Being organised is a gigantic thing as a freelancer and having the right apps can take the weight off your shoulders can be vital. Apart from the apps I use to edit images for Instagram and social media, there's a few apps that are really important to me. Don't forget I'm a one man band so anything that keeps the struggles and stresses off lets me perform better as a business.
The first is invoice pro. For obvious reason knocking up those invoices quickly and on the go saves me from a lot of time. It works by connecting with your phone contacts which can be a bit of a drag to make sure you save them all but actually that works out beneficial as when that client phones in the future you know straight away who you're talking to. I'm usually terrible at writing invoices and struggle to write them, but when I do my invoicing this app makes it easy, and stress free every single time.
If you have a couple of different businesses maybe one for your weddings and one for your portraits then you can easily switch between the two. Which is great if you want to keep things separate, remember organisation is key. You can also change your details in seconds so if a client needs you to change an address or re name the client it's super easy.
One of the impressive features is that you can link it to your iPad so if you're doing your invoices from home. It's a great way to use it with a slightly bigger interface. I would also say it would be great if it did this via the cloud so you could get those updates instantly. Instead of having to sync but I'm sure this is something they would work on if there was enough interest.
I've used this app for about three years and it really does help me out. It keeps a great record of my previous years and invoices and it's also great when clients ask me to resend an invoice and I can do it within seconds
My only other thing with this app is the going back button it seems to sometimes freeze for me. I don't know why and it doesn't cause me that much of a problem, but when the rest of the app works perfectly, it's the one thing that annoys me. It's not a biggie, but something to remember if you're rushing.
There are plenty of great apps out there that can help you keep your invoices in check, if there's something you use or prefer then drop me a message. I'd love to hear from you.
My second app I would recommend is not necessarily related to photography, but it can be used by anyone. It's more of a lifestyle app than a freelancer, photographer app. My wallet+. It's not as fancy as the invoice app, but it's great for getting a handle on your finances and work out how much you're spending on stuff. If you're like me, you will go through times where you're earning loads and then time when not so much. This can be a life saver. I'm also terrible at saving money when I have it and only become money savvy when I'm running low. Something that I'm learning is that I need to be on it 24/7. As a freelancer we need to balance our books and budget all year round, so when we fall on those dryer, tougher times we've still got the finances to live! It does a lot of clever maths and works out your spending in each subject and at the end of the month you can take the steps necessary to spend not so much on certain things like takeaways, coffee and booze. My downfall is coffee, I live for a good cup of coffee in the morn, something I'm working on is to cut that down.
So many photographers and freelancers I know work from live from invoice to invoice, this is because they over spend when they have money in their accounts. We all want to buy nice things and live without financial worry but as freelancers we have to sacrifice some things and sometimes unfortunately that has to be cash flow. It's not great but it's apart of what we do, we're going to gain so much more in the future but these tough times are something that can happen. All I can say, is get used to it and work hard to stop it.
I will say that you have to be on the ball with this app and if you forget to put a few payments on you knock the whole thing out of balance. You've really got to keep on top of it, but I suppose that's not a bad thing.
One thing I wish this app had was a picture tool so if you were in a rush you could just snap a photo and that would allow you to chase up at a later date. It doesn't matter that this can't be done, but it would just be nice.
It's a great app and well worth a try, even for a month and it will shock you on how much you spend on the little things. You can set it up with as much or as little detail that you want, it completely up to you. You can even add a password on there and that stops those prying eyes knowing your expenses.
And lastly anything by Squarespace! They have three apps that I now look at daily or are vital to me working and interacting with clients. In fact, I'm actually writing this blog post on my iPad so just goes to show that I'm digging it!
I use the portfolio app to go and meet clients with and I've always had really positive remarks on using it. It allows clients to pinch and push my images to look at them and it's effortless to swipe through them. I have four different portfolios tucked away and I can easily change to another portfolio to show my clients exactly what they want to see.
The analytics are something I look at a couple of times a week to make sure I'm getting enough traffic to my website and also allowed me to see how my blogs and vlogs are doing. This is great because I can then write or vlog to what my audience wants to see. It might not be the biggest in the world, but it can only grow if I'm pushing the right content. Right?
So that's it. Those are my apps that I use to keep my small business on track and working as easy as possible. If you have any apps that use and would recommend then please feel free to comment and let me know.
Much love, as always