Writers love being their own boss. But with freelance work comes a lot of headaches. Whether your weak spot is staying organized, time management, or simply keeping your butt glued to your seat until you meet a deadline, there are plenty of resources out there to help streamline your workflow.
I've been freelancing for five years, and have had a lot of time to try pretty much every app out there. With a lot of trial (and even more error), I've found the four best apps that work for me – and that you'll probably love too!
For Project Management: Notion
The self-proclaimed "all-in-one workspace" is excellent for anyone needing some guidance in project management. It truly is an all-in-one type of deal from marketing, design, tools for storage, goals, tasks, collaboration techniques, and much more. The clincher? The desktop app synchs effortlessly with your phone or tablet – perfect for yours truly, who is notorious for thinking of yet another to-do list item while in the Target parking lot, out for a run, or getting gas at 2 am (we don't talk about that last one...).
Arguably the best feature is its integration with other programs. Evernote, Google Drive, Slack, and many more programs are all embedded within Notion for the ultimate streamlined online workstation. I synch it with Google Drive and Slack to keep all my clients' info organized, and keep running to-do lists of tasks, schedules, and more.
For Social Media Management: Buffer
Social media marketing can take up a considerable chunk of time for those who run their own business. When I started to use LinkedIn to reach potential clients and freelancers looking for resources, I realized pretty quickly how tedious remembering to post content is. If I'm in the middle of a project or out with family, I can't always remember to hit "post," so I'm really glad Buffer exists!
With Buffer, you can schedule social media posts in an efficient way that works for you. That way, you'll avoid waking up and working at odd hours just to click "post." Plus, you can focus more on writing and less on marketing and social media management. There are only so many hours in a day, after all!
For Maintaining Focus: Forest
Some writers are like wizards. They can sit down, bang out a press release, a blog on the top crypto wallets, or write an outstanding speech, all in one sitting. But we all have our weak spots. Whether it's the editing, the research, a case of severe writers' block, distractions happen to the best of us.
I love Forest because it gamifies my focus. The concept is simple: an adorable little tree grows when you're NOT scrolling through TikTok (or whichever your social media vice is) and dies when you click out of the app. My sister - a fellow freelancer - and I send each other screenshots of our little Forest forests, which adds an extra layer of accountability...and keeps me off my For You Page...
For Writing: Dragon Dictation
Yes, this is an app for dictation. I know what you're thinking, and I agree: voice-to-text is almost never my friend. However, freelance writers will discount dictation due to frequent inaccuracies and an added effort in saving or transferring text.
If you have these concerns, seriously give Dragon Dictation a try. It's pretty accurate and even integrates with your social media platforms to post online directly. You can also email yourself ideas through the app to save for another day. It's super helpful for me when I feel like my brain is going faster than my fingers could type, or when I'm driving and don't want to pull over and type into my phone. (Am I the only one who feels like typing on my phone is getting harder with age?)
As freelance writers, we carry a lot of weight on our shoulders to complete phenomenal work while maintaining a steady flow of income. I'm so glad apps like these exist to give me the tools I need to do great work and cut down on stress!
Do you have a favorite app I didn't list above? Share it in the comments - I love trying something new!