The Best Organizational Tools For Working At Home
I find that working at home can often feel like plate spinning. There are so many things to keep track of. Organization is key for staying on top of work, but it can be difficult to know the best tools and resources to use. We asked our experts to share their tips and tools that they use to keep their businesses running smoothly and their clients happy.
1. Use an organizational tool like Trello to store all of your ideas and work things. I use it for everything including my home life.
2. Acuity & Google Calendar to juggle meetings and keeping me on task for what I have planned for the day.
3. A good but simple paper planner. This is key for bring your focus to what’s on the to do list each day so you don’t get distracted when it’s time to switch gears to the next task. It’s also a great place to take notes to put into Trello and google calendar later.
This is how I survive. Without these things I’d be completely lost.
My 2 #1 organizational tools that also allow me to communicate with clients seamlessly using online shareable technology are the task list program Asana, and Google sheets to share non-sensitive data with clients.
If you’re working on several projects at the same time (or working with multiple teams), invest in project management software. Free tools can only do so much. Premium project management software like Basecamp or Asana can help you
– keep track of projects,
-communicate with employees, contractors and partners within the project as a group or as individuals, and
– organize files or tools the team uses in one place.
The organizational tools we can’t live without are:
- Asana – Our project management solution to make sure that we stay on track.
- Slack – Our second office since half of our team works remotely.
- Google Hangouts – Our direct internal and external visual communication channel to discuss important topics quickly.
1. Google’s G-Suite. Perhaps the most widely used and universally applicable tool in business is the G-Suite from Google. The lifeblood and collaborative go-to outlet of most organizations, in addition to providing the most popular e-mail service in GMail, Google Drive allows organizations to share and collaborate on documents seamlessly and instantly. This makes WAH life a lot easier, as in-person collaboration by definition must give way to digital group work when working from home.
2. Trello. While Whatsapp, iMessage and Facebook Messanger provide useful personal messaging platforms, none get it done on an organizational level like Trello does. Trello allows departments to message within privatized group settings while crossing over for collaboration or implementing further limitations wherever necessary. It also offers excellent experiences on both mobile and desktop platforms. Messaging is pivotal for the WAH career, as in-person communication is not possible, and Trello can make it feel as though you’re not working from home at all.
1. Dropbox is immensely handy when working from home. It works wonders for remote workers because of the ease it provides when it comes to sharing files and folders of all shapes and sizes with colleagues in other locations – if you need to send large files, it is especially useful. Furthermore, whether you are working on a work laptop or your personal computer, Dropbox is a miracle worker at backing up files, ensuring none of your precious work is lost.
2. Zoho is a fantastic organisational tool, which allows you to set tasks for yourself and the rest of the team, set deadlines and delegate responsibility. When working remotely, it can be difficult to keep track of progress, so Zoho lets you and your colleagues update tasks and ‘close’ them when complete. You can also fill out timesheets each day, detailing what you’ve been working on that day and how long it took to complete.
1 – Trello – I use Trello to keep everything organized. To make it easier creating cards, you can setup Email-to-Board. Trello will give you a special email address and anything you send to that address will be created as a new card. You can forward emails to this
address or have your website forms email to this address to keep up on
2 – Boomerang is another tool I use to keep organized. When sending an email, I can tell Boomerang to return the message back to me in a specified number of days if the recipient doesn’t reply. This allows me to forget about something once I send it, but to make sure it gets followed-up on as well.
3 – Zapier is another tool that not only helps me keep organized, but helps me be much more productive by automating repetitive tasks. While this may not seem like an organizational tool, by automating these tasks it takes things off of my to-do list so I can focus on other jobs. If I find myself doing something again and again, I’ll spend a few minutes and set up Zapier to automate the process so I never have to think about it again.
Note from Leslie
The tools you use to stay on top of your to-dos depends much on what your work-at-home tasks involve. I don’t schedule a lot of appointments, so I don’t need a program to schedule them. The good news is that whatever your organizational needs are, you can often find them for free online. With that said, there are some non-digital tools you might like that may not be free. Here’s a few tools I use:
- Bullet Journal: While I have digital tools for just about everything, I still prefer a paper planner. My challenge was that I had a hard time finding a planner that fit the way I work. The Bullet Journal lets me design my daily to-dos in the way that works best for me. Plus I can keep checklist of my projects, track goals and data, and much more. I like the Leuchtturm1917 dotted Bullet Journal, but any type of notebook will do.
- Google Calendar: I keep track of all my appointments and events on Google, and when the month/week arrives, I move them to my Bullet Journal. I reference my calendar a lot though, so it’s a tab that is always open.
- Trello: I don’t use Trello so much for work, although now that I think about it, I could. I used it in my work with the Virginia Writers Club when we’re organizing yearly events. Whenever collaboration is involved, having an online tool to collect everyone’s ideas and track tasks makes it so much easier.
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