S2M Ecosystem – tools for Freelancers an Entrepreneurs

Many of the people working in S2M locations are freelancers and entrepreneurs. Some are just starting – myself included – while others have been doing it for years and mastered the art of working for themselves. As a starting freelancer myself I have many doubts, one of them is what the must-have tools for any autonomous professional? And what a better place to ask that that the place where they work? That’s why I took it to now.seats2meet.com to know what is it that they are using. And as I expected, I got many different answers regarding all the aspects of self-employed entrepreneurs. So here they are.

Tips from and for the ecosystem

“I would say a flowchart. It really helps me to keep up productivity and keep my head clean. https://zzpkickstart.nl/overzichtelijk-werken-flowchart/

Bart Haverkort

“A good online bookkeeping tool that also works on your smartphone. I use https://ezboekhouding.nl.”

Ruud van Esch

“Absolutely Trello and Canva. I also use Prezi next.”

Helma Schellen

Trello! Definitely. It helps me to keep overview, organized and to prioritize.”

Cristine Karreman

Evernote for being organized, Canva for social media photos, Google Drive for cloud storage, Toggl for time count on every project I work.”

Olivia Bentan

“Project Management: Trello
Project Communication: Slack
Office Workflow: Gsuite
Media Workflow: Synology NAS + Transip Stack
Finance: Moneybird + Bunq

Tom Croes

“-Laptop and mobile phone for communications, incl. office 365
Wix for my websites
Google Analytics for statistics
Facebook, Twitter and Google Plus for social media
Yuki boekhouden for cloud accounting
Wunderlist for To Dos and Evernote for notes”

Vincent Verhaak


Gives you (and your customers/project management great information. Whenever you keep track of your time:)”

Pien Nederlof-Bus

“Hi Beatriz, good questions, but it has multiple dimensions. You can either look at software tools fur multiple purposes. Indeed as many others answered, there are many tools to support organizing your daily work and administration (tools like Tello, etc.), or for doing your intelligent work (writing, presenting, etc.) and O365 is fantastic, no matter what device you’re using and where you are.

However, I’ve been working for quite some time in telecommunications and introduced many tools based on flexible working. Starting with Blackberry, which I personally introduced in 2003 and was actually the for (and best) tool ever for remote or flexible working. Later this has been taken over by Apple (iPhone) and Google/Samsung, and it’s so obvious that we need these to master flexible working. Thus not only the software or apps are important, but for myself, it’s still the SIM or (mobile) data connection which is the most important tool.

No matter where I am and which device I’m using, I’m always able to use my iPhone, iPad or PC. The third level has to do with being flexible not only by software or smart devices but with my physical movements: I have a XxIMO card, with which I can travel with any transportation mean I want: train, car for electric charging or gasoline, parking, etc. And last but not least: booking my working location with S2M.”

Hans Lammers

“For me it’s simple, no special software (Skype, GoToMeeting, MS office, e-mail): lightweight laptop, wifi, clients that allow you to work from anywhere (I’m restricted to CET), suitcase, social skills, and nice cafes/co-working spaces that work for your flow.”

Petra Westerlaan

I am so happy that so many people answered and I hope it can be as useful for you, as it is to me. You can check all the answers here. Beyond those answers, I would also like to share the tools that we use in the S2M international team. As we are quite a small team but also very flexible, we do rely a lot on online tools to keep everyone up to date on what is it that we are doing. Some of them are tools that I use on the day-by-day as well.

Tools we use

Basecamp – for project managing and sharing files.

Telegram – We have groups for fast updates and questions.

Appear – The online version of Skype doesn’t require you to download any software, works much better and so far, it’s completely safe. The only con is that for you to create a chat room with more than 4 people you have to get the paid version.

Google Drive – I use to share files I want to send people outside the team. For example, when I do interviews like this one, I create the questions on a Google Doc that I share with the person I will interview. They answer them on the same Doc and then I can publish them on WordPress. Easy peasy.

Apple Reminders – I used to use Trello – as a lot of the people above said – but when I got the Apple Watch I switched to Reminders, as my Apple Watch is connected to it as well. Having your to-do list all the time on your wrist can be very convenient. But just to be clear, that one I am speaking for myself. 😅

Buffer – Social media managing it’s a full-time job. Buffer helps you make it a part-time job. It does it by making you able to schedule every social media as much time ahead as you want. Another handy tool is the WP to Buffer widget, which automates every article published on WordPress directly to buffer, which sends it to every social media channel you have. ❤

Evernote – At first I didn’t really know what I would use Evernote for, but now I use it pretty much every day. As we collaborate with a lot of writers in the S2M online magazine I use Evernote to keep the whole structure of the magazine and save all the possible formats collaborators can choose. I also use it to create lists, as all the influencers around us, or timeless articles we can share at any given time. Oh, and I use it for taking notes in meetings as well.

Adobe Creative Cloud – Inside the S2M team there is more than one person doing design, so having and sharing the Adobe Creative Cloud helps us having all the files in one cloud, and whenever one is not available, the other can edit the documents. It’s also good if you work remotely to have all your files in the cloud.

Equipment Insurance and more, if possible – In the last two I have been meeting several entrepreneurs and freelancers. And there are two things I notice that they struggle a lot with; one is losing their equipment, which usually is the base for their work, so if they lose, they can’t work, and in consequence, they can’t make money. The second one is they worrisome of becoming ill when you are in a situation that if you can’t work, you don’t have any backup. So do insure yourself. It can be expensive in the short term, but it is worth it in the long run. And there are innovative ways of ensuring yourself as CommonEasy, where entrepreneurs ensure other entrepreneurs, and you can choose which level you want to be safe. This should be a big a relieve for any autonomous professional.

What else do you want to know?

Do you have another topic which you would like to get tips from the S2M ecosystem? Let us know in the comments and we can make the next article about that!

We already wrote one article about the podcasts that are being created by the people in the ecosystem. You can read it here.

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