For freelance writers, time is money, and that is why, it’s important to manage your time in the most efficient way possible. Writing isn’t the only task you are required to do. You need to talk to clients, manage your schedule, research, upload documents, and do much more. With the right time management tools, you can minimize the time taken for all the extra tasks and focus on the more important thing.
Here are the best time management tools for freelance writers:
From Any.do to Wunderlist, I tried a lot of to-do list apps. While Any.do has a useful Chrome extension, Wunderlist provides a number of customization options. But, it was really Todoist that won my heart with its easy interface and third-party app integrations.
While I use Trello to manage my entire work schedule, I needed a to-do list that could take the cards/ tasks from Trello and add them in the order of their priority. By integrating Trello and Todoist with IFTTT, I was able to do just that. Since Todoist has a desktop and mobile app, it makes it super easy to check my tasks due for the day. You can add a due date, priority, reminder, subtasks, or a label to each task on Todoist.
Since Todoist is directly connected to Trello and my Google Calendar, all I have to do is add tasks on Trello and they get automatically updated on Todoist and Google Calendar.
One of the most time consuming things I found I was doing in my every day schedule was setting up client meetings and calls. There were many problems in the process:
- There was a lot of back and forth emails to find the right time which fit my schedule and the client’s.
- If I forgot to add the meeting to my Google Calendar, I ended up completely forgetting about the call
- Scheduling client calls too close to each other was problematic too
Calendly ended up solving all of my problems and saving a lot of time too. With Calendly, you can set your meeting time, availability dates and hours, and buffer time you need before every meeting.
You get a custom Calendly link that you can share with all your clients. Your clients can then see your availability and pick a meeting time which suits them. The client’s can mention their name, email address, and contact information.
As soon as the client fixes a meeting through Calendly, it gets automatically added to your Google Calendar and theirs as well. You also get a notification email about the same. It saves you time and makes sure you never miss a meeting again.
When I was looking for a way to streamline emails, I came across Streak which truly offered everything I was looking for.
Streak can segment emails into ‘boxes’ allowing you to categorise emails and easily track them down. It is one of my favourite features of the tools because I always ended up missing important emails or completely forgetting to reply. Now, all I need to do is add emails to the right box.
Apart from this, Streak also has a Snippets feature which allows you to save the same text that you need to email over and over again – Like your payment terms or portfolio information. When you click on the Snippet button in the Compose Message window, the text gets added directly in the email. While Gmail has a Labs feature similar to this called Canned Messages, it’s not as flexible or user friendly as Streak’s Snippets.
Streak also lets you schedule emails for later or check when your emails have been viewed by the recipient. While there may be tools that provide the same features as Streak, what I like best about it is that it has all the email features I require and I don’t need to use multiple tools together.
While I mostly use Evernote for clipping web pages, I don’t particularly enjoy its desktop app interface, which also takes a lot of time to sync data online.
I needed a simple note taking app that I could use for my midnight inspirations, an app which could work just as well offline and sync data instantly as soon as I connected back to the internet.
Simplenote helps me do exactly that with a simple white and blue interface. It’s also a perfect tool to jot down minutes from a meeting. It has both Windows and Mac desktop app, and its syncs data as soon as you go online.
I have talked about Toggl before on the website and I really wanted to include it in the time management post. Toggl is a timer app which lets you track every second that you spend working. You can track time for every project and task. At the end of the day or week, you can see Toggl reports to check which projects you spent the most time on.
Toggl integrates well with other project management apps like Asana and Trello, and it also has a Chrome extension.
Are there any other time management tools for freelance writers that you like?