Staying Organized as a Freelancer

The image of working for yourself is more exciting then actually working for yourself. If you thinking waking up at 11 am and rolling out of bed to start work naked sounds like a dream, that’s because it is. While working for yourself is great, you need to exercise proper use of time and organization. For some of us, this level of organization is easy. For me, I have to work at it. I have to create simple systems that I can follow and maintain on a day to day basis. It’s through repetition that we find efficiency and organization.

This post is a simple way to keep all your work (on your Mac or PC) organized and easy to find. These principals are taught in some classes in school, but incase you were sleeping during this lesson and your desktop is covered in random files, lets do a quick tutorial.

Here are a few of the best tips I’ve found that have worked for me.
  • Take the time to keep your files organized.
    Whether digital or physical, keeping organized as you go along will help you in the long run when you need to reference files for things like invoices, taxes and overall client interaction.Keep your desktop clean.
  • Make a habit to clean your desktop up at the end of each day.
    Whether your moving around screen shots or files you’ve quickly saved to the desktop, put them all in one place and make sure they get filed away properly.
  • Send your clients PDF’s.
    PDF’s can be read across all devices and computers. Along with being very versatile with image and text based documents, you can create interactive documents that you can send to your client, they can fill in the proper information, re-save the file and send it back to you. I use these kind of documents for sending clients design briefs.
  • Follow a filing system you understand.
    You can see below a map of the hierarchy of files and folder system I use. You can try naming folders differently to fit your needs. You’ve probably been taught a similar file structure in school.



 screenshotsSmart Tip:

Create a “Screen Shots” folder on your desktop. If you take lots of screen shots of important information like bills, invoices and online orders, put them all in one place so they’re easy to find. Mac’s automatically compress files in any folder. I would imagine PC’s do something similar.



If you have any of your own tips or different approaches, please share in the comments.

Your questions answered. The article above should help with any of the questions or similar questions below.
How to organize my files on my computer?
How to keep my files and folders organized?
How to send files to clients?
What file format should I send to clients and customers?
How to stay organized as a freelancer?
How to organize files on a Mac or PC?