I would describe myself as a work at home mum. My daughter is three years old. She now attends nursery three afternoons a week, and usually spends another one with Grandma, and the rest of the time she’s with me. I don’t work for anyone else and I’m home-based, but I’m also registered self-employed and I do a variety of things to bring in money. I’m working on expanding my activities at the moment, as I’d rather like to remain self-employed even after she goes to school. Although I do miss the company of working in an office, I like the flexibility and variety of working for myself (I never was much good at fitting in!).
For people that work from home – or anyone who uses the internet a lot – I thought I’d share the tools that make my work from home jobs easier. I’m discovering new ones all the time.
I used to joke that my parents’ house had more computers than people (my dad worked with them). Now I have my own home and it’s exactly the same. I like working on a laptop, but they’ve had trouble keeping up with me.
A while ago I googled ‘best laptops for writers’ and the consensus was that the best keyboards are on the older models of the Lenovo Thinkpad T-series (410-430, 510-530). This meant getting a refurbished one, but I would have had to anyway because new Thinkpads are very expensive (they’re aimed at the business market).
Having destroyed my third keyboard on my old laptop, when the fan went my husband told me to get a new laptop. I’d been making do for quite a while with bits not working properly, but I finally bit the bullet. I now have a Lenovo Thinkpad T510.
So does the keyboard live up to reports? Yes! It’s so brilliant. Typing is so much easier and more comfortable. It feels like a desktop keyboard. I love it and I whole-heartedly recommend one for work from home jobs, or if you just do a lot of typing.
Backing-up work is essential (ask any writer who’s just lost whole chapters or hours of editing) in work from home jobs. I used to do it on a memory stick, but I didn’t remember to do it often enough.
Sign up to Dropbox through this link and we’ll both get an extra 500MB of storage space.
Good spelling and grammar are essential for work from home jobs that involve writing. Grammarly is an automatic checker, generally considered the best available. This I pay for, but I think it’s worth it. You can use in online for smaller documents and as a Word plugin on any length. Although there’s no substitute for human proofreaders, Grammarly definitely goes a lot further than the free checkers available.
Have you got any great tools that you use for work at home jobs?