Office and Admin Professional Development

Top 8 Apps for Busy Freelancers

Written by Miranda Pennington


From the way they help with managing your time to managing simultaneous due-dates, from taking notes in a client meeting to having access to recent drafts on the go, apps are a freelancer’s best friend. So it’s very likely they can help you streamline your office life too. Check out this list of the top 8 productivity apps and see what you can make your life easier by downloading.


 For Time Management

1. Pomodoro

This simple timer app is free (with paid upgrade features) and lets you set an interval for “work” with an automatic break timer to get you back on track afterwards.

2. Calendars by Readdle

This not only synthesizes with your Google or iCalendar, it represents your calendar events as blocks of time, allowing you visually assess where you have free time and where you’re double or triple booked. The basic app is free, with paid upgrades to allow for repeated event scheduling, languages, added to-do lists, managing invites and attendees, reminders, and smart input that searches your emails for potential action items.

3. Self-Control

Of all the apps that will help you block out Twitter and Facebook long enough to get work done, Self-Control is the most hardcore. There’s no way to cancel it! Not even restarting your computer! Sometimes I need that kind of tough love in my life.


For To-Do Lists

4. Wunderlist

This app is always a crowd pleaser—its best features are letting you group tasks together and assign subtasks within an ongoing project. You can even attach files so they’re easy to refer to, and share documents with groups.

5. Todoist

This is a masterlist app—it rounds up tasks, scheduling, labeling, notes, reminders, project templates and more to cover every aspect of your workflow.


This app is ideal for less linear thinkers; it allows you to make beautiful charts by free-form associations between ideas, rather than the structure of a list or an outline.


For Document Access

7. Good Reader

Along with the classics like Pages and Google Docs, this one of my favorite apps for document review. It’s especially terrific for converting between formats, and has the best PDF-edit interface I’ve come across. Whenever I have to sign and return a contract, I never have to print or scan it anymore.

8. Scanning Apps

Google Drive has a new scanning feature you may have noticed, but the other top apps are Cam Scanner, Genius Scan, and the ever popular EverNote. Pay close attention to whether they allow you to import as images or will actually make the effort to convert to Word or any other editable format!


About the author

Miranda Pennington

Miranda K. Pennington is a freelance writer and editor whose work has appeared on The Toast, The American Scholar, and the Ploughshares Writing Blog. She currently teaches creative nonfiction for Uptown Stories, a Morningside Heights nonprofit organization. She has an MFA from Columbia University, where she has also taught in the University Writing program and consulted in the Writing Center.