When you’re thrust into working from home it may seem like a big learning curve.
But with the right tools and apps your remote work experience can be just like working in the office.
Or not, the choice is yours.
But it’s nice to have options.
Apps for working from home
If you’re already working from home then getting set up for remote work may be a distant memory.
Now you’re looking for productivity hacks and figuring out ways to up your hourly rate.
But if working from home wasn’t how things were way back in, you know, February 2020, this may all feel a little overwhelming.
How do you hold meetings? And where do you go to get your files? Oh, and what about de-stressing when you’re staying home full time?
Is there an app for that?
Why yes, yes there is an app for that. Several apps in fact. A few of my best reommendations are listed below.
Trust me when I say, if you can dream it, someone probably made an app for it.
Here are some apps to use when you’re working from home. It’s time to simplify your remote work life!
Stay in touch with your work people when you’re working from home
While I’m not a teacher, my teacher friends swear by Google Classroom. It’s a free web service (developed by Google for schools) that aims to simplify creating, distributing and grading assignments in a paperless way.
The primary purpose of Google Classroom is to streamline the process of sharing files between teachers and students.
Face-to-face meetings in a world of self-isolation? Yes, it’s possible.
As far as video conferencing goes, Zoom is one of the newer apps on the block but I’d say probably the best and easiest to use. It provides a remote conferencing service that combines video conferencing, online meetings, chat, and mobile collaboration.
You can start up a one-to-one free plan or pay for an account that will allow multiple attendees.
If you’re office is Window-based you may want to consider Microsoft Teams as a way of collaborating and connecting in a more casual way than email offers.
It’s easy to use and organize and allows you to add people from within your network and outside.
Many freelancers use Slack both with clients and colleagues. It has many of the same features as Microsoft Teams and allows you to easily separate conversations using channels and threads.
Slack integrates with other apps and services, which is a nice bonus feature.
I didn’t choose Basecamp, Basecamp chose me. This project management software is perfect for teams, so if you’re one of a team of other writers, editors, project managers, designers, developers, etc. you will LOVE this tool.
Each project has it’s own space and to-do items and discussions live within the project so you don’t have to do a lot of emailing (I mean, you can if you want).
I love that you can put your thoughts into the Basecamp project when you have them, then come back to it when you’re working on it and see all your brainstorms, uploads, photos, (whatever!) in once place.
If Basecamp isn’t your jam I still recommend using some sort of project management software. This could be Asana, Trello (I LOVE Trello for my personal blogging, here’s how I use it for managing my content calendar), Wrike, Click Up, Smartsheets ETC.
For those working on visual or creative projects, Milanote is a great tool for teams or individuals. I’ve had a great time using this tool for moodboarding, brainstorming and storyboarding but there are so many other applications. Such as to-do lists, project management, mind mapping, creative briefs and design collaboration.
Working from home or from anywhere
Dropbox is similar to Google Drive or One Drive but more people use it (at least in my circles). Used more for file sharing than anything else, this is a great way to send huge files back and forth.
I use it in my podcast editing work and find it not only easy to use but quick and efficient. I have multiple Dropbox folders for different reasons and I can customize which folders download to which computer so it stays clean and simple.
Oh, and I also love how I can work on Dropbox files from any computer, without having to connect to a remote nework or VPN. My files are everywhere, when I need them, wherever.
You need secure passwords and you also need to log into different accounts a zillion times per day on different devices.
And, if your day-to-day work is anything like mine, then you’re logging in and out of various client accounts all the day long. There is NO WAY you’re remembering all those passwords and you are NOT keeping them in your phone or on a notepad. You need them in a password safe.
I love LastPass because I can use it on any computer or device and only need to remember ONE password.
Stay in touch with your tribe even when working from home
While texting is great and whatever, apps like WhatsApp Messenger allow you to text or call your friends over Wi-Fi. Like, without data. The chats are also encrypted, if that’s important to you.
I find myself using WhatsApp more and more to stay in touch with international friends and colleagues to send text and voice messages, make voice and video calls and share images, documents and other media.
This is a fun and easy app to use to stay in touch with friends and family who are far away. Similar to WhatsApp, Marco Polo combines the best of texting, social media and video chats —all in one private, simple app.
Apps for life when you’re staying at home for a while
At Home WorkoutS
When you work where you live and then you get, like, quarantined or whatever, you have to find a routine. At least in my humble opinion.
There are a zillion apps for at-home workouts and while of course you can go through your exercise routine without an app, there is something about a built-in community cheering you on. That’s what I get out of it anyway.
One I found fun and easy to incorporate into my morning routine is Emily Skye FIT. For whatever reason, it works for me.
Your sleep can be affected whenever change hits and you’re housebound more than usual.
Soundscapes like Pure Nature 3D Audio may help you relax and get into that REM zone.
This free app features 80 different soundscapes but it seems to only be in the Apple store. But good news, it’s also a podcast and free mp3 download!
If meditation is more your thing for getting some R-E-S-T then this app may be more what you’re looking for.
Their library has more than one hundred soothing sleep sounds and music as well as guided meditations.
Are you a freelancer working from home? Here are some other helpful posts
- 15 Best Apps for Freelance Writers
- Essential Freelance Writer Website Elements
- Freelance Writing for Beginners
One more thing. I think you’ll enjoy my free resource library. This is where I keep my files, downloads, ebooks, worksheets and whatever else I manage to create. I love sharing what I learn and want to keep adding to this library so it becomes a wealth of helpful goodness.
This is a free resource but I do require a password to access the library itself. You can get access by popping your email address into the form below.