A Peek Into My Freelancing Toolbox

As a freelancer, I sometimes find myself in need of office tools I don’t have. As a freelancer on a budget, I’ve had to find workarounds to get things done. Here’s a peek at a few of the tools I’ve found especially helpful:


One company with which I works requires work orders to be faxed to a fax machine. Not email, a gen-u-ine fax machine. While my all-in-one printer/scanner/copier has fax capabilities, I don’t have a separate line for faxing and it was too cost prohibitive to put one in for only one client. Also costly was ($2/page) using a nearby copy/shipping-type company’s fax service. Fortunately, I found gotfreefax.com, which allows me to fax scanned pdf or doc files to a fax machine at the low cost of zero dollars for up to two faxes (3 pages or less) per day. And if I need to send a larger packet, I can send 10 pages for about a dollar. Sweet!


This week I had a situation in which I needed to split a 5-page PDF file into two separate files in order to meet gotfreefax’s 3-page-per-fax criteria. With PDFSplit!, I was able to do that in about half a minute. And it’s free!


I travel a lot and need to have easy access to all my client files wherever I am. Dropbox is an easy-to-use file/photo cloud-based storage service that provides 4G of storage for free, with other packages available for a fee. I’ve been using it for a while now, and I’m still not at 50% of the limit. (One of my goals is to become so wildly successful that I have to buy storage! :) ) I have it set to sync with both my desktop and my laptop computers, so I can access my files from both…or even from a client’s computer.

Google Docs Drive

While I use Microsoft’s Office suite for most of my work, I do use Google Drive (formerly Google Docs) when I’m working collaboratively with others. Drive offers word processing, spreadsheets, and presentation applications (and more besides), with the ability to give access to others for viewing or editing the files. Real life example: when planning a conference, the main organizer and I were able to manage the registrations, calendars, and communications by using the same set of documents. No sending files back and forth, no uploading to a server–we used the same set of documents, and it was perfect!

Those are just a few of the tools I’ve found helpful for my freelancing work. Most have also come in handy in everyday life as well. And the best part of all is that they’re all FREE!

7 thoughts on “A Peek Into My Freelancing Toolbox

  1. I can’t believe that I just had to use the fax one yesterday!! Never heard of it before or thought about it.
    And thank you for telling me what the heck Google Drive is!

    • Wow, that’s a lovely coincidence! (Don’t you love when that happens?)

      • I do. It’s funny how much I believe in “magical” moments in our ordinary reality and how it still tickles me sooo much.
        Especially when I get to play in the magic with you.

    • LOL We’re so much alike, Jody! I file things away thinking, ‘I don’t know I might use it, but you just never know.’ (This explains why I have a clutter control problem.:) )

  2. I am amazed some people are still in need of faxes and fax machines have not totally died out. God knows what these peoples IT systems work like, that scares me!

    Interesting you use both drop box and google docs as they both try to position themselves as the one place and one solution for storage but you can obviously make good use of the 2 of them combined, I use syncplicity but I just really want to make sure all of my stuff is backed up so the actual sharing function is not a priority to me. When I get into using my new mobile as a part of my freelancing toolkit I will take a look at google docs and dropbox too though as I think there is some scope in getting even more productivity out of my setup using the mobile phone as part of the solution……

    • Oh Sandy, if you only knew the sad state of this particular company’s IT systems. The fax machine is practically cutting edge. :)

      Thanks for the tip on syncplicity. I haven’t heard of that one (and, of course, now have to check it out). For freelancing, I tend to use dropbox for completed files and/or spreadsheets/presentations that need the extra horsepower of Excel or PowerPoint, and Google Drive for collaborative work, especially with businesses that don’t have/want/need a larger Office-type suite of products. Mostly, though, I just like exploring different options. :)

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