Archive for the ‘Productivity’ Category

5 Simple tips to start a Productive day for a Freelancer

To be an effective freelancer, it is vitally important that you keep your mindset fresh and jubilated throughout the day. The best way to instigate this process is to have a comfortable and relaxing start of the day. This article will point to some ideas which can help you to maintain a regular charming inception from everyday morning, greatly impacting your work in a positive way.

Having a Sound Sleep

It is worth mentionable that a good and solid sleep can supplement your productivity with a real boost. Normally, it is advisable that a regular person goes through a sleep cycle of 8 hours each day. Discontinuation and regularity in sleeping has been proven as an active ingredient for obesity, heart disease, reduced work-output etc. Thus, compromising with this issue is not advisable.

Getting into a Disciplined Act

Every morning do something that requires strict discipline to maintain over time, such a jogging or some kind of light exercise, may be for half an hour or so. Even if you do not like the habit, it will aid to remember your duties ahead in that day, and once you finish this early morning act, you will feel great and encouraged to go about rest of your work in that day.

Taking a Nice Breakfast

Well this is something mandatory needless to say, there is no point rushing for work without an empty stomach and sacrifice dramatically on productivity and concentration issues. Thus, take a good breakfast and make it an important part of your habit as well.

Thinking up a To-do List

Instead of making a long written list of each and every things to be done, just mentally think up a short list of the most important things to be completed and the things that have hoard up for today. Just think that once you’ve gone though all these, you would have achieved something good, this will boost your inclination towards your work and other duty. In the end if you just smoothly go through, at the end of the day you will be satisfied.

Starting the Work

Now its time to put the focus on the real thing. Remove yourself from any kinds of distractions and solely concentrate your ‘FIRST’ task in hand. Don’t think about the other stuffs. Once you have completed the initial task, you will already be in a solid state of mind to propel to the next one.

Following these advises, there is a great chance that you can increase your productivity and enjoy a refreshed mind throughout the day.

Why a Freelancer need a CRM System?

Contact information of clients is of vast importance as it is the only thing that glues two entities even if they are not together. Therefore, losing it is like losing the client himself. And it can really be one of the worst fears that can come true. It also means you are losing substantial business opportunity as well. Sometimes, may be you have the contact information but you may lose valuable documents related to projects, such as description or outline of what has to be done. All these can make you crazy in no time if you happen to land in this kind of unfortunate situation.

The way to get out of this trouble is to deploy "Customer Relation Management (CRM)" software into your disposal. This article will discuss some points relating this kind of systems.

A CRM is a software system that allows you to store all your information regarding current and previous clients as well as prospective ones. This kind of system can be quite complicated but they come in varying flavour allowing you to choose from a wide range of options and functionality. Despite its initial complexity, it can be hugely beneficial to every freelancer. Below is a description of some common and most useful types of CRMs:

  1. Operational CRM: For people involved in Sales and marketing. This system will record the interactions with customer such as phone conversations and other communicational follow-ups. This way you can have a detailed record of day-to-day progress and plan changes.
  1. Analytical CRM: This system offers various tools and practices that can be used to analyze a certain market condition and effectively design a successful marketing campaign. It also helps to determine how profitable a customer can be based on the information that it records regarding the customer’s involvement to the project.
  1. Collaborative CRM: When a client has multiple contacts within a company, it is important to keep track of that, so this system can track multiple contacts at a time within an organization and also helps to analyze how the information can beneficially be used.
  1. Sales Intelligent CRM: This is an advance type of CRM which produces reports of customer trends along with market progression. Based on these data it is able to predict the future movement of both market and client responses.
  1. Contact Management: Most simple type of CRM. There are systems completely dedicated only to this functionality. But with time, it has become an integral part for other types of CRMs as well.

CRMs can be of great use if reliably deployed and maintained. Client’s information is one of the most important segments of a freelance business, and thus every freelancer should take steps to secure it.

Essential Tools for Freelance Designer by Adrian

Hey folks, I recently read an Interview With Adrian Diaconescu of Rubiqube. I would like to share part of the interview which talked about essential tools that Adrian used for his freelance work. If you don’t know who is Adrian, here is a short introduction on him:-

My name is Adrian Diaconescu and I’m a freelance designer based in Bucharest, Romania.

Professionally speaking, I tried pretty much everything: the 9 to 5 job, the entrepreneurship,the corporate world. I took the plunge and quit my last day job in March 2007. Since then, I made a lot of new friends and worked on many cool projects.

 

freelance tools Freelance design is an exciting form of freelance work, which can be of great fun, creativeness and challenging . However, to successful, modern day designers must use various kinds of available tools. Here is the essential tools to help you success :-

Adobe Fireworks CS3

It is a product from Adobe, which is widely in use for creating and optimising images for the web and rapidly prototyping websites. The primary advantages the software renders are its ability to integrate between Adobe Photoshop and Illustrator, improved layer organisation, improved scaling, integrating Adobe Bridge, customisable asset, integration between Flash and Dreamweaver and multi-page support. I guess most of the freelance designers should know about this tool. Personally, I am using Adobe Photoshop to edit some simple images on this blog. Perhaps, I should try out Fireworks as well.

Skype

Well-known application to make phone calls over Internet. It is actually free when the called person is also using Skype, while calls to landlines and cell phones can be made for a pretty low affordable cost. All in all it’s a one-stop shop when it comes to communication with your clients. Personally, I’ve been using it to call my customers from oversea in a very low rate. I guess, the rate is cheaper than the rate offered by any of the local telco such as Maxis, Celcom or Digi.

Thunderbird/FireFox

Mozilla Thunderbird is a free, open source, cross-platform e-mail and news client developed by the Mozilla Foundation. It has number of features that makes it arguably one of the most efficient products in its field. Personally, I would recommend you to Add-On the FireBug to help on website designing. Another good add-on is the color picker which you simply capture a color from any nice website.

Pymo

It is a web portal aimed at the freelancer and managers who are looking for solution to manage, schedule time allocation and adjustments for the involved projects. It has a central database with all employee timesheets in one place, generate the detailed timesheet reports for each employee (in fact reports on employee performance can also be generated). It is ideal for geographically distributed teams. Use this tool to keep track on your project management.

Wordpress

Software that furnishes a way to manage your website is commonly called a CMS or "Content Management System". Wordpress is such kind of web based blogging tool. It has various useful and necessary features. Now, blogging is part of the lifestyle for Freelance Designer. Most of them use blog as the platform to showcase their freelance portfolio just like what Adrian did. Perhaps, you should have a good showcase to show off your previous works. It helps in gaining confident from your client.

These were few of the most reputed and useful tools for freelance Designers. Effective use of these tools can really make your freelance life a lot easier.

Essential Tool to Invoice Your Freelance Clients

In freelance business, invoicing is requires a great and meticulous treatment in a regular basis. One mistake in this regard can cause significant damage as far as loosing the client. Invoicing means the tasks related to financial aspects of your business. Such as record keeping of your earnings, expenses and profit. Then comes the part of billings, in fact all these are grouped together to be termed as invoicing in a freelance work.

The steps regarding a sound processing of invoicing should encompass easiness in invoicing, securing important data, having effective backup policies etc. This article will illustrate a tool to fulfill these objectives.

imageThe tool is a web portal naming Freshbooks.com. This site has been launched to effectively address the drudgery of billing and many other shortcomings regarding creating invoices in few other softwares. The objective is to save your time, user friendliness, offering a secure and encrypted environment to store the data and accessibility for 24/7.

There are several advantages for which this service has gained popularity in more than 100 countries worldwide:-

  • Creating and managing invoices with extreme ease and enjoyable manner.
  • Time tracking for expenses.
  • Propagating invoices through both snail mail and email.
  • Secure acceptance of your payment through Authorize.NET, PayPal, etc.
  • Auto-Send capability regarding forwarding invoices and late payment notices.
  • Preparing robust reports through an effective report generation module and exporting/importing securely and reliably.

The portal is actually not limited to freelancers only, any other work that requires time management and invoicing can use this product. In the blog section, you can find plenty of useful articles such as Digital Security Practices and Programming Issues.

All in all, it is a great tool. An effective use of it can reap great benefit for individuals and company as a whole.

Building Up Your Business Through Outsourcing

This post is guest blogged by Asif Karim.

job joke In contemporary era, the word ‘Outsourcing’ has ingrained as an intrinsic fraction of basically any class of business. Though the process saw its inception as early as 1960, it is only the recent years that has brought the theory of outsourcing into practice in a much wider and extended spectrum than ever before.

One of the crux reason of such expansion of this practice can be attributed to the fact that any major arena of businesses now days are being carried out world wide, in a globalize nature. Also, the integration of technology, especially Information Technology into the business process itself has opened up new specialized area to look after, making the overall control and grip of the business more convoluted and diverse.

Therefore the age-long diction of managing the business had to be matured in some way, and Outsourcing has been assimilated with the most positive favor for overall management of discrete business process, thus directly permitting the top level management to focus on the main business elements without crying over less-prioritized side process.

outsource contractSo the first question pops up is what exactly it means. In the simplest word, it refers to arrange a subcontract  with a third-party corporation for establishing and maintaining a part of the bona-fide business. Such as designing, accounting, human resource, IT infrastructure such as Firewall monitoring, managing Virtual Private Network (VPN), Hosting Services etc.

However, Outsourcing encompasses both advantages and disadvantages. In this section of the article, we must first concentrate on few crucial advantages that can be exploited to the maximum for the overall well being of the business and it’s functionality.

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