Time is money. And if you're in the freelancing business, time is a million bucks! Every day brings new challenges, and it's difficult to handle work deadlines while also juggling the needs of your clients and ensuring your marketing is on track. A typical workday may include:
- Checking and replying to emails and your social media accounts.
- Searching job boards.
- Approaching potential clients.
- Working on project deadlines.
The dread always lingers near, causing you to second-guess your time management skills and wondering if you've missed any important tasks. This adversely affects creativity, productivity, and innovation. Luckily, there are a number of quality time management tools available in the market which can help you stay organized and on top of things. They allow you to stay in control of your time, and this ensures overall efficiency.
Top Time Management Tools for Writers
Toggl is an online tool that allows you to track billable hours on individual clients versus pay per project, all with a single click. You can create separate projects and assign them individual rates you want to bill that customer for. The time reports obtained can help with invoicing. Toggle offers several other features like color coding of clients. One of the reasons this tool is highly popular is its ease of setup. You assign a name to your current project and press down the "play" button. You can also name tasks assigned to various clients. Toggl gives you a clear understanding of each task's productivity level to your overall jobs.
Want to improve the liaising process with clients and often feel stressed out trying to confirm meetings via email? Calendly is a good tool to share your current availability with clients for the foreseeable future and gives them the option to choose days and times that suit them best.
A step-up to the traditional physical calendar, Google Calendar allows you to stay on top of your work at all times and from any device, be it a desktop, laptop, or even a mobile phone. It is compatible with all other Goggle apps and even works well with Calendly. You can use it to book meetings and interviews, create and meet deadlines on projects, and ensure that your 'to-do' list is monitored.
Working with Word docs has been a blessing in the past. However, any writer who has felt the deep pain of losing valuable work stored in a Word file will know that a more refined solution was the need of the hour. Thankfully, Google docs came to the rescue. All your work is automatically saved, and it is ideal for when you need to collaborate with teams on bigger and more complex projects.
If you've accidentally deleted something, all you need to do is get back to check the older versions or history of the document and copy-paste it into the new version to be restored. The best part is it is free and easily downloadable for everyone to use. Invaluable feedback can be shared using the 'comments' feature, enabling efficient and timely management of your writing projects.
For more established writers who work with bigger projects and on larger multi-project collaborations, a basic 'to-do' list may not be sufficient. Trello is a sophisticated time management tool that can help writers build various tasks and navigate between them through columns. It allows you to be in control of your projects, knowing at a quick glance which projects have issues, which are in process, and which have been completed. Trello enhances the ease and efficiency of communication between you and your clients.
If you're a research-intensive writer, chances are you'll have myriad notes that you want to file in a single location. Evernote provides a platform to organize your research and notes into virtual notebooks. It also allows you to tag them with keywords for ease of finding specific topics as needed. Another good feature is its large library of templates that can be used to file your work quickly.
A highlighter browser extension can be teamed with this app to mark and highlight certain important portions in your virtual documents for later reference. Without opening the app, you can save your pages for future reference when you download the Evernote Web Clipper. All saved data can be easily accessed through any device, whether desktop or handheld.
Remember when you were a young student and your mum brought you a glass of warm milk, some cookies, and turned away all your friends so that you could study in peace and quiet on the eve of the exams? OmmWriter is your virtual mum! It mana
ges your screen and ensures it is clutter-free and noise-free by offering a choice of simple document backgrounds and blocking away any other programs. On top of all this, it has a good choice of soft, calming music. It is compatible with laptops, iPads, and Mac.
Mimicking an office assistant, this time management tool helps writers track their time dedicated to each individual client and project. It also reminds you if you're away too long from your device. OfficeTime allows you to export your time into a personalized invoice. The great feature of this tool is that it can be used on all devices.
This tool is much like a teacher. It keeps track of your online movements and lets you know when you need to take a break so that you are more productive and focused when writing. It employs the widely known Pomodoro strategy, which fosters effective time management by dividing your work into 25 minute intervals which are more manageable than one large chunk of workload for the day.
If you struggle to remember where programs are located on your device or where you've stored certain files, pictures, or other data, you can easily start to feel frustrated and feel like time is slipping away from you. Launchy allows you to allocate short keystrokes to all of these files and programs so that you can easily access them with a few clicks on your device.
This is an extension of Google Chrome which enables your browser homepage to show a five-task 'to-do' list which you can see all the time during the day when you're working with your device. It's a constant reminder of your listed tasks to be completed and serves as motivation to complete each one and tick it off the list. If you're unable to complete all the tasks in a day, no problem. Dayboard will allow you to complete the pending jobs on another day.
Text messaging has become so integrated into our daily lives. We all use it to communicate with our loved ones. The ease and flexibility it affords are incomparable. Abbreviations are commonly used to ensure text is to the point. This tool can help create and pre-program these abbreviations, which can be used with images, bigger paragraphs, or CSS code. All you need to do is to begin by typing a few letters. Within a few seconds, you will be privy to an entire blog template to use.
Apply here to become a Scripted writer and use these handy tools to turn in top quality work within deadlines to secure your earnings potential.