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Are you using productivity apps to manage your time as a freelance writer or blogger?
If not, you’re missing out.
Staying productive and managing your time is huge when you’re freelancing or blogging. You have to be able to nail your deadlines, which is key to growing your income to the six-figure range.
Focusing on productivity is especially important when you’re working from home with kids in tow. You have to be able to balance your work stuff with mom stuff effectively so that nothing falls through the cracks.
It can be a tough line to walk and that’s where having the right tools becomes important.
I don’t know about you but I love anything that can make my life easier. Productivity apps are designed to help you stay on task with whatever you’re doing.
They can be a huge help when you work from home but you aren’t always able to stick to a set schedule. Apps and productivity tools can help you stick with a designated schedule for your work and non-work hours.
If you struggle with staying productive while managing freelance assignments or blogging, this post is just for you. I’ve rounded up the best productivity and time management apps to start using right now.
8 Genius Productivity Apps Every Freelancer and Blogger Needs
As a freelancer, I love Trello to pieces. It’s one of my favorite free productivity apps.
I use it to manage workflows for several of my freelance writing clients and it helps me stay on task. It’s essentially a visual list-making app, which speaks to my nerdy love of lists.
How Trello Works:
Using Trello is simple.
First, you create a board (or multiple boards, depending on how many projects you need to manage.
Then you add one or more cards to each board. On each card, you can also add action items to be checked off, upload files and add a due date.
So for example, if you’re a mom blogger who blogs about recipes, DIY and homemaking, you could set up boards for each of those topics.
Then on each board, you could add a card for each post you want to write in that category. And on each card, you can add an outline for the post and a due date.
Freelancers can use it the same way, only you might have boards set up for individual clients instead of blog categories.
You can add cards for story outlines, potential interview sources, first drafts, final drafts, etc. And you can track completed assignments on their own board titled “Done” or “Completed”.
Why Trello is One of the Best Productivity Apps:
- You can see at a glance what’s in progress, when deadlines are coming up and which tasks are completed.
- Trello automatically sends you a notification when you’re getting close to a task due date.
As freelancers and bloggers we’re not supposed to make grammar errors or spelling mistakes in our writing, right?
I make typos and errors all the time. Most of the time, I catch them but not always. That’s where Grammarly helps.
How Grammarly Works:
Think of Grammarly as an editor-in-an-app.
You can add the browser version of the app to Chrome for free. The app automatically checks your writing across your email accounts, Facebook messenger, social accounts, Google docs — just about anywhere you write online.
And after you’ve spent hours writing an article or a blog post, it’s easy to miss the occasional flub, believe me.
The free version looks for grammatical errors and misspelled words. And if it finds any of those things, it lets you know so you can fix it.
The premium version does those things but also checks for plagiarism, punctuation, sentence structure and tone.
What’s Great About Grammarly for Staying Productive:
- It’s a time-saver when it comes to proofreading your work.
- It can help increase your writing skills and speed, so you can finish projects more quickly.
If there’s one thing I’ve learned from freelancing it’s that things always take longer to finish than you think they will.
You might give yourself an hour to write an article or a blog post and before you know it, it stretches into two or three.
Toggl is designed to help you get control of your time.
How Toggl Works
Toggl is a simple time tracking app and it’s great for freelancers and bloggers.
You can use the app from your laptop or mobile device. To track your time, you just tap a button and the clock starts ticking.
Toggl integrates with over 80 online tools and apps, including Asana (which is kind of like Trello) and Freshbooks if you use that software for invoicing freelancing clients. And it’s even got a Pomodoro timer feature if you use that system to manage your time.
The basic version is free but you can also get Starter or Premium plans that have even more features to supersize your productivity.
What Makes Toggl One of the Best Productivity Apps:
- It’s an easy way to do a time audit and see where the minutes and hours go every day. (Blogger Cassie Findley has a great post on what a time audit is and how to use it to organize your schedule, so go check it out!)
- You can use it to see how you spend your time as a whole every day, plus how much time you’re spending on individual projects.
Mom brain is a real thing and I cannot tell you how many times I’ve thought of a great story or post idea, only to completely forget it.
Or I’ll go to the grocery store, list in hand, and still manage to walk out without the two or three main things I went there for in the first place.
If you have those same kinds of problems, (Mom brain, remember?), then you need Evernote in your life.
How Evernote Works:
At first glance, Evernote looks like a list-making app but it’s a lot more than that.
You can make to-do lists, idea lists and other lists with the app. But, you can also do things like:
- Create action plans to go with your to-do lists
- Manage your projects and deadlines
- Set reminders
- Record memos to yourself
It’s a little like having a personal assistant in your pocket. Evernote keeps up with all the details for you so you never forget a thing.
The basic version is free and that’s the one I use. The Premium plan is the most popular option; that one costs $7.99/month.
What’s Great About Evernote for Staying Productive:
- The app can help you keep track of just about anything you need for your freelancing business or blog, so you don’t have to waste time hunting it down.
5. Google Drive
I don’t know how I ever managed as a freelancer before Google Drive. It’s seriously the best thing that ever happened to me, productivity-wise.
I love being able to make edits in Google Docs or Sheets from my phone and share files instantly whenever I need to.
It’s a huge time-saver because I can handle freelance-related stuff wherever I am, instead of having to wait until I get home to fire up my laptop.
How Google Drive Works:
Google Drive is linked to your Google account. All your files are stored in the cloud automatically, so you can access them from any device as long as you’re logged in to your Google account.
Another great thing is that you can upload files to your Google Drive, even if you created them somewhere else.
You get up to 15GB of storage free with Google Drive. And you can buy more storage space if you need it for just a few bucks a month.
What’s Great About Google Drive for Staying Productive:
- It’s super-easy to use, the learning curve is almost zero so you don’t have to waste time getting the hang of it.
- Being able to access, edit and share files from anywhere you have an internet connection is pretty much priceless.
Having my kids with me 24/7 is great means it’s never quiet unless they’re sleeping. And sometimes, I just need a 5 or 10-minute break to enjoy some silence so I don’t get burned out.
For the longest time, I thought meditating was a load of crap until I tried it. But now I get why people love it.
It’s like hitting a reset button in your brain. I swear, I sleep so much better on days when I remember to pause and just breathe in and out intentionally for a bit.
If you’re interested in making meditation part of your day, there are tons of productivity apps that can help. Headspace is a great one to try if you need guided meditations.
How Headspace Works:
When you create a Headspace account (it’s free to sign up), you get access to a 10-day course that teaches you the basics of how to meditate and be more mindful in general.
After that, you’ll have to pay to keep using Headspace but you don’t have to if the starter course is enough to help you build a meditation habit.
If you want to become a paid member, there are guided meditations designed for different purposes. For example, there are meditations for:
There are even guided meditations for kids if you want to make finding some calm in the middle of a busy day a family practice.
What’s Great About Headspace for Staying Productive:
- If you’re struggling to create a guided meditation practice, then Headspace can help you get into the mental “zone” on a regular basis.
- The more you practice meditation with the app (or on your own), the more focused you end up becoming which helps you get way more productive.
As a parent who’s also a freelancer, I have a lot on my plate. And if you’re also a freelancing mom (or dad), you may be in the same boat.
At some point, your work at home day ends but then the rest of your day begins. For me, that means homeschooling after working all morning. Then it might be off to soccer practice or church.
Weekends I can skip the work part but we still have sports and yard work and all the other things. The Cozi app helps me keep all the balls I’m juggling in the air and it could do the same for you too.
How Cozi Works:
Cozi is a mobile planner for families.
You can use the app to keep track of appointments, errands you need to run, kids’ activities, play dates, grocery lists, meal plans — everything.
One thing that’s great about Cozi is that everyone in the family can download the app and see what’s on the calendar in real-time.
So if you have older kids the app can help them stay accountable for things they need to remember for school or extracurriculars. And if you’re married or have a partner, it’s a lot easier to split up your to-do list since you can both see what’s on it.
Why Cozi Is One of the Best Productivity Apps:
- Cozi is great for helping busy freelancers who also have a family plan out their days and manage their schedules.
- The shareable nature of the app means less nagging your kids or spouse to remember the important stuff.
If you’re a freelance blogger, then Tailwind belongs on the list of productivity apps you can’t do without.
This scheduling app makes it so much easier to grow your reach on Pinterest and Instagram. You can set it and forget it where your posts are concerned, leaving you time to focus on other blogging activities.
How Tailwind Works:
To use Tailwind for blogging you first need to create an account. The next step is syncing your Pinterest and/or Instagram accounts.
You can then start adding to your custom schedule.
So for example, I use Pinterest to schedule pins for my other blog, Boss Single Mama. I try to schedule pins at least a week in advance, though you could schedule up to a months’ worth of pins or Instagram posts all at once if you like.
Why Tailwind Is Great for Increasing Productivity:
- Tailwind takes the stress out of scheduling your Pinterest or Instagram activity.
- You can also use it to schedule content from other bloggers as well to increase your reach.
What Productivity Apps Do You Recommend as a Freelancer or Blogger?
I’ve shared my favorite productivity apps with you — now it’s your turn.
Is there a productivity app that you just can’t live without for managing your time as a freelancer or blogger?
Head to the comments and tell me about it. And please pin and share this post if you liked it!