The biggest perk of a freelance copywriting career is being your own boss, right? There’s no one to tell you when, where, or how much to work. But for all of its perks, being your own boss also means being your own project manager and finding your own copywriting resources, with no one but you to guarantee the ship is sailing the right course.
According to the Project Management Institute, project management is “the use of specific knowledge, skills, tools and techniques to deliver something of value to people.”
There it is: delivering something of value to people.
That’s what we do as copywriters every day, whether we realize it or not. The copy we produce has value for our clients because it motivates potential customers to take action. Having the ability to skillfully manage your projects and deliver that value to your clients in a timely manner can lead to happier clients, better reviews, and more gigs.
So as you embark on your journey as a freelance copywriter, finding the right copywriting tools for project management will help you on the way to greatness.
Why does Project Management Matter Anyway?
When I started as a freelance writer, project management wasn’t top of mind. I was only thinking about getting as many gigs as possible and making money.
As I started getting more projects, I realized that if I didn’t figure out a way to juggle my varying deadlines effectively, I would feel like that meme of the dog surrounded by fire.
When everything feels like it’s urgent and on fire, it becomes more and more difficult to know what to prioritize.
Good project management is a cornerstone of copywriting success because it helps you:
- Manage multiple projects at one time.
- Streamline and standardize your processes across projects and clients.
- Plan, organize, and manage deadlines and project statuses.
- Meet deadlines on time, within budget, and within scope.
- Prioritize work effectively according to deadlines and urgency.
If you’d like to hone these skills, consider taking a copywriting course that focuses on project management, but finding the right copywriting tools for project management is just as important as learning the ins and outs of the skillset.
What to Look for in Copywriting Tools for Project Management
Every copywriter, freelance or not, should implement a project management app as part of their daily arsenal of copywriting tools, especially as they grow their book of clients. These are the features that I looked for when selecting a project management application:
- Simplified, centralized workflow: To eliminate the feeling of everything being on fire, I really wanted an application that helped me see the status of all of my projects in one place or at least all within the same application.
- Notifications for deadlines and tasks: I don’t know about you, but sometimes it’s difficult to keep all of my deadlines straight when balancing multiple projects. I wanted a project management tool to notify me of upcoming due dates.
- File storage or organization: Nothing is worse than digging through your file storage to find the file you need for a project. I needed a project management application that let me link or store the appropriate files with their respective projects.
- Scalability: If you plan to expand your freelancing business to incorporate other team members, consider how well the tool lets you scale as you grow. While I wasn’t planning on creating a freelance empire, I knew that having the ability to incorporate collaborators into my project management system would save me later on.
Top Project Management Tools for Copywriters
When looking for copywriting tools for project management, you have endless options available at your disposal. You can implement a dedicated app for project management that can be a hub for all of your content creation.
OR suppose you’d rather integrate your project management into a copywriting tool you already use– or one that’s a bit more catch-all or customizable than project management applications. You can implement a template on a wiki-style site or content management platform.
Regardless of what you decide, here are some of my favorite project management tools.
Monday.com is one of the most popular project management applications out there. If you’re looking for something to centralize your work and keep track of projects and deadlines, this app is for you—especially if you’re a visual learner like me. Monday also offers a host of templates for various purposes, including freelance and project management.
One downside: Monday’s mobile app isn’t super user-friendly, especially if you have subtasks for your assignments.
Asana is another popular option with tons of great features available for free, including unlimited tasks, projects, messages, and file storage for up to 15 users. You can also integrate Asana with your current time tracking apps. If you’re looking to be able to switch between project views quickly, Asana is the choice for you.
One downside: Asana can get pretty expensive if you have to expand beyond the free version.
Notion was the first project management tool I ever used. I loved the way that it was completely customizable from the ground up. I started with this project management template that’s available for free on their gallery and customized it and used integrations to further streamline my workflow.
Here’s an example of what my project page looked like:
One downside: Notion might be more difficult to scale as you grow, and its complete customization can make standardization a challenge with large teams.
Google Drive and Google Sheets
Like Notion, you can do pretty much anything to create your own project management system using Google Drive and Sheets. Check their gallery of templates, which includes a Gantt Chart, Project Timeline, and Project Tracking, along with other calendar and schedule templates.
The key to using Google as your project management platform is to figure out how to set up a dynamic project plan that works for you. You’ll also need to figure out the best use ofother tools on the Google Platform, like tasks, calendars, and docs, in conjunction with your project management sheet.
One downside: Full integration and collaboration require more front-end work to get it set up with Google Sheets and Drive.
Make your Copywriting Tools Work with You, Not Against You
Regardless of which application, platform, or template you choose, pick the one that’s right for you. Your copywriting tools must work with your existing workflow and tools rather than against them. Or rather than requiring your to rip and replace your work practices altogether.
Remember, most tools have features that can further streamline your processes and improve your project management through centralization, integration, and automation. For example, try connecting your Notion account to Google Drive or your Asana account to Toggle Track, that’s also connected to your Google Calendar, to keep all of your processes in one place.
Christina Rowell, Ph.D., is a content strategist at Content Workshop and a former college writing instructor. She has over ten years of experience writing, editing, and creating content for healthcare, mental health, cybersecurity, and manufacturing clients.
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