Writing Blog PostsIf I want to write a new article that I'm unlikely to finish in one sitting, I'll create a new document in Google and get to work.
Sharing Quotes With Agencies or Other DesignersCreate a new Google spreadsheet, get all the numbers and line items in there with a total, and then share it via email. They're free to modify it so that I can see the changes, and also to copy and paste the data into their own format. This allows the quoting process to be more collaborative and not so one sided.
Maintaining an Ongoing List of ProjectsI'm current writing a web app to replace this useful task, but a simple spreadsheet nails it pretty well in the meantime. Whenever I create a quote, I'll add that project and it's expected value to a Google spreadsheet that maintains an ongoing history of projects month by month.
This allows me to see a total of potential income for each month, compare it to previous months, and also to see after every month what percentage of potential jobs and payments actually came into fruition. This is helpful in determining how much I need to sell on a month to month basis to maintain a regular income.
This is closely related to the last item. I keep a list of my recurring bills in a Google spreadsheet, with totals that need to be paid from each account. For example, I use my Mastercard to pay for things like hosting, telephones, internet, and other automated payments, so my spreadsheet lets me know a minimum balance I need to maintain. I use my bank account to pay my rent, gas, food and other bills and my spreadsheet gives me an idea of how much I need to live on.
As an added note, I also use Wesabe to maintain a historical record of my spending on everything by tag. So I can add stuff like lattes, or movies to my Google spreadsheet to get an idea of what I'm likely to be spending the next month!
Miscellaneous SpreadsheetsWhenever I want to add anything and keep track of it, I create a new Google spreadsheet. It's become invaluable to me! For example, this month I've been planning to launch a creative shared space for tech freelancers in my city (Nanaimo), and I've kept a list of potential expenses, who wants to be involved, how much everyone will pay, and how much is left over.
Wrapping UpThis is how I use Google docs to run much of my freelance business. Let me know if you have any other clever ideas by commenting below.
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