When running your own design business there are many business skills required over and above the ability to create beautiful work. Keeping clients up to date with progress, informing co-workers of any alterations to their work, invoicing clients etc. For many designers or arty types the day-to-day running of a project or their office in general is their weakest skill.

{jb_quote}This weakness will become more apparent the more successful a freelancer becomes and the more projects they work at the same time.{/jb_quote}

For me I needed assistance with the more routine, and to my mind boring, elements such as invoicing. However everyone is different and will need a helping hand in various areas of their business.

This time around I have focused on organisation, to do lists and tools to assist in keeping contact information up to date. So here is my shortlist of handy online tools to assist busy freelancers in the organisation of multiple projects and co-workers.


Time to Note: Track communications with customers, suppliers, leads and others. Keep your contacts centralised and shared, create to do lists for multiple users – Free to use.


Backpack: Share information with your team. Keep your documents, discussions, and schedules in one place all the time. Web-based, secure, and backed-up daily - 30 Day Free Trial.


Bascamp: Trusted by millions, Basecamp is the leading web-based project collaboration tool. Share files, meet deadlines, assign tasks, centralise feedback, make clients smile daily - 30 Day Free Trial.


Remember The Milk: Remember The Milk reminds you to take care of important tasks, so you’ll never forget when a project is due, reminders can be sent via Twitter, iphone etc – free service.


Central Desktop: Collaborate, communicate and share files with clients and co-workers using Central Desktop - a free option is available.


iOrganize: With iOrganize, freelancers can organise work by keeping notes, ideas and bookmarks in one place – for the MAC only.


Netvibes: Spend less time searching and more time working by customising your browser’s start page with email, feeds, messaging, job boards and much, much more – a free service.


Google Calendar: Google Calendar is a web-based tool that allows users to organise their schedule, so you’ll always know exactly what you need to be working on.


Ta-da List: When you’re busy with lots of projects, it can be hard to keep track of what you’ve accomplished. Make web-based ta-da lists for yourself or other people, then share them and check items off as you go.

In future posts I will be focusing on the financial, collaborative, design, storage and communication tools available to make the freelancers life simpler and more effective.

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