There Is A Great Tool For Freelance Writers That Will Change Everything

July 26, 2018

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Writing

Okay, so first thing is first, I will always be fully transparent with all of my articles. If I'm being payed to review something, I will tell you. I am not getting any kind of kickback for talking about this product. It's just a tool that I have been using and really enjoy, and want to share that joy with other freelancers.

If you're anything like me, you probably float from project to project throughout your freelancing day. Writing one article, researching for another, and hopping between all of that and pitching clients, it's a dizzying and wonderfully satisfying day that flies by faster than a blink.

But at the end of the day, how can you tell what was worth your time and what wasn't? Sure, you can give yourself an approximation of how long it took, but without a proper tracking tool, how can you count in all of your cat's distractions and the times that you hopped back and forth between tasks?

I wanted to make sure that the articles that I was writing were worth my time. If something takes me twice as long but the pay is the same, do I really want to waste my time on it? I could, instead, put the time into pitching companies that will pay me better rates.

So Jesse set me up with Toggl. Toggl is an amazing tool that helps you track time and projects. Here is how it works:

You can input different clients, and for each client you can have multiple projects. When you're working on something you just select it from your projects and press start. Keep it open in a separate tab and when you pause working or switch to a different task, just pop over to Toggl, pause your project, and start another. I even have a project called "pitching" where I keep track of the time I spend pitching new clients.

If you accidentally forget to pause your Toggle or forget to press start (which is common at the beginning before you get used to using it), you can actually go in and edit the timer, so no need to panic about forgetfulness. This feature comes in handy for me when my cats start to fight and I have to run to break them up and do not want to have to take the time to pause first.

There is also a browser extension for quick and easy use. I love it.

Using this tool has been eye opening for me. Articles that I thought I was flying through because I enjoyed writing them were actually taking longer than some of the articles that I thought were taking forever, just because they required more research.

The other great advantage of this tool is that it can help you out when you're working on a project that you're getting paid by the hour. First of all, it is an easy way for you to keep track of how many hours you've spent on the project. Second of all, it is a professional way to show your clients that you're billing them honestly because you can download and share out reports that show the client the hours worked.

Give it a try and see if it's something that's helpful to you. As a freelancer you probably have your hand in a thousand different cookie jars, and this tool will help you to realize what cookies are worth the arm stretch and which ones masquerade raisins for chocolate chips.