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A Guest Post by Emily Connor
I have been freelancing as a writer and editor ever since my four-year-old son was born. It makes life easier – I get to be with him while being able to work as well. When I started off, I had no idea how I would manage work with a demanding kid.
Over the years, though, I have learnt how to leverage technology and the awesome tools that are available online to make my life easier and work more efficient. But yes, there are still days (quite a few of them) where the going gets really tough and hardly any work gets done.
Here are some great freelance tools that will make your life as a freelance writer/editor easier.
Organizational tools: When you are freelancing and managing different clients, it can be difficult to track work and you may end up forgetting deadlines. Tools such as Todoist, Jira, and Bunker App come handy while organizing your work. These tools help you manage multiple tasks, prioritize work, track deadlines and invoices. Jira, for instance, also allows you to either choose a workflow or create your own.
CoSchedule is another software that you can use to organize tasks. It is an all-in-one editorial calendar which allows you to integrate your projects, marketing plans and social media with tools that you would use as a writer, including WordPress, Chrome and Google Analytics. CoSchedule’s Headline Analyzer also allows you to come up with headlines that will drive more traffic to your website.
Google Docs:This is your own folder where you can keep all your docs and worksheets in one place, share it and edit it in real time. Google Docs also supports third-party add-ons, which you can include to make your job easier and more efficient.
You can add tools such as Acronym Check, Consistency Check, Redundancy Check and Corporate Wording Check to Google Docs for free. It also has a Track Changes tool which allows you to keep track of changes that you have made to a certain piece of text. After starting tracking the changes you make, you can accept them or decline as you go.
Dropbox:The cloud-based file hosting service is a great place to organize and keep all your files, photos and sheets. You can store your files in Dropbox so that you don’t run the risk of filling up your computer’s storage space, or have to keep transferring your files every time you use a new computer. You can also share your files with multiple people and edit them in real time. And, if anything happens to your computer, you thankfully have all your work saved in DropBox.
Pocket: While researching for my articles, I would often have multiple tabs open on my computer. This cluttered my screen, and I would often end up closing the wrong window by mistake. That’s when I found out about Pocket, a tool that helps you put articles, videos and everything else that you want to view later, together in one platform. It’s made my life easier and the best part about Pocket is that it even works offline.
Writing and editing tools: If you have to edit your own pieces, as I do, the chances of you overlooking errors are great, no matter how proficient you are with the language. This is where Grammarly comes as a savior. The cloud-based English writing enhancement tool helps identify errors in your writing. Unlike Word, Grammarly is not limited to grammar and spellings alone.
It also points out words used in the wrong context, for e.g. stationery instead of stationary, and prompts you to correct them. You can also set the dialect of English that you use and the corrections will reflect the same.
Grammarly has a plagiarism checking tool which allows you to make sure that what you have written does not infringe anyone else’s copyright. Grammarly is available as an extension for Google Chrome, Safari, Firefox and edge. You can also download the app for both iOS and Android, though the service is chargeable on a monthly basis.
PaperRater is another plagiarism checking tool which will help you ensure that you don’t commit the grave error of copying. It allows you to check your text for grammatical mistakes, provides alternative suggestions and also checks your copy for plagiarism.
If you tend to run out of ideas when you are writing more than one blog a week, as I do, HubSpot’s Blog Ideas Generator is helpful as it allows you to put in keywords and then throws blog ideas back at you. For example, if you put in the keywords ‘writing’, ‘deadline’ and ‘leadership,’ the tool gives you five ideas – these may be basic ones such as ’10 quick tips about writing’ or ’14 Common Misconceptions About Leadership’, but they do help in getting your creative juices to flow.
With the Hemingway App, you can write crisp copy, avoid using jargons and passive words. All you need to do is paste your text and hit the Edit button. You will then receive color-coded suggestions such as avoiding adverbs, using more powerful verbs and writing shorter sentences which are easier to understand. ProWritingAid is another great option if you are looking to improve your writing style.
Invoicing: Sending invoices and chasing up on payments can be time-consuming tasks, but they are important – we all need to put food on our tables. Invoice Genius is a great option to create invoices, send them and track all your payments. You can also try Zoho Invoice which allows you to create a customized invoice that reflects your brand, allows you to bill your clients by the hour, by switching on the timer and enables online payments. And, if you do have to chase that eluding client for your payments, Zoho Invoice sends customized payment reminders and thank you notes on your behalf.
Freelance job sites: If you are searching for a freelance job, or want to build upon your portfolio, there are a number of freelance websites that you can find work on. Upwork, for example, offers short-term projects, as well as long-term ones, across all levels. Upwork has over 12 million freelancers and 5 million clients signed up on it, so the scope is huge.
Freelancer allows you to compete with other freelancers for jobs, allowing you to find and retain more clients. You can also try Freelance Writing Gigs if you are looking specifically for writing and editing jobs. Do remember that most of these Freelance sites do often take cuts for the services that they provide.
I am Emily Connor, a 26-year-old psychology student, and a content contributor at Dissertation Writing Service and my interests range from productivity, inspiration to reading anything motivational over the internet. I love dogs over cats and music over talking.