When Work and Home Collide -Top Free Tools for Working from Home

home-office
Working from home is tough.  For some reason, you tell your family members “I'm working” and those words somehow translate into “I'm working but I'd be thrilled to drop everything and help you”.

Or you're in the middle of a tough project, and your cats won't leave your computer alone (here's the solution).  Or you suddenly get caught up reading a stupid (but hilarious) blog like Louis vs. Rick (the story of a man who taught his cat to text).

And yes, a lot of my issues seem cat-related. Stop judging.

Anyway…

Remember that time is money, especially if you're a micro business.  Whatever your stress, there are some great free tools out there that will help you focus, increase your productivity, and streamline your process without breaking the bank.

Video Chats

 

Google Hangout: Hangouts bring conversations to life with photos and even group video calls.

Skype: Make video & voice calls to anyone else on Skype.

Tango: Make free voice & video calls, and send free text, picture, & video messages over 3G, 4G, & WiFi.

Document Collaboration

Google Drive: Google Drive lets you store up to 15GB of our stuff for free, access them from anywhere, and collaborate with others.

Stay Focused & Productive

StayFocusd: Increases your productivity by limiting the amount of time that you can spend on time-wasting websites.

Focus Booster:  And online software timer that uses the pomodoro technique to help you focus.

Self Control: A free Mac application to help you avoid distracting websites.

Rescue Time:  A personal analytics service that shows you how you spend your time and provides tools to help you be more productive.

Organization & Time Tracking

Trello: Keeps track of everything, from the big picture to the minute details.

Evernote: Helps you remember and act upon ideas, projects and experiences across all the computers, phones and tablets you use.

Remember the Milk: Popular to-do list that's everywhere you are: from your phone, to the web, to your Google apps, and more.

Toggl: Simple time tracking tool and free time sheet alternative.

Finances

Mint: Get a handle on your finances the free and fast way. Mint does all the work of organizing and categorizing your spending for you. See where every dime goes and make money decisions you feel good about.

Check: An app that proactively stays on top of your bills and money so nothing falls through the cracks.

Billing & Client Management

BoxBilling: Powerful admin area will make your business work on autopilot.

Take Breaks

EyeLeo: Reminds you to take a break for your eyes.

Workrave: Assists in the recovery and prevention of Repetitive Strain Injury (RSI). The program frequently alerts you to take micro-pauses, rest breaks and restricts you to your daily limit.

Big Stretch Reminder: Simple reminder tool that prompts a user to take regular breaks and helps prevent the symptoms of RSI.

When Work & Home Collide!

Although I can't help with your distracting family members, these tools will hopefully make your life a little easier.

Working from home can be fun, but it's still work. And regardless of whether or not you're home, you still have real work to do. So figure out how to maximize the time you have. And remember you don't have to spend a lot of money to make your job easier.

Now if I can only forget about Grumpy Cat and get back to work…

Liesha Petrovich is passionate about micro business education. Doesn’t sound sexy does it? But teaching micro business owners how to createsuccess and freedom is. Learn more at Micro Business Essentials and follow her on Twitter

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