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Track Your Assignments, Invoices and Earnings with This Spreadsheet

Track Your Assignments, Invoices and Earnings with This Spreadsheet
Written by Magoz
5 min read 14.2k views 30 comments

When people think about illustrators, they imagine us drawing and doing creative things all day. But the reality is very different.

Like any other business people, we spend lots of hours dealing with very boring but important tasks like emails, accounting, contracts, invoices, quotes, etc.

The accounting is especially important, since there is money involved, and we need to keep our business’ paperwork in order. But sometimes we feel overwhelmed with all those things.

When I became self-employed, I created a very basic spreadsheet where I tracked all the assignments. This spreadsheet has evolved and improved over the years, and now I have a powerful tool to track all the work I do.

Today I’m sharing the spreadsheet with you. You will be able to easily track all your assignments, invoices and earnings.

Spreadsheet to track Assingments, Invoice and Earning

What it is useful for:

  • Have everything under control
    Do you know that feeling of having everything under control? That’s what being organized produces. You are able to focus on creating when you empty your mind of worries, thoughts, and unimportant things.
  • Track your income
    With this tool, you can have a record of how much money you produce each month, which is extremely useful to know how your business is doing.
  • Track who paid
    This spreadsheet is very useful to track who has paid and who hasn’t.
  • Invoice numbers
    Record the invoice numbers and the date you sent them.
  • Know how your business is doing
    You know how many assignments you do per month, so you know if your business is growing, going well, or not.

What it includes:

  • Client
  • Assignment date
  • Art director/contact person
  • Budget
  • Agent Fee (optional)
  • % of tax
  • Net earnings
  • Invoice number
  • Invoice date
  • Payment date
  • Total net earnings per month

Use the spreadsheet:

You can create a copy of my Google spreadsheet and use if for yourself.

Just follow the link and go to File > Create a copy.

How it works:

I adapted my version of the spreadsheet to make it extremely easy to use.

The spreadsheet is automated, which means that you don’t need to write any formulas by yourself. I added three fictional assignments to show you what the spreadsheet looks like.

  1. Add a new assignment
    To add a new assignment, type the name of the client, what you were commissioned for, the date of the first contact and the name of the art director.
  2. Add the budget, % agent fee (optional) and % tax
    Add the budget, the % of your agent fee (if you have one) and the % of taxes. Your net earnings will be calculated automatically.
  3. Add the invoice date, number
    Add the invoice number and the invoice date.
  4. Track when the client pays
    When a client pays, add the date and change the whole row’s background color to green. This is very useful to see quickly who hasn’t paid.
  5. Canceled and on hold projects
    Change the background colors of the canceled and on hold projects to track them as well.
  6. Extra: track how much money you are earning per month
    This is the only step that requires modifying a formula to make it work. When a new month comes, just copy and paste the month row under your last assignment. Then you need to double click on the amount cell in the N column and modify the formula to adjust to the number of assignments. Change the cell numbers in the formula to get the first and the last assignments of the month.

Spreadsheet to track Assingments, Invoice and Earning - Keep track of your earnings

Conclusions

The spreadsheet is very simple and easy to use.

I’ve removed some advanced functionalities to avoid complexity and the need of writing formulas. But if you learn a bit about how Google Spreadsheets works you can extend the functionalities.

You can get some useful extras like converting the money to your currency, track your annual earnings, do some graphs to visualize how your business is doing, etc.

The possibilities are endless.

Let me know in the comments if you have any questions, troubles or new ideas to improve this spreadsheet. Let’s create the ultimate assignments tracking tool!

PS: My online course Strategy & Business for Illustrators is now available for pre-order!

Magoz

Nomadic illustrator. Thinker. Seeker.

30 comments

  1. Great contribution, Magoz! I think that the art/design schools should increase teaching about work management. Well, ALL the schools :) Than you for sharing your work process and your achievements. So generous!

    • I completely agree with you. And I even think the whole system needs to be rethought and rebuilt from scratch. Internet, technology and the market have incredibly changed everything in the last decades.

      Thank you for reading and commenting, Javigaar! So generous :-)

  2. Very usefull article…Congrats Magoz !

  3. Thanks for posting this, Magoz. I’m curious why you use Google spreadsheets instead of Excel. And also whether there are any security issues with using Google or any other online spreadsheet.
    Excellent blog, btw!!

    • Thanks for commenting, Maral!
      I use Google spreadsheets because I can access my spreadsheets from everywhere, including from my phone. I also use them because I don’t use Excel, Word, or any other Microsoft Office apps and I don’t want to pay for something I don’t really use (and I’m already a paying customer of Google Apps).

      I backup everything, and also the 2-step verification activated in all the online services I use (Dropbox, Evernote, Google, Paypal…) So I want to think my data is quite safe.
      Which kind of security concerns do you have?

  4. Gràcies :_)

  5. Thank you Magoz, you are very kind to share your own document example file. It will be useful to compare with mine :) I really like your split per month that I haven’t. I personally use iCloud and Numbers for the same purposes. I have also an addicional spreadsheet of materials (hardware, software, paints, paper and other consumables…) that I use to determine how much will I spend in resources for a project. Congrats for the nice blog!

    • Hi Mariana,
      Thank you very much for sharing your workflow.
      Working with iCloud and Numbers is a good option too!

      Do you use any advance formulas or any useful tip you would like to share?

      I’m a power user of spreadsheets too, so you can expect more articles coming! (shop sales and stock, fixed yearly expenses, investments…)

  6. L
    Lauren

    So helpful! Thank you very much for sharing!

  7. Downloaded and already in use

    gracias!!

  8. La verdad es que siempre he sido un poco caótico con la organización de las facturas. Gracias por compartir tus conocimientos y por aportar un poco de orden en mi flujo de trabajo :)

  9. Ya estoy un poco más organizada gracias a esto y a tu sistema con el gmail :) ¡Muchas gracias, Magoz!

  10. Very interesting! Since a few year I use a spreadsheet very similar, but mostly to see how much I make during the year (as a young freelance in Italy there are earning restrictions – crazy but true) and to be sure that everybody paid me! Sometimes some clients are very late on payment and this helps me to not lose the track. Thank you for sharing your process.

    • Hi Giulia, I’m glad you find it interesting. I didn’t know you have earning restrictions being a young freelancer; that’s hilarious.

      Thanks for commenting and sharing your experience!

  11. yes it’s crazy, Italian freelance system is a mess, but I know in Spain with los autonomos is not that much better. Somos locos. I didn’t know you had a blog, I really like your approach!

  12. Thank you :) As Giulia said the Italian system a mess, really appreciate your move, big help to the community :)

  13. Gracias de nuevo Magoz, por hacernos la vida más fácil.

  14. ¡Buen día! Magoz muchas gracias por esta maravillosa herramienta y todas las demás, sobretodo por dedicarle el tiempo, el esfuerzo y la buena actitud para compartirlas, son muy útiles y valiosas. ¡gracias!

  15. L
    Lauren

    Hey Magoz,

    Thanks so much for putting together this blog. The link on this page doesn’t seem to be working though. By any chance could you take a look at that? Thanks a bunch!

  16. This is most useful, thank you very much for sharing this!
    For Mac users who want a desktop solution or those who don’t want to use Google for whatever reason, I made a similar spreadsheet for Apple Numbers. You can get it for free here: https://gum.co/invoices-tracker.

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