3 Simple Tips for Managing Multiple Projects at Once

Many freelancers work on multiple projects at once. Doing so helps guarantee a steady stream of work; if one client or project dries up, the others can fill the void. Managing multiple projects can also present challenges, however. It can be hard to keep track of what you’re doing for each client, and mismanaging your projects can lead to lost work, costly revisions and a bad reputation no freelancer can afford. Here are a few tips that will help you stay organized and manage your projects more effectively.

Use a calendar.

When you have a lot of projects or clients, you probably have a lot of different deadlines. Delivering work on time is crucial to building a good reputation. For this reason, every freelancer should have a calendar. Invest in one large wall or desk calendar for your workspace, and use it to track all of your internal and external due dates. For on-the-go reminders, put important deadlines in your smartphone’s calendar, and set up alerts to remind you a week, a day or a few hours in advance.

Save your emails.

Saving all your emails may seem like a vice, but it’s actually a virtue in disguise. Every email exchange with your clients generates a record that’s conveniently time-stamped and indexed in chronological order in your inbox. Additionally, most email services offer tools such as category folders and filters that let you file away important messages and label them by client, payment status and type of work. Having instant access to old emails is a great way to quickly check deadlines and resolve disputes with clients over promised payment.

Make a checklist.

If you’ve taken on multiple large projects at once, the amount of work ahead of you can paralyze your ability to get started. To make things more manageable, organize your tasks into checklists. First, create a master checklist of all the tasks you must complete to finish your assigned projects. Organize these tasks by due date, and when a new task arises, add it to the list in the appropriate spot. Each workday, create a smaller checklist that outlines the tasks you must complete that day, listed in order of priority. When you complete a task, be sure to cross it off both checklists.