Calendly helps you cut down unnecessary email traffic by automating your appointments schedules and never having to miss a meeting again. 

Pros

  • Allows the receipt of upfront payment. With the help of Calendly’s Stripe integration, clients can efficiently send payments as they schedule meetings or book appointments. This reduces the chances of missed sessions and wasted time. 
  • Increased efficiency. Calendly’s automation of tasks such as email set-up and extra times with buffers allow you to accomplish more. 
  • Improved client experience and retention. Calendly enables you to enhance client satisfaction by providing them with the flexibility to schedule instantly. Also, the automatic time zone detection feature prevents chances of miscommunication between you and your client.

Cons

  • It is limited for free users. 
  • Setting schedules can be quite burdensome as it involves lots of clicks. 
  • Although there are helpful integrations on Calendly, its direct integration with third-party apps is quite limited.

Evernote green elephant logo describing the best mobile apps for freelancers6. Evernote

Evernote is a cross-platform app designed for note-taking, organizing, managing, and archiving tasks. Due to its versatile functionality, Evernote means different things to different people- daily journal, project management system, note-taking tool, or digital file cabinet. You name it.

I’m a freelance worker, how can Evernote help me?

While many people restrict Evernote’s usage to merely note-taking and storage, it offers much more to freelancers. Evernote makes your freelance life more manageable by acting as your research assistant, sharing and communication center, tax documents safe, and even a handy reminder.

Pros

  • Prevents anything from falling through. With Evernote, you can easily set reminders (with due dates) to track deliverables and milestones. When you work on your freelancing projects with Evernote, you can mark tasks off, annotate, or sort them for monitoring purposes. 
  • Prevents your emails from getting misplaced in the shuffle. Evernote allows the efficient handling of communication. Through the forward feature (which will enable you to send emails directly to Evernote), you can compile email details in a client’s notebook for future references. 
  • Makes research effortless. With the aid of the ‘Web Clipper’ feature, you can transfer your internet research to Evernote directly and in real-time. As an icing on the cake, you can save your research materials to a note and clip your published work as an excerpt of work samples.
  • Cloud-based. Due to its cloud-based nature, you can easily access your data, any day, anytime. 

Cons

  • Privacy. You cannot protect single notes. It’s either you have a password for all or nothing. 
  • Little or no protection on the desktop app. You cannot password-protect the desktop version of your Evernote app, which may contain some of your private notes. The password protection feature is available only on mobile.
Google Calendar 1 Google Calendar Google Calendar

Gmail | Week of Saturdays

7. Gmail

Some may say Gmail is the next best thing since sliced bread. This email app that saves you time, keeps your messages safe and helps organize your life. Gmail offers the push notification which means you may read and respond to your messages instantly.

With Gmail’s Hangouts, Freelancers and other users, of course, get to enjoy features that make running a business easier. You may host video calls with up to 15 people, straight from their inbox.  Gmail is accessible via all android mobile device or iPhone/iPad, or via a native mobile web app.

I’m a freelance worker, how can Gmail help me?

1. Shortcuts available

Not many are aware of or even use this function, but Gmail offers shortcuts, which include merely pressing “r” for a reply, “f” for forward, and many more. This might not seem like it’s worth the bother, but think about how shortcuts like “ctrl+c” make your life so much easier, Gmail does the same thing too, you just have to get used to it for a couple of days.

2. Utilize advanced search

Sometimes, you may spend minutes or hours even searching for a particular email you need to refer to. Well, thank goodness for Google’s advanced search feature. You can search by subject, sender, keywords, date, even the size of the mail. If your inbox has tons of emails like mine, this search option must be a huge blessing.

3. Create multiple inboxes

Google’s mail client has the option to sort your emails in many ways. One which any freelancer would find beneficial is the multiple inboxes feature. You can have separate inboxes for every client (Client G, Client P, etc.), indicating their importance.

4. Use canned replies

These replies provide a template of answers for some of your most common emails, including welcome messages, answering common questions, sending out quotes, etc. Awesome right? Plus, it saves you a lot of time responding to emails.

Best Mobile Apps To Enhance Freelance Productivity Today 2 Best Mobile Apps To Enhance Freelance Productivity Today Mobile apps

5. Schedule Emails

As an African freelancer, you may work in a different time zone from that of a client, and you work any hours of the day. If a client receives a response from you in the middle of the night at their time zone, this may be deemed inappropriate or provide an avenue for clients to reach out to you at odd hours. That would be a tragic development.

To avoid this, you may schedule your emails to be sent during your working hours, even if you respond to them in the middle of the night and create the impression you have set work hours.

6. Enabling “Undo Send”

Yes, we all need this feature. There are so many instances you send an email and suddenly remember you forgot to add an attachment, a recipient, forgot to spellcheck, etc. Undoing an email you’ve just sent takes care of all these issues and saves you from looking bad to clients.

Pros

  • An organized inbox – Your email groups into categories such as Primary, Social, Promotion, and Updates.
  • Gmail has an excellent virus-checking feature: This is helpful as it removes 99.9% of the risk that your computer will be infected.
  • Gmail offers great options like calendaring, file storage, photo hosting, Youtube, blogging, financial advice, etc. And since they are all integrated, you have access to all these options from a single interface.
  • 10+ GB of email storage space.
  • Gmail acts as an excellent techno shield from annoying spam messages. All hail the awesome power of Google.
  • High-speed. Gmail delivers messages in real-time; messages deliver almost immediately.

Cons

  • Gmail offers “Labels” instead of folders. We want folders, not labels!
  • Some people have been known to complain about the plain looking nature of Gmail. This is much of an aesthetic disadvantage than a functional one.

8. Google Calendar

Google Calendar is a free web and mobile calendar that enables you to track your events and share your calendars with others. It is a perfect tool for managing personal and professional schedules. As powerful as it is, it is also simple to use.

If you have a Google account or Gmail, you already have access to a Google Calendar. All you need to do is go to calendar.google.com or open the mobile app on your phone to start using it.

I’m a freelance worker, how can Google Calendar help me?

One of the first things you need to figure out when you start as a freelancer is learning to manage your workload. You either do this, or you’ll crash. This is more so for African freelancers, where unreliable electricity or weak WiFi may make it difficult to deliver timely projects to clients.

With the use of Google calendar, you can make balancing situations at home and international timezones easier.

One of the first things you need to figure out when you start as a freelancer is learning to manage your workload. You either do this, or you’ll crash. This is more so for African freelancers, where unreliable electricity or weak WiFi may make it difficult to deliver timely projects to clients.

With the use of Google calendar, you can make balancing situations at home and international timezones easier.

Do you work with teammates who live around the world?

You might find it challenging to figure out what time is appropriate to schedule meetings with them. Fortunately, the World Clock” in your Google Calendar settings can help with this. You can set appointments that don’t fall on holidays or inappropriate times. For example, it won’t be wise to schedule a video call on Halloween or the 4th of July with an American, would it?

This way, you get to arrange deadlines that work for particular clients in particular regions with some foreknowledge. Enable your world clock.
For client relations purposes, you can share well wishes on country-specific holidays. You shouldn’t send a Happy Canadian Day greeting to an American client if you can help it. Google calendar helps you know when to wait for a response to an email or message due to holiday seasons in specific locations.

The Enable Working Hours feature is a setting that alerts clients if they try to add you to a meeting that lies outside a range of hours set by you in Google Calendar. This way, your clients, regardless of where they are, can’t set up a meeting at 4am in your time zone.

Google Calendar 2 Google Calendar Google Calendar

Google Calendar also allows freelancers to set start and end times for each project. This way, you can see all pending projects at a glance and see if you can take on new ones.

Pros

  • Easy sharing, alerts, gazillion integrations, and simple to use.
  • Downloads important information about appointments, flights, etc. automatically from Gmail.
  • Accessible on PC and iPhone.
  • It provides multiple types of notifications for scheduled events.
  •  

Cons

  • The weekly view can appear unappealing and cluttered.

 

Google Drive - best app for freelancer's productivity

9. Google Drive

Google Drive is a cloud-based storage that lets you save emails, documents, photos, and other files on its server. But the extra storage feature of Google Drive is the tip of an iceberg. Google Drive also has office tools such as Sheets, Slides, and Docs

I’m a freelance worker, how can Google Drive help me?

Imagine working hard for many years as a freelancer, and then, you wake up only to see your hard drive crash or flash drive get misplaced. All your years of hard work lost in seconds. Scary, right?

But thanks to Google Drive, you don’t have to worry about saving and backing up your files anymore. Google Drive is not only easy to use, but it offers top-notch security as well. The best part about Google Drive is its free option. If you’re looking to get more space, Google Drive is the right app for you!

Pros:

  • You get 15 GB of storage even on a free plan
  • It has a simple-to-use interface that allows you to create a new document, access shared folders, and see recent or deleted documents with one click.
  • It’s compatible with Microsoft Office
  • Its link sharing option makes collaboration quite easy 
  • It lets you save files of different sizes. 
  • Its templates and apps make it easy for you to edit videos and photos, access PDFs, sign documents, and convert files.
  • You can access your documents from any corner of the earth, so far you have an internet connection. 

Cons:

  • You must be connected to the internet to make real-time changes.
  • Once you share the link, anyone who sees it can access the file
  • You cannot files with more than 5 Terrabytes

Google Drive overview

 

IFTTT logo in black and white describing the best mobile apps for freelancers

10. IFTTT

Have you ever wished to automate certain tasks that you have to perform every day routinely? If you answered yes, then IFTTT is the right application for you. 

IFTTT (meaning “If This Then That”) is an online automation app that communicates between different devices and apps to stimulate user-specific actions. 

Here is an instance of IFTT in action – if I receive an attachment via an email message, save a copy of the attached to Google Drive. The “if” aspect is the activator. So whenever the conditional clause occurs, the action (save a copy of the attached to Google Drive) happens. 

I’m a freelance worker, how can IFTTT help me?

As a freelancer, you need to automate a lot of your tedious business processes. Or else you’ll end up wasting money and time. The moment you can optimize your daily business processes, you are one step closer to improving your business operations’ efficiency.

The significant advantage of IFTTT to you as a freelancer is that it helps speed up project completion. IFTTT automation gives you control over mundane yet vital business processes. You also get to reduce the chances of human errors.

IFTTT overview

Pros

  • Simple to use. IFTTT has a simple user interface that makes it straightforward to use. 
  • It allows you to save Gmail attachments to Dropbox and Google Drive automatically. IFTTT’s programmed applet feature will enable you to save received attachments (from Gmail) to Google Drive and Dropbox. Thankfully, you can easily access your email attachments as IFTTT saves them in a single folder. 
  •  

Cons

  • Too basic. IFTTT is a bit too basic as it sometimes encounters issues when carrying out complex tasks. 
  • Busy. Sometimes, the “activity” section on the website tends to get overcrowded. 
  • Failure of the recipes. Occasionally, IFTTT “recipes” fail. Sometimes, recipes don’t activate even after weeks, so you have to monitor them, thereby defeating the purpose of automation. 

PayPal | Week of Saturdays

11. Paypal

PayPal is a safe and secure way to pay money. Its service allows people to pay using their preferred method including credit cards, bank accounts, buyer credit or account balances, without sharing financial any information.

Best Mobile Apps To Enhance Freelance Productivity Today 3 Best Mobile Apps To Enhance Freelance Productivity Today Mobile apps

PayPal allows its customers to open an account on its website; this account is connected to the user’s credit card or checking account. Once identification and proof of funds have been confirmed, the customer may begin to send or receive payments to and from other PayPal accounts.

One of the main objectives of PayPal is to make online purchases safer for all parties involved by providing a payment platform that does not require the sender or receiver of cash to disclose credit card or bank account numbers.

PayPal may not be a bank; however, it is still subject to consumer protection regulations that govern banks. Notifying PayPal immediately when you have concerns will limit your liability, it is also highly recommended that PayPal users check their accounts regularly.

I’m a freelance worker, how can Paypal help me?

Freelancing comes with many challenges, and one big issue is with receiving payment for jobs done. With a PayPal account, it is easier to connect with more potential clients worldwide because it is a globally accepted platform. PayPal is accepted and relied on by many top freelance marketplaces, including Upwork, Freelancer, Fiverr, 99designs, etc.

Pros

  • It’s easy to use.
  • Since a lot of people use PayPal, your clients may already have PayPal accounts.
  • You don’t need a merchant account.
  • Your clients don’t necessarily need a PayPal account to pay you.
  • You can create and send invoices using your PayPal account.
  • You can set up recurring payments.
  • You can also link your PayPal account with several shopping cart systems.

Cons

  • There are hefty fees for chargebacks.
  • You are limited in terms of use and are subject to account suspension at any time, which means your account can get suspended for months.
  • It may take four business days for deducted funds to clear in your bank account.

Piggy Bank 1 Piggy Bank piggy bank

12. PiggyVest

PiggyVest is an online savings platform. It is a good way out of excessive spending.

PiggyVest allows you to save and invest money you would typically leave in a savings account where charges are deducted monthly or spend on “not so important” things. You can save as little as $1 a day (or a week, whatever you can!) and set a specific set a date for the withdrawal of your savings. You can also save towards specific goals. 

Piggybank helps you remain disciplined and build new habits. On average, users can earn 6% per annum on automated savings or 10.5% per annum on the fixed deposit. 

I’m a freelance worker, how can PiggyVest help me?

Freelance work is rewarding, but it comes with highs and lows. The number one stressor for most freelancers out is managing cash flow.
It is necessary to have backup funds that you can rely on when payments delay.

Piggyvest provides an avenue to save amounts of your income for emergencies, retirement, or occasions. You only need to work out how much you want to be deducted from your earnings and when (daily, weekly, or monthly). The app prevents you from having access to these funds until a specific date selected by you.

Pros

  • Very easy to use with a simple platform
  • Easily accessible and mobile-first
  • Piggyvest, the company, has no access to your savings. Although you save your money with Piggyvest, the operators do not have access to any money you save. This means your funds are safe.

Cons

  • Piggyvest does not assume any liability on your savings. The money you save with Piggyvest is held in UBA. Piggyvest is an extension of a savings account with UBA. So if something goes wrong or your funds disappear, you can’t hold Piggyvest responsible.
  • CBN does not regulate Piggyvest. This regulation issue cannot be over-flogged because when people save money in a platform, their primary concern is identifying who to hold accountable if anything goes wrong. 
  • Since Piggyvest does not have a banking license (because it is not a bank), the CBN cannot regulate it. The closest CBN has come to regulating it is imposing a savings limit of 200,000 naira per month to forestall money laundering activities.  

Quora

13. Quora

Quora is a continuously growing collection of questions and answers generated by its users. This means that all the questions and answers are created and edited by the is users.

Quora is a social networking site based on questions, like Yahoo Answers or Ask.com. Launched in 2010, Quora is an online site where people can post questions they are having trouble answering. Rather than get answers from one person, the site allows all users to weigh what they think the best answers are.

Quora provides its users with the opportunity to network with other professionals. Quora’s objective is for each question page to become the best possible resource for individuals seeking answers to that particular question. Quora allows users to personalize their homepages to showcase the things they want to learn more about by following topics, questions, people, and boards.

Best Mobile Apps To Enhance Freelance Productivity Today 4 Best Mobile Apps To Enhance Freelance Productivity Today Mobile apps

I’m a freelance worker, how can Quora help me?

Quora has had an impact on the freelancing world. It is always growing with ever-expanding categories and more users taking advantage of its rich source of information and knowledge. As a freelancer, you can use Quora to help your career in numerous ways. Particularly, Quora is an excellent resource for graphic designers, web developers, and writers.

Quora Blogging

Quora allows you to create a blog too. African newbie freelancers can make use of this opportunity. There are many benefits, but the best is the ability to get real comments from other users (experienced freelancers) who are interested in reading your content.

Best Mobile Apps To Enhance Freelance Productivity Today 5 Best Mobile Apps To Enhance Freelance Productivity Today Mobile apps

Learning

Quora has a continuous flow of up to date information. And, since everyone needs information, Quora is a gold mine for freelancers no matter how experienced you may be. People often post questions that relate to various issues, new programs, freelancing, etc. There are also posts about vacant freelance positions, and this may increase your hiring chances.

Advertising

Another way an African freelancer can leverage the benefits Quora offers is to use one’s profile bio section. People add their titles, websites and expertise there, but the main purpose is to make it create an association with your brand and industry.

Best Mobile Apps To Enhance Freelance Productivity Today 6 Best Mobile Apps To Enhance Freelance Productivity Today Mobile apps

Your bio is what people see next to all your answers so this works wonders in terms of building your reputation and showcasing your skills.

Pros

  • Quora has zero Spam.
  • You can connect with industry experts to get recommendations, guest posts & referrals through peer networking.
  • Quora helps users find persons in the same industry by asking questions.
  • It provides information and insight into what others are saying about your industry.
  • Also, for freelancers from Africa, Quora functions as a local business mixer for any industry that cuts across different nations and continents. This way, you can network with freelancers from other continents, learn and share ideas too.

Cons

  • You cannot schedule posts on Quora.
  • You have to sign up to use Quora if you want to gain anything worthwhile.
  • You cannot personalize your blog post on Quora. It looks the same as the Quora content.
  • Quora does not directly allow its users to subscribe to its content.
  • Once you add content to Quora, it ceases to be yours. Quora will then submit, post, and display that content.

Sanebox in blue and white background describing best mobile apps for freelancers

14. Sanebox

Sanebox is a cloud-based app that scans your inbox to determine what messages are vital to you, presumed on your reading habits. Once you set Sanebox up, its algorithms scan your inbox and ascertain what isn’t essential. Messages you rarely open are filtered into another folder titled “Sane Later.”

I’m a freelancer, how can SaneBox help me?

Operating a freelance business means sorting several emails from current and prospective clients every day! You have to reach out to new clients continually. But if carelessly approached, handling emails as a freelancer can be time-consuming. Daily email management is essential for optimal productivity.

The effect of SaneBox

Pros

    • Ease in retrieving emails. Sanebox helps you to quickly retrieve vital mails which may have accidentally moved to a trash folder. 
    • Receive updates. With Sanebox, you can receive alerts if your email messages have been viewed or replied. 
    • Efficient clean-up. Sanebox features offer an efficient clean-up of your email inbox as it automatically groups emails into separate folders: essential and irrelevant. 

Cons

  • Excess spam. Sometimes, Sanebox wrongly labels some of your relevant emails spam, thereby keeping them in the trash folder. 
  • Incompatibility. Sanebox users occasionally complain of conflict with their email client, which leads to loss of emails. 
TransferWise 1 TransferWise transferwise

15. TransferWise

No doubt about it, TransferWise is one of the best online services for sending money across borders. Founded in London in 2011, the company has continued to deliver excellent service as the global demand for a cheap, secure international money transfer platform continues to grow, and the world becomes more globally connected.

How does TransferWise work?

TransferWise 2 TransferWise transferwise

TransferWise’s unique approach to currency exchange has completely cut out the middle man and allowed them to charge significantly less than most money transfer agencies.

They have operational bank accounts over the world. So, rather than exchanging your money when you send it to someone in another part of the world, TransferWise just adds your money to their account in your location and pays the recipient the equivalent amount of money sent in their geographic location. You can transfer money up to eight times more cheaply than with a bank because you avoid traditional banking fees.

To protect its customers’ interest, the Financial Conduct Authority regulates TransferWise, and it verifies its users to protect against fraud and money laundering.

I’m a freelance worker, how can TransferWise help me?

Freelancers all over the world and most especially those in Africa, highly recommend TransferWise. There are significant benefits for African freelancers who choose to use TransferWise for the transactions.

Having a good part of your money swallowed up by bank charges can be depressing. TransferWise comes into play by keeping more money you have earned by avoiding costly bank charges. TransferWise also provides you with local bank details to receive fee-free payments in GBP, EUR, USD, and AUD, which is itself an invaluable feature. 

Probably the best feature, especially for freelancers who reside in Africa, TransferWise supports over 750 currency routes, including GBP, USD, EUR, AUD, and CAD. Unlike PayPal and some other money transfer apps that are not supported by many African countries, TransferWise is available in 6 African countries, including Nigeria, Kenya, Ghana, Egypt, South Africa, and Morocco.

Pros

  • The cost of sending money abroad is eight times cheaper than what banks charge.
  • Transaction costs are always transparent, with no hidden charges.
  • TransferWise international payments to the UK and Europe delivers within 24 hours; some deliver within seconds
  • Transfers can be arranged online for convenience
  • The Financial Conduct Authority regulates TransferWise
  • Money is delivered directly to the recipient’s bank account

Cons

  • Online focus, limits telephone contact to troubleshooting
  • Larger transfers can be limited
  •  

Trello in blue and white background describing the best mobile apps for freelancers

16. Trello

Trello is a collaboration tool that groups your projects into boards. At a glance, Trello shows you what you’re currently working on, people in your team assigned to each project, and the stages of development reached. 

Much recently, Trello has grown to be among the most popular collaborative work management tools. Unlike other project management tools that target project managers precisely, Trello is for anyone who wants to manage projects. 

I’m a freelancer, how can Trello help me? 

Organization plays a vital role in making a healthy work-life balance, especially as a freelancer. But due to the demanding nature of freelancing, you might easily get overwhelmed by juggling different projects for several clients. With the flexibility of freelancing comes more significant responsibilities. But if you keep underdelivering and missing deadlines, you’re likely to go out of business. 

However, with a tool like Trello in your possession, you can keep tasks and clients organized while running your freelance business. Exploit online tools like Trello to strengthen our relationships with clients and expand your network for more lucrative opportunities. 

Trello's board

Pros

  • Apart from organizational purposes, you can also use Trello to track your expenses, income, and even vacation. 
  • It offers powerful and flexible features that allow you to customize each card. 
  • Efficient collaboration. Trello makes it simple for you to track others’ tasks, progress, and pending tasks. 
  • It has several filters that allow you to speed up searches within your dashboard. 

Cons

  • Trello offers no option for calendar integration. 
  • Too basic. If you seek detailed and customized documents for separate tasks, Trello is not a recommended app. It limits you to shorter descriptions. 
  • It involves a lot of manual set up. 

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17. Upwork

Upwork is a global freelancing platform where businesses, entrepreneurs, and freelancers connect and collaborate remotely. In 2015, Elance-oDesk merged and rebranded as Upwork.

Presently, Upwork has over twelve million freelancers and five million clients on its platform. An estimated 3 million jobs are posted yearly, which is worth about $1 billion, making it the world’s largest freelance marketplace.

Upwork for Freelancers 2 Upwork for Freelancers upwork

Upwork allows businesses or individuals to interview, hire, and work with freelancers and agencies through the Upwork platform. The platform includes a real-time chat feature meant to reduce the time spent finding and hiring freelancers.

With the growth of the gig and talent economy where a lot of people are considering leaving full-time jobs to pursue or combine consulting, freelance, or online business ideas, many talented professionals start by signing up on Upwork to advertise their skills and gain some experience.

I’m a freelance worker, how can Upwork help me?

As a freelancer, trying to find good-paying jobs can be tasking, time-consuming, and fruitless. Upwork acts as a client referral engine by connecting people who are seriously looking to hire, often immediately, with people looking to work.

Being on Upwork opens you up to having access to an array of offers to choose from. They are not always great offers, but many solid gigs and roles may come your way if you build experience on the platform.

Pros

  • Upwork provides work for everyone, irrespective of the skill and experience of an individual. A broad array of categories help freelancers to choose the job according to their skills and expertise.
  • You can just type your keywords describing your expertise; this will bring up search results of varieties of work in that category.
  • You can view sent applications and track the performance.
  • Freelancers can easily send and receive messages to clients.
  • The platform provides time-tracking tools.
  • It also provides an escrow service to handle payments for both clients and freelancers.
Upwork for Freelancers 3 Upwork for Freelancers upwork

Cons

  • The 20% commission + 2.75% processing fee + VAT + FX rates is crippling for new freelancers. Although, this percentage reduces as you earn more money on the platform
  • Your account and transactions may get blocked at any time, for no explainable reasons.
  • There are so many fake profiles and projects on Upwork which makes freelancers weary.
Voice Memos 1 Voice Memos voice memos

18. Voice Memos

Voice Memos 2 Voice Memos voice memos

I’m a freelance worker, how can a voice memos help me?

Voice memos are great for recording audio on the go. Rather than carrying around a separate recording device, your smartphone comes in handy with this function.

Whether you are a journalist, writer, blogger, or content creator, a voice recorder is a handy tool at your disposal. Audio recordings prevent misunderstandings and keep the core message. Always make sure to take permission before you start recording a conversation!

Pros

  • It’s free and easy to use.
  • You can transfer your audio files directly from your phone to a shared Google Drive folder for others to access.
  • Use as a tool for learning and retention.
  • You can organize, edit your audio recordings, and create content out of your recordings.

Cons

  • It may compromise privacy. A third party may have gain access to confidential recordings.

Wave in white background describing best mobile devices for freelancers

19. Wave Accounting

Wave Accounting is a cloud-based accounting, payment, personal finance, and invoicing app for freelancers, consultants, and people running businesses with few employees. While there is an array of different bookkeeping apps available online, Wave Apps stands out because it’s free, and it’s excellent! The only time you might need to pay for Wave’s features is to use its payment processor to receive funds. 

Its accounting system also features an invoicing instrument to collect money, and users can select the template best suitable in meeting their needs. It has a personal finance tool with a budgeting tool, investment tracking, and a dashboard for personal finance administration.

I’m a freelance worker, how can Wave help me?

As a freelancer, Wave Apps is one of the best choices if you want to keep your financial information and ensure timely payments from clients.

While ensuring you enjoy these benefits, Wave also protects your privacy by allowing you to invite your accountant to handle your business’ accounting aspect without giving them login details.

If you want to easily calculate your transactions, review yearly reports, and send invoices without hassle, this is an easy decision – Wave Apps.

Pros

  • It’s free. The beginner package of Wave is free. The package includes email support, receipt scanning, invoices, reports, and accounting as well. 
  • Instantaneous sync. You can instantly sync all your data across devices, ranging from sent invoices to payrolls. 
  • Automated reports. Wave automatically generates tax reports, balance sheets, and more so you can conveniently stay on top of your finances. 
  • Tracks expenses. You can see how much you’re spending in each period and set helpful reminders for each month. 
  • Supports double-entry accounting. It supports traditional double-entry accounting for increased control of your business accounting needs.

Cons

  • No credit note features. While you can keep track of debts, there is no credit notes feature available. 
  • Low capability. Features like time tracking and audit history are not available. 
  • No custom reports available.

20. Zoom

Zoom was created to host webinars, teach online courses, and conduct online training, video demonstrations, virtual meetings, and video conference. It integrates video conferencing, online meetings, and group messaging into one cloud-based platform.

Zoom or Skype 2 Zoom or Skype zoom or skype

Many SMEs, enterprises, educational institutions, and healthcare organizations find Zoom useful, especially since COVID-19 hit. The usage of Zoom skyrocketed by 378% in March 2020

Zoom or Skype 3 Zoom or Skype zoom or skype

Zoom improves collaboration among teams and remote workers, as they can join online meetings quickly and mimic in-office activities. Zoom allows 100 interactive video participants and 10,000 view-only attendees to join in on a meeting. The software also enables content sharing in wireless mode. 

I’m a freelance worker, how can Zoom help me?

Zoom connects the virtual professional world. Zoom video meetings help to humanize both the client and the freelancer. Rather than think of your client as just a name, you think of them as people. Your clients also see you, which adds some credibility to you as a freelancer from Africa.

Also, rather than asking your client to download an app that they may find annoying, you simply send them a meeting link that they can join quickly. With Zoom, you don’t have to take notes. When the meeting is over, the recording converts into MP4 and M4A recordings saved to your computer.

As an African freelancer, it is essential (and fun!) to note the diverse culture of your clients. It is also great practice as Zoom enables you to evaluate your conversation skills after meetings for your self-improvement.

Pros

  • Each Zoom plan allows you to host unlimited meetings.
  • Zoom Webinars can host up to 10,000 participants, which is excellent for people as they grow their business.
  • Zoom offers high-quality audio and video.
  • Screen sharing between both the presenter and guests is simple.
  • Participants can receive instant messages during conferencing.
  • You can record meetings
  • Users can create recurring meetings and use the same link for future meetings.

Cons

  • At the basic level, with no add-ons and extras, Zoom is reasonably priced. But add-ons make Zoom quite expensive.
  • Too many plan options; there are almost too many options to consider when you try to customize your Zoom plan.
  • If you want to run a successful Zoom event, your webinar participants will need to download Zoom to access your meeting. Some may not like this idea.

 

This list is constantly being updated. Want to become a contributor, please email us at hello@weekofsaturdays.com.

Know of any more must-have apps to enhance productivity and success of freelancers in Africa? Please send in your favorite suggestions to be added to this list. All accepted contributors get a backlink to one of their professional profiles!

This list is constantly updated.

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