Freelancer Organization Tips

by Robyn Roste

When I began freelancing things were straightforward. Someone would ask me for an article and I would write it. I’d write whenever I felt like it and I’d invoice when I remembered.

It sort of worked.

But when I decided I wanted to make a real go of freelancing, I realized I needed a more professional approach. The first step was getting organized.

For me, the benefits of being and staying organized have been remarkable. I am less stressed out, I get my work in on deadline, I’m in sync with my clients and I am able to do my best work.

It took a while to develop the systems and habits I needed to build the business I wanted, one I was proud of and felt good about, but it was worth the effort.

Here are six areas I’ve found key to being organized as a freelancer.

Look at how you use your time

If you’re in a constant state of panic, racing from one deadline to the next and feeling like you’re failing at everything, consider conducting a time audit. You don’t need to get into the minutiae (unless you want to), but do take an honest look at how your days are spent.
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Posted on September 18, 2019 at 6:00 am by editor · LEAVE A COMMENT · Tagged with: , ,

Off the Wire: News for the Canadian media freelancer Sept 10-16

Once a week, we gather stories about the media business, journalism, writing, communications, and freelancing—with a Canadian focus—and share them in Off the Wire. Who needs a water cooler?

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From Canada:

From The U.S. and beyond:

Recently on Story Board:

Spot a story you think we should include in next week’s Off the Wire? Email the link to editor@thestoryboard.ca or tweet us at @storyboard_ca.

Posted on September 15, 2019 at 7:48 pm by editor · LEAVE A COMMENT · Tagged with: ,

Excitement builds with advances in campaign for factual TV workers

Factual TV workers Otto Chung and Denise O’Connell give a campaign update at an industry social in Toronto. (Photo: Marta Iwanek)

A new website is giving a public face to the hundreds of professionals who are determined to secure better pay, benefits and working conditions in the unscripted TV industry.

The Fairness in Factual TV campaign that was launched six years ago by CWA Canada and its biggest local, the Canadian Media Guild, has gained both momentum and supporters in recent months.

While a $35-million class action filed in the fall against major production company Cineflix shone a spotlight on the issues, the campaign got a major boost in January when North America’s largest entertainment union came on board.
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Posted on September 11, 2019 at 9:00 pm by editor · LEAVE A COMMENT · Tagged with: , , ,

Off the Wire: News for the Canadian media freelancer Sept 4-9

Once a week, we gather stories about the media business, journalism, writing, communications, and freelancing—with a Canadian focus—and share them in Off the Wire. Who needs a water cooler?

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From Canada:

From The U.S. and beyond:

Recently on Story Board:

  • 2019-2020 Travers Fellowship applications open: Freelancers and students (as well as staff journalists) are welcome to apply for the fellowship, which provides an annual $25,000 award to cover travel, reporting and research expenses, and a stipend for a journalist…

Spot a story you think we should include in next week’s Off the Wire? Email the link to editor@thestoryboard.ca or tweet us at @storyboard_ca.

Posted on September 9, 2019 at 6:00 am by editor · LEAVE A COMMENT · Tagged with: ,

2019-2020 Travers Fellowship applications open

Applications are now open for the Travers Fellowship, an international reporting bursary that helps finance foreign reporting projects by Canadian journalists working in any medium.

Freelancers and students (as well as staff journalists) are welcome to apply for the fellowship, which provides an annual $25,000 award to cover travel, reporting and research expenses, and a stipend for a journalist.

The fellowship is named after Jim Travers, a reporter, foreign correspondent, and former editor of The Ottawa Citizen who spent six years reporting from Africa and the Middle East. After Travers died in 2011, his friends and colleagues created the fellowship to commemorate his contribution to Canadian journalism.

The application deadline is Monday, October 28 at noon EDTMore information and application instructions are available on the Travers Fellowship website.

 

Posted on September 4, 2019 at 8:07 pm by editor · LEAVE A COMMENT · Tagged with: , , ,

Off the Wire: News for the Canadian media freelancer August 27-Sept 3

Once a week, we gather stories about the media business, journalism, writing, communications, and freelancing—with a Canadian focus—and share them in Off the Wire. Who needs a water cooler?

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From Canada:

From The U.S. and beyond:

Recently on Story Board:

Spot a story you think we should include in next week’s Off the Wire? Email the link to editor@thestoryboard.ca or tweet us at @storyboard_ca.

Posted on September 2, 2019 at 6:54 pm by editor · LEAVE A COMMENT

The Born Freelancer Remembers Freelancing Legend Ken Nordine (1920-2019)

This series of posts by the Born Freelancer shares personal experiences and thoughts on issues relevant to freelancers. Have something to add to the conversation? We’d love to hear from you in the comments.

 

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When asked about the most successful route to freelancing, the sage pundits’ advice often seems to fall into two distinct categories: either learn all the essential skill sets that will enable you to fit in seamlessly anywhere, or develop a unique and memorable brand identity that will set you apart from all other competitors.

Both are solid, time-tested approaches that could bring positive career results depending upon your individual goals, needs and personality type.

Today, I want to share with you the story of an extraordinary freelancer who managed to combine these two seemingly mutually exclusive approaches resulting in a financially and creatively successful career.

Ken Nordine’s ability to excel in two mutually exclusive career threads is a reminder that all conventional freelancing wisdom can on occasion be circumnavigated and that successful freelancing careers can arise from the most unexpected of inspirations.

In the beginning…

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Posted on August 28, 2019 at 9:23 pm by editor · LEAVE A COMMENT · Tagged with: , , ,

Off the Wire: News for the Canadian media freelancer August 20-26

Once a week, we gather stories about the media business, journalism, writing, communications, and freelancing—with a Canadian focus—and share them in Off the Wire. Who needs a water cooler?

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From Canada:

From The U.S. and beyond:

Recently on Story Board:

  • Tools for freelancers: The right tools can make your freelance business run more smoothly and allow you to spend more time on the creative work that earns you money. Here are a few of the best tools for freelancers we’ve run across lately…

Spot a story you think we should include in next week’s Off the Wire? Email the link to editor@thestoryboard.ca or tweet us at @storyboard_ca.

Posted on August 25, 2019 at 5:54 pm by editor · LEAVE A COMMENT · Tagged with: ,

Tools for freelancers

Savvy freelancers are always looking for ways to streamline their workflow. The right tools can make your freelance business run more smoothly and allow you to spend more time on the creative work that earns you money. Here are a few of the best tools for freelancers we’ve run across lately.

Transcription

For freelance journalists, transcription can be one of the most time-consuming parts of the job. While it’s often useful to listen back to full interviews and type out transcripts, shortcuts can be helpful — especially during busy times. 

Otter is a transcription service that allows you to record interviews on your phone or in a web browser. You can also import or sync recordings from other services. You’ll get real-time streaming transcripts and searchable notes. “You can get 600 minutes per month free, and if it works well for you, there’s paid premium service.

And if you do prefer to transcribe your interviews manually, oTranscribe is still the best tool we’ve found for manual transcription.

Rate calculator

It’s important for freelancers to know what their work is worth. One way to think about how much you should be charging is by calculating how much you need to make per year and working backwards to figure out an hourly rate. This rate calculator can help you work that out. 

Clipping saver

The internet can be a fickle and rapidly-changing place. If you’re a freelance writer, you might have had the experience of losing online clippings when publishers you’ve written for have gone under. It’s a good idea to screenshot your work, but turning those screenshots into PDFs can be a time consuming process.

This personal clipping service is an easy solution. Sign in with Twitter, enter the URLs of your work into the search field and Save My News will keep an archive of all of your published online work. Easy!   

Posted on August 22, 2019 at 10:33 pm by editor · LEAVE A COMMENT · Tagged with: , , ,

Off the Wire: News for the Canadian media freelancer August 13-19

Once a week, we gather stories about the media business, journalism, writing, communications, and freelancing—with a Canadian focus—and share them in Off the Wire. Who needs a water cooler?

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From Canada:

From The U.S. and beyond:

Recently on Story Board:

  • Webinar — Covering Provincial Politics: Join us for a webinar that will introduce journalism students and less experienced reporters to the basics of covering provincial politics. You’ll learn who the key players are, which areas of policy are widely covered and which get less attention, how to find information and what it’s like to be part of the press gallery covering Premier Doug Ford…

Spot a story you think we should include in next week’s Off the Wire? Email the link to editor@thestoryboard.ca or tweet us at @storyboard_ca.

Posted on August 18, 2019 at 7:00 pm by editor · LEAVE A COMMENT · Tagged with: ,