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How to Stay Organized When Working With Multiple Clients

organized files

Create a File Naming Convention

When you name files it’s important to have a set file naming convention so that you will easily be able to remember what you called it. I like to name mine by due date — day, month, and year then client’s name.  If the client has more than one due date they’ll be listed more than once. If I have work to do for myself, it is also listed as if I were a client with due dates. I like to easily look at my files and see what I need to do in the coming days, for the month.

Know What to Put Inside the File

Some of my clients use project management software, some don’t. I don’t use one anymore because I had issues getting clients to use it. Therefore, I want to combine all my clients into my project management system so that I don’t have to keep looking in a lot of different project management systems.  Since I just use a combination of files and a calendar as my system it’s simple. I just cut and paste the client’s directions into their appropriately named file.

Use a Cloud Storage System

If something happens to your main computer, if you store your files off site in a cloud-storage system, you won’t be ruined. As a Virtual Assistant and freelancer you’re dependent on your work getting done no matter what kind of situations are happening because if you don’t work, you don’t get paid. Having an offsite storage system will help you avoid issues with computer crashes. Plus, you’ll have the ability to access your files from anyplace.

Be Consistent

Once you choose a system that works for you, be sure to stick to the order of operations so that you don’t forget anything. It might sound boring but if you do things in a certain order each time you do a task you’ll develop a system that is hard to beat. You’ll make fewer mistakes, and seem to be on top of your game every single day.

Use a Calendaring System

Aside from the date ordered naming convention use a calendaring system. You can easily just cut and paste the client’s name in the due date on Google Calendar. You’ll know to look for their file on that date. If the task is going to take longer to do than the exact due date, fill in the due date, but also fill in your calendar with the amount of work you must do on any given day, and for whom, that will result in a steady amount of work to get done by the due date.  Sync your calendar to your smart phone for best results.

By creating systems that work for you, that you perform habitually, you’ll be a lot more likely to stay organized. It’s very hard to work haphazardly on projects with no plan. To be organized you’ll need the systems mentioned here, plus you’ll need to have specific due dates for your clients to submit their work to you. Just for reference, I require that all work be submitted to me by each client 7 days prior to my due date for certain activities, and more or less for others, I charge extra for rush jobs if I can even do them.

You have to set up your own system that works for you. I have set system that works for me to get things done by the due dates so that my clients are satisfied, I can work without stress, and that I truly feel like a business owner instead of an employee. If you need help with figuring out how to set up systems that work, I can help.

How do you set up your client work? What is your system?

About Stephanie Watson

Mom | Wife | Virtual Assistant | Content Strategist
Stephanie has been working from home for over 20 years as a virtual assistant, template bender, and content writer. She's currently transitioning to business coach. You can learn more about her at her website http://www.barrypublishing.com.

Comments

  1. I LOVE that you listed naming conventions here. This is so important when it comes to finding things.

    Like you, I have clients who use a variety of systems, but I like to have everything all in one place, so I copy/paste project support materials into Evernote, then create task outlines with due dates in OmniFocus. That lets me know at a glance every morning what I need to be working on and where the files are than I need.
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