Over the past couple of months, I have been trying to set up a home office. I searched all over the internet to find out essential items that every home office needs but I never found a list that satisfied all of my needs. This post is just me listing off what tools I use in my home office, including the apps and services I use.
Computer - Every home office needs at least one computer. I know many people might say you can do all your work from a tablet such as an IPad, but hear me out. I have 4 ta let's and they can not replash a laptop or work computer, I am writing this exact part of this post on an Android Tablet and I hate it. Multitasking is limited and Microsoft Office is missing many key functions. A dedicated computer will allow you to multitask and get jobs done quicker. For my main office computer, I use a custom built of. This PC is what I use to render my videos, record my podcast and write. I also have a Microsoft Surface Pro 3 that I use when I'm out on the field. I recommend a desktop because you can use multiple displays at once. I have three displays attached to my PC and have a virtual desktop which allows me to have a total of 6 different screens. This is why I said a tablet could never replace a actual computer.
Smartphone - If you are running a home office in 2017 you need to have a smartphone. It's up to you if you want to have a separate business phone number. The real reason you need to have a smartphone in any home office is because of applications. These applications can be anything from an email application to a social media application. The internet has changed the way we connect with people and a smartphone is the best way to stay connected. My phone allows me to easily see all information regarding Books By Josh with a simple tap.
Printer - You never know when you need to print out a document.
Post It notes - I know that we live in the digital age and we all use apps like Evernote and Google Keep, but every office needs post it notes. The great thing about post it notes is that you can place them all around the office. When you see them stuck to something, it makes you want to read it. I personally use Google Keep but I don't always read the notes on there. That's why I stick my post it notes to my computer monitor.
White board - I use my white board to plan out projects and to draw graphs. The white board is very important in my business because it allows me to set up a story board.
Stapler - Self explanatory
Folders - Need to stay organized
Hanging Folders - So I can file my folders away in my file cabinet.
Pens - You always need to have a pen nearby. I always have a pen in my pocket and have over 3 boxes of pens in my office.
Notepad/Legal pad - Sometimes you need to write down important information. You can always lose a post it note but losing a legal pad is harder.
Business Cards - I ordered my cards from Vistaprint. If you have a business, then tell people about it and what better way then giving them a business card.
Chair - Yes a chair is required but it's all based on your personal preference. Just make sure your chair is comfortable because you will be spending most of your time in it.
Desk - No need to get fancy here, pick a desk or table that works for you. I personally use a 6 foot table from Home Depot. It's not the fanciest desk but it works for me. A normal desk wouldn't be able to hold my three monitors, desktop, 5 external hard drives and three routers.
File Cabinet - Like I stated earlier, you have to stay organized. I purchased mine from Walmart and it only cost about forty dollars. It also has three draws which allows me to store everything in it.
Safe - It's always good to have one of these. You can keep all your important documents in here such as your tax id.
Bookshelf - I have one of these in my office because of all the books that I read. If you are an entrepreneur, then you might have a decent library. So use this bookshelf to hold all of your study material.
Domain - Before you can star your own website or get a professional email, you need to get yourself a domain. I purchased my domain through Godaddy and have used them for all of domain purchases for over five years.
Website - This is a must for any business no matter what you do. We live in a digital age and when you want to open up a business bank account they ask for a business website. You can always setup a wordpress site but I personally use Squarespace for my site. I'm happy with Squarespace because they make setting up a website easy.
Email - Since you have a domain and website setup so you now need an email. If you are dealing with clients I would recommend that you use a professional email. With certain Squarespace plans, emails are provided and Godaddy also provides email services. I personally use G Suite for my email becuase it also comes with 30gb of drive access and a google voice number.
Business Line - You can use your personal cellphone for this but as I mentioned earlier you can use google voice for a business line. By using Google Voice I can answer calls on any phone that has my google voice connected to it.
Internet - You need internet, plain and simple. If you set it up under your Tax ID expect to pay a bit more.
Bank Account - If your business generates income then you want to have a separate account.
Accounting Software - I personally use Quickbooks Online to handle my expenses. If you are running a business with a Tax ID then you have to make sure all of your expenses are in order. Your accountant will thank you.
Payment Merchant/Checkout - If you are selling items then you will need a way to process the payment. I use PayPal for all of my merchant needs. The reason why I use Paypal for my merchant services is because many people have Paypal and they accept all cards and they don't charge that much.
This blog post took me a lot longer than usual and I do apologize for that. Since I have started working again I find that I have to learn to manage my time better. I am not sponsored by any of the merchants or services mentioned above. If you enjoyed this post, feel free to let me know in the comment section below. Like always, I'll catch you guys in the next one.