Really love this app.
Taking a look at my clients in Freeagent I have about 50% that are UK based and the other 50% are based in the rest of Europe and the US.
When clients pay me, they send money to my GBP bank account. For my international clients this usually involves a charge either to them or me and sometimes a questionable exchange rate. This really sucks for me and my clients.
When Riot was around, we had attempted so many times to setup a US bank account but it was so much hassle and most of the time, the banks just said no. That was a long time ago and thankfully things have come a long way. I say things, but really I just mean one thing; TransferWise.
TransferWise has a product called Borderless Accounts. It's amazing. Once you've signed up and verified you can just make yourself new EUR, GBP and USD bank accounts (I believe more are coming). Each account comes with all the necessary details to transfer money to.
With these borderless accounts there is no charge for the client to send me money. There is only a small fee for taking money out (price list).
How I've got this to work inside Freeagent is to add each borderless account as a bank account.
Now when I create a new invoice, I just select which accounts details I want to appear on the invoice. Magic!
I’ve always found these type of posts interesting to read, so I figured I’d write my own…
I have a fairly structured day. I find that keeping to a routine really helps me focus. I can feel lost without it.
I like to wake up early. Mornings are definitely my most productive time.
My day starts off with breakfast, a shower and then I take the Poppy out for a walk. On average, the walk lasts around 45 minutes, though this depends on how many other dogs we meet on our way (Poppy likes to play with all of them).
Once we get home, I feed Poppy and make myself a coffee. My current brew method of choice is a Chemex.
This is when I start the first “block” of client work.
For client projects I prefer to work in half day blocks. I respect my clients money and feel that if I’m jumping between projects/chores/phone calls and doing the odd couple of hours here and there, then I don't feel they’re getting their moneys worth. I like to feel engrossed in a project which is why I also choose them carefully.
Around 10:30am I usually take a break. My fiancé is currently back from university for the summer so I go and hang out with her and have my second breakfast of the day 🥐
When whatever I'm currently working on comes to a natural end, I break for Lunch. Either I'll cook or reheat left overs from the evening before.
Once finished lunch, I'll make a tea and continue the second block of client work.
I usually finish the day around 4. I'll then reply to any emails and contact any potential leads for new projects. I also update my draft invoices. I don't use any time tracking apps, I simply have draft invoices that I then add half or full day line items too.
Since I started freelancing back in January I've really trimmed down the number of services I'm using. I guess it felt really productive using so many.
How I work with my clients is always the same; invoice every second Friday and only work on a max of two clients per day (2 half day blocks).
So now I simply create draft invoices and then at the end of every day I add a new line item:
I have an event in my calendar that reminds me every Friday to send any invoices that need sending.
Pretty awesome set of sound effects. Just don't go overboard!
It has been almost 3 months since my last freelance diary entry 😮. Here is a quick run through of how everything has been going...
Asking For Advice
Around the beginning of February I was feeling a bit deflated and started to have some doubts:
- Is there something wrong with my portfolio?
- Is my price too high/low?
- Are my introduction emails terrible?
- Why do all recruiters want me to work on site? Maybe remote isn’t going to work?
I knew getting my first client was going to be hard, but I was really hoping to have my first one by the start of February.
I decided to email a few UK based iOS freelancers and basically ask them for some advice on getting work. I have to say, the responses were awesome. They settled my doubts and also said that they would forward me any projects they couldn’t take on!
I started my first project on February 15th. It was only a small 5 day project but it was a good start and helped extend my runway by about a month.
- Project Source: Referral
This was when things felt like they really started coming together. I was contacted by an awesome studio based in Northern Ireland who wanted ongoing help with various projects. This really helped in giving me a solid, predictable foundation for the future.
- Project Source: Direct
Towards the end of March I started my first “built from scratch” project. These are the kind of projects I love to work on. I’m looking forward to sharing this soon.
- Project Source: Referral (from one of the freelancers mentioned above, thanks!)
- Estimated time: 3 weeks
A small MVP project.
- Project Source: Authentic Jobs
My target turnover for the year is £60,000, meaning I need to hit a minimum of £5,000 a month. So far my turnover is £11,654 meaning I’m currently short by £8,346. Since I didn’t have a client from the start, this was always going to be the case so I shouldn’t be too hard on myself.
TLDR; GIVE IT TO ME NOW!
Just over a week ago I decided to play around with Accessibility on macOS. I've always wanted the iOS Simulator to scroll when I scrolled with my mouse so figured this would be a good project to get started on.
Later on that day I had this:
There are lot's of great open sourced contracts for freelancers. I'm a big fan of Andy Clarke's "Contract Killer" and Ashe Dryden's take on Andy's contract. I've taken a mix of both of them and added my own modifications; the iOS version support, device support and payment terms.
You can find my version of the contract here.
I listen to a lot of Podcasts. I actually listen to them to help me fall asleep, I am not sure why, but I can't fall asleep when everything is quiet.
A lot of people (and by a lot, I mean like 4) have asked me what Podcasts I listen to, so I thought I'd list them here:
Behind the scenes at Supertop as Pádraig and Oisín reflect on their work as indie developers.
Back to Work is an award winning talk show with Merlin Mann and Dan Benjamin discussing productivity, communication, work, barriers, constraints, tools, and more. Hosted by Merlin Mann and Dan Benjamin.
A podcast about indie software development for the Mac, iOS and other Apple technologies.
CGP Grey and Myke Hurley are both independent content creators. Each episode, they discuss the methods and tools they employ to be productive and creative.
Debug is a conversational interview show about developing software and services, primarily for iPhone, iPad, Mac, and gaming. Hosted by Guy English and Rene Ritchie, it's all the great talk you get at the bar after the conference, wrapped up in convenient podcast form. Pull up a chair, hit play, join us.
A podcast for developers designed to fit inside your tea break.
Fatal Error is a podcast about iOS development, hosted by Soroush Khanlou and Chris Dzombak. We discuss topics at the cutting edge of iOS software architecture, Swift, and best practices.
The Pen Addict is a weekly fix for all things stationery. Pens, pencils, paper, ink – you name it, and Brad Dowdy and Myke Hurley are into it. Join as they geek out over the analog tools they love so dearly.
John Siracusa and Merlin Mann try to figure out exactly how they got this way.
Release Notes is a weekly podcast about the business of Mac and iOS indie software development. We discuss inspiration, design, trends, and tools — everything but the code.
Each week, we cover topics for the new or curious independent developer looking to make his or her way in the iOS and Mac ecosystem. Tips and tricks, success stories as well as failures. The show is hosted by Charles Perry, owner of Metakite Software, and Joe Cieplinski, Creative Director of Bombing Brain Interactive.
Welcome to Startups for the Rest of Us, the podcast that helps developers, designers and entrepreneurs be awesome at launching software products. Whether you’ve built your first product or are just thinking about it.
The director’s commentary track for Daring Fireball.
From development and design to marketing and support, Under the Radar is all about independent app development. It's never longer than 30 minutes.
A podcast series where experienced freelancers answer questions about freelancing.
I recently moved to a new utility provider called GnERGY. The website is actually pretty good, compared to most utility suppliers, but unlike my previous supplier, they don't have an app to submit meter readings.
So last Wednesday evening I decided to throw something together. I made a really simple app that lets you submit your gas and/or electricity readings and view your previous submissions.
My meters are both in dark cupboards, so there is the useful feature of being able to turn the torch on and the screen is also darkened to help with visibility. Similar to my Pact Coffee App, the backend uses Capybara to crawl, click links and submit forms on the GnERGY website.