Working from home certainly has its perks, but it could be as stressful as any office job if you do not have the right digital tools. If you are a freelancing or telecommuting newbie, give yourself some time to adjust until you find your new rhythm. More important, learn the best apps you can use to be efficient and reliable.
You probably know some freelancers who admit to suffering from unproductive days and messy workflow. The good news is you can always improve your productivity at home. You just need a little bit of help.
Here are seven of the best free online tools for home-based professionals:
It allows users to categorize projects, ideas or stories using virtual notebooks. Users can also classify notes through tags. If you’re the type who would have a hundred random thoughts at any given time, use Evernote to quickly record all your ideas. Its intuitive user interface (desktop or mobile) will make documentation tasks a lot easier to manage. You can also use Evernote as a collaborative platform. To work with a partner or a team, simply share your notes in the same platform or share your note permalinks with anyone.
Like Evernote, it allows users to declutter their mind by making notes, task lists, reminders, and others into an easy-to-navigate system. It works well on both desktop and mobile devices. If you are always logged in to your Gmail account, you should try Google Keep and other services from the Google universe (Calendar, Drive and Docs) to make your life a little bit easier.
Sync your files seamlessly across your devices with this app. If you happen to know three or five people who haven’t used it, invite them and get free storage space.
Some clients want to know the exact amount of time you have spent on completing a task. Toggl will track your work session and provide a record, which you can then save as PDF to invoice your clients.
If you’re a crammer or a procrastinator, set your alarm three hours before a deadline. When the alarm goes off, you would know it’s time to get serious. You may also use TickCounter for some pomodoros. These days, every time someone is initiated to freelancing, they would hear about the Pomodoro Technique. In a nutshell, it means focusing on a task at hand for 25 minutes then taking a short break when the timer alarm goes off. It has become widely popular because it offers a brilliant solution to home-based workers who are not adept at time management.
Even if you have never prepared an invoice in your life, you can’t get lost here. Fill out all the information, add a logo if you want, then hit download for a PDF version. Or, you can simply click send right from the Invoiced website. Users can even add a link to their preferred money channel: Paypal, Venmo or Square Cash.
It can be deeply frustrating if you need to watch a video that plays only in specific regions on the other side of the world. The internet is still not that open, after all. To overcome this geographical limitation, use a virtual private network (VPN). TunnelBear is named as such as it creates virtual tunnels that users can navigate to find what they need. Using a VPN provides many other advantages, like keeping your data private even from your own ISP.
There are countless online tools for freelancers. If you have just begun, take it take easy for now. Start with the seven tools above to have a more organized system and work smarter every day.
Originally posted on Yahoo.
Featured image credit: 123RF Stock Photography
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