How to Run a Virtual Office with Free Online Tools

Posted on 03 September 2010

With that recession  that had hit the US economy severely, people started downsizing in their companies and looked for methods to cut their costs. At such a situation running a virtual office with free online tools would be the best possible option. So if you’re an entrepreneur deciding to make the leap and launch your startup or a small businesses transitioning to a virtual home office, the following seven online tools will help you maximize efficiency while keeping costs low.

Page Once

If you cant afford to hire a personal assistant who could look after your basic needs then using Page Once would be the most ideal solution. It’s an app for your iPhone which can do all the work for you and help you sort out your difficulties such as keeping an aggregate of all your personal accounts (ie: bank statements, Netflix queue, social networking updates, cell phone and utilities bills). However, to access this you require a username and a password and then have to go through multiple security layers to access your information such as SSL system, 256-bit data encryption, and firewall protection.

Line2 by Toktumi

At work you get your personal and business calls both for which you need an operator to sort out your call list. But if you do not have an opeator then all you need is Line 2 application which adds another line to your cell phone. In this all your data would be divided such as  your contacts, call history, voicemail, and call settings. This application is a direct integration with the Toktumi virtual PBX system which allows you to use features such as call screening, caller announce, after hours call handling, voicemail by email. This application is by no doubt the next generation’s business calling system allowing you to present a professional business image no matter where you may be working.

Google Docs

This is the most convinient process for accessing files sent by other because you are never too sure about which format would your client send you the file in. So leave that worry now up to Google Docs which would solve all your formatting issues. Since the interface is very user friendly and simple, it becomes easier to stay organized, tag your documents by subject and virtually collaborate with coworkers and clients on any document in real time. This biggest advantage of this is that it does not charge you a single penny for all this work.

Gist

This application is more like an organizer, it organizes all your e-mail contacts by linking them with your business contacts’ web profiles such as Facebook so you can get minute-by-minute updates anytime. It helps you connect with around 50000 websites and around 20 million blogs and also is integrated with Outlook, Gmail and Salesforce.

Fresh Books

All your success depends on doing everything on time. Since you’re an independent person it’s essential for you to accurately track your time for invoicing is key to financial success. There is no fixed amount of work which might come your way each day as it varies with the business cycle and economic conditions, but with the help of Fresh Books you can accurately control your tracking and invoicing on the web or even from your iPhone. This way you will be able to meet your deadlines and carry a professional approach.

Sales Force

Now you need a person who could help manage your relation with others, the alternative for this is the Sales Force which is one of the largest customer relation management systems available that doesn’t require software, hardware, installation, or licenses. It would help you in tracking detailed info about your clients and manage all the other work done by a manger in the real office example. Another powerful feather of this is that it integrates with the systems you already use, like Microsoft Office.

Google Calender

The biggest element of organizing is keeping  a calender with you. This is because until and unless you can keep track of your own schedule you wont be a successful person in life. With Google calender share it with your associates, schedule events and track RSVPS, and set reminders for yourself. The interface is really easy to use and you could create as many calenders as you want according to your requirement and work load.

This post was written by:

Sohaib - who has written 38 posts on ixibo.


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