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Evernote as a Freelance Tool

There are so many tools for freelancers out there and no one tool is perfect. I’ve jumped between several freelance tools but always come back to Evernote. Evernote as a freelance tool can be very useful as this tool allows to you completely customise the way you use it. I’m sharing my most recent set-up to show just one way it may be used by a freelancer.

Which Evernote Version is Best

I use the free version of Evernote as a desktop app (Windows laptop) and I have it on my phone. I’m limited to two devices unless I upgrade. I don’t want to upgrade right now as I don’t see how upgrading will benefit me. I can, of course, log into Evernote anywhere via the web application which does sync from all other devices. Have a look at the upgraded version for yourself though as it might work out better for your individual circumstances. Being able to access it from everywhere makes Evernote a great tool for freelancers as many of us work remotely.

Why Use Evernote as a Freelance Tool

Evernote is one of those tools that has been around for a very long time and which continues to improve. I started using Evernote fairly early on and even then it was a good tool. I like the fact that Evernote continually improves and that the company seems to listen to their users. The add-ons, extensions and additional ways to customise Evernote make it my go-to tool.

My Current Evernote System

I read some excellent articles a while ago on MakeUseOf.com, the first on How to Use Evernote as a Project Management Tool led me to the second, The Best Way to Organise Evernote: Use Tags. My Evernote was rammed with notes and notebooks and over time had ceased to be quite as organised or as useful as I was used to. Taking the advice from these two articles as well as my own experiences I decided to start again.

First, a Ruthless Spring Clean

First up, I got ruthless with the trash button, I cleared out all of the out-of-date notes, deleted tags and notebooks. I then sat and really thought about what I needed Evernote to do for me.

A Streamlined Evernote System for Freelancers

evernote as a freelance tool

I set up a *Genesis Notebook and a FilingCabinet notebook. That’s it. Tags are going to be the way forward from now on, not 30,000 poorly defined notebooks. This simplistic way works for me and is similar to something that I read in Graham Allcott’s How to Be a Productivity Ninja. This is a book I read a few years ago which is brilliant in its simplicity.

 

The idea behind my Evernote system is this:

  1. Everything goes into the *Genesis, including anything clipped via the Evernote Web Clipper.
  2. Periodically, everything in the *Genesis is tagged.
  3. Once tagged, notes are moved from the *Genesis to the FilingCabinet.
  4. Information/notes are found via searching for tags or browsing tags.

That is it. That is my high level, super productive way of organising information. And it works. As a freelancer, I can be juggling a vast number of projects and clients at once. Being able to save, share, file and find information quickly is essential which is why Evernote as a freelance tool is a clear winner.

This is a just brief snapshot of my Evernote as a freelance tool system. There are a lot more tags now but as some of them include client names and sensitive project info, I can’t show you the full set up.

If you were wondering, *Genesis came up in my search for synonyms for “In the beginning”, “the start” and so on. Also, I have a thing for Phil Collins. It has a star because this allows it to always be at the top of my list which is ordered alphabetically by default.

Your Turn

Have a read of linked articles, seriously consider Graham Allcott’s book(s) and let me know what you love or hate about Evernote as a freelance tool. If Evernote is not for you, tell me what program or system you prefer.

As a freelancer organisation and productivity are of the utmost importance. The creative part of my work is stifled by clutter and disorganisation so finding a system that works isn’t just about personal preference, it’s about ensuring my work gets done, my clients are happy and my bills get paid. Whether you choose to use Evernote or not, make sure that you have a system that works for you.

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What Does a Copywriter Do?

When asked what I do for a living, the term “freelance copywriter” makes people’s eye glaze over. They politely nod and occasionally some brave soul will ask what a copywriter actually does but other than that, I get blank stares.

So What Does a Copywriter Do

Words have the potential to sell products and services, change opinions and to inspire action. As an experienced copywriter, I  take command of words, shaping them into engaging website copy, blog posts, articles, product descriptions and more in order to help you achieve your goals.

That’s my party line. What I do is take away tasks that you really don’t have time to do, that aren’t really your forte yet are necessary for your business. As a copywriter, I am a megaphone, a billboard, a tastefully written article. I show your competitors and your target audience that you are an authority in your field and know what you’re talking about. I help you take your products and wow people with them.

As a copywriter, I work with your existing branding, with an agreed tone of voice and adhere to company values. New to all of this? I can help you identify what your business needs in terms of content and I don’t oversell myself. I won’t tell you that your perfectly good product descriptions need rewriting if they don’t. What I will do, however, is audit your current content and advise on improvements. If you need new content, I will work with you to ensure that you receive content that will help you succeed.

What does a copywriter do? We’re all different. We all have specialties, different levels of experience, and different interests. For example, I could write you a press release. I won’t. I could but I don’t like press release writing and in my opinion, certain types of writing require a passion for the work as well as expertise.

Clear on What a Copywriter Does?

I can’t speak for other copywriters but this North Yorkshire copywriter creates no-nonsense content at affordable prices and enjoys doing it. If you want to know more, visit the contact page to find out how. If not, I hope at least that you have a greater understanding of what copywriting is and how it may benefit a vast number of enterprises.

 

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Summer Freelancing: Making it Work

Freelancing offers so much more in terms of flexibility than traditional employment. When it comes to summer freelancing that flexibility really pays off.  Provided that you are prepared to be flexible too, the summer season should be manageable. It could even be enjoyable.

Summer Freelancing When School’s Out

Working when the children are off school is always going to be something of a juggle. I have two children who are now twelve and seven however when they were younger, the struggle was real. How you manage summer freelancing will depend on your own individual circumstances.

My own experience is that childcare, when children are little, can be a real blessing. I had a fabulous and fairly flexible childminder who did so much more than just watch the children while I worked. Once my youngest started school he left childcare and so I had to be a little more creative. I started getting up early. Really early.

Thankfully I am an early riser. I naturally wake up between four and five in the morning. If I’m awake, I get up. I come downstairs, make a brew, open a window, get comfortable and work. If I’ve prepped work properly the day before I can get sometimes as much as a five-hour deep work session under my belt before the boys require my attention. This might not work for you, everyone is different. If you want to work from home over the summer you need to find your own way of making it work.

Taking Holidays

One of the hardest things many freelancers have to deal with is finding a way to take time out for themselves over the summer. When the sun is shining and you want to be outside or really do need to take a couple of weeks off to recharge, additional planning is needed.

First up, you need to find a way to cover your clients while you are off. You could do extra work in advance to cover some or all of the period that you are off work. You could ask a trusted colleague to help out or even hire a VA. How you will get over this particular hurdle will depend entirely on what you do and your client base.

The financial strain that comes with summer freelancing has also been known to put people off taking time out from work. Unlike employed workers, self-employed individuals don’t get paid annual leave, sick pay or much of anything else. Putting a little money aside weekly or monthly so that you have a little nest egg come summer to allow for time off is a great idea.

Summer Freelancing and Summer Weather

We are currently in the midst of a heatwave, quite possibly the longest and most drawn-out heatwave the UK has ever seen. It has been muggy, sweaty and miserable. I’m clearly an autumn gal. What the last few weeks and months have shown, if nothing else, is that the weather can really hit your productivity.

Sadly I don’t have a magic app or top tip to help you control the weather. What I will say is that if summer heat affects you like it does me, employ self care measures. Invest in a decent fan or three, drink a lot (water or squash as opposed to gin) and give yourself a break. If you hate working in the heat, work early. If you need to take a break, take a break.

In Summary

Summer freelancing offers a wealth of opportunities those sadly stuck behind a desk tend to miss out on. You choose whether you take the family on a day trip on a weekday because you can choose whether you make that up at the weekend, on an evening or not at all. Employ your full arsenal of motivational tools and do whatever you need to do. Love it or hate it, summer freelancing can be managed effectively with a little outside of the box thinking and high-level planning.

Do you have top tips for managing summer freelancing or are you planning on winging it?

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