Staying Organized as a Freelancer
Being a freelancer means you have total control over every aspect of your business. Which means it’s more important than ever to be organized. Because when your business is a one-person show, if you can’t find an invoice, receipt or project notes, no one else will be there to help you out! Here are some quick tips to help stay organized as a freelancer, so you can focus less on locating documents and more on putting your best work forward.
Stick to a set routine
Setting working hours during the day is a great way to keep your work life separate from your personal life. This lets you give 100% of your concentration and focus on work during your workday, which will help you stay on point and organized—plus, you won’t accidentally leave an invoice at the laundromat or be forced to take a conference call at the gym (I’ve seen it, folks)! And sure, there will be days when you end up working more hours than normal, and days when you can call it quits early, but if you stick to working the same hours most days, it will boost with your productivity and help keep you on task.
Check in with yourself every day
At the beginning of each day, create a to-do list that prioritizes the tasks you need to achieve. Try to focus on one task at a time until you’ve completed it. This helps curb the inertia that sometimes sets in when freelancers have a ton of different clients and projects—they aren’t sure where to start, so they don’t end up doing much of anything at all. By creating a clear, specific to-do list, you’ll be able to get your day moving on the right track. Similarly, at the end of each day, check in with yourself, what you’ve accomplished, and what you still need to get done. This will help you set the tone for your next day of work.
Use project management tools
If you’re working on a ton of projects, it can be hard to keep everything straight and not lose track of important documents like proposals, invoices, timesheets and more. That’s where tispr’s project management feature comes in handy—it lets you stay on top of your workload with a compressive rundown of all your current projects. You can even attach files to projects, or link timesheets, invoices, proposals and chats, for easy access anytime.
Put all your notes in one central location
As a freelancer, you’ll often be working for different clients and jumping quickly from project to project. Keeping all your notes in one place, whether it’s one big notebook, an app like Evernote, or even a folder on your computer filled with Word documents, having all your notes in a single place will make it easy for you to quickly reference info and ideas as you work—saving you time and keeping you moving forward towards your goals.
Keep a master calendar
Meetings, deadlines, bills, invoices—there’s a ton of important dates and times to keep track of when you freelance. And you don’t want to miss a meeting…or more importantly, a due date. To make sure you stay on track and on time, keep one master calendar for all your freelance projects. If you like to write things down, try a planner or pocket calendar. Or if you’re a digital time tracker, use something like Google Calendar, Outlook or iCloud calendar.
Save your receipts!
One cool thing about freelancing is that you can write off business expenses when you do your taxes. But in order to do that, you need to keep your receipts! While you can definitely throw all your receipts in an actual shoebox, using a digital app like Expensify, Shoeboxed or Evernote makes things a lot easier to keep track of and report come tax season.