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When I was still a student, I found it hard to get back on track with school after the holiday break ended.  Fortunately, I could also make up for late homework. But as a working professional, I no longer have that luxury — any delay or […] Read more »

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Although I’ve tried several feed readers, Google Reader is the only one I’ve used for more than a year. Not everyone will agree with my choice, but its simple and straightforward interface was probably the reason why I stayed with it for this long. But, despite […] Read more »

Throughout our careers we freelancers experience alternating seasons of high and low activity. While we may still have projects during seasons of low activity, they may not be as demanding or as regular. During high-activity months, however, we have several leads and potential clients sending queries […] Read more »

Client questionnaires should be easy. You can send your questions over via email, your client hits the “Reply” button and answers away. But, for some reason, it’s not always that straightforward. Some clients might skip questions or answer them incorrectly, while others might want to skip […] Read more »

Although freelancers and corporate employees both have stages of moving on in their careers, it tends to happen more often in freelancing. Clients sometimes lose funding or focus. Other times we’re called in for short-term projects and aren’t hired again. But there are other times when […] Read more »

The successive typhoons that recently came over the Philippines gave my roof and ceiling a complete beating. I thought I could ignore the rainwater dripping into every room in the house but, when I woke up one morning and found my head completely wet thanks to […] Read more »

As a freelancer, I get the chance to work with startup companies that are still too new or too small to have a lot of in-house staff. Because of this, I’ve become familiar with the common characteristics that many startups share. As I come to expect […] Read more »

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Recently, I’ve noticed that more new clients are coming my way with a single request: to help them revive or resurrect a project, web site, or product that has failed in the past. I’m also capable of creating failed projects myself — sometimes I look at […] Read more »

There’s more to Google Calendar (GCal) than meets the eye. At first glance, it seems no different from the printed desktop calendars that used to dominate employee desks. You input your tasks, appointments, and other commitments on their designated dates and refer to the calendar every […] Read more »

Throughout my online career, I’ve been part of several web working teams. On most teams I am just a regular member, but there’s the rare occasion when I find myself the team leader. Like now, for example, when my former graphic design classmates asked me to […] Read more »

From our hardware and software, to our telecom subscriptions, there are many aspects of our web working lives that may require us to contact tech support at some point; sometimes you can’t be your own tech support. Since I have many friends that work as tech […] Read more »

Including free or “freemium” elements in online software and products has become the norm. There are several existing discussions about this business model, some questioning its effects on the industry, others touting its success. Whatever opinion you may have, freemium is the model commonly adopted by […] Read more »

Web working seems to blur the lines separating our professional and family lives. If you work from home, it’s common to find yourself switching back and forth from work to household tasks throughout the day. This isn’t an issue if your only problem with work-home balance […] Read more »

When a friend of mine heard that I was teleworking, she said “I can’t imagine doing my work without my boss watching my back. What motivates you to get anything done?” I paused for a second, then replied, “I love doing it.” Fast forward to a […] Read more »

Soon after I clicked the “Publish” button on my blog dashboard, I realized I had made a mistake. I’d read my post through three times before hitting that button, but somehow missed adding a crucial word — the word “don’t”. Inadvertently, I had told my readers […] Read more »

It’s become almost commonplace to consider teleworking as a career move. From companies wanting to reduce costs to individuals looking for alternative income streams, there’s no shortage of people interested in this option. But no matter how easy it looks on paper, successful teleworking takes time […] Read more »

For any web worker with a blog, web site or online portfolio, knowing how to optimize it for search engines is a must. After all, what’s the point of having an online presence if no one can find it? By using some simple Search Engine Optimizations […] Read more »

Whether you need a contingency plan or you just want to free up your schedule, at some point you’ll need to hire subcontractors. Though this practice is more common with freelancers, even teleworking employees are seeing the benefits of getting outside help. For those who are […] Read more »

Last week I woke up to find that my partner had rearranged my home office. She spent the better part of the morning turning it into our home office. I shouldn’t have been surprised — I’d told her earlier in the week that we might become […] Read more »

A friend of mine who is new to teleworking was complaining that her overseas prospects wanted to speak with her on the phone. Since she didn’t want to have to pay for international calls, she turned down these lucrative offers. “I don’t want my fees to […] Read more »

While some employers will pay for the equipment expenses of their teleworking employees, there’s only so much they can cover. Freelancers like myself have it in even tougher — they need to provide their own gear from the beginning. I guess the price of location independence […] Read more »

At the start of their careers, most freelancers take on every new client that comes along. But as we mature and gain more experience, we become more discerning when we’re choosing who we work with. This usually happens because we’re starting to specialize, we want to […] Read more »

I was recently asked to manage a team of graphic designers, all of them fresh graduates with hardly any professional experience. Always eager to help, I accepted the opportunity, knowing that it would be challenging and educational, for both myself and the team. I soon discovered […] Read more »

Many web workers have their own blogs, which are usually shared with colleagues and clients. But a good professional blog is not just a matter of just setting up your blogging platform, typing whatever comes to mind, and clicking “Publish.” Most professional blogs would benefit from […] Read more »

The project milestone sheet is an incredibly important document for freelancers and their clients. It defines all the most important tasks, who is assigned to them, and when they are due. In other words, it serves as the map for your entire work process.

So how can you create a milestone sheet that works? Read more »

Using social media tools seems to be a must in every knowledge worker’s life — whether you’re a remote worker or not.

But not everyone finds it easy to make new connections through these tools. If you feel that you’re too shy for social media, how do you get past your hesitation? Read more »

Not all teleworkers are lucky enough to have a large house. This means that designated office space will be limited. In fact, many teleworkers I know work from a partitioned corner of their kitchen or living room. If you’re in a similar situation, planning your home […] Read more »

I’m a compulsive digital fiddler. Not often, but it happens. Sometimes I get so intimidated by work that I end up procrastinating online. I started my workday at 6 a.m. last Monday hoping to get the week off to a good start, but I found myself […] Read more »

Every time I apply for a new job, I am always excited to start working. Despite this, some prospects don’t always seem to share my enthusiasm. They might seem uninterested and may stall negotiations or contract signing. How can you tell if a prospect isn’t serious about working with you and what should you do about it? Read more »

Last Wednesday I woke up to find that my Internet connection wasn’t working. While I have an alternative 3G connection, I get charged by the half-hour so being perpetually connected though it wasn’t an option. Working this way was extremely frustrating at first, and it made me realize how dependent I am on the Internet.

But after the initial adjustment, I found that I was actually more productive when I wasn’t connected to the Internet. This happens every time my connection goes out, which is more often than I’d like. If this is the case, maybe I should consciously disconnect myself from time to time? Especially since many other bloggers have recommended it. Read more »

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