If you’re like us, you’ve spent way too much time and effort completing a task… only to find out later that there’s a tool that could have done it for you. And it’s free. We know that feeling. That’s why we compiled this list of 30 free tools that all freelancers should know about.
Some of these tools have paid packages available, but we’ve made sure the free options are robust enough to be worthwhile.
Some of these tools sound kind of… basic. Well, they are. We’re not above admitting that as a freelancer, you have to do so many tasks that are outside your scope of expertise. Use these tools to learn new skills or just make your life a little easier.
LastPass – the free version lets you save passwords on either your phone or desktop, so choose wisely, but you can access your vault and view all passwords at any time – so you never have to worry about forgetting or misplacing them again.
Mega, WeTransfer, Dropbox – cloud storage and file sharing.
Krisp – noise cancelling tech for clearer sound in meetings
Social media & marketing
This is an area where tools are truly essential, from creating content (see writing and design lists too) to scheduling and listening – it’s simply too vast to do it all manually.
Neontools – create trackable short links and mini landing pages.
Mention – track brand mentions online and get alerts, data and insights on any brand.
Buffer, Later – scheduling and some analytics.
Headline analyzer – tells you your headline and SEO score and how to improve it.
Even when writing is your area of expertise, there are so many ways to make your life easier. From having your grammar checked automatically to a free AI that transcribes your interview notes, check out some of these tools to make your life a bit easier.
Grammarly – checks your spelling and grammar, and makes suggestions for writing clarity.
Pre Post SEO – lots of free handy stuff, including a plagiarism checker and paraphrasing tool.
Otter – records and transcribes meetings or interviews for you.
Power thesaurus – this one is just a really good thesaurus, but don’t underestimate how much that can help.
Project management and collaboration
There are so many options in this area that we could have written a blog post just about these (and maybe we will! Let us know if you want one) but this is another area that in our humble opinion, using a manual spreadsheet is just too time-consuming.
Figma – create mockups for review and comments.
Trello – a visual tool to manage projects or workflow.
Slack – a digital HQ to communicate with your teams.
Notion – a shared workspace with loads of different ways to use it.
Loom – record your screen and camera and share via a link, essential for asynchronous working and skipping meetings.
Organisation and time management
Is your notes app or excel no longer cutting it? Tired of using three different notebooks and not remembering what’s in each one? Try these freebies.
Timecamp – time and productivity tracking.
Todoist – capture and organise tasks.
For when you’re not a dev, but you need to be.
BBEdit - professional text, code, and markup editor for Mac.
Webflow - a no-code (or more realistically low-code) website builder.
Video, design, images and documents
Some of these are super helpful for non-designers, but everyone can use beautiful non-stock-looking stock images.
Canva – easy design for non-designers, includes a mobile app.
Tinywow, Ilovepdf.com – do whatever you need to do to an image, video or pdf.
Unsplash, Pexels and Noun Project – free stock image, photography and icon libraries.
Mixkit - get free stock videos, music, sound effects and templates.
Still want more? If you’re looking for some paid tools too, check out this blog post from Milk Moon Studio which goes into more detail about why each tool is the best in its class.