The life of a freelance writer can be overwhelming, especially when you write for several companies and have your own blog(s). Keeping up with the deadlines can be almost impossible. There are of course a number of ways to track your deadlines and goals. I prefer to use a desktop calendar. A desktop calendar is easier for me than electronic planners or even paper planners because it gives me an overview of the month that is always easy to look over. The following are just a few tips to help you stay organized and on schedule by using a desktop calendar.
Tip #1: Write Down Your Monthly Goals
Many desktop calendars feature a notes section. In this section, write down your goals for the month. It may be to write a blog entry Monday-Friday or to complete 100 articles at a certain site. I prefer to make my goals a few days ahead of the first of the month. Once your goals are in place, you can then move on to splitting your goals into manageable chunks.
Tip #2: Spread Out the Work
Sure, you may want to complete 100 articles, but when? A desktop calendar makes it easy to set smaller goals. At the end of each week, write down the number of articles you want to have completed. For example, write down that you want to have completed 25 by the end of week one. These smaller goals make bigger goals much easier to accomplish, especially when you know exactly what you need to do. Also, don’t forget to take vacations and appointments into account when creating smaller goals. You don’t want to find yourself rushed for time and frustrated that you didn’t meet your weekly goal.
Tip #3: Create Daily Reminders
Deadlines are of course the most important reminders. Write down the due date and highlight it or circle it. Then, if it is a large project, write down tasks you want to complete ahead of the due date, such as research, outlines, etc. Another helpful tip is to write down reminders for your blog. Blogs are easily forgotten because most don’t offer upfront payments. A small highlighted reminder will make it easier to remember the writing you love most.
Tip #4: Make Note of Your Accomplishments
At the end of each day, write the amount of money made in the corner of day on your desktop calender. This helps you keep track or how well you’re doing. Also write down how many articles you accomplished. More importantly, when you reach the end of the week, make note of how your larger goals are progressing. Did you meet your smaller weekly goal? If so, put a check next to it. The same goes for any other tasks you accomplish.
Tip #5: Remind Yourself of What You’re Working For
It’s nice to make special notes on your desktop calendar as well. For example, jot down a reminder of your monthly bonus, paydays, etc. It’s nice to be reminded of upcoming money for all the hard work you’ve done.