Meet Bonsai, A Task Management Tool Keeping Freelance Writers Organized

Record company expenses.
The Expenses area is where youll keep an eye on products like Uber and Lyft rides, plane flights, business meals– anything a client might repay you for. You can subdivide costs into categories like Advertising, Office Expenses and Supplies. Bonsai will track which billable costs you have been reimbursed for and which ones youre waiting to be repaid for.

Prior to signing up for Bonsai, I used a time tracker called Time Doctor. Far, Bonsais timer has actually been more accurate and trusted.
Bonsais contracts are even more adjustable than its proposals, and its the customizability that Kim states makes Bonsai stand out from other platforms. Bonsai will track which billable costs you have been compensated for and which ones youre waiting to be compensated for.

The timer is specifically valuable if you charge clients by the hour. I dont charge per hour, however I still choose to utilize the timer. I may think two times before taking on a comparable assignment if I charge $100 for a piece but understand it needed 10 hours of work.
Prior to registering for Bonsai, I used a time tracker called Time Doctor. The program experienced numerous problems over the months I utilized it, which was annoying due to the fact that I was charging by the hour back then. So far, Bonsais timer has been more trusted and precise.
Develop billings.
Kim T., a writer who has been using Bonsai for two years, says invoicing might be her favorite part of the platform. “Bonsai is terrific for effortless invoicing and payment,” she explains.
” Effortless” really is the proper word. You can produce an invoice, then link it to the timer so that the amount of time you spend on a job immediately appears in the billing. If you charge hourly, this can conserve you time plugging in numbers.

I fancy myself a quite organized person. When it comes to freelance writing, its easy for me to lose track of things.
Did I conserve that agreement in Microsoft Word or Google Docs? Am I on invoice number 1038 or 1039? I thought I mored than happy with the rate my customer is paying me, but Ive been dealing with this project for who understands the length of time– is it even worth it?
We have a lot of balls to manage when were our own manager. You may have a system for categorizing files or an accounting group to track job-related costs if you were working in a traditional office. Considering that youre on your own, how are you supposed to track everything?
In swoops Bonsai.
What is Bonsai?
Bonsai is an online platform that aims to assist freelancers improve their various daily jobs..
When you create an account, go to the dashboard to access things like your contracts, billings, propositions and customer details. By keeping whatever in one place, you can remain arranged and ideally achieve tasks more effectively.
Bonsais goal is to offer you with everything you need for a freelance task, from start to end up (or proposal to payment). Youll receive a 14-day free trial when you register, which must provide you time to get a feel for how Bonsai can affect your daily life.
What can you do with Bonsai?
Heres what you can do with Bonsai.
Monitor customers, projects and jobs.
From your dashboard, you have a section for clients, where you can store information like customers contact info and social networks profiles, and even just how much money they owe you..
Lets state I get in details for my 3 main customers, Finance Company, Travel Blog and Beverage Website.
You can develop projects for each customer. You can produce specific jobs under each job.
This is basically a digital version of a binder filled with folders and color-coded tabs. If they were self-employed writers, Monica Geller from Friends and Amy Santiago from Brooklyn Nine-Nine would have a field day with Bonsai.
Time yourself.
In the top right corner, youll see “Start Timer.” You can pick a specific job and even a job to time when you click this. You can also include notes, like “research” so you understand you spent that time looking into, not writing.

You can link the Accounting area to your Expenses and Invoicing sections to track your business spending plan. The design is beneficial for tracking both non-billable and billable expenditures so you can see just how much youre investing in your writing profession versus just how much youre generating..
What could improve about Bonsai?
The invoicing might be hassle-free, however the system isnt perfect..
You can just personalize invoices to a point. The sections are “Item name,” “systems,” “rate” and “total.” However for one of my customers, I need to have a separate area for “item code,” and I dont need a “systems” column..
It would be great if I could just replace “units” with “item code,” but regrettably this isnt an option.
When you established a billing, you select a payment method, and a few of these methods include charges. I constantly request direct deposit when I can, however Bonsai charges a $5 charge for direct deposit. I d rather just produce an invoice through Microsoft Word and pocket the $5.
Kim has been utilizing Bonsai for a lot longer than I have, and although shes a fan overall, she discovers herself wishing she could utilize the platform for more intricate jobs..
” It d be fantastic if I could take a client/project and run a report that informs me the overall amount billed as it associates with the total hours spent,” she says.
We can just hope Bonsai continues to establish each section so that freelancers can do much more with the program.
Bottom line: Should you offer Bonsai a shot?
Its definitely worth setting up a Bonsai account if youre a freelance writer with several clients and/or tasks. Storing all my details in one place has made me feel less tired out.
Your ability to access specific features depends upon which plan you choose. Here are your options:.

You can sign up for yearly billing if youre looking for a more cost effective deal and are open to long-lasting commitment. Youll get the equivalent of two months totally free, which pertains to only $16 each month for Bonsai Plus and $24 for Premium.
You might give the two-week trial a go and see if you desire to register for Bonsai Plus. I dont see much usage for Premium unless you either have some really specific, innovative requirements, or you utilize other people and desire to add them to your account.
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There are also templates for other kinds of work, like Design or Consulting. Due to the fact that we all know at least one author who has knowledge in more than one field!), (.
When a customer accepts your proposition, you can write a contract. Bonsais contracts are a lot more adjustable than its proposals, and its the customizability that Kim states makes Bonsai stand apart from other platforms. There are various agreement design template options, consisting of a “customized” choice that helps you develop a contract from scratch.

I constantly ask for direct deposit when I can, however Bonsai charges a $5 fee for direct deposit.

Or you may choose to develop billings by hand. Bonsai offers you with billing design templates, so you do not need to go back to square one.
I abhor producing invoices in Microsoft Word, even with Words templates, so I have to agree with Kim– Bonsais billings are a big plus.
Write contracts and proposals.
Time to pitch a big task? You might require to compose a proposition.
Bonsai supplies numerous proposition templates depending upon what kind of work youre proposing. Theres one for composing jobs that divides the proposition into Context & & Objectives, Timeline and Why Me..

Bonsai Premium ($ 29 monthly): All the functions you can access with a Plus subscription, in addition to the capability to farm out through Bonsai and white-label (or legally change a brand names logo with your own). You can also include numerous users to your account for $9 monthly per member.

Bonsai Plus ($ 19 each month): Ability to develop propositions, agreements and billings, track costs, gain access to an accounting module and use chat assistance.

You can likewise track non-billable expenses, which can be beneficial when tax season rolls around and youre thinking, “Oh, what organisation costs can I compose off?”.
Be your own accountant.
The more customers you have and the more diverse your freelancing work is, the most likely you are to gain from an accountant. But if youre already spending for a subscription to Bonsai, why bother working with an accountant? Use the platform to function as your own accountant!

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