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The Essential Freelance Toolkit in 2023: Top 10 Tools for Independent Professionals

By taking advantage of the opportunity to schedule their own time, freelancers have - naturally - become champions of efficiency. Most of us are early adopters of all new applications and digital solutions, constantly optimising our operations. 
Szilvia Filep
| May 23, 2023
Szilvia Filep
May 23, 2023
The Essential Freelance Toolkit

If there is a better, more efficient solution for a task, process or digital activity, freelancers quickly find and use it. In this article, I will show you the essential tools that freelancers use in 2023 around the world.

1. Trello

Trello is the most commonly used project management app among freelancers. It’s a web-based, kanban-style list builder app that can be used for a myriad of projects, from house building to events or complete communication campaigns. It’s also worth trying with a team, but above a certain number of people you might want to consider switching to a more feature-rich app like Asana

With Trello, freelancers can create boards to organise their projects and tasks, and then add cards to those boards to track progress and collaborate with team members or clients. The platform also offers a range of useful features, such as checklists, due dates, and file attachments, to help freelancers stay on top of their work and meet deadlines.

Another benefit of Trello for freelancers is its flexibility and adaptability. The platform can be customised to suit different workflows and project types, and it also integrates with third-party tools, such as Slack and Google Drive, allowing freelancers to streamline their workflows and collaborate more effectively with clients and team members.

Trello is also an affordable option for freelancers, with a free plan that offers basic features and paid plans with more advanced features and higher usage limits.

2. Slack

Slack is a popular communication and collaboration platform developed by a US software company and owned by Salesforce from 2021. Its advantage over other chat applications (Skype, Messenger, etc.) is that it has a number of additional practical features, plus it is completely advertising-free. With Slack, freelancers can create channels for different projects or teams, allowing them to keep conversations and information organised and easily accessible. Slack is used regularly by freelancers working in a network.

Slack is also used for community building and management, which is why we also chose this platform. Not connected yet? Don’t delay, join the Slack of Freelance Business Community!

3. Zoom

If it’s a video call, then Zoom is the clear winner of my non-representative mini-survey of nearly 100 participants. It is probably the ease of use and practical features that have made it popular with freelancers. It was already the most popular platform among freelancers before the pandemic, with far more people using it than Google Meets or Skype.

With Zoom, freelancers can schedule and host meetings with clients and team members, and also record and share those meetings for future reference. The platform also offers screen sharing, virtual backgrounds, and breakout rooms, to enhance the collaboration and communication experience.

Although the free version has all the essential features, if you regularly have multiple types of online meetings (1:1, group, meetup, webinar), it’s worth subscribing to the PRO plan. It’s not that expensive and the stable and secure private online meeting room is worth the price.

4. Canva

Canva is a graphic design platform used to create social media graphics, presentations, posters, documents and other visual content. The application includes templates for users, so you can create something spectacular without any serious graphic design skills. Many graphic designers who also use Adobe Photoshop and Illustrator also prefer Canva because of its idea bank. You can customise templates to suit your needs, or create designs from scratch using the platform’s extensive library of images, icons, and graphics. 

While the platform offers a range of paid plans, it also offers a free plan that provides access to basic features, making it an accessible option for freelancers on a budget.

5. Hubspot

Hubspot is an all-in-one marketing, sales and customer service platform that provides freelancers with many tools to manage their businesses effectively. With Hubspot, freelancers can manage their contacts, track their interactions, and automate their marketing and sales efforts. The platform also offers tools for project management, including task management, team collaboration, and time tracking, helping freelancers stay organised and productive.

Hubspot’s free meeting scheduler, in particular, is a very valuable tool for freelancers as it allows them to schedule and organise meetings with their clients quickly and easily. You can share your availability with clients and let them choose a time that works best for both parties. In addition, Hubspot’s meeting feature syncs with most popular calendar apps, so freelancers can avoid double-booking or scheduling conflicts. 

Speaking of appointments: also, Dotcal is a great option to find everyone’s free time in seconds. You can merge your calendars seamlessly with colleagues, clients, friends, & family into one place. 

6. Crowdcast

Crowdcast.io is a comprehensive platform for hosting webinars and live events. Firstly, it provides a seamless and interactive user experience, allowing freelancers to engage with their audience through features such as live chat, polls, and Q&A sessions. Secondly, Crowdcast offers robust analytics and tracking capabilities, enabling freelancers to gain valuable insights into attendee behaviour and measure the success of their events. 

Additionally, the platform integrates smoothly with other tools like email marketing services and CRM systems, facilitating efficient lead generation and follow-up.

7. Strikingly

Strikingly provides a user-friendly website builder with a wide selection of modern and customizable templates, allowing freelancers to quickly create visually appealing and responsive websites without any coding knowledge. Third-party tools and services are also available, such as analytics, social media platforms, and email marketing. Additionally, the platform offers built-in e-commerce functionality, making it convenient for freelancers to showcase and sell their digital products or services directly on their websites.

8. Mailerlite

Mailerlite is an email marketing platform, an easy-to-use, affordable solution for building and managing email lists and campaigns. It has an intuitive drag-and-drop editor, which allows you to create professional-looking email newsletters and campaigns without any coding or design skills.

Mailerlite provides a variety of automation tools, such as welcome emails, abandoned cart emails (for webshops), and follow-up emails, which can save freelancers time and increase their email engagement rates.

Ideal if you are just starting to build a database: easy to use, wonderful layouts, free plan up to 1000 contacts and 12,000 emails per month.

9. Lu.ma

Lu.ma allows freelancers to create an event page in under a minute. You can bring your community together through this platform, you can collect feedback, visualise your community on an interactive map, you can share community updates. Furthermore, Lu.ma offers a seamless payment system, allowing freelancers to securely accept payments and invoices directly through the platform.

10. Yoast SEO

Yoast SEO is a search engine optimization plugin for WordPress websites. The plugin has five million active installations and has been downloaded over 350 million times. Today, not only large companies, but also small businesses, freelancers and farmers use search engine optimization to get their websites in front of more people. 

With Yoast SEO, you can complete the main SEO tasks, such as setting up meta descriptions, generating sitemaps, and analysing content for keyword optimization and readability. The plugin also offers suggestions for improving website content, such as adding internal links and optimising images.

I wish you a pleasant discovery, I hope there will be a tool you haven’t tried before and that it will save you many, many hours of work! For more ideas, read our article with 80+ great tools for freelancers! If you have a question or know of a better, more efficient solution in one of these areas, email us to [email protected]!


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Szilvia Filep

Szilvia Filep

Brand & Business Development Strategist | Coworking Specialist | Marketing & Partnership Manager of Freelance Business Community

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