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101 Essential Freelancing Resources

101 Essential Freelancing Resources

Cyan Ta’eed

Update: Well it’s actually 126 resources now, thanks to all the people who added resources in the comments.
Update: This article has been translated into Brazillian Portuguese by Rafael Marin.
This article has also been translated into Spanish by Diana at Artegami.
This article has also been translated into Italian by Matteo at Rails On The Road.


The web is such a big and wonderful place, packed with tools and resources which you all too often don’t know about. So to help all you freelancers out there we have compiled a gigantic list of resources, categorized up for your benefit. If you know a resource that we’ve missed, let us know as we’re always looking to grow this list!

Timing
These are tools to help you time and track your work. Some of them plug into invoicing programs and some even come with them built in:

  1. SlimTimer – A Start/Stop little timer that tracks jobs on a main web interface
  2. Tick – Timetracking application focused on keeping track of your budgets
  3. Time Assistant – Professional timesheet software
  4. Harvest – Simple and efficient time tracking
  5. FourteenDayz – Online time tracking for teams
  6. PunchyTime – A simple time tracking tool for creatives
  7. TimePost – Timer that plugs into Harvest, Basecamp and Tick
  8. FunctionFox – Timing for creatives (subscription pricing)

Invoicing
When you don’t invoice, you don’t get paid, so it literally pays to stay on top of your billing. Here are some tools to help:

  1. FreshBooks

    Billing Orchard – Electronic billing and invoicing software, starting at $14.95 per month

  2. Billable – Service and invoice tracking
  3. SimplyBill – Easy to use invoicing software
  4. Blinksale – More easy to use invoicing software
  5. Quickbooks – Small business financial software
  6. Side Job Track – Free web-based job tracking, invoicing, reporting and project management for the part-time independent contractor
  7. Freshbooks – Tracks time, sends invoices by email or U.S. mail, and generally makes invoicing easier
  8. InvoicePlace – Easy Invoicing and Quotes From Anywhere
  9. LessAccounting – Is your job title Accounting? Probably not. Do less accounting!
  10. MS Office Accounting Express (Free) – Free Microsoft Accounting

Project Management and Organization
These resources will help you stay organised and manage those projects and clients

  1. Proposal Kit – Proposal and contract management tools
  2. Ta-Da Lists – a simple (free!) to-do list application that can be shared with the world
  3. Backpack – Service that integrates to-do lists, notes, files, images, and a calendar with reminders that can be sent to your email or cell
  4. Writeboard – Sharable, web-based text documents that save edits, so you can collaborate, roll back and compare
  5. ConceptShare – Share designs and get feedback with visual annotation tools
  6. Wridea – Free tool for writers focusing on idea generation
  7. GoPlan – Note-taking, calendaring, task management, issue tracking, file management and online real-time chat
  8. Toodledo – Another web based to-do list
  9. ActiveCollab – Open source collaboration and project management tool
  10. MonkeyOn – Your to-do list for things that you want other people to do
  11. Remember The Milk – Another To-Do List manager

Stock Libraries
Templates, Photos, Flash files all to help make you look good

  1. FlashDen – A resource selling stock Flash, audio, video and fonts for as little as 50 cents
  2. Dreamstime – Royalty free stock photography for $1 – $2
  3. Getty Images – When price is no object and quality is essential
  4. Istockphoto – Royalty free stock photography, videos, and illustrations for $1 – $50
  5. Veer – Rights managed and royalty free photography, illutration, type, and motion
  6. Stock.xchng – Completely Free stock photography
  7. Ice Templates – Website templates in Flash and HTML
  8. Template Monster – The biggest website template company on the web!
  9. MyFonts – All the fonts you could ever want and a very handy font identification tool as well.
  10. IconBuffet – Icons, more icons and even more icons
  11. VectorVault – Vector illustration sets

Business Tools
Resources to help with the business of freelancing…

  1. FreshBooks

    HighRise – Track communication and conversations with leads, employees, clients, colleagues, vendors

  2. Campfire – Real-time group chat and file sharing
  3. Central Desktop – Shared workspaces and web conferencing
  4. Relenta – Manage your email, contacts, documents and activities
  5. Google Apps – Communication and collaboration tools from Google
  6. Zoho – Free office tools
  7. Campaign Monitor – Email newsletter software
  8. MailBuild – More newsletter software
  9. Breeze – Email campaign and newsletter software
  10. Business-Paper – Easy business cards
  11. GoToMeeting – Easy online meetings
  12. Wufoo – Make forms to survey your clients
  13. AIGA Spec Letter – Sample letter to communicate with clients who want spec work or free pitching
  14. CPA Directory – Find an accountant (in the US)
  15. SBA – Small Business Administration, help and advice
  16. Paypal – Online payment system
  17. Moneybookers – Online payment system
  18. Escrow – Online payment system that protects the buyer and seller, useful for those bigger jobs with anonymous clients.
  19. Resources for the Design Entrepeneur – Free sample forms and agreements
  20. Work – How-to guides to running a small business
  21. XE – Quick and easy currency converter for all your international transactions…
  22. Trendwatching – Consumer trends and insights resource
  23. FaxZero – US & Canada – Send Faxes for Free

Legal
Because you have to protect yourself and your work…

  1. My New Company – Legal and general start-up information
  2. Designers Toolbox – Free legal forms for graphic designers
  3. Copyright – Everything you need to know about US copyright
  4. AIGA Form of Agreement – Standard form of agreement for design services trmplate
  5. HelpMeWork – US – Services to help you focus on what you know best
  6. CreativeCommons – For licensing…just about anything

Job Boards
A whole bunch of places to find jobs, and don’t forget FreelanceSwitch will be adding its very own job board real soon!

  1. 37signals Job Board – Mostly full-time design and programming jobs
  2. Authentic Jobs – Full time and freelance job board for standards aware designers and developers
  3. Coroflot Job Board – Designer job board
  4. WebProJobs – Freelance and full-time jobs for designers, developers, copywriters and marketers
  5. Jobpile – Aggregates the best job boards on the web
  6. Krop – Creative and tech jobs
  7. FWjobs – Web jobs board
  8. SlashDot – Jobs for IT professionals
  9. CSS Beauty Job Board – Job board for web designers
  10. MinistryCamp Job Board – Job board for Christian designers and programmers
  11. Guru – Freelancer listing service with job board
  12. Elance – List yourself for freelance jobs

Web Tools
Tools to get your Web Presence Up and running…

  1. Squarespace – Very nice publishing system for websites and blogs
  2. Rackspace – dedicated hosting and customer service that is second to none
  3. Mosso – Advanced hosting at a reasonable price
  4. MyDomain – Domains for $8.50 per year
  5. Media Temple – Easy to set up and use hosting
  6. Light – Content management for designers and ad agencies
  7. SiteKreator – Instant websites – just add your content
  8. StrongSpace – Back-up and store important files
  9. psd2html – Builds websites in html from Photoshop files
  10. xhtml iT – Website builds from design in 24 hours
  11. ExpressionEngine – A neat little CMS app
  12. Inblogit – A great free blogging tool for web designers
  13. PublicSquare – Easy Web Publishing
  14. WordPress – The best damn blogging tool around
  15. AgencyFusion – Outsourcable programmers
  16. XHTMLized – The original – you supply the design and they do the XHTML/CSS

Advertising and Marketing
A few ways to market and advertise yourself online…

  1. Text Link Ads – Text ads to sell your wares and improve your traffic ranking
  2. Review Me – Get your service or Web site reviewed by bloggers
  3. Adbrite – Text and banner ads on over 20,000 sites
  4. AdEngage – Text and Photext ads (image and text ad combined)
  5. Adwords – Text ads on Google searches
  6. Professional On The Web – Get yourself Listed

Miscellaneous
All the many things we couldn’t fit anywhere else!

  1. Creative Public – Useful site for anyone starting a freelance graphic or web design career. A $49.95 fee buys unlimited access to forms, manuals, pricing guides, contracts etc
  2. You Send It – Send files up to 2GB online
  3. Jewelboxing – superior packaging for short run CDs and DVDs
  4. eFax – Send and receive faxes by email
  5. PowerXChange – Extensions for a variety of creative software, including Acrobat, Photoshop, Illustrator, InDesign and Dreamweaver
  6. Coroflot – A great resources for designers to showcase their portfolios, share work and network
  7. Cloudmark – Block spam on your PC
  8. SpamSieve – Block spam on your Mac
  9. Dropsend – Email up to 1GB of files
  10. Media Fire – Send 100MB files online
  11. Box – Store, share and access files online
  12. Icebrrg – Simple web forms
  13. Formsite – Web forms and surveys in minutes
  14. Lorem Ipsum – Lorem Ipsum generator for dummy copy
  15. Textmate – The essential programmers text editor for Macs
  16. ETextEditor – Like Textmate but for Windows
  17. Kuler – Colour scheme picker
  18. Pixie – A useful little colour picker
  19. ColourSchemer – A bunch of colour tools
  20. Jungle Disk – Online storage for 15 cents a gigabyte
  21. AskCharity – free online contacts for journalists
  22. TechInline – Remote Desktop Software
  23. Protolize – Web Resource Directory