I try to be organized. I really do. That’s why I was shocked and dismayed today when I learned that I had allowed a small freelance job to slip between the cracks in my job tracking system. It had been a part of a larger job I had turned in a week ago and had gone completely unnoticed in my attempt to finish the job and get it off my desk. The job will not take long to complete and my client is very patient and understanding. Thankfully, I don’t think the incident will mar our excellent working relationship. But what if this had happened with a different client, a new client, a client who has no patience for such incompetence? I shudder to think of it.

As a self-professed creative type, organization was never one of my god-given talents. While working as an editor, the eye-for-details developed out of necessity as did the need to be organized. As an editor, I had to juggle several jobs, tasks, and committees on a daily basis without an assistant. I find that it’s during the lulls in my work that I have the hardest time remaining focused. When I’m juggling three or four jobs, I tend to track their completion more closely than if I’m working on just one or two jobs. Ironic, I know.

That’s why I’ve come to the realization that I need some organizational help…an assistant would be ideal. I dream of the day when I have someone following me around with an iPad rattling off my schedule, answering my correspondence, and taking care of my files. But, alas, you have to be making enough money to pay for such a service, and I barely make enough to cover my living expenses…sigh. How does one get from shambling along on her own to hiring an organizational assistant without the “fall between the cracks” snafus I just experienced? I suppose a more orderly work space might help, one that doesn’t allow kids to use my computer to play games on pbs.org or one that doesn’t double as a bedside table.

However, I know I’m not the only person running a business out of a literal corner of a bedroom, and others have made it work, right? So, next on my list of things to do is to develop and implement a job tracking system that works and is idiot proof. I will add it to my task list and let you know how it goes. I’m a visual person, so the tracking system will need to be an “at-a-glance” helper of some kind. It’s not as if there aren’t such organizational devices already on the market, I just need to find the one that will work for me (i.e., effortless, simple, and fast).

If you know of anything, leave a comment.


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