Though the National Cabinet has begun to ease nationwide economic and social coronavirus restrictions, millions of Australian professionals may still find themselves working from home long after lockdowns are lifted.Telecommuting looks to be an integral part of what we now call “the new normal” and organisations have begun to see the advantages of a de-centralised working environment.

Remote work is a luxury to be sure, but it is not without its challenges. Distractions at home, fragmented communications, and time management issues all contribute to decreased productivity. If you are a first-time telecommuter still struggling to adjust to the situation, fear not. These productivity tools are here to help:

G Suite by Google

Developed by tech juggernaut Google, G Suite is a powerful collection of cloud computing, collaboration, and productivity tools designed for both consumer and enterprise use. These include popular communication services such as Gmail, Google Calendar, Google Chat,and Google Meet (formerly Google Hangouts). For cloud storage and synchronisation, there’s Google Drive, Google Keep, or Google Docs, Sheets, and Slides.

Though a good number of these services are offered free to consumers, G Suite is also available in a variety of subscription-based plans for premium business features such as custom domains, unlimited cloud storage, and 24/7 technical support. With this all-in-one business solution, cyber-commuters need little more than a stable internet connection and a browser to do their work.

IBM Notes

Touted as software that was ahead of its time, IBM Notes was first introduced in 1989 as Lotus Notes, an enterprise email client developed specifically to simplify collaboration in the workplace. It became known for introducing ground-breaking features at the time of its release, including powerful data encryption, dial-up functionality, and import/export capability, among others. The product sold 35,000 copies and transformed inter-office communications forever.

IBM Notes emerged in 2013 as a rebranded Lotus Notes, then on its 9th version. It is still used by many businesses today as a desktop workflow application that includes email, calendars, instant messaging, and other functions.

Microsoft Excel

Initially released in 1987, Microsoft Excel has become so synonymous with spreadsheets that it has emerged as the industry standard for applications of its kind. It is available as a standalone program, as part of the Microsoft Office suite, or through the subscription-based Microsoft 365. A limited version of the application is also available through Microsoft’s online office suite, Office on the web.

Excel is a powerful and versatile tool that can be used in a wide variety of implementations. Using it to organise and analyse data is only the tip of the iceberg—the program has 484 functions as of its 2016 release that can address almost any engineering, financial, or statistical need. The Windows version also supports programming via Microsoft’s Visual Basic for Applications; enterprising power users have used Excel to develop rudimentary game engines and even create works of art.

Microsoft OneNote

Previously offered as a component of the ubiquitous Microsoft Office, OneNote is now a free standalone application that is available on Windows 10, macOS, Android and iOS. The nifty note-taking program differentiates itself from Microsoft’s premier word processor Word by being virtually unbounded. Users can insert a text box anywhere on a canvas and start typing, add images and tables, and even draw on the canvas if they are using an enabled device.

OneNote’s multi-user capability makes it a powerful collaboration tool with virtually endless applications. It can be used as a digital whiteboard of sorts, where more than one person can work on the same page at the same time. The program also supports offline editing, with the option to merge and synchronise notes later.

Priority Management introduces a better way to work with our line of training courses designed to help you work with these tech tools, not against them. Check out our “Working Smart with Google Apps” program or learn the basics of Microsoft Excel with our beginner-friendly “Microsoft Excel Foundation” course. Priority Management also offers training for IBM Notes, Microsoft OneNote, Microsoft Outlook, Microsoft Project, and much more.