Ten apps to help you work from home, from video calls to invoices

Work from home with these app suggestions

The working world has been flipped on its head in 2020 and most of us have had to quickly learn how best to work from home.

As lockdown eased it seemed like working life was starting to return to normal – a long commute followed by a two-screen set up next to colleagues – as many companies gradually returned to the office.

But, with cases on the rise and the government telling us to work from home if we can, it looks like we need to strap in tight for the long term.

If you haven’t already downloaded them, here are 10 essential apps which will make going WFH full time again that much more organised…

1. Wave Invoicing

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If you’re self-employed, keeping on top of your invoicing can be a real pain. But no invoices means no money, so that’s not really an option. Wave lets you create and send personalised invoices, check their payment status, and automatically send reminders when one is overdue. No need to send the boys round. iOS/Android

2. Slack

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Sick of getting CC’d into about 50 email chains a day? Slack is a bit like a work chatroom, complete with mentions and notifications, easy file sharing, and invite-only channels for any need-to-know business. Don’t worry, you can still send private messages, so virtual office gossip is still very much on the agenda. iOS/Android

3. Expensify

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Collecting receipts for your expense claims is not only a hassle, it often ends up with a late night in the office submitting them. Expensify isn’t the first app to process receipts using your phone’s camera, but its automatic sorting, GPS mileage capture and automated reimbursements makes it easier than ever. iOS/Android

4. Otter Voice Meeting Notes

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Otter is a voice recorder with a difference. Rather than spending whole meetings taking notes (and then promptly forgetting what half of them refer to), let the app record everything and it’ll use artificial intelligence to transcribe the conversation — it even splits the resulting text into different speakers. Magic. iOS/Android

5. FreshBooks

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While Wave is great for invoicing and Expensify does what it says on the tin, FreshBooks is more of an all-in-one accounting tool. It also handles invoices and expenses, but throws in task-tracking, communication with clients, and allows you to take credit card payments. It’s both simple and powerful — the perfect combination. iOS/Android

6. Dropbox

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There are loads of cloud storage services out there but Dropbox offers a whole host of collaborative features while remaining secure and user-friendly. It allows you to access files from pretty much anywhere with an internet connection, with generous storage space and support for plenty of different platforms. iOS/Android

7. Flow

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If words and numbers aren’t really your thing, regular note-taking apps won’t be either. With its wide range of drawing tools and canvas types, Flow by Moleskine Studio is ideal for everything from rough sketches to detailed designs, particularly when combined with Apple’s Pencil stylus, plus it backs everything up to the cloud. iOS

8. SignEasy

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Having to physically sign documents is a pain in the biro, particularly if you don’t own a printer, but SignEasy makes the process entirely digital. Import the document from your email or cloud storage, sign on your device’s screen with your finger, and send it back. No pen or paper required. iOS/Android

9. Asana

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With lots of people likely to be working remotely for the foreseeable future, managing a project can be pretty challenging. Asana’s team and task management tools are ideal for making sure stuff gets done on time without too many late nights or last-minute panics. For lone rangers or smaller teams, Trello is also worth a look. iOS/Android

10. PayPal Here

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You’ve probably used PayPal when buying stuff off eBay, but if you run a business that takes payments in person, particularly with shoppers being urged to use plastic instead of cash, PayPal Here lets you charge cards using your phone. You can even add a card reader to speed things up. iOS/Android

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