The top apps for the travelling freelancer
Whether you're commuting in the big smoke or scaling the country on the Virgin Pendolino, life on-the-go can get pretty tricky for a freelancer. You have to adjust to new places, remember different clients, fit in all your admin…you have so much to do and so little time. You don’t even have time to finish saying ‘one decaf peppermint-mocha Frappuccino with extra whipped cream’ before you’re on the move again.
We all get by with a little help from our friends and in 2016, your best friend is your phone. Smart phones really are seriously smart these days, armed with apps ready and waiting to make your on-the-go working life easier. Here are the best of the best to use when you're working on the move:
#1 WiFi Finder
It is a truth universally acknowledged that a good internet connection is priceless when working on-the-go. If you’re looking for that needle in a haystack, then WiFi Finder can help. This free and easy-to-use application allows you to look at WiFi maps of areas, telling you where the strongest connection is in your immediate surroundings and allowing you to research areas ahead of actually being there. Not only does it remove the time-wasting guesswork that goes into working out which café has connectivity, you can also download its database offline meaning you won't be in that chicken and egg situation of needing a connection to find a connection.
If you're up and down the UK travelling to clients in different cities, it's hard to keep a mental map of useful places in each. Whether you want to make a note of where you had that great steak for your next client lunch or if you found a hotel with good last minute deals, City Maps 2Go can keep all your notes. It allows you to save your favourite locations in each city, creating a map that makes the city all your own so that next time you're in town you don't have to waste time racking your brain for names and streets long-forgotten. Better yet, if you're in internet black spots, there's an offline version also available.
Albert is the new, innovative app that enables you to create professional, branded invoices in the palm of your hand. Free, easy to use and beautifully designed, Albert makes your life easier by helping you get ahead of the game - whether you are catching your breath between jobs or on your daily commute, invoices can be created. Albert organises and stores files in Dropbox, so you don’t have to worry about keeping your files organised, making tax time a lot less stressful.
The app contains shortcuts including an autonumbering system to keep track of invoices and a huge database containing invoicing addresses. It also doubles up as an app for logging your work hours so that, when it comes to invoicing, you’re not relying on scraps of paper in a long-forgotten file. Everything is there for you enabling you to get paid easily in a few short clicks.
It's hard to balance the busy on-the-go lifestyle with the functional office needs of freelancing. Clients regularly send you documents that need to not only be looked over but often also to be signed. SignEasy saves you running looking for a printer and a scanner when you are on the move. You can sign and fill in documents in a number of formats (PDF, Word, Excel and more) and save straight to compatible cloud-based storage spaces.
Freelance life on the move can make it difficult to connect with clients and attend important meetings. Join.me offers you the next best thing – a simple, instinctive app enabling you to have video and audio meetings from wherever you may be. The meetings can have up to 250 participants at once, allowing you to share your screen with all, share files and message meeting participants directly. Best of all is the ease with which you can set a meeting up – the function is quick to install and straightforward to use meaning time-wasting is kept to an absolute minimum.
And the Oscar for best app for the travelling freelancer goes to…
Ah, good old Dropbox. A freelancer is lost without a good cloud-based storage solution and Dropbox is the very best. It ensures your documents are reliably backed up, synched up across different devices and easily accessible at a moment’s notice. While its competitors may offer more free space up front, Dropbox’s user interface is unbeatable in its simplicity and familiarity – it uses a set up that looks exactly like you are looking in a computer file. It is being used more and more as the back-up of choice with new app releases so its compatibility should make it all the more attractive to you.
Maybe useful for those with car :) : BBC Travel updates for road