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The truth about being successful working from home is systems. Systems keep you efficient, focused, and productive, helping you avoid procrastination. They save you time and money.
These systems often rely on tools to get things done. These tools may be work-related, while others are designed to inspire, motivate, or comfort.
Many great tools are free, but even those that have an expense, can be worthwhile when you consider the time they save, and profits they help you achieve.
Got another suggestion for an effective and affordable tool? Let us know in the comments below.
1) Google Drive. It’s absolutely free and really is the rubber band that keeps all our important files together. Sharing and accessing files can be done with the click of a button and everything is secure, so you don’t need to worry about your computer crashing.
2) A decent desk lamp. There’s nothing more counterproductive than sitting in a dimly lit space, squinting your eyes in order to see the screen. A bright lamp lifts my mood and helps me to work more comfortably.
3) Spotify. I find that having background music on helps me to focus more on the task at hand. There are hundreds of pre-made work focus playlists to keep me on track!”
DOSS Wireless Portable Speaker – I rely on music to keep me in the zone and you simply can’t compare a high-quality speaker to what desktops have to offer. I’m a huge fan of the DOSS portable Touch speaker because it’s affordable, has a great battery life, and boasts some serious sound quality.
Oristand is an innovative and affordable portable standing desk taking the office world by storm. Sitting in an office chair all day is not as easy as it sounds, nor is it very good for your health. While committing to a standing desk may not be for you, Oristand allows people to make the switch in just seconds. I like to mix things up and rotate standing and sitting
1) My indispensable item would be my Keurig. It probably cost around $80 maybe 4-5 years ago – and I use it EVERY day. It keeps me out of expensive coffee shops. And of course, K-cups to go with it. I enjoy both coffee and tea in the Keurig. Peet’s Major Dickason’s blend is one of my favorite coffees. My tip to save money on those is to buy in bulk at a store like Sam’s.
2) Another VERY inexpensive item I now can’t live without is a steno pad. Sure, there are many other types of notebooks, but I find this one works best. I buy them at the dollar store. I learned this tip when I was working for an agency and had to track my time. Very handy – and it’s easy to flip back and forth so I can see my to-do list from the previous week, etc.
1) Airpods – Can’t live without my Airpods. The quality of microphone and ease of use pairing with my phone allows me to quickly hop on calls with clients.
2) Cable clips – I’d like to keep my work space as organized as possible. And while it’s easier to use wireless gadgets, there are still a few that you need to charge at some point. A simple cord management system really helps keep the desk tidy.
3) Tiny plants or succulents – It certainly isn’t a necessity but it’s good to have a refreshing item on top of your desk that you can look at to help relax your strained eyes from looking at your PC monitor or your ipad screen for a long time.
1) Amazon Echo Dot: I use it to set up a morning routine that will tell me the weather, the top headlines, and my calendar for the day. Plus it can be a timer, alarm clock, radio, maker of lists, and of course add office items to my amazon cart.
2) A label maker: I label everything! That way I can office find it and put things back where they belong. Saves time, so I’m not looking all over the place for items I need, plus it is a great feeling to see all those nicely printed labels when you open your file drawer.
3) A wireless charger: No more replacing cables, cables falling behind the desk, or forgetting to plug in the phone before a big conference all. I have a flat wireless charger that sits on my desk and I simply place the phone on it and voila it charges!
Note from Leslie:
I love how many of our experts shared items that involve music. One of the best perks of working at home is designing a work space and atmosphere that inspires you. If you like music, you can play it!
Here are some of the items I find indispensable:
- Automation apps: The more I can set it and forget it, the better. Right now I use Hootsuite for social media scheduling, and Tailwind for Pinterest. Both save me hours of time over manual social media scheduling.
- Paper planner: I do as much digitally as possible, except for my planner. This year I used a bullet journal. I’m thinking of moving back to the Happy Planner for 2019. These aren’t the cheapest planners, but both allow me to design a planner that works the way I do, which is crucial to being productive.
- Lastpass: I’m getting increasingly paranoid about the hackers of the world. But to set and remember unhackable passwords is really hard. I use Lastpass (I use the paid version –$24 per year– but there is a free one too) to manage all my passwords on my computers and phone. I only have to remember one password, and Lastpass remembers the rest.
Check out other great tools and resources I use to help me be a work-at-home success.