As a remote worker, whether freelance or otherwise, you are primarily on your own when it comes to organization. If you are a full-time employee of a company, you are probably given or told at least some of the applications you are expected to use to organize your work, but a large part of how you manage your data is still up to you. If you are entirely freelance, everything falls on you.
Below are five organizational tools for remote employment to make work and life more streamlined and convenient.
Excel might be the most widely subscribed to office application on the planet, perhaps even more so than Microsoft Word, now that so much is done with Google Docs. Excel is a far-ranging and incredibly complex program that very few people will ever truly use to anywhere near its full potential.
There are so many functions to learn--like the date and year function--to make your professional life easier to administrate that it is often worth taking an online excel course to help equip you with the practical and highly transferrable skills required to manage your work and your business
Google Calendar is the go-to day planner and event coordinator/reminder for a good reason: it's highly effective. A lot can be done with Google Calendar, including syncing it with a wide range of other organization apps for improved convenience and day planning. The best thing you can do as a remote worker, especially if you work on your own, is to get into the habit of always going to your Google calendar every time you set a date for anything in your professional or personal life.
Google calendar is free to use as part of your free Google account, is easily tailored to suit your needs, and can be set up to send you desktop notifications when it is time for that Zoom meeting or client onboarding session.
Todoist is a task management application that helps remote workers keep track of and manage their personal and professional productivity. You can use the Todoist app from any device, and it can be integrated with your Google account, Alexa, Outlook, Facebook, Fitbit, and more. Todoist is free, but there is a paid version that gives you more functionality.
Remote workers should seriously consider an application like Todoist because it is easy to let your various tasks get away from you when working on your own and don't have anyone else around to manage your schedule and set your meetings for you. Todoist is intuitive to use, the dashboard is straightforward, and you can change and add to your list quickly.
Another primary consideration for the self-employed remote worker is taxes. Suppose you are a self-employed remote worker (30 percent of Americans), which means freelance or a business's sole proprietor. In that case, there are specific tax implications you need to worry about. One of the biggest challenges for many freelance employees is budgeting throughout the year so that you don't have to worry about paying your income taxes at tax time.
Quickbooks "Self-Employed" is a software that helps self-employed people keep track of their income, expenses, and LLC operating information, making sure that you are always up-to-date throughout the year and not scrambling during tax season. You can access your accounts via the web or a mobile application and the app does a great job of breaking down the various tax categories you fall into and the deductions and credits you have access to.
If you are a remote freelance worker, depending on what your business is, you will likely need to make quite a bit of prospecting and customer acquisition, as well as follow-up and retention. You could do all of this work one email at a time or use a digital marketing tool like SendinBlue, which was specially made for relationship marketing.
Having a SaaS like SendinBlue gives you email design templates that you can use to reach out to potential customers and follow up with previous and current ones. If you need to thank someone for their business, there is a functionality for that, or if you need to send out customized holiday greetings to your contact list, there is a functionality for that too.
An entire industry is dedicated to creating digital tools to make remote work more manageable and running a freelance or small sole proprietorship more efficiently. You don't need to bog your life down with a never-ending series of tools, but a handful of carefully chosen applications, most free, some paid, will allow you to manage your business and work in a way that avoids it all getting away from you. Don't neglect your organization. Keep the above tools for remote workers in mind and work effectively and productively from anywhere.