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5 Essential Tips To Make Working Remotely Work For You

5 Essential Tips To Make Working Remotely Work For You

Working remotely has become a mainstream trend in the world of startups and corporate culture, but it doesn’t come without its difficulties. Leaving the stability and routine of commuting to the office can sound exciting at first, but it takes a certain person to remain productive without the normal structure.

As a remote company at Rype, we’re constantly pushing the envelope on how we can be the most effective as a team while maintaining the culture we have. We’ve made a lot of mistakes and learned a lot of lessons from our experience, and I thought we would share it to help you on your own journey towards working remotely.

1. Keep a routine.

The first thing that goes out the door when you start working remotely is a regular routine. Forget dressing up for work, catching the subway at 8 AM every morning, and leaving the office at 5.

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If you’re not careful, this lack of routine can lead to inefficiency and a lack of productivity. We advise putting together a regular routine that can help you maintain your workflow. It could mean waking up at the same time every morning and going for a workout in the evening after work.

It may sound ironic, but having a stable routine in place sets you free.

2. Focus on your energy, not time.

When you’re working remotely, it’s hard to know how much time you’re spending on work. There’s no one beside you that’s taking a lunch break or leaving the office early to trigger your brain to wind down.

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I’ve certainly had this issue many times over, where it’s hard to unplug from work when you’ve got a lot on your plate. Research has shown that productivity tends to drop after a certain number of working hours (this varies from person to person), creating a diminishing effect.

To increase our productivity, we must focus on our energy, not our time. The easiest way to do this is to figure out when you’re the most productive or have the most energy and do your most important work during those time slots.

For me, I do all of my writing in the morning, as that’s when I feel the most creative.

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3. Find your community.

Working remotely doesn’t mean you have to be stuck alone in your room. In fact, we encourage you to get out.

There’s a rapidly growing community of entrepreneurs, freelancers, and other remote workers that are gathering all around the world. You can check out communities like Digital Nomad Community or CoWoLi (CoWorking Meets Coliving), which helps connect digital nomads and virtual workers in-person.

You can also check out local co-working spaces in your city in order to connect with other virtual workers or entrepreneurs.

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4. Have regular feedback.

Since there’s no opportunity to run into a co-worker in the “break” room, it’s harder to strike up a casual conversation or feedback session. But without feedback, there’s no communication. And without communication, there’s no progress.

Push yourself to schedule frequent feedback sessions with your team individually. If you’re used to monthly feedback sessions, try doing it bi-weekly to see if that improves communication and flow within the team. Every team culture is different, so I can’t tell you what level of frequency will work for you, but most of the questions can be answered by simply experimenting for yourself.

5. Get face-to-face.

This one is a must. No matter how efficient or interactive your video chat sessions are, it can never beat meeting face-to-face.

Companies like Buffer, where 100% of their employees are working remotely, have a bi-annual company retreat in order to keep everyone aligned and to further develop their culture. It’s hard to transfer personality traits and humor over the web, so getting a flavor of things in-person can help bring everyone together.

This could be for a few days for a conference or a vacation spot that gets voted by the entire company. Just remember, the purpose and location is less important than the act of meeting face-to-face.

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Last Updated on May 14, 2019

8 Replacements for Google Notebook

8 Replacements for Google Notebook

Exploring alternatives to Google Notebook? There are more than a few ‘notebooks’ available online these days, although choosing the right one will likely depend on just what you use Google Notebook for.

  1. Zoho Notebook
    If you want to stick with something as close to Google Notebook as possible, Zoho Notebook may just be your best bet. The user interface has some significant changes, but in general, Zoho Notebook has pretty similar features. There is even a Firefox plugin that allows you to highlight content and drop it into your Notebook. You can go a bit further, though, dropping in any spreadsheets or documents you have in Zoho, as well as some applications and all websites — to the point that you can control a desktop remotely if you pare it with something like Zoho Meeting.
  2. Evernote
    The features that Evernote brings to the table are pretty great. In addition to allowing you to capture parts of a website, Evernote has a desktop search tool mobil versions (iPhone and Windows Mobile). It even has an API, if you’ve got any features in mind not currently available. Evernote offers 40 MB for free accounts — if you’ll need more, the premium version is priced at $5 per month or $45 per year. Encryption, size and whether you’ll see ads seem to be the main differences between the free and premium versions.
  3. Net Notes
    If the major allure for Google Notebooks lays in the Firefox extension, Net Notes might be a good alternative. It’s a Firefox extension that allows you to save notes on websites in your bookmarks. You can toggle the Net Notes sidebar and access your notes as you browse. You can also tag websites. Net Notes works with Mozilla Weave if you need to access your notes from multiple computers.
  4. i-Lighter
    You can highlight and save information from any website while you’re browsing with i-Lighter. You can also add notes to your i-Lighted information, as well as email it or send the information to be posted to your blog or Twitter account. Your notes are saved in a notebook on your computer — but they’re also synchronized to the iLighter website. You can log in to the site from any computer.
  5. Clipmarks
    For those browsers interested in sharing what they find with others, Clipmarks provides a tool to select clips of text, images and video and share them with friends. You can easily syndicate your finds to a whole list of sites such as Facebook, Twitter and Digg. You can also easily review your past clips and use them as references through Clipmarks’ website.
  6. UberNote
    If you can think of a way to send notes to UberNote, it can handle it. You can clip material while browsing, email, IM, text message or even visit the UberNote sites to add notes to the information you have saved. You can organize your notes, tag them and even add checkboxes if you want to turn a note into some sort of task list. You can drag and drop information between notes in order to manage them.
  7. iLeonardo
    iLeonardo treats research as a social concern. You can create a notebook on iLeonardo on a particular topic, collecting information online. You can also access other people’s notebooks. It may not necessarily take the place of Google Notebook — I’m pretty sure my notes on some subjects are cryptic — but it’s a pretty cool tool. You can keep notebooks private if you like the interface but don’t want to share a particular project. iLeonardo does allow you to follow fellow notetakers and receive the information they find on a particular topic.
  8. Zotero
    Another Firefox extension, Zotero started life as a citation management tool targeted towards academic researchers. However, it offers notetaking tools, as well as a way to save files to your notebook. If you do a lot of writing in Microsoft Word or Open Office, Zotero might be the tool for you — it’s integrated with both word processing software to allow you to easily move your notes over, as well as several blogging options. Zotero’s interface is also available in more than 30 languages.

I’ve been relying on Google Notebook as a catch-all for blog post ideas — being able to just highlight information and save it is a great tool for a blogger.

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In replacing it, though, I’m starting to lean towards Evernote. I’ve found it handles pretty much everything I want, especially with the voice recording feature. I’m planning to keep trying things out for a while yet — I’m sticking with Google Notebook until the Firefox extension quits working — and if you have any recommendations that I missed when I put together this list, I’d love to hear them — just leave a comment!

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