There are many things that one may need while going through the process of becoming a freelancer. Self-discipline and an awesome work ethic are definitely at the top of the list. But what about actual tools? Being a freelancer is like owning your own business and wearing all the hats. A freelancer needs to be equipped to handle all of those responsibilities.
Here's a quick list of the most important tools (in no particular order) that a freelancer needs.
Writing tools with full access to document editing tools. Working from home usually means that you don't have all the things you would normally have with an office computer. All freelancers (especially the writers out there) need some sort of document editing tool on their personal computers. Some may not want to pay the cost of something like Microsoft Office. Good (and free) alternatives are out there such as Google Docs or OpenOffice.
Cloud Based Storage
Cloud based storage for your files and documents is absolutely necessary. (Some prefer to save documents on their hard drive or on an external device which is fine!) However, cloud based storage allows you to access your documents from any computer or device, anywhere. Another advantage to cloud based storage is sharing capabilities. Need to share a document ASAP? No problem! Just share it with them online. A good option is Dropbox!
Project Management Tools
A good project management tool is a freelancers best friend. They need to list out all the projects and tasks that need to get done, then they do them. Like a to-do list! The nature of a project management tool varies with different tools. Trello is a favorite for those who like to collaborate and/or divide tasks into boards by categories. Wunderlist is perfect for those who find the ultimate satisfaction in crossing tasks off their list.
When I said that freelancers wear all the hats, I meant it. Freelancers need to be able keep track of everything, including accounting. They need tools that help keep track of clients and money. Tools like Mint and Wave Accounting are geared towards helping freelancers with their financials.
Website Management tools
Website/portfolio management is a key tool for freelancers to use to show off their work through blogs or articles. Most freelancers probably don't have experience building websites so that's why options such as Squarespace exist in order to set up a good looking and efficient website.
Time Management tools
In order to keep track of exactly how much work freelancers do, they have to track how much time is spent on a particular project. Time trackers apps are perfect for this exact thing! Keep track of what you do and who you've done it for with apps like TimeTag. It'll put all your hours of work into one easy time sheet that can be exported to where it needs to go.