Gadgets

5 Great Tools for Your Home Office

A home office sounds luxurious. Who wouldn’t want to lounge around at home and earn money every day? Home-based businesses are growing rapidly in many parts of the world- Pakistan included. But having a home office isn’t as simple as plugging your laptop in at a desk and sitting there from 9 to 5. The more efficiently you can arrange your home office, the more you’ll get done, and the more successful your business will be overall.

Desktop Organizer

An obvious but important piece, desk organizers coordinate your business on the surface so you can coordinate the more in-depth processes without confusion. Desk organizers come in just about any shape, size, and color imaginable, so get as creative as you like when deciding. While you may only it to organize seemingly trivial possessions and office supplies, the time you’ll save by not having to search for paper clips, pens, notes, and other odds and ends is priceless. For organizations nerds who enjoy the challenge, try drawer organizers for each of your desk drawers as well.

Phone Answering System

If you often grapple with high call volume during the work day, consider signing up for a system that will help handle incoming calls. Typical features of such systems include emailing you voicemail notifications and forwarding calls to you at any location. Larger businesses may also set up a network of extensions to direct customers to the right employee. Without this service, you run the risk of accidentally ignoring a customer or forgetting to return the call of a colleague. Just as desk organizers help you avoid physical clutter and mismanagement, phone answering systems keep your calls and messages from getting lost in the abyss. If you’re not ready or don’t have the funds for a phone answering service, you can instead try to direct customers on your website and in your answering machine message. Try to filter certain types of inquiries to your email, while encouraging others to call your business number. There will always be someone that doesn’t follow the rule, but at least you’ll limit the amount of confusion.

home office

Data Backup

You may have heard about a few popular backup services like Carbonite, but do you really need one? If so, who should you choose? Essentially, data backup is most useful for those with a ton of unprotected, very important files on their computer. However, if this doesn’t immediately sound like you, don’t disregard it just yet. Data backup can be useful to just about anyone, and especially anyone in business. Customer details, invoices, contracts, business plans, etc. If you think hard enough, you’ll likely realize there are things on your computer you’d be sad to lose.

As far as the best way to go about backing up your precious data, If you don’t want to pay for backup services or simply prefer the DIY route, there are ways to backup your data manually. Copy your important files to an external hard drive. For businesses with multiple computers, look into getting a network-attached server (NAS), which will allow storage and networking between computers.

Wireless Printer

Maybe you saw something on your mobile device that you needed to print. Or maybe the room is cluttered and it would be nice to keep your printer in another room of the house. Wireless printers aren’t absolutely necessary of course, but in these situations they can help your day run much smoother. If speed is essential and you tend to have large print jobs, read up on print speeds before making a decision. Some of the fastest home computers can print over 20 pages per minute. For those that want to go a step further, purchase an all-in-one wireless printer that also includes a copier, scanner, and fax machine. Every home office will need at least one of these machines from time to time, and it’s better to have it ready and waiting for use. Check out CNET’s Best All-in-One Printers to read up on features.

Photo: Danny Munnerley

Photo: Danny Munnerley

Idea Paint

Ever needed to write something down quickly, but couldn’t find a pen or paper? Problem solved. Idea Paint transforms just about any surface into your personal white or clear notepad- and the content you write can be  erased easily. Workers can brainstorm, make to-do lists, or jot down contact info right on their home-office walls without having to worry about ruining them. Idea Paint can be applied with a roller or sprayed on. Grab some markers, erasers, and cleaner from the Idea Paint website, and you’re all set. Never run out of writing space again. For home-based entrepreneurs with young children, this is a double win. Imagine not having to reprimand your children for doodling on the walls!

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