01. Wave Apps
The first business tool that I want to talk to you about is Wave Apps. Wave is a free bookkeeping and invoicing tool, and the pros are that it's free and it's super easy to use, you can add your accountant really easily, and all of the reports that you need, such as your profit and loss report, are included!
I have tried a lot of accounting tools over the last six years, like QuickBooks and Xero for example. I've tried so many, and Wave has always been my favorite. It's free and yet it beats all of these other apps that I've tried that come with a monthly cost!
The cons, however, are that you can only invoice clients in your own currency, and you can't import transactions automatically from Stripe. You have to import them manually.
I personally don't think that those two things are that big of a deal, so I've still stuck with Wave because I love it that much. I strongly recommend it to you. It has all the features that you need, and like I said, it's free!
What I also suggest to you is to create a monthly bookkeeping day. So on the same day every month, you will dedicate one or two hours to bookkeeping.
Simply open up Wave on that day, input all of your receipts for the month, and categorize all of your transactions for the month. Then you are done! This will help you to avoid the crazy chaos that so many freelancers go through at tax season.
Have you ever been in that situation where you're just sending 10 to 12 emails back and forth with a client, both of you suggesting dates and times for a consultation and both of you disagreeing? It takes so much time and energy just to find a day that works for you both.
The solution to this is to use an online scheduler like Calendly. Here's how it works: you send your client a link to your Calendly calendar, and then the client just clicks the link. It shows them the dates and the times that you're available. They choose one, fill in their details, and then Calendly automatically imports that information to both of your calendars. It takes all of the hard work out of it for you completely!
The pros of Calendly are that it is super, super simple and there's also a free plan that you can use so you don't even have to pay for this tool monthly if you haven't got the budget for it.
The cons of Calendly are that the free plan only allows you to have one event type. An event type is a category for your meeting. For example, I have an event type called 'Coaching call' and one called 'Coffee Chat'.
The other con to Calendly is that you can't customize the email notifications your clients receive if you're on the free plan. It's not a big deal though because Calendly's readymade email notifications are just fine.
Stop sending clients contracts to print, sign, scan, and send back to you because what that does is make your clients jump through hoops to get booked in your schedule.
Hellosign let's you send contracts electronically. So, when a potential client wants to book a spot in your schedule, what you'll do is send them the contract from Hellosign. It will allow them to sign the contract right from their inbox so they don't have to print it! They can just click a couple of buttons and sign the contract electronically, then Hellosign sends you both the finalized copy.
The con of the free plan on Hellosign is that you can only send three documents per month, but for most of you reading this, that is enough.
(Need a legit contract template? A template that was specifically written for web and graphic designers? I recommend The Contract Shop!*)
You guys know I talk about this tool all the time because I love it that much. The next tool is called Asana, and it's a free project management tool that you can use with up to 15 team members before you need to upgrade to a paid plan.
Now, in case any of you don't know, a project management tool is a secure space online where you can handle your entire project with the client. So you can communicate with the client, send feedback and files, assign tasks to yourself or the client, assign due dates, create calendars, and more!
The beauty of Asana is the task reminders. If you want to make sure your client remembers something (like their payment, for example), simply create a task in Asana, assign it to the client and give it a due date. When that date approaches, Asana will send an email reminder to your client!
Other pros of Asana are you can create recurring tasks and you can have unlimited clients. Honestly, I could go on about it for a long time because I like it that much. The cons are pretty much none that I can think of. That's why it is my favorite free project management tool.
For those of you who don't know, I have a free course that teaches you how to use Asana with your clients!