Popular Science: How to block out digital distractions and get work done. “Working from home is a blessing and a curse—you get the freedom to work how you want, but the temptation to slack off is strong. It’s easy to stick to your job when your boss is breathing down your neck, but at home, even the best noise-canceling headphones won’t keep you from doomscrolling through news 15 times an hour. If you need to buckle down, you need a digital workspace that’s conducive to focus.”
MakeUseOf: 5 Ways to Build Good Habits and Break Bad Habits With Technology . “Self-improvement is a difficult path and you can use all the help you get. These free tools are here to help you break a bad habit or build a good habit, as easily as possible. Productivity experts have several theories on how we form a habit. Some people believe it takes 21 days doing a task repeatedly, others think it takes 66 days. And there’s the science of willpower, emotions, feedback loops, and other factors involved. But the bottom line is to stick with it, and that’s what these websites, apps, and online courses will help you do.”
Blogging Pro: What Is the Best Note-Taking App for Bloggers?. “As bloggers, we always keep thinking of our next content. When we get a flash of inspiration or a phrase that sparks an idea, we’d always want to keep a note of it. However, we don’t always have a notebook in hand to jot down these notes. This is why a note-taking app will always come handy in this day and age. While there are a number of note-taking apps available today, there are those that bloggers swear by. We’ve compiled a list below to let you decide which note-taking app is the best today.”
Poynter: Here are some digital tools for a more productive — and fun — summer. “Welcome! I’m Jeremy Caplan, a guest contributor with some new tools and resources. I’m director of teaching and learning for CUNY’s Newmark Grad School of Journalism in New York City and a former Time Magazine reporter. I explore new stuff and write about the most useful tools I find in a free newsletter called Wonder Tools.”
9to5 Google: How to clean up Google Chrome when it’s slow: Notifications, search engine, more. “These days, you can’t get hardly anything done without a good, working web browser, but what do you do when Google Chrome starts acting up? Here’s a guide for how to clean up some of Google Chrome’s most common issues including slow loading, excess notifications, using the wrong search engine, and more.”
MakeUseOf: 5 Time-Saving Websites & Apps for the Best Shortcuts. “Technology is all about speed, isn’t it? It helps us do things faster, or enables shortcuts that get the more done in less time. The internet is here to help you gain information faster by summarizing books or YouTube videos, or level-up your computer usage by learning keyboard shortcuts. It’s all about saving time and making the best use of it.”
USC News: How Do You Motivate Workers Who Are Managed By An Algorithm?. “Many businesses turned to remote workers to continue their operations after states issued stay-at-home orders to reduce COVID-19 infections. It’s a trend that is likely to continue long after the coronavirus is controlled. To help companies ease the transition online, USC researchers studied the challenges to increasing the use of crowdwork — a manifestation of the gig economy in which companies offer ad-hoc, mundane tasks to prospects via a website. The move minimizes disruptions that organizations would experience as a result of COVID-19 or other crises.”
Make Tech Easier: 4 Great Alternatives to Google Calendar . “Calendars seem like a fairly basic technology on the surface, but if it were that easy to make a good calendar program, there would presumably be more worthy alternatives to Google Calendar. It’s simple, effortlessly cross-platform, shareable, tweakable, and comes with a boatload of random helpful features and integrations, and there’s honestly no perfect clone out there. There are, however, a few that come quite close, so if you’re looking to make the switch with minimal friction, check out the four Google Calendar alternatives below.”
Make Tech Easier: 4 Best Reader Extensions for Chrome Reviewed . “The Internet is a simultaneously informative and distracting place, replete with information but also with a thousand panes, links, sidebars and banners that try to pull you away from what you’re reading at a given moment. A reader extension helps keep you focused by removing all the extraneous bits and just leaving you with the stuff you’re reading. These extensions also let you change font sizes, styles, and backgrounds for optimized reading. They’re handy, so we’ve decided to test four of the best reader extensions for Google Chrome and tell you just how good they really are.”
Ausdroid: Google introduces new features to Lens to especially help those working from home. “COVID-19 has caused businesses of the world to quickly adapt to the new way of life and as these businesses evolve and pivot into online spaces we, the consumers and users, are seeing some great new innovations. Google is one such company, fast tracking many features from virtually all of their products to help us all in our times of need. Google has today added new features yet again to one of their products, this time Google Lens has been enhanced with some handy additions. Today’s additions are designed to help users be more productive in their new work from home environments.”
Make Tech Easier: The Best Web Apps to Dictate Your Docs and Notes . “You probably know Google Docs supports dictation in dozens of languages, but what if Google Docs’s ‘live dictation’ feels a bit restrictive, or you don’t like the complicated interface? There are alternatives to Google Docs with practically the exact same levels of accuracy (since they use the same Google Voice API), but a different interface, that could be better-tailored to your needs. Let’s see how you can use some of the best web apps to type with your voice instead of your keyboard.”
The Hindu: COVID-19: Social media overrun by DIY standing desks during lockdown. “With people around the world working from home during the ongoing lockdown, ergonomics is still taken seriously as they try fashion their own standing desks.”
Entrepreneur: 65 Free Tools to Help You Through the Coronavirus Pandemic. “In response to the pandemic, Zoom CEO Eric Yuan recently reminded us that we can all help each other in our own ways. He has provided K-12 educators with free access to the videoconferencing platform so students can continue learning. Inspired, I shared an idea with Jason Feifer, editor in chief at Entrepreneur: a simple, organized list of free product and service offerings from all types of companies. Access to these powerful tools can help organizations, teams and families.” Middling annotation but lots of resources.
BetaNews: The software that’s being made available free to help with home working during the COVID-19 crisis. “Last week we reported that Zoho was making its Remotely suite free until July to help people and businesses cope with the current COVID-19 unpleasantness. Since then many other companies have announced similar schemes to make their products available free to help businesses and individuals with isolation and home working. This is a round up of the ones we know about, if there are others you’re aware of feel free to add them in the comments.” Big ol’ list.
Poynter: New to remote work? These tools will make your transition to working from home easier. “An exhaustive list is near impossible to compile given the rate at which new products are launched, or closed for that matter, but these are some of the most common tools we see newsrooms use. We’ve also aimed for tools with simpler onboarding and usability rather than sharing complex tools that aren’t easy to adopt. We’ve included information about pricing but you should check the platforms’ websites for the most accurate information as it may be different depending on your organization’s size and needs.”