As a freelance writer and entrepreneur, I depend on quite a number of tech tools. In this blog, I’ll enumerate the tools I use and what I use them for. I’ll also explain how I chose them. Hopefully, this helps other people who are getting into freelance writing or entrepreneurship.
I’m a staunch advocate for freelancing as a suitable career for people with disability (PwD). Even if they don’t have the ability or energy to be in a traditional work environment, freelancing should allow them to make some money at their own pace. It’s also a step towards independence, which they definitely deserve!
Just to get the terminology straight, I don’t think “freelancer” and “entrepreneur” are exclusive categories — when you’re a freelancer, you need to sell yourself. Therefore, you are still an entrepreneur.
My Main Tools
NOTE: This is not a sponsored post! All views reflected are my own.
Right now, my Macbook Air 2019 and 128GB iPhone 11 are my main workhorses. I also own an iPad for art purposes, but right now my baby girl seems to be getting more use out of it.
While I’m not an advocate of giving kids their own gadgets, I am part of the school that recognizes children’s need to learn technology and utilize it in appropriate ways. Gadgets aren’t going away anytime soon!
My husband and I used to own mirrorless cameras, but we’ve sold them because the iPhone is perfectly capable of taking great product photos and family snaps — which is all we need now.
How I choose my tools
I’ve gone through a number of gadgets in the past, trading up and now and then. Until very recently, my gadget selection process was mostly composed of trial and error.
I do enjoy the journey with every gadget I get to own — much like a tech reviewer enjoys taking gadgets out for a test drive. However, I am not a gadget reviewer, and through a number of expensive mistakes I have come to realize that my funds come with a limit, as much as I’d like to try every single tech tool out there.
In choosing a tech tool to buy, I consider the following major factors (ranked in terms of importance):
To explain this, I will talk about one of the weirdest (but also one of the most beneficial!) gadgets I’ve owned. That would be my Blackberry KeyOne, which I used as my main phone in 2019.
Back then, it was quite an expensive device, but worth every peso I paid for. I have hyperhidrosis, which means that my hands and feet sweat excessively and uncontrollably. I’ve had people tell me it’s because I am anxious (which is true, as I do have anxiety) but I know that this is not the case. I still sweat when I’m happy, or just daydreaming.
Back then, many phones tended to register trails of sweat as “touches” — making my experience with touchscreens not so great. I hated small screen phones, as well as midrange phones whose touch displays were not as sensitive.
Having a keyboard phone — as “weird” as it was back then — had so many key advantages for me. Pun intended.
Finally, I could text or type straight, without having to stop so often to wipe my screen, which was quite annoying.
To determine the usefulness of a gadget, I ask the question: “How often will I get to use it?”
I try to be as specific as possible with this. Is it every day? Every week? Once a month, maybe?
I asked myself this question before buying my iPad 8 and Apple Pencil combo, as well as my Galaxy Note 10 Lite (which I have since sold). For both devices, my answer to the above question was “every day.” Since I run a business that involves design, the pen feature of both devices come in handy whenever I need to make a quick sketch.
With my Galaxy Note 10 phone, I enjoyed being able to take out the handy S pen wherever I was, anytime I wanted to. It did have a number of drawbacks, though: its so-so build quality, the limitations of Android as an operating system (which required me to still keep an iPhone), and the lack of support for Procreate. I was fine with using alternative drawing apps, so I figured the Note 10 Lite was good enough for practice.
When I owned my Note 10 Lite, I found myself sketching, “editing” photos, or creating Canva collages — almost every day. It was just so easy to do with the S pen tool!
While I have bought a few devices that don’t meet my standard for “usefulness,” they’re usually the exception, not the rule. I apply a price cap to this category, too. That way, I don’t end up blowing all of my hard-earned cash on something I want, but don’t need.
Case in point: my Fiio X1-II. I don’t consider it a wasteful purchase, though, as my husband and I bought it for entertainment purposes and I’m long past blaming myself for not always having time for leisure (although I am working on that).
Value for money
It’s often tempting to pick out a gadget based on its price alone. But for me, value comes first, while price comes in a distant second.
When I finally decided to take the leap to the iPad, I knew I’d have to shell out a bit more money. It took several weeks for me to reach a definite decision. I also had to switch some funds around in order to be able to afford it. I sold my Note 10 Lite, and bought the Pencil on credit so I’d still have some cash for emergency use.
While it was tempting for me to get an iPad Pro, it wasn’t within my budget. In this case, it helped that I didn’t feel confident enough with my digital art. At least I didn’t feel the need to spend money on a professional tool — yet!
I snapped up the iPad 8 instead. While I don’t get to use it as often as I used my Note 10 — I enjoy the richer experience of drawing on Procreate. (I’m still learning my way around it — I’m not usually inspired to draw these days.)
Although the iPad was quite expensive for me, it delivered a fantastic art experience (which is what I bought it for). I also get to use it for other things, such as playing educational games with my child.
Yes, color is something I consider, too! In fact, it’s one of my major criteria.
Though some people (my husband included!) find it odd, color is important to me because it encourages me to take care of my gadget better and keep it for longer. My attention span is not very long, and in some ways it affects the satisfaction I feel with regards to a gadget.
This is often the case when it comes in a rare color I happen to like (for instance, pink and/or purple). I once kept a basic phone for a very long time (over 5 years!) simply because it was pink.
When a unique color isn’t available, I usually get standard black or white. It doesn’t guarantee that the gadget will last longer on me, sadly. However, the plus side of this is that I’m focused on features.
If you’re also a freelancer or entrepreneur like me — how do you use your gadgets, and what are your criteria for choosing? Hop into the comments section and share your thoughts!