Organizing Your Freelance Writing Clients

A freelance writer with more than one client needs a system to keep them organized - both on the computer and off.

I'm an organizational nut-job.

Organizing Clients on the Computer

Your clients need to have separate files on your computer so everything you need is only a click away.
  • Invest in an external hard drive (hell, spring for a terabyte - think, "If I buy it, they will come" and you'll have enough clients to fill it up). 
  • Create a folder for each client by last name, like Johnston, Angie or by business name, like Unique Web Copy.
  • Create sub-folders in each client folder for every type of work you do for that client.  Some of my clients only have one sub-folder (but I create it anyway, because their needs may later change), while others have several.
  • Create sub-folders in each client folder for invoices, freelance writing contracts/author agreements and whatever else you find necessary.
Organizing Freelance Writing Clients on Paper

Paper backups of everything make my life easier - but it may not for everyone.  If you're going to end up with a mess of scattered paper, don't bother creating an offline filing system to track your freelance writing clients.  It'll do you more harm than good.

If you can stay organized...
  • Buy a filing cabinet or, at the very least, standing magazine holders.
  • Buy manila folders to put in your cabinet.
  • Label each manila folder with each client's last name/first name combo.  Organize them alphabetically for easy reference later.
  • Print all contracts, author agreements and invoices as you create them and stick them into the appropriate client folder.  Put the oldest in the front and the newest in the back.
The key to paper folders is filing things as they come in.  Like I said, if you can't stay on top of it, don't waste the money on printer ink.

How do you keep your freelance writing clients organized?

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© Angie Papple Johnston 2010. Don't steal from me or I'll come getcha. Really... I've got that kind of time.

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