Starting the world of freelance writing can be overwhelming. When you land your first client, you are alone in the celebration if you are not a part of a community. As you continue to gain clients, you may feel disorganized, and a constant overwhelm.
How Writers Can Stay Organized
STEP 1 Start with a space and a computer
When starting your journey as a freelance writer, I urge you to start with a quiet space and a computer. A quiet space gives you a place to become inspired, and within the space, your mind will know it is time to work. The traveling laptop is tough because you don't have a place to keep it. Try to create a space, even if it is a corner desk in a room. This will keep your mindset as work.
STEP 2 Organize with Google Drive
I recommend to organize your clients and projects with Google Drive. I have tried a variety of tools like Dropbox, Asana, Trello, and I keep going back to Google Drive. It has the capacity to hold a lot of projects and information, so you don't run out of space.
The number one reason I like it is because it is accessible on any device. I can go to the library computer and work on a project, or switch from my Ipad to my laptop. It is very convenient, and best of all, it's free!
TIP: Google Drive is capable to create folders for different clients or projects, as well as the ability to save documents as Word docs or PDF files. You can also make presentations on Google Slides, surveys with Google Forms, and spreadsheets with Google Sheets. The possibilities are endless!
STEP 3 Planner to PLAN
My blog over at WriteRN.net is where I give a very detailed review of my favorite planner called the Passion Planner. I started with a simple calendar and moved it to a larger notebook. For 2018, I am using the Passion Planner. I chose this planner for a few reasons:
There is an option for Eco-friendly (woo hoo)
It helps me with my goal setting and actions
I am a huge believer that those who create and carry out small goals, do better in their businesses. I believe this because --- I have seen it. I see it all around the Web, in different niches of small business.
STEP 4 Ideal Work Week
Have you heard of the Ideal Work Week? One of my influencers I follow, Jenna Kutcher, has a whole podcast dedicated to it. You might be thinking, "Sure, Janine. An ideal work week with a nurse job and my family, sure..." All I can tell you is try it.
What you do is plug-in the days you work, then plug-in some client time. We know our 12-hour shifts are far from 12 hours, so I plug-in an hour or so in the morning for my client work. You may put exercise or sleeping in that column. Then, your days off, you make it work as a writer.
For example, my Tuesdays are often after a stretch of 3 shifts in a row (my required weekend and a Monday). I know on Tuesdays, I can only handle some one-on-one coaching calls with nurses who want to become writers and a catch-up day with email and phone calls. Beyond that, I have dedicated catch up days for my home. I live in a home of 2 boys, a husband, and a Great Dane. There is always cleaning needed on Tuesdays, as well as the laundry catch-up and grocery shopping.
On the other hand, Thursdays, I am usually off work and can really dig in on my client work. I set aside a lot of time on those days to dig into my work.
If you want more information on how to set up your Ideal Work Week, visit my blog where I can take you step by step in an upcoming article. Or, reach out and chat with me. I love helping others become more productive.
STEP 5 Mind Mapping
Mind mapping is a technique I recently adapted for my organization and prioritizing. At first, I saw mind mapping as a chaotic visual tool and it made me anxious when I looked at it -- until I did it. Mind mapping helps you achieve goals and therefore keeps you organized in your thinking.
How to Mind-map:
Write your goal in the center of the paper
Branch off the center and write the steps and tasks you must take to complete your goal
Make those steps actionable and specific
Write those tasks into your weekly/monthly layout.
STEP 6 Accountability with Community
A sense of community is a necessity to keep you in check as a writer. The benefits of becoming organized as a freelance writer are to keep achieving our freelancing goals. To become accountable for staying organized and achieving your goals is to join a community. I have made huge leaps in my business with being part of a community because they keep me accountable and motivate me to take my business upwards!
The online world is enormous. It can be overwhelming when you are disorganized. Try these tips and keep yourself accountable by joining our writing community on Facebook called the Healthcare Writers Network. It is a community of like minded individuals that help everyone succeed in their writing endeavors.