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Resources for Freelancers

by Sean P. Aune ( from mashable.com )

Deciding to become a freelance worker can be a scary proposition. Sure there is an allure to picking what projects you work on, but it can also be stressful not knowing where your next paycheck will come from. Luckily there are numerous resources out there that not only help you find more work, but also loads of tools to help you do your job more efficiently with a professional edge.

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We’ve gathered over 85 tools and job sites for a variety of freelancers and web workers. While a lot of these items are focused on web design elements such as photography, programming and writing, we made sure to include something for everyone.

Have more resources to recommend? Tell us about them in the comments.


Work Tools


It’s important for freelance workers to be as organized as possible. After all, it’s up to you to track your time, individual projects, create your own invoices, and more. There are tons of great tools to simplify this for you. For example, GetHarvest.com can help you keep track of your time spent on projects in differing locations, and Zoho Invoices can help you create professional looking invoices to send to clients.

Adobe AIR Apps


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AgileTracker – Allows you to keep track of time spent on projects by client, and if you are using AgileAgenda, you can sync them with each other.Google Calendar Invoice Creator – Allows you to use Google Calendar as a way to keep track of your hours and then import that data into this app to automatically generate invoices.Klok – Klok allows you to easily keep track of your time spent on multiple projects. You can easily start and stop tracking by just clicking a button for each project. You’re able to generate multiple reports based off of this information.Ora Time and Expense – Ora allows you to track expenses, keep a list of your tasks, run a timer on your tasks and more.Sundial – Keeps track of time spent on multiple projects & clients and allows you to generate reports based on any time period.Timeloc – Offers multiple features such as running several clients with different billing rates per account, setting different timing intervals, audible alerts and much more.

Vertabase Timer – You can track time on projects for various clients and then export that data to other systems so you can generate reports and invoices.


Invoicing


zoho invoice
BillMyClients.com – Has import & export capabilities, allows you to save invoices locally at any time, HTML customization for better branding, recurring invoicing, PayPal integration and other features.Blinksale.com – Create invoices from their templates, or you can use your own CSS to custom design one of your own.  Also allows you to import clients from Basecamp, create tags for better organization, set up recurring invoices and more.CannyBill.com – CannyBill can help you accept credit cards, export data to QuickBooks, automate invoicing and late payment notices and a host of other tools.CitrusBill.com – You can automate late payment notices as well as customize the look and feel of your invoices while managing all of your payments.CurdBee.com – A simple and straightforward invoicing solution that also integrates with PayPal and Google Checkout.Endeve.com – Endeve allows you to customize invoices, import clients from Outlook, track which clients owe you money and a whole lot more.

Fluttervoice.co.uk – A UK-based invoicing service that allows you to generate new invoices and keep track of your payments.  Your clients can also login to see all of their invoices with you at a glance.

FreeAgentCentral.com – Helps you to invoice your clients, keep track of billing, prepare your taxes, and more.  Focused on freelancers in the UK.

FreshBooks.com – FreshBooks allows you to automate late payment reminders, track your time and expenses, customize the look of your tools for a full branded experience and more.

GoToBilling.com – Get paid from an emailed invoice, keep track of your clients, use marketing tools to gain new ones and more.

InLattice.net – Give your clients web access to their invoices and receive confirmation that your customer has viewed an invoice. InLattice integrates with major online payment systems and other tools.

InvoiceJournal.com – InvoiceJournal allows you to send invoices for free via email or print them out to be sent by snail mail.  Also allows you to use multiple currencies.

InvoiceMachine.com – Customize your invoices with logos and colors, use their built-in timer to track your billable hours, create PDFs of your invoices and more.

InvoicePlace.com – InvoicePlace lets you send invoices, track all payments, generate reports, export to Word & Excel and more.

Invoicera.com – Invoicera offers you several time saving features such as automatic repeating invoices for frequent clients, integration with multiple payment gateways, printing, management and more.

invoicesmadeeasy
InvoicesMadeEasy.com – This service allows you to email or physically mail invoices yourself, or you can pay as little as a $1.00 each to have them mail invoices for you.  Offers all of the usual features to boot.Invotrak.com – Allows you to track your time sheets, generate invoices, see who has paid you, generate various reports to see how you are performing and more.LiteAccounting.com – Create invoices you can send via email, save them as PDFs, set up recurring invoices, and more features.SimplyBill.com – Save your invoices as PDFs, create quotes for work that you can later convert to invoices, get alerted when an invoice is overdue and numerous other features.SimplyInvoices.com – SimplyInvoices integrates with the Basecamp API to give you full integration with your account and allow for easy invoicing based on your Basecamp activities.Winkbill.com – Set up recurring billing, export invoices as PDFs, accept payments via PayPal, multiple templates to choose from and more features.

Zoho Invoices – The popular Zoho online office suite has an invoicing feature that can be used for free for a few invoices a month, but you’ll have to pay if you have numerous payment requests to make.  Allows you to import and export data, set up templates, set up recurring billing and more.


Time Tracking


tickspot
GetHarvest.com – Harvest offers pricing plans from free to premium, but offers an amazing array of platform integrations such as iPhone, Basecamp, Beanstalk, a WordPress plugin and more.  Offers both time tracking and invoicing.MyClientSpot.com – Helps you keep track of your billable hours, staying organized, tracking leads and numerous other features.Tickspot.com – Allows you to keep track of your time spent on a project and even see how close you are to using up your client’s allotted budget.  Also offers a free iPhone application.Time59.com – Keep track of your time and expenses and generate invoices that you can send to your clients.TimeIQ.com – Keep track of your billable hours. Allows for exporting of data, generating reports at your own specified intervals, and several more features.Toggl.com – Toogl allows you to manually keep track of your time or use their timer.  They also offer both an online version or a Windows-based download that you can use on your desktop.


Miscellaneous Tools


simplifythis
Bizzvo.com – Allows you to import contacts, keep to-do lists, take notes, log phone calls with clients, create invoices and more.Cashboard -A Basecamp compatible tool that allows you to use Mac OSX, Windows and iPhone applications to update your customers on projects, send invoices, accept payments and more.CreativeProOffice.com – CreativePro Office allows you to manage your clients, projects, tasks, invoicing and more all in one easy web application.FreelanceSwitch.com Rates Calculator – Have no clue what you should be charging for your hourly rate as a freelancer?  This rates calculator asks you a series of questions about your working situation, how much you want to make and so on, and then gives you a suggestion of how much to charge per hour.Homecourtx.com – Gives you a customer management system as well as the ability to pass files back and forth and invoice.SimplifyThis.com – SimplifyThis is both an appointment book for keeping track of your meetings, and any of those that might be billable, as well as a full invoicing service with payment gateway integrations.



Job Listings & Opportunities



So you’ve got the tools to do your job, but do you have the work to do?  Photographers have tons of places like iStockphoto where they can open an account and sell their images with little to no hassle.  For writers there are places such as Helium.com, where you can write any time you’d like, on any subject. While places like FreelanceWriting.com will help you find steadier work.  And if you’re a programmer, there are sites like GetAFreelancer.com, where it seems people will always need workers for more highly technical jobs.

Freelance Photography


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123rf.com – 123 Royalty Free pays you a 50% commission on downloaded images, and also allows you to earn money for referring subscribers and new photographers alike.BigStockPhoto.com – BigStockPhoto pays you between $.50 and $3.00 per download for your photos, and even higher for special requests.Dreamstime.com – Photographers can place their images here for a sale and receive between 50% and 80% commission.Fotolia.com – Commissions range from 33% to 64% depending on your exclusivity and your ranking based on the total number of downloads you’ve sold.FreelancePhotoJobs.com – Find all sorts of freelance photography jobs for magazines, weddings, websites and more.ImageCatalog.com – Depending on licensing, ImageCatalog pays photographers anywhere from $.40 to $40.00 per download.

iStockphoto – Photographers can earn from 20 – 40% commissions on each photo they sell through this royalty free site.  (Disclosure: Mashable has a partnership with iStockphoto)

PhotoStockPlus.com – You can earn commissions up to 85% with a 3.25% processing fee for both photos you sell as well as products you put your images on such as mugs and other products.

Shutterstock.com – Shutterstock pays a flat rate of $.25 a download and increases it to $.30 per download when you hit $500 in a pay period.  You can also earn commissions for referring others to the service.


Freelance Programmers & Web Designers


limeexchange
DesignQuote.net – Potential clients with design and graphic art work post jobs that freelancers can browse through and post bids on to win contracts.FreelanceAuction.com – Allows you to bid on listed jobs for all aspects of programming and design.  Numerous listings for Web coding and design work such as logos.GetAFreelancer.com – Focused on a wide selection of computer related work from basic site design to developing full sites for Joomla, OsCommerce, WordPress and more.LimeExchange.com – Offers jobs that freelancers can bid on, and then you can continue to use the service to check in with one another throughout the lifespan of the project.oDesk.com – A marketplace for freelancers to meet up with clients and look for work.  Clients can leave ratings and reviews for any freelancers they hire to help them get future work.ozLance.com.au – Focused on Australia, ozLance has listings for Web development, content writing, audio/visual work and more.

Project4Hire.com – Contractors post technical programming or blogging jobs they have available and freelancers bid for the work.

RentACoder.com – Has thousands of open coding projects and a newsletter you can subscribe to so that you receive daily notifications of new projects as they come available.

ScriptLance.com – ScriptLance focuses heavily on programming assignments, but also features some listings for blog content creation.

SearchWebJobs.com – A job site focused on Web related jobs with a section dedicated to freelance engagements that indicate if you must live near the office or if you can work from anywhere.


Freelance Writers


jobsproblogger
BloggerJobs.biz – Numerous blogging jobs from all different styles of blogs that range from freelance to full-time.FreelancePortfolios.com -A resource allowing writers to set up portfolios to show off their work and skills to potential employers.  Also has some job listings for people looking for work.FreelanceWriting.com – FreelanceWriting.com features a mixture of articles and resources to help people break into freelance writing, and also offers some job listings and links to other resources.Helium.com – While not so much freelance writing as writing “on spec,” you are free to write articles on any subject and then you can earn revenue from a portion of their advertising sales related to your articles.Jobs.ProBlogger.net – A jobs board over at the well known ProBlogger for freelance and full-time bloggers looking for work.JournalismJobs.com – Features job listings for blogs, newspapers, magazines, newswires and other forms of print and online media.

Online-Writing-Jobs.com – Offers all sorts of freelance writing job listings for magazines, reviews, resume writing, blogs and more.

Suite101.com – Freelance writers of all stripes can write articles on just about any subject of their choice and get paid a share of the advertising for the entire life of the article.

WritersWeekly.com – A weekly ezine dedicated to freelance writing that features articles and some listings for jobs.

WritingBids.com – A site that allows various online and offline publishers to post writing gigs that freelancers can bid on in an attempt to win.

WritingCareer.com – Features listings of freelance writing jobs as well as guides and advice for aspiring writers.


Miscellaneous Freelancers


elance
AllFreelanceWork.com – AllFreelanceWork offers a support community as well as a jobs board for people looking for work in web design, sales, marketing and more.Amazon Mechanical Turk – Run by Amazon.com, Mechanical Turk offers all sorts of quick freelance work from simple things such as doing searches for Creative Commons licensed photography to writing full articles for web sites.BizReef.com – Contractors post their jobs and freelancers bid on the work in a number of fields such as graphic design, marketing, photography and more.ContractedWork.com – Businesses needing work done post their projects and then freelancers can bid for the work.  Has a heavy concentration on web site related work, but does also have listings for other fields.Elance.com -A well known freelancing website with just about every type of job you can think of from high end coding projects to engineering, finance, copy writing and a lot more.  Freelancers can set up profile pages listing all of their skills and what services they offer.FreelanceJobs.org – Freelancers can set up a profile explaining their background while employers can post jobs for computer workers, Web designers, writers, translators and many more fields.

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18 Responses to “Resources for Freelancers”

  1. joanne says:

    Hi,

    Fanurio http://www.fanuriotimetracking.com is another tool designed for home offices. It helps with the less appealing aspects of freelancing like keeping track of time and invoicing. It’s a useful application, with a user-friendly interface.

  2. Wow

    Thank you very much, all those quality resources found in an instance.

    Thank you for gather that information, it will all come in handy one day.

    Will pop back here.

    Mike

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  8. Megha says:

    So many great tools all here in one place. I’ve used a number of these. Though my personal favorite is the Replicon Time tracking software. Amazing tool and is being widely used by various freelancers.
    http://www.replicon.com/time-tracking-software.aspx

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  10. Daniel Smith says:

    The best way to work for freelancers is with great resources and online tools. These way freelancers can work effectively on tasks and meet the client’s standard. Tools like time management are essential to freelancers. Using these tools it can help freelancers to manage time effectively and limit wasted time. It also helps freelancers to finish tasks on time meet the given time frame. Time tracking tools works perfectly with a to-do list which you can use to set an estimated amount of time when working on each tasks. Here are some of the tools that can help you track time accurately even when working on different tasks.
    http://www.timedoctor.com/blog/2010/07/25/how-is-time-doctor-different-than-rescue-time

  11. Nikki says:

    I appreciate you taking the time to compile this list of resources. I’ll be sure to bookmark this page and check back periodically.

    I’d like to add to your list, an online accounting system called Billy’s Billing (http://billysbilling.com).

    BB is all about easy numbers. None of that complex stuff that comes along with traditional accounting software. It was made for entrepreneurs, by entrepreneurs.

    Anyone can sign up to be one of the firsts to try Billy’s accounting software when it launches.

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