Freelancers have it harder than most businesses because as a freelancer, you have to do everything.
By everything, I mean everything a business needs to have in place to function properly and profitably.
You are the marketing person, the accounting person, the project manager, the support person and anything else you can imagine to run your freelancing gig.
Even if you managed to juggle those multiple hats, you know that the 'things that need to get done' keeps growing. Like the fact that you constantly need to learn new skills to keep up in your niche.
So, you can imagine how critical it is for a freelancing individual to get organized and be super productive.
Well, as a website developer, I can say I can feel the pain and frustration because I have been there. My foray into web design almost 10 years back started with freelancing. For me, it was Drupal, SEO, Marketing in general and 100 other technologies and tools that I wanted to be abreast on. For you, it might be WordPress, .NET, Java, etc.
The point is, as a Freelancer you need to be process driven and super productive or perish back to 9-5.
Now, if your dream is to freelance and build a kick-ass business with a team of your own, then guess what you need to do?
You need to be super organized in order to bring in the right talent and grow your business.
Initially, you might hire a virtual assistant or hire someone in-house - now there are a couple of scenarios how this might go down. The new person might need to be trained or they might be super talented in their niche - either way, to get the most bang for your buck you need to make sure that there are systems in place to either teach them what you know or bring that knowledge and skill set from your super talented person in-house. Either way, you need a knowledge base, which once implemented, will make you and your team super productive.
Now, the question is how are you managing these multiple hats?
Do marketing, accounting, project management, support, learning, knowledge base and more..?
For me, I have tried a dozen or so systems - the issue was each one did one thing or another, but I really didn't find anything that really stood out.
So, almost exactly a year back - Dec 2014, one of my teammates - Mohammed Sadiq, who is passionate about Ruby On Rails, and everything related to web performance showed me a barebone demo application that he had built in his spare time with a very simple concept that even a 10 year old can understand and implement.
The aha moment was when he showed me this great UI, that forced me to store information in the age-old format of Book >> Chapter >> Sections.
Well, since then that simple application has taken a life of its own. The challenge has been to keep the User Interface simple while packing in a ton of features. Features like fine-grained access control with the ability to share just a section, or a chapter or the whole book with your friend/colleague in multiple ways. Then there is this upcoming feature that redefines Lead Capture - Yep, Meribook Connect feature can be termed as e-book killer - because now you can run Lead Magnet campaigns and deliver a Meribook :) No more headaches to create an expensive designed PDF and the best part you can actually track when a user consumes the Lead Magnet information.
Anyway, the fact is we have been able to transform the way we work using Meribook in-house and I am sure you will find it just as simple. Check out my video below where I show you briefly how I manage my websites built in Drupal and my secret recipe for managing a list of working Drupal modules.
After watching the video, as a freelancer, I am sure you can come up with a dozen ideas where you can implement Meribook to get organized.
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Here is a recap of how I manage my website workload in Meribook.
If you are familiar with Drupal, you know it has a monster list of modules and most of my sites touch 300 modules easily. How do I manage with module play nice, which needs a certain patch? You guessed it, I have a Book created in Meribook for that.
Chapters: Patched Modules (one of many chapters)
Sections: Each patched module with the working patch comment / URL
Now for Website maintenance, I have created another book as shown below.
Book: Managed Websites
Chapters: each website URL is a chapter
Sections: each update goes in as 'website update mm/dd/yy'
That's it! - It is super easy to find each and every 'touch' to the website - what was done - with a follow-up date for review if needed.
Your Turn! - Share how you are using Meribook to get super organized.