15 Free Tools For Freelance and Home Office Workers

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Being self-employed or based at a home office means it's up to you to find the right web sites and services to make your workday smoother. There are a lot out there, but not all are created equal. Here are a few of the good free tools for freelancers and home office workers.

1. Freelanceswitch - Figure out how much you should be charging with this tool that inputs personal needs and bills and savings goals to generate an hourly rate.

2. CurdBee.com - Get a standard account for free and send unlimited invoices, manage payments, and import and export data.

3. MakeMeSomeTime.com - Good free tools for freelancers keep them organized. You can accomplish this with MakeMeSomeTime, which offers time tracking, invoicing, iPhone connection, project integration from places like Basecamp, and report development.

4. ProjectPier - Control tasks, manage and upload files and messages, and track project milestones with this open-source service.

5. WriteMonkey - This ingenious free tool for Windows blacks out your screen to show just the words you're typing to save you from distraction. If you're a Mac user, try Think for a similar effect.

6. Dropbox.com - Store large documents and files for free to later be accessed from Windows, Mac OS X, and Linux.

7. Clocking IT - Ideal for consultants, this project management tool tracks time spent on each individual project. It can also produce reports.

8. DotProject - Another of the good free tools for freelancers, this one lets you structure and track your work.

9. BizSpark - Ideal for freelancers, this free tool helps build your business and your traffic.

10. Side Job Track - Track jobs, create invoices and develop reports all while you manage projects.

11. TaskJuggler - Home office workers have to be multi-taskers. This product shows them how with task and resource management and cost tracking. Risk analysis and flexible working hours are also incorporated.

12. GanttProject - Make Gantt and PERT charts and plan collaboration with this free open source tool.

13. FormSite - Create free HTML forms and surveys with this tool.

14. ZoHo - Get various applications, like document and project management, calendars and meeting trackers, for free.

15. FaxZero - Send a fax for free to anywhere in the U.S. or Canada.

What good free tools for freelancers and home office workers have you used?