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A Simple Guide

Contracting has many benefits, such as flexible working hours and the ability to earn more than if you were a typical employee. Yet, it also has many challenges – such as being able to stay focused, creative and organised without a boss breathing down your neck.

It can be difficult to remain at the top of your game at all times in your career, however, these 6 tools can make your contracting life a whole lot easier. Plus, they’re all free!

Tired of writing out ‘to do’ lists on scraps of paper and promptly losing them or forgetting what the scrawled word is in the tenth bullet point? Sign up for Remember the Milk. This tool will keep your to-do list prominent and manageable so that you never forget an item again.  It lets you create, colour-code and schedule tasks in a way that makes it easy to focus on and complete. It’s perfect for busy contractors juggling numerous tasks.

In most professions, you can’t get away from having to write up notes, action plans, project proposals or lengthy emails. The Hemingway app analyses your writing and makes suggestions on how you can tighten the copy to improve the original draft. This ensures that what you produce is easy to understand, worded correctly and has no glaring spelling or grammatical errors. Keep yourself professional in all that you write with this simple tool.

If you need to access your files from several devices, make sure you check out Google Drive. With 15GB of free storage, you can use this tool to keep the documents you access the most in one single location. Since the service is cloud-based, contractors can access the files on their Google Drive from any PC, Mac or mobile device. Now you don’t have to worry about emailing documents between your home computer and work computer ever again. Phew.

Just because you’re not a large corporation doesn’t mean you don’t need a Customer Relationship Management (CRM) tool.  Insightly offers 200MB of storage and a database that can hold up to 2,500 contacts. This will help you to organise your professional relationships and keep track of contacts you’ve built up over the years.

Let’s face it, we all wish that money grew on trees. Unfortunately, that doesn’t happen for even the most talented of contractors, but proper financial management can make your income stretch a bit further. Yolt is a money management tool that categorises and sorts your income and expenditure to analyse your spending habits and discover potential opportunities to reduce your outgoings.

Trying to decipher your self-assessment tax return is an annual worry for most contractors. It can be extremely difficult to forecast ahead of time how much you will have to pay in taxes come January 31st. However, HMRC’s self-employed ready reckoner tool makes it a little easier to plan how much to set aside for tax purposes.

Although the above tool by HMRC is designed to give you a heads-up about how much tax you’ll pay, you should consider contacting a professional for in-depth guidance. Tailored Resourcing & Accountancy specialises in tax efficient and tailored tax planning strategies for contractors across the UK. Their flexible approach helps you to pay less tax while complying with current legislation and HMRC’s activity.

Tailored Resourcing & Accountancy offers a cost-effective and transparent payroll service to contractors, freelancers and small business owners. For more information visit www.tailoredservices.co.uk