7 Essential Tools for Getting Work Done -- Anywhere!

Photo: VeloBusDriver

Sometimes you just have to get out of the office to ever get any work done! 

When you're on the go, or are working from home, what are the best tools to keep you productive and in step with the rest of the world? 

We share our a couple from our list of 7 necessary tools to help you get work done -- anywhere!


Instant messaging has always had its supposed social appeal, but when it comes to a tool for getting a quick word in with a client, co-worker, or boss, there’s still no substitute.

Quickly replacing cell phone text messages as the best way to ping anyone, IM’s can be simple and effective methods of finding an answer to a question, conducting a very brief 5-minute meeting, or to simply check in with your status on an important project.Some of the more popular sites to get started include Skype, Windows Live, Meebo, Digsby, Miranda, and Pidgin.

Open Office

Many of the newer netbooks come standard with some kind of Microsoft office suite, but many charge extra – much extra—for the luxury. 

Why not ensure that all your documents, spreadsheets, and databases are compatible with ANY computer you use or own, and download the free office solution from OpenOffice.org?

This open source miracle provides you the ability to create, revise, and save files the way you should be able to, and sending it back to your workplace (or a client) has never been so easy! 

Check out our full guest post on Lifescoop to get the full scoop on all our favorite apps!

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Guest's picture

I have found IM to be incredibly useful. It's great for seeing if a coworker is actually at their desk (love the status indicators that turn yellow when a computer is locked or idle), asking a quick question, having a private conversation (I'm in the middle of cubeville with multiple people per cube, lowish walls and no doors) and getting the attention of my cubemate when he's got his headphones on - without having to yell or throw a squishy ball at him.

Unfortunately (or maybe fortunately, productivity-wise), I only have IM on the company's computer network. There are many times when I'm trying to coordinate something with someone outside of work where IM would be the best way to do it. Since facebook chat doesn't work either, we usually end up shooting lots of quick emails back and forth. It works but isn't near as efficient.

Guest's picture

@gt0163c - Have you tried using Skype chat for quick messages back and forth? It does work well once you get everyone in your circle on it.

One remote working client I worked with had even tried creating work-only Twitter ids. It seemed to half work - very distracting!

Myscha Theriault's picture

We are huge Open Office fans at this house, and use the IM feature frequently. It's much faster than texting.

You can also follow me on Twitter and Trek Hound.

Guest's picture

You can have all the gadgets in the world if you want...if you personally are not organized and focused on time manangement, you will always be spinning your wheels in one way shape or form.

Guest's picture

We use IM at work to talk to each other for all the reasons above. Unfortunately, I find that I have to turn off IM entirely when I need to concentrate (about 75% of the time).

I find that the interruptions, particularly for a series of questions or ongoing "chattiness" is actually disruptive. It's better to pick up the phone to have a discussion.

So while I love IM, I find it hinders my work most of the time.

Guest's picture
Kevin Foley

Seems like Google Docs may be a more sensible alternative to Open Office for a few simple reasons. It's compatible with any computer that has a browser, your files are stored on Google's servers (so you can access anywhere you have an Internet connection), and it is great for collaborating (anyone can edit one document and each different version is saved as an archive).