50 Essential Web Apps for Freelancers

When you make the decision to go out on your own, you are faced with many choices. Should you work from home or rent a space? Bill hourly or by the job? What kind of hours should you assign as ‘work time’?

Amidst all those decisions that have to be made, you also have to choose what tools you’re going to use to actually do your job. And the web is both a blessing and a curse in this regard. It’s a blessing in that it gives you a plethora of choices for the different categories of applications. But it can be a curse because there are so many good options to choose from.

What’s a poor, green-behind-the-ears freelancer to do? Well, you can start by letting us whittle down the list a little for you. Separate some of the wheat from the chaff, so to speak. You’ll still have find which of the tools below best fit your needs and style, but this is the right place to start.

We’ve broken down the apps into larger categories, highlighted the best or most interesting in each category, and included the best of the rest. Click away — each image will take you to the app listed. Enjoy!

Invoicing and Time Tracking

First things first — you need to get paid. And so you need to bill your customers. And if you bill by the hour, you need to track your time. Whether it’s sending professional looking invoices or easily tracking your hours, these apps are the best available and a pleasure to use.


Freshbooks screenshot

FreshBooks is one of the heavyweights of the invoicing software world. The app allows you to keep track of billable hours so you get an accurate record of how much time you’ve spent on each project. Perhaps it’s most useful tool though is the ability to create and send invoices through FreshBooks.

Zoho Books

Zoho Books screenshot

Zoho Books automates the process of sending invoices with customizable templates


Harvest screenshot

Harvest boasts a time tracking module with seamless invoice integration


chargeover screenshot

ChargeOver is an invoicing tool that eases the pain of recurring billing


FreeAgent screenshot

FreeAgent features some beautiful invoicing templates


Blinksale screenshot

Blinksale lets you tweak your invoices to your heart’s content



Fusible features customizable invoices, payment gateway integrations, and subscription management


Once you start getting paid, you have to do something with the money. Taking care of the finances — bookkeeping, accounting, taxes included — is probably one of the least enjoyed aspects of working for yourself. But it has to be done, so you’re best off finding a tool that makes these tasks easy and efficient.


Xero screenshot

Xero is an awesome online accounting app that takes care of all your accounting needs. It allows you to coordinate and manage all of your financial processes within an easy-to-use environment. The clean dashboard gives you simple access to transaction monitoring, bill paying, invoice issuing, purchase order creation, and expenses management.


Kashflow screenshot

KashFlow is an incredibly easy-to-understand accounting tool


Wave screenshot

Wave helps you ‘wave’ goodbye to accounting headaches


Xpenditure screenshot

Expenditure can help take care of all your expenses, reimbursement and taxes


ReliaBills screenshot

ReliaBills helps your freelance business get paid faster


Mint.com screenshot

Mint pulls all your financial accounts into one place

Project/Task Management

Once you’ve gotten the business side of things out of the way, you need to manage the actual work. Projects, recurring tasks, and sharing tasks are all part of the life of a freelancer. Whether you’re looking for a full fledged project management tool or a simple way to track your own work, there are many tools available.

Use any of these top applications to stay on top of what you do.


Wrike screenshot

Wrike is an online project management software that’s designed for real time project management and insights. The app serves as a project hub where users are able to discuss tasks and ideas, manage schedules, and store files securely in the cloud.  It’s a great way to organize all your projects in one place and allows you to collaborate with clients very easily.


Smartsheet screenshot

Smartsheet combines essential tools for work management, file sharing, and collaboration

Remember the Milk

Remember the Milk screenshot

Manage your tasks in a snip with Remember The Milk



When it comes to task management, Allthings is all things to everyone


Basecamp screenshot

Thanks to its simple, visual interface, Basecamp helps teams and individuals manage shared and personal projects and tasks


Trello screenshot

Trello uses cards to help you bring some order to your working life

AffinityLive Projects

AffinityLive screenshot

Plan and track your projects with an easy-to-use, interactive Gantt charts


Slack screenshot

Slack offers real-time messaging, archiving and search for modern teams


ProWorkflow screenshot

ProWorkflow is a fast, easy to use online project management and time tracking software

Zoho Projects

Zoho Projects

Oho Projects is a powerful projects and collaboration tool

File Management

After you spend the time figuring out what needs to get done — and start doing — the result will in many cases involve files to manage or share. Some of the project management tools above include file management and online storage. But many do not.

Not to worry though. There are lots of options for storing, sharing and backing up your data. Here’s some tools focused on this essential aspect of your business.


Dropbox screenshot

We’ve talked before about Dropbox and have to confess — this is one of our favourite tools as it makes collaboration a cinch. Add the peace of mind with its file revisions and tight integration with the operating system and it simply fades into the background.

Actually, for a web tool, it feels like a part of your operating system.

Google Drive

Google Drive screenshot

One of the best file storage solutions around, Drive is especially useful for Android users


Hightail screenshot

Built for creative professionals, Hightail allows you to send and share files with anyone

Zoho Docs

Zoho Docs screenshot

Yet another Zoho app makes our list, this time the secure file sharing app, Docs

Stellar Library

Stellar Library screenshot

Built with iPad users in mind, Stellar Library facilitates secure communication between computers and mobile devices, enabling paperless document distribution


Box screenshot

Box is one of the most robust cloud storage service tools around


One other vital aspect to your business is keeping track of customers. Tracking interactions, leads, tasks, meetings and follow-up’s is needed to make sure that your revenue streams are always flowing.


Insightly screenshot

Insightly is both a CRM and a project management app rolled into one. It’s designed to help you create strong relationships with your most loyal customers. It includes flexible calendaring, automatic address books, file sharing, and notifications. Using its linking feature you can get a 360-degree view of your complete network.


Infusionsoft screenshot

Infusionsoft was created to help its users get organized, grow sales, and save time


Pipedrive screenshot

Professionals can use Pipedrive to organize their contacts, forecast sales, and follow-up with leads at optimal times

Nutshell CRM

Nutshell CRM screenshot

Nutshell CRM includes features for team collaboration, integrations, reporting and sales automation


Salesforce Sales Cloud screenshot

Salesforce is the king of CRM and if you’re looking for a pro option it’s a safe bet

Social Tools

Anyone who has spent some time as a remote web worker knows that paying attention to your social life is important. When you don’t go to an office and interact face to face with other adults every day, you are exposed to the dangers of isolation.

Now, the tools below are not going to replace the physical interaction we all require, but they can help fill in for the banter that you’d participate in at a more traditional workspace. Whether keeping in touch with coworkers and partners or general internet friends, the apps listed here can help you feel in touch with the outside world.


Twitter screenshot

When Twitter first came on the scene, there sure seemed to be a lot of people saying they ‘didn’t get it’ or that it was a waste of time. A couple of years later and it seems that those people aren’t around anymore. Or they’re keeping quiet. Or they’re busy tweeting.

Twitter is the de facto standard for communicating online now.


HootSuite screenshot

HootSuite allows you to update multiple social networks at once, including Twitter, Facebook, and LinkedIn


Facebook screenshot

Everyone’s on Facebook. So use it as a way to keep in touch with clients – and to promote yourself, of course!


Locowise screenshot

Locowise is a professional tool for brand promotion


HipChat screenshot

HipChat was developed to give teams a better way to communicate


Many web workers dislike using the phone, but there are going to be those times when email or messaging just don’t cut it. Make sure you give your customers and/or teammates another avenue of getting your time and attention.

The following tools are aimed at mobility with flexibility.


Skype screenshot

People all over the world use Skype as their primary means of communicating. With instant messaging and voice services, including voicemail, huge long distance charges seem like a thing of the past century.


8x8 screenshot

8×8 is a business communication tool with a bunch of advanced capabilities like web conferencing and call management

Google Hangouts

Hangouts screenshot

Hangouts works across all computers and many smartphones


Ringcentral screenshot

RingCentral securely delivers quality voice, fax, text and conferencing for businesses


From many freelancers, in order to keep the work coming in, you need to be able to show potential customers who you are and what you’ve done. There are many web applications that now focus on this genre.

Here are two of our favourites.



Raveal shows a lot of promise. It’s intended to mix both your portfolio and resume into one entity. It’s an interesting approach.


LinkedIn Resume Builder

LinkedIn has an integrated resume builder that can get you a professional looking CV in seconds

Miscellaneous Tools

Lastly, here are a few other tools that are somewhat in a category of their own, but may help you in running a successful business.



If you are going to interact with your clients via Twitter, than cotweet is a service that may be of interest. It makes managing a business account a little easier with support for dual accounts, assignment of tweets, and robust notifications.

Screenr screenshot

Set up your own screencasts with this straightforward software


GoToMeeting screenshot

GoToMeeting is a web conferencing tool that allows you to host an online meeting with up to 25 people


ClickMeeting screenshot

Get a team together for a meeting really easily with ClickMeeting

That’s All for Now

There are plenty of other great web tools that could have been included here. Freelancers in this day and age certainly have no shortage of choices.

Take some time to consider your needs and then choose the tools that work for you.

Update: This post was originally published on September 29th 2009. It was updated on June 16th 2015 with a revised list of apps.