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I’m going to say it now: remote working and working from home is the future. I’ve been working from home on my own business and noticed during the year how much people are working remotely and work from home. After a while, you’ll notice some productivity issues and learn how easy it is to become distracted. These productivity tools are the ones to use to stay focused, motivated and to stay organized.
Working from home is now more important than before: the COVID-19 crisis pushes us to stay home and get our work done from our home office. This can be hard if you are not used to working from home and miss your trusted office environment. I hope these productivity tools give you the support to work just as productively from home as you would from your regular office.
10 Productivity Tools For Working From Home
Focus Booster and Toggl
These are two separate productivity tools to help you stay focused and track your time. Focus Booster has a free program with limited access to all tools. If you seriously want to track your time – it’s best to buy one of their payment plans for $2.99 per month for an individual program and $4.99 for a professional program. Toggl offers a more wider free program with additional payed plans as well. When I plan my work on the computer I stay away from distractions on social media and I’m way more productive. Both productivity tools can be synchronized on the laptop and phone as well.
Read more: 7 Tips For Working From Home Productively
I touched on this one in my previous blogpost about working from home. This used to be the planner app Wunderlist and it was a desktop app and a mobile app to keep track of your to do lists. Wunderlist is changing in Microsoft To Do and is still providing a desktop app and mobile app for all different devices for both IOS and Android. I like to make different folders of to-do lists to keep it organized. I’m also loving the subtasks to have under the main task to stay motivated.
Trello is a very visual project managing app to fill with your ideas and plan out your work. I mostly use Trello for my own business, but used it during my job and study as well. There’s the option to create different boards and separate all your project managing. I have one for my business overall and one is focused on content creation. Another one is more focused on my thesis project for graduation.
It can be quite overwhelming to start with Trello if you’re new to it. My Trello board for content creation is divided in different columns. I start with “planning blogposts” and add a date to each blog post, the next one are the e-mails to send to my email subscribers, the one next to this one are all of my blogpost ideas, then I have one column about to-do’s like updating older blogposts and lastly one for social media.
I colour code each card to the appropriate subject like blog, e-mail or social media. Even though I already have them separated in columns, I love doing this to keep my in Trello Calendar organized.
I use Dropbox for my study projects and to save all my blogposts. I’m writing my blogposts in Microsoft Word before publishing them on my blog. I prefer to do it separately and it’s working as a back-up as well. Dropbox helps me to not lose any of the documents and to work on anything from different devices and laptops. Just login into your account and you can start working on previous projects without emailing yourself documents.
G-Suite holds everything like Google Drive, Google Docs, Google Sheets and Google Calendar. It holds many different programs which you can access with your Google account. You’re working in some sort-of cloud which is accessible from all locations and devices if you log in with your Google account. It autosaves and you will never lose your work. Here are the different productivity tools within G-Suite.
Google Drive holds all the documents you created with Google Docs and Google Sheets for example. Organize them into different folders categorized per project or whatever has your preference. I always back up my pictures in Google Drive and categorize them into different folders per destination. It takes up a lot of space and you have limited amount of space on the free program. I haven’t reached this limit yet, but you have the option to upgrade and have unlimited space!
This is comparable to Microsoft Word, it’s a place to write your blogposts or any other important documents. I’m not using this one specifically for writing blogposts but I use this to back up my older blogposts if my Dropbox is reaching its limit! I’m having back-ups on my external hard drive as well but Google Docs is easier to access from different places.
I use Google Sheets to keep track of all my taxes and expenses I make for my business. Since I need to do my taxes every quarter – I need to be organized and make sure I won’t lose any of these sheets. I’m also using Google Sheets as my content planner. I have different columns focused on blogpost ideas, keyword research and URLs.
I’m more into the traditional planners and like writing everything down – but I’m always keeping my Google Calendar up to date as well. Everything I write down in my planner – I plan in my digital calendar as well. It’s easy to time block and keep track of my hours. Besides, I’m not always carrying my bigger planner around with me and like to still access my planner digitally. So whenever a company contacts me to set a meeting – I can just open my Google Calendar and plan the meeting!
I cannot work without music or podcasts on. Spotify is one of my favorite productivity tools to use. I’m on the premium plan for €9,99 a month so I don’t have the commercial breaks in between. The easy thing with Spotify is to make your own playlists to avoid wasting time while searching for a good song. I always listen to pre-made playlists like “Wor7 Tips For Working From Home Productively out in a previous blogpost.
Personally, I prefer Zoom if we compare it with FaceTime or Skype. I’m always watching masterclasses through Zoom and the sounds is better compared to Skype or FaceTime. You can invite someone to join in on a Zoom call even if they don’t have an account. You don’t have to use the camera if you don’t want to, simply have a call with audio and screen share. The additional chat box is perfect if you do a masterclass for a bigger group of students. They can ask questions or you can share documents if you’re using Zoom on a business call! It makes the interaction process much easier and more personal as well.
Slack is perfect to use if you’re working in teams or if you want to stay in touch with colleagues while working from home. I used to work with Slack during my job and it’s easy to communicate with each other if you’re in separate rooms. It’s easy to use if you need to send a message to all your co-workers as well. If you’re working remotely and have to communicate with clients, Slack is perfect to use as your daily conversation tool.
Read more: How To Increase Productivity
Last but certainly not least – Grammarly is a productivity tool that scans your documents on error mistakes and makes sure you send in a neat document. It does not filter out all the mistake in your document but it’s a very, very good base. You still have to re-read the document after and filter out any other mistakes that Grammarly may have missed.
These were the 10 must-have productivity tools for remote workers, freelancers and if you are working from home. Even if you’re absolutely killing it with working from home – some of these productivity tools can still make your work easier. The technology is getting more advanced and there are still more productivity tools to come in the future. As I said before, I believe that working remotely and working from home is the future. These productivity tools are easy to use, most of them are for free and you can access almost every single one from different devices.
Which productivity tools are you using?
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