Polar explorer Roald Amundsen felt that adventure was “just bad planning”. This may well be true if you’re on a long trek across a glacier in the Antarctic. But when you decide to go freelancing abroad, a bit of planning is often a key part of your big adventure.
So to help you out we’ve put together this list of the top five essential tools every freelancing expat needs. They cover everything from managing your time and documents to getting paid for the work you do and keeping in touch with people. Armed with this list, the only other essentials are your passport, laptop and a strong internet connection.
So take five minutes to read this post and off you go to seek adventure!
1. MANAGING YOUR TIME
Forget lugging around a large A3 planner in your suitcase. TRELLO is the ideal tool to help you manage all your projects and organise your time whilst on the move. Assign each project a board and create a card for every task you need to do.
Extra information can be added as a description or a comment. You can assign labels, due dates and attachments too. It’s free to use and handy for teamwork. Give it a try and you’ll soon start to wonder how you managed without it.
2. MANAGING YOUR DOCUMENTS AND DATA
You can also leave that heavy folder for all your important documents behind. DROPBOX makes it quick and easy for you to access all of your files on any device and share them with anyone anywhere. Much like Google Docs you can edit multiple documents at the same time. In addition, there are also regular back-ups to ensure you won’t lose or misplace anything.
3. GETTING PAID
Yes it’s an obvious one, but a key part of any freelancing adventure is getting paid! But why do you need a tool for this when an Excel template will do? You’ll need to save it, email it, perhaps even print it. All of which soon becomes a drag when you’re on the move and far from home.
You need something quick and easy. Cue ZERVANT.
Their online invoicing software makes creating and sending invoices a breeze. In fact, it all takes under 30 seconds. All your customer information and financial data is stored safely and securely online. See if it works for you with a whole month of free, unlimited invoicing.
4. SOCIAL MEDIA
Social media is a must when you’re a globetrotting freelancer. Both for work and your private life. But there’s no need to spend time and effort handling each one of your accounts separately. BUFFER is a free tool that allows you to share information across all your accounts - Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn (and even Google+ if anyone still uses it).
You can schedule posts to go out whenever you want at a specific time on a specific day. Their image editing tool, Pablo, is also a super simple way to add a personal touch to all your images.
5. KEEPING IN TOUCH
Time was when Skype was the de facto way of talking to people on the other side of the world. But it’s prone to bad sound quality and jarring in the middle of a conversation. Usually at the most important point of your call.
So why not take a look at REBTEL? When you call using this service, you actually call a number that’s local to wherever you are. Rebtel will then connect you, through this number, to the international number you’re trying to call. Which means the audio quality should be crisp, crystal clear and uninterrupted.