Developing Your Workflow

There’s a great discussion over on about doing personal projects that help you find clients. I’m working another personal writing project in this regard, but one project I work on, especially between jobs is refining my workflow for the type of projects I do.

What do I mean by workflow? It’s the steps you take in order to complete projects. The more you develop and refine your workflow, the more efficiently you can complete projects. With each project I complete, I reflect back on the process for how the work could improve the next time around.

In my workflow I examine the software I use, making screen shots of frequently used settings and noting problems and solutions in the process.

In the wedding photography jobs I’ve done, for example, I actually documented my workflow—spelling step-by-step how to process photos once I get them on my computer The document includes, among other things, the keywords I use, the types of adjustments I frequently make, the export settings for images, and the client letter I send when the project is complete. I save a copy of the document offline so that if I have a huge computer crash, I won’t have to re-invent the wheel for re-establishing that workflow.

The same goes for writing projects. I’ve made notes to myself for creating better outlines, and using word processing and editing features at different stages of the writing. I’ve automated many tasks for getting work done in various applications.

I use programs like QuicKeys to send me reminders of what I need to do in a particular process, e.g. resizing files for an article and setting aside final draft for at least an hour before I do the final edit.

Developing and refining your workflow may sound like something only corporations do, but if freelancing is your business,  a good workflow will both beneficial to you and your clients.


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