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Manage Time and Work: Remote Tools Suitable for Small Businesses on the Go

Google's proprietary cloud based e-mail solution has been around for many years now and is going strong. Whilst many people are aware that it exists and loosely what it does, however many aren’t familiar with just how useful it can be to a small business owner looking to be able to manage work and get more efficiency out the available hours in a day.

The problem with being dependent upon reading e-mail on your desktop using a popular e-mail client such as Microsoft Outlook is that you’re largely tied to that computer or terminal without setting up on other multiple machines. If that machine should malfunction or break down you also risk losing anything important, the types of continuous backups conducted by larger businesses are seldom suitable for small businesses. Whilst you can invest in external storage, what I’m proposing is far more convenient, easy to setup and furthermore entirely free!

Gmail or Google Mail, work by storing your messages on an external server, or cloud. You can access your email from any device that’s capable of internet connectivity. This means if you’re commuting on train journey’s, working externally in a different office or using a cell or mobile device, you can still send, receive and monitor the messages you get throughout the day.


Skype, now owned by corporate giant Microsoft has become one of the most favoured all in one communication tools allowing for both VoIP phone conversations and instant messaging services and video messaging and conferencing when coupled with a portable laptop, cell or mobile device and mobile internet connection or wireless connectivity. 

The beauty of this tool is that you can seamlessly transition between a fixed desktop and portable device like an ipad or smart phone. The expense of using Skype for calls presents significant value for money in comparison to a traditional phone contract, and is a very viable choice for small businesses looking to manage and reduce expenditure and overheads in terms of a flexible IT and communication infrastructure.

This is a free tool that small businesses can use, however you will also see Skype being used by large agencies and SMEs looking for a quick and flexible approach to how, when and where they work.


If it seems sensible that you’d like undisrupted e-mail access, and then you are also probably going to be interested in Dropbox. Dropbox is free software that allows you to save & store files within a cloud environment, so that you can access them at your discretion and convenience. You can also share items with other people through a simple invitation system.

What items might you want to share? If you’re collaborating on work or projects then being able to share things such as customer spreadsheets, digital media assets such as photographs, video and mp3s are highly useful. E-mail was never intended as way of storing or backing up items, and many service providers will delete large attachments after a certain period of time has elapsed. Rest assure knowing that Dropbox was designed with this in mind, so that you may have peace of mind that your files are safe.

Whilst you can achieve the same outcome through e-mailing back and forth, this software makes you life so much easier through its basic drag and drop interface, file synching abilities and backup potential.


About the author: Exponential Training & Assessment provide management qualifications in leadership and management for company executives looking to progress into business consultancy and business growth coaching.