I think I’m like most people in that the New Year brings on a strong urge for organization. My office is very small, so I don’t have room for any fancy organizational systems. But here’s a list of a few things I currently do to help my freelance writing and editing business stay organized.
File Dates and Names
I don’t have space to save hard copies of projects, so they are all stored digitally. I create folders for each of my clients. Then within those folders, I store projects by date. For example, when a client sent me a press release to edit this morning, I saved it as “1.11_Press Release Name.” I tend to keep the “Press Release Name” area as the client wrote it to avoid confusion.
When a new year starts, I take all of my client folders from the previous year and move them to a folder named for the year. Having things organized this way really helps me find older documents quickly.
I know it sounds like I live in the dark ages, but I prefer to track my time on paper. I am partial to these date books from Paper Source, and I use these cute paperclips to hold my page. I write all my obligations and appointments in mine, as well as the time I work each day and for which client. I highlight my work hours in orange so they’re easy to find and add up at the end of the month when I do my invoicing.
I try to hold on to as little paper as possible, but for things I can’t throw away, like contracts or bound corporate style guides, these FLYT cardboard magazine holders from Ikea fit perfectly in my desk’s cabinet. I like to buy colorful or patterned folders to organize my papers – they make filing a little less dull!
Do you have a resolution to be more organized in 2013? Do you have any tips for keeping your small business organized? Let me know in a comment – I want to keep my work super-organized this year!