Work at home employees and Homepreneurs need to use semi-current technology to be productive and stay on top of the technology curve. In previous posts, we covered a basic home network, the merits of tablet computers, and dealing with malware issues. As part of our ongoing technology tips series, we discuss other common needs for home workers and home – and small – business owners. This list is a mixed combination of hardware and software but all are useful for a home office.
– Laptops and desktops: This is a personal choice as much as a utilitarian one. Many home office users have both, laptop and desktop. The desktop functions as a base station that the family can use too, while the laptop is obviously portable both in the house and on the road. My home office consists of one desktops and several laptops, one for each family member.
– Apple vs. PC: This debate has raged for years, with Microsoft, Windows, and the PC dominating the market. Apple was a distant second, preferred by those doing heavy design work. The iPad has changed the market and Apple owns a majority of the tablet market. Please reference the tablet computing article for additional details.
Printers – Scanners – Faxes
– My inclination is to purchase an all-in-one model with wireless capability. Why buy a printer, scanner, and fax separately when one device will perform all three functions? The cost of these devices has dropped in recent years, with lower end devices available for under $100.00. Read reviews about these products here. HP, Epson, and Canon are leaders in this market.
– One name stands out in the headset market: Plantronics. Purchase a USB wireless headset and you’ll happily talk through your computer all day.
– Skype: This is a wonderful communications software application that is free to download and provides the following as part of its free package:
- Skype-to-Skype calls
- One-to-one video calls
- Instant messaging
- Screen sharing
The other party will need Skype as well to take advantage of free Skype-to-Skype calls, but the quality and price can’t be beat. I’ve personally used Skype for 3 years and never paid a dime, even for overseas long-distance calls.
– WordPress: Use this product to create your own blog and get noticed in the public domain. Homepreneurs is hosted by WordPress, and again it is free.
– Dreamweaver: For basic website design, this is a very good and fairly basic tool. Dreamweaver is not free, but many free website design tools are available. Search free website design software with Google. Kompozer is a solid choice for free software.
– Dragon Dictation: For hands-free stream of thought dictation, the product runs about $75 for a PC, but is a free app for the iPad. Talk directly into the computer microphone and watch your words appear on the screen after you are done speaking.
These are some – but not nearly all – useful tools for the home office. Other useful products include mind mapping software, photo shop editors, and Evernote for archiving and note taking.
By Dion D. Shaw
Dion D. Shaw is the founder and owner of Homepreneurs.
Homepreneurs. New Day. New Opportunity.
Homepreneurs does not endorse nor have any relationships with any of the services listed. Homepreneurs receives no compensation or consideration for its suggestions. Homepreneurs strongly urges all interested parties to conduct research and accepts no responsibility for any losses incurred.
© Homepreneurs 2011