How to Organize a Freelance Writing Business

by Miranda Brumbaugh in ,

If you work as a freelance writer you are all too aware of the struggle. The time management struggle. Whether it’s the itch of the Internet or the call of the community, there’s constantly something pulling you away from your job to type and write. Then there’s the issue of working alone, day after day after day. After a bunch of these days you start to yearn to connect with another adult, any adult. 

So you can either move your makeshift office to a coffee shop or the library for a few hours, or you can further isolate yourself and ruin your working abilities. If you go to a coffee shop or library, though, it’ll take some time to put yourself together, drive there, unpack your clackity-clack, choose/order/drink your beverage if at said coffee shop, get into the working groove…by then you have lost quite a bit of daylight. In the end, you may have heard someone talking, but chances are the only person you’ve communicated with was the barista, and words are short. 

By Jeff Sheldon via Unsplash

By Jeff Sheldon via Unsplash

That’s the life of a freelance writer, and thankfully most writers enjoy being alone, so there’s that. However, the solo lifestyle can make keeping on schedule a difficult task. When I first started freelancing I had little to keep up with, as is the case for most freelance writers getting started. Zoom ahead seven years and the work load has ballooned, Wild Man now has an extracurricular schedule, and I’ve decided I want more out of my days.

Discovering Freelance Planners

That’s why I decided to set up a series of planners for scheduling. As of 2016 I’ve added the following freelance writer organizational tools to my desktop:

  1. Self Journal
  2. The Freelancer Planner
  3. The Blog Action Planner
  4. Moleskine Daily Planner in Hay Yellow
  5. Moleskine Weekly Planner
  6. Moleskine Notebook in Gray Kraft with a pocket

Beyond my obvious love for Moleskine, I’m also all about supporting other freelancers. Take the Self Journal. This was a Kickstarter project in 2015 that I backed, and the planner arrived just in time for the New Year. The same goes for The Freelancer Planner, although I purchased it outright since I missed the deadline for that Kickstarter. The Blog Action Planner is produced by a freelancer and sold on Etsy.

Each of these planners are made by freelancing entrepreneurs who researched and developed their planners based on personal, professional experience with scheduling their business. That means a million to me. After all, you want a planner that is created with a specific task in mind.

How I Use My Many Planners Daily

Here’s the specific tasks I have in mind for my planners:

  • The Self Journal is for setting goals in 3-month spurts; My goal is to get my rough draft of “In Deep,” title tentative, into a final draft form in three months. The Self Journal helps by breaking down tasks and providing measurement of your main goal so to keep you on track. It’s taking me some time to get used to the idea, and out of my rut of procrastination, but slowly it’s getting to me.
  • The Freelancer Planner is designed for freelancers who want to keep a better track of their monetary goals. However, it goes a step further by encouraging freelancers to focus more on their personal business rather than that of their clients. This is HUGE for me as I have consistently put clients’ content needs first, leaving my business to the back burner. That’s a problem as I hope to evolve my business to include a greater ratio of higher paying, long term clients, while focusing on self-promotion for my how-to eBooks and fiction books.
  • The Blog Action Planner is the most comprehensive editorial calendar I’ve found for freelancers who have their own blog. It’s amazing, and it’s the reason I’ve started writing for my blog again. It provides an organizational system to let you plan out the entire year, while the structure prompts you to include areas you would have otherwise overlooked. Excellence. 
  • Moleskine, Moleskine, Moleskine, oh how I love thy paper and design. I’ve used these planners for years, trying others but always returning to Moleskine. Everyone has their preferences, but for me it’s M. all the way.

So…on that note. Do you have a favorite planner that you use for your freelance writing business? Would love to hear what other freelancers are using!