The process of writing articles and works on various topics is a creative one based on inspiration and a desire to reveal a certain issue as accurately as possible to the reader. However, the success of the activity depends not only on the author’s talent but also on his ability to organize project management properly.
After all, no matter how professional you are, chaotic work on texts will not provide the desired results. Moreover, the lack of a plan and a careless attitude leads to mistakes and break-ups with clients. To prevent this from happening, you should follow these project management tips for writers:
Why is it important for a writer to be able to manage projects?
Being able to manage projects as a writer is important because:
- It is required to meet deadlines and does quality work: management will make it possible to prioritize the implementation of a specific project, consistently and efficiently complete each task, and correctly distribute personal resources. In this case, you will get the highest quality and timely result.
- It is necessary to communicate: in the author’s work, it is constantly required to maintain contact with the client, colleagues, and specialists in related fields. For this experience to be favorable for all parties, the ability to manage everything related to the project is also important.
For example, many tasks are easily delegated to those who complete them faster or better. Delegation is also essential when you can be more effective in complex issues, and it is easier to delegate small ones to a colleague. With proper project management, it will also be easier for you to answer all the client’s questions when he asks about your plan for completing tasks, progress during their implementation, etc.
- It will be easier to set deadlines for the work: the writer cannot say that he will hand over the project in a week, but in fact, he will drop it in a month. This approach means a negative reputation, fines, broken contracts, deprivation of wages, or all this at once. Project management will allow you to clearly understand how long the project will take and realistically assess your strengths.
- Increasing work volume: If you want to earn more by increasing the volume of tasks, it’s time to start managing projects. When all tasks are done at the right pace, you can easily take on additional projects and run them in parallel or quickly turn in one project and start a new one.
As you can see, project management skills for writers are essential for writers.
10 Tips on how to manage projects to maximize your work
1. Use of a special platform for project management for writers
The first step to the successful organization of the process is the selection of tools that will help you better navigate the current tasks. The easiest option is to use a notebook (a dated option is fine). Notes can be a good preparation for using agile project management software. You need to write down all tasks and deadlines and divide projects into stages in a notebook.
After practicing planning on paper, you can move on to a more interesting and convenient option – a dedicated project management platform where all actions can be planned in a few mouse clicks. Currently, there are a lot of such programs.
They differ in functionality, type of interface, and approach to project management for writers. In order not to waste time searching for them, we offer to consider several of the most popular of them.
Nifty is designed for project management. It has many relevant options that allow you to optimize work and make the tasks associated with project management more efficient. For example, important features are:
And these are just the key features. There are much more of them. Using this solution, you can improve the planning process, track the progress of each project, assign tasks, and monitor their implementation. It will give even more options for improving the interaction between team members.
Experienced authors agree that ClickUp is the most visually appealing project management software of all the presented options. Its main advantage is wide functionality. Here you can find many tools, including:
- Convenient calendars;
- Gantt charts;
- Kanban boards;
- Various lists, etc.
Thanks to this, the service will be the optimal solution for authors who have a large number of projects and a high workload during the day. At the same time, such a tool may not be suitable for beginners or those who have only a few projects per month. In this case, the advanced functionality of the program may be superfluous.
Trello is quite popular among authors, as it is very convenient to use and provides effective management of projects of various complexity. The tool creators used the idea of boards based on the Kanban system. This technology involves dividing the process into several stages.
Each of them in this system has a certain column. For example, “Scheduled”, “In progress,” and “Done”. The main task of the user, in this case, is to gradually move the project from one column to another until it is completed. This project management method for writers is very effective, as it allows you to visualize the process and control the deadlines for each project.
Trello has everything you need for this. There are several columns in the program, and moving between them is done with just one click. In addition, users get access to several free templates. It allows you to see examples of project management that other people are using.
Monday is another extremely popular application that can serve as a reliable platform for collaborative workflow management. According to FinancesOnline data, the service is very convenient and comfortable. It was confirmed by 99% of its users. On Monday, you can plan projects, chat, set goals and deadlines, and track time spent on tasks. Newbies can get a free trial (valid for 14 days).
2. Keeping a detailed performance log
Authors who want to be successful in their field must determine their productivity, namely the number of words written in 1 day. It allows you to determine the level of productivity and understand whether it is sufficient to realize the set goals.
Professionals recommend creating simple but detailed performance logs. These can be spreadsheets that show the days of the month. Opposite each of them, you can indicate the number of words that were written that day.
To determine the average value, it is enough to perform such actions over several days, weeks, or even months. After that, you need to analyze the indicators for this period and compare the data with the desired volumes and goals. If they are less than necessary, you should gradually increase the amount.
3. Setting goals for the day, week, and month
Want to be successful? Set yourself goals. No, you shouldn’t start with tight frames, strict deadlines, and other attempts to exhaust yourself. First, set up simple chains for the day, week, and month. And then grow.
This advice is effective in practice and allows you to achieve impressive scales in work. It is great for those who want to reach a new level, but the planned goals seem unattainable.
For example, some authors want to significantly increase their income. It is worth noting that, according to ZipRecruiter data, the author’s earnings in the USA reach an average of 68-69 thousand dollars per year.
But not everyone achieves such results. In addition, some authors want to surpass this figure. In any case, it will be difficult to reach the goal if it is not divided into several stages. To do this, you can use the method of setting goals for the month, week, and day. In this case, you can gradually increase the writing quotas or take other actions in a progressive order.
4. Creating an article plan
Preparation is a mandatory stage of any successful project. It also applies to content creation. You should not start with a blank page without minimal preparation. It will complicate the writing process and significantly increase the time spent working on the text. Creating an article plan is 50% of the success of your work.
If you first think carefully about the structure, determine the questions, and the answers to which the reader wants to know, and also create headings for each section, then writing will be much easier. Sometimes you can even view previously created articles and take something from them. It is about structuredness, the method of disclosing questions, and other aspects.
Also, if you’re swamped with a lot of content creation tails, you can always start working with professional writing services such as Essay Tigers. Writers with extensive experience will help you to cover all your stories and can help with proofreading. Sometimes you might need the help of dedicated services.
5. Using Parkinson’s law
Its essence is that the performer will do any work for as much time as he has allocated for its performance. In other words, if you set aside an entire day to write a blog post, that’s how much time you’ll spend writing it, even if you can create such a post in just 1-2 hours.
At the psychological level, this is explained by the fact that a person knows that he has time, so he does not intensify all his efforts to complete the task. Using Parkinson’s law, you should learn how to optimize your work. If you feel that you can write texts faster, then you need to set appropriate time frames.
It will allow you to do more work, generate more income, and improve the speed of content creation. Such a method is, to a certain extent, pressure. However, it is more about discipline and development than about any difficulties. In such conditions, the brain activates all its forces, so ideas start to appear surprisingly, and the speed of writing increases.
The Agile Project Management Tool. Try Nifty
6. Choosing the right time to write
Experienced authors know how important it is to work on content creation when the brain is active and able to process large volumes of information. Usually, a person is in this state in the first half of the day. At this time, the human body is at its peak and has a lot of energy.
And writing is a process that requires quite a lot of resources. If you want to achieve maximum performance, then these two aspects need to be combined.
It means that you need to start writing in the first half of the day. At this time, the brain is actively processing data, and the ability to concentrate and concentrate is at a high level. As a result, it will be easier for you to create interesting texts and come up with original ideas.
At the same time, much less time will be spent on this than on similar activities in the evening period.
If you ignore this advice and start your day with other things that require a lot of energy, then writing texts will be much longer and more tiring. Under such conditions, it is easy to make a mistake, mix up fragments and lose the idea. The result can be the loss of the client, misunderstandings, and other unforeseen complications.
But the choice of the right time for writing should be based on the personal characteristics of the body. For some, the peak of activity occurs in the evening or even at night.
7. Using the best writing supplies
Success in writing articles also largely depends on the conditions in which the author works. Meaning has many different details. However, the main attention should be paid to the equipment used in the process. It is about a keyboard, mouse, monitor, processor, laptop, lamps, furniture at the workplace, etc.). All of this has a direct impact on productivity and the quality of writing.
For example, many authors suffer from back, neck, and wrist pain. It may be the result of uncomfortable sitting at the computer. A similar situation can be with vision. Insufficient lighting leads to a heavy load on the eyes, as a result of which a person gets tired faster.
If you notice at least one of these situations, then you should change the working conditions.
In addition, the power of the computer is important. To implement a large volume of projects faster and easier, you should take care of buying and using the best writing instruments. Otherwise, you will spend a lot of effort and time even on small tasks.
8. Development of an optimal scheme for working with new clients
If you have already been able to organize your workflow, create a plan and set goals for certain periods, you need to move on to developing an optimal scheme for working with new clients.
Often, at the stage of forming cooperation with them, authors lose a lot of time. It is because there is no clear plan according to which the details are discussed and the order is placed.
Such a problem is especially relevant for beginners who have not had time yet to work through all aspects of work. In this case, you should start by dividing customers into groups. You can add potential customers to the first group and those with whom you already work to the second.
It is necessary to better see the situation and to be able to analyze the communication with them. The results of the analysis allow us to highlight several aspects that are present in both cases and create a certain action plan based on them.
For example, if a client already working with you filled out a brief at the beginning of cooperation, then it can also be offered to a potential customer. In addition, it is worth including in the scheme of cooperation such stages as discussion of the amount, terms, wishes, and methods of payment.
It is a standard scheme, working according to which will help to understand faster with a potential client and save valuable time.
9. Clear definition of your competence and building an action plan
Of course, you are the author. However, this concept covers many different directions. For example, you can write articles for a blog, texts for companies, materials for mass media, publish a book, and many other different works.
You need to clearly define your competence and understand which projects you can take on. At the next stage, you should decide what results you can provide to the client.
For example, do you only write articles focusing on the sources of the client, or can you provide a more extensive range of services? Usually, authors can additionally perform the following tasks:
- Conducting research in a certain industry or segment (for example, studying competitors and their approaches to content writing);
- Writing drafts;
- Study of the brand book of clients;
- Advice on the structure of texts;
- Editing the material if necessary;
- Suggesting ideas for articles.
Another stage is outlining the order of tasks. That is, you need to think of a scheme according to which you will perform tasks. In this case, when receiving a new task, you will not take chaotic actions that take a lot of time, but you will go to step-by-step instructions that will help to quickly and efficiently complete the work.
10. Separation of writing and editing
In the process of writing, authors sometimes begin to revise already written fragments and edit them. However, this approach only complicates the work and increases the writing time. Since the transition to another part distracts from the thought, therefore, when returning to the right place, the author cannot immediately concentrate on the topic. That is why you need to allocate editing as a separate task and do it after writing.
Each of these tips is not direct guidance. However, their use in practice will help to optimize the content writing process and make it more comfortable.
Take the next step. Try the Agile PM tool. Try Nifty
Each of us wants to work efficiently and quickly, regardless of profession. No writer is willing to rely on a single article for hours or days when there is an opportunity to get the job done in a few minutes or an hour and then take on a new task or do other things. But these are far from all the reasons why a writer needs to manage their projects.
This is the success of communication with customers and colleagues, the ability to stick to deadlines and take only as much work as they are ready to complete, as well as the chance to constantly increase the flow of tasks.
We’ve covered ten tips to help you as a writer manage your projects effectively and work harder. Use each of them, and you will not notice how you will come to success in your work.
What is project management?
Project management is the process of planning and organizing each step of a project to make the writer’s job easier and as efficient as possible.
Should I use time management rules in project management?
Yes, sure. Time management is a great tool to increase your productivity and efficiency, which is exactly what a writer needs when managing projects.
How do I know that I am managing projects correctly?
Everything is simple. If your customers praise you for the high quality of work and meeting deadlines, if you manage to do everything on time and your performance indicators are growing, and if your colleagues are calm and confident in you, then you are on the right track.