Working from Home: 26 Apps to Help You Stay Productive
19th May 2017
For many people, working from home is a dream come true. You can roll out of bed at whatever time you like, manage your own time, and enjoy all the amenities and comforts your own home has to offer. It sounds like a win, win, right?
But staying on top of your workload when surrounded by so many distractions at home is challenging, to say the least. So first you need to create the right space. And what better way to do that than create a whole building dedicated to work life in your garden? A garden room can really transform that ‘working from home ethic’ you’ve been missing and help make you more productive.
Next up is finding the tools that’ll help you stay on top of deadlines, finances, meetings, and staying healthy. To help ensure you get there we’ve put together the apps every home worker needs.
Select from the categories below to find the best apps out there for you
Tracking your time
Work as a freelancer? Then you’ll know that time is money. And in the midst of your deadlines and intricate projects it’s easy to lose track of how much time you’ve actually spent on each project and therefore, how much you should charge.
Enter time tracking apps. Each of these will help you monitor how much work time you’re spending on a certain problem or project and help you bill for it accurately. Some of these are packed with functionality; others are a little more basic. Pick out the one that’ll suit the way you work below.
This is the preferred time-tracking app for many freelances. It’s paid, but is full of functionality, offers support, and allows you to track a number of different projects at the same time.
If you don’t want to pay monthly then Due is the app for you. It’s free for life, helps you create invoices, and is super simple to use. The ideal app for any freelance working from home.
This app can provide paid and unpaid features. It’s a straightforward app that helps you create more profitable projects and manage your time affectively.
Using the desktop application of Klock you can estimate how long your currently project will take. It does this by looking at the data of past projects, helping you offer a rough estimation of price before you’ve even got to work.
You could stick to traditional pen and paper to keep on top of everything that needs to get done. But the reality is that you’ll end up with more notes and sheets of paper than you know what to do with. Thankfully, there are some apps out there designed for note taking and keeping those notes organised. Sure, back it up with your paper notes, but whatever you do, don’t try and organise work life without one of the below.
If you’re looking for a fully equipped note taking app, Evernote is right for you. It’s packed with a tonne of features to help you organise all the notes you create on each project. It’s on desktop and mobile, too, so if you’re struck by an idea on the go, you can notate it straight into Evernote. It has both paid plans and free plans.
If a tonne of functionality isn’t your thing and you’re after a note taking app with a little more simplicity, you can’t go wrong with Google Keep. It’s designed to keep note taking simple and does exactly that.
We’ve given you Google Calendar app here as it’s our favourite. It syncs up to our accounts, works really well, and is super simple to use. But there are loads of other good calendar apps out there. Just make sure you get one and never miss a deadline.
Touted as ‘the easiest way to get stuff done’ – it’s designed to help you organise everything from planning a holiday to creating a shopping list. But we’ve put it in our list to help you organise work life – which it’s great for.
Yes, you work from home, but that doesn’t mean you won’t need to communicate often. It’s likely that your job will have you regularly communicating with clients, colleagues in the office, project leaders, or other collaborative workers. And if you want to streamline the process and sound professional you’ll want to have all the best communication apps at your disposal.
Inbox is a cross between a to-do list and an email box. Mark emails as important, snooze them, and do so much more all within a simple interface!
Working with a client that’s on the other side of the world? Arrange face to face meetings over Skype. You can chat and organise audio calls using the app, too.
Making it in business and freelance life is all about networking and communicating. LinkedIn is the best social profile to meet new people in your field and potentially find new work.
Think Facebook Messenger of the professional world. Slack lets you instantly communicate to colleagues and co-workers no-matter where you are. You can share files, send stupid GIFS, and so much more with it as well. Plus it has a FREE version.
As we mentioned in the intro, the biggest problem when working from home is falling victim to the myriad of distractions surrounding you. You could take 30 minutes out to catch up on your favourite series. Or you could take your eyes of the screen and get to the next chapter of your book that you’ve been dying to read. Or how about a nap…?
To help you zone in on your work and remove distracting external noises, we’ve put a few of our favourite apps together that’ll help you stay tied to your desk (not literally, of course).
It’s the most popular music streaming service on Earth. They have pretty much every song on there you can think of. Enjoy the free ad-version or pay just £10 a month and enjoy all the music you can think of completely ad-free.
Apple Music is Spotify’s direct competitor, so if you’re not into the interface, or just don’t like something about Spotify, this your best choice. Note that they don’t have a free ad-less version though.
Soundcloud is another free music streaming app with more of a community focus. If you’re into more niche music or you’re looking for something completely left-field to help you focus, this is where you’ll find it.
Don’t like listening to music while you work? Noisli lets you mix and match ambient sounds to drown out any unwanted background noise. From campfires to coffee shops – they have a tonne of sounds on offer!
Like any office job, working from home limits the amount of exercise you can do. It’s made worse by the fact that you don’t even leave the house to get to work. So keeping healthy is vital. But how can you do this and what can keep you motivated to exercise often?
There are tonnes of fitness and health apps out there. So many that making a decision on which is best for your working from home lifestyle can prove tricky. Check out our recommendations below.
Fit Men Cook
If you’re finding yourself working late into the night and having to call on the local takeaways to fuel you, it won’t be long until you start feeling out of shape. The Fit Men Cook app can help you create healthy meals quickly to give you the energy to carry on working.
7 Minute Workout
Staying on top of a fitness regime and balancing work life isn’t easy. But think about it, you always have 7 minutes to spare. This app offers up an intense workout in those seven minutes that’ll help keep you from becoming unfit.
Sworkit provides personalised workout videos to help you get into shape. Select from a number of pre-built workouts and keep fit and motivated.
If you’re a fan of more alternative ways of exercising, then Pocket Yoga is the app for you. It’s designed to help you ‘practice yoga anywhere and at any time’, which is perfect for every home worker.
Working from home usually means that you’re running your very own business. Whether that’s a large scale operation or that you’re just doing a little freelance work on the side. Regardless, you’re going to need to monitor your finances closely. And unless you’re a freelance accountant, you’re going to want a little help. These are our top tips for apps that will help you manage that money.
Think of this money management app as your person financial assistant. It helps you understand exactly where you’re money is going and track any business costs that you incur.
Need help invoicing for all the great work you’re doing for clients? Wave is here to help. In fact, they have a whole suite of products designed to help running your business simple. From accounting to payroll – they let you concentrate on the thing that matters most. Your business.
If you’re just getting started in the freelance world you’re going to need to build up a portfolio. And to do this you’re going to need some work! Using these two apps and websites below you can find work for a huge range of jobs, from designing to writing to coding!
People Per Hour
Of all the freelance sites out there, People per Hour is possibly the most well known. If you’re a freelancer, simply advertise your skillset, or apply for work that businesses put online. Once you’ve built up a portfolio, you’ll soon have the steam to keep on working.
Upwork is similar to People per Hour – you can rent out your skills or you can hire someone to help complete your project. Build up a reputation and get work with other creative and businesses in your field.
Need to leave the house for a meeting? Google Maps will help ensure that you get there on time and guarantee you skip the bad traffic.
If you don’t drive, heading out to a client meeting can prove tricky. With Uber you can get to pretty much any place in your local town/city all without having to ever pull your wallet out.