When you work from home, chances are you are your own accountant and bookkeeper. Sometimes it can be difficult keeping track of your business income, business taxes, savings, and personal accounts too. Mint.com is an amazing resource where you can track all of your accounts in one place. Mint does all the work of organizing and categorizing your spending for you, which saves you time because you can see and manage all your accounts and transactions at once. You can track where your money is going, set up multiple custom savings plans, and be alerted when accounts are low or have acquired fees. You can set up a special savings fund for a smart phone and mint.com will alert you when you’ve reached your goal. It’s all safe and secure and frankly, we think it’s pretty brilliant.
I’m not sure when this happened, but Google really upped the ante on their email services. First off, you can easily import your contacts from other email services and organize them into categories. This makes your life easier when you need to send out targeted emails to specific contacts. Secondly, their spam blockers are like huge bouncers outside of a club and are a force to be reckoned with. Thirdly, if you have more than one Gmail account you need to log into, you can now access other accounts without logging out of your main one, which saves A LOT of time. Lastly, they have great links you can access within your email such as maps (where you can keep maps of all your places), documents (a backup place to save important documents), and a calendar which will send reminders to your email or phone! You can also access Google search and YouTube all from your email. You can also organize your emails to receive certain ones first and add to tasks lists. And don’t even get me started on iGoogle, a home page where you can get your news, weather, and other customized options in addition to your e-mail. It’s no wonder Google’s so popular. They’ve really got the pulse on what the people need.
Many people visualize work-at-homers as slackers in flip flops and sweat pants chowing down on a burrito with a laptop on their lap. And while that may be an accurate image for some of us, there’s no reason our e-mail signature needs to portray our “supposedly laid back work style. Sigwich works with the top email providers to allow you to create a custom, professional looking email signature for FREE. You’ll fall in love with their signature designs and will be pleased to know you can add icons to drive visitors to your website and social media networking pages. It’s a great way to show your personality, solidify your business brand, and look good while you do it!
Myhours.com is our absolute favorite work from home resource! Anyone who has clients will truly benefit from what myhours.com has to offer. Myhours is a time management, timesheet, and time tracking solution that enables you to track your work time, projects you work on, and tasks you perform. It is web based and can be used from any location at any time and its 100% free. It’s super simple to use. You create projects and tasks, clock in when you start, and clock out when you’re finished. Myhours.com also allows you to track multiple clients and projects with ease. Best of all, you can easily create simple or detailed reports to send to clients showing them exactly what you’ve done, how much time you’ve spent working, and how much they owe. They’ve even got these nifty little colored pie charts so you can see which projects or clients you’re spending the most amount of time on. As a work at homer with multiple clients, I’d be completely lost without this awesome time management system.
Unless you’ve been living under a rock, you’ve probably heard of PayPal. PayPal is the #1 online payment system in the US and it’s free to set up. It’s a safe and secure way to send and receive payment directly from your account, which saves time, a check, and a stamp when receiving payment. If you’re selling a product or service, customers can pay you directly via PayPal from your website, eBay, or social media page. What many don’t know is that you can directly request money and invoice your customers right from PayPal, rather than sending a separate invoice. Plus it helps you track and manage your pending invoices so you always get paid. You can even send out “gentle” reminders for unpaid invoices. I was surprised at how easy it was to set up and send out an invoice in minutes. PayPal is also developing a free card reader and app for smart phones, which means you’ll be able to accept payment pretty much anywhere at any time. The only thing we’re not crazy about is that if someone is paying you from a non-PayPal account, you’re charged a 2.9% + $0.30 fee which for most is the price you pay for the convenience.
We hope at least one of these free online resources will be of benefit to your work at home business. And if you already knew about them all, please try and act surprised when I tell you about it later. Cheers!