You’re working as a freelancer or you’re planning to, but you’re worried you might not be able to stay organized ? You’re afraid your paperwork is going to be a huge mess, and that you’re going to get lost into an endless list of everything you have to do, and everything you’ve done ? Well, I’ve been there.
I’m not saying my system is perfect. I’m saying, it’s been almost a year since I started working as a freelance, so I might bring you some ideas that could help.
Let’s start with paperwork. As mentioned in another blog post, that’s the part that I hate the most, haha. So I did my best to have an efficient system for my quotes and invoices for example, so that I can do them as quick as possible. The less time I spend on that, the happier I am. There are online websites and softwares that you can use to help you track all your paperwork. Some have a free version, but most will be more interesting if you pay. For French freelancers, I’ve only heard good things about Henrri (it’s free !) and I’ve tried Freebe which is nice (but I left because I didn’t want to pay when I could do it myself for free). Personally, I’ve made a few templates on Excel and Word for my quotes, invoices, payment receipts… I have a special template for my sales on Amazon KDP for example, and one for my main client too, because it’s always the same thing, I just need to edit the date, and a few details. And I just created lots of files on my computer to keep it organized. It sounds simple, but because I hate doing this, it took me a while to do everything well haha.
Now, for your daily life as a freelancer. Here’s what I have :
- An Excel sheet for prospection. Every person I contact, every job or mission I apply for… I put all the details there, the date where I contacted them or sent the application email, to track when I can contact them again if I don’t get any answer, the name of the person or company, a few details about them, how I found them… It’s important to track who you’re talking to, how you got in contact with them… for freelance job for example, knowing where you get the most clients will help you focus on a specific platform for example.
- An Excel sheet for my clients/projects. I sum up every project I do, every client I work with, and I try to put as many details as possible. Their name, company, how to contact them, what I did for them, how much I got paid, what kind of payment it was (bank transfer, Paypal etc), and I also have a last column where I put how much taxes I paid to the government after that (on a monthly basis, so it can gather several projects). When you need to check something, a payment or the amount of taxes you’ve paid, it’s nice to have this kind of Excel sheet. It might me quicker than to go through your invoices and receipts.
- Weekly to-do lists in my bullet journal. I do enjoy making to-do lists because I know I could easily forget to do something important (also, when you’re a freelancer, you do everything yourself so there might be a lot of different things to do !). Keeping track of it in my bullet journal helps a lot, without pressuring me too much (daily to-do lists are not my thing, for example, too much pressure, not enough room for freedom, spontaneity and well, life).
- A white board. I bought a small one to put in my room, not far from my desk, so that I can brainstorm, or write down urgent matters (in bold red haha). It also helps me when I have to write down uncertain things. Like, I don’t know yet if this is going to be something I have to put on my to-do list, but at least it’s an idea I should forget. Like this, I can come back to it later, when I have more time to do some research etc.
- The WriterP app. I use it every day, for everything, work-related or not. It’s very to take notes, and it’s also very easy to send these notes by email or share them via another app, or just copy/paste them. The app works without internet too, which is perfect to take notes wherever you are. There’s also a white version and a dark version.
I would also recommend to subscribe to Facebook pages, or Youtube channels, or whatever kind of group you may find (for free, of course) to keep track of the updates on your status (micro entrepreneur in France, for me) and to have a place where you can ask questions when needed.
All the rest ? It’s only additional. I’ve seen people use the Notion app and social media schedulers app too. I’ve tried and was not satisfied so… haha. But of course, you can try. When we try, we can define better what suits us best, after all !
I hope this article was useful to you, and if you have others essentials in your life as a freelancer, please let me know ~
I wish you a lovely day, and see you next Wednesday !