Productivity means so much more than time management, especially among freelance writers. It is basically impossible for us to reach that ideal state where we have predefined an exact amount of hours for each of our clients, and where we don’t shuffle between the lot in a single day.
Being productive is not just about logging how many hours we spent taking five-minute breaks, and definitely not about realizing we spent more time watching prank videos on YouTube than actually working.
Being productive also means having your creative juices flowing, which requires rest, and a peace of mind. It also means getting all assignments done on time, despite constant notifications from countless platforms. It also means doing things fast, and getting annoying, but unavoidable chores, out of the way as fast as possible.
There are tools we can use to ever so slightly organize the burning pile of sulfurous feces we, freelance writers, call our working hours, and this time I’ll show you three I’ll definitely be using in 2017.
I won’t bother mentioning the most popular ones, like Slack, Trello or Evernote, because you probably already know everything about those and are most likely using them already. I’m talking about tools you probably didn’t even know existed. These just might take some weight off your shoulder, allowing you more time to tackle bigger projects, and more rest to get your mojo back going.
I don’t know about you guys, but I spend a lot of my time shuffling documents from one platform to another. Some of my clients send me article requests, or topic ideas, through Gmail. Others create Trello boards. Some send event notifications through email, others through Facebook. What this does is create a huge mess, where it’s easy to forget which platform has which information, from which client. Zapier basically integrates various different apps together, making it much easier to transfer files and information from one to another.
It will make it a breeze to organize all your content requests, feedback, contacts and communication. Ultimately, you’ll spend less time searching for stuff, and more time either working or relaxing, both of which will improve your productivity.
Twitter is (or at least, should be) an important tool for every freelance writer. It is a place to grow your network, discover new topic ideas, find new clients, but perhaps most importantly – promote your content. By promoting the content you write on Twitter, you’ll be read more, which:
- Sets you apart from the competition
- Increases your exposure which might result in new clients
But Twitter is just like every single one of us – disorganized, chaotic and brilliant. Socialfave can help you spot best performing tweets (which you can promote even further, then), find the right people to follow, schedule your tweets in advance, handle multiple accounts at the same time, filter content, export data, so on and so forth – a huge boost to productivity in the social media marketing segment. It’s an important asset for anyone using Twitter for work (which should be, basically, everyone).
Every day, one To-Do app gets created, and one dies. The last one which made waves through the freelancing world was Wunderlist, which was also considered one of the essential apps for 2016. Ever since it got acquired by Microsoft in June 2015, things have been awfully quiet over there, which made just enough room for Todoist to squeeze in.
There are a few things I really enjoy about Todoist:
- An intuitive, logical interface
- Collaboration features
- A multi-tier system which allows you to organize tasks by importance
- Real time, reliable synchronization
- Cross-platform support
Those are just some of the features that really stand out, but I feel it’s important to stress that the app really offers a lot, and it takes a lot of time to learn all the different features. The good part is, however, that it’s very easy to pick up. You can learn about all the little extras along the way.
In 2017, productivity will mean getting the necessary, but boring stuff out of the way. Downloading attachments, sorting invitations, finding where you left your contacts, searching, indexing, all those things are still considered a necessary evil. With these new tools, you’ll be able to automate a lot, as you allow the various tools you use to talk to each other.
Marketing, communications, discoverability and idea hunting on Twitter is about to get a lot easier, and with a new to-do app, you’ll never skip a task.
Good luck to all of us, and have a happy, productive 2017!
Image Credit: Flickr / Kanban Tool