As a self-employed author and freelance copywriter, one of the biggest (and most important) things I have struggled with is the paperwork. Whether it is accounting, invoicing, or just keeping track of my projects, I find it boring, frustrating, and time consuming.
But thank goodness for smart people inventing things. I have discovered a few tools that have come to my rescue on more than one occasion while also saving me time and money.
Let's talk about money first.
Quickbooks. More specifically, Quickbooks - Self-Employed. It's a godsend. It helps you track income and expenses, while helping you calculate taxes on a month-to-month basis. It even allows you to pay your taxes throughout the year, rather than doing one big money dump in April. ~$10/month. I traded it for Netflix in my budget. Worth it.
Osmosis. A word which refers to the tendency of fluids to pass through semipermeable membranes... well, anyway, Osmosis is also a platform which allows for an easier and more effective communication with clients. It allows you to draw up professional-looking proposals, create questionnaires to get whatever information you need, keep track of communications with your client throughout the project, and a few other things. It's at least worth a free trial - check it out. ~$20/month
Google Docs. I'm actually surprised at how many people don't use Google Docs, at least for word docs and basic spreadsheets. It makes it possible for multiple people to look at, write, and change things on the same document at the same time. There are options for track changing and commenting, and best of all, I can access it anywhere, any time. On my computer at home, at my parents' house, on my phone... plus there's plenty of storage space and it's free. ~$0/month
I'd love to hear about some other tools you use to do paperwork. I'm always looking for ways to make my process more efficient and my life a little easier. Comment if you have any suggestions!