9 Great Starter Tools For Freelancers

Success as a freelancer requires more than just initiative and good business sense – it also takes the right tools. From managing your time to finding just the right photo, here are 9 of the best Websites for keeping your personal business afloat.

JobPile

The ability to drum up work is essential, but who has time to search job boards? JobPile takes listings from a several job sites – Indeed, Simply Hired, Yahoo!, HotJobs and Jobster – and funnels them into one easily-searchable location. Project seekers find at-a-glance freelance job listings in major cities across the country.


Backpack

The hardworking Backpack app helps you create an intranet online, where you can create task lists, share files and images, manage production calendars, and collaborate. Backpack also lets you create a secure e-mail system and message board. Signup is seamless, and the site offers a 30-day free trial.

HighRise

Writing an e-mail address on a napkin, or a phone number on your hand, is sometimes unavoidable. But with HighRise, you can seamlessly manage all your contacts – and create for yourself reminders to stay in touch with clients or prospects. The app helps you easily remember who’s who, what was said, and when you need to follow up next.


Remember the Milk

If you crave simple organization, Remember the Milk helps you stay on top of tasks. Create tagged to-do lists and then watch your task cloud to quickly see what’s next, or set reminders to be sent to your e-mail, instant messenger, or mobile device. You can even enter the locations of your errands and the site will tell you the most efficient route to take.


Meebo

Communicate quickly with clients and colleagues via chat or instant messenger with Meebo. The site lets you create a buddy list and then use virtually any IM service to communicate buddies with using AIM, Yahoo!, Facebook Chat, MSN Google Talk, MySpace IM, and many others. Quickly engage in private or group chats, share links, and work in real-time via your desktop or mobile device.


FreshBooks

With FreshBooks, account management is easy. This software helps you navigate accounts payable and receivable, send and track invoices online, and enter billable time from your computer or mobile device. You can create a branded system using your company’s logo, which will then be translated onto any form you create with the program, giving your business a polished look.


ConceptShare

Collaborate with clients and colleagues via ConceptShare, a tool specifically created for the sharing of print, web and video projects. Upload your work to the site, and then invite others to view and offer feedback. With the feel of a creative roundtable, contributors can mark up designs, make comments, and help drive the direction of the work without time and location barriers.

ProjectStat

Spend less time answering the phone and replying to e-mails, and more time working with ProjectStat, an app that lets you easily enter and update project statuses. Clients can log on and see how you’re progressing with timelines, rather than contacting you directly. The app tracks basics aspects of your projects and gives users simple, no-frills reports.


MorgueFile

Visit MorgueFile and pick up a few “has-been” photos. A huge library of high-resolution, royalty-free images is searchable by keyword. The site “repurposes” stock photos that are a little past their prime, but still very usable. Users can download any photo free of charge, view complete portfolios of photographers, and rate images to help improve the archive.

What are your favorite freelance tools?