Using your own devices while at home might make you wonder whether or not you need new tech. But in order not to end up googling “phone comparison” or trying to compare laptops to see what you can afford, you should simply find new useful apps to use that will make your work easier and your devices faster. Here are ten apps that can help you to work from home on the COVID-19 pandemic time.
#1 Focus Booster
If you have ever used Rescue Time, you will definitely enjoy using Focus Booster, but it is also a very useful app for those who don’t have experience with similar programs. Focus Booster does exactly what its name suggests: it helps you keep focus when you are working from home which is also extremely important for freelancers and remote workers. Yet, many regular employees have found it quite useful in these times of self-isolation.
Focus Booster uses the Pomodoro technique which allows users to work effectively by tracking time and keeping their attention as concentrated as possible. The app teaches you how to cut out your distractions in order to pay more time and effort to the job at hand instead of doing something spontaneously. You can also learn how to distribute your time more reasonably to be able to organize your schedule into a more productive structure.
#2 Chrome Remote Desktop
Chrome Remote Desktop might not sound impressive, but it can still be extremely helpful for anyone and everyone looking for a new way to use this browser. To put it simply, Chrome Remote Desktop allows you to access your computer from your laptop, phone, tablet, or any other similar device. You can do this from anywhere at any time quite securely, so you don’t have to worry about the safety of your actions.
The app is available both for iOS and Android devices. Once you install it, you will simply need to open the app and type the access URL into the browser. Some features you will then be able to use along with accessing your computer from a different device include screen sharing, remote support, the connection of devices among multiple team members, and so on. The latter feature is especially useful for managing team projects.
If you are looking for a way to not only make your remote work easier but also for a way to reduce the time you spend on it, Zapier can help you with this significantly. To put it simply, Zapier helps you save time by dealing with repetitive tasks in your workload. The app lets you create the so-called “zaps” which then automate tasks for you that you usually repeat on a regular basis during your workday.
Of course, not all tasks can be entered into the program. For example, Zapier supports such tasks as uploading files to Google Drive and switching between various apps. With the help of Zapier, you can also exchange data between applications such as Google Drive and Gmail in order for attachments to be automatically uploaded for remote access. With such custom automation, it is fairly easy to reduce your workload and save time.
#4 Basecamp 3
Speaking of managing your time and projects better, time management apps can be very helpful, but project management apps like Basecamp 3 can be real lifesavers. They are usually easy to use and provide you with all the necessary features for creating a better working environment for yourself. Nevertheless, Basecamp 3 is unique because of its variety of options it offers its users.
Basecamp 3 has such features as message boards, schedules, to-do lists, documents, file storage, group chats in real-time, automatic check-in questions, and more. You also have the ability to add third-party apps and tools like time trackers for combining their powers with those of Basecamp 3. Of course, their compatibility and your necessity in them will depend on the kinds of projects you work on.
#5 Rescue Time
Another great app for managing your time is Rescue Time. It is a fully automated app for tracking time with multiple features that help you keep track and monitor how you use your working hours as well as how you can improve your schedule. Rescue Time measures how much time you spend on certain websites and applications separately telling you whether you need to direct your attention somewhere else.
At its most basic level, Rescue Time helps you become more productive by showing you how much time you are wasting online or on various apps. The app claims that you will be able to double your productivity in just 30 days! It comes with specialized productivity training programs that you can follow to improve your focus even better over time. The app also aims to personalize your training based on the data it gets from you.
You will be surprised to realize that emails are some of the main productivity killers. Imagine working on a project when, suddenly, you get an email. What are your further actions? Of course, you will set aside the project and take your phone to read the email. Even if you don’t get notifications when you receive an email, you are likely to be checking your Inbox quite often to see if you did get any emails which is the worst distraction you could have.
What Spark does is it tries to eliminate this distraction. Spark is an intelligent email client that collects your emails from all the accounts and categorizes them by prioritizing the emails that matter more than others. However, there are also additional features that you can use such as the ability to snooze unwanted emails, assign mail, receive notifications from important emails, comment (this feature is for private teams), share drafts, set reminders for follow-up emails, and schedule emails.
When it comes to managing your project with the help of automated communication, various chatbot apps and programs come to mind. SnatchBot is considered one of the best in this sense thanks to its superfast and easy-to-use bots for multiple channels such as WhatsApp, Skype, Line, Telegram, Viber and Facebook Messenger allowing for smooth and unproblematic communication.
You can try it out for free before switching to a paid plan with extended features, but even the basic account has many uses. SnatchBot lets you build your own chatbot – without any prior knowledge of coding – just by using the drag-and-drop method. It is perfect for anyone looking to improve the communication within their team or with the customers.
Skype is often considered to be a bit outdated, especially when it comes to the younger generation who are used to FaceTime and other similar mobile apps that may video calls faster and easier. This is probably the reason why Zoom is becoming more and more popular. It is a perfect alternative for Skype which also has multiple additional features and is regarded to be very useful for everything you would normally do with Skype.
Zoom lets you have one-on-one calls as well as group calls with multiple participants. It is perfect for hosting video calls and conferences no matter how big your team is. You can also use the chat option for communicating with text. Along with the main Zoom Meetings and Zoom Chat features, you can also use such options as video meetings, voice calls, webinars, and so on. The quality of video calls is also next to perfect.
It often happens that working from home turns into a more prolonged working day because we spend more time doing certain tasks. This probably happens because we feel more comfortable at home and are used to resting which is why our brains automatically decide that there is no point in focusing on work. Toggl, however, is a great app for solving this problem by acting similarly to Rescue Time.
Basically, Toggl tracks the time you spend on certain tasks – but it then looks at what these tasks mean within your schedule to make sure that you are paid according to the time you spend performing a certain part of your job. You want to get the payment you deserve based on the amount of time you spent working on a particular project, and Toggl is the one that will help you get billed properly. Some other features the app offers include reports on productivity, time tracking, cross-platform compatibility, and others.
Last but not least, it is crucial to maintain good communication between your team members when you are all working from home. While Zoom can help you with video calls and conferences, you still need a good messaging platform that is secure enough to keep all your data safe. Slack is probably one of the best in its kind.
It is already very popular with many different companies that wanted to improve their communication. This is because Slack lets you create separate channels for messaging based on the topics that need to be discussed. You can also have private chats. All of this organizes the communication process quite well.
To sum up, all of these apps will be very helpful for anyone looking to improve their work ethic while working from home during the quarantine period. Just use them whenever you feel like you need support and make sure to try them all to choose the best ones for yourself.