I started out on my own as a part-time freelancer by registering on online platforms like oDesk (which is now Upwork), and then started checking out homebased jobs online. So I personally know how hard it used to be to look for online freelancing tools  or guides for navigating the web on my own and not knowing any better.  But just this year in February 2020, I enrolled in a Freelancing Course at Filipino Virtual Assistance and they help me optimize my online accounts that drastically gave me more freelancing opportunities.

To me, it doesn’t really matter what your niche is or will be if you’re still starting out just to know freelancing tools that you will be needing because one way or another you will need them all throughout your freelancing career and as you develop or discover your chosen niche. For me, I took on different jobs until I figured that I really liked doing Content Writing and Admin Support work.

The suggestions I have listed here are all based on app comfortability because the common denominators are the categories.

Communication Tool

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If you get your client on Upwork or from other freelancing platforms, they will have their own messaging tool which you can directly use.

I would recommend SLACK if you have clients or teams outside of that platform that require a communication tool that offers file exchange and information distribution for different tasks. Fellow freelancers also recommend:

  • Microsoft Teams
  • Google Hangouts
  • Skype

Collaboration and Productivity Tool

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Google Suite is basically all of the available Google Apps that work seamlessly for your team’s documentation and collaboration. You don’t necessarily need to have Office 365 to get a document done or a sheet done. What you basically need is a Gmail account so you can log in and use all of those apps to have access to:

  • Gmail
  • Google Drive
  • Google Docs
  • Google Sheets
  • Google Slides
  • Google Calendar
  • Google Forms
  • Google Hangouts
  • Google My Business
  • Other Google Apps

Project Management Tool

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My current clients don’t really need a task or project management tool since I have recurring blog management tasks. But with a previous client, CLICKUP was our tool after migrating from ASANA. I also have my own personal Clickup account that I use every now and then. What I like about it is that it is very colorful and highly customizable for your task needs. Fellow freelancers also recommend:

  • Trello
  • Microsoft Teams Planner

Design Tool

Not all of us will be able to have nor understand the power that photoshop has to offer. That’s why we all can have CANVA! This online design site allows you to create from scratch or from templates a lot, if not all of your social media marketing posts and other design needs that are made easier for us mere mortals who do not have the niche or skill in photoshop. 

Time Tracker Tool

The time tracker tool is subject for analysis since like us, my client only requires that I log in my hours, he doesn’t need screenshots of my tasks. For the basic requirement of tracking hours, I can recommend QTime Software since it is forever free – read about here: Free Web Time Tracker for Freelancers and Clients. Fellow freelancers recommend:

  • Clockify
  •  Hubstaff 
  • *may require fees depending on plan

Online freelancing has given a lot of Filipinos, including myself, the opportunity to earn an honest and decent living online over the years.  A lot from the comfort of their homes, or at a cafe, and some, at the office since there are office-based online freelancing jobs as well (something I experienced, too). Although there are a lot of us who have been doing online freelancing for many years now, this new normal has pretty much put the spotlight on online freelancing work and its earning potential, bringing in a rise in the number of freelancing “newbies”.

I hope my 5 freelancing tools for newbies will help set you off for your freelancing career as well!

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Christine

Mom, wife, daughter and random things reviewer. Also a Content Writer & Admin Support Specialist.

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