Save Your Wrists with Dictation Software
If you have carpal tunnel/repetitive strain injury issues, it’s also worth investing in dictation software.
Sure, the built-in voice recognition in Windows and Google Docs work for some people, but if you want a comprehensive tool, there’s nothing better than Dragon NaturallySpeaking. I draft all my articles with it.
You can also use it for web browsing. The basic version is $70.
An Invoicing and Income Tracking Tool
Any successful freelancer needs to invoice clients, so it’s useful to have a tool for this. A good starting point is customizing an invoicing template for Word, Excel or Google Docs for billing your clients. You can also use a spreadsheet to track your income.
I did this for years, and it works, but when it’s time to do your taxes, you may want a more robust system.
My pick, though, is a tool that’s simple to use, looks great, and tracks income and expenses in multiple categories: Wave Accounting.
Even better: it’s free.
With Wave you can;
Manage both business and personal accounts.
Integrate with your bank and Paypal (another online must-have for freelancers)
Set up different types of work
Easily add new clients
Generate automatically numbered invoices (this is a biggie) and send them from within the system, download them as PDFs or use Gmail to send them.
Send invoice reminders
There’s much more, and I’m still amazed this is available for the price of looking at a few sidebar ads (which are not that intrusive).
Related to this, you can also consider a tool that allows you to create proposals, turn them into invoices and get contracts signed. Options for this include Contractually, Quote Roller, BidSketch and Bonsai. Many freelancers love these, though I personally stick with Wave for everything.