Time management is an essential skill for a freelancer. Without it you might end up working 15 hours a day but still not have enough money to buy food at the end of the week. On the flip side, effective time management can allow you to earn more money than you do now, and knock off early on Friday afternoon.
Time management is not something you need to do by yourself though. Loads of tools exist that will help you manage your time more efficiently. Here are some of the best.
Most freelancers have to-do lists that are so long and complicated that they need a to-do entry to remind them to manage the to-do list. Remember The Milk takes the pain out of this by helping you manage your tasks. It even sends you reminders.
If you find yourself spending more time on tasks, projects or clients than you should, the 30/30 app is the solution. It allows you to set timers to help you stick to your schedule.
Following a timer is not the only solution to effective time management. This is because it is hard to get a long-term picture of how your time is being spent, particularly if you work for clients in bite-sized chunks over a week or a month. RescueTime helps you understand your work patterns so that you can see the areas where you are unproductive and the areas that are taking up most of your time.
Evernote does away with all the post-it notes, diary entries, voice memos, and website bookmarks and brings them all into one easy-to-use tool that will synchronize across your devices. It is essential if you want to keep all your thoughts and ideas in one place.
One way to waste time is not having access to all the information you need when you need it. Dropbox solves this by making it possible for you to access all your files on any device wherever you are—so long as you have Internet access.
If you have trouble staying focused on the things that matter, Focus Booster can help. It is a common problem with freelancers—checking emails instead of working or browsing social media instead of marketing. Focus Booster helps you avoid these distractions, and others, until the allocated time.
If you charge by the hour, Toggl is a great tool to use. It has an intuitive interface that's easy to use that allows you to keep track of the work that you do on multiple projects. It is much more efficient than using spreadsheets or notes.
Finally, we have an aptly named app to bring this list to a close. It is another to-do list app, but it makes it onto this list because of the unique way that it brings a sense of accomplishment to the completion of tasks. If you struggle with motivation or procrastination, this is an app you should try out.
Time management is something that you will have to work hard to improve, but these apps will help for sure.