50 Free Online Tools Freelancers Should Take Advantage Of13 min read

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What free things online should everyone take advantage of?

With so many freelancers still out of work after the pandemic, we thought it would be a good idea to put a list together of free things anyone can do online.

Not all of these are related to event production, but there are items in this list that can help you in your personal life or with your business.

1. NOBA Project

This is a website that has compiled Psychology topics into easy to read modules. They have been compiled by psychology university professors to help facilitate free education for students. You can even download the ones you’re interested as a PDF as many times as you want. All of this is free!

2. The Noun Project

Has a wide selection of icons. These are great if you need to create a presentation.

3. OpenLearn

OpenLearn is from the UK’s Open University. It has free courses for all levels of study, samples of university materials, study skills and tie-ins to BBC documentaries. Everything is under Creative Commons licence so you can use it as you see fit.

4. Flightradar24

See airplane traffic live. Oddly, the site has even cured people of their fear of flying.

5. FreeCycle

This site is just people giving away stuff they dont need or want anymore that they don’t care enough to sell.

Suggested Reading: Social Distancing Gig Guide: Tips for the COVID19 Downtime

6. 1aauto

They are a car parts supplier, but their videos show exactly what tools you need, what parts you need, and how to do a repair yourself. Great money saver if you don’t know much about mechanics.

7. USPS and UPS

Both will deliver free packaging boxes, envelopes, bubble wrap, etc. to your house. Literally doesnt cost a thing and you can get like 50 boxes at a time.

8. Unsplash

Unsplash is where you can get free photos of just about anything, provided by the photographers themselves, to do with what you like. It’s a great tool if you have a website and need images.

9. FreeFile

If you’re in the USA and you earn less than a certain amount of money, currently $69,000 a year, you can use the same software to file your taxes for free.

10. UBlock Origin

Best adblocker by a mile. Websites are 95% ads and 5% content nowadays, but uBlock brings balance to the force!

Works on all browsers and even mobile!

11. Zotero

Maybe not everyone, but for students Zotero is a lifesaver. It will store your sources, import them to a bibliography in whatever citation style you need, and even create in-text citations in your paper. It saves hours of work. And it integrates with google docs to auto-populate your references.

12. MIT OpenCourseware

Most large universities have their courses online for free. This is just one of many.

Suggested Reading: Every Free Event Technology Training Class, Tutorial, And Workshop Being Offered During COVID-19 (Updating)

13. Terms of Service; Didn’t Read

A free site for people too lazy to read the entire ToS.

This is a crowdsourced project, so please contribute if you can.

14. Imagination Library

Dolly Partons Imagination Library is amazing if you have a child younger than 5. They send an age appropriate book once a month. It’s amazing!

15. Project Gutenberg

Lots of free classic books.

16. OpenLibrary

Even more free books!

17. Anki Flashcard App

Fantastic for committing things to long-term memory. Might be helpful if you’ve taken advantage of any of the free training going on in our industry. Anki uses spaced repetition to make sure you never forget what you’re studying.

18. FotoForensics

Want to know if that picture on Facebook is photoshopped?

Takes some skill to learn how to use but they have tutorials on the site.

19. SkipLagged

Looking for the cheapest flight possible? This site is so good that United sued them and lost. They essentially exploit the pricing manipulation that airlines use. Example, if you want to go from Phoenix to Atlanta, sometimes a ticket from Phoenix to Ft. Lauderdale connecting through Atlanta is cheaper. This website finds those flights for you. Just don’t check in a bag! And if you do use this, make sure you have a completely separate reservation for your return flight. Once you miss a segment of your flight, airlines will usually cancel any other flights on that reservation because they assume you won’t make them either.

20. Windy

Weather report with good graphics

21. 10 Minute Mail

Quick use and throw away emails for signing up to sites that force you to enter an email, even if you never plan on visiting again.

Suggested Reading: How To Set New Goals And Achieve Them

22. OpenCourser

Search for courses online

23. Archive.org

Has lots of old but free content. For example a lot of DOS games, directly playable through the browser. It has millions of free downloads for music, movies, books, software, etc. One very popular example is that it is home to a very large catalog of Grateful Dead recordings.

It has millions of free downloads for music, movies, books, software, etc. One very popular example is that it is home to a very large catalog of Grateful Dead recordings.

There’s also The Internet Arcade where you can play a lot of classic games along with the Console Living Room which is similar. They have access to tons of old PC games too and you can even play the original Oregon Trail online.

It also has The WayBack Machine which has archived more than 396 billion web pages saved over time so you can go back and see how websites were years ago. For example, here’s Magnumco.com back in 1998.

24. My 90s TV

This is more of a novelty website, but I think it’s pretty cool and you can lose yourself for hours with nostalgia. It basically uses YouTube videos to simulate watching TV in 90s and you can specify what year you want and what categories you want to see when you change channels.

There is also a My 80s TV and a My 70s TV.

25. Wikipedia

I’m sure everyone knows this one, but check out each topic’s reading lists. The article itself often holds a pretty good collection of relevant information, yet for in depth research it can be hard to find proper literature. Wikipedia always quotes their sources which often are the most relevant for a topic. Unless you aren’t researching for your Phd. you can save a lot of time in literature research.

26. Heavens Above

You can look up all the satellites flying over your house tonight, including the ISS, Hubble Space Telescope, those pesky Starlink satellites, and whatever else your heart desires, complete with star maps and precise timing. It should be noted btw that many if not most of these objects are visible even in a city if on a good pass right above you. So get out and see some cool stuff!

27. Ninite

One place to select what you want installed, without all the hassle. You can use it for freshly formatted PCs to reinstall everything.

Suggested Reading: Over 1400 Free Workouts You Can Do At Home While Gyms Are Closed

28. PCDecrapifier

Another site for PC users. This one helps you remove all the junk from your PC.

29. Atlas Quest Letterboxing

Letterboxing combines artistic ability with “treasure-hunts” in parks, forests, and cities around the world. Participants seek out hidden letterboxes by cracking codes and following clues. The prize: an image from a miniature piece of art known as a rubber stamp—usually a unique, hand-carved creation.

30. Top Class Actions

A site that lists active class action lawsuits you might qualify for. It’s a cool way to hold corporations semi accountable, and score some money/freebies for any wrongdoing that went under the radar.

31. MOOC

There are thousands upon thousands of college courses available for free. Some have a cost, but most of them have a free audit version where you get all the videos, lectures, content, but no certificate. So if you don’t care about the certificate, you don’t have to pay anything.

32. Code Academy

An awesome site to learn how to use some programming languages. Doesn’t get into the really advanced stuff, but it’s good for a start.

33. Photopea

It’s a Photoshop clone that is completely free (unintrusive side banner ad, can be removed by a one time payment) and has all the basic features of Photoshop, using basically the same interface. If you’re used to Photoshop and just need to get something quick done, there’s nothing better out there.

Best of all, it’s completely contained within your browser. There’s no installation, no local files, not even an account or sign in.

34. CoolMathGames

A brain-training site, for everyone, where logic & thinking meet fun & games. These games have no violence, no empty action, just a lot of challenges that will make you forget you’re getting a mental workout!

35. Blender

Blender is the free and open source 3D creation suite. It supports the entirety of the 3D pipeline—modeling, rigging, animation, simulation, rendering, compositing and motion tracking, even video editing and game creation. Advanced users employ Blender’s API for Python scripting to customize the application and write specialized tools; often these are included in Blender’s future releases. Blender is well suited to individuals and small studios who benefit from its unified pipeline and responsive development process.

Suggested Reading: Free Things To Do At Home While You Shelter In Place

36. VLC

VLC is a free and open source cross-platform multimedia player and framework that plays most multimedia files as well as DVDs, Audio CDs, VCDs, and various streaming protocols.

37. Space Engine

SpaceEngine is a realistic virtual Universe you can explore on your computer. You can travel from star to star, from galaxy to galaxy, landing on any planet, moon, or asteroid with the ability to explore its alien landscape. You can alter the speed of time and observe any celestial phenomena you please. All transitions are completely seamless, and this virtual universe has a size of billions of light-years across and contains trillions upon trillions of planetary systems. The procedural generation is based on real scientific knowledge, so SpaceEngine depicts the universe the way it is thought to be by modern science. Real celestial objects are also present if you want to visit them, including the planets and moons of our Solar system, thousands of nearby stars with newly discovered exoplanets, and thousands of galaxies that are currently known.

38. MuseScore

The Musescore Editor is an easy-to-use application that helps musicians to learn, create, and edit musical notation. The Editor is an open source desktop software application. The Editor supports more than 50 languages and is available for PC, Macintosh and Linux.

39. Audacity

Audacity is a free, easy-to-use, multi-track audio editor and recorder for Windows, macOS, GNU/Linux and other operating systems.

40. Handbrake

HandBrake is a tool for converting video from nearly any format to a selection of modern, widely supported codecs.

41. Desmos.com

Online Calculator. Graph functions, plot data, evaluate equations, explore transformations, and much more.

42. Calibre

Calibre is a powerful and easy to use e-book manager. Users say it’s outstanding and a must-have. It’ll allow you to do nearly everything and it takes things a step beyond normal e-book software. It’s also completely free and open source and great for both casual users and computer experts.

43. Photomath

Photomath reads and solves mathematical problems instantly by using the camera of your mobile device. Check your work for any printed or handwritten problems.

44. Fusion 360

Free 3D CAD/CAM design software

45. Camelcamelcamel.com

Really nice way to track online prices to help you get the best deal. Also Black Friday is a myth and the sales aren’t good at all.

46. Khan Academy

It’s free knowledge that you can use to clep out of university courses, or to simply invest your time in a worthwhile topic. Free quality education is best education.

47. Privacy.com

It allows you to create credit cards on the fly that are site specific, set a spending limit on them, make them one time only, etc. So you can literally create a separate credit card for every single site you shop on, and be very comfortable in knowing that if they get hacked, your card isn’t compromised. Its also super handy for “free trial but must enter CC” type things.

48. JustWatch

Get personal recommendations for movies and TV shows available on Netflix, Amazon Prime Video, Disney Plus and many more.

49. FreeCampsites

Whether you just need to know where to camp nearby or you want to plan a free camping road trip, we’ve got you covered. You can simply use your smart phone’s GPS to find camping near you or even use our trip planner to plan your route from coast to coast.

Our community provides the best free camping information available. Free campgrounds can be hard to find. Freecampsites.net makes it easy. We give you a simple, map based search engine to find free and cheap camping areas. Community reviews and ratings provide you with up to date information and help you select the best camp site for your next camping trip.

50. Recover Your Life

Help for those who struggle with self harm, suicidal thoughts, mental illness, eating disorders and abuse. 

This has been a tough few months, and many of us still aren’t back to work.

We hope you found something in this list to help you out right now, and if you know any others, we’d love to hear about them in the comments!

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