Career Writing: Freelance Writing Tools

There are apps for just about everything under the sun, and if you’re anything like me, then you lean pretty heavily on your phone in everyday life. If you’re working from home like me, you can leverage your phone to help keep yourself on track. Here are five apps I use, why I use them, and how they’ve elevated my freelancing career.

1. Trello

Trello is a project management app that focuses on workflow. With Trello, you can set up Kanban boards and follow projects from start to finish while they’re at various stages. The app works great for me because the contracts I work on all overlap, and Trello keeps me from dropping any of the balls I’m juggling at any one time. It also helps me timestamp contract starts, milestone deadlines, and contract ends.

Here’s Trello in the Google Play Store if you want to try it out!

2. Forest

Forest is an app that lets you grow trees while you focus! You set a timer and then you can plant a seed for a plant/plants to grow while you work. The idea is that you can’t deviate from your task without killing the plant, and there’s even a stricter mode that will kill the plant if you navigate from the app. I can’t do the strict mode because most of my work is done on my phone, but having a timer and a plant gives me some virtual accountability. You can set your timer to any length you want, but I usually use the pomodoro technique to optimize my time.

Here’s Forest in the Google Play Store if you want to try it out!

3. Sectograph

This may not be for everyone, but using Sectograph helps me better visualize my time. The idea is that instead of having blocks of time listed in a column, the length of time blocks is displayed in a circle as wedges. Since I’m used to looking at time on a clock, it helps me conceptualize how much time is being spent on tasks compared to other tasks. Personally, I color code my time management so that I can see an overall distribution. Green is work, vs. purple is breaks/downtime. The goal is to have the majority of my time be mapped as green within my work day boundaries, with evenly spaced blocks of purple for my breaks.

Here’s Sectograph in the Google Play Store if you want to try it out!

4. Deepstash

Deepstash is actually an app I use right before work, but I included it on this list because it directly helps my working day. On the app, books and articles are condensed into bite-sized pieces for quick reading and saving. It keeps track of how many you read, and I usually try to do between five and ten per morning. It only takes a few minutes and it gets my brain moving and ready for work mode as quickly as possible.

Here’s Deepstash in the Google Play Store if you want to try it out!

5. Plant Nanny

Last but not least is Plant Nanny! This app is all about staying hydrated, which has vastly improved my life. You use seeds to start little plant friends, record your water intake, and your plant grows as you water it. Then, the plants are moved to greenhouses, where they generate seeds for you to buy more plant friends. It has hacked my brain into drinking more water because I want to see my plants grow and evolve, and gamifying my water intake has finally gotten me into the habit of drinking water regularly.

Here’s Plant Nanny in the Google Play Store if you want to try it out!

What do you think? Do you use these apps? Will you use them? Do you have any app recommendations for me? I’d love to hear about it, so leave a comment for me!

– Katy

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