One of the keys to being a successful writer is to know yourself. Recording your submissions on a spreadsheet can be effective, but only if you will remember to check it regularly to track your follow-ups. Submission tracking software can keep everything in one place, including your acceptances and follow-ups. Depending on the one you choose, you can also get other helpful options. [Read more…]
Do you have a passion about a certain topic (or several of them) as well as a love of writing? It could be the right time to transform those interests and skill into a freelance writing business.
You can make good money and enjoy a comfortable lifestyle with such a business. Don’t go into it without the right tools for success, though. Here are eight freelancer tools that professionals swear by. [Read more…]
One thing that can set you apart as a freelancer is dedication to professionalism in billing. When your invoices arrive on time, include all the relevant information, and are formatted properly, it shows that you’re a serious business person who your clients can rely on.
If you haven’t explored all the benefits of better invoices yet, now is the time to get started. A few simple tweaks to your current setup may greatly enhance your image. [Read more…]
Free Downloadable Software for Writers to Try Now
What types of downloadable software for writers are available? You can find word processing programs and ones to help you organize notes and information. If you are working on a book project, you’ll find several options that can assist you with this type of work. [Read more…]
A day before New Year’s Eve, I find myself getting some work done. I know it’s supposed to be a break, but there are some things I need to finish and some things I need to prepare for. I wouldn’t be surprised if there are more than a couple of you who are in the same boat.
And while I do believe that change does not have to happen only when a new year comes in, it does have a nice symbolic ring to it. So, as I sit here going through a partially mental, partially written out list, I thought it might do good to share some thoughts with you. It would also be great to hear how you prepare for new beginnings!
Out with the old, in with the new – or so they say. To be honest, though, there isn’t much I would throw away.
Delete or archive files
Maybe I am a hoarder that way, but one thing that is important for me to do is to delete or archive files that I have accumulated in 2012.
For sure, you also have massive amounts of files that you probably would not be needing in the next year. What do you do with them? I prefer to be quick and painless about it: simply delete those I know I would never take a look at again and store the rest in an external hard drive.
I’ve had my share of failures in the past year, both personally and professionally. While totally forgetting these events is impossible, being able to let go of their crippling effects and facing the new year with a spring in my step is at the top of my list. Being a realist, I know that this is probably not an overnight thing, but the intention is there.
New habits, new tools
I once read somewhere that when you let go of something, you open yourself up to new things. Staying on the practical side of things, I think that this section is mainly all about tools that can help me improve my workflow. I’ve been looking at some tools that will – hopefully – help me create new, better habits. Here is what I have so far.
Asana is a task management platform for teams, and while I usually work alone, I do collaborate on some projects with other people. Asana is perfect for keeping tabs on each other, what we’re doing, and how the project is going along. It also is a great reminder/to-do tool.
I have been using Buffer for almost a year, but not as regularly as I should have. This tool helps in making social sharing more organised as it allows you to space out your tweets and Facebook updates. It also gives you basic stats about the links you share.
My Team Monitor
Just in case you do lead a team, the chances are you do so remotely. Then you might be interested in www.myteammonitor.com, a tool which I have been looking at since it’s at the beta stage, and use is free. It allows you to track the productivity of others wherever you may be. It’s not exactly the first thing that comes to mind as a freelancer, but I have encountered some freelancers who have been building up their business to the point that they have several sub-contractors who do some work for them.
Whether you freelance full-time or you take on projects as a day job allows, you probably think of yourself as a freelancer. That’s true, but that’s not the only title you qualify for. You’re also a small business owner. Thinking in terms of that job title can open up some interesting avenues.
How often have you taken a look at a tool or a resource meant specifically for small business owners and thought, ‘Oh, I don’t qualify for that’? When I started out as a freelancer, I skipped out on a free class for small business owners on how to handle taxes, because I figured it wouldn’t apply to me. After a while, I figured out that the IRS certainly considers me a business owner and that class probably would have saved me a lot of worry. I’ve been kicking myself ever since.
Making Use of Small Business Tools
I use a lot of software and other tools that were created with small businesses in mind. I may not use it in exactly the way it was intended — I use a client relationship management tool built for business owners to keep track of my sources and contacts who I rely on to help with articles. I do use it to keep track of my clients as well, but it lets me search for individuals based on name, job title, business or even tags I’ve added myself. That seems like a great way to manage sources to me.
The same goes for the software I use to keep my books, send invoices and handle every other part of my freelance business. It’s worthwhile to seek out tools created for small businesses, rather than just for freelancers. There are tools out there for freelancers, of course, but there aren’t as many of them and some just don’t have that many features. I even know of one invoicing tool that offers separate versions for freelancers and small business owners: the freelance version doesn’t let you add more than a handful of clients and simply doesn’t streamline the invoicing process the way the small business version does.
There seems to be a certain assumption on the part of software developers that freelancers don’t need tools that make our lives easier, that we never have more than five clients at a time and we have no interest in reducing the time spent on administrative tasks so we can get back to writing. I’ve never found those assumptions to be true, but I have found small business tools to be very useful to my freelance business.