Ever have the dream where you’re happily running your freelance business while sipping piña coladas on the beach?

Sure, it sounds awesome, but the reality of working from your smartphone is far from perfect. We are only in the beginning stages of where this technology will be in five years. And most of us haven’t mastered the art of business domination from our mobiles and still run into stressful situations.

Two weeks ago, as I was actually trying to have a relaxing work weekend at camp, I ran into one tech drama after another. Then I realized we have become so accustomed to instant access from our phones that we’re not always prepared for these challenges until we’re sitting in the middle of a lake with no way to communicate with our clients.

While you may not be able to do everything from your phone, you can easily manage your freelance business with these simple tips:

Optimize Your Phone

Apps crash, screens freeze, and you may run out of space. Unless you’re really tech savvy, you may overlook some basic smartphone issues like security. In Top 5 Security Apps for Android Phones, Luke Peters shares both free and paid services that will protect your business and personal smartphone information. This is an essential part of keeping your business safe, especially if you use free wifi.

You’ll also want to learn about your specific phone’s storage capacity and figure out what you want to store directly on your phone and in the cloud. Decide what apps you have to keep and delete the one’s you don’t need. For example, iPhone users have to keep some native apps whether we like them or not. Basically, take the time to learn your phone’s capabilities, weaknesses, tricks and hacks before you run into any issues.

Choose Your Apps Wisely

As a freelancer, you probably use a few apps like Slack, Skype, and maybe Facebook’s Messenger every day. Yet, we don’t want to become overwhelmed with apps just because they exist. Choose the best apps for your business while still keeping your systems streamlined.

Here’re a few freelance-friendly apps to consider:

Trello: We all need help with organization. Trello is a simple, yet powerful tool for managing multiple projects, with multiple people.

Covve: Need a reliable networking app? This address book app anonymously shares address books and can search your contact’s contacts.

PayPal: Want to get paid today? Easily create and send invoices (and also send reminders!).

The idea is to find a balance of platforms, so you’re not wasting time jumping from app to app. Work with clients to find the best way to communicate and don’t be afraid to ask them to try or change an app that’s not working for you.

Learn Where You Won’t Get Reception

This is my biggest stressor. As I mentioned, I recently tried to have a relaxing work weekend at our camp. Instead of lazily answering an email or two while sunning by the lake, I was driving 10 miles down the road to a Dunkin Donuts with free wifi.

Try using an app like OpenSignal which shows you how to get a better network connection. One of the best things about this app is that it’s made to improve as more areas are added to the system. And you can go online and check out where you’ll find the strongest signals for any area beforehand:


Manage Only from Your Mobile

You’re going to make mistakes. You’re going to be talking to an important client while driving on a backroad and lose them in the middle of an important negotiation (believe me – it happens). You’re going to need a website that’s not entirely mobile responsive and have to figure it out anyway.

Perhaps the best way to run your business from your smartphone is to consider your mobile a management tool. Maybe we’re not meant to run our entire freelancing empire from our phones, but manage things like communication, invoicing and networking. Don’t try to do everything, just the day’s priorities and save the rest for your office.

Remember, one of the most important aspects of stress-free freelancing is not to work 24/7.