6 essential FREE tools when working from home

6 essential FREE tools when working from home

6 essential FREE tools when working from home

Those who are reading this article are probably already very familiar with the concept of working from home, or remote working with teams all over the world. The startup culture is already like this and we probably have our favourite tech tools which we turn to for productivity.

However, now that the world is working remotely, it’s more important than ever to use the right tools so that everyone in your team can be productive.

There are so many great options in each category, but we’ve picked our favourite one that we think is most appropriate for startups and entrepreneurs. Moreover, all of the options we’ve picked are FREE! We’re already going through a tough time, so the last thing we need is to have to fork out for tons of new software!

Video Conferencing Software

 

Zoom has really increased in popularity over the last couple of months, probably more so as the app that has been helping people have some kind of social life! However, we’ve been using it as a video conferencing software for a long time now.

It allows you to host one-on-one meetings, group meetings, conferences, webinars and training sessions for up to 100 participants (paid plans allow for more)! Groups can break away into separate rooms for private, smaller chats whilst the conference continues. It’s a hugely sophisticated software, all for free!

The PRO plan starts at £11.99 per month but you don’t need this unless you’re running events more than 40 minutes long. Therefore, if you keep your webinars to 40 minutes or less, you never have to pay a penny! Plus, one-to-one meetings have an unlimited length!

You can schedule meetings in advance and sync it with your calendar and send invites to participants. It’s the perfect tool to book catchups with your team and clients.

Project Management Software

Asana is our choice here, against the odds. The majority of people here would choose Slack as their favourite tool, but that’s more of a team communication tool. But we have absolutely no issues communicating in Asana.

Asana has pro options, but in reality, you don’t actually need these! The free version has everything you could ever need to run your team projects smoothly. You can create unlimited projects, colour-code them accordingly and create unlimited tasks within those projects. You then assign them to a team member and add a due date. You can communicate (as quickly as in Slack!) via the messaging in each project and share files so you always know where things are.

Asana is the perfect tool to stay organised and keep your team on top of deadlines.

File Transfer Service

If you’re sharing large files with colleagues and/or clients, it can get very tricky as to how to do it, so it’s a good idea to have a go-to option that you can recommend to everyone. For us, that go-to option is WeTransfer. The service is completely free, and you don’t even need an account to use it! You can simply upload the files you want, (up to 2GB!) pop in the recipient’s email address, or alternatively get a link that you can share with numerous people.

The pro option allows you to transfer up to 20GB per time and gives you a personal link which you can customise with your own portfolio. It also allows your clients to use that link to send up to 20GB to you too.

We have found WeTransfer so much easier than trying to configure DropBoxes or Google Drives when people don’t give the right access or run out of space!

Time-tracking software

Time-tracking software is not just for those who bill per hour, but it’s for anyone who wants to assess productivity. It’s a strategy any small business owner or entrepreneur should do; if you time-track all your activities, you know which services are more profitable than others and where you’re most efficient.

It’s ideal for teams, as you can see where people struggle and lend a helping hand in that area. You also know how to price your services going forward and perhaps which of your staff need a raise!

Our favourite is Toggl, as it’s completely feature-packed in its free version! You can arrange tasks by clients and projects and export reports in chart format, or more data-driven formats for each one. There’s a desktop app, phone app and several integrations so you can use it whenever you like.

Our favourite thing is that it syncs with your Asana tasks, so everything works completely seamlessly!

Writing software

Now that you’re working remotely, you’re probably doing a lot more writing than you were previously. And if you’re not much of a writer, this may be a struggle for you. Those clients who you normally see each week in person to discuss things are now wanting written reports – what do you do?

We suggest you use Grammarly – you can download an app for your desktop so it can check any pieces of text you upload to it. However, the browser extensions are the handier tools – they automatically detect any spelling/grammar errors whenever you’re writing in your browser. So, your emails will sound much more professional with their corrections and suggestions.

Calendar/Booking System

It may seem like you will have a lot more free time now, but time seems to work differently when you work from home! It’s important to stay organised and focused. To do this, you need to be able to schedule in appointments nice and easily. Rather than sending an email and asking if someone is free at a certain time and waiting for their reply, only for that slot to be taken up by someone else is annoying.

Why not try a calendar booking app like Calendly? Within the free plan, you can get a personalised link that lets you schedule unlimited events and people can book in a slot in your calendar at a time convenient for both of you. Then, both parties can sync these appointments with their device calendar.

You can even integrate this calendar on your website so people can book initial consultations easily.

 

With these essential tools, you will have no technical problems with productivity! Now you just have to find ways to motivate your team!

 

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