Free and Open Source, Cross-Platform Solutions for Freelancers

With so many freelancers making their way through the vastness of cyberspace, we wanted to take some time to throw a few resources their way. And not just any resources. Free resources. And not just free resources. Useful, free resources. And did we stop there? Hells no! They are cross-platform, useful, free resources.

So have we got your appetites fueled up and raring to go? Good. Then dig in to this freelancers smorgasbord of software galore ranging from productivity to communication, business management to file management apps and more.

File Backup

dropboxDropbox

Dropbox is software that syncs your files online and across your computers. Put your files into your Dropbox on one computer, and they’ll be instantly available on any of your other computers that you’ve installed Dropbox on as well as via the Dropbox website.

You can get a 2GB account for free which should be plenty for backing up current projects you are working on.

Operating Systems: Linux, Mac and Windows

Billing, Time Tracking and Money Management

invoicejournalInvoice Journal

Looking for software that will basically handle all of your invoicing needs short of collecting from the client for you, and that will be a breeze for any budget? Then you may have just been looking for Invoice Journal. This a fast, user friendly, free way to send invoices to anyone in the world from anywhere in the world.

Operating Systems: Web App

oraOra Time and Expense

Ora Time and Expense is a light-weight, easy-to-use Adobe Air application that handles various aspects of your freelance business for you through tracking and generating timesheets, expense reports, and invoices.

Operating Systems: Linux, Mac and Windows

mintMint

Mint is a simple, strong, and secure Web–based solution for online financial management. And like the rest, it is free. You register anonymously using any valid email address, and then add the log–in information for the online bank, credit union, credit card and investment accounts you want to consolidate in Mint.

Operating Systems: Web App

Design and Development

fontpickerFont Picker

Font Picker is a simple Adobe Air app that shows you all the fonts installed on your computer and helps you choose which one is most suitable for a particular project. Type the text you will be using for your project. Get rid of the fonts that you do not like or mark your favorites with the simple click of a button.

Operating Systems: Linux, Mac and Windows

gimpGimp

GIMP is the GNU Image Manipulation Program. It is a freely distributed piece of software for such tasks as photo retouching, image composition and image authoring. While it is not a perfect Photoshop replacement, it is great for the new freelancer on a budget.

Operating Systems: Linux, Mac and Windows

inkscapeInkscape

Inkscape is an open source vector graphics editor, with capabilities similar to Illustrator, CorelDraw, or Xara X, using the W3C standard Scalable Vector Graphics (SVG) file format. Inkscape is to Illustrator what GIMP is to Photoshop.

Operating Systems: Linux, Mac and Windows

jeditjEdit

jEdit is a highly configurable and customizable text editor with a variety of useful features including support for a large number of character encodings including UTF8 and Unicode, folding for selectively hiding regions of text, word wrap, auto indent, and syntax highlighting for more than 130 languages.

Operating Systems: Linux, Mac and Windows

File Transfer

filezillaFilezilla

While Filezilla may not be setting off to rampage through Tokyo or New York, this monster of an app has made a name for itself conquering file transfer needs across the globe. This free, open source FTP solution not only allows you to pick the client if you want to transfer files, but you can also get the server version if you want to make files available for others.

Operating Systems: Linux, Mac and Windows

fireftpFire FTP

Another file transfer protocalling program that is fantastic to use, is FireFTP. It is a free, secure, cross-platform FTP client for Mozilla Firefox which provides easy and intuitive access to FTP servers. Need we say more?

Operating Systems: Firefox Addon

Communication and Collaboration

skypeSkype

When it comes to communicating with clients or colleagues, there is one app whose name seems to keep coming up. And that name, is Skype. Skype comes with some really useful free features like Skype-to-Skype calls, video calling, conference calls and even instant messaging and chat sessions.

Operating Systems: Linux, Mac and Windows

collabtiveCollabtive

Collabtive is web-based project management software with loads of finely tuned features including Basecamp import, both timetracking and reporting capabilities, and unlimited projects, milestones, tasklists, tasks and members with user profiles.

Operating Systems: Web App

To-Do Lists / GTD

rememberthemilkRemember the Milk

Remember the Milk is a favorite solution for to do lists for so many, including some folks we know fairly well. Maintain separate lists, set recurring due dates, and if you are a practitioner of GTD, make sure you check out Advanced GTD with Remember The Milk. Not to mention the fact that it syncs up with almost any device or service you can think of.

Operating Systems: Web App

Office

openofficeOpenOffice

OpenOffice is the leading open-source office software suite for word processing, spreadsheets, presentations, graphics, databases and more. It stores all your data in an international open standard format. It can also read and write files from other common office software packages making it very versatile.

Operating Systems: Linux, Mac and Windows

Mind Mapping

freemindFreeMind

When it comes to getting the ideas flowing and the brain storming, then you can turn to FreeMind. If you haven’t heard of this awesome creative tool then you are by far, missing out. FreeMind is a mind-mapping software written in Java with one-click ‘fold / unfold’ and ‘follow link’ operations.

Operating Systems: Linux, Mac and Windows

That’s all folks!

We may be done, but that doesn’t mean that the conversations and recommendations have to stop here. Let us know your favorites that you think should have made the list.

Angie is a freelance web and graphic designer who brings her love of community to the online design collective as co-editor of Fuel Your Creativity. You can view her online portfolio at Arbenting or follow her on Twitter

 

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