Tools I Use Every Day in My Freelance Business
Every freelancer (and business owner) has their own set of tools they use to operate their freelance business. 🛠️ There are tools for emailing, marketing, designing, and so on. The number of tools and variety of options can be a little overwhelming.
Many of the tools I use on a daily basis come from my past experience and having used them at previous employers. I got used to using them and I just can't switch to something else—I would know, I've tried.
Here are some of the tools I use day-to-day that help me smoothly run my business:
🟠 HubSpot, my CRM
My love (and my use of) HubSpot continues to grow with time. Right now, I use the free version of HubSpot to keep up with my prospecting pipeline and deal flow. I recently relaunched my website in HubSpot and plan to start doing some marketing for my business through the platform now that it's transitioned out of Wix. Once I create my marketing strategy, I plan to upgrade to a paid plan and use more of HubSpot's robust marketing and sales features.
I chose to use HubSpot as my CRM because much of my career so far has been centered around using it for past employers and for freelance clients. It's ingrained in much of what I do, so it made sense for me to use to manage this part of my business. Plus it's a tool I want to grow my business with. This was a long-term decision, so naturally, my marketing will be done here.
If you're interested in using HubSpot as your CRM, check out the free and paid plans here. I'd be happy to help you get your account set up for success!
💖 Asana, my project management tool
As a team of one, it may sound a little silly to have a project management tool, but I'm the kind of person that needs tasks and deadlines to keep me on track. Asana is how I stay on top of all my to-dos and plan all my social media content. I have an entire system I use to tag and color code everything, and I really do live by tasks and due dates. I've even had freelance clients have me help them get their instance of Asana set up similar to the way mine functions.
I chose to use Asana as my project management tool because I've had so much experience with it at past employers and with freelance clients that it's just how my brain operates now. I've tried using other tools like Trello and Monday, and I just simply cannot make them work now that I've used Asana for so long. Don't get me wrong—I'm sure they're great tools—they just don't work for me personally.
🟣 Canva, my graphic design tool
I spend probably more time in Canva than I should, but it makes it so easy for me to create graphics and videos for my business and my clients. I'm not a graphic designer by any means—even though at one point I tried to switch to that as my career—so anything that makes it easy on me to create beautiful designs is worth signing up for the paid plan. I have gotten really good at Canva though. I've even started creating audiograms with it!
I chose to use Canva as my graphic design tool because it makes it so easy for non-graphic designers to create designs that you'd think were made by graphic designers. I've been using it since at least 2016—if not longer—for all my graphics and now for lots of short-form video content for TikTok and Instagram Reels.
🔵 Google Workspace, my all-around business tools
I use the Google suite of products for just about everything—email, word docs, spreadsheets, meetings, photos, etc.
I chose Google Workspace as my all-around business tool because as a business of one, I didn't need anything super fancy-shmancy for emails, documents, and so on, but I did want something that I trusted and was easily accessible across all my devices—because I switch between my phone and laptop very frequently.
🟢 Slack, my communication tool
I've joined a few networking groups that use Slack to allow you to communicate with other members, and I know there are more Slack groups I should join. I've actually gotten a few prospects from them!
Plus I use Slack for a few clients to communicate with other team members on their projects.
I chose to use Slack as my communication tool because it lets me easily connect with people on a less formal basis than email, and so many people use it.
There are plenty more tools I use, but these are the core tools where I spend most of my time as a freelancer. I'd love to know what tools you use for your business → they could be an addition to my daily toolkit! Leave me a comment with your faves!
Here are some extra tools I use just not every day, but they do help me run my business and support my clients:
- Quickbooks - for invoicing my clients
- iMovie - for creating short-form social videos from long-form video content
- Social Status - for a comprehensive look at social media analytics for my business and for my clients