5 Tools to creating a productive “virtual” work environment

5 Tools to creating a productive “virtual” work environmentEmail
Effective communication is a huge key in being productive. With email being the most popular form of communication among businesses, setting up your email account in the most supportive way possible will help reduce time spent reading and filtering email, as well as keep you organized with clients or projects. Gmail is highly praised as the leading email client because of all of its advanced features and integration into google apps.

Smart-Phone
Having the power of the internet at your fingertips is only going to help you become more successful. With a smartphone, and learning how to properly use one, you can access information at your fingertips wherever you are, and also manage your contacts and calendar helping you keep organized. Apple and Android are the two leading smart-phone companies, however windows also builds their own smart-phone that is supposed to seemingly integrate with Microsoft Office products.

Online Planner or Scheduler
There’s no better way to stay organized than to keep a schedule or daily planner. But for this to be accessible anywhere at anytime brings even more power to your organization. Forget the notebook that you have to remember to bring with you, or remember to write down notes, use an online calendar or scheduler such as Google Calendar to keep things organized and synced across all your devices. Quickly add calendar events and setup notifications for reminders.

Laptop
Whether you decide to go with a mac or a windows laptop, you should think about your current usage and needs of a laptop and pick the most quality one of its kind. Purchasing a cheap solution might leave you with missing features that you later need down the road (Bluetooth, webcam, USB 3.0, etc.). Perhaps you travel a lot and need something small and lightweight, or maybe you do artwork and need a large screen. Decide on what’s important to you and then research to make sure you get as many features you can for the future growth of your business.

Cloud File Storage
As with your email and schedule, you need a place where you can store documents that you need access to everywhere you go. There’s many cloud services such as dropbox, google drive, or apple’s version called icloud. Setup a shared folder where you put the documents that you need access to from your phone, home office, virtual office and traveling locations. It might also be smart to have enough storage that you can backup your files constantly so you do not have to worry about data loss with failed hardware or theft.