I wrote a blog post roughly six years ago about the benefits of using a calendar. And to my surprise, it remains one of the most popular articles on my website in terms of views. I'd like to think I've written some pretty decent stuff since then that might have given it a run for its money, but this one post has stood the test of time.
So in light of our consulting and coaching service at Edit This®, I want to revisit the benefits of using a calendar – especially for those who decided to start a writing business of their own.
Below is the original version from April 6, 2017.
Have you started a writing business, or are you at least thinking about it? Our consulting and coaching services are geared toward writers because we've been in your shoes and want to see you succeed! Call Steve today at 469-360-3611 or send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org.
There was a time when I was fine with flying by the seat of my pants. I didn't need a digital calendar or daily organizer to keep me on track. I laughed at those who did – often wondering aloud, "Why aren't they on top of life enough to just make a mental note?"
The problem wasn't those people. I just didn't have enough going on.
Things are different now. I have a beautiful wife and two amazing kids, which means little league baseball practices and games around every corner, stuff to take care of around the house, family getaways, family dinners, and doctor's appointments. And that's just for starters. I have a growing business to call my own, and I work for a daily newspaper.
It can be a bear to remember everything personally and professionally. I mean, just the other day, I put a reminder in my calendar to get the trash cans out to the curb by 7 a.m.
Don't get me wrong. I love my life. But clearly, I need to stay on top of it, and that's where a calendar comes into play. Calendars help us schedule our personal and business time properly. There are a ton of benefits, the biggest one being they help take the guesswork out of our busy lives by telling us where we need to be. All we need to do is use one.
If you aren't using one, you need to. Here are 6 benefits of using a calendar.
1. Your calendar is always with you – Calendars are portable, y'all. No more relying solely on the calendar on your refrigerator or the desk calendar at work, which doesn't help you at all if you need to remember to write something down and you're 20 miles from home. Whether you like to carry around a Day Planner or use the digital calendar on your phone, the bottom line is it's always with you. You can see everything at a glance and make more informed decisions on the fly.
2. Your calendar helps you plan ahead – Your calendar isn't limited to scheduling things as they come up each day. Use it to plan ahead. This is great when you are in a deadline-driven business like I am as a writer. The last thing you want is to forget an assignment due date or schedule multiple assignments on top of each other. You can schedule blog posts for work months in advance, jot down an important birthday reminder, or have your kids' baseball practices listed out for the entire season.
3. You can share your calendar with others – There's no better organizational feeling than knowing everyone is on the same page. In this digital age we live in, it's a lifesaver when you can share your calendar with other people in your company to avoid such things as doubling up on appointments or other nasty miscommunications that impact customers. I don't have any assistants, but I made it a habit to share my phone calendar with my wife – if for nothing more than to keep her in the loop with projects I've got coming up, games I'm covering for the paper, or community events we want to attend. It keeps us organized as a family, even when our schedules take us in different directions.
4. Nothing is off limits on a calendar – It's your calendar, so don't be afraid to put even the most mundane task on there. I mentioned the trash cans being put out on the curb earlier, but I also scheduled trips to the gym and which days my wife is working late and needs me to pick up the boys. You can color code calendar events to tell the difference between work and personal.
5. You can track mileage using your calendar – This is such an easy concept, but a lot of people don't think about it. All you have to do is write down the address or place you went to for a particular calendar event, then at the end of the month, you can add it all up. This is great for someone like me who needs to track business miles separately from personal miles. Trust me, when your CPA asks for your mileage at the end of the year, you'll be so happy you did this.
6. Your calendar makes you look like a rock star with clients – When you can pull out your calendar at a moment's notice to schedule an appointment with a client or send them a reminder for an upcoming appointment, it shows you are on top of things and committed to what you do for a living. They have peace of mind knowing they are working with someone they can trust. That speaks volumes for you and your business.
There are a million more benefits to using a calendar, including having the ability to adjust to surprises in your schedule and being able to maintain flexibility. What are some of the many ways using a calendar has helped you?
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I feel an incredible sense of responsibility to share with other writers and editors who are just starting out on their own what worked for me, what didn't, what I wish I did differently, and everything in between. This way, they can start their writing business faster and with more confidence than I ever had all those many years ago.
A writing consulting and coaching professional works collaboratively with a writer to help take their passion for writing from a hobby to a successful freelance writing career. We aren’t your editor, writer, ghostwriter, or second set of eyes, and we won’t take the steps toward small-business ownership for you. But we will coach you through getting that business started, including giving you practical advice, actionable step-by-step instructions, accountability and structure, and anything else we can do to help you overcome obstacles that may pop up.
Everything starts with a FREE 30-minute call. From there, you’ll have three 45-60-minute phone, Zoom, or in-person sessions per month, where we provide customized step-by-step instructions to keep you on track and turn your hobby into a successful writing business.
There are hundreds of ways to flex your creative writing muscles and build a successful freelance writing business. And we want to help.
Thank you for reading!
STEVE GAMEL is the President & Owner of Edit This®, a writing and editing services company in Denton, TX. He is also a consultant and coach and the author of Write Like You Mean It: Mastering Your Passion for the Written Word. Steve handles anything involving the written word. Give him a call today to help give your business a clear voice.
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