Tips & Stories

How to Manage a Freelance Career with Evernote

How to Manage a Freelance Career with Evernote

Posted by Kasey Fleisher Hickey on 04 Nov 2013

Posted by Kasey Fleisher Hickey on 04 Nov 2013

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This is a contributed post by Freelance Ambassador Kristi Willis.

I started using Evernote when I worked for someone else, and when I left to start my own company, it became my true essential app.

As a freelance writer and technology consultant, I am constantly changing hats and environments as I switch between clients and assignments. Evernote serves as my virtual notebook and file cabinet no matter where I am and it works on all five of my devices (Macbook Pro, iMac, Lenovo laptop, iPad and iPhone).

I use Evernote to organize my projects, collect my research, share with clients and colleagues and store all of my reference material.

Here are a few ways I use it:

For Organizing Projects

Each article I’m writing or training project I take on contains many moving pieces. I create a note for each project and use that as my project plan, tracking everything from people I need to interview to where we are on revisions. I add a Reminder with a due date to each project note so that it appears at the top of my Note Stack in the order that it is due.

I also create a tag for each project so I can easily find all the notes for that project. For example, if I’m writing a story for Edible Austin magazine’s 2014 Wellness issue, I tag all the research with ‘EA Wellness 2014′. Using the tag, I can find the notes no matter where they are stored.

How to Organize a Freelance Career

Shared Notebooks for Working with Others

I use Shared Notebooks with my assistant, Lillian, to pass work back and forth to each other and to store information we use in common, like passwords to my social media accounts.  Since we both have Premium accounts, we can each edit or delete notes as needed.

I record my interviews in Evernote, store that note in our Shared Notebook, and alert Lillian that the interview is ready to be transcribed. When she’s finished, she lets me know and I can store the note with the other research for the article.

Skitch for Communication and Annotation

For my technical consulting work, I often need to capture screenshots for documentation and presentations (like this article!). Previously, I had different tools for the PC and Mac and used a third tool to make annotations. With Skitch, I can use one tool on all my devices and annotate in the same place. I also frequently use Skitch to mark up PDFs when editing documentation with others.

How to Organize a Freelance Career

For Going Paperless

I was completely unprepared for the avalanche of receipts I would have in my world as a freelancer. After my first year on my own, I had a real paper storage issue on my hands and trying to track things for taxes was a nightmare. I read another Ambassador’s post about how they organize receipts and stole their idea.

Paperless Ambassador Jamie Todd Rubin’s Paperless Tips

Now, I have one notebook for each financial year and I scan, e-mail and clip receipts to that notebook. The Fujistu ScanSnap has changed my life. Honestly, most of the time I scan in front of the TV while I’m watching some mindless show. The Fujistu ScanSnap automatically creates a note for each receipt so come tax time, I can easily verify my receipts.

The ScanSnap Evernote Edition scanner is available in the Evernote Market.

For Capturing the Next Big Idea

As a freelancer, I’m constantly looking for new ideas to pitch to magazines. I might hear something at a conference or read a story online that prompts an idea that I want to pitch, but am not ready to send yet. I store those ideas in Evernote using a ‘story ideas’ tag and then review that tag each month to pull together my pitches for editors.

Kristi used Skitch to communicate her ideas for this post. Skitch is a great tool for freelancers, making it easy to quickly point out what’s important.

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10 Comments RSS

  • Skip Blankley

    This is great, Kasey! Thanks for sharing. I like that you are using the recording feature that way. I personally record almost every client meeting I have and listen back with the notes open, as I ALWAYS get more out of listening to the conversation again. Some of the best ideas for our projects have come when listening back to the meeting because it is impossible to retain everything in a brainstorming meeting. Thanks again!

  • Skip Blankley

    This is great, Kasey! Thanks for sharing. I like that you are using the recording feature that way. I personally record almost every client meeting I have and listen back with the notes open, as I ALWAYS get more out of listening to the conversation again. Some of the best ideas for our projects have come when listening back to the meeting because it is impossible to retain everything in a brainstorming meeting. Thanks again!

    • Dave

      I do a similar thing with online meetings and presentations, using the clipper to grab screenshots on-the-fly then merge notes into a storyboard at my leisure. Priceless.

  • Skip Blankley

    This is great, Kasey! Thanks for sharing. I like that you are using the recording feature that way. I personally record almost every client meeting I have and listen back with the notes open, as I ALWAYS get more out of listening to the conversation again. Some of the best ideas for our projects have come when listening back to the meeting because it is impossible to retain everything in a brainstorming meeting. Thanks again!

  • Skip Blankley

    This is great, Kasey! Thanks for sharing. I like that you are using the recording feature that way. I personally record almost every client meeting I have and listen back with the notes open, as I ALWAYS get more out of listening to the conversation again. Some of the best ideas for our projects have come when listening back to the meeting because it is impossible to retain everything in a brainstorming meeting. Thanks again!

  • Michael Kenward

    Before Evernote is any use to this freelance writer and technology consultant, it has to be accessible to the indexing software that I use to keep track of thousands of emails and files that I constantly consult. I don’t want to be diving around all over the pace in search if things.

    Ideas to pitch are falling-off-a-log territory. Trawling through two decades of research material is what matters.

  • Michael Kenward

    Before Evernote is any use to this freelance writer and technology consultant, it has to be accessible to the indexing software that I use to keep track of thousands of emails and files that I constantly consult. I don’t want to be diving around all over the pace in search if things.

    Ideas to pitch are falling-off-a-log territory. Trawling through two decades of research material is what matters.

  • Michael Kenward

    Before Evernote is any use to this freelance writer and technology consultant, it has to be accessible to the indexing software that I use to keep track of thousands of emails and files that I constantly consult. I don’t want to be diving around all over the pace in search if things.

    Ideas to pitch are falling-off-a-log territory. Trawling through two decades of research material is what matters.

  • Michael Kenward

    Before Evernote is any use to this freelance writer and technology consultant, it has to be accessible to the indexing software that I use to keep track of thousands of emails and files that I constantly consult. I don’t want to be diving around all over the pace in search if things.

    Ideas to pitch are falling-off-a-log territory. Trawling through two decades of research material is what matters.

  • Quotegram iOS App

    The one thing that’s making Evernote as THE tool for me is its lack of support for some sort of a spreadsheet functionality. Please bring this in and I don’t have to switch back and forth between Google Drive and Evernote.