If you’d have asked me what my hobbies were a few years ago, ‘organising things’ would be pretty high on my list. Fast-forward a few years and although I’ve got less time on my hands to keep as organised as I can, keeping thing in-check is still one of my guilty pleasures.
Having said that, it’ll probably come as no surprise when I tell you that organising my freelance business is one of my favourite things. But, when I first started, I had no idea how to file stuff that I needed – especially when it came to one-off projects.
Recently, I feel like I’ve really turned a corner with how I organise freelance and client work. So I wanted to share it with you lovely lot!
Why do you need to keep organised?
Before we dive in with how I organise client work, I just wanna explain why I’ve been loving the current process I’m using:
It’s easier to stick to deadlines
When I didn’t have my organisation nailed, I’ll be the first to admit that my freelancing biz was all over the place. I didn’t know whether I was coming or going and although I never missed a deadline (thank God!), I felt like I was constantly trying to figure out where I was up to.
Now that I’ve got my new process for organising client work, I find it much easier to stick to deadlines.
The way that I store documents allows me to see what content jobs I’ve done (and which are outstanding!), and my new method for naming projects lets me see their status.Keeping your freelance biz organised is KEY to not missing deadlines! ? Click To Tweet
It’s easier to find documents
You know that feeling where you press “Save to computer”, quickly hit enter and have no idea where you actually saved something? That was me a few months ago.
Using my new organisation system, I can now see everything that relates to a project I’m working on, client-by-client (instead of rummaging through 30 unnamed items on my Desktop). Hurrah for saving time!
I can access work from anywhere
I owe my life to Dropbox. Like seriously, I don’t think I could survive (or run a business) without it.
One reason why I stored all of my client work on Dropbox is because I can access it from anywhere. Whether I want to work on my laptop in a local coffee shop or do some work on a borrowed computer, all I have to do is sign into my account and get the job done.
I also love Dropbox because it allows me to share documents with clients. Especially useful for content schedules and contracts, I love that there’s an option to make folders accessible through a link and allow clients to make changes on my docs.
How I organise client work with Dropbox
When it comes to storing my client work on Dropbox, here’s the file structure that I work to:
As you can see, I have a different folder for each thing that I store on there. The “Clients” folder is then broken down by client name.
Within each individual client folder, I work to this structure:
For this client, I’m working on one guest blogging project, some on-site content and ghostwriting for his Huff Post account. So, I have a folder created for all documents relating each, plus a separate one to store the invoices:
Within each client’s separate project folder, I store the documents that I’m actively working on.
The ones that are in progress have “draft” added to the end (more on that later!), and all of the previous work goes into the “Sent to client” folder.
I always name the documents that I’m working on with a job number. This is the amount of pieces I’ve done for the client.
Using job numbers has worked extremely well for me because it gives me an easy way to refer between invoices and documents. Instead of writing the full name of each content piece, I just say “articles #29, #30 and #31”.
Because I don’t currently have an editor to proofread the content I write, I allow myself some time after I’ve written my blog posts to self-edit with a fresh pair of eyes.
In order to keep up-to-date on which pieces have been edited and which haven’t, I automatically name the document with “(draft)” on the end. This label stays as the title until I’ve finally edited and it’s ready to send to the client. At this point, the name of the file will just be the title of the content.
As you can see, my process to organise client work whilst I’m freelancing is really simple.
You don’t need to have sub-folders for every separate document that you’re working on. So long as you find a method that helps you see where you’re up to and you don’t miss deadlines through being disorganised, work with a system that’s beneficial to YOU!
Please note that this post may contain affiliate links. View my full disclosure here.
7 Freelance Writing Job Boards
Get a list of my favourite seven job boards for freelance writers!