Today, I’m sharing all of my favorite things that make life as a freelance writer easier. Think of it as a freelance writer starter kit that I’ve put together just for you.
It took me about three years to discover and realize the importance of these different things, so I’m hoping this will save you some time. Let’s dive in.
Wave: I use Wave for all of my invoicing and electronic payment processing. It’s free (aside from the standard payment processing fees), it allows me to brand my invoices, and it helps me track my income with a clean, organized dashboard.
Slack: Another freebie, but great for going back and forth with content teams and fellow freelancers (to fight the lonely feels.) Bonus: It keeps your email inbox a whole lot cleaner.
Squarespace: My website runs through a Squarespace, and was built out by my business partner/husband/bff. It’s super simple to use and update, the hosting is very reasonable, and it’s completely customizable.
Creative Class & Creative Class Contract: Paul Jarvis has created two incredible resources for freelancers. One’s a course that teaches you how to be a more focused, professional freelancer (completed this, LOVED IT), and the other is a customizable contract you can send out to clients—which saves a ton of time and makes you look super professional. Highly recommend both.
CoSchedule: A few of the clients I work with use CoSchedule for managing assignments. It's a fantastic tool that keeps things organized and helps everyone get on the same page when there are many different moving parts (like images, SEO details, progress updates, etc.)
Trello: Trello is also helpful when managing assignments for a remote team. It’s whatever you need it to be, based on the project you’re working on at the time.
Thesaurus.com: The best resource I’ve found for synonym hunting. The built-in tools like in programs like MS Word just aren’t comprehensive enough.
Grammarly: I should use this more often than I actually do. It’s great for catching errors and suggesting improvements that make your writing stronger and more clear.
iMac & Macbook Air: Before you groan over these being Apple products, let me say this—I was a PC user for many years before I switched. However, I can honestly say that the speed and screens on these two devices have changed my working world. I spend zero time waiting on annoying updates to load, the desktop screen is large enough for easy split screen working, and my laptop springs to life when I open it. I love that.
Herman Miller Aeron chair: This desk chair isn’t cheap, but I spend a ton of time in it—so I needed it to be reliable and good for my back. Invest in a chair that is easy on your body. You won’t regret it.
Steno pads: I like to hand write my notes when getting my initial ideas down for a piece of content, so I always keep a couple of steno notebooks nearby. They’re a good size and easy to flip—and they make it easy for me to chase down old notes.
Whiteboard: I use this thing EVERY. SINGLE. DAY. From my daily and monthly to-do lists to clients that need to be invoiced, this board keeps me sane.
Make Life Easier
Aaaaaand you’ve arrived at the bottom of the goodie bag. I hope that if these tools or resources are new to you, you’ll check them out—they’ve certainly been game changers for me.
This article originally appeared in my newsletter, A Cup of Copy. Sign up and get these free tips sent right to your inbox every other Wednesday.