There are two types of office workers: those who work from their homes and those who work from their offices. Despite the hassles of commuting, set hours, and wardrobe requirements, working on-site with coworkers is preferable because it can’t be replicated. The other prefers to work from home, preferring solitude or the company of nonhuman coworkers over a commute. Despite having the option to work from anywhere, 84 percent of remote employees wouldn’t have it any other way, according to Buffer’s 2019 State of Remote Report.
Whichever type you are, you’re probably spending more time working at home these days than you anticipated. The struggle to unplug after work is a common complaint. Productivity is crucial because as projects take longer to complete, they begin to eat into your personal and family time. People can struggle to stay on top of fast-moving projects if they cannot communicate and collaborate while working in different locations. When the pressure of looking and being busy is removed, motivation can suffer.
Many people can benefit from the help of various mobile apps that are designed to increase efficiency and productivity, improve communications, foster concentration, promote a healthy lifestyle, and help you disconnect from your job at the end of the day. We’ve compiled a list of productivity tools to help you get more done faster, so you can enjoy life while working from home. Also, see our inventory of the best apps for videoconferencing, note-taking, meditation, recipes, grocery deliveries, and teacher resources articles if you’re looking for something unique.
Google Drive is one of the most widely used cloud storage platforms. Google Drive will keep your files safe and secure in the cloud, whether you’re uploading spreadsheets or slideshows for a future project. As long as you have a Google account, you can use the service for free (which you most likely will.) You can share files with your Gmail contacts, upload directly from Docs or Sheets, and access the storage from your phone, tablet, or computer as part of the Google suite of programs. If you run into internet problems, the app also allows you to download files for offline viewing. While the free version only allows for 15GB of data, you can upgrade to a 10TB plan for $100 per month.
Managing passwords is one of the most aggravating aspects of relocating from an office to home. After all, if you only use your day-to-day programs and websites at work, you probably don’t log in very often. LastPass stores all of your passwords and even auto-fills them for you when a registered login is requested, alleviating some of the stress. The service uses AES 256-bit encryption, which is the same level of security used by banks, and it’s a great deal, especially if you stick with the free version. You’ll also get a browser extension and a password generator if the plugin thinks your current password is too simple. The premium version will give you a larger vault to store passwords, priority customer service, and more for $3 per month.
Slack is ideal for any size group, big or small. It allows you to keep track of team activities minute by minute by consolidating communication and collaboration into one convenient, easy-to-use interface. Its versatility allows you to communicate and organize work with coworkers, message or call anyone or a group, share and edit documents, and collaborate on a project with the right people. Third-party apps such as Google Drive, Salesforce, Dropbox, Asana, Twitter, and Zendesk can also be integrated with Slack.
Dropbox has long been the go-to app for transferring, sharing, and uploading files to the cloud. Dropbox allows you to back up and store photos, videos, documents, and other files in the cloud to support your remote office projects and access files synced with any computer or mobile device — from anywhere. You can send files of any size to coworkers privately using sharing features, and you can access any file in your account even when you’re offline. Rather than email attachments, files are shared via a link. You can also use your camera to scan documents and convert them to PDFs, such as receipts, documents, whiteboards, and notes. Dropbox is available in two versions: a free version and a Plus version with additional automated features and storage space.
The mobile project management app from Asana gives you access to all of your work projects from anywhere. Asana keeps you up to date on your and your coworkers’ tasks no matter where you are. Create projects to organize your tasks in lists or boards with due dates, assignees, followers, details, and files, and comment on tasks to clarify instructions or ask questions, and add a task for to-dos, reminders, ideas, and requests. Changes made in Asana’s mobile app will be reflected in the web app immediately. You can even use the app when you’re not connected to the internet because updates will sync once you’re back online.
It’s easy to lose track of time when working from home. Toggl, on the other hand, is there to keep you on track. This app keeps track of your time and organizes your tasks. This type of tracking allows you to see how you spend your time and break it down by projects, clients, and tasks. You can start tracking your hours in a browser and then stop it on your phone, with all of your data synced across your phone, desktop, and web. Analytical time management reports, integrated calendars, suggestions on how to track activities, notifications that keep you on track, and the ability to customize and organize your clients and projects are all available in the app.
There’s no need to be a couch potato even if you work from home, and the 7-Minute Workout ensures that you get out of your chair to stay fit. It includes some of the best exercises for non-athletes — even those who find exercise tedious — and allows you to fit in a quick 7-minute workout anywhere, anytime. The app can assist you in losing weight, toning your muscles, and strengthening and flattening your abs. The app supports the Google Fit track and includes videos that demonstrate proper technique for each exercise. The app is based on HICT (high-intensity circuit training), a type of circuit training used to improve muscular and aerobic fitness. The 7-minute workout consists of 12 exercises, each lasting 30 seconds with a 10-second break in between. A chair and a wall are all that are required. You can customize it to act as your trainer by repeating circuits depending on how much time you have.
Almost everyone who uses email for work receives a slew of unsolicited messages that aren’t urgent. Taking control of your email means determining which messages require immediate attention and which can wait. Spark, an email cleaner, makes it easier to focus on important emails by moving them to the top of your inbox. Important messages can be pinned and replied to, and the rest can be archived in bulk. A home screen widget displays the number of unread emails, allows you to search, and allows you to compose a new email.
Spark mail only sends you notifications about emails from people you know, reducing the amount of time you spend distracted by an overflowing inbox. Gmail, AOL, Hotmail, and other email accounts can be added to Spark. To keep everyone informed, teams can discuss email in private. You can also create templates of frequently sent emails with placeholders for names and numbers using the app. Please keep it on all the time or only when you’re working.
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Calendar allows you to synchronize all of your events and busy schedules. This app connects data, alerts, and events from all of your smartphone’s calendar apps, creating a one-stop-shop for event monitoring. You don’t have to compare your work calendar to your personal Calendar or your children’s calendars before making an appointment with Calendar. With this well-organized app, you can always be in the right place at the right time. Connect your Google, Apple, and Outlook calendars, create new events and have them sync across all of your calendars, or create overviews of upcoming events. Your hectic schedule has finally met its match in the calendar-planning department.
Using the Todoist app, create a command center for all of your task reminders and important memos. You can organize and prioritize assignments, set important deadlines, color-code different memos, assign projects to other workers, track your to-do list accomplishments, and much more on a centralized to-do list. Connect this hub-focused app to other memo-making apps like Gmail, Google Calendar, Slack, and Amazon Alexa. You’ll be able to monitor and manage your alerts from there thoroughly.
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Working from home can be somewhat isolating and lonely at times. You may feel as if you’re missing out on some of the social aspects of work if you’re not catching up with your coworker in the office. Marco Polo allows you to stay in touch with everyone. This app works in the same way as a video walkie-talkie. The app allows users to send texts, video chats, and other types of messages to others. You can hold real-time meetings or send video messages to team members. The app currently has no storage limitations, which is a plus. Until you delete videos or messages, they are stored in the cloud indefinitely. Transform your phone’s address book into the app, and then contact those contacts who are also on the app. Marco Polo isn’t like other social media apps in that your information isn’t sold to advertisers, and there isn’t a formal “like” incentive to keep users on the app at all costs. You can try out the free version or upgrade to the premium version for around $5 per month when paid annually.