Forging Ahead with Freelancing: Dos and Don’ts of Paperwork

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This week, I took total advantage of the cool days and beginning of fall by cleaning my house. Rather than reserving the annual house cleaning for Spring, here in South Dakota, a major fall cleaning is also in order. After a summer of constantly blowing dust and dirty children running around, I want to clean everything before the first blanket of snow. See, being stuck indoors from October to April due to freezing temps and encroaching snowfall creates a desire for a clean cabin when “the fever” comes around in January. Part of this cleaning process has me reconsidering my paperwork as a freelancer among article writers.

Get Off My Cloud!

Are you completely cool with the idea that everything for your business is floating around in some proverbial cloud? While the use of cloud storage and sharing is all the rage for freelancers interested in protecting, storing, and sharing their work, it isn’t the end-all, be-all for freelancers. First of all, not everything you write is digitally accessible, such as regional or local newspaper or magazine articles. However, thanks to the many free scanning apps available on tablets and smartphones, you can easily upload an image of your work for cloud storage.

Keep in mind that if you choose the cloud for storing and sharing your freelance work, you will want to keep a backup copy. Pollyanna might say this isn’t necessary, but be realistic. Cloud computing is a relatively new concept and you can bet your bottom dollar that there are hackers out there who are testing the limits, boundaries, strengths and weaknesses of this newfangled method of data. Don’t be an easy target and back up often.

Cloud storage solutions to consider:

I personally use Dropbox, Google Drive, Microsoft OneDrive, and Apple iCloud for my freelancer document needs. Most of these services are free, up to a point. Consider your ability to access these programs across the platforms that you use, i.e. Windows laptop, Kindle Fire, and iPhone, so that you can easily access your documents when you want.

A Word to the Cloud

Other cloud-based solutions include the Office Word platform, which is now available online as a cloud-based service. You can open your Office Word page for editing from any computer, even if Microsoft Office is not downloaded on the terminal. Consider adding this to your writer’s tool box as an alternative to online document creation and editing programs, which include:

Taxing Taxes Taxing You?

Are you concerned with filing taxes as a freelancer? Understandable since, after all, you’ll be considered self-employed, which is a whole new world for tax filers. Start at the source, the Small Business Administration, aka SBA, and their article, “Starting a Freelance Business – How to Take Care of Legal, Tax and Contractual Paperwork.” Follow up to the article in the SBA Forums, which will give you a chance to pick the brains of fellow freelancers who are going through the same thing or have been there already.

Miranda B has been in the biz for a handful of years, holding on to the grand plan that one day she’ll advance from the pool of article writers to become a brand name in the writing world.


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