These days, there are plenty of free online productivity tools you can use to keep yourself organized when it comes to managing your career as a freelance writer. Give the following apps a try the next time you want to declutter your thoughts and boost your productivity:
Launched in 2008, Evernote allows you to jot down notes wherever you are, no matter if you’re on your computer, smartphone, or tablet. Evernote allows for immense flexibility, catering to the needs of each individual user. For instance, a note could be a piece of formatted text, a full website or an excerpt, a picture, a voice memo, or even a handwritten “ink” note. You can also add reminders to different notes, which is helpful when it comes to juggling deadlines for various articles.
When you’re working on several stories at once, Evernote can be an excellent tool for keeping your information and research straight and easily accessible—especially if you’re compiling information from several sources. Writing an article on the top hotels to stay at in Paris? Evernote allows you to drag and drop photos, copy and paste testimonials, and seamlessly bullet off your main points in a single document. Rather than flipping from website to website and testing just how many tabs your browser can handle at once, you’ll have all the information you need at your fingertips. Writing that article just went from an hours-long endeavor to a quick, streamlined process.
Because of its cross-platform functionality, Evernote is also a terrific way to maintain an ongoing list of possible story ideas. When an idea for an article strikes, say, in line at the grocery store or when you’re nestled in your favorite Starbucks, you can easily jot it down in the app and remember it for later. This will come in handy on those days when you come up short for proposals or if you are offered the chance to write a last-minute article. Keeping these potential topics at the ready will impress your editors and keep solid work coming your way.
Although freelance writing can feel sometimes like a 007-type solo mission (okay, maybe that’s a bit of a stretch), teamwork is sometimes required to get the job done. After all, you have to communicate with sources and editors to get an article from your head to the Web.
Enter Asana, the brainchild of two former Facebook employees who were once tasked with helping to improve productivity at the social media giant. The Asana software arranges team members into a workspace where they have permissions to add notes, comments, attachments, and tags to a project.
“At Asana, we have a very clear mission, which is to help humanity thrive by enabling all teams to work together effortlessly,” said co-founder Justin Rosenstein in an interview with Fast Company.
According to Rosenstein and his fellow co-founder, Dustin Moskovitz, Asana is about much more than pushing team members to be as productive as possible in the least amount of time. The word “asana” refers to a yoga pose in which your body is both stable and active, demonstrating the software’s dedication toward creating as comfortable of an atmosphere as possible for team members to share duties and input.
The service is free for up to 15 team members, though there is a premium version that allows users to bring more people into the fold. So, the next time you are working on that next big power article, consider consolidating the players involved into one workspace to foster collaboration and creativity.
For those of you who like to organize your thoughts in a more visual, aesthetic manner, Mindly offers a customizable platform beyond typical text-based productivity tools. Collecting and organizing information is as easy as plugging it into a series of circles stemming from a center circle to represent ideas and connections. Each circle is customizable with colors, icons, and pictures, making this an ideal app for writers who like to have the freedom to doodle when planning out their articles.
This type of research makes it easy to ensure your ideas are all being incorporated into the final version of your writing, and the app’s adaptability simplifies the revision process as you make changes to your outline. These mind maps can unleash your creativity and potential, making it easier for you to get across your message in your writing.
Of course, everyone has their own style when it comes to staying on top of work, but these productivity tools can help you get started with picking and choosing the aspects that best work for you. While traditional productivity tools may do the trick, it is always encouraged to try new things—after all, with all the technology available now, one of these apps might just be the missing link between you and effectively tackling a mountain of freelance work.
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