'Work Hard Anywhere' App Helps Freelancers Find Good Workspaces, Plus 5 Other Apps To Make Living The Freelance Life Easier
Real talk: If you're a freelancer like I am, you don't want to spend every single day working from home. I don't care if you've set yourself up a nice little home office with cute file folders and one of those pencil holders that look like grass; if you're putting yourself in a position where there's a chance you might not leave your house all week, you're setting yourself up for burnout and misery. That's why I love the idea of this new app Work Hard Anywhere, which helps freelancers find decent workspaces besides their kitchen counters. Of course, it's also great for people who aren't freelancers — any after-work novelists in the house? — but if you don't have an office to go to every day? This might be just what you've been waiting for.
Work Hard Anywhere creates a directory of places at which to work graded on freelancer-friendly criteria like Internet access, outlet availability, and price. As someone who has tried to use apps like Yelp to find workspaces, only to be frustrated when I found that the workspace did not, in fact, have outlets anywhere near their tables (why does this happen???), the narrow focus of this app is a godsend. I downloaded it immediately for inclusion in my highly exclusive stable of apps that actually help me work (as opposed to most apps I own, which simply exist to waste my time on overly hot subway platforms).
Today, I am excited to pull back the curtain and help you, reader, get stuff done, freelancer-style. Forget office life — these apps will be your new boss; your new work lunch friend' your older, kindly work mentor; your slightly dastardly married work crush; and more. Or, at very least, they'll be, you know, helpful.
Freelancing means a lot of documents to sign, from contracts to tax forms. Doing it online through a free app like DocHub saves you time and paper by ending the vicious print-sign-scan cycle. It's as legally binding as a pen-and-paper signature.
Productivity experts have long praised the benefits of a Pomodoro work schedule — basically, having a long period of intensely focused work followed by a short break to recharge. This app lets you set a timer for different types of tasks, including breaks — for instance, you can set 30 minutes for one project, 10 minutes for email, 15 minutes for a less important project, and then a short break. This app keeps you on track with a calm alarm at the end of each shift. It helps keep me focused and loose throughout the day.
OK, you've probably already used this one, but have you really harnessed its full power? For instance, did you know you can get it as a Chrome extension, so that every time you open your browser you can see how many hours you have left before you need to be at that late-afternoon meeting?
Because you can. Just sayin'.
I'm a comedian and writer, so I store all my performances, long-term deadlines, invoice reminders, classes, life events, and appointments in my Google Calendar — I completely rely on it. If you're working hard enough to be insanely busy (and of course you are — you're a freelancer, after all), you will, too.
This free web app is a lifesaver for people who need to transcribe recorded voices as part of their job (e.g., journalists recording interviews, someone making a transcription of meetings, etc.). The app lets you control the audio straight from the app and with intuitive shortcuts, so you don't have to constantly be switching between a word processing app and an audio player.
This one sounds weird, but look, most freelancers don't have the most ergonomic of work situations (try to move your neck after a day of working from your bed!). Taking a short, strenuous break to work out loosens up your tight muscles — plus, it keeps your mind sharp and spirit motivated. This app guides you through equipment-free exercises for a surprisingly rigorous workout.
Images: Markus Spiske/Flickr; courtesy brands