Friday, August 30, 2013

The Importance of Having an Effective Filing System

As you bag more projects and land more assignments and gigs in your freelancing career, it's now crucial to create your own filing system.

Your filing system can be kept in your computer's hard drive, or you can choose to have your email correspondence (letters where you negotiate or collect payment from your clients) printed out and tucked neatly inside a folder. 

Freelance professionals need to review their files annually for the following reasons:
  • You need to figure out which projects have been the most lucrative given a reasonable period of time. You can assess whether you'd like to work more on tasks that take longer to finish if you will be assured of a higher pay, or prefer those with a quick turn-over rate (i.e. proofreading resumes and submitting them within 48 hours) but don't pay as much.
  • You will get to know your "problem projects," or those that have challenged you to stretch yourself to become more resourceful. This will cause you to think if you need to hone your skills, sign up for additional training, get access to books or articles so you can have more information, or simply learn to manage your time better.
  • Your records will also reveal your "problem clients." I'm not merely referring to those who attempt to bail out with no prior notice or who refuse to pay up within a certain number of days. You can also easily pinpoint the ones who still made demands when you have already proceeded to work on the project. You have to decide that in each succeeding assignment, you will remain to stand firm with what you have agreed upon before asking the client to fork over a down payment.
You don't need to make your filing system elaborate. In fact, I strongly recommend keeping it as simple as possible.

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