Originally published at: http://www.sitepoint.com/managing-leads-clients-projects-with-streak/
When you switch to being a freelancer, the one thing that hits just about everyone is becoming overwhelmed with having to manage everything yourself. It’s not enough to just focus on your craft and deliver amazing results for your clients. You actually have to find those clients first!
I thought I was ready, after all, I had managed multiple projects and cross-functional teams, with a million things up in the air all at once in my earlier jobs. How hard could it be?
Soon I found myself struggling to keep up. I was mailing out 10-15 pitches per day (at the beginning), and pretty much lost track of them after a few days.
As clients started coming in, I struggled to keep track of deliverables. I had hoped freelancing would be lower pressure and lower stress than my corporate job… it wasn’t. Now I was struggling to keep track ad-hoc requests from 4 different clients at a time. It was a nightmare. I was spending more time keeping track of pitches and clients than I was doing real work. Something had to change!
I was spending more time keeping track of pitches and clients than I was doing real work.
I tried setting up an elaborate system of filters and labels. That didn’t quite work. I used Excel with multiple sheets, filters etc. That didn’t work. I tried a few project management tools — I figured that after all, this is just project management. I experimented with some apps and programs that claimed to be perfect for tracking freelance or hourly work. They weren’t enough — they helped track existing work, but not in tracking new pitches. Plus, I hated copying email addresses and notes over from Gmail into these apps.
Then I stumbled upon Streak.
At the risk of sounding like I’m on their books, since finding Streak I’ve become a much calmer person. My inbox is no longer a mess. I know exactly how many leads and pitches I have in the pipeline, how many deliverables scheduled for this week, and what stage each project is at. I feel in control. It’s so much easier to find information about a client, a pitch, or my next article. But I’m getting ahead of myself. Let’s talk a bit more about Streak.
What is Streak?
Streak calls itself a CRM tool that works inside Gmail. For freelancers especially, most of our work discussions and deals are managed via email. Copying that information into another tool to track and manage is a process no one can possibly enjoy. It adds to those pesky non-billable hours. Streak aims to let you manage it all, right from inside your Gmail inbox, with minimal overheads. For me, that’s a big win.Continue reading this article on SitePoint