If you have a smartphone or tablet, you can turn it into an incredibly valuable business tool if you download the right apps. Different apps allow your device to perform a huge variety of useful functions, so if you pick the right ones you can run your entire business with only a smartphone. 

This article will look at the best apps for self-employed contractors and how they can help with everything from project management to note-taking. The apps we’ll look at include:

  • Trello
  • Atto
  • Buffer
  • Evernote
  • Countingup

1) Trello

Trello is a project management app, and can be hugely useful for contractors working on large, collaborative projects. If you’re self-employed, you may not have a team working for you, but you may still end up working alongside other contractors or professionals. In these situations, Trello can come in very handy.

Trello’s main feature is basically a digital noticeboard where users can pin different tasks and timelines. If the whole team you’re working with signs up to Trello, the app can become a hub where everywhere can share information, progress reports, and work updates. 

By pinning different deadlines to your Trello board and updating tasks frequently, you can use the app to measure the success of a project. Including your client in the Trello board ensures that you’re keeping them in the loop too, which will hugely improve your customers’ experience.

Although Trello does include premium features that you can subscribe to, the app is free for the most part. This helps keep costs to a minimum, which is always a big concern when starting a contracting business.

2) Atto

It’s vital to track the time you spend working accurately when you’re a contractor. If you don’t, it can lead to payment issues when you’re creating an invoice. This is why Atto is one of the best apps for self-employed contractors.

Atto allows you to create a timesheet, which you can then fill with the hours you’ve spent working. The app even allows you to break down the timesheet into specific tasks — you can create ‘job codes’ and then select these codes when tracking the time you spend doing the associated job. This way, you can provide your clients with a highly accurate invoice.    

 Atto is also useful if you’re trying to improve your time management, as you can look back and see exactly how you spent your working day. It even includes the time spent not working, as you can pause Atto’s time tracking while you’re on lunch or taking other breaks. 

Finally, Atto is great for tracking employee hours. Even if you only employ one or two other workers, it’s crucial that you pay them correctly. If everyone uses Atto, it ensures fair pay for the hours they work.

3) Buffer

Using social media effectively can be hugely beneficial to any business, and contracting is no different. As helpful as it is, though, posting consistent content to social media can be time-consuming. When you’re a self-employed contractor, you’ll be spending your time working on jobs or running your business, so consider using Buffer to make posting easy. 

Buffer allows you to post to all of your social media platforms at the same time. This feature means you don’t have to log into each app individually, create your content, and post it on your profile.

You can even schedule your posts using Buffer, in case you have a great idea for some content but don’t want to put it up right now. This scheduling tool means that you can create a whole week’s worth of posts in a fraction of the time it would normally take. 

Marketing might be something you overlook as a contractor, but it’s a necessary part of getting jobs. Since social media is the modern marketing tool of choice, it’s good to create a few profiles and start creating content to attract new clients. 

4) Evernote 

Evernote provides a simple but convenient service: it’s a note-taking app, so you can use it to write down anything you need to record or remember later. This might seem like something you can do with a pen and paper, but Evernote has a few distinct advantages over the old-fashioned way of doing things.

The biggest one is accessibility — as long as you have your device to hand, you can open Evernote and start typing. If someone brings up a deadline or an appointment during a conversation, you can mark it down in Evernote and create a reminder for the date and time. This is especially useful for contractors who might need to travel to different work sites throughout the week.

The fact that Evernote is digital is also very useful. A self-employed contractor might not spend much time in the office, so having all of your notes on your device means they are much more easy to access than paper notes would be.

5) Countingup

Built for contractors, the Countingup app offers a great value two-in-one business current account that includes free accounting software for contractors. The app has many features that make it specifically useful for self-employed contractors.

The app allows you to create and send invoices easily, then receive a notification when your customer pays the invoice. You can even add your company logo to an invoice template to give them a professional look.

With Countingup, you’ll be able to manage all your financial data in one easy app. With automatic expense categorisation, receipt capture tools, tax estimates, and cash flow insights, you can confidently keep on top of your business finances wherever you are. 

You can also share your bookkeeping with your accountant instantly without worrying about duplication errors, data lags or inaccuracies. Seamless, simple, and straightforward! 

Find out more here.

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