Working from home is a great way for stay at home moms to earn income while managing the household. Although the past eight years (five with children) have been great for me, I did struggle a couple of times when it comes to staying on top of things. I have had to not just think about managing the home, but also managing my own business and my clients’ businesses (because I work as an online business manager).
But being a natural at organizing everything and anything (my clients find it amazing; it drives my husband crazy), I was able to create a system so I can stay on top of my home and work life.
5 TOOLS FOR WORKING FROM HOME SUCCESSFULLY (AND EFFECTIVELY)
1. A laptop or computer
Most virtual projects available for stay at home moms require a laptop or a computer since this is where you’ll be doing your work. A personal favorite of mine is the MacBook Air because of its user friendly interface and super reliable battery life. However, if you prefer Windows, you can purchase a laptop or desktop with great deals online. Just make sure you research the specs carefully so you choose one that best suits the type of work you do.
2. A reliable internet connection
PLDT MyDSL has always been my go-to internet provider for my home office. I have tried so many others already, but PLDT has the least downtimes and quickest customer service response time. I’m not sure why there have been so many complaints about their service, but from my own experience, I can’t really say anything bad about them! When I encounter issues with my connection, I just tweet them or call them and they respond right away. The issue is usually solved within the day.
3. A calendar you can sync on your laptop and mobile phone
While most prefer planners, I find that online calendars like Google Calendar is the best when it comes to plotting my schedule for the week. I can easily add new schedules and move around existing ones with its drag-and-drop feature. I also love the fact that I can create different calendars – for work, for my blog, for our family – and share the calendar with people concerned. For instance, I shared my Family Calendar with my husband so that when he checks his iPhone, he knows if we have any family events coming up (and vice versa). This prevents conflicts in our very busy schedules.
Another amazing feature of Google Calendar is that it allows me to create repetitive events, which is super helpful for scheduling my work. I like consistency so I schedule groups of tasks at a certain time of the day, from Monday to Friday. This increases my productivity, enabling me to finish work on time.
4. A project management tool
I took it up a notch this year by creating a free account with Asana. Since I work with numerous clients and freelancers, having a project management tool helps me get all the information in one place and easily tag people I need assistance from. It also enables me to add deadlines to tasks so I know which tasks I need to prioritize.
I love this program so much that I got my husband to start using it in his own workplace as his personal monitoring tool. He just started this month and has been quite productive already!
5. A digital storage space
I used to pay for storage space from Dropbox, but this year, I shifted to Google for Business, which comes with a lot of features. My paid Google account hosts my own e-mail that’s connected with my domain as well as all Google products – such as Google Drive. If you don’t want to pay for space, you can always just create a free account and use Google Drive for free. In my case, I got the paid account so everything is in one place – my work e-mail (firstname.lastname@example.org) is in Gmail, my schedule is in Google Calendar, and my files are in Google Drive.
Once you have Google Drive, download the application to your laptop and phone so whatever you save goes there directly. This allows you to access your files anywhere, anytime and enables you to easily share them with your clients or co-workers. For just $3 a month per account, I think that’s not too bad, eh?
BE MORE PRODUCTIVE THIS NEW YEAR!
No new year resolution yet? How about being more productive and effective by utilizing technology to get organized in your home and work life? You’ll be amazed at how much better you can handle work AND home demands when you use these five tools!
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