Time management is crucial if you are a freelancer or remote worker. Becoming more productive and efficient is really hard, so there’s no one app that will fix all your problems. Freelancers have to juggle responsibilities in their business, daily work activities, and fulfill the needs of their clients. A good time management strategy should be focused on three pillars: improving routine (eg: through habits), effective project management, and finding enough time for important personal activities.
Since every freelancer has different needs, it’s impossible to find an app able to suit everybody’s workflow. In this article, I will share some of my favorite productivity and time management apps for freelancers. These apps help me manage my tasks and focus on what’s important on a daily basis.
Best for Planning – Asana
Plan and manage your freelance projects with Asana. Create tasks with due dates and assign team members. Attach files, collaborate on projects with your whole team, and more. The app is free for teams of up to 15 people, including yourself. If you have a larger team, check out the enterprise plan.
Best for Coordinating Tasks and Projects – Trello
A key component of time management is staying on top of your to-dos and projects, and there are plenty of tools designed to help you with that. One of the best is Trello, a collaborative project management tool that makes it easy to organize your tasks into lists with cards.
With Trello, you can create a board for each project you’re working on, then add lists like “To Do,” “Doing,” and “Done” to keep track of where you are in the process. Each list contains cards that describe the actual task or project, organized by what stage it’s in. When you finish something, just drag the card from one list to another.
You can use Trello for individual projects or for organizing your whole workflow—for example, creating a board called “Today’s Work” with lists like “Calls,” “Client Work,” or “Personal Projects.” If you need to coordinate with someone else—say, a freelancer or assistant—you can invite them to collaborate on your Trello boards.
If you’re looking for an app that will help you manage your tasks and projects for free, give Trello a try.
Best for Syncing Deadlines Across Devices – Google Calendar
If you want to sync your deadlines across all of your devices, Google Calendar is the app for you. The free app is part of the productivity suite that comes with Google Docs, Sheets, and Slides. You can add events, including recurring ones (like weekly meetings or monthly blog deadlines), and set notifications. Plus, it makes switching between work and personal events easier by letting you color-code different calendars.
Google Calendar works great on its own as a scheduling tool, but it also integrates seamlessly with other productivity apps like Todoist, Trello, and Evernote. And if you’re in a company that uses G Suite, you can invite your colleagues to collaborate on shared events and projects.
Best for Managing Tasks On-the-Go – TickTick
TickTick is a great app for managing your tasks on the go. It’s especially useful if you’re working remotely and need something lightweight to keep track of things like meetings or deadlines without having to lug around paper or write down notes all day long. You’ll find this app particularly helpful if you spend a lot of time traveling, as well as those who need reminders about upcoming appointments while they’re away from their desktops (or laptops).
Best for Daily Productivity Tracking – Toggl
No matter how you slice it, if you’re a freelancer or remote worker, you’re running your own business. And like any other small business owner, time management is crucial to your success. That’s where Toggl comes in. Founded back in 2006 in Estonia, this app is designed to help freelancers and remote workers track the amount of time they spend working on a given project so they can bill their clients accordingly.
To use Toggl, simply download the app to your desktop or mobile device and log the start and end times of each project you work on or client you speak with throughout the day. You can track your hours by project or by client, or even break down tasks by sub-task to see how long it takes you to complete a step-by-step process (e.g., creating a website from start to finish). Once logged in, these time tracking entries are saved and displayed as reports that show exactly how much time you’ve spent working on different projects throughout the week. This makes it easy to bill your clients every month when invoice time rolls around.
Best for Habits and Goals- Habitica
Habitica is a free tool that turns managing your to-do list into a game! You create a character based on yourself and earn experience points and loot as you complete tasks. There are also boss fights where you collect items to defeat the enemy. You can create both daily habits and one-time tasks with Habitica, or join groups of friends who are trying to accomplish the same goals as you. If you need an app that will make it fun to manage your time, this is it.
Best For Creating a Schedule and Following It – iStudiez Pro
iStudiez Pro is an iOS-only app that helps freelancers and remote workers create a schedule and then stick to it. Your calendar, class schedule, homework, exams, and even extracurricular activities can be organized in one place. The app syncs with your Apple Calendar too, so you don’t need to worry about losing important appointments or deadlines. You can also create a different schedule for every day of the week, which is ideal if you have some days off (or are on holiday) or if you work different hours on the weekends.
The app even tracks your grades and attendance records, so you can keep track of how well you’re performing at school or work. iStudiez Pro is available on the App Store for $2.99 USD.