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When we lived in the apartment I often went to the local Starbucks and work remotely outside of the home because, well I could and sometimes getting out of the apartment was a great thing. It would get stuffy and no matter how much we cleaned, it always smelled like we didn't clean for weeks. So getting out was the best thing for me to do.
Working remotely outside of the home and from a coffee shop or even the library, means you have to bring the majority of the things you have at your fingertips with you. Sometimes it's not a hassle, but sometimes it's more of a headache than it needs. I've eventually narrowed it down to what I HAVE to take and what I can leave at home. Below are my MUST takes.
7 Must Haves When You Work Remotely Outside of the Home
Microsoft Office 365
I'm a HUGE Microsoft Office 365 fan. We've had it for several years now and I always renew it yearly because well, for $100 I get it for up to 5 accounts. I use one account on my desktop, laptop, tablet & smartphone. Both of my sons, my husband have their own account and I also share it with my dad. They all get the benefits of 1tb One Drive space, all of the Microsoft Office Products (Great for schooling, business, or just wanting to type up recipes.) and don't have to purchase separate accounts which would cost more than what we pay for 1 year.
Designed for 2 – 5 users. Fully installed premium versions of Word, Excel, PowerPoint, OneNote, and Outlook with exclusive, new features every month. For use on multiple PCs/Macs, tablets, and phones (including Windows, iOS, and Android). 1TB OneDrive cloud storage each for up to 5 users. 60 minutes of Skype calls per month for each user – up to 5 users. Support from Microsoft-trained experts, via chat or phone, at no extra cost throughout your subscription. Your subscription will bill annually or monthly. Cancel anytime. Compatible with Windows 7 or later and Mac OS X 10.10. All languages included.
Whether you need private filesharing abilities with it's embedded USB port, the added protection of encryption through VPN access, or the anonymity of the Tor Network, Anonabox PRO does it all. Still, with the same flexibility found with our new User Interface, we've added additional user controlled configuration for VPN access. Add in its wireless portability, with WiFi up-link capabilities, Anonabox PRO is your take-anywhere solution to many of your privacy and anonymity needs.
What is a VPN & What does it do?
A VPN or Virtual Private Network is a method used to add security and privacy to private and public networks, like WiFi Hotspots and the Internet. VPNs are most often used by corporations to protect sensitive data. However, using a personal VPN is increasingly becoming more popular as more interactions that were previously face-to-face transition to the Internet. Privacy is increased with a VPN because the user's initial IP address is replaced with one from the VPN provider. This method allows subscribers to attain an IP address from any gateway city the VPN service provides. For instance, you may live in San Francisco, but with a VPN, you can appear to live in Amsterdam, New York, or any number of gateway cities.
I've been using my Anonabox for a few weeks now and once I got mine set up it was just there. So now when I use my laptop wirelessly when I'm out and plug in my AnonaBox I know that I'm safe and no one can try to get into my files even when I'm on an open network. I honestly forgot that I had it working because my devices and I don't have to do anything special anymore.
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I have to have at least one pen, pencil, and some highlighters with me. I'm extremely picky about what brands and style they are. I'm partial to Sharpie Pens, Sharpie Highlighters, and Papermate InkJoy pens. My favorites are below:
Make sure when you get pencils, you also get that sharpener and have extra pink erasers on hand. Yes, I'm that “old school” I hate mechanical pencils because they constantly break. I love my wooden, need to be sharpened pencils. They last longer and write a lot longer than the mechanical pencils do if you are someone who writes hard as I do.
Notebook or Notepad
I'm always writing down something. For the most part, I use a notebook or notepad. My favorite notebooks are Steno. I have a problem writing in notebooks that have side spirals so I opt for the ones with top spiral binding. You can get them in different sizes which is great! I keep the smaller ones in my purse so that if I have an idea when I'm out and about I can write them down. The medium-sized steno's stay on my desk for my daily to-do list and the larger ones are great for when I'm attending a conference or taking a course in blogging or social media.
If you're someone who doesn't like to have paper notebooks, Evernote is the best! You can use it across EVERY device with the premium account, which is what I have and if you use my link, you'll get it too. I use it all of the time and it holds all of the hashtags that I use for Instagram or my disclosures I have to put in my blog posts so I make sure they all have them like they are supposed to.
Laptop or Tablet
I guess you could use your phone for everything, however, I think having a laptop with you is UBER important!
I have to have my laptop with me, or my husband's laptop right now because my laptop is currently out of commission because it needs a part replaced. If you work remotely a lot, you need a stable and strong laptop. If you're a blogger like I am, you need a laptop that will be able to run several programs without skipping a beat. My husband's Asus laptop is a gaming laptop, so it's nice and runs like a beast. I have an HP laptop and it runs nicely as well, but it's out of date and pretty obsolete so I'm looking to upgrade it in the far future.
If you rather not use a huge laptop, which sometimes I don't like to carry with me, I will use my tablet. I love my Samsung Tab. I purchased a keyboard for it so I can use it as a mini-laptop! BEST thing ever!
Spotify & Headphones
I don't know about you, but I have to have music playing when I'm working. Right now, as I'm typing this I'm listening to Spotify playing a Time Capsule of music from the 90's! Think N'Sync, Biggie, and Boys II Men! It's the way I focus, the way I get things done and if you're lucky, I may do a lil' seat dancing… errr dancing while I'm sitting. For $16 you can get a family plan that's good for up to 6 people!
No, not that type of freedom, though, I'm sure if you're anything like me, you could really go for some freedom from deadlines, chaos and just relax! But seriously, the Freedom I'm talking about is an app/program that you put on your tablet, laptop, phone and it will block out other apps/programs that you tend to waste time on.
I schedule 2hrs at a time to block out social media so I don't waste time on socials (my biggest issue is Facebook) so I can focus on my work. I'm able to block or unblock whatever! I can add in sites that I tend to browse also. I need those 2-hour blocks sometimes and it is usually when I'm at top performance and my posts are the best!