Not all freelance graphic designers are the same. They work differently and provide different output qualities. What is common among them is the fact that they need to overcome plenty of productivity hurdles almost on a daily basis.
Aside from frequent distractions when working outside of the usual work environment, a freelance designer often has problems with missing design assets. This is probably because as a freelancer, you tend to get plenty of jobs and it can be a pain to keep the files organized.
Another very common hurdle that every graphic designer faces is the repetitive processes that they do. Oftentimes, these processes take too much time which, for a freelancer, is very precious.
Very few freelancers are lucky enough to have consistent work orders. It is very common, even for a talented graphic designer, to struggle finding a new client because of the tough competition in this field. Add up the above-mentioned challenges and it will be extra difficult for a freelance graphic designer to land a job after the last one is done.
Fortunately, there are plenty of things that a freelance graphic designer can do in order to overcome these challenges. These tips are centered towards helping you improve your graphic design workflow so that you will not succumb to lack of productivity.
Here are seven top tips to help you regain control of your time so that you may improve workflow efficiency:
1. Follow a schedule.
Common among freelancers is the inability to manage their time well. It is easy to lose track of the time when you think that you have all the time in the world. It is essential however, to be ahead of deadlines in order to keep the clients happy.Keeping a schedule and strictly following it will do the trick. Try to distribute the workload in small batches throughout the days leading to the deadline. With a timeline in mind, it is easier to finish tasks and the little wins will motivate you to move forward until everything else is done.
2. Use project management tools.
In-depth time management tools provide a good visualization of your work progress. Calendar apps and web-based time tracking software like Toggl and Mite are great for providing reminders and timing reports. By tracking your time, you can improve productivity and at the same time evaluate quotes and cost estimates based on how fast you can finish a project.
3. Use the most convenient design editor.
A graphic design software is the ultimate tool for any freelance graphic designer. Creating designs using a convenient editor will not only be efficient but will also help you deliver the best results in every project. Aside from a graphic design software, you may also use graphic design tools and background remover tools to make work faster.
Graphic Design Tools. There are plenty of web-based applications that are designed to make creating graphic designs simpler and faster. DesignBold is one such tool as it is simple to use and has all that you need to make stunning designs. Plenty of designers use it because it has a huge resource library to draw design inspirations from.
Background Remover Tools. One of the most repetitive works done by a freelance graphic designer is removing backgrounds from photos. A free background remover, like Removal.AI, is great as it can remove backgrounds in seconds. This would give the designer plenty of time to work on the rest of the project.
4. Mind your budget.
As a freelancer, money becomes very important because it does not come regularly unlike those who are normally employed. It is a must that you budget your money well for expenses that you incur both in and out of work. Track your finances using budget management apps so that you can see where your money goes.
5. Create templates or plugins.
Most work that graphic designers do is repetitive. Aside from design tools and a free background remover, you may also want to create templates or use plugins to optimize the graphic design workflow. You will save more time this way rather than creating a design file from scratch every single time.
6. Organize your files.
Even as simple as hunting for a specific file can take time. You will never have to get through mysteriously labeled files if you have organized the file naming process right from the start. Establishing a dedicated file organization structure will afford you time and at the same time make your workspace a lot neater.
7. Export work or make backups regularly.
You never know when you will need your old files again. Stay on top of all designs you have done by making backups or exporting them either on a secure cloud or an external drive. Aside from keeping track of your files, you will also free up the much-needed space on your computer thus making your graphic design workflow faster.
With the popularity of the ecommerce business, a freelance graphic designer has plenty of job opportunities. Every online business would somehow need another person to remove backgrounds for product photos. Some companies are constantly looking for a graphic designer to design their marketing projects. It is important that, as a designer, you are able to free yourself from the constraints of time in order to do more.
The only way to do this is to improve your workflow efficiency so that you can take on many responsibilities without feeling like you are juggling plenty of tasks all at once.