Over the last two months, the Skippet team and I spent many hours trying to understand how freelancers spend their time, how they organize their work and how they think.
I decided to summarize some key learnings for the benefit of people considering freelancing, or those working as freelancers but struggling with their personal organization. Here are three key conclusions I have come to:
For freelancers the relationship between time and money is very direct, more so than for salaried employees. Most freelancers charge on an hourly basis, so every minute spent working literally can be converted into dollars earned. Although this relationship is proportional, it is not necessarily evenly distributed - hectic periods intertwine with dry-spells. Thus, prioritization becomes crucial. These insights have two implications for personal organization:
You need to get over the first stumbling block to achieve greatness in the second point.
This is where AI comes in. By helping you get past this “valley of despair”, a freelancer should be able to set up their personal organization system quickly and to their exact specs. No one likes a blank page, especially when it comes to administrative and daunting tasks, where the benefits are not immediate.
Most salaried employees just focus on the job they’ve been hired to do. Apart from the occasional paperwork or HR training, someone else is doing the business management. As a freelancer, if you don’t spend time on the business, you will either run out of money or get into all sorts of legal or tax troubles. This makes for a broad set of business management needs that are interrelated.
The best solutions ideally do not involve multiple software, which is expensive and should be solved with a unified workspace to manage both work (projects, tasks, client briefs) and the business side of things, including clients, outreach, admin deadlines. This way, freelancers can save money, learn multiple tools and make being organized second nature.
Loving business admin and being a great designer, copywriter, any or any type of freelancer is not correlated to say the least, and often negatively related. Thus, having AI does lots of this for you and doesn’t simply have financial benefits, but also keeps you sane.
You’d think that freelancers would spend most of their time working in isolation. While this may be true in some cases, most freelancers collaborate with other people in one way or another. Some freelancers simply share work with their clients where the collaboration complexities are lower, while others collaborate in more elaborate ways. This includes working on a new side-hustle with other freelancers, like organizing an event or a joint marketing push, or being incorporated into a team of freelancers within a client’s company.
In all these scenarios, a central facet of the collaboration is the notion of permissions, i.e. who can see what information and what they can do with it. Sharing data can pose challenges both within client organizations e.g. across departments or levels of seniority, or when a freelancer shares work with different clients but in a unified platform. This can create lots of complexity – can a person see the project of a certain client? For a given department? Perhaps only some of the data?
Suddenly, you need “enterprise level” permissions for seemingly simple use cases. This is where a flexible organization tool becomes advantageous.
This investigation into the needs of freelancers highlighted that there is a lot more to their personal organization than what is visible on the surface. While a notebook and simple calendar might work for some people, in many cases it does not.
Skippet lets people quickly get started with AI, unify all their work in one workspace and collaborate with other using advanced permissions. This makes it a great tool in a freelancer’s arsenal to tackle these challenges.
Ready to level up your freelancing business? Try Skippet for free today.