TechsPlace | When you’re a freelancer, regardless of whether you’re a writer, a graphic designer, a photographer, or a virtual assistant, you have to communicate with your clients on a one-on-one basis. This creates a lot of back-and-forth emails and other paperwork, which can easily turn into an unorganized mess. Keep your freelance business running smoothly with these organizational tips for organizing your files as a freelancer.
Clear Out and Organize Your Digital Folders
It’s always a good idea to save your files in the cloud, using Google Drive or Dropbox, but it’s equally as important to keep them organized, so you can find what you need when you need it. You can also use a note-taking app, like Evernote, to organize notes as you take them, as well as bookmark important information you find online.
Take some time to go through your digital files and organize them into folders. Be sure to delete any old files you no longer need and separate your personal files from your business ones. This is especially important if your business is run solely online. If you have a lot of info saved, this project could take a while, but once it’s finished, you’ll be glad you took the time to do it.
Use a CRM to Keep Client Communication in Order
Client relationship management systems (CRMs) help you build better relationships with your clients by tracking all of your back-and-forth communication and important documents in one place. There are different options available, but most CRMs let you send and receive emails from your clients right from your dashboard.
They also let you put an onboarding and offboarding workflow in place that sends proposals, contracts, and invoices at a prescheduled time. Managing your document flow saves you time because you don’t need to go into the system and do this manually for all of your clients. For example, if you put a workflow in place to automatically send out a specific contract once a client has accepted a proposal, you don’t have to worry about manually doing this. You can even find CRMs that let clients schedule time in your calendar and track your basic bookkeeping.
Consider Separating Your Important Files From the Rest
Instead of only using Google Drive to organize your business-related files, consider using a combination of Google Drive and another cloud-storage service, like Dropbox. Keep all of your active work in your Google Drive, and move past work and files you need to keep, but don’t use regularly, like video testimonials and backup copies of the content you’ve created in your second account. This way the system you actively work in each day remains free of clutter and distractions, but you still have access to all the files you need.
Create Separate Storage for Videos and Photos
Videos and photos take up a lot more space than documents you work on regularly. So you should consider moving these files to your additional cloud-storage platform. This way you only have to pay for a larger amount of storage space on one platform instead of two.
Keep in mind, the platform you choose to house your photos and videos needs to be easily accessible, and it should allow you to host your videos and photos there when you need to embed them into a website or blog post. This way you aren’t shelling out extra cash for a larger hosting plan.
It’s really important to have processes and workflows in place when you’re a freelancer, and part of putting them in place requires you to organize all of your files. So even though it may be a time-consuming process, it’s something you need to take time to complete. Your future self will thank you for it because, in the long run, it will save you a lot of time and keep you from becoming overly stressed.