10 must-have tools that make freelance life easier

The gig economy has been transforming how, when, and where many of us work. A rising number of skilled professionals are choosing remote and freelance careers, and research shows that working from home could raise productivity, efficiency, and engagement while saving time and money. But in this world of independent work and virtual teams, we need to keep up and equip ourselves with the right skills and the best online tools.

To empower our global community of freelance translators, we’ve put together a list of essential online tools recommended by our very own Gengo staff and digital nomads:

Productivity

1. Newsfeed Eradicator

Can’t resist checking and scrolling up your Facebook newsfeed during work hours? We’ve all been there. Install this free Google Chrome extension that hides all the posts and status updates on your newsfeed so you can focus on more urgent tasks. As someone who often works from home, Newsfeed Eradicator is one of my personal favorites as it helps me steer clear of distractions.

Newsfeed Eradicator

2. Momentum

This free Google Chrome extension is designed to constantly remind you of your to-do list every time you open a new tab. Momentum also helps you organize your frequently used links and provides inspiring quotes to help you stay motivated. Our graphic designer, Rainie, loves the stunning travel photography that evokes wanderlust and elevates her mood. The clean interface is a plus, too.

Momentum Chrome extension

Organization

3. OneTab

Do you often work with too many tabs open but want to keep them for later? Temporarily declutter with OneTab, an extension that converts all tabs into a list with one click. You can restore all tabs at once or individually when needed. Shoma, our head of translator operations, uses it every day to save time and pick up where he left off the previous work day.

4. Evernote

Voted as the best note-taking app in 2017, it lets you jot down thoughts, capture notes or anything you want to remember, create to-do lists, store information and documents, from receipts to boarding passes. Evernote also serves as an online filing cabinet that lets you sync files on your devices.

Time Management

5. Toggl

Perfect for freelancers who charge hourly or per project, Toggl lets you easily keep track of your working hours for different clients. This site also generates weekly or monthly reports you can download with ease. Lara, our remote community manager, uses it to track her daily working hours and reviews the monthly reports to help her stay efficient.

Toggl freelance

6. Pomodoro Timer

The Pomodoro Timer applies a time management method that encourages you to work for 25 minutes followed by a 5-minute break. After the fourth cycle, you can enjoy a 15-minute break. You may also set the time, frequency, and the length of each break. Some members of our engineering team use it every day and our front-end programmer Kohei thinks this timer helps him stay focused and be more productive.

Writing

7. Grammarly

This Chrome extension is a great grammar checker and flags all mistakes related to spelling, grammar, punctuation, style, and sentence structure. Grammarly also gives suggestions to improve your writing. Our translation quality lead, Olga, uses it to make sure her emails are error-free and it’s also great for proofreading blog posts on WordPress.

8. Hemingway

An artificial intelligence app created in 2013, Hemingway helps polish your writing to make it bold, clear, and succinct. Simply copy and paste the text into the Hemingway Editor. It will highlight needless adverbs, run-on sentences, passive voice, and vague words. True to its name, the web-based app will teach you how to achieve Ernest Hemingway’s clear and minimalist writing style.

Travel

9. Payoneer

Gengo has recently partnered with Payoneer, an innovative online payment company that gives you the option of having a MasterCard® debit card. This allows freelance translators in different countries to withdraw payments via ATM or transfer earnings directly to their local bank account.

10. Work Hard Anywhere

Recommended by the Digital Nomad Girls Community, Word Hard Anywhere (WHA) is a crowd-powered app that helps you find the nearest freelancer-friendly spots with stable WiFi so you can work remotely wherever you are in the world. You can see how other WHA users rate the internet speed, comfort, and size of the spaces they visit.

Which among these tools do you use and what other apps and sites do you recommend to your fellow freelance translators? We’d love to learn more!

CATEGORIES /

Jenie Gabriel

The author

Jenie Gabriel

Jenie creates and coordinates content for Gengo's marketing team. Originally from the Philippines, she was an advertising creative in Singapore before moving to Tokyo. In her spare time, you’ll find her wandering around the city or planning her next escapade.


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