A Home / Small Office Kinda Guy? 5 Tools You Can’t Do Without
Sometimes working from home, or operating out of a small office, can be extremely challenging. Everyone thinks you’ve got it easy by picking your own hours and choosing your own lunch breaks, but in reality you must find creative ways to be much more efficient than your corporate fellows, and with very little external help. These tools can save your day!
Aside from the fact that you really have to motivate yourself to engage with clients and crack on with work at scheduled times (no money will roll in otherwise), you’re also responsible for absolutely everything — from input to output.
Running a company from home is a learning curve, and you’ll make mistakes along the way, but what a lot of entrepreneurs or self-starters don’t realize is that there are a vast array of tools out there which are specifically designed to help them run things conveniently and efficiently. Listed here are five of the best:
Spikko is a great app that brings an elegant alternative to dual SIM devices. You can add as many numbers as needed, local or international, to your mobile phone.
You can add an office landline number by a click, without the need for a contract and desk-phone. Simply use the additional office number or the additional mobile number (provided by Spikko) on your mobile device.
Spikko has built in features to allow you to make and receive affordable international calls, no matter where you are in the world. Prices for dedicated numbers start from as low as $4.
When many entrepreneurs first start out, they often scrawl down to-do lists on a piece of paper, or a white board in their office. This is an archaic way of managing projects, and sooner or later something important will slip through the cracks. What every home worker/small time business owner needs is project management software — and Trello is one of the very best available.
Trello is an easy to use online SAAS tool which allows you to create projects, track their progress, add and remove clients involved, and also split projects between people. You can also attribute due dates to tasks, keeping you (and anyone else using the software) aware of when certain things are due. As Trello is a freemium service, you can enjoy many features for nothing, and there’s a mobile app too.
DocuSign allows you to “send, sign and approve documents” whenever and wherever you like. When you’re working from home or in a small office, this can be an essential time-saver, and can also allow you to keep everything tied down legally. The software essentially eliminates the need for a printer or scanner when it comes to signing papers — allowing you to save on paper and financial expenditure, as well as time and effort.
You’ll be forced to keep track of astounding amounts of data as a home worker or small business owner. Along with your contact list, your accounts and passwords will also pile up as the weeks zip by. Over time, you may find yourself managing activities on behalf of customers too. 1Password is a great app for managing all your credentials. Available as a Chrome extension or mobile app, this software streamlines data storage securely and efficiently, allowing you to save, manage and operate your credentials seamlessly. A one-off license costs $50.
Yes, it’s the popular app you’re already likely to be familiar with… only this time in desktop version. Corporates usually have their own enterprise software for managing the internal and external communication, just like Microsoft Lync. Home office folk have messengers like WhatsApp. WhatsApp Web is completely synced in real time with your phone chats and contacts, and it’s simple and easy to use — making communication with contacts an absolute doddle. What’s more, it’s completely free.
*Disclosure- the writer is involved with a few of the listed above tools