Editor’s note: In addition to being a member of our amazing Customer Experience team and keeper of the flame on our Forums, Scott is a writer over at one of our favorite sites for the virtual workforce, Web Worker Daily (it’s how we found each other!) and other places. We’re happy to have him share with our readers how he’s using BatchBook as a freelance blogger. I’ve used it for similar purposes and found it really works quite well for managing content-related data.
I’ve always loved how versatile BatchBook is. Over the three or so years I’ve been a BatchBook user, I’ve found it can be used for tracking a multitude of different types of business or even personal information – all within the same account.
One of the primary things I use BatchBook for is to manage my freelance blogging projects. As a tech writer, I receive dozens of pitches and briefing requests each day to write about technology products and services. I use BatchBook to keep track of who is contacting me and what products they are representing, and over the course of a few years I’ve developed quite the database of company contacts, public relations folks and their associated products all within my BatchBook account.
Here is the process for tracking all of the various the folks involved from pitch to publish:
– Emails are forwarded to BatchBook using the BatchBox feature so I can not only capture the information about the person who contacted me but also the contents of their pitch as well.
– Using the auto tag feature of the BatchBox, I know which communications and people I need to review. I complete the record for the person who contacted me and also create a corresponding company record as well if possible.
– Usually the emails come from a PR representative so I also then create a record for the company whose product or service is being pitched. Often times I’ll get basic contact info about the company and who the contact is for them as well. Associated records are created for all folks and Affiliations are used to link together the PR Firms with their clients.
– I only write about a small percentage of the items that are sent but I do track the bulk of them anyway should I need to revisit them at a later time, and to document the connections between people that I can find through these affiliations.
– Should I decide to pursue a briefing or an article I will create a Deal for that project. We call them Deals but they can really be used to hold information of any sort – including mini projects such as an article. I always associate the Deal with the company whose product or service it is that I am writing about and then add all of the folks involved to it as well. This way I can see who I worked with for any particular article at a later date. I link the emails involved in setting the time and coordinating the process to the deal as well so that it becomes a container of sorts for all of the information about that article.
– All Article Deals get tagged with a SuperTag that I’ve created to track the status of any article and the relevant or important information that I want to capture about it, including the publish date, word count, a link to the article as well as billing and payment status.
– I can upload files like product slicks, screenshots and logos to the Deal so that everything I need is all in one place. I use the comments for my own internal notes during the process.
– I could track related to-do items and events to the deal as well but scheduling is handled through my Google Calendar and I find that works for me. If there were a common process for publishing the articles a to-do template could also be useful here.
With appropriate tagging of the contacts involved, I can quickly pull up companies by product category, see which PR firm represents them, who else that firm represents and who I have worked with in the past. This documenting of the relationships between the various folks has been indispensable to me in creating a network of people that I can reach out to should I need to get connected to someone.
BatchBook has been a tremendously useful tool in helping me manage this process and all of the people that I have been in contact with. With a little bit of creativity and a SuperTag or two, I find BatchBook can track just about anything, freeing up more time for me to get to the business of blogging.