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Ways to Stay Productive While Working from Home

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Hello everyone, Matt (Communications Coordinator) here with some tech tips that can help you stay on task and connected to the world around you. It’s important to stay in conversation as many of us are having to sit at home and learn new ways to be productive. Luckily, technology allows us to create these relationships in virtual spaces. I am trying to get out and get fresh air though. As Spring arrives, we have been dog sitting for family, so I am trying to bring them for walks and get out with them so I connect in ways that do not involve my computer. 

Matt Leavitt working from home
Me in my home office, while I balance homeschooling and staying productive

At YMN, we are used to working remotely, whether on the road while we are offering technical assistance, or at our home offices, which span from coast to coast. We utilize certain technology that assists us in staying connective and productive when we cannot be together in person. While many organizations are switching over to a virtual workspace, we thought it would be helpful to share some of our top apps to improve productivity while at home. 

Asana Logo

Productivity: Asana – Staying organized and on-task is important. It is easy to get sucked into the ether of Facebook and the news cycle, so what better to keep your eye on work for a little while than to create lists! We use Asana to keep organized; creating to-do lists, collaborative project management, and an easy-to-use interface to visualize what you have to get done. Invite co-workers to tasks, comment, and update as they move through the development cycle. Getting started with Asana. 

Slack Logo

Communication: Slack – Many professionals are used to being in an office setting where you can just walk down the hallway and have a good vent session with Regina, the office manager. But when working from home, it can be difficult to have that same conversation with your pet cat. That’s okay, because slack is a free chat program where you can create individual topic rooms to stay organized with your conversations. At YMN, we have our #conferences chat room, but we also have a #watercooler where we can drop the latest memes. The added bonus is you can integrate other tools such as Asana and Dropbox for easy sharing. Getting started with Slack.

Zoom Logo

Communication: Zoom – In this new space of social distancing where we should avoid shaking hands with people, it is still important to see other humans and connect in a visual way. Zoom is a free web conferencing software that you can utilize to meet with your co-workers, and outside of work, you can use this as a tool to set up virtual playdates and connect with friends and family. People are even using Zoom right now to set up classrooms and game nights. We use Zoom for all of our staff meetings, supervision, meetings with partners, and showing everyone our pets. What better way to stay sanitized than meeting with your screen! Getting started with Zoom.

Toggl Logo

Time Management: Toggl  – Working from home can feel a bit nebulous. Between taking breaks to pet your cat and trying to get outside to experience the world beyond your screen, it can be hard to track what you have actually done. Toggl provides a way to keep track of your time reporting. Some of our members use this to report out on work from various contracts as a way to stay organized. This is a great tool for managers and staff to use while they may not be in the office. Getting started with Toggl.

Chimp or Champ Logo

Checking-in: Chimp or Champ – Do you need to check in with your staff and network? Now that you may be working from home, it’s easier to check on your cat, but may be more difficult to check on the humans in your life. Many folks are experiencing additional stress at the moment, some from the altered way of living and having to work. Chimp or Champ checks in on employee happiness, which can be a benefit for larger teams who may now be segmented. Additionally, you can use this tool to check-in with youth, peers, coordinators, and other folks in your network to see how each week is going to find ways to improve remote outreach. 

As we continue to explore resources and ways to move through the current space we are in, stay tuned for updates from the YMN team!

This Post Has 2 Comments

  1. Anna Shaw

    Hi Matt!

    Thank you so much for the great post! I love the Asana resource and have passed it on. I also like the idea of sharing pictures of our new “office” space as an ice breaker. If you have time to chat about other resources I would love to connect via email. Thank you

    1. Matt

      Anna, thank you for the message!

      I love Asana – such a great tool (especially for someone who is very Type A like I am!)

      I wasn’t even thinking about the photo as an icebreaker – what a great idea to connect people together! When we meet, we often share our pets too 🙂

      You can always reach out and get assistance if you email [email protected] with any initial thoughts and we will connect and see what ways we can help out!

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