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7 Great Online Tools for Freelancers

From doing the books to keeping your mind in the game, these web-based services can help you run your career.

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by Kara Baskin

Work
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When you work for yourself, nobody else is monitoring your budget or keeping track of your schedule. This is empowering—but it’s also easy to get off track. Sometimes it helps to have online reinforcements to boost focus. These websites and apps, all great freelancer tools, will help you manage your money, your time and your productivity. (Some basic services are free; others carry a fee.)

     See also: Getting Tech Savvy Part I: What's Holding You Back

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If you need help multitasking…

17hats.com is a one-stop shop for invoicing, calendar management, contract templates and more. Think of it as a virtual online desk where you can see your contacts, calendar and budget.

If you want to incorporate a workout routine…

Check out the My Gym app, where you can monitor your favorite gym’s schedule, sign up for classes, and keep track of your workouts.

     See also: How to Make Small Businesses Look Bigger

If you’re drowning in invoices…

Try FreshBooks. The service calculates totals and taxes, monitors when a client has opened the invoice for easy tracking, sends late-payment reminders, and lets you personalize a company logo.

If you’re managing a remote team…

Consider Toggl, which allows you to track group productivity and billable hours, share time reports, monetize projects, and visualize time and resources spent based on color-coded graphs.

If you’re scheduling a meeting with multiple people…

Sync your calendar with Doodle. Schedule events more easily by taking polls to see which times and locations work for various people, and then schedule automatic reminders.

If you’re saving receipts…

Digitize them using Shoeboxed, which syncs with Gmail for archiving. Scanned receipt images are accepted by the IRS, which can make tax time so much simpler. 

     See also:  Starting a Biz- What Hardware Do You Need?

If you’re easily distracted…

Spend time—but not too much—visiting Cold Turkey,  which allows users to disable addictive applications and websites for discrete amounts of time. Don’t worry, it lets you schedule breaks, too.