How to Prepare for a New Year – Freelance Style

2013-new-yearA day before New Year’s Eve, I find myself getting some work done. I know it’s supposed to be a break, but there are some things I need to finish and some things I need to prepare for. I wouldn’t be surprised if there are more than a couple of you who are in the same boat.

And while I do believe that change does not have to happen only when a new year comes in, it does have a nice symbolic ring to it. So, as I sit here going through a partially mental, partially written out list, I thought it might do good to share some thoughts with you. It would also be great to hear how you prepare for new beginnings!

Good riddance

Out with the old, in with the new – or so they say. To be honest, though, there isn’t much I would throw away.

Delete or archive files
Maybe I am a hoarder that way, but one thing that is important for me to do is to delete or archive files that I have accumulated in 2012.

For sure, you also have massive amounts of files that you probably would not be needing in the next year. What do you do with them? I prefer to be quick and painless about it: simply delete those I know I would never take a look at again and store the rest in an external hard drive.

Forget failures
I’ve had my share of failures in the past year, both personally and professionally. While totally forgetting these events is impossible, being able to let go of their crippling effects and facing the new year with a spring in my step is at the top of my list. Being a realist, I know that this is probably not an overnight thing, but the intention is there.

New habits, new tools

I once read somewhere that when you let go of something, you open yourself up to new things. Staying on the practical side of things, I think that this section is mainly all about tools that can help me improve my workflow. I’ve been looking at some tools that will – hopefully – help me create new, better habits. Here is what I have so far.

Asana
Asana is a task management platform for teams, and while I usually work alone, I do collaborate on some projects with other people. Asana is perfect for keeping tabs on each other, what we’re doing, and how the project is going along. It also is a great reminder/to-do tool.

Buffer
I have been using Buffer for almost a year, but not as regularly as I should have. This tool helps in making social sharing more organised as it allows you to space out your tweets and Facebook updates. It also gives you basic stats about the links you share.

My Team Monitor
Just in case you do lead a team, the chances are you do so remotely. Then you might be interested in www.myteammonitor.com, a tool which I have been looking at since it’s at the beta stage, and use is free. It allows you to track the productivity of others wherever you may be. It’s not exactly the first thing that comes to mind as a freelancer, but I have encountered some freelancers who have been building up their business to the point that they have several sub-contractors who do some work for them.

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