29 Resources for Freelance Designers Operating on a Tight Budget

There are plenty of highly-useful resources and web apps that have been created with freelance designers and developers in mind. But for many freelancers, especially those who are just getting started, pricing can be an issue. In this post we’ll feature 29 resources that are not only very useful fore freelancers, but also extremely affordable. Many of them are free or offer a free plan, and the others are priced below the competition.

Hopefully you will find some resources here that will help you to save time and make your work more efficient and effective. If you have suggestions of other resources aside from those that are listed here, please leave a comment.

1. Project Bubble

Project Bubble offers free web-based project management and invoicing. Add clients, create projects, track your progress, and invoice clients all from Project Bubble.

Project Bubble

2. Concept Feedback

Concept Feedback provides designers with a way to get free feedback on their work from others in the design community. Simply upload your work and let others comment.

Concept Feedback

3. Apollo

Appollo is a useful free tool for getting feedback from clients and colleagues. Invite others to comment on the design and keep the feedback in one centralized location.


4. fivesecondtest

Fivesecond test is a great free resource for testing. You can find out the most prominent elements of your design and get quick feedback from first impressions.


5. CurdBee

CurdBee is an online app for managing invoices. The free account allows you to manage unlimited clients and invoices, and you can accept payment through PayPal or Google Checkout. The premium account ($5 per month) offers additional features like custom branding and overdue email reminders.


6. SlimTimer

SlimTimer is a simple and free resource for tracking your time. You can create tasks, start and stop the timer whenever needed, and run reports. You can also share tasks so that you can see reports on your co-workers or anyone who reports to you.


7. Remember the Milk

Remember the Milk is a free resource to help you get your necessary tasks completed. You can create to-do lists, set reminders, map your tasks, and collaborate with other users.

Remember the Milk

8. Ta-Da Lists

Ta-Da Lists is a free to-do list manager from 37signals. Easily create your own to-do lists and check off items as they are accomplished. You can share your lists with others or keep them to yourself.

Ta-Da Lists

9. Vyew

Vyew allows you to host conferencing and collaborations for free. You can meet with clients or coworkers with the free account, or upgrade to a premium plan to remove ads and get some additional features.


10. Jumpchart

Jumpchart is a free resource for website planning and wireframing. With the free account you can manage one project of up to 10 pages, or you can upgrade to a premium plan starting at just $5 per month.


11. SlickPlan

SlickPlan is a simple, free tool for creating flowcharts and sitemaps. It can help you to keep your projects organized and to communicate with clients about the structure of the site.


12. Outright

Outright provides free online bookkeeping. Track your income, expenses, invoices and more. It can even help you to get organized for your taxes.


13. Moneytrackin’

Moneytrackin’ is a free tool that can help you to manage your finances. You can record and track your income and expenses and manage various projects.


14. Billing Boss

Billing Boss is a free online invoicing app. You can send an unlimited number of invoices with the free account, and there is an option to upgrade to a Payment Plus plan to accept payments to your merchant account online for $5 per month.

Billing Boss

15. Fanurio

Fanurio is time tracking and invoicing software for freelancers. As opposed to web-based apps that charge a monthly fee, with Fanurio you can manage unlimited clients, projects and invoices for a one-time cost of $59.


16. Subernova

Subernova offers online project management and invoicing for a low monthly fee of $5.99. It features a sleek interface and all the features you need to stay on top of your projects and outstanding invoices.


17. Harvest

Harvest is a web app for tracking time, expenses and invoices. The Solo plan starts at $12 per month and allows for unlimited clients, projects and invoices, which may be a cheaper option than most web-based invoicing solutions for freelancers that send out a lot of invoices.


18. Siwapp

Siwapp is a free, open source option for managing invoices.


19. Dropbox

Dropbox is a great resource for file backups and sharing. With the free account you get 2 GB, or you can upgrade to a premium account, starting at $9.99 per month for 50 GB.


20. Skype

Skype is a popular and useful service for making internet-based calls.


21. Passpack

Passspack is a free resource for storing all of your logins and passwords. It helps you to login without the need to type in your password each time.


22. Glasscubes

Glasscubes is a resource for sharing, communicating and collaborating. You can share files, manage your projects, manage your contacts, and more. The free account allows up to 3 users, 100 contacts, and 100MB of storage.


23. Notable

Notable is a collaboration resource that allows teams to provide and manage feedback on designs. The free account allows up to 3 users and 3 GB of storage.


24. Are My Sites Up?

Are My Sites Up? will help you to know if your site or your clients’ sites are down. Manage up to 5 sites with the free plan or upgrade to a premium plan starting at just $35 per year.

Are My Sites Up?

25. Verb

Verb is a free resource for task management. You can manage your own to-do list or collaborate with others.


26. DeskAway

DeskAway provides a resource for project management and collarboration. The free account allows for 3 active projects and 5 users. Premium plans start at $10 per month.


27. Browsershots

Browsershots is a highly-useful free service that provides screenshots of a page in a wide variety of browsers. Choose the browser, operating system, and even the screen resolution to test your designs.


28. Adobe Browser Lab

Adobe Browser Lab is a free resource that allows you to test your designs in various browsers on different operating systems.

Adobe Browser Lab

29. 1time

1time offers several different plans for time tracking, including a free plan. With the free plan you can track up to 3 projects. Premium plans start at $18 per month.


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Steven Snell

Stephen Snell is the owner and editor of Vandelay Design. Connect with Stephen on google+