Author: Wolfi Date: May 15, 2012 Categories: Blog Tags:, ,

Unlike people working in companies, freelancers have to take care of their own computers. For someone just starting out online, it can be hard to find out what is needed. Your online freelance office has to run efficiently in order for you to provide good service to your clients and manage your business properly. The good news is that a few simple and often free apps for PC will allow you to do all of this easily, saving you time.

Since you will not be in an office around people, Internet access is the key to reaching people and communicating online. To do this you will need an internet browser such as Google Chrome, Internet Explorer or Mozilla Firefox.
You will also need an anti-virus program and firewall to ensure that your computer is protected from threats, malware and viruses. There are several great programs that are free or cheap, including Avast and BitDefender.

Instant messaging is a great way to communicate with others online in real time. Some freelance applications contain built in messaging applications, however some people prefer to use one messaging client across the board. Skype is probably the most popular as it allows messaging, voice calls and video calls. It also allows for calls to phone numbers that are not using Skype. This is a great tool for international communication. Other alternatives include Yahoo Messenger, Google Chat and MSN Messenger.

There is nothing worse than losing your hard work because of a computer breakdown. Losing a file can cost you time, money and even a valued client. There is nothing more important than backing up your files. You can do it manually onto disks, provided you do it regularly.

However, there is an easier way and that is by using online backup tools. There are several paid options, but some offer a small amount of storage for free. Ideally, you should find a system with a downloadable desktop application that monitors changes to files and immediately uploads them to the secure online storage portal.

Freelancers should still present professional-looking documents and this is why you need a quality office application. It helps you to create professional spreadsheets, text documents and presentations. Sometimes these applications allow you to use templates for common documents such as quotes, press releases and business letters.

Google Docs is an online office system which automatically backs up the documents to your Google account for easy access from anywhere. Alternatively you could buy Microsoft Office or Open Office, which is free.

No freelance office is complete without music. You can use Windows Media Player, Real Player or iTunes to listen to music right from your computer. In this way you can use keyboard short cuts to manage the songs and the volume of your music. Running a professional freelance office is simple with these and other apps for PC. Using applications to help manage your workflow, social media presence and communication, helps to keep operations centralized and simple. A good program allows you to return and see what you have done and manage it again in future.