Hard truth: Working from home takes nifty organisational skills and discipline, which – who’d have thought? – aren’t always easy to muster when your boss isn’t around (or even if you are the boss!).
We’ve narrowed down the best apps and tech tools to make your life easier and boost your productivity. Step. By. Step. #yourewelcome
(Struggling to work at all with the kids at home, too? Try these helpful tips!)
1. Plan Your Week
First, organise the week ahead with Trello, a free service that lets you visually set daily goals and manage work projects.
(image: Instagram Trelloapp)
Most management tools are confusing to use because of an overwhelming number of features – too much of a good thing – but Trello is streamlined and approachable.
Think of it as a digital pinboard, divided into lists. On each list, you add cards where you detail your tasks. You can share everything on your board with colleagues or clients, allowing them to collaborate and track the overall progress sans lengthy e-mails.
2. Keep Track of Time
You can also probably use a digital time-keeper like RescueTime to help you stay on the ball.
It’s designed for individuals who require personal time management, and unless you’re HR looking to monitor a team, this does the trick without the fuss.
It tracks how much time you spend on activities online and at the end of the week, you’ll receive an email with a statement on your productivity based on pre-grouped, customisable categories. Two hours Net-A-Porter-ing? Guilty as charged.
(video: Instagram RescueTime)
3. Talk to Your Tribe
Next, download Slack, which functions as a chatroom, grouped into public and private messages, with a custom domain. You can invite other users to join by sending out an email invitation, especially convenient when inviting a guest member, like an external consultant, to the company chat.
The biggest edge Slack has over other communication tools? Its compatibility with over 800 app integrations, including widely-used cloud storage solutions like Google Drive or Dropbox.
4. Meet Up (Virtually)
At some point, you may require a meeting app like Zoom, which allows remote and co-located attendees to meet. Community is the core of a workplace and nothing beats physical interaction, even if it’s on a screen.
Its audio and video functions work exceptionally well, even on the free version (cough, Skype). For large organisations, it allows up to 100 participants in each session, more than double that of other apps.
(Find out how to safely secure your Zoom meetings.)
5. Burning the Midnight Oil?
It’s late and, chances are, you’re still checking e-mails or winding down on Netflix.
The blue light from your device is damaging to eye health and could disrupt sleep. So, install F.lux, a software that adjusts the colour of your device’s display to the time of day and reduces eye strain at night.
Sure, you could use built-in, warm-light filters on your laptop or phone, but with F.lux, you have the option of choosing from various effects and pre-sets to give you the colour accuracy you prefer.
6. Finally, Some Extras!
A fitness tracker to remind you to move every hour because sitting all day can cause serious health concerns, and flatten your bottom – the horror!
The Apple Watch – if you already use an iPhone – comes in tops for its built-in cellular connectivity and compatibility with thousands of apps; in addition to more obvious features like step and calories tracking. Not to mention its sleek design, and range of finishes and straps to choose from.
Otherwise, the Fitbit Versa 2 also delivers similar metrics, works on both Android and iOs; has longer battery life, native sleep tracking (it doesn’t need an app unlike the Appl Watch) and has a broader selection of supported, specialised workouts like kickboxing and Pilates.
(image: Instagram NeckHammock)
For anyone who spends hours hunched over a laptop and suffers from tense neck muscles, the Neck Hammock is a cervical traction device that gently pulls the head away from the neck, helping to stretch the vertebrae and muscles along your spinal cord, providing instant relief from neck stiffness or back pain.
No better way to end the day!
By Lydia Ng, March 2020
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