What’s the Handiest Tool in Your Home Office?

1206626_note_padI confess: I’m a terrible scatterbrain. It takes a lot for me to force my thoughts into a nice, orderly line and to keep them there — particularly in those busy times when I have a lot of competing priorities. In those times, I’ll often find myself working on one project while ideas for other tasks pop into my head at random.

Those thoughts can be as simple as “don’t forget to email Pete about that invoice” or as intricate as a new angle on an idea I’d been working on before. They’re basically the random things my brain spews out while I’m trying to focus on something else. I know I’m not alone — a lot of people experience the same thing.

Through a long process of trial and error, I’ve found that the best way to deal with these random thoughts — thoughts that are important and valuable, but unrelated to the task I’m working on — is to note them down. This way, I can be sure I won’t forget them, but I also reduce their interruption into my focus on other tasks. Read More about What’s the Handiest Tool in Your Home Office?

Surviving After-School Time: Meet Deadlines and Keep Your Kids Happy

Kids arrive home from schoolIn my school district, kids get out of school as early as 2:45 pm and as late as 4:15 pm. If you start working after the kids leave for school, you can usually get around six or seven hours of work done. Most people tend to work at least eight hours per day — so how do you deal with the after-school time, when work still needs to be done?
You may need to help the younger ones with homework or teach them study skills. You may need to switch into chauffeur mode to get the kids to sports, music lessons or club activities. Everyone has different needs and situations. With that in mind, I’ve come up with a list of suggestions of things that you can do to keep your kids happy and meet your deadlines: Read More about Surviving After-School Time: Meet Deadlines and Keep Your Kids Happy

How Office Policies Can Benefit Remote Workers

lilticksMy employer’s currently on a kick to reduce printing costs, so those in the office are being strenuously encouraged to reduce our print output, and when we do print, to print everything double-sided with black ink only, unless single-sided or colored printing is absolutely imperative.
Of course, technically, this rule doesn’t apply to those of us who can also work remotely — if we really want to, we can print everything in color and on heavy stock, single-sided in our home offices. But of course this low-print policy is also sensibly applied in my remote office as well as at company HQ.
The die-hard anti-corporate web worker may not want to hear this, but as it turns out, many corporate office policies may come in handy in your remote workplace. I can think of three very common policies that can also fit well into a remote work philosophy. Read More about How Office Policies Can Benefit Remote Workers

Our Office: Working Together in a Tight Space

627564_sardinesLast week I woke up to find that my partner had rearranged my home office. She spent the better part of the morning turning it into our home office.
I shouldn’t have been surprised — I’d told her earlier in the week that we might become more productive if we work near each other. At that time it was merely a suggestion. I didn’t think that one day I would just wake up and find it a reality. Read More about Our Office: Working Together in a Tight Space

Why I Don’t Hide That I Work At Home

Home-OfficeWeb workers, especially those of us who are self-employed, will sometimes encounter people who, it seems, take us less seriously because we don’t have a corporate cube to work in. There are two ways to deal with this.

Some web workers go to great lengths to mask that our office and home are one and the same. We can use P.O. box or mailbox suite addresses, and install separate phone lines that we can always answer with a business salutation. We might keep rigidly to business hours and avoid any reference in conversation that would reveal our office/home marriage.

Of course, there is another option. We can let it all hang out, so to speak, and freely acknowledge our home office location and its attendant benefits (and disadvantages) to the people we do business with.

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Easing the Pain of Moving to a New Windows PC

Moving from PC to PCI love technology, but not when it comes to switching PCs — moving all the data and applications from one Windows (s msft) machine to another is not always as easy as it could be.

I thought I’d share some tips gleaned from my latest move to a new desktop. My way isn’t necessary the best way, but it may give you some ideas when it comes time for you to make the switch. Here are the steps that I took.

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Planning a Home Office in a Small Space

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Not all teleworkers are lucky enough to have a large house. This means that designated office space will be limited. In fact, many teleworkers I know work from a partitioned corner of their kitchen or living room. If you’re in a similar situation, planning your home office can be a challenge. What can you do to have an efficient workspace in a small area?

Spend time planning your space.
It’s best to make a visual plan so that each square foot is accounted for. Doing this saves more time and effort over moving furniture around on the spot.

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A Home Office for Two

It seems so alluring — you, your computer, your home office, and all the silence/Bach/Led Zeppelin you can handle. This is the home office ideal, right? Right.

But what happens when you put someone else in the picture? What if, right next to the potted palm in your home office, your partner or work-from-home housemate materialized?

With more and more people working remotely at least some of the time, this is a very real question that many of us face. What should you consider if you’re about to embark on a multi-person home workplace?

How to Become a More Frugal Web Worker

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Ever heard the phrase “Spend less than you earn?” Personally, I like to take it a notch higher and spend much, much less than I earn. I can’t help it. I think I’m frugal by nature and that contributes a lot to my feeling of security with online work.

Frugality and web working go hand in hand, especially in a tough economy. Even if you find your business thriving, the cost of commodities tends to go up and some clients might unexpectedly close up shop. I also find that frugality comes with freedom — any extra money I can set aside goes to fund new opportunities or allows me to take some time off.

So whether the economy is struggling or thriving, it’s still a good idea to keep your expenses as low as possible, without sacrificing the quality of your work or your life. Here are some things you can do to keep the cost of web working as low as possible: Read More about How to Become a More Frugal Web Worker