Desqk: An App for the Future of Freelancing
by Taylor Slattery | June 29, 2021
This past year put a huge strain on the way we work. Working remotely made team-based tasks difficult to manage, and this need to keep remote teams in sync led to the development and adoption of many different tools that made this easier. While there are now many tools like Slack, Miro, and Figjam, aimed at collaboration and organization, these solutions are less than ideal for the types of tasks freelancers need to manage.
Being a business of one means you don’t have the luxury of focusing your efforts solely on the creative aspects of your job. If you want to get paid and find more work in the future, you also have to function as both the finance and advertising departments as well. The life of a freelancer is complicated and there has yet to be a platform aimed at collecting these responsibilities into a single tool.
Rather than using one site to host a portfolio, another for finding work, and social media for self-promotion, Desqk aims to be your all-in-one tool for every part of the creative’s professional practice. Borrowing the best features from all the tools it hopes to replace, Desqk offers a single dashboard with a comprehensive set of tools geared towards the freelancing creative.
The app’s mission is “to provide an alternative to the corporate 9-5 tunnel” by arming freelancers with project management and organizational tools like calendars and to-do lists in a format they’re already familiar with. The dashboard makes it easy to view and manage both project and client-specific tasks and integrates with Google to keep your calendar synced across devices.
The app itself is structured like social media, with the main dash functioning like a portfolio reminiscent of Instagram. The networking aspect of Desqk is intended to make it easy to find other freelancers to work with collaboratively or contract for specific tasks. Because Desqk is a freelancer-specific platform and all of its users are there to work, this also makes it easier than a platform like Instagram for clients to find and hire talent.
Clients have a direct line of communication through a DM-like chat feature, as well as Gmail integration for when work begins. Users can also invite both clients and other users to tasks to keep everyone in the loop on the project’s progress. Desqk is in beta right now and has a limited feature-set, but has plans to add the ability to invoice clients from within the app in the future.
Desqk is integrated with common file-sharing and storage platforms like Dropbox and Google Drive so whether you’re sharing drafts or sending the final deliverables, you’ll never have to leave the Desqk environment. Another interesting feature of Desqk that is absent in other portfolio-hosting and job aggregate sites is feedback functionality. Clients and users will be able to leave feedback, making it easier to establish trust with potential clients and avoid work with others who are undependable—a much-appreciated feature for anyone who’s ever found themselves resending an unpaid invoice for work completed 3 months back.
Desqk is in early access right now, with many features planned for the future, such as time tracking, invoicing, and job listings. You can learn more and sign up for the private beta here.
Taylor is the Managing Editor of Notes on Design. Taylor is a graphic designer, illustrator, and Design Lead at Weirdsleep.