Whether by choice or circumstance, many creative types are farming themselves out as freelancers rather than sticking to one main gig. While that will keep an aspiring writer or videographer busy, it can also make keeping track of invoicing a small nightmare. Luckily, there are apps for that, too. Here are the five best apps for freelancers released in 2011.
Sum+it Billing Buddy ($4.99)
If you’re lucky enough to be working on a project with an expense budget, you know how important it is to keep track of every item you purchase to ensure you’ll be reimbursed later. Sum+it Billing Buddy makes that process a little simpler by offering up an easy to use interface that helps you separate projects by title and then break down the individual costs incurred on the job.
From there, Sum+it lets you label the projects you’ve created so that you can make sure you know what’s been paid and what’s still pending. It’s not an app that will redefine the freelancer invoicing process, but sometimes it’s the simple ideas that work the best and Sum+it covers all the essential basics you’d need to keep track of your workflow.
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If your job is billed hourly, Ronin may become your best friend. With this free app you can create a project and then start a timer that will keep track of the total time you’re working. Once you’re finished, stop the timer and log your hours.
As a bonus, you can also add in a description and hourly rate to each project you create in case you ever forget what exactly it is you’re invoicing. It’s a very simple app that looks more like a clock app with a few additional features than a business app. This simplicity is perfect when you need to start timing something quickly.
EYH Billing ($0.99)
If you need a professional invoice in PDF format, EYH Billing has you covered quite well. You can enter the hours amount billed along with the specific client information and within a few taps you’ll not only have a listing of the invoices you’ve created right in the app, but also a copy of the invoice in PDF format.
Customization options abound for EYH Billing, too. EYH gives you the ability to add your custom logo to your invoices and tailor them specifically to the kind of work you do. Granted, some of this work has to be done using the app’s website, but the EYH still makes for a great companion and works solidly for any on-the-go invoicing you need to complete.
Toast Invoice (Free)
Toast Invoice operates like other invoicing apps in that it lets you add clients and then create custom invoices as needed. Its simple interface is in line with similar apps, but where it differs is in two areas. For starters, the free price tag makes it an attractive option for thrifty freelancers everywhere. A penny saved is a penny earned, don’t you know.
But maybe more importantly, the app has a nice graphical touch that lets you see a pie chart representation of your invoices. You’ll get a quick breakdown of what’s been paid to you and what’s still outstanding. For more visually oriented people, it might help a lot to see something a little more interesting than another row of numbers.
MiTime Free (Free)
MiTime Free brings the address book into the invoicing process in a smart way. You can combine their payee names with contacts already in their address book, so that if you need to quickly contact someone that you have an invoice for, you can do so right within the app.
MiTime also comes with the other standard features of the top invoicing apps of the year, including the ability to export invoices into PDF format and track changes made to invoices for your own reference.