Fun fact about me: I love, I love, I love working from home. It is, quite simply, the best.
This is a man’s opinion, however. You might also like it, hate it, or fall somewhere in the middle. Either way, if you work from home regularly, you absolutely and positively need to add these four free apps to your remote working setup.
Block out background noise with Krisp
You are on a Zoom call with your boss. The dog barks. The baby is crying. Your anxiety level is nearing a peak. To use the words of every late-night infomercial ever produced: There is had be a better way!
Enter Krisp, a truly wonderful miracle of modern technology.
It’s an app that basically acts as a bridge between your microphone and your communication apps – it works with over 800 of them – and uses artificial intelligence to isolate your voice while blocking pets, people , keyboard clicks, etc.
While some apps, like Zoom, have built-in background noise cancellation, often the higher you turn it up, the more muddled your actual voice. That’s not the case with Krisp, who somehow manages to block everything out while keeping you like you.
The free version gives you 240 minutes of its own per week, which should be enough for many people. Unlimited plans start at $ 12 per month for those of you who have way too many important meetings on your calendars.
Stay focused with Forest
Sometimes it’s hard to stay focused while working from home – and the combination of having your phone handy at all times and not having prying eyes catching you slacking off can lead to a situation of precarious productivity.
And while there’s no shortage of forced-focus apps, Forest offers a twist that is unique to the category.
Launch the free app and press the âPlant a treeâ button to start growing a virtual small tree. As long as you stay out of your phone for the duration of the in-app timer (the default is 25 minutes), the tree will grow taller. If you quit the app to play with your phone, the tree dies. You don’t want to kill the tree, do you? !!
Get several focus sessions a day under your belt and you’ll have an adorable little forest full of productivity trees.
Better yet: unlock the pro version of the app for $ 2 (one-time purchase!) For the Future organization. Win-win all around.
Take periodic breaks with Stretchly
When working from home, it’s tempting to slump in your chair and go through the day’s work until there is no more work to do. No one hour lunch. No chatting with colleagues. No trips to the coffee break room.
I’m a big offender on this, so one of my favorite free apps is Stretchly, which requires me to take 20-second breaks every 15 minutes and 3-minute breaks every hour – popping up a large, unremovable window above anything I’m working on.
I know it doesn’t sound like much, but it makes a huge difference. The short breaks will involve things like refocusing your eyes on something far away, doing a few neck swirls, repositioning the back support on your chair, and things like that. The longer breaks will inspire you to do something like tidy up your workspace, step away from your desk, or even get into a quick mini-workout.
You can set the time intervals as you like and even ask the app to not allows you to skip the breaks. It’s for your own good!
Create an audio ambience with myNoise
I know, I know: yet another background noise generating thing. But this one, myNoise, is free, it has over 200 sound generators and they are categorized by need, such as “I need to concentrate”, “I need to calm down”, “It’s too quiet , “” I need inspiration to be able to write “and a whole bunch of other useful options.
You can play it all right from your browser, and iPhone and Android versions are available. Each sound generated has 10 editable audio sliders that you can fine-tune to create the perfect mix. Many of the generated sounds are even available as albums that can be streamed through Spotify, iTunes, and Amazon Music.