As a freelance designer and solo entrepreneur, I wear a lot of different hats. I’m constantly looking for tools that help me to work smarter and not harder.

My tool of choice for handling my business’s finances is FreshBooks—a web-based application designed for service-based entrepreneurs that generates invoices, tracks my working time, and accepts online payments. Its user-friendliness, intuitiveness, and ease of use make it a winner in my book. FreshBooks helps me to manage accounting tasks efficiently so I can get back to the activities I’d rather spend my time on.

Not convinced? If you’re struggling with keeping track of your invoices, here are some reasons why you should use FreshBooks.

Chances are you’ve worked on a client project that didn’t go as smoothly as you would have liked. This could be due to a number of things, but more often than not communication is at the core. Designers need to have a little empathy to understand what it’s like to be a client who wants the world but also be knowledgeable enough to rein in expectations. So here are some things you should tell your clients to fill potential communication gaps in your projects.

We’ve all done our share of free labor in the past; on occasion, I still do. Even at this point in my career, I’m not above working for free under the right circumstances. Here are four questions I ask myself before taking on my next unpaid project.

Do I care about this company’s mission?

If I don’t feel an emotional connection to the purpose or the mission of the company, then I’m probably not interested in doing work for them. For me, there has to be a level of altruism in the product or service they’re providing that I want to be associated with. This is first on the list for a reason — it’s the main deciding factor.

Will I still be interested three months from now?

This is important for me because I tend to have “shiny object syndrome”, and I sometimes bounce from one new project to the other. If I think a project is capable of holding my attention for longer than a couple months, the chances of me taking it on increases significantly.

As a designer, it can be a struggle to communicate the value of your services and get paid what you are worth. What do you do when potential clients say they can’t afford your rates? I’ve had my share of horror stories, and I’m sure many of us have been approached with empty promises like “This would be great for your portfolio!” or “This will lead to more work and exposure in the future,” only to be left overworked, frustrated, and jilted in the end.

Here are some questions to ask yourself the next time this happens.