Aside from choosing a quiet space and good lighting, there are many other factors to consider when working online. Whether you’re a journalist, public relations specialist, marketer or student, utilizing free and affordable applications and gadgets can be instrumental in your success when working online. Here are our top ten applications and gadget recommendations to assist you in amplifying your efficiency virtually.


1. Workflow management can be stressful, but using the list-making application Trello makes it a breeze! With both a free mobile and desktop application, Trello allows groups to organize what needs to be done and by whom, tracks work in progress and alerts all team members when a task is complete. 

2. It’s easy to develop unhealthy habits and ignore your well-being, especially when working remotely. The free Fabulous Daily Routine Planner supports users with motivational tactics, self-care regimens, organizational tips, self-discipline guides and more. 

3. We all have heard it before: a secure password is key to ensuring your privacy online. 1Password, is a password manager application and website that will help you achieve the digital security you need. Utilizing a PBKDF2-guarded master password software 1Password is a reliable storage location for your security data.

4. “A VPN is the most important tool for a business to have if they will be working remotely,” says TLN Media Group’s Mario Masellis. Having a virtual private network to connect a computer from home to the main drive in the workplace can help all employees attain access to the traffic system, all files, and shared documents. There are many options, but Masellis says that FortiClient VPN is one of the best applications in the market, starting at CDN$45.00 a year.


1. When plugging into an electrical outlet isn’t possible, portable batteries can be your saving grace for dying devices! From smaller ones ranging from $10-$30, and larger, more powerful batteries from $50 and higher, Amazon carries a wide range of options.

2. Focusing on completing a task may be difficult for some when constantly staring at a screen. “Sitting at a desk all day is not stimulating,” says GH Media Business student Romina Barbieri, who suggests using a fidget cube for stimulation. Amazon has quite a few options- ranging from fidget cubes, fidget spinners, and more for under $10.00.

3. Noise-canceling headphones or earbuds are essential when it comes to group meetings and connecting with clients. These devices allow for keeping distractions at a minimum and allow you to focus solely on the task at hand. One of the top brands is Sony, with headphones retailing from $149.99 and up.

4. Lighting can be tricky when capturing your best look in virtual meetings. With a ring light, you’re able to transform your surroundings into a bright workplace and illuminate your face in the most effective way. Ring lights can be purchased in various sizes, including desktop models, that range from $20 and up on Amazon.

5. Many people may find it hard to monitor due dates and planned events when t working in a virtual format. If that’s the case, then keep it “old school.” Paper calendar books have and will always be useful for keeping tabs on what needs to be done on various days, along with providing an overview of what is to be expected. You can pick up a free calendar from many local businesses, or purchase them just about anywhere at affordable prices.

Featured image credit: Nicolas Neri

Erica Lombardo

Erica Lombardo is a graduate of the University of Guelph-Humber's Media and Communications program, specializing in Public Relations.