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March 25, 2020

Working from home? Here are the best apps to improve your workflow



With the coronavirus quickly spreading around the world, strong security measures have been implemented in many countries, including partial (or total) confinement. Consequently, many of us are now forced to work from home.

While it’s great not to have to commute, it isn’t always easy to remain focused and productive while being at home, with your partner, kids, pets and other potential distractions. The ideal situation is to create a distinct, inspiring and personal workspace. When you enter, your mindset should change from "I'm at home" to "I'm at work".



As well as carving out your own workspace, you also need to use the right tools.

While some tools will be specific to your type of work, like CAT tools for translators, social networking tools for community managers or trading apps for traders, there are other, general purchase tools that can help anybody working from home to improve workflow and efficiency.

Let’s have a look at some of the best apps to use to save time and improve your workflow.

Planning and Time tracking

Ineffective time management, which can take many different forms (personal distractions and procrastination being two big ones) can significantly impact your work flow. Time is a precious resource you cannot afford to manage poorly if you want to be more effective.

Thankfully, there are many planning and time management apps you can use to be better organized – tools like Toggl (time tracking), Trello (project management), Timely (appointment booking), Focus Booster (time tracking and Pomodoro timer), MindNote (mind-mapping), Asana (project management), Redbooth (project management) and Basecamp (project management) are all great options to help you get the most out of your work day.

Communication

Staying connected with your colleagues is essential to working together successfully with your coworkers.

Among the most popular apps for messaging, video conferencing and screen sharing are Skype (News - Alert), Google Hangouts, GoToMeeting, Join.me, Zoom, HipChat, Slack, and Voxer. They each have their niche (Slack is great for messages, Zoom handles conference calls, GoToMeeting combines conferencing with screen sharing, etc) so there’ll surely be a tool to handle your team’s needs.

Data storage

When working remotely, it’s essential to be able to safely access the files you need any time.

Sync, Google Drive, Dropbox, iDrive, Mega, Box (News - Alert), SugarSync and SpiderOak are among the most popular apps that allow you to share and access documents from anywhere. Most of these start with free plans and generous storage limits.

Bottom Line 

It isn’t always easy for companies to prepare everything in advance, especially in times of crisis, such as what we’re facing at present with COVID-19. With the sudden, unforeseen need to convert commuting workers to remote workers, many companies have been caught flat-footed.

Fortunately, if you or the company you work for are scrambling for remote work solutions, there are many tools at your disposal – tools that can improve the way you communicate with your coworkers, better manage your time and improve your overall working experience at home.

Also, remember this – just because you work from home doesn’t mean you have to be working every second you’re there! Get out of your chair, disconnect and recharge your batteries, your work will still be there when you get back.



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