There are many tools for managing freelance income, but sometimes doing things the old-school way is best.
I know what you’re thinking. Excel? Really? But believe it or not, Excel is still a dominant force in the spreadsheet-making world and can allow for numerous possibilities in managing information. This is really important for freelancers.
When you’re in charge of pretty much everything related to your business, staying organized is essential. Keeping track of income, expenses, receipts, payments, and more can be exhausting when you don’t have a good organizational system.
Many services exist for managing freelance income. Many more exist for managing other aspects of your business. But sometimes doing things the old-school way is best. So without any further delay, here are 13 Excel templates you can use to make conducting business as a freelance designer a little bit easier.
Nothing a template from the official Excel source, right? This Office template makes it easy to keep track of your sales and your profits all in one place.
The Idea Planner is another offering from Office that allows you to plan any project in detail. It breaks down the project by steps, which you can then assign to members of your team (if you have them), assign deadlines, and more.
Here’s a template from Demand Metric that’s super useful. It makes it easy to develop and stick to an editorial calendar for your blog, a newsletter, or even for publication opportunities at other magazines.
You can input all the details about each publication, assign deadlines, and see exactly where everything stands at a glance.
Most freelancers do business online nowadays, which means you most likely need to have a content marketing plan in place. This ensures you’re getting your content (and your message) in front of as many people as possible.
This template is perfect for those freelancers that prioritize SEO as a part of their overall marketing strategies. It allows you to keep track of your search engine rank for specific keyword phrases.
It’s fairly easy to configure and can save you a lot of money on professional services that do the same.
The Gantt Chart has a long-standing reputation as a must-use for project managers everywhere. This template gives you a convenient way to visualize project progress.
If you bill by the hour as many freelancers do, this Timesheet template makes doing so simple without having to sign up for a premium service.
If you need help managing your workday, day by day and week by week, this work schedule template allows you to set up your schedule and then access a bird’s eye view of everything you need to accomplish.
This spreadsheet template is ideal for creating an invoice on the fly. It’s print-friendly and you can modify the color scheme to suit your preferences and/or brand. As an alternative, you can use an invoice generator or an invoice app, which allows you to create a branded invoice in a few seconds. These tools are great for small business owners, freelancers and contractors needing a fast, easy-to-use mobile invoicing solution.
If you want to provide a potential client with an estimate of how much it’ll cost him, you can use this job estimate template.
The estimate is just a guess as to how much a project will cost but it’s an essential component of landing new gigs.
Still another template you should check out is the project budget, which allows you to create a line by line budget for your next project.
With it, you can figure out your expenses in advance and ensure your profit margin is as good as it can be.
The last template I’ll talk about here is the to-do list. Everyone needs them, but freelancers especially so since there are so many things to account for outside of completing project-related tasks like balancing your budget, invoicing clients, running a marketing campaign, and so forth.
There are many more Excel templates out there that can make a freelancer’s job easier (and cheaper!) but these should be enough to get you started. Besides, if you use some templates in Google Sheets others in Microsoft Excel, you should be aware that there are ways to import Google Sheets to Excel and to synchronise data between those platforms effortlessly.
For more great freelancing content, check out The Ultimate Guide to Freelancing as a Creative, 7 Habits Every Freelance Designer Should Live By and 8 Expert Tips to Boost Your Career as a Freelance Graphic Designer.