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.
The pros? It's free and it's super easy to use, you can add your accountant, you can use it to document your personal bills and expenses as well as business, you can download the Wave Receipts App to photograph and upload receipts on the go, and all of the reports that you need (such as your profit and loss reports) are included!
I have tried a lot of accounting tools over the last six years, like QuickBooks and Xero for example. But Wave has always been my favorite.
The cons? 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 suggest you use Wave Apps and 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 when they suddenly need to organize a year’s worth of receipts.
Have you ever sent dozens of back and forth emails to a client, trying to agree on a date for a consultation that works for both of you? It takes so much time and energy just to find a day that works for you both.
The solution 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? It is super simple for you and your clients to use, it integrates with your Google, Apple, Office 365 or Outlook calendar, it’s time intelligent (meaning it seamlessly detects the timezone of your invitee and converts your available meeting times to their timezone), and there's a free plan you can use if you only have one event type.
The con? If you need more than one event type, you’ll need to upgrade to a paid plan. (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 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 that makes 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!*)