If you are one of the 42 million Americans working as freelancers, you know how tough it is to go it alone. Perhaps the toughest part of being in business for yourself is knowing that there is no backup. There is no one to pick up the ball if you drop it or pick up the slack when you’re slammed or cover for you when your personal life intrudes on the work day. How do experienced freelancers and successful independent contractors manage to “do it all”? With smart apps and tech tools.

App technology has been growing exponentially over the past few years. There seems to be an app for everything these days. (If you can’t find what you’re looking for, just wait a month or two!) Smart freelancers and self-employed workers are using apps, software and other tech tools to create the equivalent of a virtual office staff to help them manage nearly every aspect of their business.

BestVendor recently polled 100 freelancers, asking them to name the apps they find most useful (click here to view the BestVendor infographic). Not surprisingly, cloud-based applications ranked at the top of the list. The ability to access, store, retrieve and store work in a single location that can be accessed anywhere with any device makes cloud-based applications a natural fit for freelancers who may have clients across the country or around the globe.

The survey also found that the majority of freelancers are grappling with common business problems that direct the types of apps they seek out. Applications that help self-employed workers manage finances, interact with clients, market themselves, and increase productivity are in greatest demand. Freelancers also demonstrated greater willingness than their office-bound peers to try new technology and, as a group, proved astute at ferreting out tools that offer the greatest value.

Here are the top 10 apps and tech tools most popular with freelancers and self-employed workers:

  1. Dropbox
  2. Google Analytics
  3. Gmail
  4. Evernote
  5. Google Apps/Docs
  6. Google Calendar
  7. Mailchimp
  8. Hootsuite
  9. iCloud
  10. Basecamp

For more freelancing tips, read the Zoondy Daily.