5 Tips to Organize Your Freelance Animation Business

Starting your own business can be tough. As a freelance animator, you need to juggle between being an artist, an accountant, a marketer, and a decent human being all at the same time! It can be hard to find time when everything around us is calling for our attention.

As My Own Boss
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Here are 5 tips on how to organize your life as a freelance animator to help you gain more time in the day:



  • Set a Time for Social Media and E-Mail; Automate Where Possible


      1. I spend one hour each morning, and 30 minutes in the evening to respond to e-mail and update my social media networks.
      2. Turn off notifications when working to avoid that Pavlov’s Dog reaction of checking messages!
      3. Automate your follow-up emails with Boomerang for Gmail. Great for keeping in touch with studios and clients without having to be at your computer!


  • Create a Work Cycle


      1. Have a set time of full concentration on work, followed by a break spent not thinking about anything work related. This will help your creativity and productivity more than anything else. 45 minutes of concentrated work, followed by 15 minutes of play is a good ratio, but find what works for you.
      2. Make sure you are tracking your time as well so you know how long a project takes you. This will help you price projects in the future.


  • Keep Updated Spreadsheets of Expenses and Income


      1. I use Google Docs so I can update my income and expenses wherever there is an internet connection. I try to spend one day each month to update my bookkeeping. Keep one spreadsheet for income, business expenses, and donations, and start new ones for each new year.
      2. This will not only help you track your income and losses, but it will make it so much easier when filing your taxes. Make sure to keep all your receipts, or scan them with a phone app!


  • Have a Daily Schedule


      1. Keep a to-do list of 5 or 10 things that you MUST do every day. Some examples could be to reach out to 10 potentially new clients, keep in touch with 5 old clients, share 3 articles on Facebook, or post a new video on Instagram.
      2. When you’ve finished your list, put an X on your calendar. After weeks of doing this, you can look back and feel proud of all those X’s covering your days. Your business is guaranteed to grow if you work everyday to expand your circle of influence.


  • Make your Workspace ‘Zen’


    1. Spend 3 minutes after work to clean and organize your workspace, so when you come back to it in a mad rush to complete a deadline it will be ready for you to start working! Having a clean workspace will also help you to concentrate and feel less stressed.
    2. Bring nature inside. Have plants and sunshine wherever possible around your work area. Surround yourself with inspiration with artwork, tutorials, and quotes. Having a workspace you are excited to go to and work at will not only help make work a joy, but will keep you inspired and motivated to keep learning and get better at your craft.

The Zen Animator
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Hopefully these few tips will help you to get more done during the day, so that once the day is done you can feel proud of the work you’ve accomplished and not have to worry or think about working when you’re with your family and friends. Because at the end of the day, the only thing that matters in life is our relationships with the people we love. Let’s work hard so we can be present for them and give back all the love they give us!

What productivity or organizational tips do you have that have worked for you? Share them in the comments below! And share these tips with anyone you know that is having trouble keeping organized!

This is a guest post by animator Jesse Jones. Jesse has been a professional CG Animator and Illustrator in Portland Oregon for over 6 years. He loves to create cute cartoons, and has had the honor to work with several extraordinary companies such as Disney, Coca-Cola, Microsoft, Nabisco, and NBC. Check out his Animation Portfolio at: http://www.JesseJayJones.com

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“Spend 3 minutes after work to clean and organize your workspace, so when you come back to it in a mad rush to complete a deadline it will be ready for you to start working! Having a clean workspace will also help you to concentrate and feel less stressed.”

I love this!~

Sabina K

Great tips! It all sounds so easy and obvious until you try to do it.


Very good writeup and very true! I have been doing freelance for about 4 years now since leaving a graphic design firm and the organization side of it is hard but necessary!

Jared McKernin

Good article. Saved as a favorite, thank you for the tips.


I’m very happy that I stumbled across this in my hunt for something regarding this.

Pamela Tibbs

Cool tips. I like to read this type of article. Thanks for sharing it.


Thanks for sharing such a useful tips for me and my freelance career. I personally never recommend to anyone to freelance and there is no growth in this field. There is a huge competition and low margin these day. any ways people enjoy freelancing and this is their personal matter but your tips are helpful for me.


Those are Really Amazing tips for starting a career as an animation freelancer. I visit many sites to see tips. I am an animator and really able to do work as a freelancer. Thanks for sharing these valuable tips.