Working from home, even part of the time, presents some unique challenges. I work from home every day and my husband works from home whenever he isn’t in the office, which is fairly regularly.
So clearly, having a brilliant home set up is essential for us.
You need to have the right space so you can achieve some sort of healthy separation between your home life and your work life. You need a good coffee machine. You need a cupboard brimming with stationery.
And you need a very comfy chair. The best you can afford.
You also need to have the best software and apps available.
Here are the ones I couldn’t live without and which really do work wonders:
Just as an FYI, you should know that this post is sponsored by Microsoft. But all opinions expressed by the author are 100 per cent authentic and written in their own words.
I have lost really important documents so many times. I have lost uni assignments, work projects and even half-written books. Then I developed some incredibly paranoid habits, like emailing everything to myself at the end of each work day. It was like my virtual cloud and it was well before the cloud was even invented. Nowadays I use OneDrive. It’s a free online storage system that saves documents, photos and anything, really. It’s really easy to access and if my computer ever dies, all my work is safe and saved. It gives me incredible peace of mind because I can’t afford to have setbacks.
Get it here https://onedrive.live.com/about/en-au/.
2. Office 365 Home.
We have three computers in our home and it’s about to become four. There is mine, my husband’s, the family computer and my ten-year-old is about to get his own laptop. For homework (for Minecraft). So we need to be able to install Office on all of them, without having to buy it four times, and it needs to work really well. Office 365 Home can be installed on up to five computers, five tablets and five phones and it has everything you know and love. And the brilliant thing about Office 365 Home is that it is also available on smart phones and iPads, as well as computers.
Working from home means keeping overheads as low as possible and being able to use Skype for phone calls is fantastic. Skype isn’t just for calling people though. All my meetings are on Skype. There’s no need to take three hours out of your day for a one hour meeting. Conference calls are easy and you can even send data through to each other, and messages. There’s a reason everyone uses Skype and now that so many Australians are working from home, Skype has truly become a virtual boardroom for so many people. And you can also send messages to your husband and kids to make sure you’re across each other’s schedules. Multi-tasking!
Get it at skype.com.
You will get Outlook with Microsoft 365 Home but do you really know exactly what it is capable of? Outlook has everything you need to manage your life. It’s like having a PA. Outlook will manage all your email accounts (I personally have four separate accounts) and it will also flag all the important stuff, has incredible search functions so you don’t ever lose any emails and just stays on top of everything. Nothing will be missed, ever, if Outlook is in charge. And it isn’t just about emails. It’s about a calendar that organises your entire life.
Get it at https://login.live.com/login.srf?wa=wsignin1.0&ct=1416893003&rver=6.1.6206.0&sa=1&ntprob=-1&wp=MBI_SSL_SHARED&wreply=https:%2F%2Fmail.live.com%2F%3Fowa%3D1%26owasuffix%3Dowa%252f&id=64855&snsc=1&cbcxt=mail.
No matter what line of business you are in these days, it’s all about maintaining multiple social media platforms for promotion, to advertise, to build your business and to stay connected to existing clients. But how do you stay on top of Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and everything else? Do you really need to log in to each one individually to post updates? No, you don’t. Never do that again. Get Hootsuite. It will manage all of your social media for you. It will schedule, measure and report, keeping you on top of your social media performance all from one site.
Get it at hootsuite.com.
The beauty of OneNote is that it allows you to capture thoughts, ideas and to-do’s at home, at work or where ever – and you can also find all your notes quickly in the recent view. You can share your notebooks with others for viewing or editing and you can get it for any of your devices or use it on the web. Seriously, you can do anything with it – clip the web and save websites to view later, send emails or snap photos. Genius.
Get it at onenote.com.
What’s your ‘working from home’ style?
Check out some of our favourite apps. Is yours on the list?
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Learn how Office 365 can help you and your family get things done: http://office.microsoft.com/en-au/office365home/