5 Time Management Tools for Freelance Writers

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on December 8, 2012 in Productivity & Organization, Writers' Resources
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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 and some examples you might want to try.

Here are five simple time management tools for freelance writers. Enjoy!

  1. E.ggtimer.com -- This is probably my all-time favorite time management tool. I use it to time working blocks using the Pomodoro technique (25 minutes working, 5 minute break, etc.). It makes work feel more like a game, which is one of my favorite techniques for increasing productivity. I always want to push myself to get more accomplished in each 25 minute block of time. You can choose to set any time block you want with this timer.
  2. Focus Booster -- This is another online timer, but it defaults to the 25 minute Pomodoro working blocks. If you want to try the technique, but you worry you'll spend more time fiddling with the timer settings and testing out new work periods than actually getting work done, you might prefer the simplicity of this one.
  3. StayFocusd -- If you use Google Chrome like I do, this extension is a good way to eliminate online distractions. It lets you block access to distracting sites (like your social media accounts or webmail access) when you're working. There are similar extensions for other browsers, like the LeechBlock add-on for Firefox.
  4. Self Control -- This tool is similar to StayFocusd, but it's specifically for Mac users. It lets you block access to both websites and mail servers. But be careful what you wish for. Once you set your timer, you can't turn it off. Even deleting the app or restarting your computer won't restore your access. If you're a total feed reader or social media junkie, this could be just what you need to break the habit during work.
  5. GraphicRiver.net -- GraphicRiver.net is an Envato marketplace for various graphic works. I know this doesn't seem like a time management tool. But it's proven to be one of the best around in my experience. Why? Because it lets me focus on my work -- writing. I don't have to agonize over design basics -- like e-book backgrounds, report templates, ad graphics, and even stock photos for some of my blogs. It saves me hours of time on not only my own publications and marketing materials, but also client projects.

Have you tried any of these tools to improve your productivity and time management as a freelance writer? Do you have other favorite tools not included here? Tell me in the comments.

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Jennifer Mattern is a professional blogger, freelance business writer, and indie author. She began writing for clients in 1999 and started her first blog in 2004.

She owns 3 Beat Media - a publishing and client services company which operates All Indie Writers as well as several other websites and blogs including The Busy Author's Guide and BizAmmo. Jenn comes from a background in online PR and social media consulting, having owned a small PR firm for several years before choosing to pursue a full-time writing and publishing career.

Jenn also writes fiction under multiple pen names in the areas of children's fiction, mysteries, and horror fiction. Jenn is an active member of the Horror Writers Association (HWA) and currently serves as the organization's Assistant Coordinator of Promotions and Social Media.


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5 Comments

  1. Ruan Oosthuizen December 9, 2012 Reply

    I am definitely going to try out GraphicRiver,net, Jennifer. As one who likes to do my own design work as well as the fact that I simply love a beautiful graphic within my writing where it’s appropriate, I am sure this tool will come in handy.

    My favorite tool I only recently started utilizing to its full extent is Evernote. I know it’s more of a personal organizer but can you imagine how much time one can save just by having all your notes, articles to be read, etc all organized in one place? Let alone the capability to sync your data between your various devices.

    My favorite feature has to be the capability of adding the Evernote extension to Chrome and then being able to take web clips of your favorite articles for later reference or reading.

    Thanks for the share! I may be contacting you shortly with a guest post proposal! :)
    Ruan Oosthuizen recently posted…Case Study | The Birth Of A Freelance Blogger – Chapter 1 Part 1: “Fertilization”My Profile

    • Jennifer Mattern December 10, 2012 Reply

      Thanks for adding Evernote Ruan. I know plenty of writers who use it and love it (although I haven’t used it myself). I did see your guest post email come through. I’ll do my best to get back to you about it later day.

  2. Cathy Miller December 10, 2012 Reply

    Why am I suddenly feeling old that when I read subject lines like Stay Focused and Self Control, I don’t automatically think technology? :-)
    Cathy Miller recently posted…12 Days of Business Blog Post IdeasMy Profile

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