To the cloud: 25 most popular freelancer applications

Online collaboration, analytics, project management, and storage are now the top applications used by for-hire professionals.

Cloud-based applications are now the environment of freelance and contract workers, a new survey confirms. Sites offering online collaboration, analytics, project management, and storage are now the top choices of for-hire professionals.

Such are the findings of a new survey released by BestVendor, focusing on the most popular software and apps used by freelancers to manage their work. BestVendor conducted the survey over the last two months, asking 97 freelancers what software and apps they use to manage their work. A majority, 57%, are based in the U.S., 27% in Europe. 44% of those surveyed work in the technology and digital media, while 21% work in design and creative sectors.

The results demonstrate the rise of cloud apps and SaaS services, and the decline of desktop software: Every tool in the top 25 is web-based, with the possible exception of QuickBooks, which offers both web and desktop versions.

I'm still willing to bet PC-resident Microsoft Word (or OpenOffice) applications still rank high in freelancers' and contractors' toolboxes, as everyone needs to generate and exchange these types of documents. It may well be BestVendor picked more network-focused individuals to survey. Just a hunch.

The 25 most popular freelancer tools include the following (there is also an infographic below):

  1. Dropbox
  2. Google Analytics
  3. Gmail
  4. Evernote
  5. Google Apps/Docs
  6. Google Calendar
  7. Mailchimp
  8. Hootsuite
  9. iCloud
  10. Basecamp
  11. Mint
  12. Google Voice
  13. Quickbooks
  14. FreshBooks
  15. Prezi
  16. Pivotal Tracker
  17. Balsamiq Mockups
  18. Google Alerts
  19. GoToMeeting
  20. BatchBook
  21. Joomla
  22. Posterous
  23. Skitch
  24. Django
  25. Google AdWords

BestVendor is a NY-based startup backed by Peter Thiel, RRE Ventures, SoftBank Capital, and others. The company offers a free community resource for finding the best software, apps and services, based on what's working well for others.

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