Why Todoist is the Best Task Management Tool for Freelancers

For years, I scribbled on planners, napkins, and the back of my hand. I tried using iCal, Notes, and random word documents named by category. All of this worked for my task management—kind of. Sort of.

Okay, so, ultimately, it didn’t freaking work. I felt tasks looming somewhere, forgotten in the backwoods of my mind, not to mention my precious time slipping away from me. Which led me to seek out a multi-device task manager that helped keep my three businesses, good habits, and random time-sensitive tasks organized. That’s when I found Todoist.

I’m here to spread the good news of why and how Todoist can help you professionally and personally to get the damn things done.

1. You can start cultivating the good habit of task management

Y’all, Todoist makes task management easy. If you’ve struggled with this in the past, Todoist may be what helps you nail down tasks and time.

Not a natural list-maker, but know you need to start learning how to manage your to-dos? Start with a small list. Hell, maybe even make a habit of keeping the list small every day. We become paralyzed at a wall of to-dos, or to-dos that are too unwieldy or vague.

Ask yourself at the beginning of each day: What are the three things I need to get done today to feel accomplished?

Find that balance between giving yourself an easy check-off (i.e., Open laptop) and an insurmountable chunk (Write that novel.).

2. You have the option of quickly glancing between what’s coming up soon and what falls under a specific project

Ever glanced at your planner and had your eyes glaze over at the sea of blank ink? Or pulled up a calendar app to find everything with the orange tag, only to wish you had the option of pulling it together in a streamlined list?

Todoist allows you to quickly toggle between what’s coming up in the next few days and specific projects. Need to know what’s due this week? You can pull up that info, stat. Want to decide what to prioritize in the next month for that one ongoing project? Pull that project up, and start setting due dates.

3. You can easily organize your projects by parent projects and sub-projects

I keep each of my main businesses separated by category; I have a list for the farm, for my textiles business, and, of course, for my writing work. But within those, I have projects I can keep discrete and orderly. My bookkeeping and loan application farm to-dos can stay organized and untangled in their respective project sections. If they were all piled together, my brain would probably implode from seeing “reconcile all accounts” next to “fill forms A-F, ” and I’d head for the hills, never to be seen again.

4. You can even use Todoist for your self-development

This might sound like overkill to those uninitiated into the Nerds Crazy About Organization Club. But you can harness the power of Todoist to help you make a wish into a habit. As in, “I wish I meditated every day,” or “I wish I had a reminder to have only one cup of coffee a day.”

Well, thank you and/or I’m sorry, but your days of wishing are over. That’s because you can set a task as a daily doing. For example, I’m trying to get in at least five minutes of meditation a day. So, every morning when I open Todoist, there it is. And it stays on my daily list until I sit my buns down and try to think about nada, like the wannabe Zen master I’m not actually trying to be. Where all the planner-scribblings and taped-to-the-door notes have failed, Todoist has helped me not only get shit done, but also not-do, à la meditation.

(Damn, that’s deep.)

5. You can use Todoist for pretty much anything

  • Get your business organized.
  • Plan a bitchin’ party.
  • Finally declutter your house.
  • Write a book.
  • Develop your writing skills or voice.
  • Start a non-profit.
  • Build a parade float.
  • Make exercise a daily thing.

If you feel like you’ve been buried under a pile of stepping stones out of place, time, and context, do yourself a favor and head over to Todoist and try it out right now. You’ll thank yourself later.

 

 

 

How to Find Your Voice as a Beginning Freelance Writer

So, you’re just getting started on your freelance writing journey. Congratulations!

Now, you’re probably sorting through the onslaught of to-dos as a newfound entrepreneur and  constantly moving priorities around as you read one article telling you this, only to read another telling you that. You’ve got your domain name, you’re playing around with themes and branding, and you’re wondering:

What comes next?

The time has come to set a foundational element of your online presence: establishing who you are on your website. You want to win the hearts of folks shopping around for the person driving their content. What’s the most crucial component of relaying your identity, your brand, your creative self as a freelance writer?

Your Voice.

Yup, that’s voice with a capital V. Because we have a menu of different voices we pull from in our day to day interactions, right?

We have our voice we use when talking to our in-laws.

There’s the voice we use when we talk to complete strangers.

We pull out the jargon—and maybe even a good ol’ thesaurus—when we type up those college papers.

Don’t forget the shit we say (and, oh, the way we say it) when talking to our best friend in complete confidence.

And then, there’s the Voice we will ultimately choose to launch our business with.

This is the Voice we’ll use to declare from our own corner of the World Wide Web, “HEY. HEY YOU. I’VE FINALLY DONE THE THING AND STARTED OFFERING MY BRILLIANT STRINGS OF WORDS TO THE WORLD…please buy them?”

Okay, so maybe that’s not exactly how you’ll say it. Regardless of your Voice’s style and personality, you need to compose a consistent, reliable, primary Voice as a go-to marketing tool for your freelance writing business. It’s essential to your recognizable brand and unique selling point.

But how do you find that Voice?

For some folks, they find this easy-peasy, and are asking themselves why this article even exists. For others, it’s a challenge to narrow down a diverse range of possible voices to that main tone and style. After all, if you’re a writer, you’ve probably been honing your ability to take on the style of a client and write for an array of audiences.

If you find yourself in the latter camp, here are some ideas to help you along with discovering the Voice you’ll use to present yourself in your newfound venture.

1. Notice How You Talk to People In-Person

Take a bird’s eye view of yourself, and try to notice how you talk to who. What language do you use? What comes naturally? How do you edit yourself—or not? Taking notice of your natural speaking habits helps point out a few things:

  • It reminds you of your habits of speech, or reveals your subconscious word-slinging.
  • It can illuminate where you excel. Maybe you should bring that ridiculous sense of humor to your brand.
  • It often shows us how we can shift. Can you leverage that oh-so-special social awkwardness to your advantage?

All of these observations can provide clues to your natural Voice as a freelancer.

2. Do Free-Writes

What better way to see what voice naturally shows up when you write than just showing up and…writing? Try free-writing for 15 minutes a day over the course of a week or two with the distinct goal of capturing your Voice. See what comes to the surface!

3. Try on a Handful of Voices

In addition to the free-writing, you can do some specific voice exercises. Think of it like costumes for your voice—have fun with it, and give yourself permission to play! Try these on for size:

  • The Crisp, Clear Minimalist
  • The Sassy, Maybe-Even-Irreverent Wordsmith
  • The Soulful Philosopher
  • The Friend-to-Friend

Does one ring true? Do you need to blend components of two or three? What feels put-on? What feels most natural?

4. Write for Several Different Audiences

Like “trying on” voices, you can practice writing for different audiences. This is similar to the last two exercises, just kind of flipped around—you’re starting with the receiving end of your words, instead of the source. So, write to your friend! Write to the owner of your favorite restaurant! Write to your annoying neighbor! Write a commencement speech! Write to the pope!

When it comes to focusing in on the Voice you’ll be carrying as a freelance writer, it’s worth the while to take time at the beginning of your venture to make sure you develop a consistent tone. Find one that feels the most natural, versatile, alive, and you.