Productivity Tools for People Who Work at Home

by WordWelder

Working from home can be full of distractions, with your output highly dependent on you alone. Thank goodness for productivity tools which can help you work better!

Productivity can be positive or negative, depending on where you're standing. For remote workers, productivity can be a scary thing, if only because it can be hard to totally focus on work when distractions abound.

Having worked at home full time for several years now, I know very well how easy it is to get derailed from work. It's a good thing that I am such a creature of habit that early on, I made an effort to find ways to form habits that contribute to productivity. Here are some of the indispensable tools that I have acquired along the way.

I hope they help you, too!

Image via Dave Makes

Google Calendar
Google Calendar

Google Calendar and Google Docs

I have been using Google Calendar to map out my day for so long that I cannot really remember not using it. Even when I was a corporate drone, Google Calendar was my best friend.

Now that my time is my own (well, not really, but you know what I mean), the Calendar is even more vital to my productivity. I usually map out my tasks and the time allotted for each task the night before, so that once I am ready to work in the morning, I know what I have to get done within the day.

Google Calendar is particularly helpful because I tend to linger on tasks if left untended. Additionally, when new clients and projects come in, I need to be reminded of tasks and deadlines. I use the Google Tasks in conjunction with the Calendar, for more efficiency. I sometimes work with a guest posting service, so there are times when my load is off the charts, and I cannot count the times that Google Calendar and Tasks have saved my sanity!

As for Google Docs, I mainly use the spreadsheet to monitor the number of articles I have written for whom, the date published/submitted, links, amount due, and so on. I learned to do this early in my freelance writing career, and I know I would be a mess without it.

The best thing: Google Apps is free!



Evernote is a very popular productivity tool, and rightly so. First things first: it is also free, and can be used on practically any device - on your computer, your iPhone, your iPad, or your Android device.

What's brilliant about Evernote is that it can save most any note that you create - text, image, or audio - and it syncs across all devices. So, let's say you're on the go, and you come across an image you want to use in a blog post later on. You can save that image on Evernote in your iPhone and then access the same later when you work on the blog post on your laptop. Talk about convenience!

You don't even have to use Evernote solely for work purposes. You can use it for planning trips and organize errands, and so on.




Hootsuite is an awesome tool if you work with several social media profiles. For personal purposes, I prefer another client - Tweetbot - but for work, Hootsuite works perfectly for me.

The free version allows up to 5 social media accounts, and I use it for Twitter and Facebook. You can update the status of your accounts, send tweets, images, and do practically everything you can do on the web versions.

Additionally, Hootsuite has a scheduling feature, which makes it very useful if you have set times when you need to publish updates. You can go to a bar on a Friday night and still have fresh updates on the social media accounts that you manage!

One more thing that is good about Hootsuite is that it has tracking features. As you may know, analyzing clicks, views, etc. is something that is useful to evaluate your social media activity.

iPhone Timer
iPhone Timer

A Timer

The chances are that you have heard of the Pomodoro Technique. To be honest, the first time someone mentioned it to me, I thought she was talking about a special way to cook pasta. You can't blame me, can you?

Anyhow, the Pomodoro Technique is a time management method that is supposed to help people achieve their goals in a more efficient and effective way. I have nothing against the concept, and I know that it works. However, I have always had this aversion to the "in" thing, and I have my own alternative to the Pomodoro Technique.

When I really want to get things done, I give myself a time frame. For example, if I need to finish a relatively easy and short article, I give myself 30 minutes for the actual writing. So that I can keep focused, I set a timer and don't do anything - don't look at anything else - except the task at hand. If I am not done when the timer goes off, I allow myself a break, but use the timer again after the break.

You should give it a try!

Updated: 09/18/2012, WordWelder
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GEORGE on 07/09/2014

I'd suggest you to try Proofhub as well. Its a web based project management and productivity tool which is very helpful to work from anywhere. More info at

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