As a journalist, I need to keep track of a lot of things. I have interviews to record and makes notes about, story plans to create, and a bunch of other tasks that don’t conveniently fit into one particular tool. Added to this is that I like using technology and that I hate using paper. I’ve had an iPad Pro for a while now – the smaller one with the 10.5-inch display rather the laptop-esque 12.9-inch model. I’ve also got one of Apple’s Smart Keyboards and the Apple Pencil. So, I had all the hardware I needed but not the software – until now. Notability has filled the void and is an essential ingredient in my productivity recipe.
There are lots of great things about being freelance. You get to wear your pyjamas to work whenever you want and if you need a creative break you can head out for a walk, run, ride or whatever helps you relax. You can, to some degree, pick and choose who you work for and what work you do – I have a strict “no assholes” policy. And, assuming you work from home, can chip away at the housework rather than have to do it all in eat evenings or weekend – pushing the vacuum cleaner around a room for five minutes is a great way to recharge the brain.
Workspaces are a very personal thing. What works for one person is a productivity graveyard for someone else. Some people like ambient noise, others have to have music playing while some need total silence. There are people that need a clear desk, others that like the busy-ness of clutter. So, how do you create a great workspace?
Each week, I know I have a set amount of work that needs to get done. Some of it I expect to be ad hoc – clients sometimes call out of the blue with jobs that have a short turnaround – but for the planned work, I need to make sure I hit my deadlines. Here’s how I plan my week.
One of the toughest things to figure out, particularly when you start freelancing, is the value of your time, expertise and experience. Those factors are major determinants of what you can justifiably charge your clients. But you also need to understand another part of your rate setting equation: costs.