The beauty of being a freelancer is the ability to work with minimal tools of the trade. All you need is a decent computer, reliable internet and you are good to work anywhere and at any time. There are some tools of the trade that make your work that much easier and improve productivity, as well as keeping you safe on the internet.
Freelancer productivity tools
Every freelancer needs some productivity and security tools that allow him/her to do more work in less time and stay safe online. Some productivity tools include:
Trello is a project management tool that has a visual approach to tasks. With Trello, you can collaborate with teams, set tasks, or run several projects simultaneously. Trello is a favorite for many for its interface that is easy to learn and its visual style.
Asana is a project management tool that organizes your work, especially group projects. You can connect with your team members or clients on each project. Under every task, you can communicate, share files, set deadlines, ask questions to specific people, create a to-do-list, and set reminders.
Clockify works well for freelancers who bill by the hour. You can track time using your browser or using your desktop or mobile. You track time via a one-click timer, add missing time manually and the tool integrates well with other apps.
Buffer app helps freelancers manage their social media accounts simultaneously. This app helps to check analytics for all social media accounts, schedule posts, make plans, manage permissions, and project collaboration.
Workshop is a software that scans the internet for freelance tasks and sends the best picks to your email every morning. Workshop goes a long way in saving the freelancer time and helps to get clients.
Why freelancers need a VPN
A freelancer can work anywhere, any time, and most work on the go. Most freelancers use free public Wi-Fi a lot, which exposes them to Man-in-the-middle attacks. A Virtual Private Network (VPN) is a security tool that creates a secure tunnel between the freelancers’ devices and the internet. A VPN hides the freelancers’ IP address and location and encrypts their communication to mitigate attacks from hackers who listen in on unsecured networks.
Most of the time, a hacker will set up a twin account mimicking the free one. If an airport network is named “Airport Wi-Fi,” the hacker will set another network up and name it “Airport Wi-Fi 1,” which dupes people into thinking it is the same network. Once the user logs in, the hackers get an avenue to steal data such as usernames and passwords.
A VPN uses the AES 256-bit encryption standard, which is one of the most secure standards, used by the U.S government, banks, and security agencies across the world to protect their data. Freelancers can download a VPN to access the services they use such as the productivity tools, Skype, or Zoom while communicating with clients or teammates.
A VPN allows the freelancer to access services in areas where services are geo-blocked. If you have traveled to an area where certain services are blocked, a VPN comes in handy and you can access the services as if you were back home.
Being a freelancer is a very liberating experience. You can work when you want, and from anywhere in the world, as long as you have a reliable internet connection. However, you need to use productivity and security tools for maximum effectiveness and security. Most of the productivity tools such as Trello, Asana, etc. allow you to monitor the progress of your project and ensure you finish it on time.