Starting out as a freelancer, it’s worth knowing what tools and services are out there to help you in business. Here’s a collection of our favourite tools, guides, calculators and articles for freelancers.

Don’t know where to start? Try our guide:

Creative freelancing: 15 steps to a paying client


15 secrets and tips to set you up for massive freelance success

Jess Eddy’s piece on Medium distills insights from her own career as a visual designer in the USA with useful links on the business of freelancing throughout.

21 Insights from 21 Years as a Creative Coach

Mark McGuinness’ article is required reading for us. It’s also been expanded into a book.


ACC Levy Estimator

When calculating your business expenses, use this tool to estimate what your ACC levy is likely to be.

Cost of doing business calculator

This calculator is focused on independent photojournalists. Nonetheless, it can be adapted to independent visual artists and designers.

“Before you can price a product or service, you need to know your costs to provide it. This calculator is one tool to help you get a handle on those costs.”

PAYE Calculator

This New Zealand based calculator provides detailed information about how much is taken out an hourly or weekly rate for PAYE, ACC and so on. It also allows you to put in a projected annual income to see what the hourly rate is for that income before and after PAYE and ACC is taken out.

Tax on income calculator

The IRD’s calculator to find the tax due on annual income.


Guide to self-employed business

The New Zealand IRD (Inland Revenue Department)’s guide to doing business when self employed is a brief collection of resources for self employed workers.

Fee rates for professional visual artists working in Australia

There is no comparable information and fees tables available for the New Zealand context. Therefore some recalculations of the financial information to NZ dollars is required.

Self Employed - Your Guide to KiwiSaver

The New Zealand IRD (Inland Revenue Department)’s guide to KiwiSaver for self employed persons.


Basic website - Carrd

If all you need from your website is basically an online business card, Carrd is for you.

Free and simple to use, set up your Carrd site and you can link to it from your social media profiles and have your domain name (website address) point to your Carrd.

Build your own website - SquareSpace

What we consider the premium option for DIY professional website creation. SquareSpace makes creating a high quality website easy, it costs more than a Wix site or a WordPress solution, but the extra cost can be worth it to avoid hassles with configurations and technical issues on other platforms. SquareSpace comes with several integrations built-in to allow things like bookings, stores, forms and more.

This is also comparatively low-cost when compared to having a custom website created professionally, which you may invest in as your business matures.

There are often promotional discounts for SquareSpace, especially via their advertising partners so keep an eye out (or an ear, podcast listeners!).

Free design tool - Canva

Canva is a free design tool with a licensed upgrade option. 

Useful for easy-to-use templates to create your own flyers, banners, images, social media content without requiring special software licenses or training. A great option if you don’t have budget to hire a designer and are just getting started.

Manage your tasks - Trello

Trello is a task manager or to-do list app – there are versions for your phone but you can also access it online.

Handy for teams to collaborate around a project, Trello can help you structure and manage a project effectively.