productivity :: balance :: freelancing :: notebooking
22 lists and collections I keep in my notebook/bullet journal for my freelance business

22 lists and collections I keep in my notebook/bullet journal for my freelance business

I’m always adjusting my personal sweet spot between paper and digital systems, but I find that I’m always most efficient and comfortable when there’s a mix. Especially, being a visual person, seeing certain things on paper helps me understand what’s going on. And, of course, nothing can beat sketching in a notebook!

  • Client project next steps: for each client project for the day/week
  • Most important meta tasks for improving my business for the week
  • Admin tasks for the day/week
  • Quarterly plan: a grid of what projects are scheduled for when (in pencil, since the further-out ones are always moving!)
  • Client projects master list (so nothing gets forgotten and I can get a quick overview of everything going on)
  • Waiting: information I’m waiting for from clients or collaborators
  • Hold: projects on hold or inactive for now (this list keeps my mind less cluttered)
  • Websites I’ve built: (this will be a different list depending on what you make or do). Handy when I’m trying to show someone an example of a particular thing, or when I’m curious what old clients are up to.
  • Meeting notes: with clients (read about my format here)
  • Project notes an sketches: Stick a title and a date on the page and it becomes a playground for brainstorming, things to do and sketches for a particular project.
  • Weekly review notes: Honestly, this is something I wish I were better at. It’s useful when I do it, but I admit that that’s not often. My process is, on Friday afternoon or evening, to look back at the week and figure out what I accomplished, what went well, what didn’t, what lessons I learned, and ideas for the future. I also usually set up my next weekly to-do list during this time so I’m ready for Monday.
  • Side-project ideas: projects I might do someday
  • Side-project next steps: for projects I’m actively doing or looking into, what’s next?
The icons I use in my bullet lists for things to look into more.

The icons I use in my bullet lists for things to look into more.

  • Check it out: books, music, podcasts, and websites I hear about and want to look into [include symbols]. I track these in whatever notes I’m writing at the time or on my weekly to-do page. The symbols help them not get forgotten.
  • Yearly revenue projections and tracker: I keep a month-by-month chart of money coming and and when, in the future, additional payments from clients will come in. This shows me (without pouring through my accounting software), where my business stands for the year, and if there are any feast or famine times coming up I need to plan for.
  • Conferences I’m going to (dates, travel arrangements, costs, etc.)
  • Useful SaSes: as in Software-as-a-service. As in, those websites that do a specific thing for you, which you hear mentioned or read about in an article and think, someday, I’m going to need that service, and I’m not going to remember this site. Today, for example, I wrote down, which does transcription, video captions and translations quickly and inexpensively. (I haven’t tried them yet, but they were recommended by an author I think is clever.) Last week, I made a whole collection page of WordPress maintenance services, along with their pricing and features.
  • Learning notes: I take notes when I’m at a biz-related talk, watching a webinar or taking an online course. Within these, I flag links and books to check out and ideas to come back to.
  • Procedures: how I do certain processes (set up a website, create the initial paperwork for a new project, etc.). At the moment, these are rough notes I jot down while I’m doing the process in question, but my ultimate goal is to get all of this information out of my head and into an “Operations Manual” for my business. But that’s a whole big kettle of fish I’ll write about when I’m further into it!
  • Blog/video ideas
  • Talk ideas: I speak at events and conferences from time to time and I keep a page for each topic I’m developing to jot notes as they occur to me. (I don’t do it now, but I could also keep a list of possible places to speak, write guest posts, be interviewed on podcasts, etc.)
  • Someday/Maybe List: (this idea comes from David Allen’s Getting Things Done) Ideas for my business that I may or may not pursue someday, but don’t want to forget, for now.

Please share.
July 2016 planning, work/life balance, budgeting and other bits

July 2016 planning, work/life balance, budgeting and other bits

This is my July 2016 “Plan with Me”. It’s not the regular serving of dailies, weeklies and habit trackers though. Rather, I talk a bunch about mapping out my upcoming half-year for my business (and my life) and the importance of work/life balance. There’s also a section on a novel budgeting experiment I’m trying this month using a combination of the envelope system, Simple bank and some words of wisdom gleaned from Galia Girchon’s course Personal Finance for Artists and Freelancers. And finally, there’s my hybrid personal/work weekly/daily big ole planning checklist. Also lots of freelancing philosophy and dramatic weather!

Please share.