Shaa Wasmund: Five must-haves for anyone working from home

But working from home can have its downsides too. If you're used to working in an office, it'll be a bit of a shock to the system to work on your own, even if you've got plenty of support online. You'll also need to have a lot of self-discipline (which many entrepreneurs have by the bucket load) in order to avoid distractions and stick to a work schedule.

So, here are a few essential tools to help you remain focused while working from home.

  1. A decent office space: Working from your bed or sofa might seem like the most appealing option, but you'll get so much more done if you're in a decent working space. All you need is a desk and comfortable chair, ideally away from the distractions of your TV, plus WiFi. If you're just starting out, you might want to check out Freecycle for available desks in your local area.
  2. Dropbox: the essential online tool for remote workers. It allows you to access your files from any location, either from your toolbar or the Dropbox website. Just drag the files over to the Dropbox folder and you'll be able to use them later on or collaborate with others.
  3. Twitter: Twitter is full of remote workers, freelancers and creatives, so it's the greatest place to ask for advice, share information and generally chat with like-minded people.
  4. Skype: Whether you're conducting an online meeting, exchanging files with a colleague or client or simply catching up with a friend abroad, Skype will help you easily stay in contact.
  5. Remember the Milk: essentially a to-do list. But it allows you to create tasks under a number of subjects (work, home, by client etc), set due dates, priorities, add to your calender and a multitude of other details. Each morning the site will email you your tasks due today, and if you subscribe you'll get the app too.

Also, check out our tools directory for a whole load of resources and tools for starting up and running a business.

Do you have any essential tools for working from home? I'd love to hear about them in the comments section below.

Read more of Shaa's blogs at Shaawasmund.com and follow her on Twitter @shaawasmund

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