One Simple Tool for Organizing Workflow


Never Miss a Deadline with This Printable Work Log

Today’s post is for my fellow proofreaders.

(This log could also be used by transcriptionists as well. Just enter the number of audio minutes in the “Pages” column.)


Why use a work log?

Freelancers often find that it’s feast or famine in the freelance world with the ups and downs of demand for their services. Managing a couple of jobs a week is no big deal, but when you find yourself inundated with multiple deadlines, it’s a good idea to keep your workflow organized so you can track multiple due dates and keep your pending jobs organized.


If you like to get information and to-do’s out of your head an onto paper, you will love this log. It reminds me of David Allen’s mind sweep from his book, Getting Things Done. He recommends “get[ting] in the habit of keeping nothing on your mind.”


It’s also a visual tool to see at a glance how many pages you are committed to for the day or week so you don’t overcommit yourself, and as a record of the number of pages you have read in case you need to reference it later or add up your total pages for the month or year (if you like to track statistics on all you have accomplished).


Sample Log

The log is pretty self-explanatory, but I’ve included a sample to show you how I fill mine out.



Priority – I use this only if I have a lot of jobs with different turnaround times to make sure which one needs to be completed first.


Turnaround – I use “N” for normal, “R” for Rush/Weekend, and “ASAP” for ASAP!


Client – I just use first name here unless I have two clients with the same first name, then I would use, for example, “Sharon A.” and “Sharon R.”


File Name – I just use the last name of the witness for depositions and hearings, or the name of the main party for a trial (e.g., Johnson & Johnson).


Received – I use the time the file was received in my e-mail inbox.


Due – Either the time requested or the default time for normal-turnaround jobs.


Added to Invoice – This column is a HUGE time-saver for me. I was daily–even multiple times per day–checking my invoices to see if I had put in the number of pages or added the medical up-charge, etc. Now I can just look at my log and see that’s it’s done. I have found that it’s best to wait until you have a good idea of what the job is like before you add it to your invoice, to save double-checking and editing the invoice repeatedly.


E-mailed to Client – Also a big time-saver so you don’t have to check your e-mail “sent” items more than once.


Notes – I use this to note if a job was canceled, if a job was sent in “chunks,” if the due date was extended, etc. In the bottom “Notes” section, I might write something like “Joan sending large depo on Friday?” for a job that has been promised but hasn’t come through.


A Work Log is a simple, effective, and free way to…

  • Brain dump

  • Organize pending jobs

  • Track multiple due dates

  • Prevent overscheduling

  • Reference completed jobs

  • Track pages read


Here is a link to download the Work Log. I hope you find it helpful. Just right-click and save the file or click on the link and save within your browser.

Feel free to share your comments and suggestions below.



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