ICS  are excited to present you with our top tools to help you manage your business. The following are our favorite 5 pieces of software you can use today to help you get started managing your workflow and become more productive. Additionally, if you are new to contracting  download our specialist  Guide to Contracting, which is a great entry to the world of contracting.

  1. Free Agent

Free Agent is software that will enable you to record and manage your cash flow. In addition,  Free Agent also enables real-time banking with select bank accounts. The software will record all your transactions and even help you create and send invoices.

The FreeAgent  interface is very user friendly and all of your  data is presented to you with visual graphics, charts and tables. Their slogan is “Run your entire business from anywhere” and their services really make it extremely easy and flexible to do so.

  1. SmartSheet

Upload, save, edit and share your documents to anyone using SmartSheet’s cloud-based service. This tool is fantastic for structuring your workflow, documents and spreadsheets. It is incredibly easy to use, as it provides you with a vast number of templates for all types of documents, and even allows you to design your own.

Our favorite feature is being able to update members of the project, and allow them to interact with forms, or even share it with people who are not involved in the project. These forms can be sent through Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn and Google+ to collect responses, which makes it really accessible to your audience.

SmartSheet can allow you to automate a big part of the process to help you save time, so you are able to focus on your business.

  1. QuickBooks

Similar to FreeAgent, QuickBooks is a cloud-based workspace, that allows you to record your cash flow, invoices and expenses.

Once categorised, you can select preset options or design your own such as: invoicing customers; receive payments; create estimates; and issue refunds. Sales receipts are perhaps the easiest to create out of any similar service. It is literally as simple as selecting the client’s profile and QuickBooks will bring up all your previous transactions with them, so you can click which one you would like to create a receipt for.

  1. Synergist

We are throwing this one in for those who need to manage their time better. Synergist is a great option to record your daily activities, including the amount of hours worked, and tracking ongoing projects. Just like the rest in this list, Synergist is easy to use and they have an app as well.

The great feature Synergist offers is reminders for current and scheduled reports, as well as CRM software. The whole user experience is ‘drag and drop’ and laid out in a clear manner and well organised in the dashboard view.

Synergist will help you manage your time, which is essential to get the most out of your working hours and is invaluable for those contractors who are trying to juggle several projects at the same time.

  1. Nuclino

You may have heard about Google Docs, Nuclino is an alternative version of Google’s offering. Think of it like a Google Docs on steroids. You can bring your notes, tasks and teams together all in one place. You can share them across members of your team, and all can work on it in real-time. Contractors can really benefit this one, as it is really well organised, and will allow you to tag, search and find your documents and files faster, and store them safely on the cloud.

Why not try our FREE  ICS Contractor Tax Calculator

Our ICS Tax Calculator is a completely free tool that will allow you to instantly calculate your take-home pay. Simply enter  your pay rate and predicted monthly expenses to get a rough estimate of your earnings.

Would these 5 tools help you improve your productivity? If you found this article helpful, you can follow ICS on Twitter and share this article to help other contractors.