Working as a freelancer: How to take and manage projects from A to Z

Project Management: An Algorithm for Freelancers

Whether you are working on a side project as a freelancer or for one of your clients, the methodology of work is often the same. To successfully complete an assignment, whether personal or professional, you need to know a thing or two about project management.

Having the right reflexes for project management is very important. It's what will save you time and make achieving goals more efficient. Without having the exact method, you run the risk of spreading yourself too thin and even losing motivation. As a result, your project will fail, fall behind schedule or lose quality.

Today we're offering you an express method for managing freelance projects. Let's understand 6 basic steps that will help you manage your project from start to finish!

First step

The first step is brainstorming. Do you have an idea for a side project, a new project for your microbusiness or for a client? Brainstorm the outline of your idea and write down every piece of information that comes to mind on a pad (like a Miro board).

Allocate a certain amount of time to think about the project. It is better to devote a certain amount of time to it (e.g., one or two hours) than to spend 30 years mulling over your ideas without taking action.

You don't need to limit your creativity at this stage. Write down as many project-related ideas as you can. You'll be able to sort and organize them later when it's time for concrete project planning.

Brainstorming before launching a project is also a good way to take a step back. In freelance work, as with anything, not every idea is a good one. You can go back to the brainstorming results a little later and weed out what doesn't seem relevant anymore!

You can also do market or profitability research to validate your initial idea.

Determine your goals and the resources you need

Once you've sorted through all the ideas that came out of your brainstorming session, move on to the next step, a more in-depth one. Now you need to define two important pillars:

The goals of your project: these should be clear and precise (e.g. using the SMART method, which you are probably already familiar with). These goals will tell you if and when your project will be successful. If you are collaborating with others (partner or customer), these goals should be known to everyone as they set the pace of the project.

Resources needed to make the project run smoothly: there are bound to be several. Resources can be people (i.e. stakeholders), but they can also be time, financial, material, etc. Think also about any constraints you may encounter along the way (or that your client may tell you about if it's a freelance assignment).

At this stage, you should have a more precise and strategic vision for your project. All of the information you've gathered so far will give you a foundation for moving forward.

Get a good project management tool

It is very difficult to see a project through to completion without having the right organizational tools at hand. To gather all the important data and keep track of your progress, we highly recommend using a project management tool. And there is no shortage of quality software.

Notion for planning

Robotic tools

Notion, an all-in-one tool to manage your freelance projects. Notion offers you a 100% customizable interface to organize your data as you see fit. It is definitely the tool that adapts best to many different projects.

Clickup is a classic but powerful project manager. Here, you won't always have the freedom to organize data as you see fit, but the tool has all the features you need to manage your project.

Monday is another comprehensive project management tool. Like its predecessor, Monday offers you a complete, pre-designed interface for project management. This makes it a great organizational tool for freelancers.

Trello is the perfect tool if you like simplicity and minimalism. Prefer organization on a kanban board? This is the tool for you: simple but effective for visualizing the progress of tasks.

Schedule and plan project tasks

Now that you're armed with a good organizational tool, it's time to move on to project scheduling. Start by setting a deadline: the date when the project will be considered completed or launched, for example in the case of a tender.

You should then list all the steps and tasks involved in moving the work forward. As you realize, it is easier to get things done if you do everything step by step and preferably in order. The goal is to break down a large project into a series of smaller actions.

Put all of these tasks into a realistic schedule. This is your roadmap for working on a project or freelance assignment. It should contain all the necessary information: the actions to be accomplished, their duration, the resources needed, the budget and, of course, the deadlines.

Take action and monitor progress

After planning, the logical next step is to accomplish each task. There is no clear methodology here, except to act and specifically work on the project.

To make sure you're moving in the right direction throughout the mission, refer to your roadmap or calendar as often as necessary. Falling behind on a task? Consider updating your project dashboard, adjusting next steps, etc.

If you're working with a partner or client, it's also important to communicate about the continuation of the project. Regularly explain where you stand, what sub-goals have been achieved, what the next key dates and milestones are, etc. This is all the more important if other people are also working on the project.

Wrapping up and analyzing the impact of the project

This brings us to the very last stage: closing the project and analyzing its impact. This is usually the moment when a freelancer's work is finished, a new service or product is launched, a website is finalized, and so on. In short, when you've finally reached your goal, whatever it may be.

Now is a good time to take a look

Have all of your goals been achieved? If not, why not? What was done right and what was done wrong during the project? What will you do differently next time? What are the benefits of your project? For example: the client is happy, x purchases or x new prospects were made, etc.

And don't hesitate to suggest a final meeting with your project stakeholders. This will be an opportunity for everyone to voice their opinions and share their experiences during the process, as well as at the time of delivery and afterwards.



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