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.

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.


As a new year inches forward by the day, and the world cycles through the brouhaha of the holidays, many people start to get anxious about the future ahead. This time of year stirs up a range of emotions: everything from feelings of loss to facing the cold hard facts that the grand year we envisioned for ourselves didn’t go at all like we intended. As designers, individuals who work with our minds and hearts, not just our hands, all of this can start to take a toll.

Trust me. It happens to the best of us. In my mind, 2015 was supposed to the victory lap. The year before, I launched my solo design practice while working a 9-to-5. I had a few clients under my belt that paid well, and was working toward making enough revenue to justify going full-time. I was planning a big marketing campaign and launch party coinciding with my big 30th birthday in February. Then, the day after Christmas 2014, I lost my hero, and everything else went out the window. It’s taken me a good bit of the year to get back on track.

Sometimes, things happen beyond our control, but if being a designer has taught me anything, it’s how to make revisions, and forge my own path.

It’s almost Christmas 2015. About a month ago, I left my 9-to-5. I thought about making an announcement to let people know that I was back on the market. However, I quickly found that once I told close friends what happened, the most common response was “I’m so sorry!” I was a bit taken aback by all the condolences, so I just stopped saying anything. No one died. Nothing bad happened. It had been a great ride, but it was time to go.