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5 tools and tips to boost productivity while working from home

From password automation to typing with your voice, these are some of the best solutions to improve productivity in a work from home setup.

June 30, 2021 / 06:10 PM IST
Some simple steps like automating repetitive tasks and using password managers can save you time and energy.

Some simple steps like automating repetitive tasks and using password managers can save you time and energy.

Working from home has its share of advantages as well as disadvantages. However, a common complaint is that working from home can lead to productivity getting hampered. Here are a few quick tips to boost your productivity while working:

1. Add text shortcuts

Text shortcuts let you automatically insert a long or short text sentence by typing a few letters. This makes it easy to include a sentence that you commonly use as you don't have to type the complete sentence every time. iPhone and Macs have this feature built-in, and it is accessible in System preferences > Keyboard. For Android users, Samsung has this feature built-in on their smartphones, but you can install Gboard or Swiftkey keyboards for other brands. Gboard lets you create a personal dictionary, while Swiftkey gives you the option of Clipboard in Rich Input that enables using text shortcuts. For Windows users, check out aText available on the Windows App Store that works great for text replacement/expansion.

2. Use your voice for typing

How often do you feel too lazy to type in a long email or document, resulting in a waste of resources and time? The good news is that you are no longer restricted to just typing out everything, be it on your phone or computer. Voice assistants have made it easy to use your voice for launching apps, answering questions, and typing anything you speak. Siri for iPhone, iPad and Mac gives you the option to type using Siri, but it's not enabled by default. You would need to open accessibility settings and then enable 'Type to Siri'. Android users can use the Google Assistant voice assistant for similar functionality. Windows also comes with a built-in tool for this functionality called Dictation for Windows. You need to select the text field you want to type in, press the Windows Key and the 'H' letter, and it will launch the Dictation app, using which you can type by just speaking what you needed to be written down.


3. Sync via cloud storage

One of the things that reduces productivity is when you need to use multiple devices and save information available across devices. To minimize time wastage and improve productivity, it's best to start using cloud storage to sync between devices. There are multiple options, including iCloud, Google Drive, Dropbox, Box, etc. – you can choose the one that suits your needs and then install it across all devices. Once it's set up, you will be able to seamlessly access files between devices. Some services also allow you to collaborate with others for various things such as document editing and sharing notes/updates.

4. Get a password manager

Have you recently thought about how many passwords you have to remember for the various online services you use? Trying to recall the correct password for each service during working hours can affect productivity regularly. This is where we recommend that you start using a password manager. There are various free and paid options available such as LastPass, Dashlane and 1Password, and we recommend checking out their features to find the one that best suit your needs. Once you set it up, you only need to remember the master password for the password manager, and it takes care of remembering and generating a password for your services.

5. Automate repetitive tasks

Depending on your job profile, there are a few tasks that you have to do multiple times a day. Doing the same task repeatedly leads to a waste of time and resources, thereby declining productivity. To solve this issue, the best option is to set up automation of such tasks. We recommend using IFTTT or Zapier – while Zapier is paid, IFTTT is freely available for everyone. Setting up an automation task is relatively simple, and you just need to set up the sequence for automation. There is no limit on how many automation tasks you can set, and it works with the majority of third-party brands for software and hardware of the device.

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Karan Bajaj is a senior tech journalist based in Delhi
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