By April 7, 2014 Read More →

Make better use of space with technology

Make better use of space with technology

#WfHTechWeek starts today.

All week we will bring you tips on using the latest home office tech.

And see below for a fun competition to win a cheeky monkey 16GB USB.

We kick off with a sponsored post from Big Yellow Self Storage packed with ideas on maximising your space:

As our homes are getting smaller (the average new home in the UK is less than half the size it was in the 1920s), and our towns and cities increasingly cramped, space is ever more at a premium.

Luckily, we can make better use of space with technology for both work and leisure. Whether it’s harnessing the cloud, using Smartphone apps or buying ‘tiny tech’, we can make our living spaces both productive and harmonious (or at the very least tidy up those messy power cords).

Shrink your gadgets
Massive TVs have become the norm, but our gizmos don’t need to overpower our homes or workspaces. The Space Bar promises ‘more space, more ports, less clutter’, while the Pivot Power Junior brings a clever solution for smaller spaces.

Bulky printers are often a necessary evil for a home office, but smaller ones – like the Canon Pixma iP100, measuring just 12.7 x 2.4 x 7.2″ – are much more manageable. Even better, do away with a scanner altogether and get a smart phone app instead. Scanner Pro is our pick – it allows you to scan and upload documents to Dropbox, Evernote or Google Drive quickly and effectively.

Use the cloud
Using cloud storage is a great way to make better use of space with technology, but there are some things to remember – scan quality, format, and file naming conventions. In terms of online storage, there are two major considerations, support and security.

Suites like Google Drive (which offer free document uploads) might seem like the most cost effective solution, but support might not be provided if your documents are lost or corrupted (also be careful of phishing scams).

Less paper means fewer filing cabinets, so you can use your floor space more effectively. Some documents you’ll want to keep, however – make sure to archive receipts for tax returns in a secure offsite space (some facilities offer smaller locker-sized storage areas perfect for archiving).

Cloud business suites like NetSuite can also help with finance and enterprise resource planning, and bookkeeping apps such as Easy Books allow you to keep your accounts in the cloud as well.

Improve your space
DIY Chatroom Forum (iPhone, Free) is an app-based forum to discuss all your Home Improvement questions – from carpentry to flooring and DIY repair. The community seems knowledgeable and good-humoured (see the response to “how to get tape off the wall” for a more tongue-in-cheek response to a question) and although it’s a little US-centric (lots of talk of broken range cookers) this is a great way to crowd source an answer to your difficult DIY issue.

Productivity apps can also help, especially when it comes to cleaning your home. HomeRoutines (iPhone, £2.99) is a brightly coloured scheduler allowing you to add tasks by time of day, time of week or zone (such as kitchen or bathroom) which makes it especially useful for home repairs too. There’s also an Accomplishments section for you to reflect back proudly on the days achievements (and maybe show your significant other).

work from home secrets

Drew writes for Big Yellow Self Storage. See their website or blog for more space saving tips for home workers, and check out a previous post on maximising space for home business.

work from home secrets

Enjoyed this? Then check out all the expertise available on #Work from Home Tech Week.

Leave a comment on this post telling us about your favourite piece of home office tech or tweet a picture with the hashtag #WfHTechWeek, and you could win this 5 star rated monkey 16GB USB to help save and store your documents. Competition rules and how to enter here.

3 Comments on "Make better use of space with technology"

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  1. Really not sure about using a mobile instead of a proper flatbed scanner myself, great for on the road, but I’m rather attached to my HP multifunction printer. I rarely use fax, but it is handy once in a while to be able to fax a document, and dropping things to fax or scan into the multi sheet feeder is a feature I regularly use. Given that it is all integrated into the printer it doesn’t really take up much extra space. It also scans straight to a folder on my server which makes things easy too – OK, so I have my own local server and that may put me at the geeky end of the spectrum 🙂

    One thing that, although doing nothing for space, I do find handy and wasn’t mentioned is a VOIP account. I’ve moved my office phone to VOIP, which not only saves me a couple of hundred pound a year in line rental for a business line, but also means that with a suitable app on your phone (I use CSipSimple myself and a reasonable network connection (ideally wifi, but if your mobile provider doesn’t block VOIP a decent 3G connection will do the trick) you can be in the office even when you are out. This can be particularly useful when you are using a shared work space like a Jelly.

    • Yep, I’d say that compared to me and lots of my readers, you are definitely that end of the spectrum, Paul! But we need people like you to keep dragging us out of our comfort zone, so thanks for the excellent advice. And nice to hear you’re a fan of Jelly 🙂

  2. Natalie says:

    Ineffective space means you have enough space for your things, but you’re not making the best use of that space. I am not too sure how the mobile app provides the best storage solutions.