Review of The Freelancer Planner

The Freelancer Planner

Not long ago I was contacted by Michelle Nickolaisen, asking if I'd like to review The Freelancer Planner. Of course I said "yes." Planners? Organization? Schedules? She clearly knew the way to this freelancer's heart. Total organization junkie over here.

Michelle sent over a review copy of the downloadable version of her planner. This is a six-page .pdf planner (minus the cover page) that you can print at home. You would print a fresh copy for each week.

The Freelancer Planner is a Kickstarter project that you can back. You can get the full downloadable version that I'm reviewing here for a $5.00 pledge. A spiral-bound version will also be shipping in September for those who pledge $25 or more.

What The Freelancer Planner Covers

Here's a quick run-down of what you can track with The Freelancer Planner:

  • Appointments for the week (such as client calls)
  • Tasks for the week which relate to, and move you towards, bigger goals
  • One-off and "niggly" tasks for the week (think weekly plugin updates or audits of your freelance writer website)
  • Your weekly "staple" tasks (your marketing and PR or content creation for your professional blog)
  • Website maintenance and social media (your daily social network posts, blog comment responses, etc.)
  • Daily priorities and tasks (to turn your weekly to do list into an actual schedule)
  • Your larger goals for your freelance business
  • Your income goal (and what that translates to for earnings-per-workday)
  • Any backburner tasks that you'll get to if you happen to have time

On top of all of that, there's a monthly planning calendar to help you keep track of everything at a glance. Here's a video from Michelle showing you how to use that calendar.

Highlights of The Freelancer Planner

There's a lot to love here. I'm a big fan of printables and using offline tools to plan projects. While I do use (and love) Todoist for my day-to-day scheduling and to do lists, I prefer to keep my "big picture" planning offline -- index cards, white boards (lots of white boards), and my own project planner which you can find in the Resources section of this site.

So The Freelancer Planner is right up my alley. Here's the thing though. Like I said, I'm very happy with Todoist for my daily planning. So you'd think this wouldn't be a great fit for me. But I can totally see myself using this -- even if not for my freelance projects.

Other than the daily freelance income targets, this planner would work perfectly for indie authors, and maybe even bloggers (if they want to disconnect from the web for a little while).

While this touches on the important things freelancers should consider, it's also general enough that I don't see why any business owner or creative professional couldn't use it. Its simplicity is marketing gold -- a new name and cover, and maybe a few minor tweaks, and Michelle could market this planner to several niche markets.

Problems & Suggestions

This is one of those rare cases where I don't have any real "problems" with something I'm reviewing. If you like printable planners and you want to get more organized in your freelance business, you'll love this.

The only tiny thing that doesn't work for me is the breakdown of only three priorities at a time. The funny thing is, there was a conversation about this just a few days ago (on Anne Wayman's forum I believe). And I was surprised to hear that I'm not alone in this. Most freelancers I know do prefer to have fewer major tasks, whereas the rest of us take a very breakdown-oriented approach to priorities and goals. It's just a matter of testing and knowing what works for you.

So, if I had to offer one suggestion, it might be to remove the numbers and leave that area blank for people to fill in in whatever way suits them. But that's a really minor issue, and ignoring the numbers (or trying to stick to them if it's something you haven't tested yet) is easy enough.

The Verdict

I'm not sure what else to say here other than "I love this." Organizational tools are my weak spot. If you have a complicated process now and you're looking to simplify, this could be a good option for you. And if you've never taken on weekly planning like this, The Freelancer Planner is simple, though comprehensive, enough to help you get started.

Get your copy of The Freelancer Planner (downloadable or spiral-bound) by supporting this project on KickStarter. 

Get The Freelancer Planner - Back it on KickStarter today.

Profile image for Jennifer Mattern

Jennifer Mattern is a professional blogger, freelance business writer, consultant, and indie author. She runs numerous websites & blogs including All Freelance Writing, Freelance Writing Pros, NakedPR, and Kiss My Biz.

Jenn has 25 years' experience as a professional writer and editor and over 20 years' experience in marketing and PR (working heavily in digital PR, online marketing, social media, SEO, new media, and thought leadership publication). She also has 19 years' professional blogging and web publishing experience (including web development) and around 18 years of experience as an indie author / publisher.

Jenn also writes fiction under multiple pen names and is an Active member of the Horror Writers Association.

Subscribe to the All Freelance Writing newsletter to get freelance writing updates from Jenn in your inbox.

Get More Content Like This in Your Inbox

Did you enjoy this post? If so, please subscribe to the All Freelance Writing newsletter where you'll be notified of new blog articles and receive subscribers-only content.

Subscribe now.

4 thoughts on “Review of The Freelancer Planner”

  1. My entire planning revolves around writing down tasks in a notepad and then scratching them out every time I complete task. It’s not very exciting but it works! I’ll definitely take a look at this planner, it looks interesting, thanks for the review!

    • Thanks for sharing your method Timothy. Sometimes simple really is best. There’s nothing quite like scratching (or checking) things off a list. That’s probably one of my biggest motivators. 🙂

  2. I’ve never tried planning programs, even the Google calendar failed for me. I use a small whiteboard to schedule my time) i make a chart with plans for the nearest future and try to stick to it. Also Trello is a nice program. It does not make any remainders, but contains To-Do lists, where you can set priorities to tasks)) I’ll try This Planer, maybe it will make me stick to plans))

    • I hope it works out for you Olena. 🙂

      There’s no reason you’d have to use this planner exclusively. I’ve used Trello for other things in the past, but prefer Todoist for scheduling and planning out my days. There are plenty of great tools available that can do similar things. I’m also a big fan of white boards and index cards and I use both constantly. White boards are great for at-a-glance planning. 🙂


Leave a Comment