A couple of weeks ago, I announced that we were in transition phase, and were attempting to make our virtual office, well, more virtual. A lot has been happening over the past two weeks, and along the way we’ve discovered a few things we’ve transitioned into that we can’t imagine we ever lived without
Yep, my original post a couple of weeks ago was all about Google Voice. We really love Google Voice and it allows us to be in the office no matter where we are or what phone we choose to use. But what we like even more is not needing a landline. No more phone bills with a ton of taxes and fees when we very rarely use it. Now everything is fed through Google Voice to one of our mobiles, or to our VoIP system (we use ooma).
I’m a writer. And many writers need quiet to write. Not me. I grew up in the open classroom environment, so for me, quietness is way too quiet. I have to have noise, and I’ve always opted for New Age and Jazz music to write by. We had Satellite radio before the move, but at $15 a month and only one station that really fit, we decided to go a new route. Pandora has been amazing – find an artist you like and you can find a station built around that concept. Want something new? A quick search will give you a ton of options. Guess we’ll never listen to the same songs again and again. Plus we’ve used one of our iPods and connected it to our home equipment, so we now have surround sound as well. No commercials, different music – Andrew’s liking this.
Yes, we have accounts that have online access already. But we were looking for something a little more dedicated to the online world, and that would allow us freedom to travel and bank wherever we go. While I haven’t made a complete transition to something that allows us access in many locations throughout the world, we have settled on Ing Direct as one of our options. We like the fact that Ing is dedicated to online banking, and has slightly higher interest rates than more traditional environments. And its also a perfect solution for our daughter as she moves from home to college – we have to find a way to keep her accounts easily filled. Any recommendations on banks that have flexibility for travel throughout the world?
When you work from one location, whether its commercial or home office, and you are pretty well stationary, backup is a little easier to handle. But what if you run your office by laptop, and travel anywhere, any time? Backup becomes a little more critical, especially if you were to lose your laptop – and everything on it. So we’re now connected up to a service that provides automatic offsite backup service every day. Backblaze has a ton of services, and can now even help you locate you lost laptop (if that should ever happen). All at a very reasonable price – I love the peace of mind knowing this is in place.
A few years ago, I worked exclusively with a laptop. I loved it, but transitioned into a desktop because I pretty much sat at my workspace all day long. And while I have loved the large screen, I’ve also missed being able to pick up and move anywhere. So as of today, we’re transitioning back to laptops once again. Only this time it’s from PC to Mac. Huge transition, right? But with our love for i-technology, and Andrew’s problem of facing the blue screen of death at least once per day, we figured now was the time. So even though we don’t officially have them as I write this, I know it’s going to be my number one tool that allows me to go anywhere, do anything, any time. [Here's what we've been living with for the past two weeks - a set up on our kitchen table.]
What virtual tools do you use that you could never live without?