15 Great Hipster Cafes Where You Don’t Have To Pay for Service and GST

Lifestyle – May 30, 2014

Start off your romantic date by paying a little lesser yet meeting the objective of being a hipster! 🙂

 

 

b2ap3_thumbnail_Wheelers-Yard

 Singapore is never going to have a claim to fame when it comes to eating brunch. In fact, when did it suddenly become acceptable to wake up before 11am on a Saturday morning? Anyway, with some places defying the definition of “hipster” when it comes to pricing, The Smart Local shares 15 places that you can have a kickass brunch at AND not have to worry about service charge and GST! Note: if you do have a great experience, tips are generally a nice way of saying thanks: 

We’ve all experienced it before. You happily go to a cafe and order your eggs benedict and artisan coffee. But when the bill comes, along with it comes a whole bunch of extra charges and you end up paying way more than expected. Not cool.

To save your wallets from eternal emptiness, we’ve come up with a list of 15 cafes that charge neither service tax or GST. Now you’ll know exactly what you’re paying. 

1. Windowsill in the Woods

Source: Windowsill Pies

Address: 78 Horne Road, Singapore 209078

This unique cafe was first featured in our list of 18 Most Delicious Restaurants Under 15 Dollars. They serve beautiful looking, and incredible tasting sweet pies. If that isn’t enough, the cafe itself is also totally adorably decorated. 

2. IWannaGetStuffed

Source: IWannaGetStuffed

Address: 801 Tampines Avenue 4, Singapore 520801

If you’re in the east and looking for a place to get simple, yet hearty Italian food then head on over to IWannaGetStuffed. Located in a simple neighbourhood in Tampines, this place provides great service and continues not to charge for it! 

3. Mean Bean and Wicked Grind

Source: @meanbeanwickedgrind

Address: 7500A Beach Road, The Plaza #01-337, Singapore 199591

Mean Bean and Wicked Grind (MBWG) is another unique cafe where the menu changes every single week. (Nope you did not read that wrong). The owner believes in keeping things fresh by switching up suppliers. Don’t you love people who are dedicated to what they do? 

4. Lola’s Cafe

b2ap3_thumbnail_Lolas-Cafe

Source: @daphniciouslee

Address: 5 Simon Road, Singapore 545893

Come here if you’re looking for a hearty brunch meal (yes, they have Eggs Benedict on the menu) on the weekend and don’t want to have to fork out extra for taxes! 

5. The Living Cafe

Source: The Living Cafe

Address: 779 Bukit Timah Road, Singapore 269758

This cafe specialises in serving raw food. Yup that’s right. A lot of the items on the menu aren’t heated above 48 degrees Celsius and the ingredients aren’t processed or chemically altered. Your body will be thanking you after a meal at this cafe. 

6. Wheeler’s Yard

b2ap3_thumbnail_Wheelers-Yard

Address: 28 Lorong Ampas, Singapore 328781

Wheeler’s Yard is super unique because not only is it located in a warehouse, its also the site of a bicycle workshop. I could go on forever about how awesome this place is but I suggest you read Si Min’s Review of Wheeler’s Yard instead. 

7. Assembly Coffee

Source: @ig_honeybeesweets

Address: 26 Evan Lodge, Singapore 259367

If you’re looking for top quality coffee then look no further. The people at Assembly pride themselves on being part of the third wave coffee movement. I honestly have no idea what that means but hey, the coffee here is so good, it almost doesn’t even matter. 

8. Drury Lane

Source: @josiegoesweeeee

Address: 94 Tanjong Pagar Road, Singapore 088515

There’s nothing dreary about Drury Lane. In fact the atmosphere here is nice and lively and its a great place to chill with your buds after work. 

9. Flock Cafe

b2ap3_thumbnail_Flock-Cafe

Source: @chickingqueen

Address: 78 Moh Guan Terrace, #01-25, Singapore 162078

If you have a hankering for gourmet sandwiches or are looking for another all-day breakfast joint then this is it. They aim to keep their space comfortable and inviting despite increased visitors with all the hype over the Tiong Bahru neighbourhood. 

10. Shoebox Canteen

Source: @lovelyloey

Address: 36 North Canal Road, Singapore 059292

Located in the CBD area, this place is a cafe – Shoebox Canteen by day and a bar – Bitters and Love by night. That means that all you people working hard in the CBD area no longer have to wrack your brains looking for new places to hang out, just hoping on over here at 2 different times will give you a whole new experience. 

11. Department of Caffeine

Source: @tammywee

Address: 15 Duxton Road, Singapore 089481

With a name like Department of Caffeine you know that the people at this joint take their coffee and tea very seriously so don’t be expecting anything for the faint hearted. Food wise, they regularly change up their menus so no two trips here will be the same. 

12. Real Food

Source: @catastrofee

 

Address: 6 Eu Tong Sen Street, Singapore 059817

Real Food is known as an indie cafe, free from health and food associations, institutes or ministries. The crew here is dedicated to serving the best quality food, promising nothing pre-packaged or processed. They prepare and serve only slow food because they believe quality food takes time.

 

13. Quarter to Three

Source: Quarter to Three

Address: 88 Tanjong Pagar Road, Singapore 088509

If you’re one of those people whose got a huge sweet tooth (guilty!) then you’ll love this joint. Its got a whole lot of sugary delights including a wide array of cakes and plenty of other desserts. If you’re not a huge dessert person, don’t go scratching this cafe off your list just yet, they’ve got salads and sandwiches too!

 

14. Black and White Caffe Bar

Source: Black and White Caffe Bar

Address: 7500A Beach Road, #B1-305, The Plaza, Singapore 199591

I, like virtually every other human being on the planet, love Italian food. One Italian dish is often overlooked though, and that’s Panini. Its Italy’s version of a sandwich and the Black and White Caffe Bar is the spot to get your Panini fix in Singapore. 

15. Working Title

Source: Working Title

Address: 7500A Beach Road, #B1-305, The Plaza, Singapore 199591

Look past the vintage clothing stores in Haji Lane and the shisha places in Bali Lane and you’ll find plenty of awesome cafes. One of them is Working Title where you can enjoy your usual western fare amongst mismatched furniture and good vibes. 

Great Cafes at Great Prices

There you have it, 15 delightful Singapore cafes that do not charge any GST or service tax. Because honestly, the only thing better than yummy food is affordable yummy food, am I right? Know of any more cafes that do not charge GST? Comments to update. 

The article “15 Delightful Singapore Cafes with No GST & No Service Charge” was written by Hevina Kaur and first appeared on The Smart Local, a content partner for MoneySmart.

 

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The Size Of The Derivatives Bubble Hanging Over The Global Economy Hits A Record High

By Michael Snyder, on May 26th, 2014

Bubble - Photo by Brocken InagloryThe global derivatives bubble is now 20 percent bigger than it was just before the last great financial crisis struck in 2008.  It is a financial bubble far larger than anything the world has ever seen, and when it finally bursts it is going to be a complete and utter nightmare for the financial system of the planet.  According to the Bank for International Settlements, the total notional value of derivatives contracts around the world has ballooned to an astounding 710 trillion dollars ($710,000,000,000,000).  Other estimates put the grand total well over a quadrillion dollars.  If that sounds like a lot of money, that is because it is.  For example, U.S. GDP is projected to be in the neighborhood of around 17 trillion dollars for 2014.  So 710 trillion dollars is an amount of money that is almost incomprehensible.  Instead of actually doing something about the insanely reckless behavior of the big banks, our leaders have allowed the derivatives bubble and these banks to get larger than ever.  In fact, as I have written about previously, the big Wall Street banks are collectively 37 percent larger than they were just prior to the last recession.  “Too big to fail” is a far more massive problem than it was the last time around, and at some point this derivatives bubble is going to burst and start taking those banks down.  When that day arrives, we are going to be facing a crisis that is going to make 2008 look like a Sunday picnic.

If you do not know what a derivative is, Mayra Rodríguez Valladares, a managing principal at MRV Associates, provided a pretty good definition in her recent article for the New York Times

A derivative, put simply, is a contract between two parties whose value is determined by changes in the value of an underlying asset. Those assets could be bonds, equities, commodities or currencies. The majority of contracts are traded over the counter, where details about pricing, risk measurement and collateral, if any, are not available to the public.

In other words, a derivative does not have any intrinsic value.  It is essentially a side bet.  Most commonly, derivative contracts have to do with the movement of interest rates.  But there are many, many other kinds of derivatives as well.  People are betting on just about anything and everything that you can imagine, and Wall Street has been transformed into the largest casino in the history of the planet.

After the last financial crisis, our politicians promised us that they would do something to get derivatives trading under control.  But instead, the size of the derivatives bubble has reached a new record high.  In the New York Times article I mentioned above, Goldman Sachs and Citibank were singled out as two players that have experienced tremendous growth in this area in recent years…

Goldman Sachs has been increasing its derivatives volumes since the crisis, and it had a portfolio of about $48 trillion at the end of 2013. Bloomberg Businessweek recently reported that as part of its growth strategy, Goldman plans to sell more derivatives to clients. Citibank, too, has been increasing its derivatives portfolio, despite the numerous capital and regulatory challenges, In fact, its portfolio has risen by over 65 percent since the crisis — the most of any of the four banks — to $62 trillion.

According to official government numbers, the top 25 banks in the United States now have a grand total of more than 236 trillion dollars of exposure to derivatives.  But there are four banks that dwarf everyone else.  The following are the latest numbers for those four banks…

JPMorgan Chase

Total Assets: $1,945,467,000,000 (nearly 2 trillion dollars)

Total Exposure To Derivatives: $70,088,625,000,000 (more than 70 trillion dollars)

Citibank

Total Assets: $1,346,747,000,000 (a bit more than 1.3 trillion dollars)

Total Exposure To Derivatives: $62,247,698,000,000 (more than 62 trillion dollars)

Bank Of America

Total Assets: $1,433,716,000,000 (a bit more than 1.4 trillion dollars)

Total Exposure To Derivatives: $38,850,900,000,000 (more than 38 trillion dollars)

Goldman Sachs

Total Assets: $105,616,000,000 (just a shade over 105 billion dollars – yes, you read that correctly)

Total Exposure To Derivatives: $48,611,684,000,000 (more than 48 trillion dollars)

If the stock market keeps going up, interest rates stay fairly stable and the global economy does not experience a major downturn, this bubble will probably not burst for a while. But if there is a major shock to the system, we could easily experience a major derivatives crisis very rapidly and several of those banks could fail simultaneously. There are many out there that would welcome the collapse of the big banks, but that would also be very bad news for the rest of us.

You see, the truth is that the U.S. economy is like a very sick patient with an extremely advanced case of cancer.  You can try to kill the cancer (the banks), but in the process you will inevitably kill the patient as well. Right now, the five largest banks account for 42 percent of all loans in the entire country, and the six largest banks control 67 percent of all banking assets.

If they go down, we go down too. That is why the fact that they have been so reckless is so infuriating.

Just look at the numbers for Goldman Sachs again.  At this point, the total exposure that Goldman Sachs has to derivatives contracts is more than 460 times greater than their total assets. And this kind of thing is not just happening in the United States. German banking giant Deutsche Bank has more than 75 trillion dollars of exposure to derivatives.  That is even more than any single U.S. bank has. This derivatives bubble is a “sword of Damocles” that is hanging over the global economy by a thread day after day, month after month, year after year. At some point that thread is going to break, the bubble is going to burst, and then all hell is going to break loose. You see, the truth is that virtually none of the underlying problems that caused the last financial crisis have been fixed. Instead, our problems have just gotten even bigger and the financial bubbles have gotten even larger. Never before in the history of the United States have we been faced with the threat of such a great financial catastrophe. Sadly, most Americans are totally oblivious to all of this.  They just have faith that our leaders know what they are doing, and they have been lulled into complacency by the bubble of false stability that we have been enjoying for the last couple of years. Unfortunately for them, this bubble of false stability is not going to last much longer.

A financial crisis far greater than what we experienced in 2008 is coming, and it is going to shock the world.

Warren Buffett’s 23 Best Quotes About Investing

business insider- May. 26, 2014, 9:00 AM Mr. Buffett the most successful investor in history. He also shares his wisdom in an approachable and entertaining manner. We compiled a few of Buffett’s best quotes from his TV appearances, newspaper op-eds, magazine interviews, and of course his annual letters. Investing novices and experts alike can learn from the advice that the he has articulated through the years. Buying a stock is about more than just the price. “It’s far better to buy a wonderful company at a fair price than a fair company at a wonderful price.” Source: Letter to shareholders, 1989 You don’t have to be a genius to invest well. “You don’t need to be a rocket scientist. Investing is not a game where the guy with the 160 IQ beats the guy with 130 IQ.” Source: Warren Buffet Speaks, via msnbc.msn. But, master the basics. “To invest successfully, you need not understand beta, efficient markets, modern portfolio theory, option pricing or emerging markets. You may, in fact, be better off knowing nothing of these. That, of course, is not the prevailing view at most business schools, whose finance curriculum tends to be dominated by such subjects. In our view, though, investment students need only two well-taught courses – How to Value a Business, and How to Think About Market Prices.” Source: Chairman’s Letter, 1996 Don’t buy a stock just because everyone hates it. “None of this means, however, that a business or stock is an intelligent purchase simply because it is unpopular; a contrarian approach is just as foolish as a follow-the-crowd strategy. What’s required is thinking rather than polling. Unfortunately, Bertrand Russell’s observation about life in general applies with unusual force in the financial world: “Most men would rather die than think. Many do.” Source: Chairman’s Letter, 1990 Bad things aren’t obvious when times are good. “After all, you only find out who is swimming naked when the tide goes out.“ Source: Letter to shareholders, 2001 Always be liquid. “I have pledged – to you, the rating agencies and myself – to always run Berkshire with more than ample cash. We never want to count on the kindness of strangers in order to meet tomorrow’s obligations. When forced to choose, I will not trade even a night’s sleep for the chance of extra profits.”  Source: Letter to shareholders, 2008 The best time to buy a company is when it’s in trouble. “The best thing that happens to us is when a great company gets into temporary trouble…We want to buy them when they’re on the operating table.” Source: Businessweek, 1999 Stocks have always come out of crises.Over the long term, the stock market news will be good. In the 20th century, the United States endured two world wars and other traumatic and expensive military conflicts; the Depression; a dozen or so recessions and financial panics; oil shocks; a flu epidemic; and the resignation of a disgraced president. Yet the Dow rose from 66 to 11,497.” Source: The New York Times, October 16, 2008 Don’t be fooled by that Cinderella feeling you get from great returns. “The line separating investment and speculation, which is never bright and clear, becomes blurred still further when most market participants have recently enjoyed triumphs. Nothing sedates rationality like large doses of effortless money. After a heady experience of that kind, normally sensible people drift into behavior akin to that of Cinderella at the ball. They know that overstaying the festivities ¾ that is, continuing to speculate in companies that have gigantic valuations relative to the cash they are likely to generate in the future ¾ will eventually bring on pumpkins and mice. But they nevertheless hate to miss a single minute of what is one helluva party. Therefore, the giddy participants all plan to leave just seconds before midnight. There’s a problem, though: They are dancing in a room in which the clocks have no hands.“ Source: Letter to shareholders, 2000 Think long-term. “Your goal as an investor should simply be to purchase, at a rational price, a part interest in an easily-understandable business whose earnings are virtually certain to be materially higher five, ten and twenty years from now. Over time, you will find only a few companies that meet these standards – so when you see one that qualifies, you should buy a meaningful amount of stock. You must also resist the temptation to stray from your guidelines: If you aren’t willing to own a stock for ten years, don’t even think about owning it for ten minutes. Put together a portfolio of companies whose aggregate earnings march upward over the years, and so also will the portfolio’s market value.” Source: Chairman’s Letter, 1996 Forever is a good holding period. “When we own portions of outstanding businesses with outstanding managements, our favorite holding period is forever.” Source: Letter to shareholders, 1988 Buy businesses that can be run by idiots.I try to buy stock in businesses that are so wonderful that an idiot can run them. Because sooner or later, one will.Source: Business Insider Be greedy when others are fearful. “Investors should remember that excitement and expenses are their enemies. And if they insist on trying to time their participation in equities, they should try to be fearful when others are greedy and greedy only when others are fearful.” Source: Letter to shareholders, 2004 You don’t have to move at every opportunity. “The stock market is a no-called-strike game. You don’t have to swing at everything–you can wait for your pitch. The problem when you’re a money manager is that your fans keep yelling, ‘Swing, you bum!” Source: The Tao of Warren Buffett via Engineeringnews.com Ignore politics and macroeconomics when picking stocks. “We will continue to ignore political and economic forecasts, which are an expensive distraction for many investors and businessmen. Thirty years ago, no one could have foreseen the huge expansion of the Vietnam War, wage and price controls, two oil shocks, the resignation of a president, the dissolution of the Soviet Union, a one-day drop in the Dow of 508 points, or treasury bill yields fluctuating between 2.8% and 17.4%. “But, surprise – none of these blockbuster events made the slightest dent in Ben Graham’s investment principles. Nor did they render unsound the negotiated purchases of fine businesses at sensible prices. Imagine the cost to us, then, if we had let a fear of unknowns cause us to defer or alter the deployment of capital. Indeed, we have usually made our best purchases when apprehensions about some macro event were at a peak. Fear is the foe of the faddist, but the friend of the fundamentalist. Source: Chairman’s Letter, The more you trade, the more you underperform. “Long ago, Sir Isaac Newton gave us three laws of motion, which were the work of genius. But Sir Isaac’s talents didn’t extend to investing: He lost a bundle in the South Sea Bubble, explaining later, “I can calculate the movement of the stars, but not the madness of men.” If he had not been traumatized by this loss, Sir Isaac might well have gone on to discover the Fourth Law of Motion: For investors as a whole, returns decrease as motion increases.” Source: Letters to shareholders, 2005 Price and value are not the same “Long ago, Ben Graham taught me that ‘Price is what you pay; value is what you get.’ Whether we’re talking about socks or stocks, I like buying quality merchandise when it is marked down.” Source: Letter to shareholders, 2008 There are no bonus points for complicated investments. “Our investments continue to be few in number and simple in concept: The truly big investment idea can usually be explained in a short paragraph. We like a business with enduring competitive advantages that is run by able and owner-oriented people. When these attributes exist, and when we can make purchases at sensible prices, it is hard to go wrong (a challenge we periodically manage to overcome). “Investors should remember that their scorecard is not computed using Olympic-diving methods: Degree-of-difficulty doesn’t count. If you are right about a business whole value is largely dependent on a single key factor that is both easy to understand and enduring, the payoff is the same as if you had correctly analyzed an investment alternative characterized by many constantly shifting and complex variables.” Source: Chairman’s Letter, 1994 A good businessperson makes a good investor. “I am a better investor because I am a businessman, and a better businessman because I am no investor.” Source: Forbes.com – Thoughts On The Business Life Higher taxes aren’t a dealbreaker. “SUPPOSE that an investor you admire and trust comes to you with an investment idea. “This is a good one,” he says enthusiastically. “I’m in it, and I think you should be, too.” Would your reply possibly be this? “Well, it all depends on what my tax rate will be on the gain you’re saying we’re going to make. If the taxes are too high, I would rather leave the money in my savings account, earning a quarter of 1 percent.” Only in Grover Norquist’s imagination does such a response exist.” Source: New York Times Companies that don’t change can be great investments. “Our approach is very much profiting from lack of change rather than from change. With Wrigley chewing gum, it’s the lack of change that appeals to me. I don’t think it is going to be hurt by the Internet. That’s the kind of business I like.” Source: Businessweek, 1999 Time will tell. “Time is the friend of the wonderful business, the enemy of the mediocre.” Source: Letters to shareholders 1989 This is the most important thing. “Rule No. 1: never lose money; rule No. 2: don’t forget rule No. 1” Source: The Tao of Warren Buffett BONUS: On Wall Street advice “Wall Street is the only place that people ride to in a Rolls-Royce to get advice from those who take the subway.” Source: The Tao of Warren Buffett

Developers giving away discounts in a desperate attempt to sell their properties

This information sounds like a package but is it really worthy to buy now when the price of property had dropped? But has the real price dropped compared to those property of the similar class?
Developers have started cutting prices and giving away discounts in hopes of reversing the bad luck that has been gripping Singapore’s property market. According to CIMB, both CapLand and Wheelock re-launched their projects, Sky Habitat and Panorama, respectively at 10-15% discounts.

Other incentives were also offered, with Keppel Land giving out Chinese New Year discounts and United Engineers offering special discounts on cars with purchases of certain units. New projects were also launched at lower prices, with City Dev and Hong Realty launching Coco Palms at S$980psf, 10-20% lower than the planned S$1,100-S$1,200psf.

Buyers are supportive at more reasonable prices 

Buyers responded positively to the price cuts. Sky Vue, with its more competitive pricing, achieved a much healthier take-up rate, compared to its more expensive adjacent development, Sky Habitat.

We also saw buyers reacting positively to price cuts, with Sky Habitat clearing more than 100 units since the re-launch. This reinforces our survey results that suggest weak demand is driven more by expectations rather than affordability.

20 Awesome Tools To Use When Joining The Freelance World As A Blogger

You don’t – seems like a sensible answer.

But it’s not.

Contrary to popular belief, even new and low traffic sites can still make you money.

However, you won’t get there with sponsorships, advertising, affiliate marketing, or selling small info products.

Making money with a small site requires a bit more hustle and creativity.

One way to do it is through freelance blogging.

Just to give you a small definition (if you’re not familiar with the concept), freelance blogging is about you finding other blog owners that need content, and providing it to them.

Well, I have to admit, it does seem simple in a sentence like that, but as always, everything’s easier said than done.

At the end of the day, freelance blogging is just like any other career path – you need to put in the work to see the results. There’s no way around it I’m afraid.

That being said, you can use some hacks along the way to make this new interesting career much easier. Where by hacks, I actually mean tools and resources.

So this post is going to be more about the what than about the how (let’s leave that for another time).

The list here consists of 20 tools that both me and Adam are big fans of. And to make this extra usable, I’ve divided the list into six categories, so you can get to the exact tool you need right away!

1. Productivity tools

Freelance blogging requires a lot of self-discipline and the ability to manage your work, projects and individual tasks effectively. So if I were to point out the most crucial category on the list, this would be it.

Productivity Tools<img class=”size-full wp-image-5755 aligncenter” alt=”Productivity Tools” src=”http://www.bloggingwizard.com/wp-content/uploads/2014/05/freelance-blogging-tools-freemind.jpg” width=”550″ height=”237″/>

Free Mind  – THE productivity tool in my freelance blogging arsenal. It’s the easiest to use mind mapping software out there. The overall keyboard-friendly interface makes it extra fast to interact with. You can use it for creating plans of action, brainstorming, orlaying out your business strategies.

Asana – Project management / task management / teamwork tool. This might sound like it’s a lot of stuff cramped into one tool, but Asana actually pulls it off quite well. It allows you to manage all your tasks and projects, and gives you a beautiful environment around it. Plus, there are apps for all major platforms.

Tomatoi.st – The tool lets you in on the Pomodoro Technique in its most basic implementation possible. You get a timer with three presets (Pomodoro, short break, long break) and nothing more; yet it’s all you really need.

Songza – Songza is a very interesting concept. Basically, it’s a background music radio. There are categories for things like: relaxing at home, cleaning, working out, working/studying and many more. If you’re a fan of listening to music while you work, check it out.

2. Research tools

Research is an important part of being a freelance blogger, especially if you’re just starting out and don’t have much word-of-mouth marketing going for you. Now, the sites listed here might not all be that obvious – not all of them were created with freelance blogging in mind, but they do work quite well once you get a hang of them.

Research Tools<img class=”size-full wp-image-5756 aligncenter” alt=”Research Tools” src=”http://www.bloggingwizard.com/wp-content/uploads/2014/05/freelance-blogging-tools-flippa.jpg” width=”550″ height=”237″/>

Flippa – It’s a site flipping marketplace. The way you use it as a freelance blogger is by checking the recently sold sites and reaching out to the new owners with your offering. The reasoning is this: since they have a new site, they might be interested in some new content as well.

Technorati – The best blog directory of them all. Browse it by category, identify the blogs you think could use your help and then reach out to them.

Jobs.ProBlogger – The only decent job board for bloggers. Where by decent I mean that you can actually find some good paying gigs there.

3. Outreach tools

This is where we’re getting into the core element of your work as a freelance blogger – reaching out to prospective clients and convincing them to buy your services.

Outreach Tools For Bloggers<img class=”size-full wp-image-5757 aligncenter” alt=”Outreach Tools For Bloggers” src=”http://www.bloggingwizard.com/wp-content/uploads/2014/05/freelance-blogging-tools-bidsketch.jpg” width=”550″ height=”237″/>

Bidsketch – It’s the top client proposal tool out there. It takes care of the design of your proposals, the process of sending them out, and then letting you know how effective they are. Plus, there are also some cool proposal resources you can use when building and perfecting your pitches (like these templates for freelance writing proposals, for example).

BuzzStream – BuzzStream is a true workhorse with a lot of things to offer. In fact, it is a research, social media, and outreach tool all at once. In a way, it has to be all those things to deliver its main functionality, which is allowing you to find relevant sites, evaluate their authority, and then send optimized outreach messages. And all this is happening without leaving BuzzStream.

Yesware – If you prefer sending your pitches via email, Yesware is the Gmail plugin you need. The basic functionality of the thing is to let you know whether or not people open your emails. This allows you to follow up with a phone call at just the right moment.

Rapportive – Another Gmail plugin. This one’s for spying on your contacts. Whenever you’re trying to send an email to someone, the plugin tells you their name, social media details and other interesting bits of information you can use in your communication.

4. Writing tools

I’m a big WordPress fan, so I do most of my writing straight inside wp-admin of my blog. Even if the work is meant for a client, I still write and edit the post on my blog first, and only then move it somewhere else. Here are the tools (and plugins) that make the process truly easy.

Writing Tools<img class=”size-full wp-image-5758 aligncenter” alt=”Writing Tools” src=”http://www.bloggingwizard.com/wp-content/uploads/2014/05/freelance-blogging-tools-edit-flow.jpg” width=”550″ height=”237″/>

The Edit Flow plugin – This little plugin is brilliant. Among other things, you get to set custom post statuses to help you organize your different posts along the publishing process. I, for instance, use statuses like: Archived, Finalized, Edited, Pending Review, Draft, Outline.

Pacemaker – This is actually both writing and productivity tool all in one. It lets you set your writing schedule by adjusting the number of words you should manage to write each day. Really useful when working on bigger projects.

Hemingway App – This is a very cool editor’s aid app. It takes a look at your post / article, and highlights everything that could be improved from a readability point of view. It’s a good idea to put your every post through this app prior to sending it out.

5. Data tools

Making sure that your data is safe and sound is the most important technical task you can have on your to-do list. It’s simple, if you lose your data (articles, client information, whatever), it will set you back months, or maybe even kill your business altogether. So here are the tools that will help you sleep better at night, knowing that your stuff is being looked after.

Tools to keep your data safe<img class=”size-full wp-image-5759 aligncenter” alt=”Tools to keep your data safe” src=”http://www.bloggingwizard.com/wp-content/uploads/2014/05/freelance-blogging-tools-wordpress-backup-to-dropbox.jpg” width=”550″ height=”237″/>

Dropbox – Okay, let’s start with the obvious. I’m sure you know what Dropbox is, so I’ll save you the pitch, but I will mention one additional piece of the data puzzle. It’s the WordPress Backup to Dropbox plugin. It will take your whole blog and keep it updated in your Dropbox account at all times. If you ‘re after some more advanced features, you can find more backup plugins here.

Evernote – Create and manage your notes in the cloud. Those notes can be anything. Evernote can easily handle every bit of information that’s important to you – text, photos, videos, etc. It should be more than enough for your freelance blogging purposes.

IFTTT – IFTTT stands for IF This Then That. It lets you create connections between a number of other tools to keep the information flowing in the direction you desire. For example, you can set it to keep a phone call log in Google Drive (handy for following up), or to upload your mobile screenshots to Dropbox. There are literally hundreds of available recipes.

6. Billing tools

Billing Tools<img class=”size-full wp-image-5760 aligncenter” alt=”Billing Tools” src=”http://www.bloggingwizard.com/wp-content/uploads/2014/05/freelance-blogging-tools-toggl.jpg” width=”550″ height=”237″/>

Let’s talk some money (finally)! Here are the tools to use to make your billing process straightforward and easy to handle.

Toggl – Great tool for time tracking. This is especially useful if you’re billing your clients on a per hour basis. There’s a web version available, plus a desktop app.

FreshBooks – Very easy to use personal accounting tool and invoice manager. Creating a new invoice and sending it out takes literally a couple of minutes. Also, it’s free to get started with your first client.