Here we are. The entrepreneur crew is now fully virtual and working from home thanks to COVID-19 aka Coronavirus. If you’ve never worked from home before, or like me, choose to work in different coffee shops and locations, it can be a hassle to stay focused. I am grateful to still have work, and for those that don’t make sure to take this time to work on yourself, and perhaps even start a creative new business venture! I’ve read from multiple sources that pandemics like this one have had millionaires that come out on the other side of them.
I’ve had friends ask me how I am staying focused every day and still putting out great content and posts, and I will share, it hasn’t been easy! Especially on days where I get extra COVID-19 news filling my newsfeed and I take an extra 5 doses of elderberry syrup (great for the immune system btw, if you need some contact @freelivingwithamber on IG). Here are 10 tools I use for work purposes to keep me on track, work efficiently and save time too!
My Tool Box
- Quickbooks – If you don’t have Quickbooks (QB) for your business or similar accounting software you have no idea what you’re missing. QB has freed up so much of my time and allows me to pull up reports to see how money is coming in and out of my business. I also send invoices directly from the platform and take payments. Definitely worth taking a look if you bill clients directly. Once you get the hang of it, it’s pretty user friendly for the day to day tasks.
- Ebillity.com they have a 3rd party app called ebillity.com that integrates with Quickbooks if that is what you use for accounting to help you keep track of your time! The nice thing is if your time is billable you can sync it to line-item bill for your time. It’s a win-win!
- Timecamp.com – another timekeeping tool to help you set timers for projects. Great even for keeping track of your personal time.
- Hootsuite.com – schedule social media posts ahead of time. Though be mindful the COVID-19 situation is changing what seems like on a daily basis. So I wouldn’t schedule more than 1 week in advance at a time to avoid a post that might be okay today but could be offensive or insensitive a week or 2 from now.
- Trello.com – Keep track of your tasks/assignments/projects. Set up pipelines and move tasks accordingly until they are complete. You can also add team members or family members to keep everyone organized and in the know. You can also add a deadline to tasks. It’s really cool and there is a free version you can use to try it out. I love that you can change the backgrounds for each assignment as well.
- Scan documents on iPhone – Did you know that you can scan documents and e-mail them as a PDF from your Notes App on your iPhone? Here are step by step instructions – https://support.apple.com/en-us/HT210336
- Canva.com – update your resume, create social media graphics, create flyers/brochures, etc. And they have a free version #winning! Of course, this is for simple DIY projects. If you want something very professional you want to make sure to seek the services of a professional graphic designer.
- Zoom.us – Video messaging tool to host screen shares with multiple participants. Can create a free account to host meetings under 40 minutes.
- Join.me – Another video messaging & screen share platform.
- Google Drive – Share documents and make edits with 1 or more people in real-time, no sending e-mail revisions back and forth!
Besides work tools here are some personal things I do to help keep me grounded while quarantining during the COVID-19 pandemic:
- Meditate – every morning I grab my coffee and practice deep breathing and clearing my mind. We are fed so much information on a daily basis through social media, tv, and even texts from friends and family that mean well, but it can get overwhelming! Information overload!! It’s important to sit back and clear all the clutter so we can make good choices throughout the day.
- Physical exercise – Going out for a walk while practicing social distancing can be great for wellbeing. Getting vitamin D, moving the body, and even breaking a sweat! All good things. Try it!
- Clean your Home – Clearing your space at home is just as important as clearing your mind. Take this time to go through those junk drawers, file cabinets and more. You’ll feel so good and accomplished after. Plus it’s really nice to find things when you need them #organized.
- Sleep/Rest – Not resting is not good! It lowers the immune system and also promotes anxiety and restlessness. Try and get a good night’s sleep, if you just can’t sleep through the night make sure to get periods of rest during the day. We need to stay healthy and alert!
- Family Time/Virtual Visits – Can’t visit your friends and family in person to keep them and yourself safe? That’s okay! Using FaceTime, Facebook Messenger, Zoom, Join.Me and more you can host multiple people and catch up from the comfort of your couch. We’ve had sisters chats, happy hours, game nights and more using these methods. It really helps alleviate the loneliness and stress from quarantine.
- Play with your pet – if you have a pet this is a great time to teach them a new trick, or just spend quality time with them. I’m sure they love to have you home! Did you hear about the one dog that was so happy his owners were home with him all the time that he fractured his tail? If not here is the story – https://nypost.com/2020/03/23/dog-sprains-tail-from-too-much-wagging-during-owners-coronavirus-quarantine/ .
- Invest in quality headphones – especially now when using cell phones and computers to have online meetings, background noise can echo and it can pick up even the slightest sounds, all while making you sound muffled.
If you have any work from home tips you’d like to share that are working for you make sure to leave them in the comments section below! #togetherwestand covid-19