One of the biggest challenges for a freelancer is managing their time working. Especially for people who have come out of a traditional job previously, with predetermined schedules, adapting to working remotely and on their own is really complicated. And even more so when you are handling multiple projects at the same time it can get confusing. How do you keep all your responsibilities in order? How do you not make mistakes when one client asks you for a change and another for a breakthrough?
Everyone finds their own way to get organized, but if you need help deciding how, here are some tips:
Use calendaring tools
Use a calendar tool like Google Calendar to keep track of your tasks and their deadlines. This way you can organize entire weeks, even months, and anticipate how much extra work you can take on. Likewise, you will be able to devote your full attention to certain items of your work. It also helps if you have a very large project that you can't finish in a day or two, you can divide it into parts and let your client know in advance of delivery dates.
Digital Project Manager
Use a digital project manager. It sounds more sophisticated than it is; in reality many freelancers have enough with an Excel sheet showing each task and its deadline. But if you want something more dynamic, there are many platforms on the internet like Trello.
Archive your emails
Don't delete your work emails as you may come back to them to check agreed issues, dates or prices. A great idea is to create a folder within your email where you can file the emails for each project and have easy access to that information.
Keep track of your hours worked
Even if you are not being paid by the hour, this technique is useful to control your work time, make it a good habit. Because this way you know how much time you have invested in each project, you can compare it with what you are paid and also compare it with other similar projects to know in the future how much time it will take you. It also shows you realistically how much time you spent working and not saying you did it while watching TikTok.
Use organizational tools
Take advantage of organizational tools like Google Drive and Dropbox. These help keep projects organized and share them easily with your clients. Open a folder for each client and, if necessary, add subfolders for different projects. You can file project materials in the corresponding client folder so you can find and access them easily when you need them.
Finally, be realistic about the amount of work you can take on. If you feel overwhelmed by the number of projects you've taken on, it's probably time to reduce your obligations.