Freelancers absolutely must be able to work anywhere. Everywhere. Anytime.
It’s one of the reasons we’re freelance, right? Location is irrelevant to the service you can provide.
As a project manager just outside of Sydney, I’ve been on 5-way Skype calls sitting in a carpark from my car. I’ve accessed client files while at the beach. Hey – I’ve even sent international clients emails in the middle of the night from bed.
Being able to access all your files easily and seamlessly is a must. Part of the joy of being a freelancer is being able to work where and when you want to.
I don’t pretend to be a tech-head, though I’ve implemented a number of systems that have helped me to be able to at least appear to be sitting at my desk, when I’m actually nowhere near my desk.
I work on my mac book pro and iPhone, though these five tips can help you work from anywhere, no matter what device you’re on.
Get in sync
Being able to access your email and files on whatever device you have is imperative, and it’s very simple.
If you are working on a Mac and iPhone, syncing is easy – Apple is awesome at sharing your content across multiple devices. All you need to do is attach your iPhone to the mac via USB, open iTunes and the sync is automatic. All phones now allow you to share content between multiple devices. This allows you to have your contacts, photos, email set up on both. Just make sure you’re using the same apple ID.
I’ve set up my email using IMAP instead of POP settings. This means when I read an email on my phone it shows as being read on my mac, which saves me time and confusion over what I have read and not.
Dropbox is the one business tool I couldn’t live without.
I use Dropbox to keep all my files in one place, and have the Dropbox app on my phone and computer and use the sharing capabilities to share content with clients.
I use a simple filing system, where each client has his or her own file, and within this I keep everything relevant to that job. It means at any moment I can access anything the client may need. It’s a priceless tool for me.
Teamwork is a project management tool I use with many of my design clients, and I have it on my iPhone and Mac.
This is invaluable if you want to work remotely. It allows a team to work together without having to be in the same place.
I use it in place of email on a large project, which means all conversations are tracked along with files and schedule stored. This means your clients can review where the project is at any stage.
If you have clients who want you to work from their office instead of yours, setting up a remote desktop connection is a great way to be able to access any file at any time.
For example I have a client that likes me to work from their office one day a week, but to continue to support them the rest of the time I remotely, so I can access their PC at their office an hour away from my MAC in my office. Clever, hey!
This means I can access all the servers and provide them with the same level of service even when I am working from home.
Being a project manager means I often get phone calls or emails from various clients asking for things immediately, and depending on where I am, I may not have internet access for my Mac. It would be very bad if I had to say – “sorry can you wait till I get back to the office to sort that out,” so I often use hotspot on my phone to access the Internet.
BE WARNED! It is not the cheapest option, but if you switch it on and just use it as you need it, and then switch it back off again, it totally worth it for seeming so incredibly organised.
What have I missed? Have you got any tools you’d like to share? Comment below.