The nature of a side hustle is that you build your business in your free time. What’s the main problem with building a business during free time? Most people have a demanding 9-5, families, a rigorous exercise schedule, Netflix shows to catch up on, and other pressing goals.
Everyone only has 24 hours in a day, so how do people successfully balance their lives all while growing a new business?
The secret lies in time management.
By time management, I don’t just mean sticking to a rigorous schedule. I mean finding literal Hermione Granger Time-Turners to help free up more of your time (aka online tools that help you manage tasks and time efficiently).
Here is a list of essential online tools for side hustlers that will help you multitask, automate the mundane, and keep you organized.
Project Management Tools for Side Hustlers
Side hustlers need a way to organize tasks, keep track of clients, organize workflows, and keep any members of their team on the same page.
Thankfully, there are several online project management tools that will help you stay organized and productive, no matter what your side hustle is. Here are two crowd pleasers.
Asana is one of the most popular project management tools for a good reason. It’s an online cloud software that helps you schedule tasks, visualize your workflow, plan how your project pieces fit together, and quickly identify any overlaps in your schedule. Asana also integrates with other top productivity tools to make it even easier to use.
If you’re a more visual person, then Trello might be a better fit than Asana. Trello helps you organize your tasks into boards, lists, and cards. You can move task cards from board to board as you complete tasks. Everyone on your team has the same access to cards, making it easy to see where a project stands and what needs to happen to move a project from inception to completion.
Both of these tools will help you stay organized and boost productivity rates, especially if you have a team of individuals working with you.
It’s worth mentioning that if you own a smaller side hustle and are just starting out, a Google calendar on your iPhone may be sufficient to help keep you organized.
Invoice Tracking Software for Side Hustlers
It’s true you can create invoices using Word or Google Docs, but with highly sophisticated (and free!) software available, why would you opt for the more time-consuming route?
There are several free invoicing tools on the market that will help you keep your finances organized, store client information in one convenient location, and provide a comprehensive view into which invoices have been paid, how many invoices are pending, and how much money you’ve made.
Here is my favorite free invoicing tool.
invoicely is a free tool that makes invoicing effortless. With this tool, you can quickly enter and store client information, add your logo and personal information to invoices, and then create invoices with the click of a button. Invoicely also has a powerful dashboard that shows you pending and paid invoices. Clients can even pay invoices via Mollie, Stripe, PayPal, and more.
If you’re looking for an excellent resource to track finances in one place, invoicely is an excellent resource. Did I mention invoicely provides a free plan? Of course, you can always upgrade to a paid plan for more features, but the free plan is comprehensive.
Payment Processors for Side Hustlers
There are so many options for collecting payment as a side hustler. You can collect cold, hard cash, ask clients to write checks, or use one of the many mobile payment options like Venmo, PayPal or Cash.
Stripe is an awesome payment processor for side hustlers with an online business. Its integrations are broad and its features are robust. Things you can do with Stripe include the ability to accept payments via mobile device, secure payment information, manage business operations through an intuitive dashboard, and much more. Pricing starts at a 2.9% + .30 cents for each successful transaction, but there are no hidden fees, set up fees, or monthly fees.
Payment processing is a must for any side hustler. What you end up using will depend on your needs as a business owner. If your business is smaller, Venmo or PayPal should be sufficient. If you need a payment processor that integrates with your website, look into Stripe.
Time Management Apps for Side Hustlers
Are you a side hustler that works hourly? Awesome! There are so many time tracking tools available to you, and most of them are free or at least have a free, yet limited, version of the software.
If you need a time tracking software, it’s time to check out Hubstaff and Toggl.
Hubstaff has both free and paid versions of their product. The free version allows one user to track their time, track limited activity rates, provides random screen captures, and send limited payments. If you manage a team as part of your side hustle, it’s worth it to look into the paid versions because the Hubstaff features are helpful for any business owner. Features include:
- Time tracking
- Online timesheets
- Productivity monitoring
- Payroll software
- Team scheduling
- And more!
Toggl is another popular time tracking app to consider. With Toggl, you have access to one-click timers, tracking reminders, and over 100+ app integrations. If you don’t want to track your hours in real-time, Toggl also allows you to manually enter time after-the-fact. Another cool feature of Toggl is the ability to view your project dashboard and get reports. This helps you see where you can save time and work more efficiently.
Toggl recently conducted a study and found that not only was Toggl a huge time-saver, but a money-saver as well. Toggl found that the average estimate of money saved using Toggl was $12,441 per team/year with consultancies reporting up to $16,203 saved.
Creating Your Side Hustle Toolkit
There are several resources to help you grow your side hustle including online tools that will help you make the best use out of the short 24 hour day you have.
There are no shortage of tools to help you create a successful side business, and tools from HostGator are no exception. If you’re ready to get started, check out Gator Builder—our drag-and-drop website builder will help you get your feet off the ground.
Ashley R. Cummings is a professional freelance writer specializing in SaaS, tech, and advertising/marketing. In a previous life, she was a Russian teacher at Brigham Young University, a corporate trainer, and a grad student—all at the same time. When she’s not writing, you can find her traveling the world with her 2 kids and husband, reading poetry or taking a deep dive into the fabulous world of comedy. Connect with her on Twitter at @ashleyrcummings.