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Freelancers: Organize Project Finances With Job Book

February 3, 2014

At Knoed, we’ve been talking a lot lately about the value of sharing vs. hoarding information. We’ve learned so much from other people throughout our careers, that we want to start giving back and sharing what we’ve learned. So we’ve decided to share a business tool that we use on a daily basis. We call it our “Job Book” — a simple project management spreadsheet that provides a snapshot of our workload with basic financial data, so we never miss a paycheck.

 job-book

Time to get organized

Some creative types thrive in messy, disorganized chaos. But if you’re like me, organization settles your mind and allows you to think clearly and work more efficiently. As a freelancer or small business owner, you won’t get very far if you’re not organized and able to keep all your projects organized.

Before starting Knoed, I worked at a small design firm, where part of my job was managing and billing multiple design projects. At first, it was difficult to keep track of which jobs were open, which jobs needed to be invoiced, which ones had been paid, etc.

As a company, we really needed something that was quick and organized – a snapshot of everything that was happening to make sure we didn’t drop the ball or accidentally forget to bill a client. So we created the Job Book.*

Not the next Harvest

The Job Book won’t replace Harvest or Xero. It’s a simple Google Spreadsheet that’s designed to give you an overview of your company’s workload on a monthly basis. Whenever you get a new project, put it in the Job Book. You can track the statuses of all your jobs as well as basic financial information. You can also make notes about when to invoice a client and when payment is due.

As you enter more jobs throughout the year, it will also calculate things like:

  • How much money you’ve signed-on for the year
  • Your monthly average
  • How much money you’ve received
  • How much money is out in receivables
  • How much money is still open work

Start using Job Book free

We couldn’t run our business without our Job Book, and if we love it so much, we figured someone else might love it too. So go ahead. Take it. Use it. This is really, truly, genuinely, honestly, a good old-fashioned, no-strings-attached, no-fine-print, no-donations, no-pay-with-a-tweet freebie.

Start using Job Book

Save a copy to your Google Drive or download a copy to use in Excel. Then get back to work!

*To give credit where credit is due, today’s version of the Job Book is really the evolution of 10+ years of work, which began as a collaboration with one of my old partners, Brett Burwell of Static Interactive. Hat tip to Brett for making the Job Book what it is today.

Written by Kyle Eertmoed, Designer + Founding Partner at Knoed Creative in Chicago.
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9 Comments

  1. Pepe.pro

    Thanks for sharing. I’ve started using.

  2. Jack

    Thanks for sharing, guys – always enjoy getting these kind of business tools. Cheers!

  3. Nick

    This is a great post full of valuable insight, Kyle – not only for small firms, but especially for freelancers. We’ve also been using a remarkably similar spreadsheet created in Google Drive to manage all our jobs, track payments, income and etc. It is THE most important document we have, and in retrospect, I don’t know how we ever managed without it. For anyone reading this who is NOT already using a job tracker like Job Book, I highly recommend you get on it immediately. Thanks for sharing your tracking system publicly – so awesome man.

  4. Kyle Eertmoed

    Thanks Pepe, Jack and Nick. Sometimes it’s hard to expose the way we do things out of fear that we’re not doing it the “right way.” But it’s reassuring to hear that it’s helpful for others. Enjoy!

  5. Adam Gesuero

    Always great to peek under the hood of other creative professionals — thanks! PS love your work

  6. Lindsey Baker

    Hello!

    I am a freelance designer , I’ve just broke out on my own and trying to figure everything out including tracking money in and out. So I found this very helpful and can’t wait to start using it!

    Thank you for sharing!

  7. Cindie

    Hey, thanks so much for sharing! How thoughtful and giving of you!

  8. Dennis Flax

    I love these kinds of non-commercial tools we build for ourselves. The ones that are built to solve a particular problem in a particular way for a particular person’s/people’s workflow. Then over the years, that tool evolves and gets tweaked. These kinds of tools are personal. And beautiful because they are personal.

    • Kyle Eertmoed

      Thanks Dennis. We agree!

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