Working from home while remaining productive is an up-hill struggle for many.
However, it really doesn’t need to be that way.
With the right mindset and discipline, you can conquer your working day and get much more done than ever before. And because you’re at home, you can then reap the rewards of not having a commute, and of being in your home environment.
Working from home introduces a number of challenges when it comes to being productive and getting work done. Apart from the issues relating to remote collaboration, you also have the challenges of staying on task (avoiding distractions), avoiding data leaks, and accessing the powerful tools you would normally use in an office.
Here are some of the best apps to help you solve those problems.
Google Drive (Android, iOS)
Not only is Google Drive a great app for storing your files on the cloud but with access to Google Docs, you also get a full office suite for editing them on the go. This is really handy if you’re working on a spreadsheet remotely and you want people in the office to see the live changes.
Dropbox (Android, iOS, Windows, Mac)
Dropbox is a cloud sharing app that gives you lots of space and makes it very easy to access your files.
Splashtop Remote (Android, iOS, Windows, Mac)
Working on at home and find you left an important file in the office? Splashtop Remote is thankfully on hand and will allow you to access your desktop and stream it through your device.
The framerate’s not always the best but if you’re not watching movies that’s hardly a problem. Another alternative is TeamViewer.
Mobile Office365 (Android, iOS, Windows, Mac)
When it comes to getting work done, few tools are more powerful than Microsoft Office. This is the industry standard when it comes to producing documents, spreadsheets, presentations and more. It has lots of powerful features too, such as the ability to track changes which are crucial for collaboration.
Keep in mind that you can use Sharepoint in a similar manner to Google Docs, but with added workflow tools.
Zoom (Android, iOS, Windows, Mac)
Zoom is by far the most widely used video conferencing software. It is very quick to install (great for clients and business partners that don’t already have it), it syncs seamlessly with Google Calendar, and it has lots of features – such as the ability to record sessions.
Notion (Android, iOS, Windows, Mac)
Notion is a great note-taking app that will let you capture your ideas then view them elsewhere. Notion’s true power is that it actually has the functionality of a full CMS, meaning you can also create tables or even entire websites!
This has the potential to become a “second brain.”
Asana (Android, iOS, Windows, Mac)
Asana is a project management tool that is extremely useful for juggling projects with lots of contributors.
Powerful Accessories for Working From Home
When working from home, the right gadgets can make a huge difference to your productivity. Not only do these help make work more enjoyable (not waiting 10 minutes for a computer to load up), but they also let you work in ways you otherwise could, and shave minutes off of your routine tasks.
Here are some powerful work-from-home gadgets you might not have considered.
This device from Amazon is essentially a housing unit for the company’s digital assistant Alexa. The great thing about this one is that it also has a camera.
The Echo Show can be an amazing tool for collaboration, thanks for the ability to “drop-in” on family members to get a live-feed from their camera.
At the same time, an Echo Show will let you ask questions such as maths problems and get a quick answer without having to look up from the keyboard.
Keep one in the office and you can also use it to set reminders.
One of the best productivity gadgets is surprisingly the Apple Watch.
While this device might not appear to do much that your phone can’t, the convenience of having it on your wrist, and the highly personal nature of the tech, makes it quite game-changing in this regard.
For one, an Apple Watch lets you put “complications” (widgets) right on your wrist. One of the best ways to use this is to show to-dos from Todoist here.
By keeping these on your wrist, there is no way you can possibly miss them!
Getting notifications to your wrist also means you know whether something is important without needing to stop what you’re doing.
And being able to talk to Siri on your wrist offers many of the same benefits as an Echo.
That’s before we talk about the indirect ways that health tracking can improve your productivity and performance.
GPD P2 Max
The GPD P2 Max is a surprisingly powerful laptop that is almost small enough to fit in a pocket.
The reason this is notable is that it gives you an option for typing up work that can be brought with you on a train, or that you can type on in bed without feeling like you’re glued to a massive laptop.
This is perfect for when you just need to do some quick work, which can, in turn, make you productive at times you didn’t know you could be!
Communication and collaboration is an obvious barrier when you’re working in a different location to your teammates, but this is one area where we have an abundance of apps available.
More challenging is the issue of distractions at home and this is something else you will have to be really disciplined with.
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Apps and Tools
The article lists many of the best apps and tools for working online, but to briefly recap on some of the best:
- Todoist https://todoist.com/: A powerful to-do app that lets you stay on top of your tasks list
- Asana https://asana.com/: One of the best collaboration tools for project management across remote teams
- Notion https://www.notion.so/: An incredible note-taking app that many people describe as their “second brain”
- Zoom https://zoom.us/: The most popular tool for live video conferencing
- PayPal https://paypal.com: The industry standard for sending money remotely
- DocuSign https://www.docusign.com/: For signing documents remotely
- GoogleDrive https://drive.google.com/: Cost-effective cloud storage and remote collaboration through tools like Google Docs and Sheets
- Sharepoint https://products.office.com/sharepoint/collaboration: Microsoft’s answer to Google Drive, which integrated seamlessly with Office