Nothing weighs more heavily on a freelancing business than having and maintaining the right equipment. Sometimes, it takes months of hard work to be able to afford essential key equipment. Equipment and technology are two elements of a freelancing business that, if chosen correctly, will make an enormous difference to the productivity of your work and the quality of the work itself. Let’s have a look at what represents the key equipment that freelancers use in business.
To sit without damaging your health
Working in front of a screen generally involves spending a great deal of time sitting in an office chair – a position that increases stress to the structures of the spine. Hence, to avoid having or compounding back issues, it’s crucial to have an office chair that’s ergonomic, supports the lower back and promotes good posture. Here are some of the things that are very important to look for in a good ergonomic office chair:
- Seat height. It should be easily adjustable. A seat height that’s between 16 to 21 inches of the floor should work for most individuals.
- Seat depth and width. The seat needs to have enough depth and width to support any user comfortably.
- Lumbar support. Since the lumbar spine (lower back) has an inward curve, sitting for long periods without support for this curve can lead to slouching and strains the lower spine.
To collaborate faster
Working in the freelancing sector typically means you’re collaborating with other professionals on projects. You require an easy way to communicate with your team members and customers without clogging up your email or Facebook Messenger inbox. Hence, you should use online collaboration apps to upload, communicate, share documents, manage tasks and track a project’s progress in real-time. Some popular tools to try are Asana, Trello, Basecamp, and Redbooth.
To type better
Perhaps your trusty old keyboard has entered its last symbol or absorbed its last bread crumb. Maybe your writing/web developing ambitions have surpassed the mediocre, mushy “typer” that came with your machine. Whatever the reason, any freelancer can benefit from a better keyboard. After all, is any piece of your computer more hands-on?
There are two ways to go about this. You can either find an industrial keyboard or a mechanical one. Industrial grade keyboards are water- and dust-proof, while their molded key shapes provide positive keypress movement and a silent typing experience. On the other hand, mechanical keyboards have longer a life span and hardly wear out (when compared to common keyboards, not industrial-grade ones). Although, mechanical keyboards are often a bit louder.
To manage your time more efficiently
As a freelancer, keeping up with a daily workload needs more than just a written to-do list. You require an advanced task management tool to have more clarity about your workload and to streamline it correctly. Wunderlist has all the reminders and list capabilities you could require to monitor all your tasks throughout the day. Google tasks is another great choice that enables you to turn emails into tasks and sync them with the Google Calendar.
To keep your work secure
Storing your own projects when you don’t have a company can be a bit tough. If you’re a music producer, photographer or graphic designer, you may discover that you have more files and versions than you can handle. Although cheap external hard drives are a possible way to go, they tend to be unreliable and aren’t really perfect for juggling projects.
World Backup Day has some great info about this subject, including an outline of the 3-2-1 concept:
- Store in two different formats.
- Have three copies of all your crucial data.
- One of those copies should be off-site.
You should keep customers’ work for at least as long as it’s set out in your contract, and as long as you viably can as you never know when a customer could come back to you to offer more cash for updates, modifications, and revisions.
Sometimes, you find yourself in a situation where you don’t have the equipment you need to do your business fast and to a high standard, which in turn lowers your chances since you already can’t keep up with the output. If you find yourself with a stable cash-flow and can make an investment for the equipment you need, always ask yourself – does this make stuff easier or better for me, and do the clients get a better result?