In the age of the Internet, everything from jobs to commodities has become more easily accessible. Regardless of wherever you are in the world, you can find and obtain whatever you need online. Employers looking to contract a freelancer for a specific job in particular can take advantage of the convenience that the Internet affords them. With one click, they are able to find the right person for the job. No longer do you have to go through the tedious process of sorting through piles of resumes, holding in-office personal interviews, and subsequently negotiating for fees. Online, you can streamline this process and hire your freelancer in a matter of minutes. Choose a freelancer, discuss job specifications, set a deadline, and negotiate the fee, and before you know it, the project has commenced.
The Internet is an ever-changing and evolving platform. As more and more businesses turn to the Internet for advertising, marketing, and job requirements, mobile app developers are jumping on the bandwagon and developing various apps to provide convenience for all users. And for employers seeking freelance contractors for their various projects, it is precisely the convenience these mobile apps provide that they appreciate the most.
When you hire a freelancer, you want to be on top of the project at all times. Constant communication for exchanging ideas, discussing changes, or staying updated with the progress is a critical component in any project. This ensures that the contracted job is accomplished according to the employer's exact specifications and within the scheduled timeframe. Thankfully, there are mobile apps that can help you communicate and collaborate with your freelancers in real time—tools that can streamline the workflow and help ensure a successful project. If you don't have a go-to app yet, below is a list of some of the mobile apps that you may want to test and consider.
Time-tracking apps assist employers and freelancers with keeping tabs of project schedules. Setting a schedule for each phase of the project can greatly help in completing the job on time. It is advisable to allocate a buffer for revisions. These tracking and scheduling apps can likewise alert you when it's time for you to receive updates from your job contractors, based on the schedule that both you and the freelancer agreed upon. Schedule meetings with your freelancers, track their hours, set deadlines for each phase of the project, or simply set reminders for your freelancers.
1. Toggl – Has a user-friendly interface that makes it easy to use even for first-time users. This app features reporting tools that include a variety of report types and filters. If you switch to the Pro version, you can even bookmark reports or export them to PDF, Excel, or CSV. On iOS-powered mobiles, you can add a widget to keep tabs on the time spent on a specific task for the day. Set the tracker to tag time entries of group activities to keep track of job progress. Available for Android and iOS devices, the free version of the app already comes with powerful features and can be utilized by up to five users. Its Pro version costs $5/month per user but you can use its trial version for free for up to 30 days.
2. Harvest – Is a popular time-tracking app that enables employers to monitor time entries of their team of freelancers. Developed in 2006, this app allows employers and project managers to keep tabs on each of their projects' progress. Simply go to the project dashboard and click on a specific project to view its status. Reports and graphs can be exported as various file types, and you can set a reminder for the team when reports and timesheets are due. If you want to try one app for streamlining your workflow, Harvest is highly recommended, and a free trial can be used for up to 30 days. Fees start at $12 per month for an unlimited number of clients/projects. Available for Android and iOS.
3. TimeCamp – Is designed specifically for streamlining reports, timesheets, and tracking time entries of entire teams. Employers and project managers are not only able to monitor time inputs of their freelancers in real time, they are also provided with reporting and timesheet tools for updates and approvals. Prioritize tasks and set schedules with the to-do list feature. The free version is for a single user, while the Pro version costs $6/month for each user. Available for Android and iOS users.
File-sharing and Editing
Applications that provide tools for seamless file sharing, viewing, and editing are a must for any outsourced job. These apps enable teams to share and access essential documents that will allow for the on-schedule completion of assigned tasks. And for employers on the go, having these apps available for mobile makes them far more convenient.
1. Google Drive – Tops the list of popular file-sharing apps. View, share and edit files directly from your tablet or smartphone. This program allows you to store documents and files through the integrated virtual drive app, making it easy for you and your team of freelancers to access files directly from their mobile devices. Simply invite your team to view or download files; edit folders, and upload documents. Offers up to1 5GB of free storage. Google Drive is available on iOS and Android devices.
2. Dropbox – Allows your files to be accessed by different devices and even different users. Log in to your account from your phone or tablet and you're instantly given access to all the files that you and your team of freelancers shared. View and edit documents in Word and Excel format, view and approve photos uploaded by your outsourced graphic artist, or receive documented updates to ensure that the project is progressing according to schedule. Available for Android devices, iPhones, iPads, Blackberry, and Kindle Fire.
Staying on top of your projects is key to the success of your business. Whether you personally oversee each project or you have an assigned project manager for each of your outsourced projects, having the right mobile tools to keep all critical components of the project will ensure that you can receive or view regular updates even if you're away from the computer.
1. Producteev – Is a Web and mobile app that provides project managers and employers with various tools for organizing their projects. You can assign a project to a single freelancer or to a team of collaborators, designate specific tasks for each member of the team, and keep track of their progress. Important features include Networks, which is the place where you can view all your projects, tasks, and freelancers. Set tasks according to priority and even include sub-tasks for a more streamlined workflow. Available for Android and iOS-powered devices.
2. Project Bubble – Has several features that will ease the workload of employers and project managers. This app allows you to monitor projects and the specific jobs for each of your outsourced contractors/freelancers. Discuss job specifics, share files, and track time and progress in real time. It also features a tool that exports data as automated reports. Designed for Web and Android/iOS devices.
Real-time Communication and Collaboration
As previously mentioned, constant communication with your team of freelancers is an essential part of every successful project. While there are quite a number of Web and mobile apps that allow for real-time communication and collaboration, not all of them perform with the same level of excellence. Below are two of the most popular communication apps preferred by employers and freelancers alike.
1. Skype – Was originally designed to enable communication between friends and family from wherever they are in the world. But its easy-to-use interface and chat options (individual and group) made it a popular choice as well for freelance employers and businesses. You can share files, hold video conferences, and collaborate with your team of freelancers from various platforms. Available for Android and iOS users.
2. Viber – Is an all-time favorite of mobile users. Communicate and collaborate with your team effortlessly from your mobile or desktop. Share files and photos, or receive updates from anywhere at any given time. The best part is that you can call any one of your freelancers anywhere and anytime for free. Available for Android and iOS devices.
Time-tracker and Project Manager in One
For employers or project managers who need a freelancer fast for a project that is on a tight deadline, a mobile app that can match the perfect contractor for your specific job is essential. And for that, you should check out Freelancer's mobile app so you can find the best freelancer for your project even while you're out of the office. Post a project, review bids, and hire a contractor straight from your tablet or smartphone.
Want to keep track of freelancer hours, communicate with a job contractor, or make a payment without logging into your computer? The Freelancer mobile app lets you do all that, too. Available for Android and iOS users.
These are only some of the mobile apps that you can consider to make it easier for you to work and collaborate with freelancers. You may even be already using some of these. It is recommended that you give these a try and see which of them works best for you, particularly for the size of projects that regularly outsource. Since most of these come with free versions, or provide a free trial for up to 30 days for their pro versions, you won't have to initially spend on apps that you're still unsure of.