As entrepreneurs we might already be used to working by ourselves remotely sometimes, along with the client meetings, coach sessions or coffee dates. But as more people around the globe are being asked to stay home completely, many of us are wondering how to still keep up our daily work schedule and tasks.
The last few days we at The Female Hub have been asking ourselves the same question. How can we still communicate effectively with each other, our community and clients, manage our projects and keep our daily work tasks running as smoothly as possible?
The answer, as you might have guessed already, is technology. In case it wasn’t already, now is really the time to make technology your best friend. Over the coming weeks you will be using it namely for everything – meetings, marketing, scheduling, project management, budgeting, tracking and securing prospective leads. This last one is especially important as you will want to secure as many leads now as possible to keep you afloat until you can resume business as usual.
This might sound straightforward now, but in practice can offer a lot more challenges. For one, there is sooo much technology that you can use out there – which one is best for you and your business? Which ones are free? Are the free ones any good? The search and choice are overwhelming, so we have compiled a list here for you of technology we use at the Female Hub while we work from home.
You probably know this one already as Zoom is an amazing tool to use for video calls with colleagues or clients. The audio and video quality are top and the various features like screen share, chat boxes and video recording are really useful for long interactive meetings. Another advantage? Clients or colleagues joining the meeting don’t need to first set up an account with Zoom, they simply click on the meeting link you shared with them! And the best thing is: it has a free basic plan that offers most benefits!
Think of Slack as WhatsApp, but then for business. You can text and call your colleagues or clients individually or as a group. The best thing about Slack though is that you can create different channels and topics, so you can easily find back all the comments made under one specific topic. No more scrolling through WhatsApp for hours trying to find comments or tasks that were discussed! Also, we believe that you shouldn’t mix business and personal life, so you don’t want to be constantly available on WhatsApp!
Not having regular office hours and meetings can throw you off-balance when it comes to tracking your work hours. However, if you are an entrepreneur or freelancer working on an hourly fee it is especially important for you to track each hour you spend on a project or client. Even though you are working from home in front of a laptop you need to make sure to keep a good overview of how many hours you spent on what. Toggl is a handy application for your phone that is a timer, calendar and report generator in one. You can time your hours spent on various projects, set dates and events in the calendar and view all your billable hours at the click of the report button.
Trello is easily one of our favourite’s here at The Female Hub. We can easily set up various boards and task lists to create an overview of what needs to happen, what is already in the works and what is done on every project board. Trello can be used as a team, so everyone can view and edit the various tasks for each board. But you can also use Trello for you to keep an overview of your own personal tasks, goals or projects! Visual reminders really help to focus your mind and be more productive, so make use of this kind of project management technology!
The Pomodoro Timer is an extension of the Pomodoro technique, and is effectively a time management tool. For many, especially when working from home, minutes can drag into hours without you being able to get anything done. Having a timer set to 25 minutes creates a sense of urgency (“the ticking clock”) and the 5-minute break after each “Pomodoro” helps to keep you focused. Ideally, each task on your to-do list should be roughly four Pomodoros, after which you can take a longer break. If it takes more, try breaking down the task to ensure that you can still work effectively!
With growing uncertainty about the economy comes the need and desire for more overview and control. Not only about the financial situation of your business, but also your personal finances. Wally is a completely free app that allows you to track your spending’s, savings, debt and financial goals.
Regardless whether you are tech-freak or technophobe, now is really the time to get familiar with all the various tech tools out there. Give our recommendations a try and see for yourself what works best for you and your business. Do you have any technology tips and favourites for our community? Let us know in the comments below or send us a DM on Instagram!