As you know if you read this blog or know me in person, I’ve been on a crusade to find a job these past few months, and am currently freelancing while looking for full-time work. Granted, I’d prefer a steady paycheck and to be part of a team, but I admit that freelancing has its perks–the best for me being the flexibility to work from anywhere. That photo above? Yep, even worked from there a few weeks ago while on a trip to Grand Cayman for the wedding of some friends. It didn’t suck.
Anyway, I thought I’d share five apps that I’ve been using lately which I think are great for anyone running a small business or just trying to maximize the use of mobile devices so they’re not tied to a desk or office.
- FreshBooks. HUGE hat tip to Maddie Grant for recommending FreshBooks-I can’t imagine running a business without it. I use it to run my whole business–client database, timekeeping, invoicing. It’s free for 30 days, then if you have fewer than three clients, it’s free to use forever; for more, it’s absolutely worth the small price of being able to run your business from your iPhone.
- JotNot Scanner. A big part of both applying for jobs and freelancing involves scanning or faxing forms or agreements. If you’re like me and don’t have a scanner or fax (ok, admission–I have both in my printer but it’s not connected to a phone line and moving the billion-pound desk thing it’s in to connect it is never going to happen) and only have a home office, you need to either pay or beg to use someone else’s scanner/fax machine or get creative. I tried the JotNot Scanner Pro app a few years ago and am still using it today. It’s a little challenging to get used to–you take a photo of the document you want to scan/email then it turns it into a PDF–but it gets the job done. All for 99 cents.
- Google Drive. I only recently started using Google Drive once I realized that all my eggs are in the basket of a laptop with a battery and a power cord that regularly threaten to stop working, and no money with which to buy a new computer right now–I figured it wasn’t wise to have all my documents locked on my laptop and for whatever reason, I’m just not a huge Dropbox user. Google Drive lets me share selected files to the cloud (I only shudder a tiny bit about the privacy implications but for the most part I remain ignorant, so please share in the comments if you have Google Drive horror stories, or Dropbox ones, for that matter) and access them from any computer or device. Handy to be able to meet with a client and pull up their files right from my iPhone or iPad.
- Squarespace. I can’t believe it’s been almost a year since Daniel Agee created my awesome new website on Squarespace, but apparently it has. I won’t say it hasn’t been a bit of a challenge adapting to blogging on Squarespace, but I’ve finally gotten the hang of it and love it for its simplicity and ease of use. Not to mention their support is amazing. And the iPad app is also awesome for blogging on the go.
- Letterboxd. Ok, technically this isn’t a productivity app–or even an app–but that’s one of the perks of being a mobile worker with no boss: you can choose to go to the movies in the middle of a weekday. Letterboxd–again hat tip to Maddie Grant for pointing me to it from my annual movie recap post–is a movie tracking website, but it’s very mobile friendly, so I simply saved it to the homescreen of my iPhone and now I have an app for logging movies as I see them. No more frantic quest to remember all the movies I saw over the past year, no more trying to remember to log them in Evernote, which is what I used to use to keep track of movies I saw. Now I have a movie diary that lets me track movies right from my phone, including the dates I saw them, so this year’s movie recap post will be a snap. Or if you don’t want to wait until the end of the year for my movie list, you can follow me on Letterboxd!