Whether you're a blogger or work from home, you need to fine tune your remote working skills and use the right tools for the job. If your job requires certain tools, you of course need those, and with this article you can move your office online easily (which means you can work anywhere, even without your own computer).
Important remote work skills are essential for any blogger, even if you're not actually "working" but blogging just for fun. Like Gina Trapani of Lifehacker and Smarterware, I like to make things simple and efficient when doing things online, it's all about finetuning your skills and taking the most out the great online tools we have for mail, collaboration, instant messaging and video chat. So all remote workers and bloggers, read Gina's "Master the Art of Working Remotely" article at Harvard Business blog.
Build an Online Office
Having an online office means that all the tools you need are online and all your files are saved online as well. This way you can access all the tools and files anywhere you are. This is convenient for daily work, but also ensures all your files are backed up and will not be lost if something should happen to your computer.
- Use Google Docs to write, store and manage all your document online
- Use folders to keep your documents organized
- Share files with co-workers and co-author the documents easily
- Use Google Reader to subscribe to RSS feeds of blogs from your industry
- Learn to use Google Reader Like a Pro.
- Subscribe to this blog and you'll get all the great tips straight to your Google Reader too.
- Use Evernote to save your ideas, things you see, and things you like.
- Perfect for keeping notes and finding them on any computer or device you use.
- Use Dropbox to save the files and use them on any computer you need them
- Great backup solution for "offline" files
- Easy way to share files with co-workers
- Make sure you finish the "getting started" lesson, you'll get 250Mb more space right away
- Use Google Wave for interacting and working together with co-workers and project members
- Read the complete Google Wave Guide to use ride the Wave the right way.
- Start using Twitter as a way to interact with your customers and peers in the industry
- If you are not familiar with Twitter, this Twitter Guide is probably useful for you.
- Use Bubbl.us to create mind maps and brainstorm online
- Start a blog and begin building your personal brand and authority within your industry
- If a personal blog related to your job is forbidden in your company's social media policy, suggest to run a corporate blog for your company
There you go. With these tools you can work anywhere and access all your information online, whether you're working from Internet cafe, home or your workplace.
Outsourcing and Managing Remote Work
What if you're the one managing remote work, you have hired a professional to take care of the technical support for your blog and need some tasks getting done. This might be a situation you're not that familiar with, perhaps you're "managing" or "leading" for the first time.
These tips are for managing and hiring a professional from Elance, the biggest outsourcing and hire-a-freelancer site out there, but they are certainly suitable for anyone managing the outsourced tasks and remote work in general:
- Be aware of time zone differences – and holidays.
- Understand billable hours and hours per week.
- Provide regular status reports.
- Keep track of project hours.
- Use business terms effectively.
- Set appropriate deadlines.
- Practice clear communication.
Rear more about outsourcing, hiring a professional to do things for you, and managing their work from Elance.