Hello, Bonsai. Bye, Hassle.

An overview of my favorite freelancing tool and how you can take advantage of it.

Freelancing isn’t a hall pass for mediocrity. Your clients expect a packaged service that renders as pleasurable an experience as one that they’d have with an agency. As a freelancer, you must provide a first-rate job if you intend to keep for yourself a steady flow of work.

However, as companies of one, we often hit speed bumps and get stuck in a rut, looking to our robot overlords for any solution at all. Which is what this post is about.

Meet Bonsai.

It’s an all-around suite of tools designed with freelancers in mind. It’s got a host of great features, including project management, billing document creation, time tracking, and more. These are all areas in which the unknowing freelancer will look like a million-dollar hotshot to any prospective client. Bonsai is free, too*, making it an ideal solution for freelancers who are just starting out.

*Bonsai is free for one project at a time, with up to three projects a year.

Where Bonsai fits in my workflow

I use Bonsai mainly for two things:

  • Generating contracts; and
  • Automating invoicing;

The other things Bonsai is legitimately great at — -basic accounting, creating proposals, tracking your hours — -those I rely on other, admittedly more superior tools. But should you want a turnkey solution for all of these time-consuming freelancing hurdles, Bonsai works just fine.

Generating contracts with Bonsai is stupidly easy

One of the best things I love about Bonsai is its UI — -which is gorgeous and intuitive. When creating contracts, Bonsai’s software will walk you through a straightforward process that will basically collect key details and scope of the project.

The software will tailor your contracts specific to the project you have at hand. You can set important details such as “late payment fees” — -which are a crucial protection to set especially against cheapskate clients — -milestone payments, and content ownership.

What’s more, when you create a contract for a project and set payment terms, Bonsai will automatically schedule deployment of invoices, which brings me…

Invoices are automated beautifully

Invoicing with Bonsai is robust without making its UI all that cluttered. If you’ve set the details correctly when you created the contract for the project, you’re pretty much set. But if you’re invoicing an already contracted ongoing project, creating and automating invoices are easy.

Here’s how:

  1. On your dashboard, click “Send an Invoice”
  2. Select the client, project, and project type. Hit “Create Invoice”
  3. Fill up the necessary details on the invoice. Hit “Send”
  4. Connect your PayPal or Stripe account.
  5. That’s it!

Your invoice will be automatically sent to your client’s inbox, with a link to your preferred payment method. You can also export invoices to PDF for safekeeping.

Take Bonsai for a spin

Bonsai is an incredible tool for freelancers both new and established. It’s been helping me with sorting out administrative tasks that would require the hiring of a virtual assistant to do. Really, it’s worth checking out.

Click here to try Bonsai for free.

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