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I'm writing a complex proposal with many milestones-but cannot save as I progress

Active Member
john g Member Since: Jan 2, 2016
1 of 11

I've been writing a very complex proposal for an 8 month project with 14 milestones, on several occasions, just with a slight move of my mouse, I've lost the proposal.


Support has told me there is no way to save my work - "But as always their dedicated engineers work tirelessly to enhance their system architecture"


This is ludicrous - of course, I'm now taking the precaution of ensuring I write my cover letter on MSWord - but in planning the milestones and now losing the template 5 times throughout the night - I'm furious


Does anyone have any tips that could help. Thanks to anyone in advance





Community Guru
Virginia F Member Since: Feb 15, 2016
2 of 11

It looks like you've been here long enough to know that the best thing to do is to write all  proposals in an external text edit program, and then copy/paste. That's what I do.


Meanwhile I'll wait (as we've all been doing for years), for Upwork to  add an "autosave" feature.

Community Guru
Tiffany S Member Since: Jan 15, 2016
3 of 11

Virginia F wrote:

It looks like you've been here long enough to know that the best thing to do is to write all  proposals in an external text edit program, and then copy/paste. That's what I do.


Meanwhile I'll wait (as we've all been doing for years), for Upwork to  add an "autosave" feature.

Unfortunately, this isn't a solution when there are numerous milestones involved, since cutting and pasting the information line by line into the milestone fields is no more efficient than typing it there and you are no more likely to get through that process without losing your progress.

Active Member
john g Member Since: Jan 2, 2016
4 of 11
Of course

And as I mentioned I do that.

However, I cannot simply write the 14 milestones, with timing and costs

The best I can do and have done is save a Pdf of my progress on the
milestones constantly and then when/if I lose everything again as has
happened 5 times.

Start again at least with the knowledge I don't have to rethink everything
from scratch.

But clearly Upwork has no interest is catering to high value, one-off very
complex projects as I've learnt from reading their SEC filings. Upwork is
the ultimate leader in driving the race the bottom. Operating the Longest
tail - metaphorically in internet business model history. Millions of sub
$50 projects from which they can extract 20% straight off the top and from
fools like I premium monthly fees.

Sorry but after no sleep and having been one of only three invited to this
project - the anger is rising.
Community Guru
Jennifer M Member Since: May 17, 2015
5 of 11

They're using popouts so the browser will automatically close it if you click outside of the input boxes. It's annoying. They used to have a warning screen and idk what happened to that, but yeah if you click outside of the input boxes, you risk having the window closed. 


Use the tab key to move to the next input box or make sure you only click one of the text boxes if you click your mouse on something.


It is v v annoying.

Community Guru
Wendy C Member Since: Aug 24, 2015
6 of 11

Immense empathy from this corner.  As noted, trying to do a copy/paste for every milestone is as infuriatingly as the lost info.


Yes, U. needs to fix this.  


Instead of spending time and money screwing up our profiles with amateurish cartoons that demean FLs and Buyers alike, FIX the tech glitches like this.

Avery O Moderator Member Since: Nov 23, 2015
7 of 11

Hi John, 

I'm sorry to learn about your exeprience on Upwork. Please know that I have shared this with the team so that we can look into how we can improve on the functionalities of the website. 

Just now, I tried submitting a proposal, and when I clicked on the page, the proposal page opened in a new tab (I'm using Google Chrome). Could you please share with me what browser you are using, and what happens when you click on the Submit a Proposal button - does it open on a pop-up window instead of an actual browser window/tab?

Active Member
john g Member Since: Jan 2, 2016
8 of 11
I'm using Chrome, it's not a problem of submitting the proposal for me.
until this morning after 9 hours, I never got to the point of even adding
my cover letter - which I'd wisely drafted on MSWord and pasted in.

My problem has been - the complexity of this project - 6 months with 14
milestones and 8 - distinct project phases - all of which have to be put
into Up works fixed-form fields.

Quite simply I'd get halfway through - and a lot of planning and thinking
had gone into this - and I'd do something as innocent as moving my mouse
and the entire proposal page would revert to blank.

I was furious - I chatted with support who told me a crock of garbage about
- clearing my cache, deleting my browsing history, using another browser
etc. To which I asked bluntly will that recover my work?

ANSWER NO - *"But our dedicated engineers, are working continuously to
enhance the UX so that we continue to offer the best service to clients and
freelancers alike'*

To which I replied* "I wasn't born yesterday, nor am I going to swallow
your pathetically, amateur - straight from a scripted page - corporate PR
spiel - so don't BS me"*

I expect better when I pay monthly for a premium membership, while Upwork
takes 20% of every dollar I charge for absolutely ZERO in return, and the
only reason I torture myself occasionally with Upwork is like this case
where I was invited to interview for a wonderful project.

Rather than my stable matchmakers of Expert 360, Catalant and Talmix with
whom I've had wonderful experiences and great clients - and who by the way
charge the client the fee for service - as is normal - after all the client
is often seeking flexible, highly-skilled, on-demand subject experts -
without the cost of employment benefits"

It took me five lost partly completed proposals - where I was laying out 14
milestones get to that stage, because
Avery O Moderator Member Since: Nov 23, 2015
9 of 11

Hi John, 

It looks like you have pressed "Submit" too soon. Anyway, I wanted to clarify when you said you clicked outside the proposal window, if you meant you clicked outside but still within Google Chrome's window/tab, or outside the the browser window (clicking on your desktop, or some other program, etc.). I'm trying to understand this better because in my experience, when I tried replicating the issue, the proposal window stays until I click on the submit button at the bottom of the page. I hope you understand why I have to ask for details. I want to understand if my experience is different so that I can relay this with detailed information to the team. 

Proposal Page.png

Active Member
john g Member Since: Jan 2, 2016
10 of 11
Look I didn't keep a video recording of my hand movements, nor memorise
every movement as I focused intently on the intellectual rigour required to
prepare a compelling proposal.

Do whatever you need to do

*The simple fact is unlike any other platform that I work with - including
Catalant, Talmxi, aConnect and Expert 360. Every keystroke on a proposal I
am preparing is automatically saved. As it should be.*

The quality of the user interface is just one of a thousand points of
difference between yourselves and those mentioned above. The support
assistance as I toiled through my entire night was not only of no help, but
yourself and your predecessors have actually been quite insulting in
continually contacting me to try and convince me that I have been at fault.


Which I'm sure is fine for 99% of the proposals you cater to - 5 lines
perhaps but not in this case if you have a close look at the brief and
fully understand the technical requirements the client is requesting

That I suspect might be due to the very different cohort of both clientele
and consultants each of the above work with. Almost without exception
Fortune 500 clients - seeking ex-senior McKinsey, BCG, Bain and Monitor
Group consultants, now independent or running their own Boutique Consulting
firms who they turn to take on complex projects; when their own resources
are stretched. However, each of the platforms mentioned run a very
professional operation, in which all consultants before being admitted to
the platforms are vetted through reference checks and university records to
verify their claimed MBA/Masters and above qualifications, employment
history including positions held and level. Likewise, clients are contacted
personally, interviewed as to the details, expectations and deliverables
they are expectations.

The clients are charged a 20-20% fee as a proportion of the total project
value for the benefits, convenience and overall cost savings they receive
knowing their project leader will deliver the calibre of work they expect
from a full team. After all they are the ones seeking the talent to fill
and urgent or difficult to resource challenge. The consultant is not
charged a cent.

The end result is an incredibly high degree of mutual trust.

But I understand the business model you operate intimately - whilst I'm
sure Upwork's revenues are 000's even 0000's times greater per annum than
those above, and who knows I'd not be surprised if Upwork is building up to
an IPO. The simple fact your business model is built of millions of
one-time small transactions, as evidenced by the number of freelancers
registered WW - I think approaching 15 or 20 million and a client number in
the millions, and client histories of payments that often range between
$10 and $50.

For which Upwork profits handsomely - 20% of every dollar earned by the
freelancer (which used to be only up to $1000 but now I find there's a new
5% on all above that I think to gouge a little more back) and premium
monthly registration fees of $20.

I've no qualms with your choice of business model. Except when I am invited
to a great project, befitting my skill set, quite complex, and I decide
despite repeated past bad experiences with Upwork to pitch for the project
and then find first the user interface is sub-standards and next to
impossible to work with when as I'd repeatedly mentioned on this project -
needing to consider 8-9 milestones over 6 months - plan timeframes,
deliverables, my effective consulting rate for each - fill in each form
field only to have it vanish time and time again.

So do not insult me with your platitudes about which keystrokes I might
have made - in other words insinuating I am at fault

*Perhaps take a moment to pause and reflect, then be honest enough with
yourself and honest on behalf of your organisation that perhaps Upwork is
not a suitable platform or service for that matter for clients with expert
level, long-range, complex, multi-phased projects - seeking highly
qualified consultants.*

Warm regards