When your hourly rate is what’s paying the bills at the end of the month, time is money and you want to find the easiest ways of managing your workload. If you’re a freelance language trainer, these recommended apps to help you manage your freelance workload could be the difference between a Friday evening free with a couple of friends over a few glasses of wine and admin-hell.
From the Germany Pay survey and the other interviews I’ve had with freelance teachers in Germany since, together with the hundreds of conversations I’ve had with freelance teachers, a variety of non-teaching expenses emerged, which I’m sure you’re more than familiar with (anything from travel time to those hours spent at the end of the month writing your invoices). If you’re looking for some time-saving ways to make your service more efficient, I’ve listed a few solutions below that might be of interest:
Actually this is invaluable for keeping track of anything you spend time on. Toggl is free to download android, and iphone or you can access it on the website. Keep track of anything, separate your hours worked into projects and they’ll even send you a weekly breakdown. Great for seeing how much time you spend travelling and even more valuable it you plan on billing for travel or integrating it into your price.
Had the third lesson with a client and it is time to send them their first bill? Manage everything in trello. More than just a to-do list, you can manage your workload, breaking down tasks and moving them along your own mini production line until they are finished. It’s free but if you want to add pretty pictures and upload more documents then it starts to cost.
Money Bird is now available in Germany. While I haven’t had the chance to use this myself, I’ve been told by colleagues who freelance more than I do that it’s a great tool to help you manage your invoicing services – great if you’ve got a number of different clients.
Up at the crack of dawn on a Saturday and catching up with some emails? Home late at night and need to send something important? Have it arrive just in time and plan the delivery of your emails. If, like me, you sometimes catch up with emails on Sunday evening, you can set them to hit the recipient’s mailbox on Monday morning at 9am. More importantly, you can write all your invoices, attach them, address them and have them sent at specific times. If you need to make changes in the meantime all you need to do is go to your outbox and you’re sorted. Genius.
If you use Apple Mail, there’s a great plugin you can download SendLater
If you use Outlook, try the delayed deliver option. You can find out more here
If you use Gmail, try Boomerang
Edmodo offers flexibility and a user friendly platform. While it’s older brother Moodle takes a little more learning investment, the start up costs are lower with Edmodo. The OUP blog provides a great introduction to using Edmodo too if you want to check it out. While I know this about the 6 millionth mention of Edmodo and ELT, its simplicity and user-friendly interface make it a must-include.
So there you have it, some quick tips on how you can make the most of your time, so that you can take more of your time out to focus on what’s most important! By no means a comprehensive list, just a few favourites that have worked well for me or colleagues.
Want to contribute your view? Leave your story below on how something has helped streamline your workload, save time, or just generally make your life more awesome.