For some, living a remote work lifestyle also means living a minimalist lifestyle. Part of the reason is it’s easier to navigate the world when you’re not having to juggle so many things. When you’re running a business, you want to be as efficient with your time and money as possible.
That doesn’t mean you don’t need to own anything and all your possessions live in a cloud. What it does mean is we want to be more mindful of what things are part of our life and how each impacts us, our customers, our businesses and our communities.
As more people are now working from home or redefining how they want to live, it’s also opened up more innovative solutions, especially around technology. Here are 10 tools that may help you to simplify your life and make the most of your time and money.
1 Laptop or Tablet
Investing in proper hardware that does what you need it to do is well worth the time and money. If you’re going to get more mileage from a tablet versus a laptop, don’t waste your money on a laptop that won’t get as much use — or vice versa.
Like your larger digital device, this is one you want to make sure includes all the bells and whistles you need and want. If you need a good camera to take shots of products or merchandise displays, make sure your phone has it and ditch an extra camera. Part of being tech-sufficient means knowing what tools multi-task and taking advantage of all those tools.
Whether you’re working from a nearby coffee shop, an airport or a trade show, you don’t want to use public networks that put your data in jeopardy. A VPN (virtual private network) allows you to create a secure connection to another network over the Internet. A VPN offers a number of different benefits, but many of us find it’s a worthy investment to keep confidential material safe when we’re not using our own Wi-Fi connection.
4 Mobile Hotspot
When you’re out and about and need access to reliable Wi-Fi, having your own mobile hotspot means you’ll never need to worry whether you’ll be able to connect or not. Many wireless carriers offer them, so start there to review their prices and offerings. Otherwise, check out mobile hotspot companies such as SolisWifi.co or Netgear Nighthawk 5G.
5 Cloud Storage
Storage using a cloud-based system is great when you want easy online access to files. Cloud storage also can help you avoid eating up your laptop or tablet storage.
6 External Drive
While cloud storage is great, an external drive is a smart backup security solution for information you don’t want to lose.
7 Productivity Tools
These are apps you can use on your computer and/or your smartphone. Many of them are free or offer a free trial period, so take the time to test drive them and see what helps you stay more organized and focused. Some apps to consider include KanbanFlow, Trello, Toggl, a Pomodoro technique timer, Notion, Evernote, Google docs and sheets. I’ve found some of my best solutions through friends and colleagues so ask your trusted colleagues what they’re using for ideas.
8 Social Media Management Platform
If you use any type of social media, using a social media management platform can make your social media work more effective. From Facebook Business Suite to Sprout, Hootsuite, Loomly, Edgar, Buffer, or Later, there are a number of platforms (some free, some fee-based) you can use. Each has its own specialty (i.e., great media scheduler, good for automation, budget-friendly, etc.)
9 Calm, Headspace or Another Meditation App
A few minutes a day to meditate can bring much-needed relief. Even better, start your day with a 10-minute meditation and pull up the app on your phone throughout the day when things seem to be going off the rails or you need a few minutes to regain your balance.
10 Find the Best Place to Get Work Done
If working from home or your place of business delivers too many distractions (or you need a change of scenery), find another place to work for a few hours or even for the day. Check out WorkFrom.co to find the best coffee shop or space to get work done (the filter lets you find the best places with the fastest Wi-Fi or quiet spots) and it’s free. Companies like Breather (now part of Industrious) let you book on-demand workspace throughout the country and some international cities, too.