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Top 10 Free & Paid Tools to Work from Home [2020]

Be it any part of the world, right now everyone is isolated in their homes, protecting themselves from a deadly virus. The increasing cases of COVID 19 all over the world have made the authorities of different countries announce a lockdown to reduce the spread. The lockdown forces us to stay indoors and do our day to day office work from home.The work-from-home culture might seem difficult to adapt to at the beginning. But with dedication, focus and the right tools, the work done from home can be as effective as work done from an office. These tools not only help us to get the job done but also help collaborate with your team-members online. 

CoronaVirus or not, communication is the key here. 

Effective collaboration leads to better flow of work, so here are some basic categories of the tools that we recommend for collaboration and communication:

Collaboration – Apps for tracking the projects at the company level, team level and user level.
Communication – Apps used to communicate with your fellow colleagues at ease.
Remote connection – Apps to connect to a computer & transfer files, connect remotely.
Mass communication – Apps for conveying the message to the mass in a single click.

An effective work collaboration starts with effective communication. With proper communication and the right information passed, anything can be achieved. There are tons of free communication and collaboration tools that can be used by anyone. Here are few that we felt will add value and help you achieve your goals: 

Collaboration

work collaboration tool slack

Slack – The super famous Slack is the go-to tool for any team collaboration. Right from project management to individual messaging, everything is possible here. The freemium tool also lets you integrate with different apps to improvise the workflow.

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Discord for work

Discord – Discord was originally made as a communication base for gamer communities. The app is also packed with almost all the necessary features for a workplace to collaborate and a bit more as well. Separate channels for specific teams, text-only channels, voice-only channels, etc can be made with discord.

Pro tip: Slack and discord put together have their own pros & cons. Slack being the ultimate collaboration tool with tons of integrations and discord with the powerful VOIP technology for Voice & video calls. 

Communication

best free voip tool for work collaboration

Teamspeak – Teamspeak is a famous VOIP app that lets you communicate with your team at ease. Discord & TeamSpeak is very similar but just the UI being too old here and discord being modern.
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Google hangouts for work collaboration

Google Hangouts – Google hangouts is a powerful communication tool that allows users to create their own channels, groups, etc to facilitate the group channel communication among different teams. 

Pro tip: While Google Hangout is packed with a bunch of useful features such as HD Voice call, Group call, Inbuilt screen sharing, etc Teamspeak is integrated with Military-grade security level for enhanced security.

Project management

Trello – The ever famous Trello is the best project management tool to track and maintain projects. This will help you keep a track of all the projects in progress as well as the upcoming projects in a single dashboard.
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Asana – Timeline view of the projects lets you view all the projects in a single screen and automation makes project management much easier by avoiding manual tasks. 

Pro tip: Accelerate your tasks & projects by managing them with Project management apps and tracking them to completion. The timeline feature available in Asana gives you an overview of all the projects, tasks currently handled by the respective team members which make it easier to know who’s doing what during the current scenario.

Remote connection

remote connection tool

AnyDesk – Anydesk is an app that allows you to connect to computers remotely. This will come in handy if you want to connect to your colleague’s computer & explain or demonstrate something which cannot be done through a call.
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TeamViewer – Teamviewer is yet another remote connection application that allows you to connect to your colleague’s computer or to your customer’s computer. 

Pro tip: Always turn on auto-connect in TeamViewer or AnyDesk (Unattended access) in case you want to access your machine remotely through internet & transfer files. This will come in handy when your files aren’t available in the cloud but the computer. 

Mass communication
Make images online free

Picmaker – The easiest tool for all your Picture making needs. Right from Instagram post to a YouTube Thumbnail, Picmaker got you covered.

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Make videos online free

Animaker –  Communicate to the masses by making an eye-appealing video online easily & for free. The template library in Animaker makes it way easier for those who don’t know how to edit a video. 

Pro tip: Use the free templates to make eye-catching animations & pictures easily and quickly. You don’t have to be a designer to make eye catching media posts.

Now that you know all the right tools you need to get started with work from home, it’s time to think about how you can work from home effectively.

  1. Time your work – Work between a set time and ensure you have complete focus towards your work. Be it 9 to 5 where you work for client timing or clocking your hours for a day, plan it a day ahead so you can schedule your day.
  2. Plan your day & aim for execution – Before starting the day, write down the list of tasks that have to be completed by you and follow them. Keep a track of your projects with the above-mentioned project management apps to easily track and complete the projects & tasks.
  3. Take breaks – Give yourself time to relax. Take adequate breaks for lunch and a 15 min walk or a 30 min power nap when you feel tired. This boosts your work efficiency.
  4. Dress properly – Even though you work from home no one is going to look at you. So, dress something that keeps you comfy while you work. Plus if anyone decides to skype you, you won’t be running around searching for your work clothes.
  5. Create a distraction-free environment – Ensure your work environment is filled up with the right items & tools that you need for work and nothing else. Dedicating a desk for your work would keep you focused and distraction-free.

With the right set of tools & best practices, Working from home will be the same as any other day at the office. Let it be any tools or any best practice, the best practice for work from home begins from the personal commitment to work. 

So stay motivated, stay focused. And never stop hustling! 

How do you work from home? Do you have any tips for us?

Share your views in the comment section down below.

#StayHome

Employees’ Health & Safety: 6 COVID-19 Video Templates for HR Department

As a company responding to the coronavirus crisis, the health and safety of your employees and customers remain your top priority. 

You’ve taken the necessary measures in your business to prevent this virus from spreading. We suppose most of your employees now work from home.  

As an employer, your responsibilities don’t end there. As you know, most people need to be educated about how to prevent this new disease and adapt to this new lifestyle.

As a responsible company, you should strive to help educate your employees and customers on this matter, and make sure they’re safe and productive working from home.

And talking about educating people, what better way to do it than using video? At Animaker, we recognize that we have a responsibility to help our users create useful awareness videos during this time of crisis.

In this article, we’ve put together a list of premade templates to help you whip up a coronavirus-related video quickly.  

6 Templates to Help You Use Video to Prevent the Spread of Coronavirus Among Your Staff and Customers

In order to make it easier for you to educate your staff and customers using video, we’ve created templates you can easily customize to create a coronavirus-related video quickly. 

Simply customize the text, colors, and font to make the videos match your brand perfectly.

Tips for Working From Home

Most of us are new to working remotely. Use this template to share some tips on how your peeps can make it work and keep themselves productive.

Dos and Don’ts to Protect Against Coronavirus

Use this template to give them tips on what they need to do and avoid to protect themselves and their families from coronavirus.

Safety Tips While Travelling

Use this template to provide tips on how people can keep themselves and others around them safe while traveling. Specifically, the template throws light on the precautions and etiquette people need to follow while traveling.

Tips to Better Prepare for a Coronavirus Outbreak

This one helps people with how they can prepare themselves for a potential coronavirus outbreak. Use it to give tips on how people can stay at their homes for a longer period of time during the crisis.

Safety Tips and Precautions While at Home

This template lets you convey the basic protective measures they need to take in their households to combat coronavirus. Use this template to help your peeps keep themselves and their families safe at home during the crisis.

Safety Tips and Precautions While at the Workplace

While most of your workforce might work from home, there are still some who need to show up at the workplace. Use this template to share some tips on how they could keep themselves safe at the workplace. 

Updates and Latest Information on Coronavirus

It’s critical to keep your employees in the know about the current coronavirus situation. Use this template to share accurate information about the local situation with your employees.

We hope these templates are helpful. On a related note, what are the steps your company is planning to take to handle this crisis? Do you have any template suggestions regarding the coronavirus pandemic? As always, let us know in the comments section.

Resize Video for Instagram Story, Feed, and IGTV in 3 Easy Steps

You’d need to resize a video for Instagram if you want it to appear properly on the platform. 

If you don’t, Instagram will automatically crop a part of your video which might make it look awkward. This will negatively impact your brand and the engagement of your video. 

There are various size requirements depending on the kind of Instagram video post. Read on to learn the different Instagram video size requirements and how to perfectly resize a video for Instagram Story, Feed, and TV.

How to Resize Video to Fit Instagram Story, Feed, and IGTV

Posting a video on Instagram’s feed requires your video to be either square (1:1) or vertical (4:5) in size while posting it as a Story or on TV requires it to be portrait (9:16) in size. Below, we’ve listed 3 simple tools that would let you quickly resize videos for Instagram.

Use Animaker to Resize Your Video for Instagram in 3 Easy Steps

Animaker is a free online tool that lets you quickly edit videos for social media. On top of allowing you to easily resize videos for various social platforms, the tool allows you to quickly trim, rotate, flip, merge, filter, adjust, mute, and change the speed of your videos. 

Here’s how to resize Instagram video using Animaker in 3 easy steps:

1. First, open Animaker’s video resizer. Once you’re on the page, pick the dimensions you’d want to resize your video to; in our case, square (1:1) or vertical (4:5) or portrait (9:16).

Pick ideal dimensions for instagram videos

2. Now upload the video you want to resize. 

Upload video to resize

Optionally, you could scale and reposition the video to fit the dimensions perfectly. Simply click on the “Resize” icon in the top right corner of the video. Now hold and drag the edges of the video to scale it and reposition it by simply holding and dragging it. Once done, click on the green button that says “Apply” to save the changes made.

Resize video to fit instagram dimensions

3. Click on the orange button in the top right corner that says “Download” to download the video.

Download resized video

Use Kapwing

Kapwing is an online video editor that lets you easily resize videos.

1. Visit the site and navigate to its “Video Resizer” page. Once you’re on the page, you can upload your video from your local computer or from a URL.

Upload video from computer or url

2. Pick the dimensions you want to resize based on the type of Instagram video post.

Pick dimensions for an instagram video type

Optionally, you can scale your video and adjust its position.

Resize video by scaling and repositioning

3. Click on the big red button that says “CREATE!” to download the video.

Download resized video for Instagram

Use EZGIF

EZGIF lets you resize a video to the custom dimensions of your choice. 

1. Visit the site and navigate to the “Resize” page. Once you’re on the page, click on the “Choose File” button to select the video from your computer. Once you’ve selected the video, click on the “Upload!” button to upload the video. 

Select video from computer and upload it

2. Now, enter the width and height you want to resize your video to, and click on the “Resize video!” button.

Enter width and height you want to resize video to

3. Finally, click on the “save” button to download the resized video to your computer. 

Download resized video to computer