If you’re pretty successful at getting work as a writer, the next challenge is managing it all. It’s a nice problem to have, but it requires thinking about.
My own preference is to use a spreadsheet. I’ve set it up to tell me in how many days’ time a deadline is due, and enables me to tick off assignments as I do them.
I’ve also set up another spreadsheet to keep track of invoicing and finances. Although it would be logical to keep both sets of data in the same spreadsheet, I keep them separate for reasons fo security. Let me explain.
I keep the finances spreadsheet on my computer, backed up to an external hard drive. I keep the deadlines spreadsheet in the cloud. If the deadlines spreadsheet gets hacked or lost, it’s not the end of the world. Obviously, it’s much more important to keep the finances one private.
The question arises, then: why keep the deadlines one in the cloud at all? The reason is that I do a lot of writing in cafés (which is where I am right now, in fact), so it makes sense for me to be able to access my deadlines data from anywhere.
I’ve also experimented with other ways of keeping track of projects, from a free project management program to paper planners. I prefer the spreadsheet for most of my needs, although I do find the dedicated project planning software better for managing several ongoing projects for a number of clients.
In the course I’m teaching soon (see below), I’ll be discussing all these approaches, so that once attendees know what software and other solutions are available they can make an informed decision as to what to use themselves.
If the course is of interest to you, please see the details and the link below.
If you found this article useful, you may also be interested in a course I’m teaching at the City Lit in March 2019. Called The journalist's toolkit: from inspiration to publication, it covers a range of useful ideas, programs and apps. For example:
- How can you find writing work?
- How can you record ideas really quickly from your phone into a spreadsheet?
- How can you keep track of deadlines?
- What websites are especially useful for writers?
- Which blogs are worth reading?
- What books are worth buying?
It’s a one day course on 9th March, and you can find out more here: