1099 Lyfe: 6 Apps and Tools You Need to Be Your Most Productive

Oh the freelance world. Charming in its lack of predictability, cut throat when it comes to competition, and total chaos when it comes to organization.

When it’s you vs. your [inbox, deadline, receipts, mileage, hustle] there is a lot that can get lost in the fray. Until now.

It’s 1099 problems, but an app ain’t one. We’re rounding up some of our favorite apps and tools for freelancers to make life, organization, and even next year’s taxes that much easier. That way you can focus on the important stuff: like entrepreneur www domination.


Are you prone to distraction? Symptoms include: checking Instagram before reading a full paragraph, shopping online, vanity googling, googling exes, checking your RSS feed, and getting in Facebook arguments with your grandma. When you’re a freelancer, everything and anything is a welcome diversion. WriteRoom is a full-screen writing environment to minimize distractions and is super helpful when it comes to re-disciplining yourself. It’s obviously great for writers, but it also works when brainstorming ideas for brands. It’s a way to block out the noise and focus on the ideas in your brain.

"Block out the noise and focus on the ideas in your brain."

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If you use your personal vehicle for work, every mile you drive is worth 54 cents in tax deduction of mileage reimbursement. But logging that? Forget it. (And you do.)

The average MileIQ customer is logging $6,900 in mileage deductions. It’s an app that catches every drive, easily classifies drives as business or personal, and gives you a report with the push of a button.


This is a fully integrated companion app for Evernote (also useful) that allows you to scan your receipts directly into Evernote, enter the amounts (or highlight the total and the app will read), organize and tag, and report on the totals. You don’t need an overcomplicated filing system or that shoebox under your bed (or worse, the center console in your car) because you can throw your receipts away after you scan them. Bless.

Apple Notes (yes, Apple Notes)

The iOS 10 Notes app received a mere couple seconds in the spotlight during Apple’s WWDC press event on Monday. Everyone was busy Twittering about Bozoma St. John. But the little note section that couldn’t do a whole lot of anything (and had everyone jumping Apple ship to use aforementioned Evernote) just got a key upgrade. You can now collaborate with multiple people, live, in the notes app. For a freelancer this means you can create interactive checklists and save time bouncing ideas back and forth in email. Even if you work alone, collaboration is crucial.

Stay Focusd

Have you ever thought, gosh I would be so successful if it weren’t for the internet? Stay Focussd is a tool that blocks the amount of time you can spend on timesuck sites. It’s an app you manage yourself and is customizable. The way it works is simple. You choose the sites you want to block for a specific amount of time. If you are a freelancer who is chronically obsessed with social media, this app could help you immensely.


If you need help tracking your hours, Toggl is the leading timesheet app for tracking hours. You can set multiple billable rates for various projects and you can organize as many projects as you can possibly juggle. They say that if you can measure it, you can improve it. Knowing exactly how long it’s taking you to complete certain projects will help you adjust billing and helps increase productivity. 

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