9 Tools for productive remote and freelance work in one service
Remote work has become socially acceptable due to the Coronavirus pandemic in the last few years. Earlier, there were more questions and myths than answers and facts about working from home. The definition of a freelancer was unknown to the majority of people.
Today, when working on a team online is a casual thing, we face another problem – too many tools that are supposed to help but bring more chaos than organization. That’s why it’s important not to lose yourself and your potential among all the software for remote work and freelancers available on the market today.
We believe xTiles may become the tool to replace many apps with different purposes. It offers you easy team collaboration yet individual space for your own projects at the same time. It may become your planner and task management tool. It will help you generate ideas and then organize them into presentations for your team or clients.
In this article, we want to tell you how one app may help you stay focused and productive and release you from the need to use many different apps and tools for your freelance or remote work.
1. One workspace to rule all of your projects
The place where you work may define how you work and whether it’s an enjoyable process or not. When you’re a freelancer, you’re free to use whatever you want to build a place where you’re effective, which is one of the best things about working independently.
What is the main feature of a helpful and healthy workspace? You don’t have to force yourself to use it. The process is seamless and natural. How to reach that level of suitability? The software you use should be responsive, easy to use, and with a wide range of flexible organizational and visual features.
All of that you may find in xTiles. Except for the ability to build and customize your work process according to your preferences and needs, we have for you a gallery of ready-to-use templates for different tasks and purposes to save you time and ease your job.
When you work as a freelancer, your planning and organizing skills have to be twice as good as if you were working on a team. You’re the only person who manages everything, so you need to minimize the chances of missing something important and maximize your results. You may also find a few tips on how to be more organized in one of our latest blog articles.
The first rule of successful planning is to find what kind of planning would help and support you without pressure. Some prefer to use daily planners. However, this option requires you to take time every day to set your goals before you start the working day or every evening after you finish your current tasks. You may try the xTiles Daily Planner Template. We build it to be easy to fill, with the ability to shift something to tomorrow, and with a special place for your affirmation and motivation to help you keep moving forward even when you’re tired and overwhelmed with tasks. Those who like to plan for short periods of time may also try the xTiles To-Do List Template to handle their tasks given their priority.
Some will choose weekly planners because they don’t like the idea of devoting time every day or prefer to know what they are going to be working on during the week. If you are one of these people, you may try the xTiles Weekly Planner. Set your tasks for a week, prioritize them, and write down your notes concerning this week's work process.
Is a week still too short for you? Then you may try the xTiles Monthly Planner or the xTiles 3-Month Plan. However, super long-term planning works better together with shorter ones. Small tasks and goals don’t suit a 3-month plan very well, and huge tasks and goals won’t have enough space in a weekly or daily planner.
You may use different planners for different projects, or you may keep everything together if you don’t want to overwhelm yourself with documents.
3. Task manager
Freelance and remote work requires one to be self-disciplined. You’re your own boss, and sometimes, you have to be a bit harsh on yourself to get things done on time. There are many tools and techniques available to organize your workflow. Task managers allow you to track what has to be done, what is in progress right now, and how far you or your team has reached.
Except for traditional planning, for work purposes, you may use the xTiles Kanban Board Template. This remote management tool is super easy. You have a backlog with all the tasks you need to do, then you take one and start working on it. When finished, you take another, and so on, until the project is done. The approach helps you concentrate on what you are doing at the moment and reduces the pressure you put on yourself.
How exactly you plan will depend on the industry you work in. For example, if you’re in social media marketing, you need to plan two, three, and sometimes even four steps ahead. Getting content for uploading at the last moment is probably the worst strategy ever. However, a little bit of improvisation is a great addition to a thoroughly planned content strategy. You may try the xTiles Social Media Calendar Template for effortless planning and task setting.
Notes are an important moving force in your work. If you can jot them down whenever they appear in your head, you won’t miss anything, and you won’t need to distract yourself from the main task to do what just pops into your head.
Sticky notes keep falling from your screen or wall, making you fix them every time. Who knows, maybe that was the point – remembering about themselves by annoying people. Notebooks turn into a compilation of everything all at once after some time. And you will have to waste more and more time to get through this debris to find what is relevant. Additionally, bringing it everywhere you go is pretty inconvenient. And writing something down on your arm or palm just to wash it off the next time visiting a restroom is rather a bad scenario.
Instead of all of this, you may use your smartphone. Even if it’s not in your hand right now, then it’s probably somewhere near you. Maybe you even read this article using your phone.
We offer you the xTiles mobile version to write down your thoughts and ideas the moment they flash into your mind. And then the best part starts – you can easily find them in your xTiles Web or Desktop version Quick Notes. No need to check your phone and write them down one more time.
This feature will also be useful for people who work mostly with visual content. You may upload pictures from your phone to your xTiles app, and they will appear in your Quick Notes. Forget about USB cables, sending yourself messages with the needed files, saving them to your laptop, and only then uploading them to your workspace to start working.
Notes-taking reaches a new level with the xTiles Web Clipper. How much of everything have you lost because you didn’t save it while casually surfing the internet without the purpose of finding something useful? Well, these days are over. Our Web Clipper will help you not to miss a thing. In two clicks, you have everything saved and safe, and ready to use in your xTiles web version.
5. Team collaboration
A remote working system might have its pitfalls. However, all of them may become insignificant once fruitful collaboration within a team is established. What should it look like? First of all, to make every participant happy, you need to build this system on democracy and transparency. Every team member should see what is going on right now and how well the team is doing at the moment.
Establishing healthy remote team collaboration takes time and might be challenging. That isn’t something that happens overnight. There will be many steps to take. Sometimes, you will need to reflect on what was done and why it was unsuccessful just to continue moving forward with new approaches.
Choosing the correct collaboration tools is one of the most important steps in this process. It will be super difficult to establish an enjoyable and healthy work process without video conferencing and instant messaging tools. However, it will be impossible to reach that goal without project management software to set tasks wisely, keep an eye on everything, track progress, and get the job done.
xTiles may become a workspace where you collaborate with your teammates effortlessly. There won’t be rules that might limit your creativity or potential. You’re free to establish your own remote collaborating system the way you like using the myriads of options and functions to reach your goals.
Finding new ideas inside yourself is an important part of any creative process. Sometimes ideas fall on your head from trees, but usually, you need to work hard to come up with something unique and interesting.
Whether you brainstorm independently or with your team, the session has to follow certain rules. Otherwise, all the ideas that flash into your mind will be lost or misunderstood later. Or even worse, you will go in the wrong direction in the first place, and all the results won’t suit your initial purpose.
We offer you to use xTiles as a supportive tool for your brainstorming sessions. We understand that your natural creativity plays the leading part, but different methodologies organized into ready-to-use templates will definitely be on your side. The xTiles Brainstorming Template is a basic tool suitable for remote teams to find a solution to any kind of task. If you’re a freelancer or an independent contractor and with no team to generate ideas together, you may try the xTiles Individual Brainstorming Template.
Welcoming new team members is always exciting for both of you. They – digest incredible amounts of new information, learn who is who, and how processes are established. You – try to show everything as it is and break the ice.
Providing newcomers with all the information they may need to start helps you engage new people in the early stages. You may create a few (or how many you need) documents in xTiles with everything a new team member may need to adapt quicker and easier. These documents will be their manual for the first few weeks. You may try our ready-to-use Onboarding Template to introduce your company or team to newcomers. Or you may go further and also use our One-pager Template to represent your team or company from a serious business perspective and tell what you do and why you stand out on the market.
The important thing to remember is that Onboarding documents need to be checked and amended regularly so people get up to date information. One-pager documents last a bit longer but still need your attention.
8. Vision boards/presentations
Working remotely has its benefits and hardships. You have less time for personal communication. When you collaborate remotely, the only thing that unites you and your team members is your job or project. This way, your personal affairs don’t mix with your work, helping you maintain a healthy balance. However, when you have little in common except for your job, it might be harder to communicate, express yourself, and demonstrate your ideas. Reliable tools with high visual representation potential may come in handy.
xTiles offer you a wide range of possibilities to show what you think, what you feel, how you see something, etc. Our Vision Board Template is about versatility and is suitable for any type of task. However, if you believe its potential doesn’t match your idea, then you can create your own vision board or presentation from scratch using the whole toolkit the service has.
You may use vision boards not only to present your ideas to your colleagues or clients but also to boost your creativity, find an exit from a hopeless situation, and look for new approaches to get your usual tasks done better, faster, and with more interesting results.
Any job position starts with an efficient CV or/and portfolio. You need to show yourself to a potential employer or client, and a perfectly organized CV is more than about your previous experiences and accomplishments. It’s also about your approach to everything you do and whether you’re serious about a new job.
Recruiters see dozens and hundreds of CVs and portfolios daily. So, impressing them might be no easy task. What are the main rules of a good CV or portfolio? First, both of them should be cohesive, and none of them should look like a last-moment thing (even though it actually might be a last-moment thing). How to make your CV look solid? Use shortcuts. For example, xTiles offers you a ready-to-go Resume Template and Portfolio Template. Once more, in case your field is too specific, or you want to present yourself in a different way, you’re free to create your CV and/or Portfolio according to your preferences using all the tools the service offers you.
The access to millions of tools is a mixed blessing. Surely, you have more opportunities than anyone before you had. However, it’s easier than ever before to drown in them. Having one tool for different kinds of tasks saves a huge amount of time and helps you avoid stress. No need to shift between different apps and tools the whole working day. Besides, only imagine how much time you will waste learning how to use each of them.
One tool with versatility and flexibility is the key to a successful and enjoyable work process, whether you’re a freelancer or work on a team remotely.