4 Simple Yet Powerful Organization Tips for Freelancers to Eliminate Business Chaos

Taking a little time to get (and stay) organized can go a long way to securing business success. I’m not just talking about using label makers and making sure that document gets in the proper file folder. I want talk about 4 different categories of organization and offer some practical tips that you can do right now to work more effectively, boost your confidence, and help you stay out of trouble with the government and your spouse.

1. Organize your MONEY

Tip number 1: Organize your money. Don’t co-mingle your business finances with your personal finances. If everything’s mixed up, you are going to have a heck of a time during tax season, it’s not going give you much clarity into how your money is working and where it’s going, and you’re opening yourself up to the potential risk of people taking your personal assets if they sue your business.

You’re also not treating your business as a business, which means you’re not treating yourself as a business professional …and you should!

A very easy and practical thing that you can do right now is to open a separate business bank account. And if I could offer a recommendation for a banking platform, I can’t speak highly enough of Relay, but there are a lot of other banking options out there. Just pick one. Do it. Get a separate business bank account.

2. Organize your MIND

Tip number 2: Organize your mind. Write things down. This is helpful for anybody, but especially if you’re freelancing and growing a side gig in addition to balancing another job, family responsibilities, school work, what have you.

Everybody has a lot going on at any given moment, and it’s easy to lose track of things. I get easily scatterbrained, and one of the single most helpful things I have found to stay unscattered is to write things down. Honestly, this is more of a reminder for me than anybody else, but it is so good to get stuff out of your brain into writing so you have something you can refer back to, keep track of where you’re at, and make sure things don’t slip through the cracks. Just take it from “Mr. Sorry for the Delayed Response.”

A while ago, I created a little template called the Sidekick Sheet. It’s basically a glorified to-do list, but has a few more bells and whistles. You can learn more about it and download it for free here. But I confess, I haven’t been using this for the past few months because things have been busy. I got scattered, and the tool that I created to help me stay unscattered went neglected. And guess what happened? Things got even more scattered. So you (read “I”) need to be intentional to break yourself out of the downward scatter spiral. And one of the easiest ways you can do that is to start making a checklist.

3. Organize your SPACE

Tip number 3: Organize your space. If you don’t know where your stuff is, you’re going to waste a lot of time and energy trying to find the tools you need to get the job done. And not only does that take away your effectiveness. It also increases your frustration, and you’re just not going to have as good a time doing your work if you’re spending a lot of it running around trying to figure out how to do it.

A recipe might say it takes 40 minutes to prep and cook a chicken marsala. But if you don’t have the ingredients on hand, you’re gonna spend an additional two hours driving out to the store and getting everything else ready. So keep the tools you need handy and organized.

Now this can apply to your physical space as well as your digital space. Now don’t worry. I’m not going to preach at you about “inbox zero” and email hygiene and digital asset management (because I’d be a total hypocrite if I did). But I do use business management software to keep track of my clients, my invoices, and my projects. There’s a lot of different options out there to help you centralize all of your business stuff.

I’m currently using Moxie, and I made a video walkthrough on the platform. I really enjoy that. But Bonsai, Fiverr Workspace, HoneyBook, and Dubsado are other popular options. There’s a lot. They each have slightly different feature sets and interfaces, so play around with a few different options and find one that works best for you. But I highly recommend investing a little bit of money into a service like this. Not only does it help you stay more organized, but it also helps you appear more professional to your clients when you’re sending branded invoices and offering digital payment options. Consequently, it makes you feel more professional.

4. Organize your TIME

The tip number 4: Organize your time. Create and keep schedules. Some people have this down to a science, and they’ll time block every 15 minutes of their day, have everything completely mapped out.

I don’t do this, but I have been experimenting and enjoying the benefits of creating predictable flows throughout the week. This is simple as breaking down the day into half days and assigning the morning for one sort of work and the afternoon for another.

Use a calendar to keep track of appointments (make sure you’re not missing those). If you are married or work closely with other people who have their own schedule that they keep, use a shared calendar to help you stay on the same page.

And lastly, protect your time and your personal life. Set a hard stop on your workday. If you are self-employed you don’t have somebody else enforcing a hard start and stop time for you, do your best to set one for yourself. Get to your desk by a certain time and get away from it by a certain time. Because while it’s nice to have time flexibility, if you’re not careful, you can use that flexibility to stretch into time that should be dedicated to your family.

Let me know, is there something I missed? Is there a method You have found success with or a tool you really like using, feel free to share that in the comments below. I always love learning and hearing what you guys are up to and what you have to share with the rest of the community.

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