Top 3 Free Apps You Need To Manage Your Writing Biz
By Lisa Landis
June 26, 2022
Whether you call yourself a freelance writer, blogger, or digital nomad, the key to running a successful business is organization. A lot of businesses fail because they lack this simple concept.
When I first started writing, I should have purchased stock in notebook paper. I would jot down blog article ideas or a contact name for a potential client or some research information on paper. My desk had stacks of paper with random information and no method to the madness. It took a lot of time sorting through the stacks which was time that could have been spent making money.
But then I started researching ways to get organized in the digital world with 3 key concepts in mind: Time management, work life balance, and tracking your prospecting progress all the way to the bank. After spending hours of time watching tutorials and trying out various apps, I found what works best for me, and you may too. Check them out!
Time Tracking is essential in all businesses, especially in freelancing. What’s that saying…. Time is money? It’s true!
One key element of organizing your business is time management. Time Tracking apps are a great way to manage your time. I found Clockify for windows. It’s a great app for this task and the free version gives the freelance writer everything he/she needs. Clockify allows you to track your workday to include everything you do whether it’s time spent prospecting, answering emails, working on a project, or taking a break. You can look at a report of time spent and see where you need to improve productivity and it gives you a visualization of your current band width. You’ll also have a good idea of what to charge for each project.
Here’s a tip: Knowing that we all get side-tracked at some point, it’s a good idea to track EVERY minute of your workday. This gives you an accurate visual of how much time is wasted on non-essential activities. Most importantly, tracking billable hours gives you the info to get paid for your time. Your experience and subject matter expertise determines how much you charge…. and that’s another blog article #spoileralert.
Having a schedule for work, play, or “me time” not only organizes your day, but also takes some of the stress away.
Setting office hours and personal time creates that work/life balance. It can be difficult to manage your appointments and events if they are all not in one place. Calendly is an automated scheduling app that allows you to connect all your calendars. This app automatically blocks appointment times based off your calendar connections. This is a safety net, so you do not inadvertently double book yourself. Another nice feature about this app is the ability to incorporate it into your website or LinkedIn account and eliminate back and forth emails which saves you time and improves efficiency. Your potential clients will be impressed by the ease booking a discovery call. That’s a bonus in my book!
Tip: Posting your office hours on your door helps avoid interruptions when working from home.
Knowing who you contacted, when you contacted, and what the outcome of the interaction (a.k.a. Prospecting) is crucial to your success as a Freelance Writer.
By tracking your prospecting, you are building relationships with current and future clients. My favorite app for this Streak, a CRM (Customer relations software). This tool allows you to manage leads right from your Gmail account. It puts all your contacts in one place, sends reminders for follow-up, and lets you know the moment a lead opens your email. By creating “pipelines”, you can track prospects from a letter of introduction all the way to a closed deal. Streak eliminates the need for an excel spreadsheet to follow your leads…. unless you are “old school” and that’s great if it’s working for you.
Remember: Freelancing is built on relationships. A good relationship can lead to more projects or even referrals to new clients.
Although all these apps and many others like them can be upgraded to a paid version, unless you have a group of employees the free versions work great and lessens overhead? That’s a win, especially if you are just starting your business.
Regardless of how you choose to organize, your business will be more successful because of it.
Here’s to your success!