When you get it right, freelance journalism is the best job in the world. You wake up and spend your day doing what you love: writing. Of course, it’s not always as easy as that. A big part of any freelance writer’s job is marketing yourself and finding work. To be the best freelancer, you need to balance these two aspects with care. That’s where technology comes in. We are expert freelancers, if we do say so ourselves, and rely on technology to help us out. Here are some of our favourites.
- Accounting software
The worst thing about being a freelance journalist is looking after your accounts. In a salaried job, your tax is automatically taken from your paycheck, and you don’t have to lift a finger. As a freelancer, it’s all down to you. You need to keep track of every freelance job, every receipt and every expense. Not only does this help track your income, it helps you calculate your tax come the end of the year.
- Phone recorder
As a journalist, you can expect to conduct a number of interviews. Some of these will be face-to-face, but in the digital world, most will be over the telephone. It means you’ll need to get used to recording phone calls. If you don’t get it right, you’ll lose the whole subject of your story! Once you’ve got everything you need, the tough part is transcribing it.
- Writing and distraction apps
The core part of any journalist’s job is opening up the canvas and writing. In the past, this meant grabbing a pen and getting to work. Now that most writing takes place on computers, there are distractions everywhere. What you need is an app that cuts out all the noise. There are lots of these apps out there. They can lock down your internet access to help you focus on writing. Some play soothing music or darken the corners of your screen to help your focus.
- To-do lists and organisation apps
Organisational tools rule our life. Without them, there would be no structure or discipline. They remind us of deadlines, block off writing time and schedule appointments. Again, there are lots of choices here, and everyone has their favourites. They’re also great for storing editor contact details and information.
- Time Trackers
Many freelancers work on an hourly rate, and it’s sometimes tough to keep track. Time trackers exist to monitor your computer behaviour. At the end of the day, they break down how long you spent on certain websites or writing apps. You get a detailed idea of how long you’ve spent on each project. It will help you calculate the correct value of invoices or even just identify how you could streamline your time.
Finally, you need a quality cloud computing software for backups. If you’ve spent weeks, or months, working on a project, you need to back it up. If the client wants changes later on, you need a guarantee that the work still exists!
There you have it, fellow freelancers. Take this technology and work it into your daily life. You’ll work harder and more productively. Good luck!
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