Hey there, I'm Jonathan, a freelance digital consultant, specialising in UX/UI Design.

I help companies design and develop beautifully simple user interfaces. I work with a huge variety of clients including companies like, Smith & Nephew, KLM, Durex and the National Aids trust.

Web Apps I would recommend to freelancers and small businesses like me

Posted By Jonathan Clift on 06 September 2012

There are a vast amount of apps out there for everything you can imagine, from data management to invoicing your clients. Here's a list of some of my most frequently used apps and why I like them:

Invoice Bubble

Invoice Bubble is a easy to use invoicing tool, where you can create professional one off or recurring invoices for your clients. You can attach your own logo and export your invoices into PDF format ready to email out. You can also add all your contact details, making repeat invoices fast and easy. It's completely FREE (If you don't mind a tiny bit of branding on your invoices) or you can remove all ads for a small fee of $5 a month.

Why do I like it?

Funnily enough, it probably isn't because it's the best I've used, although it is pretty damn good. The main reason I like it so much is because of the respect I have for the company, Haloweb and the main guy, behind it. I just love what they try to do with all their software, focussing on simplicity and the end user. Rather than trying to cram their apps full of every possible feature. Invoice Bubble is simple, intuitive and provides me with everything I need to keep track of and invoice my clients efficiently. Other than that, it does help me to get paid which is always a good reason to like something!

Trello

Trello is essentially a giant online whiteboard to which you can attach various types of information. You can create an unlimited number of boards, which can be separated into multiple sections, each of which can then contain something magical called 'cards'. These cards allow you to attach all sorts of information, whether its a check list, a url, image, text and then you can apply due dates and add comments to each individual card. The service is completely FREE and there is also a FREE iPhone app (android one too I think), which lets you keep on top of things wherever you are! If you need to keep on top of lots of different things at once, I'd highly recommend you take a look at Trello.

Why do I like it?

I love Trello because it's an application that interprets something that people use in the real world, the whiteboard. The interface is designed for users to work with it in a way that suits them, rather than forcing users to work in a way that suits the application. The other thing I love about Trello is the snapshot it gives me of everything that's going on in my small business. There are so many little things for me to remember, and it stresses me out worrying about whether I have forgotten something or not. Trello relieves that stress.

Dropbox

Dropbox is a completely free service that allows you to sync all your files including, photos, docs, videos or code between multiple computers. As soon as you make a change to one of your files shared on Dropbox, it is automatically updated on all your other devices. Initially you get 2GB completely free but, you can earn up to 18GB by refering friends. (Once they sign up and install Dropbox, you get 500mb extra for each one) I currently have about 5GB which is just about enough for what I need. However, should you need a lot more, it's very cheap, costing only $5 a month for up to 100GB.

Why do I like it?

Well one reason is that the Dropbox has a beautiful interface that offers a fantastic User Experience. The complexity is hidden away, doing everything you need it to with very little effort. It's incredibly easy to use, with next to no explanation or guidance need at all. I actually use it to sync website projects from my desktop machine to my laptop. Which means that as long as I have an internet connection I know that I automatically have the latest files, no matter where I am. It also serves as a fantastic backup mechanism, online and on any other device you have installed Dropbox.

LastPass

This application helps to make web browsing faster and more secure. These days it seems like I'm signing up to some new service every other week, and with that comes a new username and a new password. It's almost impossible to remember all these new passwords, so I let LastPass handle this for me. LastPass remembers all my usernames and passwords under one master password. The advantage of this is that LastPass enables me to create unique, highly complex passwords for each service, rather than using the same and usually weaker password for everything.

Why do I like it?

Firstly, LastPass provide a browser add on, which means that you can access your passwords from multiple locations, such as a laptop and a desktop machine. Secondly, you can create groups, so I can neatly group together all the different types of services I use, for quick reference when required. Finally, the auto login feature. For sites that you use all the time, this can save a lot of time and hassle. Rather than manually typing in a username and password, LastPass will log you in automatically as soon as you land on the login page. (This feature can be enabled/disable as required)

Prismatic

Prismatic hooks into one of your social networks, such as twitter or facebook and learns about your habits in order to provide you with your own personal newsfeed. You can further configure your likes and dislikes to really refine your feed and what you're notified about. At the moment I'm pretty sure it's just an iPhone app, which to be honest isn't the best I've used. However, putting that aside, I've been pretty impressed with the results so far, even though I've not been using it for too long. I'm sure that as it gets more popular, improvements will be made to the app.

Why do I like it?

I feel like I need to keep aware of the latest breakthroughs in my industry and others that I have an avid interest in. This little app feeds me with everything that I have shown an interest in from design, to technology, to sports etc etc. It's just a great way to stay in the know about areas you have an interest about. A perfect example is that a news story from CNNMoney, through Prismatic alerted me to the fact that the iPhone has generated more revenue than the whole of Microsoft over the last 4 quarters, which is quite an astonishing fact that I might not of known about without Prismatic.