Who knows how many to go? I’ve been freelance for many weeks now, and I’d like to share some of the things I’ve learnt, and some of the software I’ve been using during this time.
I’m a little bit in love with this online to-do list and organisational system. Not only can I access it on my laptop, but also on my phone when on the go. The best bit isn’t that I can assign tasks to myself, set myself deadlines, and mark the tasks as complete, paused or active – but those are great features.
My favourite bit is the individual task window, where I can add facebook style ‘posts’ to myself in a stream. As I make each post within a task, the date and time is recorded. So I can simply write ‘Sent to client’ and look back and know that I’ve done my bit.
Oh, and did I mention I’m using the free version. My only wish is that it had a ‘cancelled’ status for tasks – as my clients have sometimes suggested a project with me, and we’ve discussed the project – only to have it fall through. In this case, the task isn’t paused or completed, so I feel a little odd changing the setting of this task. But I don’t want to delete these tasks, because they may start later on, and I don’t want to lose my notes.
What did I learn from this?
Many of my clients don’t work on weekends, and while I do, I shouldn’t expect a response during this time. A friendly reminder can work wonders, and certainly has during the times when my clients have been snowed under with work, or simply forgetful.
As a Sole Trader, I have signed up with the HMRC so that I can pay my tax. That was done in my first few days as a freelancer, and requires me to record my financial incomings and expenses. Of course, I’d planned to do this anyway, but I wanted some help.
Wave lets me input my incomings, raise invoices and send them – which many of my clients appreciate. The invoices look professional, and provide all the details needed to pay me. Once I send an invoice via Wave, I can also track the amount of time which elapses before the invoice is paid. Why? Because I can see which of my clients are ‘good’ and pay promptly, and which ones are not. While I have been using freelance websites like People Per Hour and ODesk, and don’t need to worry so much with these clients, it’s the contracts I have found independently which I need to look after.
What did I learn from this?
Pairing Wave with Producteev lets me track the tasks I need to complete, and when I’m relying on a response from a client. This shortens any turn-around time, and gets projects completed more quickly. While I’ve worked with project managers before – I’ve never been my own project manager. So I’m very glad of these two resources!
I did briefly dabble with Hubspot’s Customer Relationship Management online platform, but it was too regimented for me, as my writing tasks are often varied and require different stages. Perhaps I’ll work out the pipeline eventually, but for now, each task is unique, and I need to treat them as such.
What did I learn this month?
Aside from the software I’ve been using, I’m also learning the joys of repeat business. One client has returned to me three times for original blogs. I am hoping that that relationship will flourish, and that the client will continue to use my services and be happy with them.