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Once your freelance career has been going for a while, you may find you’re working on several different projects at the same time. There are lots of fancy solutions for managing projects and customer relationships, and I’ve tried a couple, but in the end I’ve settled on a simple Excel spreadsheet that does the job for me.
Instead of just deleting the project, you could also transfer it to another spreadsheet of completed projects. If your client uses purchase-order numbers, enter the number for the project here when you receive it, so you have it to hand when preparing the invoice at the end of the job. If you’ve added a date for all the projects on the sheet, you can sort them by this column, using ‘oldest to newest’, to rank the projects in order of priority.
A total on column I shows how much you could get if all your quoted projects go ahead, but this number is so nebulous that it’s hardly worth calculating.
So there you have it – a simple, flexible spreadsheet for keeping track of your freelance projects.
During my time as a designer I've used many different methods manage my time and juggle multiple projects.
But more than a pretty log, Solo is designed to give visual form to the business of freelancing.
It's a brilliant gesture to the culture of freelancing, which loves its freedom but doesn't always exhibit the keenest financial savvy.

In terms of actually keeping tabs on my income, which can be difficult with more than 30 different companies paying you a year, I set up Excel spreadsheet templates. Note that this spreadsheet is entirely fictitious, merely an illustration for how I keep tabs on my expenses, though I do typically take on anywhere from 8 to 15 assignments or projects a month (not counting my staff position as an editor at our city magazine). I can’t even express how embarrassed I would be if you caught sight of my Excel sheets. Add background color or patterns to Excel cells by highlighting the cell and choosing a color from the tool menu. In my experience, project timescales are so unpredictable that all you’re really seeing is a theoretical amount that you should receive at some point over the next few months, rather than a solid, timed cash-flow prediction. I choose touse OfficeTime for this because it's easy and the reporting works exceptionallywell for me. You’d be surprised how much time freelance journalists spend doing paperwork and tracking down missed payments. I still write a little on the side, and am able to easily categorize income sources into buckets like freelancing, day job, reimbursements, etc.
I am using credit card but never use to keep record of expenses, last month it got blocked because it exceeded credit limit and have to call customer support and find out the reason because i wasn’t aware of the expenses. In the example content entered, I need to continue working on the ‘Birds of Britain book’ project this week.

Circles show what percentage of individual projects are done and change colors as the projects nears deadline.
Besides, there are other, less expensive project-management programs out there, albeit ones of inferior design. And on a basic compatibility level, all of the clients I work with use Basecamp, so it makes sense for freelancers like myself to also use it. One time, it took one of the biggest magazines in the United States a full 11 months to fulfill our contract, as well as reimburse me for expenses accrued, which exceeded $1,500.
In short, you get an instant snapshot of how you're using your hours, instead of a bunch of meaningless numbers strewn all over a spreadsheet (we mean you, Excel!).
It’s a lot to keep track of, which is why freelancing is definitely not for the forgetful mind. It can preselect the most common task for a project,allow one tap entry of common notes, and let users edit anything they can see,even in a report, with a tap.
I can guarantee you that the money I would've saved if I'd had an easy-peasy system for organizing my freelance career would've stretched way beyond $100 a year.

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