I wish someone had written this post for me when I first started out as a designer.
But then again, many of these programs didn’t exist back then. When I hopped on the design train, I was on Blogger (this was 2009) and I don’t think Pinterest was open to the general public. Anyways…..
These are the top 3 platforms I use daily to help my run my business efficiently as a freelancer:
Bonsai - I use Bonsai for everything. I add my clients, the projects under each client, I create my contracts for each client, invoice them directly and receive payment directly from this platform. They also let me know when a client has viewed and signed a contract and/or viewed an invoice. One of the most important features i use is time-tracking so that when I invoice each client, they can see a detailed list of how I spent my time on their project. I also can make my daily task or to-do list there. I only pay about $25 (something close to that) per month. It’s worth every penny. You can also do freelance accounting on this site.
Google sheets- Even though my Bonsai account allows me to do my accounting, I still keep an extra log of expenses and financials in a Google Sheets document. Just in case. I also have a sheet where I keep all my client contact information and details about the projects I’ve done with them, links to all their social media and a log of when was the last time I spoke to them. This is important because I like to call my past clients just to check in and see how they’re doing. I don’t try to sell them anything but mainly see if there is anything they need to vent about business wise, anything to brag about (I love this!) or if there is a professional in my network I can connect them to. My next plan is to send everyone a holiday basket over Xmas time. It’s important, without them, I would not be here now doing this work.
Expensify- Because staying on top of business expenses as you move through each week will save you the headache of having to deal with it when it comes tax time. I use the mobile app every day to log mileage and snap photos of receipts for client meeting food and drinks, etc etc. Then I save everything in a weekly report and email it to myself to then me added, just in case, to my Google sheets (see #2).
If there is one platform that definetly helped me kick my freelance career into overdrive, it’s Bonsai. I highly recommend this platform over all.
Hope this helps! And if you have more suggestions on other platforms I should be using, let me know in the comments!