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Working from Home 101: Top Technology Tools and Tips

Published on Apr 6, 2020 at 7:20 pm in Tech Advice.

As professionals, we’re always on the lookout for the latest tools and tricks for us to enhance our productivity. However, navigating those waters can be a bit troublesome as there are several competing methods, apps, and tools to choose from.

Productivity looks a lot different for us in this COVID-19 crisis where most of us are working remotely. That’s why we’ve shared the top technology tools and tips that have helped us remain productive in our new WFH environment.

Time Saving

  • Take Advantage of Voice Diction and Voice Commands to get everything done in faster time.
    • For Windows, search for “windows speech recognition” in the Windows Start menu.
    • For Mac, click the Dictation tab under Keyboard in macOS System Preferences.
  • Use the Do Not Disturb features on phone and laptop.
    This feature stops notifications, alerts and calls from making any noise, vibration or lighting up the phone screen when the screen is locked. That way you can avoid apps you don’t want to hear from constantly and you can still let people reach you in an emergency.
  • Expand your desktops so you don’t have to keep all your windows crammed in one space.
    • For Windows, click Task View button, which is just to the right of the search box on the taskbar. This brings up all your open windows, and you’ll see the option to create New desktop.
    • For Mac, use the Command+Up arrow keyboard shortcut. Move the cursor to the top of the screen then click the Plus icon to create a new Space.
  • Use shortcut commands wherever you can!
    If you know there’s something you want to automate and there isn’t already a keyboard or mouse shortcut that works, you can even create your own shortcuts for Windows and macOS.

 

Productivity Apps

  • Planning: Microsoft To Do
    Microsoft To Do is a streamlined app that synchronizes through the cloud across all of your devices. You can make lists of tasks under categories like “Work” or “Personal,” set due dates and reminders, collaborate with others and assign tasks.
  • Distraction Blocking: Stayfocused
    Stayfocused is a free Chrome extension that lets you choose how you’d like to block distractions. You can give yourself boundaries and time limits for engaging with certain websites.
  • Habit Tracking: RescueTime
    RescueTime is a time-tracking tool that records the apps you use, websites you visit, and the breaks you take while working.
  • Pomodoro Methodology: Strict Workflow
    Strict Workflow is an app that’s loosely based on the Pomodoro Technique. It can also block distracting websites while you’re in a work phase.
  • Focusing: Forest
    Forest is an app that makes avoiding distraction into a game. It trains you to stay away from your smartphone and stay focused on the task at hand.
  • Workflow Management: IFTTT
    IFTTT stands for “if this, then that.” It’s a free way to get all your apps and devices talking to each other and create custom automations.
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    Cybersecurity & WiFi Boosts

    • Clear out the digital clutter—extensions, bugs, and unnecessary apps.
    • Weak connection? Try moving your wireless router to a more central location or moving closer to it.
      • If this isn’t possible, consider getting a range extender and placing it where the signal is weakest.
    • Use online password managers like LastPass to securely store strong and unique passwords.
      • For your kids, try DinoPass, a simple password generator for them to use at home.
    • Always make sure your browser is up-to-date. Running the latest version of any browser will guarantee a more stable experience

    Continue to follow us as we share remote work productivity tips, new developments and helpful discoveries amid the Coronavirus pandemic.

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