These are the apps you need to work from anywhere
So you want to work remotely? Whether that word means a co-working space, home office or any other interpretation of a desk situation that isn’t your traditional set-up, ever since we realised we could do our jobs from pretty much anywhere with internet (and decent coffee within grabbing distance), we’ve been chomping at the bit to break the shackles and branch out. Working anywhere in the world is easy once you know how – just ask any of our Helm crew – but introducing these apps into your arsenal will make it even easier. So easy in fact, that you’ll wonder why the hell you’ve been slaving away under the neon strip lights of a 9-to-5 for so damn long.
You might remember it as the only way you could communicate with that holiday romance circa 2006 but Skype remains a hard-hitter in so much as being the easiest free way to connect beyond email.
Skype rules for one-to-ones but anything over a maximum of two people on a call gets messy, fast. Google Hangouts is free and hard to beat for video conferencing, thanks to the option to share files in real time while you discuss updates with clients and other collaborators on the project.
If it’s good enough for NASA, it’s good enough for us. Slack might be known for its part in coordinating the Mars landings but you don’t need a degree in astrophysics to work the cloud-based collaboration software out. It’s mind-blowingly easy and once you go there, you’ll wonder how you managed without it.
According to the HMRC ‘Tax doesn’t need to be taxing’. The only problem is that, well, sometimes it is. QuickBooks takes the hard work out of managing your money and getting things together for the tax man. It’s HMRC approved and does everything from keeping track of cashflow and invoicing to filing your Self Assessment direct to the big guys.
Speaking of money, if you’re anything like some of us, lost receipts cost you a fair bit of it. Download Shoeboxed, photograph and digitally store copies, then make an effort to stick the real thing somewhere safe, knowing you won’t be out of pocket if ‘safe’ turns out to mean ‘safely hidden somewhere I’ll never find them again, goddammit.’
The feast or famine side of freelancing is the scaremongering equivalent of tales of the boogie man as a kid, but there’s no denying you’ll have times when you’re quieter and times when you need more hours in the day. Good money management makes it easier to ride out both, so download a budgeting app like Mint or Monzo and get your finances in order early on. Both have awesome user interfaces and the capability to see exactly how and where you’re spending your money. In our experience, first you’ll be shocked, then you’ll be ashamed, then you’ll sort your shiz out and become a budgeting behemoth.
The beauty of working remotely is the freedom to do your job from almost anywhere on earth. WorkFrom makes it easier to do just that with recommendations for workspaces in the local area, with a mixture of co-working offices and cafes offering free Wi-Fi and a warm welcome for freelancers.
Of course, you don’t even need WorkFrom to find a co-working space in Doncaster. We’re right here at Helm and the kettle is always on (we’re Yorkshire, so there’ll be biscuits as well).