Natalie Hands Studio
Hands-crafted design and strategy.

Blog

10 FREE Business Apps That We Use Every Day

 


We understand how important it is that the tools you use be affordable and accessible when starting a business on your own. We started our design studio with no capital, no investors, and no idea what we were getting into! We learned so much along the way - including the glory of free apps - and want to share 10 of our favorites with you, today. So! Let's dig in.

1. Wave Accounting —

Wave Accounting is a cloud-based accounting software that allows you to effortlessly keep an eye on every penny coming in and going out. Wave offers easy accounting, invoicing, and report generating for those pesky freelance taxes. We use Wave for our invoice payment receipts & income vs. expense tracking reports.


2. Wave Receipts —

Wave Receipts is an app that coincides with Wave Accounting. With Wave receipts, you can easily take a photo of your receipts, record the expense, and have them post to accounting in about a minute. One thing we love is how easy it is to simply download all your receipts into one organized .zip file! We use Wave to track all our expenses.


3. Asana —

Asana is a task management tool that allows you to create projects, boards, lists, and more. Asana is available online or as an app, which is super handy! With Asana, you can even create client projects for easy client management and ensuring your projects stay on track. We use Asana for all our daily to-do’s and are slowly implementing it into our client workflow.


4. PayPal —

Oh, PayPal. We love and hate you. If you haven’t heard of PayPal, we’d be really surprised. PayPal can do everything from sending money to a friend for that pizza they got you, to sending invoices to customers for services. While PayPal is free, they do snag their fees. We use PayPal for invoicing our clients quickly and easily, and expense the fees!
Note: There are easier ways of doing this, but this works best for our clients' needs!


5. Google Drive —

Google Drive is another one of those, “Yeah, duh?!” kind of programs. Drive allows you to create documents, spreadsheets, slideshows and acts as a storage all in one. With Drive, you can easily upload all your customer's files to one private folder to share with them. We use Drive for all our client documents and internal templates, like project proposals or website roadmap documents!


6. Harvest —

Harvest is a tricky one, as it is only free for x amount of projects. Harvest is a wonderful tool if you bill hourly for your work. You can easily track all your time worked and even send invoices right in the app. We know this is naughty, but we’re all about helping self-starting solopreneurs as much as possible - so... A useful trick to avoiding having to pay monthly is to track your ‘project’ as what is your service, and you ‘tasks’ as your clients. (Don’t tell!)


7. Self Control for Mac —

This is another crucial app in our toolbox! It can be a total time killer checking socials, so we use this app to help keep our eyes on the prize. The Self Control app keeps us on track and distraction-free throughout the day, enabling us to be as productive as possible, 100% focused on the tasks at hand, and ultimately reducing our turn around time. It’s a MUST for any Solopreneur, wondering where all their time went (hint: probably to your social media accounts!)


8. Later —

Later — one of our most used tools — is a social media scheduling and analytics tracking programs. Later allows you to schedule and post on all your socials, keep track of engagement, and even allows for auto-scheduling to your business Insta account! Keeping track of your engagement is super important for those working towards sponsorships, and knowing your most engaging content is key for all Solopreneurs. Tip: Scheduling social media for your brand? Batch it! Spend a few hours on one day creating content and scheduling to save time later.


9. LastPass —

We have over so many accounts with spread across the internet and it can be nearly impossible to remember all of our login credentials. LastPass is our one simple solution to this issue, and it helps us keep all our credentials right in one place! This is also super helpful for that one annoying password you always forget. Can’t remember? Log in, view, and voila.


10. MailChimp —

If you’re into email marketing - Mailchimp is for you! MailChimp offers everything you need to start email marketing, including lists and segmentation, landing pages, email templates, and more. We use MailChimp ourselves and regularly implement Mailchimp into our clients’ websites. Currently, MailChimp is free to use for up to 2,000 subscribers & 12,000 emails per month.



That's it! These 10 amazing, free tools can help catapult your new business in the right direction. What are some tools we made have missed, that you love? Let us know in the comments, below. 

Was this post helpful? If so, show some love and give us a quick share!