If you do a desk job, chances are you’re working from home until further notice. And if this new to you, it’s likely you’re a little overwhelmed about how you can make it work. Sure, there’ll be essential tools such as your company’s surver that you’ll need to access remotely and that will help you carry out your role effectively.
For those of you building a business or a brand, you might be looking for FREE tools available to help you create systems and processes. If you’ve been wondering if there’s a simpler way of doing all of this, you’re right.
Here’s a few tools that work for me:
Confession: I used to hate this platform.
It’s an app for your phone and desktop software that helps you organisae different projects and creates opportunities to collaborate with other people.
You can create different boards for multiple projects, create check-lists, notes and assign tasks to other people on your team.
I also know of a fantastic expert in all things Trello and you can even buy templates which are ready for you to use. Check Amanda Appiagyei out here.
It amused me last month watching my former workmates navigate the world of Zoom. I take for granted how comfortable I am in camera, given that I’m forever recording videos in my IG Stories. But the rest of the world isn’t quite confident with that kind of spotlight and meetings via webcams seems brand new.
Zoom and Skype provide software which allows you to make a video conference call. They’re both different providers, and there’s many more, offering a range of packages to meet all needs.
I’ve used the free version of Zoom and Skype for a few years, initally using them for coaching sessions and now using them to stay in touch with my friends while we’re social distancing.
As we move forward, I’m conscious that it will take a while for the world to go back to any kind of normal, so I’m considering investing in Zoom and taking my planned workshops online.
With both platforms, you can share your screen, which I think is awesome if you’re presenting a powerpoint or facilitating a tutorial.
You can download both as apps on your phone or use them from directly from your browser.
Zoom allows you record the call, which is perfect for those of you looking to create evergreen content that you can reuse.
This is a personal fave.
I love WhatsApp because:
- It’s free and fabulous.
- It connects directly to my Wifi, or my data when I’m out.
- I can send messages as long as I want
- I can send photos and videos at no extra cost.
- Voicenotes are amazing
- I can save and download chats
- I can create group chats and speak to everybody at once.
- I can also share links and useful documents
It’s brilliant! I’ve only used Whatsapp in a work setting during one period, and that was a group chat used for people to check in when lone working.
I use it primarily to stay in contact with friends, and so naturally I’m in a few groups dedicated to my different circles. It’s a great way to stay in touch, using either the chat feature, voicenote or even video calls.
Being in multiple groups can feel overwhelming, so I regularly use the Mute button to free me from self-imposed obligatory replies and release me from the burden of my phone. Nobody makes me feel like that, it’s just a side effect from having so many notifications at once.
That being said, if you create your own boundaries around Whatsapp, it’s actually a very cool app to use.
Plus, once you have it on your phone, you can also download it to your desktop for free. So if your phone is on charge on the other side of the room? No problem, you can still use Whatsapp by logging into your laptop.
Dropbox is a cloud server where you can store and access your documents safely. Any kind of file, any kind of size, accessible to you via the app or desktop version. It’s a great way to store and share content.
You can create an account with Dropbox for free, although there are paid accounts which offer more features and are better suited for large busineses.
Once logged in, any changes you make are synced across the app and desktop version.
What I like about it is how easy it is to access, download and share documents, wherever I am. I’ve even created a folder and shared the link with people I am working with on a project, and then we can all upload or download documents from it.
I’ve stored my writing on my Dropbox account, instead of just on my desktop, because I like the security of it being saved and accessible no matter what happens to my laptop. If my laptop decides to give up on life, like it did last year, my precious files of writing are still safe somewhere and still available to me.
If your business doesn’t have a company server, consider using Dropbox in the interim.
A plan for my day really helps me to be more focused and more productive, especially when working from home.
It doesn’t have to be massively complicated or rigid, you can make it work for you.
In the past I’ve blocked out time on my digital diary, with reminders, for tasks that need doing. Now, I tend to write down a list of tasks and allocate them to each day, crossing each one out as I work through them.
This really works for me and eases the pressure of trying to remember everything. I tend to focus on the more important tasks first, also the ones that are most time consuming and definitely only the ones allocated for the day.
It can be easy to fill your days up in a bid to keep busy but I honestly find spreading my work out over a few days makes it seem manageable.
I’m terribly biased because I love a plan and a to-do list, it makes sense to prepare for a successful day and monitor your progress that way. I also know this doesn’t come easy to everybody and some people need a guidance in setting up a schedule that works for them.
If you need to talk it through, I have sessions available for Creative Mentoring and this is totally something we can address in our time together.