100 Essential Resources for Entrepreneurs and Freelancers

The web is such a big and wonderful place, packed with tools and resources which you all too often don’t know about. We recently talked about some tools of the trade for Tech startups that help you with your day-to-day operations as tech entrepreneurs. To help all you freelancers and entrepreneurs out there even more we have compiled a gigantic list of resources, categorized up for your benefit. If you know a resource that we’ve missed, let us know as we’re always looking to grow this list! We have missed some by choice as we wanted to highlight tools like Adobe Kuler that are lesser known yet awesome. However, if you think we should add any tool feel free to add it in the comment below.

Timing

These are tools to help you time and track your work. Some of them plug into invoicing programs and some even come with them built in:

  1. SlimTimer – A Start/Stop little timer that tracks jobs on a main web interface
  2. Tick – Timetracking application focused on keeping track of your budgets
  3. Time Assistant – Professional timesheet software
  4. Harvest – Simple and efficient time tracking
  5. FourteenDayz – Online time tracking for teams
  6. FunctionFox – Timing for creatives (subscription pricing)

Invoicing

When you don’t invoice, you don’t get paid, so it literally pays to stay on top of your billing. Here are some tools to help:

  1. Billing Orchard – Electronic billing and invoicing software, starting at $14.95 per month
  2. SimplyBill – Easy to use invoicing software
  3. Blinksale – More easy to use invoicing software
  4. Quickbooks – Small business financial software
  5. Side Job Track – Free web-based job tracking, invoicing, reporting and project management for the part-time independent contractor
  6. Freshbooks – Tracks time, sends invoices by email or U.S. mail, and generally makes invoicing easier
  7. InvoicePlace – Easy Invoicing and Quotes From Anywhere
  8. LessAccounting – Is your job title Accounting? Probably not. Do less accounting!

Project Management and Organization

These resources will help you stay organised and manage those projects and clients

  1. Proposal Kit – Proposal and contract management tools
  2. ConceptShare – Share designs and get feedback with visual annotation tools
  3. Wridea – Free tool for writers focusing on idea generation
  4. Toodledo – Another web based to-do list
  5. ActiveCollab – Open source collaboration and project management tool
  6. MonkeyOn – Your to-do list for things that you want other people to do
  7. Remember The Milk – Another To-Do List manager

Stock Libraries

Templates, Photos, Flash files all to help make you look good

  1. Unsplash – Free hi-resolution photos.
  2. Creative Commons Search – Search millions of pictures online from single dashboard.
  3. PicJumbo – Totally FREE photos for your works. New photos daily! Every. Single. Day.
  4. ActiveDen – A resource selling stock Flash, audio, video and fonts for as little as $1.
  5. Dreamstime – Royalty free stock photography for $1 – $2
  6. Getty Images – When price is no object and quality is essential
  7. Istockphoto – Royalty free stock photography, videos, and illustrations for $1 – $50
  8. Veer – Rights managed and royalty free photography, illutration, type, and motion
  9. Stock.xchng – Completely Free stock photography
  10. Ice Templates – Website templates in Flash and HTML
  11. Template Monster – The biggest website template company on the web!
  12. MyFonts – All the fonts you could ever want and a very handy font identification tool as well.
  13. IconBuffet – Icons, more icons and even more icons
  14. VectorVault – Vector illustration sets

Business Tools

Resources to help with the business of freelancing…

  1. HighRise – Track communication and conversations with leads, employees, clients, colleagues, vendors
  2. Campfire – Real-time group chat and file sharing
  3. Central Desktop – Shared workspaces and web conferencing
  4. Relenta – Manage your email, contacts, documents and activities
  5. Google Apps – Communication and collaboration tools from Google
  6. Zoho – Free office tools
  7. Campaign Monitor – Email newsletter software
  8. Breeze – Email campaign and newsletter software
  9. Business-Paper – Easy business cards
  10. GoToMeeting – Easy online meetings
  11. Wufoo – Make forms to survey your clients
  12. AIGA Spec Letter – Sample letter to communicate with clients who want spec work or free pitching
  13. CPA Directory – Find an accountant (in the US)
  14. SBA – Small Business Administration, help and advice
  15. Paypal – Online payment system
  16. Skrill – Online payment system
  17. Escrow – Online payment system that protects the buyer and seller, useful for those bigger jobs with anonymous clients.
  18. Work – How-to guides to running a small business
  19. XE – Quick and easy currency converter for all your international transactions…
  20. Trendwatching – Consumer trends and insights resource
  21. FaxZero – US & Canada – Send Faxes for Free

Legal

Because you have to protect yourself and your work…

  1. My New Company – Legal and general start-up information
  2. Docracy – Free legal documents
  3. Copyright – Everything you need to know about US copyright
  4. AIGA Form of Agreement – Standard form of agreement for design services trmplate
  5. CreativeCommons – For licensing…just about anything

Job Boards

A whole bunch of places to find jobs, and don’t forget FreelanceSwitch will be adding its very own job board real soon!

  1. 37signals Job Board – Mostly full-time design and programming jobs. Name changed to “We Work Remotely”.
  2. Authentic Jobs – Full time and freelance job board for standards aware designers and developers
  3. Mindstack Connect – Social Job board for bar, food and hospitality industry jobs. Allows you to have a say in the hiring process
  4. Coroflot Job Board – Designer job board
  5. Jobpile – Aggregates the best job boards on the web
  6. Krop – Creative and tech jobs
  7. FWjobs – Web jobs board
  8. SlashDot – Jobs for IT professionals
  9. Guru – Freelancer listing service with job board
  10. Elance – List yourself for freelance jobs
  11. ODesk – Get a freelance job.

Web Tools

Tools to get your Web Presence Up and running…

  1. Squarespace – Very nice publishing system for websites and blogs
  2. Rackspace – dedicated hosting and customer service that is second to none
  3. MyDomain – Domains for $8.50 per year
  4. Media Temple – Easy to set up and use hosting
  5. Light – Content management for designers and ad agencies
  6. SiteKreator – Instant websites – just add your content
  7. StrongSpace – Back-up and store important files
  8. psd2html – Builds websites in html from Photoshop files
  9. xhtml iT – Website builds from design in 24 hours
  10. ExpressionEngine – A neat little CMS app
  11. PublicSquare – Easy Web Publishing
  12. WordPress – The best damn blogging tool around
  13. AgencyFusion – Outsourcable programmers
  14. XHTMLized – The original – you supply the design and they do the XHTML/CSS

Advertising and Marketing

A few ways to market and advertise yourself online…

  1. Matomy SEO – Text ads to sell your wares and improve your traffic ranking
  2. Review Me – Get your service or Web site reviewed by bloggers
  3. Adbrite – Text and banner ads on over 20,000 sites
  4. AdEngage – Text and Photext ads (image and text ad combined)
  5. Adwords – Text ads on Google searches
  6. Professional On The Web – Get yourself Listed

Miscellaneous

All the many things we couldn’t fit anywhere else!

  1. Creative Public – Useful site for anyone starting a freelance graphic or web design career. A $49.95 fee buys unlimited access to forms, manuals, pricing guides, contracts etc
  2. Jewelboxing – superior packaging for short run CDs and DVDs
  3. eFax – Send and receive faxes by email
  4. PowerXChange – Extensions for a variety of creative software, including Acrobat, Photoshop, Illustrator, InDesign and Dreamweaver
  5. Coroflot – A great resources for designers to showcase their portfolios, share work and network
  6. Cloudmark – Block spam on your PC
  7. SpamSieve – Block spam on your Mac
  8. Dropsend – Email up to 1GB of files
  9. Media Fire – Send 100MB files online
  10. Box – Store, share and access files online
  11. Icebrrg – Simple web forms
  12. Formsite – Web forms and surveys in minutes
  13. Lorem Ipsum – Lorem Ipsum generator for dummy copy
  14. Textmate – The essential programmers text editor for Macs
  15. Kuler – Colour scheme picker
  16. Pixie – A useful little colour picker
  17. ColourSchemer – A bunch of colour tools
  18. Jungle Disk – Online storage for 15 cents a gigabyte
  19. AskCharity – free online contacts for journalists
  20. TechInline – Remote Desktop Software
  21. Protolize – Web Resource Directory

Do you have a resource we missed? Leave a comment and let us know!

Dinesh Agarwal is an academician turned entrepreneur. He got his Ph.D. in Computer Science from Georgia State University where he also started his first venture Bookup to help students save money on college textbooks. He is also the founder of Pro Start Me, a service for entrepreneurs to realize their tech based ideas into products. Got a great idea? Let us talk

5 Comments

  1. George C April 30, 2014 Reply

    Thank you for the great list. I would like to recommend Proofhub for project management & collaboration.

    • Author
      Dinesh Agarwal April 30, 2014 Reply

      Hi George,

      I will look into proofhub when I get some time. What do you like about it?

      – Dinesh

  2. David May 11, 2014 Reply

    Nice List Dinesh! Thanks.

  3. Matt May 28, 2015 Reply

    You may want to check out Slimvoice for an insanely simple way to send invoices and get paid.

    http://slimvoice.co

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