One of the nice things about working in offices was the feeling that showing up was a core part of the bargain. Spent the day getting lost in your thoughts, staring dully at the computer screen?
Well, that happens to everyone — no need to worry about it. What matters is that you dragged yourself out of bed, made the commute, arrived on time, and stayed for the right duration.
Now that so many people are working remotely, that feeling has lost its position as a mainstay. When you’re working from your home, you don’t achieve that office visibility: if you’re going to show that you’re a team player with a commitment to the company, you need to find ways to prove that you’re around and working. To some extent that means being more communicative, but it also means being more consistently productive. After all, you should be capable of it.
Working from home means saving time and effort in various ways, and it isn’t unreasonable to expect that to lead to stronger output. Couple that expectation with the blurred line between your professional and personal hours and you can easily find yourself working too hard. So how do you solve this conundrum? How do you get more done without putting in too much effort?
The answer, of course, is using productivity tools more effectively. In this post, we’re going to look at some of the best apps for productivity available to remote workers, considering how they can make the digital nomad lifestyle both easier and more flexible. Let’s get started.
Task management is a high-priority concern, regardless of whether you’re working for a company or operating as a solopreneur and trying to juggle various clients. Who’s responsible for a given assignment? What’s the deadline? What are the dependencies? You can try to track your tasks manually (scrawling them in a document somewhere), but that’s a very bad idea.
Instead, you should use a task management system to ensure that everything remains under tight control. GetBusy is far from the only such system on the market — it’s one of a few different options doing broadly similar things — but it warrants your focus because of its exceptional reminder system and handy system for getting electronic signatures.
High-quality imagery is a big part of the modern digital media world, as almost every type of professional needs it at various times. Perhaps you need to create a compelling pitch to win over a prospective client, or build an infographic to neatly demonstrate how much progress you’ve made on a particular project.
If so, you have two options: outsource the work to a colleague or freelancer, or do it yourself. Well, sometimes your colleagues will be busy and freelancers will be overly expensive. What if you don’t have graphic design skills? You don’t need any. The appeal of a tool like Visme is that you can create professional-quality graphics without any skill or training. Just use the existing templates, make some simple tweaks, and get the results you need.
Automation lies at the heart of today’s productivity efforts. There are many repetitive tasks that go into the average daily workload, and they soak up time and effort that could — and should — be put towards more important and creative tasks. But how do you get started with automation? It’s a complicated thing, after all, and you don’t want to get it wrong.
This is where Zapier reigns supreme. By offering rich integrations with countless software services, it allows almost anyone to set up convenient sequences of actions with intuitive triggers. If you want to line up a set of emails to send automatically once you’ve approved the final copy, you can do so using Zapier and whichever relevant services you choose to use.
Google’s suite of office tools isn’t the only of its kind, but it is the most convenient for the average user. There’s no need to buy an Office subscription and mess around with document formats: instead, you can just leave everything in the cloud and access it from anywhere via tools that all your coworkers and/or clients will be able to use as well.
You can also draw upon convenient integrations with Gmail, among the most popular business email services, and smaller utilities such as Google Keep (hugely handy for storing small notes consisting of creative ideation or scraps of information you’ll need in the near future). It’s updated regularly, and there’s really no compelling reason not to use it if you have basic needs.
How much time are you spending on your tasks? If you’re working for a business, then you need to keep track so you can justify your role — and if you’re self-employed, well, you still need to know how much time is going towards every project so you can charge clients appropriately and have everything clearly documented for their invoices.
There are many time-tracking tools on the market at this point, but Clockify is worth your attention because it was devised as a like-for-like Toggl Track alternative with lower costs. You can use it for free if you have modest needs, and it should do everything you need it to.
Photo from PxHere