7 handy admin apps for freelance designers

Here's a breakdown of the apps I use to help me manage my projects, finances and client admin.

1. Project management with Trello

Trello helps to keep my mind (and desktop) uncluttered. The Kanban-style boards allow me to organise and adjust my workflow and web projects quickly and easily. In Trello I have a few boards for larger-scale projects, but my main board is called 'Workflow'. On this board are four lists: 'In Progress', 'Out' (with client), 'To Invoice', and 'On Hold'. I'll move cards between the lists depending on where the project is at. My favourite feature of Trello is the checklists. I love checking each item off and watching the progress bar increase.

Pricing: Free (with upgrades available).

2. Time tracking with Clockify

When looking for a really simple easy to use time tracker with no over-complicated dashboards, Clockify won hands down compared to the many other apps I tried. You can use the app on your phone, as an extension on your browser or just logged in to the app itself (which is my preference). It's easy to generate a report to see how long you've spent on a project so you know how much to invoice your client.

Pricing: Free (with upgrades available).

3. Digital Contracts with SignRequest

For all projects I make sure there's a contract in place before I begin the work. To make as hassle-free as possible I use SignRequest, so my client can easily digitally sign the contract without needing to print and scan the document.

Pricing: Free for 10 docs /mo.

4. Digital File Transfers with WeTransfer

If I need to send large files (such as final logo files), I'll use WeTransfer. I also recommend it to my clients to help them send me large high-quality images for their website.

Pricing: Free (up to 2GB)

5. Accounting and Invoicing with Hnry

Hnry is my accounting app for invoicing and managing my income. All invoices are paid into my Hnry account, then Hnry takes out my Tax and ACC so I don't have to worry about a bill at the end of the financial year. I can also take credit card payments, and Hnry automatically adds the processing fee onto the invoice if my client decides to pay that way. All of which saves me extra (unnecessary) time.

Note, Hnry is only available in New Zealand and Australia. If you're based in the USA or Canada, check out Wave.

Pricing: 1% +GST.

6. International Money Transfers with Wise

I use Wise to get paid from clients overseas if they prefer to pay with a bank transfer rather than a credit card. With Wise don't have to pay any bank fees to receive money, which adds up if you're doing lots of international transfers.

Pricing: Free to receive money. To send money, a flat fee + fixed %.

7. Email Forwarding with ImprovMX

I've had a few brand ideas over the years. With that comes a domain name, then an email address. Some of the ideas have taken root, some have not. On the off-chance that I miss an email from an old brand, I set up email forwarding to my Gmail account for free using ImprovMX. It's easy to set up and they provide you with great guides to help you do it.

Pricing: Free (for up to 5 domains).