The Blog

10/10/16

How Todoist Can Help You Stay Organized

One of the hardest things for me as a freelancer to handle is organization – simply because there is so much that needs to be organized! There are basic things to organize, like invoicing and tax documents. There are social media posts to create and schedule on a regular basis. And there is the entire client process to set up and organize. I’ve found a program called Todoist that makes all of that organization so much easier to handle! Here is how it’s helped me, and how it can help you as well!

How Todoist Can Help You Stay Organized

01 Todoist Keeps Me Organized

Todoist is a powerful to-do list creator. I use it every day to determine what tasks I need to complete before the work day ends. What I love about it is that I can set it up to sync with Calendar on my Mac, so that everything that I have to do in the near future shows up in the same place. (Whether it’s work-related, an event, or personal) One thing I struggle with is remembering things that I need to get done, especially when there are a few work items here and then some personal obligations there. I love that Todoist and Calendar help me keep everything organized!

02 I Use Todoist as a Part of My Client Process

I can add my client to Todoist & assign tasks to both of us

The biggest reason why I love Todoist is how it helps me with my client process! I’ve only just started using it, but it’s already been so helpful. I have Todoist Premium (which costs $30/year), which allows me to add collaborators to specific to-do lists. What I do is create a new project for each client that I have, and I invite them to join it. I’ll list out every major task that each of us will need to take care of during the project, and will assign each task to the correct person. Each task for the next month will have a due date (although I’m flexible with my clients with due dates – insofar as life slows things down or speeds things up), so that we both have a good idea of when things should get done. This creates realistic expectations and good reminders for when tasks are due! As we work through the project each of us can check of the tasks we complete and continue setting due dates for tasks that will be completed in the near future.

Todoist helps me see what’s required of both me and my client

While this is so helpful with general task organization, it is also incredibly helpful for me to be able to see a client project laid out for the next month with actual dates. In the past I would keep track of when I’d last emailed a client. I would rely on memory and my email system to determine when I needed to do more work for them or send them current progress. That worked okay, but it made it very easy for time to slip away from me and for me to not keep things quite as on track as they should have been. I think this is something that happens very easily when you’re a busy freelancer working with multiple clients, some of whom reply at slightly slower speeds!

With Todoist I don’t have to rely on my own memory, or even on my email system, to know when my client is supposed to send me info or when I need to send them design concepts. I can see it all laid out right in front of me, and even as a part of my calendar! It makes planning each work week so much easier, and filled with less guesswork!

Todoist helps cut down on emails

Within each project is the ability to comment on it. This is similar to a chat system, where all the collaborators (read: me and my client) can chat back and forth about the project. This is helpful if I just need to notify my client that I’ve uploaded logo concepts to Dropbox (read more about how Dropbox can help your client process here), or send a quick note about the progress I’m making on the project. It makes communication seem much less daunting (why does writing an email always feel so much more formal and time-consuming then texting or messaging does?), and cuts down on short, more unimportant emails in my inbox.

My to-do list goes everywhere I go

Todoist is designed for every platform. You can download the app for your Mac, get it for your phone, or just use the browser version! I love that it’s versatile, and that I can easily see what’s required of me at all times.

Todoist does away with the need for a program like Asana or Basecamp

Don’t get me wrong, some businesses absolutely need programs like Asana or Basecamp! They are powerful project managers that have a lot of functionality. But for me, as a freelancer with no employees, it would be too powerful. I might also be too confusing for my clients to interact with, due to the learning curve that would probably take up too much time to get through. Todoist is enough of a project manager, does a great job of keeping me organized, and is so much more affordable!

How do you keep your work responsibilities and your client process organized? Is there a program you’ve found that helps you keep everything in order?

(Nope, Todoist didn’t sponsor this post! I just love the program!)

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