More than one-third of American workers are employed as freelancers. According to CNBC, this is a 22% increase from 2019 to 2020 — mainly driven by an influx of young professionals who want a more flexible alternative to traditional employment. Indeed, the freelance path is proving itself to be a viable career choice for many. While it does have several benefits, it isn’t always easy. Like any other job, you need discipline, superb management skills, and the right set of tools to complete projects.
That being said, if you looking to go out on your own, to become a freelancer, here are some productivity essentials you need.
The ideal laptop depends on what you need it for. TechnoBezz suggests different laptops that suit various kinds of freelance work. For example, the Acer Nitro 5 AN515 boasts the GTX 1050Ti graphics card — which can run designing software platforms quickly. It’s not the most portable, but that’s because it has an excellent heat dissipation system that allows the laptop to last longer. For video editors, the Apple MacBook Pro 13-inch was designed specifically for video editing — so it has software programs that suit the job. Whatever your job entails, be sure to do your research!
Most laptops have their own speakers, microphones, and cameras. But these tools don’t have the best quality, which can be a huge deterrent to productivity if your work involves plenty of calls and video meetings. As such, it’s worth investing in a more reliable audio and video set-up. To that end, the audio tools featured on Adorama, include headsets and earphones that also double as microphones. This way, you can lessen the equipment you need during a meeting. Consider brands like the Shure Dual-Sided Broadcast Headset, which comes with a dynamic cardioid microphone that creates a natural and clear reproduction of your voice. Meanwhile, for cameras, the Razer Kiyo is a small but powerful webcam that has its own built-in ring light — making it ideal even in low-light settings.
Sometimes, the hardest part of freelancing isn’t the work itself, but staying focused on the work. Medium’s list of time trackers suggests apps that are made specifically for freelancers. Hello Bonsai’s time tracker lets you set a per-project hourly rate. It also helps automate every step of your freelance business so you can go from contracts to accounting seamlessly. On the other hand, ClickUp is a project management platform that comes with a detailed reporting feature. The app will also tell you how much time you spend on a certain project, and you can automatically send it to your client with an invoice.
Whether you use an app or traditional pen-and-paper, having a planner helps you stay on top of your tasks. For instance, ZenDay is an iOS and Android app that has a color-coding feature so you know which tasks to prioritize. It also gives you an overview of your tasks for the day before zeroing in on your tasks one by one. For traditional planners, the 5-Second Journal has an hour-by-hour planner, which allows you to be more comprehensive in your planning. It also asks you to fill up what are your most important tasks for the day and what time you should stop working, to prevent burnout.
An ergonomic workspace allows you to work comfortably and productively. You can set up your own workstation with ergonomic accessories, like a roomy desk and adjustable chair. But if your home is too small to set up a full office or you need a change of scenery, co-working spaces like Rockwall OpenSpace are great options. Aside from having an ergonomic workspace, you also get to broaden connections by interacting with people across different industries and disciplines. Genuine connections can provide serendipity, new ideas, motivation and support when you are stuck.