Automating freelancing

I find organising myself as a freelancer quite stressful, so I’ve been making some tools using Google Calendar to make things easier.

I’ve tried loads of apps and websites for scheduling, time management, money management etc. etc. etc. but I just ended up with a billion different services, which just made me less organised. What I want is everything in one place.

As a long time Google Calendar user, I thought the most straightforward thing to do would be to use the built in coding tools to make the Calendar do all the things I want it to.

I also thought I’d write about it a bit here,

  1. In case anybody else wants to use the scripts, in which case let me know
  2. In case anybody has any ideas or suggestions for improvements
  3. In case anybody just likes reading about stuff like this

So with that in mind, here’s where I’m up to:

PROBLEM #1: I want to keep track of all my jobs in one place. If the fee/time/length/location of this event changes, I don’t want to have to update it separately in my calendar and everywhere else.

SOLUTION: A script that looks for all the freelance jobs in the calendar and puts them into a Google Sheets spreadsheet.

All freelance jobs are coloured yellow in the spreadsheet:

The script looks for the events that are yellow (everything else is a different colour) and adds them to a spreadsheet.

PROBLEM #2: As above, but for money. I want to be able to easily keep track of my finances in one spreadsheet and have it automatically update if a job gets cancelled or changed.

SOLUTION: Put the fee for each job in the event description, and have that update in the spreadsheet automatically if it changes.

PROBLEM #3: What about expenses?

Solution: More or less the same as above

The difference here is that I don’t want to be staring at my expenses every time I open my Calendar. It’s useful for me to be able to see jobs as part of my normal calendar, but not so much for expenses.

So there’s a different calendar for this, that I can turn visibility for on and off:

And add expenses to:

And that goes into a different spreadsheet:

All this info can then be used for all the standard accounting stuff:

TO DO:

A script that will automatically find a break in my calendar, and schedule in things I need to do, e.g. prepare for a session, practice music, relax etc.

–A script that reads the amount of prep time needed for an event from the description as with the fee, and schedules in that time using the above script

If anyone has any suggestion or feedback or wants to use any of this stuff, please do get in touch.

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