How to Keep Your Freelance Business Organized

How to Keep Your Freelance Business Organized

Have a freelance business and struggling with organizing said business? You are not alone! Sometimes it is difficult to develop the skills needed to get organized.

 

However, you can learn new skills, even organizing in a way that is practical and even sustainable.

 

For your ease, I’ve included a table of contents to get you to the answers you so desperately want to get.

 

But I must warn you there is a lot of good info in this article.

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Table Of Contents

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How Organizing your Freelance Business will Benefit You and Your Life

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Skills to Develop

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How to Sustainably Keep Organized

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Organizing Your Online Freelance Business

online freelance business

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How Organizing your Freelance Business will Benefit You and Your Life

 

Remember when you were in the third grade, and your teacher started to do less and less for you? 

 

That was the moment when you started becoming more independent.

 

However, it was gradual.

 

When you first entered the classroom, you were merely an older second grader and intimated by the “big” classroom.

 

By the end of the third grade, if you were anything like me, you were getting yourself up for school and making your own breakfast.

 

Those first organizing skills helped you throughout your academic life, and you built upon them as you grew older.

 

Those skills and others are what will help you to be more successful/stay successful in your business.

 

The way to do this is to create a plan, and I’m going to give you some tips on how to get you started with organizing your freelance business.

article writer, christina q

Skills to develop

 

Learn what works for you, not what works for other people.

 

As with anything, when you are planning something, from marketing to your projects, you want to identify your goals.

 

I know this seems like a no-brainer.

 

Duh, I want to get my freelance business organized, and I want to know what organizing skills I need in order to make it happen.

By setting up goals, you’ll not only have a direction to follow, but you’ll know when you’ve been successful.

 

You also want to build a to-do list. This doesn’t have to be on paper for my “nonphysical paper liking” friends.

 

You can create a list on Evernote or sticky notes wherever you like. Just know that you should have a list.

 

Physiologically it does something to you when you can physically cross something off, sort of like a sense of accomplishment.

 

Learn how to prioritize. This is difficult for a lot of us; I am certainly someone who could do better with prioritizing.

 

I find it easy when I am working from home to wander on to social media, you know, for “research,” or get into YouTube to watch “productivity” videos when really I am watching Dr. Pimple Popper.

 

How you spend your time is up to you, but seriously check out Dr. Pimple Popper when you get a chance.

The point is you want to implement something to where it becomes second nature, not forced.

 

As I set up my office, which is in my bedroom for reasons that are just plenty, but it is located in a small corner.

 

I have a ton of books, and I love where I used to have them piled high to my left where I could keep an eye on them.

 

Placing them in the cabinet allowed me some space, and on top of that, I realized I could still access them, and I wasn’t a bad book mom.

freelance writing business Christina q

How to Sustainably Keep Organized

 

Ah, the keyword of the century, sustainability. Yes, even in organizing, you can be sustainable.

 

Instead of trying to convince you to buy bamboo products or stop using paper and keep everything on your computer.

 

What I mean by sustainable is making your new organizational lifestyle easy to incorporate into your life.

It never fails; every time I decide to organize my home, I spend a few days getting it just the way I like.

 

I’ll purge, clean like the dickens, and then marvel at the progress I’ve made.

 

However, in a few days-oh, who am I kidding-a few hours, my house begins to look as it did before I started working on it.

 

Why?

As humans, we have routines and things we like to do.

 

When we implement changes, they have to be something we can continue doing on a regular basis without having to do something “extra.”

 

To ensure all your hard work pays off and is beyond successful-its and sustainable.

 

Implement something slowly.

 

Such as putting your precious books into a cabinet or having a designated spot for your papers.

 

Continually doing this will help build your new routine and condition you to keep up the good work.

 

I must warn you, adding too much at once will only lead to the disaster I mentioned above.

You’ll know when it is time to add something else to the organizing list when you find you always look for “items” in the spot you added.

freelance writing business christina q

Organizing Your Online Freelance Business

 

Not every organizational tip will suit your needs, which is why you can’t just hop onto Pinterest and plug in “organize a home office.”

 

You’ll end up down the rabbit hole and buy a number of items you may not need from Target.

 

Going to Pinterest is not a bad idea; in fact, it is great for inspiration.

I sometimes feel as though some of the ideas are overwhelming and are a lot of work.

 

Not only that, but once I’m done, I don’t want to touch anything because I know I can’t keep my office “that way.”

 

So here are some real ideas to help you get started and keep you organized.

 

-manage your office space

When it comes to your office space, think of this as your sanctuary. You will want to fill it with essential items that you will either use on a daily basis or semi-regular basis.

But you also want it to be comfortable.

A great place to find design ideas for your office space is by Dyna Winter, Home office Design Ideas for Productive and Energizing Layouts.

Filling it with silk flowers or plants is a great idea to soften the room.

Remember it is your working space, and you want to go to work otherwise, you wouldn’t be establishing your freelance business.

I feel Laura from Organized Junkie has great ideas on how to organize small home office space. Some of her ideas you can easily copy even if you are on a budget.

For instance, IKEA has great office furniture that you can alter to fit and suit your style and needs.

 

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-plan and schedule your day accordingly

 

As with any aspect of your life, you will want to set up a schedule that you can stick to.

 

When planning your schedule, it is a great idea to plan for breaks.

 

Many of us, myself included, often forget to take breaks or realize it is time to quit.

 

As a rule of thumb, you want to maximize the hours you have available to you and your life.

A good way to do this is to use Time Block Scheduling, which you can read on this blog and on Tonia Kendrick’s website.

Her blog post not only explains how to use Time Blocking but also provides you with a FREE template.

 

-keep track of invoices and payments

This is good business sense and extremely helpful when you are expecting payments.

 

While you’re just starting out it is easy to say to yourself, “I can do this on my own!” But it becomes overwhelming after a while.

 

I personally use Freshbooks, but you can use whichever program that fits your needs.

 

-prepare for quarterly taxes

 

In the United States, a business is required to file taxes quarterly. (every three months or so).

 

Accounting software such as Freshbooks or Quickbooks is helpful in preparing for your taxes.

 

-plan campaigns ahead of time

 

As with creating a schedule, you want to create a step-by-step plan for launching campaigns.

 

These include either marketing campaigns, newsletters, or creating courses.

 

By breaking it up, you won’t be boggled down in work, and you’ll still have precious time to run your business efficiently.

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-manage email

If your email is overflowing with emails, raise your hand.

 

You can’t see me, but my hand is waving in the air like I just don’t care.

 

For some reason, I have an issue with deleting emails that I. DON’T. NEED.

 

The best advice out there is to compile the emails you need to save into folders. Your goal is to keep your inbox clear.

 

Some folders can include (but really, it’s up to you and your business):

-receipts

-clients

-pitches

 

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-create a filing system

Regardless of how you like to manage your paperwork, either physically or digitally is up to you.

 

However, you should have a system in place.

 

One good reason is so you can quickly access things you need or refer to. Such as a creative brief.

-write procedures for every activity

You may think this is silly since your business may only consist of you, but one day you may need to hire outside help. 

Or you may want to stay consistent and organized. 

Creating a procedure for the activities and tasks you do every day or with a client will help you establish the same standards for everything you produce. 

And again, when you hire someone, they will know exactly how things should be done. 

 

 

Final Thoughts

 

When it comes to being organized in your freelance business, sometimes, it can cause a headache.

 

But it doesn’t have to be. 

 

 

Start slowly, and remember to be kind to yourself. 

 

You are the one creating the business, setting the rules, and doing things your way, so it is ok to mess up. 

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