You’ve got your home office set up. You’re an expert at remote collaboration, online consultations, and virtual conferencing by now. You’re feeling pretty good about this whole work-from-home thing.
If this describes your feelings about remote work, you’re not alone. Surveys are showing that an increasing number of workers have warmed to the WFH life. There are a lot of benefits to no commute and spending more time with family.
But it’s human nature to want to tweak things. To make it just a little better. Once you’ve established a solid workflow for your work-from-home life, you might be ready to expand your repertoire.
But what, exactly, are your options for doing that?
One of the downsides to working remotely is the potential for getting distracted. After all, homeschooling kids need help with math homework. Dogs (repeatedly) request walks. The dishwasher needs to be unloaded. These apps help you focus through even the most persistent interruptions. (Note: These applications are not affiliated with or sponsored by CosmoLex in any way, they are simply tools that members of our team find useful.)
Magnet ($1.99, iOs)
Did you realize how much you loved your dual monitor setup at your office until you unexpectedly downsized to one? Neither did we. While there’s not an app to make a second monitor magically appear, the Magnet app provides a pretty great alternative.
Everyone has their own techniques for maximizing their time, but few are as effective as the Pomodoro technique. The Pomodoro technique blocks out chunks of massively focused time in 20-25 minute increments, followed by short breaks. This app syncs with other productivity tools, like Asana, Trello, Todoist, and Slack to track your progress.
After all, few things feel better than crossing an item off your list.
Does it feel like your life is getting cluttered with apps, programs, websites? They might all be necessary, but that still doesn’t mean they’re not hard to manage. Enter IFTTT. IFTTT streamlines communication between your favorite (or at least most used) places online and your devices so you can control them all from one hub.
IFTTT can streamline your work life, but it can also provide useful insights.
Email and phone calls are great, don’t get us wrong. But there are more effective ways to keep up with colleagues and clients when you can’t actually see them face-to-face.
Break out of your email rut by switching team communications over to Slack. More than just a messaging platform, this browser- and app-based communication tool can centralize your workflow through integrations with project management and productivity platforms.
Miss the camaraderie and social spontaneity of the workplace and, well, pre-pandemic life? Us too. That’s why we’re living Donut. Donut is an app that lets you set up virtual coffee or lunch groups, build networks, and create a more cohesive team environment.
Do you talk through your projects out loud? If you organize your thoughts best by talking, Loom is what you’ve been waiting for your whole life.
Loom allows you to make quick voice and video recordings of ideas, plans, instructions, announcements, and so on and then share it via a link to your team.
Virtual conferencing and video
You’re spending a lot of time on virtual conferences these days. Maybe you’re even making a few training videos or filming a webinar or two. So make them the best you can by adding these tools to your mix.
Put yourself in the best light possible, literally. A selfie ring light might seem way too Gen Z, but these handy tools make a world of difference in camera lighting quality. Use for shooting webinars and promotional material. (Or selfies, we won’t tell!)
You’re a trained legal professional, not a cinematographer, so make shooting content for webinars and social media easy with a simple tripod for your smartphone. There’s nothing complicated about it – just click into place and film.
Your laptop or desktop probably has a pretty good camera, but if you’re working from home and doing video consults, it may not cut it. This little webcam is a big step up. It has auto-focusing, smart exposure, facial tracking, and it can be mounted on a tripod. (See above)
Think of your home office as your basecamp. You need to be able to keep things there safely and send them out when needed. How do you do that? With these apps, of course.
Remote storage doesn’t just do you the favor of keeping your desktop and hard drive from getting overwhelmed with files. It also makes it easier to share, collaborate, and protect your work.
There are lots of options out there these days for remote storage, but DropBox keeps rising above the rest. It allows flexible permissions, offers strong security, and integrates with nearly anything you could want it to.
Precious few people these days know all of their passwords. (And if they do, they’re probably not very secure ones.) Stop resetting your passwords to accounts each time you log in by using a password manager. You can also use it to generate and share passwords safely and store digital records.
Gone are the days of standing in front of a painfully slow home scanner as you wait for each page to process and upload to your computer. Today, it’s as simple as snapping a quick photo with your smartphone. Apps like Scanbot go beyond the photo, though. Scanbot has tons of features, like smart file naming, iCloud syncing, automatic uploads, and OCR.
And, as a bonus, the files look really, really good.
Those should be enough for you to take your work from home skills to the next level. Time to start downloading!
Are you looking for even more information about these tools and more ways to run a law practice from home? Read our post on tools and tips to effectively work remotely.