If you’re flying solo in your freelance career, you might find yourself a bit overwhelmed with all the different projects that you have. These are a few programs/website that help me in managing and organising my projects:
Dropbox and Google Drive
I am using both Dropbox and Google Drive for different reasons. I find that Google Drive’s iPhone app is a lot more user friendly than Dropbox. However, file sharing seems a lot faster and easier using Dropbox. I use Google Drive to do quick image transfers between desktop and my gadgets. I use Dropbox for file sharing between me and clients. I also use Dropbox to keep some files that I need to access from time to time when I’m overseas. However, for safety reasons, remember that you still need to back up your files.
To send huge files that doesn’t fit as email attachments to once-off clients, printers or clients who don’t have Dropbox, I like to use WeTransfer. WeTransfer lets you transfer files up to 10 GB via email.
If you’re wondering why the image above this article has the word “Trello” in it, this article is not sponsored by Trello. I was simply feeling grateful for Trello’s existence in my life that I decided to hand-lettered their name on my sketch book <3.
Trello is a project organising tool that you can use for yourself or to collaborate with your colleagues/project team members. Trello is Free (YAY!), but they also have Trello Business Class and Trello Gold which unlock a few features that Trello Basic doesn’t have. I can’t tell you anything about Trello Business Class and Gold, because I’m currently using Trello Basic and doing more than fine with it, but I can say that the upgrade to Trello Business Class is inexpensive at all.
Trello lets you create project boards, and you can add checklists, attachments, notes & comments on each board. While notepads are definitely much cuter option to write all of those down, but I have a habit of jotting down my checklists, notes and inspirations on different notebooks or notepads. After a while it gets really confusing. Plus, with everything that I need to work on right now (blogging, graphic design, custom portrait & the hotel), Trello helps me separate the tasks in each project board. I can also attach images so I could remember where I left it off. Trello also has apps for iOS and Android, so you can check your project boards on the go too!
I download Fluid when I thought how great it would be to have Trello as an app on my Mac, instead of having to log on to their site all the time. Although Trello has not released a Mac app yet, but you can download Fluid to create an app out of (any?) websites. So far I’ve created gmail and Trello apps and keep them on the dock.
Okay, I’m sure ninety-something percent of bloggers are using and loving this website. Pinterest is both my organising and procrastination tool :P When Pinterest enable us to create secret boards, it ultimately became my go-to site for planning. I use the secret boards to pin images online and plan what post should I create next for Design is Yay. I also use pinterest to create moodboards for my graphic design clients (if they haven’t make one themselves yet). The only cons to using Pinterest is not being able to focus on my own blog plans and start clicking and browsing on images that have nothing to do with my blog or projects!
Evernote is like the little notebook you carry around to jot down your notes and spur-of-the-moment ideas. The best thing about Evernote is you’re able to create many different notebooks within the mobile app, and you can access your notes in all your devices. Not only am I using it for jotting down ideas for the blog, but I’m also using it to plan my weekly meals and create a shopping checklist. I have a Samsung Note 10.1 tablet, so I can also create sketches on Evernote using the available S Pen.
Mailbox for iPhone
Mailbox is a mobile app that allows you to sort your email using swap gestures. For example, quick swipe (to the) right to archive, swipe-hold right to delete, quick swap left to pick a different time for the email to re-appear, and swipe-hold left to move the email into different labeled mailboxes. It’s basically a quicker way to organise your email.
I use Formstack to create project/custom portrait questionnaire for clients. They are easy to use and modify.
Freshbooks is an online accounting tool that lets you send invoices and capture expenses. I find it especially useful if you have a few recurring clients that you need to keep track of. Freshbooks is free if you only have 1 recurring client, you need to upgrade for a fee if you need to use it for more than 1 client. I put Freshbooks under ‘others’ because I am currently only using it for free, as I find their fee a bit expensive for something that I don’t necessarily use too often. I also accept most of my payments through Etsy or Paypal and doesn’t need invoicing. Although it might be a great and useful website for some freelancers or business owners, but I’m still happy to stick with my traditional invoicing and book keeping.
I hope these tips have helped you in planning and organising your projects. Let me know in the comments if there are other project organising tools that you love! This post is not sponsored by any website or brands mentioned above. I created this post simply because I like (or recommend) the websites above, and hope that they could be useful to other Freelancers & Bloggers.