5 Ways to Organize your Project Calendar and Life on General:
How do you organize your projects, and life in general, as a freelancer/solopreneur? I feel like this question pops up a ton, so I felt compelled to write a post about it.
Trello or Asana: Both of these applications have calendar functions in them where you can set due dates for tasks and see it in a calendar format with color-coded tags. Raise your hand if you love to color code everything! Cheers to that!
Dubsado: I don’t personally use this but apparently it has this function where you can manage your client project deadlines.
Google Calendar or Apple’s iCal: I personally have used google calendar to manage my personal, school, and work life.
When I was in school, I color coded my planner and calendars by the type of events: so all classes were blue, studio/studying times were light blue; work was red; and personal life errands like grocery shopping, cleaning, laundry, and working out, were purple; events and programs that I ran for the school were green.
Now, as a solopreneur, I do the same thing but it’s a more evolved version. I like to block in projects for each day, including my discovery calls, project meetings, and my content calendar. I have a separate color for content creation.
Paper Calendar: When I was first deciding how much work I wanted to book into a given month, I used an analog monthly calendar with sticky notes to move my web design project dates around to see how they “felt” to me in terms of time frame. I ask myself questions like: Did I like having a full week of buffer time or just 3 working days, etc. This way I can set a schedule for myself without feeling so burned out.
Alternatively, you can also do this by drawing out your own that looks more like a yearly Gantt Chart, but this can be a totally different blog post on how to create your own project management sheets.
Notebooks and Journals: Bullet Journal, or “Bujo” for short, some people sear by it. Personally, my system is as simple as having two or three notebooks, based on use:
One “Weekly Planning” Journal/Planner: I use this to roughly plan out what to do for a whole week. The key to using this particular layout is that I get to set a few weekly goals, a few things to keep in mind/prioritize, or tasks to complete.
One “Daily Scribbles” notebook: I use this one as my “real” daily bullet journal. In it, I literally write down anything that comes to mind or any client meeting notes. This notebook goes with me everywhere. If, during studio time, any items or tasks come up, it gets transferred into this notebook. The notebooks are small and flat so I go through one every few weeks. But it’s nice to have something where you can use to scribble down anything and everything.
One “Ideas and Content” notebook; I use this to write down class notes in. If I go to a lecture or a conference, I take this notebook with me. I also use this spiral notebook to jot down or handwrite outlines for blog posts.
As a digital nomad with limited luggage space, I’ve learned a neat little way to document my handwritten notes. And that is, once a notebook is filled up, I “scan” every page with an app on my iPhone and save it as a digital notebook. Then, I can recycle the notebook, and not have to worry about carrying all the extra weight when I go from one location to the next. The digitalized notebook is then saved on my computer, my external hard drive, and email.
There you have it! 5 quick ways to organize your project calendars and set yourself up for success! I really believe that if you plan for your success, you’re going to be so much more motivated to reach your goals.