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Creating schedules

From: Freelancing Fundamentals

Video: Creating schedules

So far, we've looked time as it relates to individual jobs and individual clients, but as soon as you have two clients, the whole picture changes, because you need to figure out when you to give each your attention. In any case, you're going to have to keep a calendar in order to meet deadlines, have meetings, and make long-term plans. Here are some tricks I've picked up. The main tool you'll need is a calendar. It doesn't matter what kind you use, as long as you use it consistently. You can even use a standard paper planner and I know lots of people who do that even though they're computer professionals.

Creating schedules

So far, we've looked time as it relates to individual jobs and individual clients, but as soon as you have two clients, the whole picture changes, because you need to figure out when you to give each your attention. In any case, you're going to have to keep a calendar in order to meet deadlines, have meetings, and make long-term plans. Here are some tricks I've picked up. The main tool you'll need is a calendar. It doesn't matter what kind you use, as long as you use it consistently. You can even use a standard paper planner and I know lots of people who do that even though they're computer professionals.

I personally use iCal on my Mac, and I keep it synched to my pocket device. But a lot of people, like online systems, such as Google Calendar which has the advantage of letting multiple people plan their time together. But whatever system you use, keep track of at least the following: First are the time-specific items, such as appointments. Obviously, these have to take priority. I've set my own calendar to sound an alarm a half hour before every appointment.

The next items to put in your calendar are the deadlines. If I'm working on a big project, I'll often include several calendar items. One for the project's ultimate deadline and then I'll have many deadlines leading up to it, to make sure that I'm on schedule. That's easier to figure if you've already broken up the project into manageable tasks. I also include other kinds of reminders and warnings in my calendar. Finally, during very busy periods I'll sometimes plan out my entire day, hour by hour, in the calendar.

Some people find this helpful even during slow times. One question you'll probably ask yourself as you start out is "Should I keep separate calendars for business and personal stuff or should I just put everything in one?" That answer depends at least partly on how you work. If you keep your work hours completely separate from your personal hours, you'll be able to keep two calendars. My own approach doesn't allow that. One of the benefits I get from freelancing is that I can schedule personal time in the middle of the day and I need to make sure that my shopping trip doesn't conflict with the client meeting.

So for me, one calendar works best. I use a simple calendaring system for everything, but there are other tools out there for organizing and prioritizing projects and some of them aren't date-based at all. Certainly, try out different ones from time to time and adapt according to your preferences. Ultimately, you'll find the combination of tools that's right for you.

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This video is part of

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Freelancing Fundamentals

42 video lessons · 25212 viewers

Tom Geller
Author

 
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  1. 10m 50s
    1. Welcome
      1m 53s
    2. What is freelancing?
      2m 53s
    3. How freelancing and employment differ
      2m 33s
    4. Preparing your mindset
      3m 31s
  2. 9m 24s
    1. Defining career goals
      2m 48s
    2. Sharpening your market focus
      3m 18s
    3. Transitioning to freelancing
      3m 18s
  3. 16m 11s
    1. Preparing your portfolio
      3m 11s
    2. Estimating costs
      3m 10s
    3. Funding your startup
      2m 42s
    4. Establishing your workspace
      3m 35s
    5. Building your professional network
      3m 33s
  4. 8m 51s
    1. Getting licenses, permits, and insurance
      2m 15s
    2. Creating contracts
      4m 23s
    3. Finding professional service vendors
      2m 13s
  5. 12m 54s
    1. Setting prices
      3m 13s
    2. Establishing payment systems
      1m 36s
    3. Invoicing and getting paid
      3m 50s
    4. Keeping the books
      2m 32s
    5. Managing taxes
      1m 43s
  6. 14m 41s
    1. Announcing your availability
      3m 16s
    2. Finding work through agencies
      2m 2s
    3. Onboarding clients
      2m 59s
    4. Avoiding scams
      3m 25s
    5. Choosing assignments
      2m 59s
  7. 11m 27s
    1. Interacting with clients
      2m 11s
    2. Delivering quality work
      2m 28s
    3. Getting referrals and recommendations
      2m 34s
    4. Losing and firing clients
      4m 14s
  8. 10m 48s
    1. Deconstructing big jobs
      3m 34s
    2. Adopting time-management tools
      2m 35s
    3. Creating schedules
      2m 30s
    4. Turning off the clock for "me time"
      2m 9s
  9. 20m 6s
    1. Staying motivated
      3m 3s
    2. Increasing your rates
      2m 52s
    3. Marketing beyond your professional network
      2m 56s
    4. Growing through hires and partnerships
      3m 30s
    5. Building passive income
      3m 48s
    6. Changing focus
      3m 57s
  10. 4m 52s
    1. Case study: Publishing a book
      2m 47s
    2. Next steps
      2m 5s
  11. 12m 42s
    1. Freelancing Q&A
      12m 42s

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