Bullet Journals for Writers

NOTE: This post on bullet journals for writers is a significantly updated version of my 2018 post on how I use various types of journaling to manage nearly everything in my business and my life. In this 2021 update, the focus is much more centered on bullet journals in particular. Here you’ll find my updated list of bullet journal spreads and even more bullet journal

How to Use Skeleton Outlines to Write Faster

A fellow writer mentioned client projects sometimes took longer than they hoped, so they wanted to learn to write faster in order to avoid this. While there are plenty of ways you can increase your writing speed, one tip I gave them was to use “skeleton outlines.” I worked through the beginning stages of of a skeleton outline while they watched to show how quick

Are You Working the Wrong Freelance Writing Schedule?

Do you ever look at your fellow freelance writers and wonder how they seem to fit so much into their days? Do you struggle to get through your daily to-do lists? Have you felt forced to work more than 40 hours per week to take care of projects you’ve gotten behind on? If you answered “yes” to any of those questions, you might be working the

How You Can be a More Prolific Writer – No Superpowers Needed

A friend and member of the All Freelance Writing community contacted me recently with a question about being a more prolific writer and balancing multiple writing ambitions. She asked to remain anonymous but agreed to let me share her question here in the hopes my answer might help someone else in a similar predicament. Here’s the gist: This is a writer in a similar position

3 Tools for More Productive and Organized Writing

Today marks the start of my usual year-end vacation, meaning I won’t be around much until the New Year (January 4th in this case). Before taking these yearly breaks I spend a lot of time evaluating my previous year. It’s how I set goals for the next year, but it’s also when I look at the tools and processes I’ve been using to decide what

Find an Extra Hour Every Day With a 5-Minute List

There are days when 24 hours just isn’t enough. I’m sure you’ve experienced at least a few of those. Wouldn’t it be great if you could find an extra hour without having to sacrifice sleep or something else you love to do? Finding that extra hour a day might be easier than  you think. The trick? Create a “5-minute list.” What is a 5-Minute List? Your 5-minute

A Simple To Do List Tweak for More Productive Writing

When you work as a writer — especially a freelance writer — your schedule can feel a bit scattered. You don’t have one job that you go to, where you follow a basic plan under one boss. You instead have to balance (or is that juggle?) multiple projects and multiple clients. Bouncing around from one project to another isn’t the most efficient use of your

Quick Tip: Talk Your Way to Faster Blogging

Do you suffer from the common blogging problem of never feeling like you have enough time to write? Do you type slower than you’d like? Do you wish there was a secret to faster blogging? There isn’t just one thing. But here’s something that might help: Let your computer (or phone or tablet) do your “writing” for you. How? Give voice-to-text apps a try. Let me

7 Time Management Tools for Freelance Writers

As a freelance writer do you ever feel like you aren’t working to your full potential — that you could get more work done if you could just eliminate some distractions and improve your productivity a bit? Fortunately there are plenty of time management tools that can help you do that. Today I’d like to share some of my favorite types of time management tools

Quick Tip: The Pomodoro Technique for Authors

One of my favorite productivity tools in my freelance writing and blogging work is a timer. I use something called the Pomodoro Technique which breaks down my work into small, manageable periods of time. It’s a great way to stay focused and push yourself to see how much you can do in a short stretch. And it turns out, it works well for writing books

Gamification: Make Freelance Writing More Fun

In the comments on a previous post about loving your work, Anne Wayman mentioned that she wanted to try to turn some of her marketing into a game. That’s something I try to do with my daily work as much as possible too. So I thought it might be fun to look at gamification and how you can gamify your freelance writing work. Gamification doesn’t have to

Pros and Cons of Multitasking for Freelancers

Multitasking. It’s awesome. It’s evil. It will make you more productive. It will make you less productive. It will make you more successful. It will destroy your business. What’s the truth when it comes to multitasking in your freelance writing business? The truth is, it depends. Should You Multitask? It depends on what kinds of tasks you’re talking about. For example, it would probably be

How Writers Can Stay Productive Even During Sick Days

So far this year, I’ve had one normal work day. One. Just a day after returning to work from my holiday break, I needed a sick day. That turned into a “sick week.” And it’s now going on week two. Surprisingly though, those sick days have still been productive days. I launched several new features here on this site. I published several blog posts on various

Freelance Writers: Change Your Habits, Change Your Career

We all have goals for our freelance writing careers. And many of us are probably gearing up to make changes in the New Year. But what happens when you feel stuck — like there’s no time left in the day to actually work on growing our businesses? No matter how busy or even overwhelmed you might feel there’s always one option open. Change your current

How Word Count Trackers Can Make You More Productive

I’m a big fan of any tool that can help me get more work finished in less time. One tool freelance writers might not think to use is a word count tracker. But word count trackers are more for authors, right? Sure. They’re great for tracking your progress on a book. But there are also plenty of ways you can use them with typical freelance

5 Tips for Becoming a Happier and More Productive Freelance Writer

It’s one thing to enjoy the freedom freelance writing offers. But sometimes we still get overwhelmed. Deadlines loom, payments might seem to take forever, and our to-do lists could occupy a mile-long scroll. Fortunately there are some things you can do to make yourself more productive than ever, and even happier in your freelance writing work. Here are five tips to help you become a

Working with Kids: Boosting Productivity

I’m split at times about how kids affect my working life. In many – okay most – cases I feel very limited by having kids underfoot or in the house when I’m working. But other times I wonder if I’d be as effective as I am if my children didn’t already have me so well trained. It takes a lot of dedication and discipline to

Plan Early for a Productive Holiday Work Schedule

Can you believe it’s already October? That means the holiday season is just around the corner. And holidays can wreak havoc on our freelance work schedules (or at least they do for mine). Don’t let the holiday season get in the way of work, or let work stress keep you from enjoying the holidays. Let’s look at a few ways you can stay productive throughout

Freelancers: Get More Rest, Get More Done

I’ve been a bit of a hypocrite lately, not following my own rules about maintaining a work-life balance. Working late happens more often than it should (including today). And I haven’t felt very rested — which makes me feel mentally drained all day, which hurts my productivity even more and leads to more late nights. It’s a lousy little cycle. Sometimes it’s completely our fault

Optimize Your Email to Become a More Productive Writer

Increasing your productivity can go a long way towards helping you build your freelance writing career in the way you want to. It’s how you work smarter, not harder. You can get more done (and make more money) even though you spend fewer hours working. Or you can open up more billable hours in your existing schedule. What’s not to love? For me, I still

What My Cats Taught Me About More Efficient Freelancing

Sometimes we find inspiration in the strangest places. And today I’m going to turn the floor over to my two kitties, Baby and Tubs. Here are a few lessons I’ve learned from these little beasties that apply to the freelance writing life: Baby: There’s Always Time for a Nap Sometimes we get so caught up in work and deadlines and finding new projects that we

My Most Unproductive Work Day Ever (And Why I’m Not Letting it Get Me Down)

In my last post I talked about tech-related problems leading to distraction at work, especially when you freelance and you get to deal with most of those issues yourself. Today was unfortunately an even worse day for me productivity-wise. I’d say it might just be my most unproductive work day ever. And it too began with technology-related non-goodness. Morning Upgrades Things kicked off this morning

Technology-Induced Procrastination

Thursday is the last work day of my week. I therefore like for it to be a productive day. Well, that or I’ll work late Wednesday to take extra time off on Thursday. This Thursday was anything but. And technology was (mostly) to blame. I tend to get some early tweeting in while I have my first cup of coffee. I do this because it

The 4-Day Freelance Work Week (and Why It’s Time for a Change)

For quite some time, I’ve planned to cut down my work schedule to a four-day work week. I never seem to get around to it though. Whenever I free up the time, either I have a new project to work on during those hours or a client wants to start on a big contract that I suddenly have some free hours for. So the schedule

The 10 Second Trick that Doubled my Productivity as a Writer

Lately my work days have been so much more enjoyable than before. I get a solid 7 hours of client work and administrative stuff out the way, I’m actually taking my lunch hour for myself instead of working through it, have the energy to put a few more hours into my own projects daily, and still have time to take care of housework, working out,

5 Ways to Get More Done Today

When you work as a freelance writer, you generally have a lot of control over your own schedule. That may sound great, but what it often means is that we’re prone to procrastination and distractions – it’s too easy to say “Well, I can always just work extra hours later tonight to finish this up.” It doesn’t have to be hard to be more productive