More and more of us are turning our spare rooms of our homes into a fully functional home office. Combining a successful career with a happy, healthy, social and family life can sound like an unachievable dream, but with flexible working hours and more people going freelance and setting up their own business, it doesn't seem so far fetched.
You might already be one of the lucky few whose job permits you to work remotely, or perhaps you are among those dreaming of the freelance life, waiting for the right moment to take that step and decorate your home office to your heart's content. Regardless, the good news is that there are plenty of apps out there that make flexible work seem more achievable, providing you with the office essentials that will enable you to make anywhere your home office.
From helping you to manage your time more effectively to telling you where the best Wi-Fi hotspots are, these apps are a godsend...
Say hello to your most organised notebook ever
There are few things more beautiful than a stack of pretty notebooks on a tidy desk. But the more notebooks you have, the less organised you tend to become as you often end up using them all at once. If working from home, you may also find that members of your family 'borrow' your notebooks and use them for everything from shopping lists to colouring books. But keeping all your notes in your phone is an excellent idea. Evernote allows you not only to take notes, it also organises them for you, making it easy to navigate between different projects. It also lets you to take screenshots and bookmark browser pages.
Make anywhere in the world your new home office by learning a new language
If you want to add a language to your CV or speak to your international colleagues in their native tongue, then this is the app for you. Covering 8,500 hours of content in 14 languages, from Spanish to Indonesian, using Babbel will enable you to communicate in a foreign language from the start. Additionally, Babbel will use your native language and your knowledge of its grammar to help you learn more efficiently and with greater speed. All of the audio content is recorded by native speakers, alongside an integrated speech-recognition tool, allowing you to work on and perfect your accent from the start.
Waste no more time in meeting rooms by using a video communication app
You are probably already familiar with this excellent little app. Not only do many of us use Skype to stay in touch with loved ones abroad, but many companies use Skype for business purposes too. The video call function will enable you to walk straight into a meeting on the beach, in the supermarket, or from the comfort of your couch.
Find an internet connection anywhere
For anyone who likes changing up their work environment, or travels a lot for work, this app is essential! Wherever you are in the world, Workfrom guides you to public and private places near you that provide Wi-Fi and offer suitable workplaces. For each 'workplace' the app also lists the level of background noise, access to power and the Wi-Fi speed, as well as information about any food and drinks available at the venue.
Download yourself a personal business coach to bring with you at all times
It can get a bit lonely working remotely at times, but it doesn't have to be! The Remente app is essentially a life and business coach, or trusted colleague, that you can keep with you at all times. This clever app combines psychology with brain and mental training, to help users lead a happier life, with fewer stresses. Within the app, you can set yourself goals, and will find courses to help you learn how to increase productivity, efficiently manage your time, and how to better deal with stress. What makes this app feel even more personable is that, if you want it to, it will notify you in the morning to remind you to focus on what is important to you that day, and then check back in with you at the end of the day to see how things went, and if you accomplished your personal goals.
Store files online and share collaborative folders
Dropbox is a must-have app for any remote worker, as it allows you to access your files and folders at any time, no matter where you are, and also lets you share them with others. Dropbox Paper is also worth downloading if you want to work on collaborative projects remotely - this content management tool is great for capturing ideas and gathering quick feedback from your team while on-the-go.
Learn a skill from someone who knows something that you don't (and vice versa!)
One of the benefits of working in an office is the training and courses that are provided by many companies. Improving your excel game, refining your presentation skills, or learning a design program does not have to be done in an office - all you need is an internet connection and a computer or mobile device. Skillshare is an online learning community of over 2.5 million members, featuring over 15,000 different classes in everything you can think of: design, business leadership, photography, computing, and everything in between. Use Skillshare to pick up a new skill, and even grow your career as a teacher on the platform, by sharing your skills with others from the comfort of your home or anywhere else in the world.
Organise your daily tasks using a time tracking app
Whether you are a freelancer working for several clients at once, or you simply split your day up by working on several projects simultaneously, assigning each task a certain amount of time will make you more productive. This app allows you to break up your day into tasks, and monitors the time you spend on each, providing you with a handy little report afterwards so that you can track exactly what you have been up to.
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