The best free online tools for freelancers

Self-employment has grown by over 45 per cent since 2001 to now include 15 per cent of the UK workforce. It is even predicted that 50 per cent of the labour market will be engaged in some form of freelance work by 2020.

More than ever before, businesses can now use technology and remote working tools to draw on flexible self-employed talent.

However, it isn’t all good news. Whereas in offices employees have a support network, sometimes it can be difficult for freelancers to face challenges alone.

So, what can be done to make freelancing easier?

  • Find places to work and meet that are as flexible as you want to be.
  • Find likeminded communities to enable collaboration and business development.
  • Use intuitive tools and services that reduce admin work and customer management.

There is an ever-growing list of cloud tools and services that address freelancers’ administrative challenges and help confront some of the challenges they can encounter.

As a microbusiness with a distributed team, we have seen first-hand how adopting cloud tools can massively improve collaboration, productivity and overall effectiveness.

Here is a list of tools we use at Dispace, all of which have generous free packages:

  • Airtable – a user-friendly spreadsheet app that helps organise everything, with all the benefits of a powerful database, so you can use it as a project management tool, or inventory tracker. 
  • Inspectlet – a software that records videos of everything users do on your website, app or e-commerce store.  Every mouse movement, click, scroll, or keypress is tracked so you can see how they behave and what they are struggling with.
  • Intercom – a customer chat workflow system for support, on-boarding and education, helping you build trust and sales.
  • Continually – a website chatbot service that engages visitors in real-time, providing dynamic content and booking appointments.
  • Zapier – Zapier connects apps to automate business processes for you.  For example, Zapier can take the attachment from an email, upload the file to your cloud storage service (Dropbox) and send a notification on your messaging service (Slack).

We are currently writing a blog series that will review the available cloud tools in the market.  Click here to see what we recommend for project management.

About Dispace

Dispace is a technology company providing services to freelancers and small businesses to help them operate effectively.

It provides flexible work and meeting space, community co-working events and is developing cloud tools and work management platforms.

Dispace is a free to join membership service.

Ross Cox is the CEO and co-founder of Dispace.

If you would like to learn more about Dispace, contact them at hello@dispace.co or visit their contact page here.

Meet the author

Ross Cox

CEO and co-founder of Dispace