What is the Best Way to Stay Organized When Freelancing?

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Answered by: Erica, An Expert in the Freelancing Category
It can be difficult to stay organized when freelancing, especially when just starting out. One of the greatest perks of being a freelancer is being your own boss, but that also means you are the one responsible when an important paper goes missing or a deadline is missed. So how do freelancers keep all their ducks in a row?

Keep a Detailed Calendar:

Regardless of your preference, keeping some sort of calendar or planner will definitely help you remember deadlines and meetings. If you're the kind of person who appreciates a good paper and pencil, you can pick up a basic planner for a few dollars, or even a heavy duty option complete with to-do lists and time slots.

If you're a techy, or just, someone who is typically quick to forget, there are a number of planning apps that can automatically send you alerts. Your phone or computer likely comes with a calendar app already installed, so half your work is already done. Just be sure to include all important dates and times on your calendar.

Pay Attention to Your Time:

Being your own boss also means no one is around to scold you when you get lost in the black hole that is the internet, or you step away from your workstation and never return. If you're charging your client by time, it's only fair to them to pay close attention to the time you're spending on their project. Use timers or a time tracking app so you can plan breaks into your workday.

Set a Designated Work Station and Use It (Most of the Time):

Working as a freelancer means you can work anywhere, but when you are trying to stay organized when freelancing, working a million different places likely means your work is residing in a million different places.

If you work predominantly with a pencil and paper, make sure you are keeping all of your items in one folder, drawer, or basket. If you're a computer stationed freelancer, create a designated folder or Cloud saving system so you know all your documents are in the same place.

Don't Take More Projects Than You Can Handle:

When a job comes your way, it's hard to turn it down. You probably think you can squeeze it in her or there, or add a couple hours to your work day until the project is completed. But what you'll probably end up doing is becoming a frantic mess and not give any of your projects the full attention they deserve.

The best way to stay organized is ensuring your workload is manageable. If you have too many projects, you won't be able to break it down into organized chunks. Tackle what you can handle, and only what you can handle.

Prioritize Your Projects:

If you have a particularly large project, upcoming deadline, or high-profile client, plan for those hours first. Then plan your smaller projects into the open spaces. When you know what projects are the most important to have completed, it's easier to know where to start.

Organization preferences vary from person to person, you just have to find what works best for you and your freelancing situation. You'll find a variety of ways to stay organized, just try things out until you find something that fits!

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