This is definitely one sensitive post that i’ve been trying to write for quite a while now. Setting aside the creative part of being a freelance designer, scheduling is absolutely everything. From your workflow, to how you book your new projects, to how it affects your inspiration and creativity.
Originally, i was working with none of the below in mind, ending up stressing a lot about projects overlapping each other, or taking way too much. I’m not gonna say i’ve perfected my workflow, but i’m definitely on a good way. Changing and tweaking the way i work every now and then, helps the creative process in a huge way.

calculate project timeline

A great way to figure out a project’s timeline is from experience. Knowing how a project works, the steps, the time you need to complete it and how many revisions are needed. Break down the process into steps, and make sure your client knows beforehand the exact timeline.

have a design contract

A design contract, is not only to protect both sides, but it’s also to set some rules for the communication and collaboration. Among payment, rights and ownership, it’s crucial to mention the  number of revisions, turnaround time of the designer and most importantly the turnaround feedback time of the client. I know i have some guilty clients who might be reading this now, and guys, know that i still love you.

Stressing a bit more on how important this is, when booking projects, eventually you estimate the time projects will take. If the project takes more time, then two will overlap, creating a bit more stress and chaos. Well, this example was more like 1+1=2, but imagine working on 3-5 projects at the same time, or more like 6-8 different ones. Then timing, is absolutely everything when you book the next ones.

set the rules

I’ve heard quite a few different ways that designers handle feedback delays. What works for me, at least for now, is mentioning everywhere i can on my kits that delayed feedbacks might occur to having a delayed turnaround time from my side. Giving priority to the clients who are right on their time. Along the way, you might find that something else works best for you, or if you already have, i’d more than love to hear it.

design process sheet

Keep your clients always informed. Knowing what follows next, keeping them involved in the whole process from beginning to end, you will have them focused and dedicated to the project as much as you are. My design process kit, looks like a one page pdf, describing the steps from how to reserve their spot on the waiting list, the homework they have to do, when payments are due, the design process steps, to how we’re going to produce the final files.

Hope this one helps both designers, freelancers and future clients. If you guys have any topic that you want to hear about, feel free to mention it in the comments below. The Freelance Life series started more than a year ago (time really flies!), back when i was still trying to figure out my blog’s topic. It’s like a freelance diary to me, always learning and exploring ways to work with you guys.

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