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How Freelancers Boost Productivity Using Shift


Sophie Blaine

Marketing Specialist - 14 Apr, 2021


As a freelancer, you have a busy schedule, and staying organized is often the most challenging task. Whether you’re running your own business, working with multiple clients, or maintaining a side-hustle in addition to a full-time job — freelancers are constantly caught between demanding priorities. When your projects are switching daily, staying productive and breaking up your tasks is a must.

The idea of being your own boss is very appealing, but this comes with a lot of responsibility and leaves you in charge of your workload. Meeting deadlines is essential to building your reputation and keeping up with the fast-paced freelance style. Aligning your priorities and staying organized is the key to freelance success, and that’s where Shift comes in.

“Wondering where this has been all my life .... a freelancer's dream.” - Kate Havercroft, Havercroft Hire Ltd

The problem with staying organized

The race to stay productive, organized, and on the ball has probably led you to try every productivity app in the book. With multiple apps and email accounts, your browser can quickly turn into a complete disaster. 50 tabs in one browser, 25 in another, and more bookmarks than are even visible on your screen, sound familiar? Switching between accounts and projects is eating up half of your day and there’s no time for organization. Shift is your solution. Shift aggregates all of your email and app accounts into one beautiful platform, giving you back time to reach deadlines and dive into deep work, distraction-free.

How independent freelancers use Shift

As an independent freelancer, you’re your own boss, which comes with a unique set of challenges. Between finding new clients, getting up to speed with a new brand, and reaching deadlines, independent freelancers juggle various projects. You can use Shift to separate clients in workspaces, manage multiple email and app accounts, and personalize browsers for alternating priorities.

“As a freelancer, I have multiple emails, tabs, and applications open, and this product really helps me manage everything while reducing the clutter I call my desktop.” - Mohamed Al-Balawi

Shift Tip: Turn on auto hibernate in your settings to improve the speed and functionality of Shift by automatically snoozing the apps your not using. 

Manage clients with workspaces

Workspaces is the perfect platform for organizing your clients. Each workspace is a focused collection of essential apps, tabs, and bookmarks that you can customize for each client. Name your workspace, bookmark supporting resources, add crucial apps, and easily toggle between alternating client projects. Keep all of your documents, data, and design work in one easy-to-find spot, so you don’t have to waste time getting organized.

You can share workspaces with your clients to update a project’s status or allow them access to additional resources. This will make it much easier to collaborate when you’re being outsourced and ensure your priorities align with the companies. You can create your workspace by simply clicking the ‘+’ button in the bottom left corner of your Shift sidebar.

Customize your workspace for specific clients:

  • Right-click on the Workspace in the sidebar and click "Settings"
  • Change the Workspace Name, Description, Colour, and Icon as desired

Manage multiple client accounts

Shift is the perfect aggregator for multiple email and app accounts, streamlining your workflow and helping you distinguish between clients. Add as many email addresses as you need, and Shift will beautifully aggregate them along the sidebar so you can easily toggle back and forth. Shift supports Gmail, Outlook, and Office365 accounts, so you manage multiple inboxes effectively.

Related Post: Gmail VS Outlook: The Ultimate Comparison

gmail vs outlook

It can be a hustle to keep up with new projects, calendar invites, and app accounts, especially as a freelancer. Shift lets you add an unlimited number of project management apps, social media, and all the best apps for finding freelance jobs. Choose from a list of 1500+ apps in the Shift inventory, and don’t miss a beat! Having all of your apps in one place is the greatest time saver and you won't have to worry about logging in and out ever again. There’s nothing better than toggling through different app accounts and feeling in control of competing priorities — saving time and energy is a guarantee.

Shift Tip: Use the app switcher to quickly toggle between different accounts. Simply follow the keyboard short cuts ( Mac: Cmd + ~ or Windows: Ctrl + Tab) and scroll through emails, apps, Workspaces and open web tabs. 

Related Post: How to Get All Your Apps in One Place

Shift apps

How Side Hustlers use Shift

As a side hustler, you thrive when you can manage time effectively and curb procrastination. Juggling multiple jobs can be exhausting, and you need all the right productivity tools under your belt to master time management. Integrating all of your apps and extensions into Shift allows you to open up your laptop and go straight to working on your top priorities without the added time of flicking through tabs.

Find everything you need in a flash

Unified search will bring you browser bliss. Shift designed unified search, so you never have to spend time searching for a specific document or email thread ever again. Search through all of your google accounts — Google Drive, Gmail, and Google Calendar— in one click and find everything you need to dive right into deep work.

Filter your search based on the inclusion/exclusion of certain email, drive, and/or calendar accounts.

  • Mail: 'Include/Exclude Words', 'From/To', 'Subject', and 'Includes Attachment'
  • Calendar: 'What/Who/Where' and 'Date'
  • Drive: 'Include Words', 'Type', 'Name', 'Shared With', and 'In Trash' or 'Starred'

unified search

Customize Workspaces for specific projects

When it comes to freelancing your talent on the side, time is of the essence. Customize your workspaces by adding specific bookmarks, apps, and extensions for your side hustle. Workspaces has everything you need right in front of you so that you can reach that deadline with flying colors. You can label separate workspaces, add specific apps/extensions and easily share with your employers.

Move your bookmarks into folders by following these steps:

  • Right-click on the bookmark bar and select "Edit"
  • Rename the bookmark or select which folder it appears in

How Business Owners use Shift

As you grow your freelancing business, you might have hired a couple of employees to share the load and build your freelancing empire. Now you’re faced with the challenge of coordinating with people other than yourself, and communication becomes even more critical. Integrating all of the essential apps for freelancers into Shift will save you waves of time and allow you to meet your duties as a freelancer while managing others.

“As a freelancer with 7+ email accounts, Shift is an absolute game-changer.”- Rachel Paule, Advanced Restaurant Sales

Manage your passwords in Shift

Forgot your password? Not a problem in Shift. Managing a long list of passwords is quite the headache and that's why Shift designed a Password Manager that keeps all of your account details safe and secure. You can import all of your passwords from Chrome, Lastpass, 1password, Dashlane, or Roboform into Shift with ease. You can also set up Shift to save any future login information, so you can store all your password information in one spot.

Click on your app menu at the top of your Shift window (press Ctrl \ to reveal it if you are a Windows user)

  1. Select "History" to reveal a drop-down menu
  2. Click "Import"
  3. Select your browser of choice, your preferences, and then click "Import" (you will
  4. then need to enter your computer's password)

password import


The top 10 apps for Freelancers

1. Slack

Communicate with clients and external firms using Slack’s quick messaging, so you don’t get buried in a busy inbox. Freelancers can purchase a single-member Slack account to manage all of their projects. Share drafts and mock-ups, communicate in real-time, and send final deliverables that clients can easily access at any time.

2. Dropbox

Dropbox is a central location for all of your files, so you can easily share with your clients and keep everything organized in one place. Your clients can also share files with you using Dropbox, so you can streamline the back and forth process more easily.

3. FreelanceU

FreelanceU offers over 80 courses with certifications so you can expand your skillset and explore new Freelance opportunities. They have various courses to choose from and mentors that will help you reach your goals.

4. Evernote

Evernote integrates with all your essential apps, Gmail, Outlook, and Salesforce — to name a few. To-do lists will save your life as a Freelancer, and Evernote is a perfect place to capture your thoughts.

5. Upwork

Upwork connects freelancers to employers all over the world, acting as a one-stop-shop for finding work. When you find a job that fits your skill set, you can apply with a cover letter and set your rate. Once you have a few jobs under your belt, employers will seek out your services, and you can bid on their available positions.

6. Fiverr

Fiverr is a freelance platform to find work, where you can post your portfolio and price, and potential employers can find you. Fiverr is a free program with a 20% cut of all your earnings.

7. Freshbooks

Freshbooks has an easy-to-use interface for all of your invoicing needs and centralizes all of your payments in one spot. You can export reports, set up payment reminders, and scale your services using Freshbooks.

8. Paymo

If you’re working with a team, Paymo is a great option. Set up schedules, manage projects and bill your clients all in one platform. You can also use Paymo as a task management system and assign projects to fellow team members.

9. Trello

Trello is a digitized Kanban board for all of your freelancing needs, so you can keep track of your progress and effectively prioritize tasks. As a Freelancer, you can get lots of use out of the free version of Trello, with up to 250 Kanban boards.

10. Asana

Asana is a great project management tool that allows you to track progress, assign priority levels, design Kanban boards and collaborate with team members. Asana is best for Freelancers that work with a team and need to coordinate parts of a project.

Try Shift today

Shift aggregates all of your email and app accounts, easing your life as a freelancer. Shift is the ultimate tool for streamlining your workflow and optimizing productivity. Try Shift today and transform your desktop organization so you can dive into deep work and find your focus.

Download Shift Now