The Best Online Tools For Home Based Businesses
Home based business and work have become part of the growing population of productive Americans, and if you’re among them, there are tons of tools around that can increase your productivity. In many cases, your home based business or work is probably starting as linear, that is, you do the job in your computer and email it for submission to a client or boss. But as you move along, you’ll increasingly find that home based business or work has unique challenges, especially once your files are up in the cloud. Things will get complicated even for simple tasks as social media posting and virtual assisting, and even more so for complex work as design and coding that involve handling large files. To help you organize your work, here are five tool categories that you may find useful once you start being swamped with workload after workload.
1. Managing a project team
Maybe you supervise a small team now, but soon, you may be handling a whole department of newbies. In which case, better learn some really simple but powerful project management tools. Some are free, some are in trial, but most of these tools will help you do the basics of handling a team: assign tasks; monitor the project’s progress; create deadlines; and see which screws (that will be your team members) are a little loose that create a bottleneck in the entire project’s progress.
Basecamp offers a simple dashboard that even your grandma can learn in a few days. But you have to pay after a two-month trial. Podo’s layout is a little more complicated, and it takes a longer time to get the hang of its workspace element, which can be confused to function as a folder. But its best part is that it’s free for teams with five or fewer members. OneNote, Microsoft’s project management tool, works okay if you just want to keep a personal log about your team. But it lacks the easy-of-use and compatibility to engage other members, and soon, you’ll be swamped with duplicate documents coming from different team members’ own files, a nightmare for project leaders. For more project management tools Hongkiat.com lists some of the best software for both beginners and experienced users.
2. Creating and storing documents
Cloud computing is the act of creating and storing documents in the Internet that you can share with others. Experts believe this is the future of computing and you need to get tuned to this now. In the next three years, writing word documents or creating spreadsheets and even drawing and rendering graphics in your local drive may be as old as using a pager today. The killer provider for cloud computing is Google Drive. It has the head start and muscle power of Google, and it is destined to be the standard as Microsoft’s Office has been for local computing in the past two decades now. Unless you have tons of files to create and share, individual users like you can get these services for free with a decent allowable storage in the gigabyte environment. But it’s not alone in the industry. PCmag.com lists some of the recommended providers for small businesses or individuals, especially recommended once your cloud needs become more specific.
3. Storing photos
Storing original photos is different from saving document files. For one, and mainly the only reason, the size can be staggering. One full-size image file can range from 3MB-5MB. Imagine having a whole album of these large files. Forget Facebook and other social sharing networks; they compress your image to minimal size that you lose the original’s resolution. Not cool if you’re planning to print posters or big tarps. This abc15.com article gives a good analysis on what to look for when tapping a photo storage provider. And in case you feel squeamish about putting your photos in the cloud, think about it—it can be safer to store these precious moments in a big complex somewhere with fully featured security owned by the photo storage company than let them sit in your computer or backup device at home, which can be hacked, too, anyway, and destroyed any time by fire, theft, or, worst-case scenario, by your kid pouring water on it.
4. Transferring big files
Need to transfer images and PDFs that email software can’t handle? You have to tap into another niche industry composed of providers that just do that: transfer really large files that start from 20 gigabytes to beyond (the maximum capacity keeps expanding). Transferbigfiles.com is time-tested and one of the industry’s biggest players. It claims to have the highest free transfer size cap: 20 gigs which is like 10 and more full-length films (pirates beware though, it is itchy with copyright infringements). For more free service to send large files How-To Geek lists some of the “best” free services.
Learning the right tools can increase your productivity by a leap. Explore these software and, soon, you’ll thank us for it. You’re welcome.