Organize Your Writing Biz: 5 Must-Have Freelance Management Tools
Want to make money writing?
Organization is a big part of scaling your business.
I’m not talking Marie Kondo style, either. But a bit of organization can keep you from losing your best ideas or messing up a client project in a big way.
Plus, being organized will make sure you’re maximizing your time, energy, and marketing efforts. Once you get certain tasks on autopilot, it can make it a lot easier to keep up with it.
It’s just getting past the learning curve and into the habit that can be a struggle.
But it’s so worth it, I promise.
Here’s a look at some fantastic tools and resources that will keep your freelance writing business organized so you can focus on making money writing.
Trello is seriously one of my absolute favorite ways to keep projects organized. You can use it to organize both your personal life and your freelance business in a visual way that makes sense.
A few ways you can use it as a freelancer:
- Organize specific client projects
- Map out an entire content calendar
- Collaborate with other freelancers/partners
Since you can create specific cards with tasks on each and put it into various boards, it makes it easier to manage massive projects. You can easily label boards “ideas”, “in progress” and “done” to see exactly where you are at any given time. And, you don’t need a desktop to access it; Trello is mobile friendly!
I don’t know what I would do without my Google Docs drive. Whether I’m using it to work on personal writing projects or collaborating with clients, I can access my drive from anywhere at any time. No need to worry about if I saved the most recent file to my laptop since Google Drive stores it all.
How to use it to stay organized:
- Make files for freelance jobs you apply to
- Create client-specific folders + sub-folders
- Use Google sheets to create content calendars
- Google sheets is great for SEO keyword listing
Almost every client I’ve worked with uses Google Drive exclusively — even the multi-million dollar companies! — to keep team members in the loop on the latest content creation projects.
Not everyone loves Microsoft Word, so this is a great alternative.
Perhaps I’m just really obsessed with Google — who isn’t?! — but they really do have a ton of great free tools freelancers should take advantage of for their business.
Why Google Calendar? Here’s why:
- Send calendar invites for interviews or client calls
- Keep your personal schedule organized
- Set reminders to pop up before scheduled events
One of the features I really love is you can add notes to calendar invites to remind yourself (and clients) what the call is about. This is especially helpful if you’re scheduling a few weeks out. Calendly is also a nice option if you hate doing the back-and-forth emails to set call times. Pre-set your schedule and then let the recipient pick a time from your available options.
A fellow freelancing friend introduced me to the wonderful Evernote app. It’s an app where you can literally organize your whole life and manage it well. I’m guilty of finding a ton of content (on my phone) that I want to read and just leaving the tabs open for days at a time because I “plan” to go back and read it. Yeah, that never happens and I drain my battery faster because I always have so many windows open on my phone.
Evernote helps you organize with ease:
- Note-taking (capture ideas as searchable notes for later!)
- Sync it to your Apple watch
- Take notes in formats like text, web clippings, screenshots, etc.
- Scan and digitize items like business cards (no more clutter!)
- Share ideas with others — like agendas
If you’re a note-taker and collector of content, you have to check out Evernote. It’s so awesome and has definitely made my phone much less cluttered!
There are two options: You can use Dropbox Basic or Dropbox Business. If you need more than 2GB of storage, you can upgrade to the business level which provides up to 3 TB. You probably won’t need the business level starting out, but it’s good to know you have the option if you need more space. Dropbox Basic is free, too, which is great when you’re first starting out.
Use Dropbox to:
- Send potential clients your clips even if you’re out of the office
- Backup all your work files in a safe place
- Collaborate with clients with ease
The best part of Dropbox is you have a spot to easily backup your files quickly. If anything at all happens to your computer — like an epic crash — you can access all your client files in Dropbox.
Use What Freelance Management Tools Work for You
Tools are only good if you actually use them.
While all the above are what I consider the best freelance management tools, you may find you only enjoy a few of them.
Or, you may love all of them.
What matters is you use what’s comfortable for you and make your business operations more efficient. Try out these organizational tools for a week or so at a time. If you find it doesn’t work for you, move on to another tool.
There are literally hundreds out there to choose from, so I know you can find the perfect fit for you. Once you try out any of the above tools, let me know what you think in the comments below!
If you’ve got some favorite tools to keep you on track, let me know in the comments. I’d love to hear what you’re using. What are your must-have features for apps and other organizational tools?
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