The ultimate list of mobile business apps for freelance designers

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Being a freelancer you’re able to work anywhere you choose, and sometimes you can’t always be tied down to your home setup – but with the help of your mobile device(s), you can work virtually anywhere!

Whether you’re going on vacation, riding the train, or sitting in a coffee shop – your freelance business doesn’t have to be put on hold.

Aside from the regular social media apps almost all of us already have installed (Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, etc.), here is the ultimate list of mobile apps for freelance designers in alphabetical order:

Billings Touch

Category: Business
Platform: iPhone/iPad

Billings Touch puts the experience of time tracking and invoicing right into your pocket. It works great as a standalone application or syncs perfectly with Billings for Mac. Some additional features include tracking mileage, creating invoices, managing clients, and much more.



Category: Productivity
Platform: iPhone

Clear is a list-keeping app that is simple, quick and satisfying to use. The interface is unique and the clever use of gestures makes it fun. Definitely worth checking out.



Category: Utilities
Platform: iPhone

Put over a million palettes in your pocket and turn your mobile device into an endless source of ideas and inspiration. ColorSchemer makes it fun and easy to explore, create, interact, and share your color ideas.


Diet Coda

Category: Productivity
Platform: iPad

Diet Coda is the popular Mac OS X web code editor crunched down into a powerful, feature-packed iPad package. With Diet Coda you can now travel with your iPad and know that you have the tools to do your job. Some of the features include: remote-only editing, FTP and SFTP file management, syntax highlighting, clips, built-in terminal, AirPreview, and so much more.



Category: Productivity
Platform: iPhone/iPad/Android/BlackBerry

Dropbox is probably one of the most popular and most recommended apps among freelancers. It lets you bring all your photos, docs, and videos anywhere and share them easily. Access any file you save to your Dropbox from all your computers, mobile devices, or even the Dropbox website.



Category: News
Platform: iPhone/iPad/Android

Flipboard is your own personal magazine. It allows you to catch up on the news you care about, discover amazing things, or stay connected to the people closest to you by adding your social media networks to see updates in a beautiful magazine style experience.



Category: Business
Platform: iPhone/iPad

Freshbooks is “the fastest way” to track time, organize expenses and invoice your clients. With a Freshbooks account (required) you can easily do cloud accounting that puts your business into the palm of your hands.


Google Drive

Category: Productivity
Platform: iPhone/iPad/Android

Store documents, pictures or other files in one place, then access or share them from any device, anywhere. Create and edit documents, spreadsheets and presentations on your own or share and collaborate with others in real time. All you changes are saved automatically in Drive.



Category: Social Networking
Platform: iPhone/Android

HeyTell is a cross-platform voice messenger that allows you to instantly talk with friends, family or for us freelancers – our close clients. No account needed—just start the app, choose a contact, and push the button to start talking!


iA Writer

Category: Productivity
Platform: iPhone/iPad

“Keep your hands on your keyboard and your mind in the text.” iA Writer is a noise free writing experience – as soon as you start typing the title bar disappears and all you see is the clean typing sheet, distraction-free, ready for your ideas to take shape. Definitely check out this app for your Mac or iDevice if you’re a writer.



Category: Productivity
Platform: iPad

iMockups for iPad is the “premiere” mobile wireframing and mockup app for web, iPhone and iPad projects. It’s a simple multi touch interface that lets you focus on functionality, rather than visuals.



Category: Games
Platform: iPhone/iPad

We all need to have a little fun every once in awhile! Letterpress is a find words, steal tiles, color the board game. It’s a fresh new word game that’s fun to play against your friends.



Category: Finance
Platform: iPhone/iPad/Android

Track, budget, and manage your money all in one place, so you can see where you’re spending and where you can save. Simply create a free account, add your bank, credit, loan and retirement accounts and Mint will automatically pull in and categorize your transactions. It’s safe, secure and easy to keep your personal and business finances organized.



Category: Finance
Platform: iPhone/iPad

This app is a tool for everyone who works in an independent manner. Calculate how much to charge per worked hour or by project according to the characteristics it will have. Also handle project history and sync your information between iOS devices.



Category: Productivity
Platform: iPad

Paper is the easiest and most beautiful way to create on iPad. Capture your ideas as sketches, diagrams, illustrations, notes or drawings and share them across the web.



Category: Finance
Platform: iPhone/iPad/Android

Use the service we’re all familiar with on the go. Send and request money, manage your account, snap a photo of a check to deposit money, and more. Also check out PayPal Here to get paid directly with your smartphone.


Photo Transfer App

Category: Photo & Video
Platform: iPhone/iPad/Android

Photo Transfer App allows you to quickly move photos and videos between your iPhone, iPad, Mac or PC using your local wifi network.



Category: News
Platform: iPhone/iPad/Android

When you find an interesting article, video or web page that you want to read, watch or view later, put it in Pocket. Once it’s in Pocket, it automatically syncs across to your phone, tablet, and computer so you can view it anytime on any device, even without an internet connection.



Category: Business
Platform: iPhone/iPad

Maximize your reimbursements and tax deductions in seconds with the Shoeboxer receipt and mileage tracker.



Category: Productivity
Platform: iPhone/iPad/Android

Skitch lets you communicate your feedback and ideas in an instant. Annotate images and documents with arrows, stamps, shapes, text, and more. Mark-up a PDF, snap a screen, or draw something new. Then easily share your thoughts and ideas with friends or clients.



Category: Social Networking
Platform: iPhone/iPad/Android

Instant message, voice or video call on Skype for free with friends, family or your clients.


Square Register

Category: Business
Platform: iPhone/iPad/Android

Accept credit cards and run your business anywhere with Square Register on your mobile device. Also get a free square card reader! Free point of sale tools and simple pricing make it easy for you to run your business from your counter or pocket.



Category: Education
Platform: iPhone/iPad/Android

TED presents over 1,400 riveting TEDTalk videos from some of the world’s most fascinating people: education radicals, tech geniuses, medical mavericks, business gurus and music legends.



Category: Reference
Platform: iPhone/Android

Ever seen a great font in a magazine ad, poster, or on the web and wondered what font it is? Whip out your phone, snap a photo, and WhatTheFont will identify it in seconds!



Category: Productivity
Platform: iPhone/iPad/Android

Wunderlist is “the easiest” way to manage and share your daily to-do lists. Whether you’re planning an event, sharing project tasks with a co-worker, or simply keeping track of your daily to-dos, Wunderlist is here to help you get things done.


Add to this ultimate list

What mobile apps do you love to use?

What are your favorite apps that help keep your business running?

Leave your answers in the comments below!


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About Brent Galloway

Brent Galloway is a freelance graphic designer, founder of Your Freelance Career, and author of Start Your Freelance Career. Check out his blog and connect with him on Twitter, Facebook, Google+, and Dribbble.

  • April Greer

    You’ve got some great apps here, but I’m super-disappointed that you don’t list which ones work for Windows phones. (I have some of them.)

    • Bronwyn

      Do share.

  • Kelly

    Great list!
    The only tool I would add is Asana for project management and sharing tasks with other freelancers and clients!

  • Mathieu

    Nice apps. I would add Evernote, Harvest, Teuxdeux, Cloudon

  • Josten Dooley

    Good list I’m going to be trying out a few to see if I can replace my current apps with better ones.

  • Allen Xu

    Great list! I’d recommend adding App Cooker to the list as well. Personally I think it’s better than imockups when it comes to creating wireframes for iPhone & iPad. Skala View is another must have app for mobile designers. Also check out Mark it up, Elevatr & Fast Analytics for iPhone too.

  • Grant

    Excellent list. Definitely add MediaFire to the list (best DropBox alternative, and a lot cheaper).

    Also, I can’t seem to find ColorSchemer on the App Store….. is it still around?

    And one final note: thanks for including Android apps; so many lists don’t. If all you designers haven’t checked out an Android tablet in a while… wow have they surpassed the iPad. I love my ASUS Transformer.

  • Grant

    Ah… ColorSchemer is listed as ‘iPhone/iPod Touch only’ in the App Store. (not iPad)

    • Brent Galloway

      Oops – thanks for catching that and for taking the time to add to the post!

  • Xavier

    I would also add AppCooker, just like Allen Xu, I think it’s really good and much better than iMockups 😉

  • Josh

    Trello definitely needs to be put on the list.

  • Sebastian

    For prototyping for iPhone I use ProtoTouch. With this app you add screenshots from your iPhone Library, Dropbox or even take photos of paper mockups and use your very own icon. Then you just add behaviors to link the screenshots between them. Upload and Share the project via mail, fb, twitter, sms. The one you shared the project with can see the project on any browser or INSTALL THE PROTOTYPE AS A REAL APP ON THEIR OWN DEVICE. Really COOL app!

  • ethan

    I am pretty much aware of the apps you have listed above. I would like to suggest one more tool i.e Talygen (htttp:// It is a simple to use time tracking tool which offer exceptional features likes expense tracking, project management, invoicing and much more. Must give it a try.

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  • Ben Smith

    The new Adobe Mobile apps such as Adobe Comp, and Adobe Shape. Also “myPantone” does for color what the app “What the Font” does for fonts.

  • Imaginerie

    Chiming in for those like me who have a windows phone :)

    * Dropbox is available for WP. It’s not as complete than when you’re using the Website but far quicker.

    * If not convinced, you can use “Metro Commander”. It’s at the same time a file explorer, but that can sync your files to Dropbox (and OneDrive) (not free but very cheap). One drive sync is “built-in”.

    *WP has a spreadsheet, Doc and list app already included (Office) sono need for others

    *Paypal, Skype and LinkedIn are also available for WP.

    * there are third party Pantone color picker available as well (didn’t try them, so I can review)

    * there are also zip, and unzip apps available (handy, those ones!)

    As for Android, there’s the fantabulous Bamboo paper from Wacom. Very simple to use and nicely done.

    I reckon a Windows phone may not be the first choice for a complete “designer” solution, but these are generally cheap, and do the trick for most things.

  • Richard Mathis

    This is a great list of apps. I am always looking for ways to make my smart phone help in my daily life and this will help with work as well! I am excited to check out these apps. Thanks Brent!

    Five lessons for Freelancers@Digital Signatures

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