If you’re a freelancer or independent contractor, chances are you’re familiar with how time-consuming the invoicing process can be. If you want to get paid, invoicing is not something you can set aside. The real question is, how can you do it faster? And, how can you do it more affordably, without having to turn to expensive software?

One quick and easy way to streamline the process is to use an invoice template. Rather than reinvent the wheel, we’ve collated a number of free, totally customizable options from around the web. If you have a hard time choosing one, you’re in luck. We’ve even picked out a winner!

If you’ve got a favorite that you don’t see in the list below, leave a comment. We’ll give it a spin and if it meets the grade, add it to this article.

Free invoice templates from around the web

1. Vertex 42’s Excel Invoice Template

For Excel enthusiasts

For an Excel template, Cnet suggests this option from Vertex 42. It’s a fast, small download and a straightforward template with two style options. Personally, I think the online templates are just as good as a download like this and, given the number of options now available online, it isn’t really necessary to use Excel. However, if you’re a die-hard Excel user, this is a good one to try.

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2. Invoiceto.me

Invoices in a flash

Invoiceto.me is about as simple as it gets. If you want to get started with your invoice right now, no questions asked, no registration necessary, well this invoice template will be right up your alley. It’s literally the homepage of the site. Beyond immediate, this template boasts a minimalist design. However, if you know you’re going to need to do some in-depth customization, it might not be quite right. You can only export your invoice as a PDF so make sure to get it right the first time around. Perhaps a good option if you need an emergency tool. Save this one for those last-minute invoices you forgot to create.

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3. Invoice At Once

For the designer in you

Invoice At Once is a free online template with PDF and direct email options. If a user-friendly layout is important to you, start here. And, if you like to personalize your invoices you can even select custom colors, fonts, and choose where to place your logo. There are a huge number of currency symbols available as well, so wherever you are in the world, there’s sure to be an option for you.  If you just want a fast way to invoice, this is a good option, especially if you have a little more time to personalize your brand.

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4. Paydirt’s invoice template

If you get paid through PayPal

In addition to their pay-to-use invoice and time-tracking app, Paydirt offers a free invoice template. One of the things that makes this template unique is that you can connect it to your PayPal account, giving your clients an easier, more immediate way to pay you. The template itself isn’t anything special, but if connecting your invoice directly to a PayPal account is a top priority, this is the way to go. They also have a great blog with tons of tips for freelancers. At least check this site out.

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5. Freshbooks’ invoice template 

For the invoicing newbie

This invoice template is definitely no-frills. If simple is your thing, it’s a good one to test drive. And, if you’re creating your own invoices for the first time, it’s useful in that it walks you through the process with dialogue boxes for each section of the invoice, explaining what should be entered and why. It does allow you to customize various aspects of the template as well, including the option to upload a business logo. However, the overall design is just ordinary.

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My favorite free invoice template:

With customization options that don’t detract from the ease or speed of use, Invoice At Once is the clear winner for me. It’s colorful, clean, and professional, and I love that you can alternate colors on the list of billable items, to make it easier to read. As you can see below, the interface of Invoice At Once is inviting and user-friendly. All of these factors combine to make it the winning free online invoice template. Take a look at the sample I was able to create. Basic, yes but user-friendly to the max:

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Tips on how to create an invoice

  • For a refresher on all of the information, you should be including in your invoice, check out our starter guide. Must-haves include accurate information about both your company and the company being invoiced, a description of products and services rendered, and a due date for the payment (mention any late fees if applicable).
  • If you can spare the money, Freshbooks and Paydirt both have paid options for both creating invoices and tracking them, so you can keep tabs on who has paid you already and on who still owes you money.
  • Electronic payments get processed eight days faster than paper methods. You want to make sure you have a credit card or PayPal option for your clients, to keep things simple and efficient.

What’s your favorite way to create invoices? Have you used any of these free online tools?

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