Freelancer Onboarding Guide

Ty Fujimura

Welcome to Cantilever! You received this guide because you are a fantabulous freelancer we are ready to start working with. We love collaborating with new people and are happy to have you!!

This guide will walk you through the steps you need to take to be ready to work on Cantilever projects. Your time performing all onboarding tasks is billable at your normal freelance rate, and you should log your time to Harvest (information about how to do this is below). Going through this guide should take around 4 hours.

This article is public but only actionable for approved Cantilever freelancers. If you would like to become a Cantilever freelancer, please apply on our website!

Your manager is the person who set up your onboarding project (which led to this article). They are your go-to for any questions you have or issues you may be running into that are not solved with the handbook.

Our default communication methodology is asynchronous. We have tried to write down everything you should need to know to work successfully here, but we make mistakes. Please don’t hesitate to comment in the handbook if you have any questions, or Slack your manager.

You will typically interact with our team through Slack and Asana. If you are ever confused about a task, a due date, or anything else in Asana, please speak up and we’ll help!

A Personal Note from Ty

I started my career as a freelancer back in college. I loved freelancing. Now, as the client, I care deeply about making sure we provide the kind of experience I myself would have wanted.

We want to see your best work and will push for excellence, but in exchange, we strive to be the best client possible for you. And that means caring for you personally while also supporting you professionally. If you are working with us, we want to get to know you and support you however we can.

Read These…

These are our core handbook resources that are relevant to freelancers as well. Some of the guidance is tailored to the in-house team, but is still mostly applicable.

(You can skip any tools that are not relevant to your role)

For Particular Roles…


Meet our team…

As an approved freelancer you are a part of the Cantilever community! Welcome.

  • We are setting up freelancer-specific networking events so our freelance friends can come together and get to know each other and the Cantilever team
  • You now have access to the Team Directory. Read through that to get to know the core team and fellow freelancers.
  • Anyone on the team will be happy to have a zoom lunch or coffee to get to know you. Your manager will help facilitate this, but feel free to reach out independently as well.

Freelancer-Specific Guidance

If you feel unclear about what you are being asked to do, or uncomfortable with how things are going for any reason, please speak up. We care about your experience and will do whatever we can to make it better.


You should configure notifications from our services however it makes sense for your workflow and client mix. Our expectation is that if we comment on a thread you are subscribed to, or at-mention you or assign a task to you, you will see it and respond within one business day.

We recommend that you keep push notifications off for Cantilever services, we don’t want to be making your phone ding all the time!

We recommend that you install the desktop and mobile app versions of Harvest, Asana, Slack, etc rather than relying on the in-browser versions.

Accountability & Deadlines

At Cantilever if your name is on a task, that means you take final accountability for getting that task complete – and just not your own part, but all parts of it, including reviews and QA which you may need to request from others. For more context, please re-read the


At Cantilever, the deadline represents the day the work needs to be shipped/complete, not the day you need to complete your part. For example, if you are a developer and you have a task due on a Friday, you will likely need to get it “done” by Wednesday so the QA team has time to look at it.

Keep in mind that we take deadlines very seriously, and if you have a deadline we are counting on you to meet it. If you need to extend a deadline please ask at least 24 hours in advance, and please don‘t accept deadlines you don’t think are realistic.


As a freelancer you have a personal Manager who acts as your Cantilever liason. You will also interact with two types of project leader:

  • Strategists, who plan and clarify work for the team
  • Project managers, who coordinate work being done and make sure our process is running smoothly

You should always be able to check who these people are by looking at the Overview tab of the relevant Asana project:


When providing feedback and information, if it is a project-specific, please direct it at the PM and strategist on the project. Otherwise, direct it at your personal manager.

Time Tracking

All time you spend working for Cantilever should be entered into Harvest. You will get paid automatically twice a month for approved Harvest time.


As a freelancer you will generally not participate in our normal sprint planning process. Instead you will hear about tasks where we have a need for a freelancer, or we will contact you directly to ask about your availability to take a specific task on. Please be aware of how we do our sprints, but the most important thing is that you pay attention to your Asana deadlines.

Thank you and welcome!!!