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22 Best Tools for Freelancers: 2024 Must-Haves for Scaling Your Business

As a freelancer, your success largely depends on your ability to stay organized and productive. And while there are now many tools available to help you do just that, picking the right one for you takes hours of research.

That's why we've done it for you and compiled a list of the 27 best freelancer tools in 2023. From managing your time, handling finances, and completing projects, these must-have tools will help you stay on top of your game. We've included both free and paid AI tools across several categories, so let's dive in!

Meeting scheduling tools

Juggling multiple clients and multiple projects can be overwhelming. That's why scheduling tools are essential for keeping everything organized and on track. Here are our top three picks so you can decide on the one that works best for you.

1. Calendly

With Calendly, you can say goodbye to endless email chains as you try to schedule meetings with clients. One of the key benefits of Calendly is its simplicity. The interface is intuitive, making it easy for both you and your clients to set up appointments quickly and efficiently.

You can also manage multiple calendars and customize your availability based on your preferences, so you don't have to worry about being double-booked. What's more, Calendly integrates with other applications like Google Calendar and Zoom. Plus, it sends automatic reminders to both parties before the meeting begins, reducing the risk of missed appointments or miscommunication.

How much does Calendly cost?

Calendly offers a generous free plan that's perfect for freelancers. You can schedule unlimited meetings, brand your page and booking link, and even add Calendly to your website for a grand total of zero dollars a month.

Calendly booking page

2. Doodle

Doodle helps you find the best time for meetings with clients by setting up polls and surveys. It also allows you to customize your polls with different options, such as multiple choice questions or text fields. The best part? You don't need to sign up for an account or download any software – simply create your poll and share it with whoever you want to invite. 

Another great feature of Doodle is its integration with popular calendar apps like Google Calendar and Outlook. This means that, once a meeting has been scheduled, it will automatically be added to your calendar.

How much does Doodle cost?

Doodle's free plan includes one booking page and unlimited polls. That said, if you want any automation in your scheduling process, you'll have to go with their Pro plan. For $14.95 per month, you can sync meetings directly into your calendar and automatically add videoconferencing details to events.

Doodle group poll

3. CozyCal

CozyCal is designed to simplify the process of booking appointments. With its user-friendly interface, CozyCal provides an easy way for clients to schedule meetings with you without the back-and-forth email exchange.

CozyCal also allows you to customize your scheduling page so it matches your brand's look and feel. You can add your logo, choose from different themes, and even personalize the messages that are sent out when an appointment is booked. And if you charge for consultations or other services, simply use CozyCal's Stripe integration. That way, you can easily set up payments directly on your scheduling page.

How much does CozyCal cost?

CozyCal offers two plans: Pro for $20/month and Plaid for $30/month. Both of these plans come with everything you need to automate your scheduling. That said, if you want complete customization, you'll need to go for the higher priced plan to send appointment pages through your own domain and remove CozyCal's branding.

CozyCal scheduling page

Communication tools

Now that you've set the date and time, you'll also need a place to meet. And unless you're having in-person meetings, you need to choose a videoconferencing platform that works for you. Here are our top contenders. 

1. Zoom

The chances that you haven't at least heard about Zoom in the last few years are slim to none. Thanks to its powerful features, it's used by businesses large and small for everything from meetings to conferences and webinars.

Users can join meetings through a browser or app, share their screen to show presentations or documents, and use a virtual whiteboard to brainstorm ideas in real time. Zoom also offers features such as virtual backgrounds, breakout rooms, and meeting recordings.

How much does Zoom cost?

Zoom's free plan comes with limited features, the most important of which is that the meeting time is limited to 40 minutes. However, their Pro plan at $14.99/month removes that limit and comes with everything a freelance business might need.

Zoom user interface

2. Google Meet

Another well known videoconferencing tool is Google Meet. It's browser-based and integrated with other Google tools, such as Gmail and Google Calendar. This makes it easy to schedule meetings and send invitations directly from your email or calendar app.

Google Meet also offers a range of interactive features such as screen sharing and real-time captions. These make it easier for attendees to participate actively in meetings even if they are not physically present in the same room as the speaker.

How much does Google Meet cost?

Anyone with a Google Account can start a 60-minute meeting for free. That said, if you want more flexibility, you can sign up for a Google Workspace for as little as $6/month. And if you already use Google for managing your business email, Google Meet is automatically added to all your calendar events.

Google Meet user interface

3. Skype

Skype was one of the first widely popular tools for online communication. It allows you to make voice and video calls, send messages, and share files. And while it may not come with some of the fancier features modern alternatives have, it's still a great choice for freelancers.

Skype can be used through the app or in a browser, and you can also create meeting links to invite attendees without a Skype account. In addition to its built-in features, Skype also offers the option of making international calls to mobile phones and landlines.

How much does Skype cost?

Skype video calls are completely free, just as they were ten years ago. If both you and your client have a Skype account, you can enjoy unlimited meetings anytime. That said, if you want to use Skype to call a landline or a mobile phone, you can either pay as you go with Skype Credits or choose one of their subscription plans.

Skype user interface

Note-taking apps

Do you take notes by scribbling them down on random pieces of paper? Or maybe you're more organized and keep them in a notebook instead. Either way, as satisfying as physically crossing something off of your to-do list may be, there are things a note-taking app can do better than a piece of paper. Key features include: not being able to forget an app at home, adding media to your notes without printing, and getting reminders instead of checking a list every day.

1. Evernote

Evernote is a powerful note-taking application that can help you manage tasks more efficiently. With its intuitive interface and powerful features, it makes jotting down notes and creating to-do lists fast and easy. 

If you've tried transitioning to digital note taking and still found yourself preferring paper (present company guilty as charged), Evernote might just change your mind. It allows you to create to-do lists and cross items of with just a click, as well as organize your notes into notebooks and tags. This allows you to categorize your notes by topic or project so that you can easily find what you're looking for later on. 

Another great feature of Evernote is its integration with other apps like Gmail and Google Drive. You can save emails directly into Evernote or attach files from Google Drive to your notes. This saves time switching between different applications and keeps everything in one place. 

Evernote also offers a range of formatting options such as bolding, highlighting, bullet points, and numbering. Additionally, you can add images, audio recordings or even handwritten annotations if needed - making it the perfect tool for taking meeting minutes or brainstorming sessions.

How much does Evernote cost?

While Evernote has a free plan that lets you get familiar with the basics, their paid plans are the ones that come with all the features you need to get organized. You can get the Professional plan for $17.99/month and completely customize your dashboard, add task reminders, and even assign tasks to other people.

Evernote dashboard

2. Google Keep

One of the best things about Google Keep is its clean design that makes it easy to navigate and use. You can create different types of notes like text, voice memos, or even add photos. In addition to that, it lets you color-code notes based on category or priority. 

As all other Google apps on this list, Google Keep is automatically integrated with other Google apps. This means you can easily export notes from Keep into Docs or save them in Drive for easy access them on any device.

How much does Google Keep cost?

Google Keep is available to anyone with a Google Account. It is completely free, with no premium version.

Google Keep dashboard

3. Notion

You can use Notion to create everything from simple to-do lists, all the way up to complex project management systems. This makes it a versatile tool that you can adapt to fit your specific needs. 

Notion offers a wide range of templates that you can use as starting points for your own projects. Whether you're creating meeting notes or tracking expenses, there's a template available that will save you time and help keep you organized. 

All in all, Notion is an excellent tool for freelancers who need an all-in-one solution for managing workloads and staying organized. That said, its customizable interface and extensive list of features mean that it comes with somewhat of a learning curve.

How much does Notion cost?

Apart from the three paid plans, there's a free version of Notion that's more than enough to keep most freelancers on top of tasks. As a matter of fact, their lowest paid plan is advertised as a plan for teams on their own website.

Notion for tasks

Writing tools

As a freelancer, writing is an essential part of the job. That's why having the right writing tools can make a big difference in your productivity and efficiency, not to mention reputation. Nothing says unprofessional like misspelled words and questionable grammar. Here are a few tools that will make sure you always make the right impression.

1. Grammarly

Grammarly helps you catch spelling, grammar, and punctuation mistakes as you write. It integrates with various platforms, making it easy to use no matter what type of document you're working on.

It also offers suggestions for sentence structure and clarity, helping you improve the readability of your content. Another great feature is its plagiarism checker which scans your work against billions of web pages. That way, you can rest assured that there's no unintentional copying or duplication.

How much does Grammarly cost?

Grammarly is available for free if all you need are basic grammar and spelling checks. The free version also includes sentence structure and clarity suggestions. However, if you want advanced punctuation checks, vocabulary suggestions, and their plagiarism detector, that will be $30/month.

Grammarly interface

2. Prepostseo

Prepostseo is an outstanding content optimization platform. Freelancers who deal with written content can make great use of the tools provided by Prepostseo. For instance, the paraphrasing tool can rewrite sentences in a much-improved manner.
Similarly, the grammar-checking tool and the plagiarism checker are excellent utilities to ensure your content is flawless. The usability of these tools is also quite easy, so even beginners can utilize them.

How much does Prepostseo Cost?
Prepostseo is available to use for free. All the tools on this platform can be accessed
without spending anything. However, there is a premium package that can unlock a few
additional perks, such as increased word limits and no ads.
There are 3 different packages. The Basic plan can be used for $10/month. The Standard
version is priced at $20/month. And finally, the price of the Company plan is $45/month.

3. Google Docs

If you're still using local copies of documents created in Word, the least you can do is bring them online with Google Docs. The writing, editing, and creation process will mostly remain the same, complete with a spell checker and text suggestions.

However, with Google Docs, you don't have to worry about losing your work as it saves automatically every few seconds. Plus, all your files are stored securely in the cloud so you can access them from anywhere at any time.

How much do Google Docs cost?

Google Docs are included for free with every Google Account, so there are really no excuses for not using the spell checker.

Google Docs template gallery

4. Hemingway Editor

Hemingway Editor is a writing tool designed to help you improve your writing style. It analyzes written content and provides suggestions for improving readability by highlighting:

  • Long sentences
  • Unnecessary adverbs
  • Complex words

It's the perfect tool for you if you struggle with simplifying what you do so it's understandable to your clients. Rather than having to read through pages of text looking for problem areas, Hemingway can be used in real time. That way, you can identify issues as they arise and correct them immediately.

How much does Hemingway Editor cost?

The browser version of Hemingway Editor is completely free. That said, if you want to save your work without copying and pasting, you can also get the app for a one-time payment of $19.99. That's right, no subscriptions - pay for it once and it's yours forever.

Hemingway Editor interface

Task management and project management software

Managing your tasks and projects can be overwhelming, especially when you're juggling multiple clients. This is where task and project management software come in handy. Here are some popular choices for keeping relevant work information in one place.

1. Trello

Trello is a task management tool that allows you to organize work and collaborate with clients. It uses the Kanban board system, which helps you visualize tasks and move them across stages until completion. 

One of Trello's main features is its flexibility in creating custom boards, lists, and cards. You can create boards for different projects or clients, add lists for specific stages of the project, and create cards that represent individual tasks. 

Another helpful feature are Trello's collaboration capabilities. You can share boards with clients so they can collaborate on tasks in real time. Each of your cards can also have a due date, which helps you track project progress and stay on top of deadlines.

How much does Trello cost?

Trello's free version is ideal for freelancers that are just starting out and want to stay on top of task completion. And once your business grows and you move from task to project tracking, the paid plans start at $5/month.

Trello interface

2. Asana

One of the best features of Asana is its flexibility in terms of how you can organize your tasks. You can create lists, boards or calendars depending on what works best for you. This level of customization makes it easy to tailor it to fit your specific needs. 

Another great feature is Asana's ability to track time spent on each task by using timers or manual input. This not only ensures accurate billing, but also helps you identify areas you need to improve for greater productivity.

How much does Asana cost?

Asana's free plan is great for basic project management. As far as the paid plans are concerned, as a freelancer, you won't need to go further than the Premium plan. It's priced at $13.49/month and comes with advanced reporting, custom fields, and forms.

Asana interface

3. Todoist

Todoist allows you to create tasks, set due dates, and prioritize your work in a way that suits your workflow. When it comes to project management, you can break complex projects into manageable chunks by creating sub-tasks. That way, you can make sure you're staying focused on one task at a time. 

And if you need a little bit of incentive to finish that boring task you've been putting off, Todoist has something for you, too. Its Karma system rewards you for maintaining productivity streaks and completing tasks on time.

How much does Todoist cost?

Todoist is free to use. That said, you might want to consider upgrading to their Pro plan for $5/month for features like reminders and auto backups.

Todoist interface

Proposal software

Sending proposals is a crucial aspect of landing new clients and projects for any freelancer. However, creating proposals from scratch can be time-consuming and tedious. Worse yet, it takes you away from the time you could be spending doing what you love.

Luckily, there's proposal software that helps you create professional-looking documents quickly and easily. Obviously, Better Proposals is our absolute favorite, but we've also found two other popular options that could work for you.

1. Better Proposals

With Better Proposals, you'll have access to 200+ professionally-designed and pre-written templates. Each of them is customizable according to your preferences using our intuitive Editor.

Once you send your documents, you'll be notified when clients receive, open, forward, download or sign. Besides giving you complete insight into what's happening with your documents, this also makes it easier for you to follow up at the right time.

In addition to that, documents created in Better Proposals are web-based, meaning they'll look great on whatever device they're opened on. And besides letting your clients sign proposals, contracts, and more digitally, you can also get paid right from your documents. We integrate with Stripe, GoCardless, and PayPal so you can get paid from anywhere around the world.

How much does Better Proposals cost?

Better Proposals offers three plans, the lowest one at $19/month. Our Starter plan was created for freelancers who are just starting out. That said, once your business grows, the Premium plan at $29/month is there to help you automate more and fully brand your documents.

Better Proposals pricing

2. Proposify

Proposify is another popular proposal software option that offers editable templates. However, the templates are written as placeholder content, so you'll still have to do all the writing.

When it comes to layout options, Proposify is still sticking to an A4 format. And since documents are usually viewed on computer screens these days (especially the ones you want to sign digitally), your editing won't be that much different from using Word.

That said, Proposify does offer analytics, so at least you'll know what's happening with your document after you hit send.

Compare Proposify to Better Proposals

How much does Proposify cost?

If you're just starting out, Proposify's $49/month might be a bit too much. They had a free plan for some time, but they decided to ditch it at some point in 2022.

Proposify pricing

3. Bidsketch

With Bidsketch, you also get access to customizable templates for different types of projects. That said, it's unclear how many templates there actually are.

Similarly to Proposify, Bidsketch also kept the A4 piece of paper layout and the analytics are limited. You'll know when a client opened a proposal, how many times, and for how long they've been looking at it.

Bidsketch also offers time tracking features that allow you to log hours spent on each project. A bit unusual for proposal software, but might be useful if you're in the habit of tracking time while working.

Compare Bidsketch to Better Proposals

How much does Bidsketch cost?

While Bidsketch does offer a $15/month plan, there's a catch: electronic signatures aren't included. So, if you want the most important thing you came for, you'll need to get their Solo plan for $29/month.

Bidsketch pricing

Accounting software

When it comes to managing finances as a freelancer, accounting software is a must-have tool. What it ultimately comes down to is finding the perfect match for your business needs. Here are three options that can help you streamline your freelance finances.

1. Xero

Xero is one of the most popular accounting software among freelancers and small business owners. With its user-friendly interface, Xero simplifies bookkeeping for people who don't have a background in finance. 

One of the benefits of using Xero is its cloud-based technology, which allows you to access your financial data from anywhere. This feature also makes it easy to collaborate with an accountant or bookkeeper remotely. 

With Xero, you can also create customized invoices and set up automatic payment reminders for clients who are late on payments. Additionally, Xero integrates with payment platforms like Stripe, GoCardless, and PayPal.

How much does Xero cost?

You can start with Xero for as little as $13/month. And once your freelance business grows, you can upgrade to their Growing plan for $37/month.

Xero pricing

2. QuickBooks

QuickBooks helps you manage your finances by tracking expenses, invoicing clients, and organizing financial reports. With this tool, you can easily create invoices, set up recurring payments, and even accept online payments from clients. 

In addition to that, QuickBooks syncs with your bank accounts and credit cards. That way, all transactions are automatically recorded within the software and you no longer have to manually enter each transaction. 

Another benefit of using QuickBooks are its reporting capabilities. You can generate customized financial reports at any time to get insight into your overall business performance.

How much does QuickBooks cost?

If it's only you and your accountant, QuickBooks will set you back $17/month. For more than one currency, you'll need to get their $26/month plan. That said, whatever plan you choose, the first six months will only cost you $1.

QuickBooks pricing

3. FreshBooks

FreshBooks is a cloud-based accounting and invoicing software for small businesses and freelancers. It offers essential features such as invoicing, time tracking, expense management, and project management.

One of the biggest benefits of FreshBooks is its intuitive interface that makes it easy to navigate through the platform. You can create professional-looking invoices with just a few clicks and send them directly to clients. 

FreshBooks also generates comprehensive financial reports. That way, you get insights into business performance metrics such as revenue, expenses, profit margins, and cash flow statements.

How much does FreshBooks cost?

The lowest FreshBooks plan is $17/month, but if you want more automation and insights, you'll need to go with their Plus plan ay $30/month. That said, they're currently running a promotion that gets you 50% off on any plan for six months.

FreshBooks pricing

Final thoughts

Being a successful freelancer takes a lot of work and dedication. Luckily, there are tools that can help you manage your time and reduce the amount of admin work you do. Choose the ones that align best with your business and spend more time doing what you're great at.

"I'm awesome, give me the job" doesn't work

But showcasing your skills with documents that look, feel, and sound great does. Take Better Proposals for a spin - the first 14 days are free.

Patricija Šobak's profile image
Patricija Šobak puts her talent in spotting questionable grammar and shady syntax to good use by writing about various business-related topics. Besides advocating the use of the Oxford comma, she also likes coffee, dogs, and video games. People find her ability to name classic rock songs only from the intro both shocking and impressive.