If you are new to freelance writing, prepare to juggle two or more projects at a time, each with its own deadline. You will also need time for networking and self-advertising. You will be amazed at the amount of research you will gather and it is important to know where and how to access it in just a few steps. There are a plethora of productivity, tasking, and writing apps available and if you are anything like me, you might find yourself downloading and trying dozens before realizing that all you really need are a few free and easy freelance tools: a calendar, organized files and folders, bookmarks, and social media accounts. This assumes you own a laptop, desktop, or tablet. Personally, I hate writing with my tablet, but there are times it comes in handy.
Use it to schedule your daily tasks and alert you of deadlines. While freelance writing can make it easier to schedule between home and work, you still have a schedule and your Google calendar makes it much easier. Personally, I love being notified when it is almost time to start an article or that I have a certain amount of time left to get a project done. When I first started using it, I did not appreciate being jarred out of a perfectly good daydream or disturbed when I was in the middle of anything else just to turn off the alarm, but it is not just an alarm. Make it your friend and let it keep you on your toes, or in your chair, as the case may be…
Organized File System
I store everything in the cloud and have copies downloaded onto my computer. I organize projects by client name and due date. It is possible to save your work just about anywhere, but it will be easier to find if you save it in the same place every time. Google Drive is easy to access and use from almost anywhere.
Software like Evernote is wonderful, but if you would rather work with what you have, simply utilize the ability to bookmark or add pages to favorites. I use Google Chrome and find it easy to create separate folders for bookmarking particular subjects and resources. For example, I have folders for submissions, contests, ongoing clients, health-related topics, favorite blogs, writer resources and more.
If you want to get the word out about your business, social media is a great way to do it. This is especially important if you have your own website and/or blog. For the best results, create a handful of social media accounts linked to your website or online portfolio. Simple list: Twitter, Facebook, Pinterest, Tumblr, and Linkedin. Those are the most popular means of utilizing social media, but there are many more you might find useful for your particular needs. When I publish a post on my WordPress blog, it automatically shares to my FB page and I take an extra 2 to 3 minutes to put the link out on my other media accounts. Of course, Linkedin is not the same type, but having links to your social media and website on your LinkedIn account makes it easier for potential clients to find you.
ALWAYS keep a copy of every project you complete until you have been paid. Remember: Until someone pays you for it, it belongs to you.