Apps for Freelance Designers

TH Design

New Member
Hello everyone! Have just joined the forum and thought I'd kick things off with a little introduction and a question.

I've been freelancing for a year now and everything has gone really well. I've now reached a stage where I'm very keen to tighten up all my processes, get everything neatly arranged and try employ a little bit of automation where possible (probably some minor OCD spurring me on here!). I'd really like to use some apps (for mac) to take control of the business elements of my day-to-day work.

I'm talking Client Relationship Management (CRM) tools, project and file management, and also things to do with finance and invoicing. A lot of the apps I've so far come across are a lot more complicated than my needs require, some are too simple, and some are too specialised - I guess I want something all-in-one, covering a broad range of my needs, of medium complexity - is that too much to ask!?

In my "ideal" program, I would have software that could sync with Address Book, iCal and Mail - I could then click on a client which would open up a "shelf" containing work I've done for them, proofs, my email conversations, any notes or annotations I've made, and invoices (I realise this almost sounds like a fancy version of Finder!), all nicely linked up to each other. The programme would also allow me to easily price up projects and create invoices for them.

I've used 'Billings' before for the invoicing side of things, but found it to be a little over complicated, with too much emphasis on time-keeping (most of my projects are fixed fees). I've used 'Things' before for keeping a to-do list, and I've tried dozens of other project managers / CRMs (such as Daylight), and none of them hit the spot for me.

Looking at the financial side of things - I'm a pretty organised kind of person and don't feel I need to outsource my accounting - can anyone recommend any good apps that help you with calculating tax and completing a tax return.

So yeah, lots of big asks there, but I'm just interested to hear how other people on here go about managing their business using available software.
I cant offer any help, but I too would be interested to find out any similar types of apps that make life easier for freelancers. Let us know if you find anything.
Hi there!

There are two great applications for invoicing / timing - On The Job and Billings. I see you've already used Billings, so give On The Job a try!

For other things, I'm more a paperwork kind of guy. I wouldn't want to replace that with software.