Finding your workflow as a freelancer

When you’re juggling multiple clients, and often times multiple projects for each, it’s important to set up processes and a workflow that allow you to be productive and effective. This will look different for every freelancer, because there’s no two routines exactly the same. That said, there are certain tactics you can take to set yourself up for success, or that will help you find what works best for you. Here’s how you can find your workflow as a freelancer:

Assign tasks to days

Freelancer and Peep (member of the CloudPeeps freelancer community), Lindsay Shoemake says, “One of the easiest ways I’ve found to minimize overwhelm and to amplify productivity is by assigning certain tasks to specific days of the week. Sure, it’s not realistic to ignore email on the daily, but what about other tasks, like blogging?”

Here’s how she’s divided her tasks into days:

  • Monday: schedule out all social media updates for all clients in Buffer; record all client social media metrics for the week prior
  • Tuesday: content creation and social media graphic design day
  • Wednesday: social strategy planning day for the next week; all content is sent out for client review
  • Thursday: revise content as feedback is received; influencer outreach day
  • Friday: organization day; set up all meetings and calls for the next week

Of course, your schedule may look drastically different, depending on your field of work. The point here is to bring routine to your schedule, so that when the unexpected work emergency does pop up (because it will!) your week and your time won’t completely be thrown for a loop.

We’ve heard of other creatives who maximize their schedule by assigning two days for meetings, two days for creating, and keep a day open to see what happens. It’s all about what works for you.

Try a time-tracking tool

By tracking your time, you can identify what tasks you’re spending the most time on and any inefficiencies in your workflow. If you’re spending a peculiar amount of time on one thing, maybe you need to try a tool to increase efficiency or bring on some help. Our community really loves RescueTime for this exact reason.

Some other options are Timely, which allows you to import your calendar and track your hours based on your task list. Or Toggle, which is also great for identifying the tasks that take up the most time.

Try the Pomodoro technique

Pomodoro is all the rage these days. The concept is simple. Set a timer, focus on one thing and one thing only for that set time, then take a quick break and repeat. The idea is to create a healthy workflow measured by tasks complete. It promotes jobs done, which is perfect for freelancers.

Use project management software like your personal assistant

We swear by both Asana and Trello, depending on which system works best for you.  

Asana is great for collaborative long-term planning and individual task management. We use Asana to share what we’re working on from a team, project and individual perspective. You can break tasks into subtasks, assign deadlines, leave notes and more.

With Trello, you can easily organize any project into visual boards and organize with labels, add teammates, create deadlines and more. I especially love Trello for organizing tasks into weekly or monthly sprints. It can also be used as a handy content calendar.

Use these tools to remind you of what needs to be done, when in an organized fashion.

That’s it!

Like we said, maximizing your productivity is all about finding the workflow that works for you. If you’re obsessed with tools like we are, check out this handy list of tools that every freelancer needs. Do you have a tip for finding a workflow as a freelancer? Leave it in the comments below!