Ways Freelance Writers Can Keep Organized
Most people think the life of freelance writers is all glamour, as well as living on the beach somewhere while writing their best seller novel. Although that scenario is possible it is not the case for most of us freelance writers. In fact, it’s quite the opposite. Many days are filled with research, rewriting, or marketing our services to increase our business. The truth is a real write-or-die freelancer loves almost every minute of it! Yes, we get tired, but it’s what we do and we love it.
Freelance writers should treat their writing as a business because that’s what it is. There are the boring aspects, such as taxes and other business matters, but for the most part it’s a time to let our creative side come out to play. The good news is we make money while doing it!
The best way to get more business and keep it running smoothly is to get organized. There are many ways you can do this so pick one and stick with it. I like things simple and use free tools available to me online. Google calendar is how I keep up with daily tasks. The key is to only put three or four days of “to-do” on there at one time. If you try to fill out an entire week you will most likely end up having to make changes. Here is an example of a Google calendar. I could not get the picture to be very clear but you can see I list my daily activities.
As you can see the calendar allows you to make list of things to do at the top of the page and then lower down you can see time of a Webinar that has a specific time. Things that don’t have a specific time will always stay at the top of the calendar.
This is the main step I do to stay focused each day however there are other things I do to keep up with all my projects as well. For each client I keep a list of the work they want done in a Word document. As I complete each article or project I highlight them in Green, meaning they are ready to be delivered to the client.
A lot of my clients order in bulk to get a discount in price so this is the only way I can keep up, plus it makes me feel productive to cross them off the list.
How Freelance Writers Can
Keep Track of Completed Work
You might be surprised to know that some clients will contact freelance writers a week or month after their content has been delivered; saying they can’t find it, and could it be sent again. A good filing system for completed work is necessary as well. I keep all projects for at least two years.
One important thing freelance writers should do is have a way to protect your files in case your computer crashes or gets stolen. Things like this do happen and you need to be prepared. There is nothing worse than having to completely re-do an entire project from scratch because it’s lost somewhere in cyberspace.
Enter…Dropbox. You may have another source for keeping files but I love Dropbox. They have a free version that will last you a good long while but after some time you may need to upgrade to the $9.95 per month plan. I started off with the paid plan because I put all my files, personal, and business on Dropbox.
I have a folder called “clients”. Inside the clients folder is a folder for each of my clients where I keep and store their projects. Below are screen shots of the client’s folders, folders inside the client’s folder, and articles inside the client’s personal folder with their completed orders. This way you can see how easy it is to find anything you need for a client.
Not every client will have work for you each month but if you have a list of twenty or more clients you should stay busy. Sometimes even less because some clients want you to work for them on a regular basis.
All this probably doesn’t sound exciting but it’s very important and will save you hours of time searching for a particular project.
So What is Exciting About Being Freelance Writers?
• Taking only assignments you want to write.
• Making money from the comfort of your home.
• Making friends with people all over the world because you may have clients in many different countries like I do.
• Being your own boss.
• Knowing you are helping people with your writing. A good writer is very much in demand!
• Doing something you love!
As far as I’m concerned the good certainly outweighs the bad for a freelance writer. In the beginning you may wonder where your next paycheck is coming from, but after a while you learn to trust that what you need will come along. During slow period, spend that time marketing your services.
Make sure you have a great website with good samples of your writing. There will be a blog post coming up in the future about building your website if you don’t have one. For now, happy writing and let me know if you have any questions. Freelance writers rock!