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Posts tagged ‘Freelance’

Solo: Visually Simple Project Management

We’ve seen an awful lot of really good, comprehensive project management web apps launch over the past year. But, we can’t help from writing about them. Any time someone takes a new POV, we feel compelled to share it.

Solo is a new project management app built with freelancers in mind. The service handles both project management and invoicing, which makes it capable of tackling the more sophisticated offerings on the market.

Logging into the service brings you to your dashboard. At first glance, users realize they’re staring at a service unlike anything they’ve seen before. The creators at Solo approached their web app beginning with a blank page, and you’ll notice a few surprising design decisions. The visual hierarchy for graphical elements is a bit different from other project management apps available today. For example, the main page highlights the earnings to date with text, and charts and pushed down lower on the page. Sidebars don’t exist at all. Even the website’s terms and conditions are only viewable as a PDF, and they’re probably the most pleasing terms we’ve seen in a while.

The service is still young with a few necessary features on the way, such as QuickBooks integration, client login areas and an internal messaging system. Before jumping over entirely, try out the service and see if it’s something you’d want to integrate into your workflow. Fortunately, signing up comes with a 14-day free trial, and a paid account is available for a limited time at $10 per month.

Favwork: Designer Showcase Community

Forget about invite-only showcase sites or pay-to-play design directories. Favwork is a free, welcoming community for all designers to upload and showcase their best work.

Creating an account is as simple as signing in via Twitter. Once you upload your work, share it across Twitter. Other users can stop by and like your work, and the most liked uploads are featured weekly on the homepage.

The site’s layout is very similar to Dribbble, but Dribbble controls quality by requiring a referral in order to register. As a result, similar sites often lock out solo freelancers and unintentionally places greater emphasis on exclusivity. Favwork successfully shifted the focus from building enthusiasm for an exclusive community to building enthusiasm for great work. And since the community is powered by a social site like Twitter, the barrier is low enough for anyone to join. Kudos, Favwork.

Wave Accounting: Free Small Biz Accounting

Wave Accounting is a completely free accounting web app targeted toward small business owners, startups and freelancers. The service competes against industry titans, like QuickBooks, but at no charge.

Setting up an account takes a few painless steps. First, fill in your account details, then link your financial data to Wave Accounting. Next, answer a handful of simple questions to help customize your account, like if your company is a sole proprietorship, partnership or corporation, or if you collect sales tax from customers. Linking your financial accounts is optional, but it eliminates the need to manually enter transactions and probably improves the accuracy of your books.

What’s great about the service is that you don’t need to understand a term like “double-entry bookkeeping” to keep your books in order. The service handles a ledger, accounts receivable and accounts payable in terms like transactions, income and expenses. Create invoices under the Income tab, and log bills under the Expenses tab. Simple, right?

According to their privacy policy, Wave Accounting may reach out to its users with “tailored savings opportunity messages,” which means its business model operates like Mint. When you provide your financial details, and the service will likely recommend better solutions over time.

What’s clear is that business owners do not lose functionality when switching to Wave Accounting. The system doesn’t feel like a downgrade, even if it’s offered for free. And for many, Wave Accounting may feel more intuitive than QuickBooks.

Invoice Bubble: Send Invoices For Free

There is no shortage of online invoicing tools, so it takes a lot for any newcomer to stand out from the competition. Invoice Bubble allows freelancers to create and send online invoices and collect payments from their clients. What helps set them apart is their price: it’s free. It’s great, too.

After creating an account, punch in the name of a client and begin adding line items to your invoice. The form is setup as your final document, so you’re able to make adjustments directly to the preview. You can edit the description and footer to add any additional details your clients may require. Once you’re ready, you have the choice to either email the invoice directly to the client or export as a PDF.

The invoice pops up in your client’s inbox, both with a link and a PDF version for their records. They’re able to make a payment directly from viewing the invoice via PayPal. Users are able to schedule recurring invoices as well.

Your account dashboard gives a quick snapshot of your business, which shows accounts receivable and the amount your clients have paid. But you won’t see phrases like “accounts receivable” anywhere on this app. The creators kept it simple for you to focus on what’s really important; managing your business.

All invoices have a little link in the footer that reads, “Powered by Invoice Bubble.” If you want to remove the link on your invoice, it comes at the low cost of $5 per month. Compare that cost to any other online invoice service available, and you’ll realize Invoice Bubble is an affordable option that doesn’t make sacrifices.