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If you’re like many freelancers, you need more time. Another hour or two in your day to get everything done could really help. You’re balancing work and home without missing deadlines or family events, and it’s hard.

Of course, no one can give you more hours in your day, but we do have access to new technology on our phones that can help make routine tasks easier. Many of the apps are free (or almost free) and have powerful features.

How can apps help you run your freelance business better? By reducing the time you spend on routine tasks, you can free up time for the really important items on your to-do list.

The place to start might be the calendar app on your phone. If the resident calendar on your computer doesn’t give you features you need on your phone, try one of these apps and you’ll always have your schedule with you.

Google Calendar – Free – iPhones and Android
https://calendar.google.com/calendar/render#main_7

 Google Calendar has been available for Android for some time as the resident calendar. It was released for iPhones last year but isn’t available as a dedicated app for iPads yet.

Many people swear by this calendar. You’ll recognize the page display from the Google calendar on your computer. You can sync multiple calendars and see the colors you’ve assigned to them on the phone’s display. Adding a new event is easy and the new version features an auto “fill-in” function.

The downside is that the weekly view can be cluttered. If you use most of the other Google services, Google Calendar will import information for you. If you aren’t embedded into Google services, however, it is far less useful.

 Cal – Free – iOS and Android
https://www.any.do/cal/

 Any.do Cal is great for people who need a complete, easy-to-read daily agenda in a clutter-free format. It also wins high marks for its beautiful display. The agenda view displays all of the to-dos, meetings and appointments on a given date in chronological order.

The monthly view, however, doesn’t display much information and the app doesn’t include a weekly view. It does, however, sync with the Any.do To-Do List.

 Week Calendar – $1.99 – iOS
https://itunes.apple.com/us/app/week-cal-widget-for-ios-calendar/id1048513780?mt=8

  The resident iPhone calendar doesn’t have a week view feature, which can be annoying. Week Calendar solves the problem. You can organize events easily, copy and paste, and drag and drop. You can color code events and create event templates for recurring items.

It works without setup and grabs whatever accounts you’re using for mail, contacts and calendar. You can enter recurring events with its template function.

Fantastical – $4.99 – iOS
https://itunes.apple.com/us/app/fantastical-2-for-iphone-calendar/id718043190?mt=8

 Fantastical is compatible with Google Calendar, iCloud and Exchange, and it allows you to add new events in natural language. For example, you can type lunch with Mary tomorrow and Fantastical adds the event. And the week view rotates to a landscape view, which can be helpful with a packed schedule.

It doesn’t sync with social media platforms except for Facebook events, preventing most auto-populated events from other platforms to a minimum. It will push events to an Apple Watch, which will deliver your schedule to your wrist.

What’s Most Important to You?

Of course, no single blog can possibly examine all the features of every calendar on the market, so it mostly comes down to personal preference. As you think about adding a calendar app to your cache of efficiency tools, decide what features are most important to you. For example, do you need an integrated to-do list? Also, is simplicity the most important thing to you or can you stand a little clutter?

Whatever your personal preferences, there is a calendar that can help you organize your busy schedule — and do so seamlessly in the background, freeing you to spend your time on people and tasks that matter most.


Helen Anne Richards helps businesses communicate with customers, clients and members — on target, on time and on budget. Reach her at harichards@yahoo.com or visit www.harichards.com.