As a freelancer, you should be able to access your work anytime, anywhere – ’cause there’s an app for that.
Last week, my mother called me very excited. She was raving about this new app she’d been introduced to, that it was most wonderful app in the history of histories: Spotify. She was completely astounded by how it let her listen to whatever music she wanted, wherever she happened to be (after buying a subscription, of course). Now, I’m not saying that Spotify is a particularly old app, but I was a little surprised (and very amused) that she’d not heard about it before. “Technology is amazing!” she marveled.
Indeed it is.
As a freelancer, you need to stay up-to-date on all types of technology, be it your computer, writing software, the Internet, social media, and yes, even apps. Most of you probably work at your house and have a designated desktop/laptop you use for jobs. But what about when you’re not at home? Say you’re visiting relatives, and you check your email and see an urgent request from a client. Besides politely excusing yourself from the family, what else can you do? How can you exchange any files?
With your smartphone! (You do have one, right?)
Some people may feel like they don’t want to be tied to their work wherever they go, and that’s fine, but others enjoy being able to be away from home and still meet their quota for the day. Instead of your living room, you may want to take your tablet or phone to a quiet park or a bustling cafe. As long as you have service/Wi-Fi, you can reach and be reached by anyone in the world.
So which apps are best for this? If I’m being totally honest, there’s way too many to count, let alone cover here in this little article. As such, I’m going over my personal favorites, the ones I use most often in my editing work.
#1 – Google Drive (Docs, Sheets, Slides, etc.)
This is hands down the best shared writing/editing app available. To be fair, I’m an Android person, and I like the Google integration on my LG G4 smartphone. Everything is connected, even Chrome, so whatever article I was reading on my desktop browser, I can instantly pull it up again on my phone. My photos are backed up into Photos, and I can check my social posts on Google+. It’s all very handy and convenient, at least for me. Along with all this is Google Drive, a cloud system for sharing, creating, and editing documents. You can upload .docs, .pdfs, etc. but also create your own document that can be accessed by anyone you share it with. Here’s an example: One of my clients puts all their unedited articles in a Google Drive folder that they’ve shared with me (making sure in the settings that I’m allowed to edit, not just view). I open those articles and edit them, changing the title so my client knows which ones are complete. So there is a free exchange of work being done here, and I don’t have to do anything other than open a file and work on it. Everything else is saved and synced automatically. And of course, there’s a series of apps that lets you do that while on-the-go. It’s called “Google Drive,” but that only lets you view all the folders and files you have; to actually work on them, it will open into a separate app – for text files, this is Google Docs. A spreadsheet will be Google Sheets, and a presentation will be Google Slides. I’m not actually why it’s all split up, besides perhaps decreasing loading times. In any case, if you’re ever stuck at the DMV or wherever, you can use these Google apps to pull up some work to get done.
#2 – Email
Now, this one is kind of a given, especially since most phones come with an email app pre-installed. But if yours doesn’t for some reason or you’ve been logging in via the browser this whole time, consider using the email app. I personally use the pre-installed one, but Gmail, Yahoo, and other providers have their own apps you can download from your phone’s app store. Each has its own unique features, but the point is to be able to access your email whenever you need to and also to receive instant notifications. Again, you don’t want to have to keep logging in on the browser just to check your mail. The app will alert you – like a text message – whenever you have received a new message. This way, if something urgent comes up, you’ll be able to respond right away.
#3 – Paypal
I actually don’t have this app on my phone, but I definitely use Paypal a lot. It’s how I get paid for my freelance work. Being able to access your account, send/receive invoices, and check your balance is vital to keeping all your finances straight, and since Paypal doesn’t have brick-and-mortar locations, being able to access their site no matter where you are is incredibly important. If you’re not so much into the app, they have a text service where, for example, you can send the word “BAL” and instantly receive a text back of your exact account balance. Either way, keeping track of your money is necessary for any freelancer.
What about you? What are your favorite work-related apps? Share your thoughts in the comments below!