With around a quarter of the UK working from home since the outbreak of Covid-19, many people are by now pretty familiar with the tips and tricks they can use to improve their home working environment and efficiency.
Here are our top 5 free apps to help make working from home a little easier – we’ll assume that you have the team talk apps like Teams, Zoom and Slack in hand already!
Toggl has always been great as a simple time tracker. It enables you to be completely aware of where you spend your time, so you’ll never have another one of those days where you don’t know where the time’s gone. Following a rebrand last year, Toggl is now Toggl Track, and sits alongside Toggl Plan for project planning, and Toggl Hire for recruiting and onboarding new team members. To get started in the Toggl app, you simply press the ‘play’ button when you start working on a task, and press ‘stop’ when you finish. There are nifty features like tags and projects, that take a matter of seconds to set up, and can give you invaluable insight for where you spend most of your time.
We like OneDrive mainly because it’s included with a Microsoft Office subscription. This means that it’s a cinch to save an attachment from an Outlook email to any of your OneDrive folders. Collaboration on OneDrive is easy, as multiple users can edit files at the same time, which can result in huge time savings, as the back-and-forth of saving files is removed. OneDrive’s security is top notch, there’s a ‘personal vault’ which requires two factor authentication, so you don’t need to worry about keeping sensitive files safe.
The acronym for ‘If this then that’ enables you to create automations that can simplify the heck out of repetitive or small, easy tasks. For example, you can connect Google Calendar to Strava, so that every time you complete a new run, it gets added to your calendar. Or maybe you want to tweet every time you add a new track to your Spotify playlist. Keeping iOS contacts and Office 365 contacts synced is also a popular ‘Applet’. You can create your own Applets from scratch, too.
Grammarly makes spell checking and the correct use of grammar super simple. It’s available as a website, Chrome extension and keyboard app, with free and premium options. Whether it’s there or their is neither here nor there, as Grammarly will flag anomalies to you. While the Grammarly website is really handy to ensure that the written word is free of errors, the Grammarly Keyboard takes easy breezy to a new level. It integrates with all apps on your phone, so you can communicate clearly and professionally, without having to spend time backtracking and proofing. You’ll also get an explanation of corrections, so you can learn as you continue to use it.
Night Shift (available for free for iOS and Android)
Blue light is part of the visible spectrum of light and it affects sleeping rhythms. Blue light can also cause migraines and blurred vision, and with the amount of time many people spend on their phones, this could cause issues with eye health. Night Shift adds filters over all your phone’s apps, to adapt the screen light and brightness appropriately, to filter the amount of blue light that gets through. The app has premade filters, or you can also make your own. It’s really simple to use, and the reviews sing its praises consistently.
If you’re working remotely and need help setting up video conferencing, or you’re starting to plan for transitioning back to office working, or a relocation, IT Backbone is perfectly placed to help you. All our support team are technical experts, so we resolve issues quickly and always strive for first contact resolution. Just get in touch if any of these scenarios strikes a chord with you and you’d like to have a chat about how we can help you.