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Atlas Shrugged…Who is John Galt?

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Atlas Shrugged


Who is John Galt?

Atlas Shrugged was written by the Ayn Rand in the 1950’s.  It is a long 1168-page novel. I just finished reading it and it took weeks to get through it. The longer I read the more engaged I was as I realized so much of what Ayn wrote is pertinent for today.

When I was at Borders and picked it up, the clerk said, “We sure have been selling a lot of these books this year.”

Atlas Shrugged is now at the Top of Amazons’ Best Selling Classic books and is the story of what happens in the United States economy as it collapses under the weight of government regulations and intervention.  As the government intervenes the crisis goes deeper and deeper.     (Think HVCC, Stimulus 01, GM, TARP)

A Classic

I was inspired to purchase the book by this article in the Wall Street Journal by Stephen Moore, from Fiction to Fact in 52 years.

“The moral of the story is that politicians act out of crisis, (usually created by themselves) creating more and more programs to get us out of a mess, which creates more and more government intervention. Under the burden of more taxes, the entrepreneurs are also forced into poverty. In the book they escape to continue using their minds.” Stephen Moore

Living it today

Altas Shrugged is an accurate portrayal of the stupidity of Socialism. Socialism does not work. This has proven true everywhere socialism and communism have been tried in the last 100 years.  Throughout the book it is obvious that under the crushing role of more government intervention the U.S. economy is destroyed.

The quote below is from John Galt’s speech. (Which are 70 pages long and toward the end of the book). Really a book in and of itself as John Galt doesn’t appear himself until close to the end.

“You know that you can’t give away everything and starve yourself. You’ve forced yourselves to live with undeserved, irrational guilt. Is it ever proper to help another man? No, if he demands it as his right or as a duty that you owe him. Yes, if it’s your own free choice based on your judgment of the value of that person and his struggle. This country wasn’t built by men who sought handouts. In its brilliant youth, this country showed the rest of the world what greatness was possible to Man and what happiness is possible on Earth.”

Do I agree with everything written in Atlas Shrugged? No not at all but the story is fascinating and relevant during the times we are living in and well worth the read.

Don’t have time to read a novel this large?

Read the Cliff Notes, however you will miss the development of the characters which reveal how different people handle the crisis.

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Written by Missy Caulk, Associate Broker at Keller Williams Ann Arbor. Missy is the author of Ann Arbor Real Estate Talk and Blog Ann Arbor, and is also the Director for the Ann Arbor Area Board of Realtors and Member of MLS and Grievance Committee's.

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33 Comments

33 Comments

  1. Todd Waller

    July 10, 2009 at 9:23 am

    @missycaulk too poignant by half! I picked up AS to read a second time the end of last year. The first time I read it, I was in high school and couldn’t put the book down for 2 and a half days.

    At that point in time, it seemed that Rand was “making up a plausible story.” Frightening to think that in such a short period of time, the darn story has nearly come to life…

    You ask, “Who is John Galt?”

    “He is Prometheus who changed his mind…he broke his chains and he withdrew his fire-until the day when men withdraw their vultures.”

    Great book…it just mirrors today too much to be a made up story…

    Todd

  2. Missy Caulk

    July 10, 2009 at 9:28 am

    I am on my second reading of this and John Adams both huge books. This time I am underlining. The first time I was just enjoying the story…now studying it.

    The times may have changed,the setting by human nature remains the same.

  3. Matt Stigliano

    July 10, 2009 at 10:03 am

    @missycaulk I am a big fan of Ayn Rand’s work and read Atlas Shrugged once every two years or so (in between I usually read The Fountainhead). I think one of the greatest things I ever took away from her books is that every relationship/action must have value in it for both parties. Many disagree and use charity as an example of there being no personal gain in the action. I disagree and say there is great value there – the person giving gets something out of it, whether it is pride, a good feeling, a pat on the back, or their own somewhat questionable intentions (let’s face it some give to charity just so they can get their name in the paper or on TV, some do it for ego, some do it so they can cleanse themselves of their own sins, etc.). There is value in everything you do and if there isn’t, you might want to rethink why you do it. Value does not have to be a dollar sign, although it often is.

    Even love is a two way value proposition in Ayn Rand’s books. Even if you don’t like the “message” I still think they are some of the best written stories of all time.

  4. Joe Loomer

    July 10, 2009 at 10:31 am

    My mother lived and died in London. The socialized health care system over there is more third world than first. She was killed by a blood clot in her thigh that travelled to her heart.

    Prior to this, her medical team of nut-jobs had taken her off her blood thinners because they wanted to try a new insulin delivery system and thought it might not interact. This for a woman of eighty years, three strokes, several mini-strokes, and a heart attack.

    What has this got to do with Missy’s post? We are in the infant stages of converting to a national health care system. The model? Britain’s National Insurance. A few years ago, as my mother’s health deteriorated, we had her put on the free meals delivery from the National Health Service. On a visit shortly after that, I tasted one of the dinners they’d delivered – alarmed that my mother had lost 40 lbs in six months. I do not have the eloquence of Missy or others on AG, but I will tell you it brought this former rugby player and Initiated Navy Chief to his knees. I couldn’t stomach it, and I’ve held down limburger cheese on dog biscuits chased by a shot of Thai fish sauce. Cancelled the service that day.

    I hope beyond hope that this is not OUR future in this Great Country – a deteriorating, government-run country of former greatness, punishing it’s citizens for paying their taxes. Look no further than the British Empire for a glimpse of what could be.

    Navy Chief, Navy Pride

  5. MIssy Caulk

    July 10, 2009 at 11:51 am

    Matt, I have not read the Fountainhead but it is on my list to do so. We all give for many reasons, but America is great about responding to need. Look at how much we raised for Katerina and the Africa from American Idol. Well there are hundreds of more examples but those come to mind first.

    Regardless what motivates we are still THE most giving nation in the world, but we don’t like to made to give.

  6. MIssy Caulk

    July 10, 2009 at 11:58 am

    Joe,

    I sold a home 2 years ago to a physician in England, the stories he told. They love it here. Celebrated 4th of July. I am going to try to do a flip video interview with them.

    I am sorry about your mom, tragic. Not surprising from what D told me about the health care there.

    Not saying our system doesn’t need fixing…it does. Patients should have the ability to choose their care, physicians should be allowed to treat and order ANY tests they want for the patient.

    Even now you have to go through insurance companies to get approval for some things, and sometimes they say no.

    So stupid to be forced for everyone to carry drug treatment and mental health treatment on every policy. Those who don’t need it are paying for it in their premiums.

    Now don’t get me started on the attorneys and the high malpractice premiums the physicians pay.

    Some have NEVER been sued, yet they ALL have to pay because we are such a litigious society. Why not just the Dr.’s who have been sued have their premiums go up.

    It is just passed along to the consumers.

    Lots of options out there but Universal is not the answer.

  7. BawldGuy

    July 10, 2009 at 3:49 pm

    Good stuff, Missy. When my kids reach 16 they were both required to read AS. Neither one of them has had a liberal thought since. 🙂

    Something for nothing is a myth. It’s ALWAYS something from somebody else, taken by force, direct or indirect.

  8. Lesley Lambert

    July 10, 2009 at 4:44 pm

    I LOVE reading and re-reading Ayn Rand’s works, especially Atlas Shrugged.

    I agree with you that it is still pertinent in today’s society where so many people are expecting a bailout, handout or do-over.

    Thanks for this terrific post!

  9. Brian Block

    July 10, 2009 at 5:47 pm

    Missy,

    Best Book Ever!

    I recommend it to everyone.

    First time I read it was 14 years ago.

    Second time was last year. Believe it or not, I read the entire book OUT LOUD to my wife over a period of a couple of months! Talk about a commitment.

    The better part of my life is based on the philosophies in Ayn Rand’s masterpiece.

  10. Missy Caulk

    July 10, 2009 at 5:59 pm

    @bawldguy Yes it is, we are like frogs in the water where the heat is turned up so slowly we just boil away. Although it seems to heating up quickly these days.

    Thanks Lesley for the RT too.

    Brian, LOL they do have it on CD too.

  11. Brian Block

    July 10, 2009 at 6:06 pm

    Sure, could have found the CD, but would they have read it with as much enthusiasm as I did?

    You should have heard my Dagny voice.

  12. Brandie Young

    July 10, 2009 at 7:08 pm

    Missy – thanks for the reminder …. I read that book years ago, and think it’s worth revisiting. Thanks!!

  13. Elaine Reese

    July 10, 2009 at 9:06 pm

    I received an email this week – it’s probably making the rounds – about a professor teaching students about socialism. Kids thought it was a good idea to spread the wealth around. Professor said OK that he would average the grades for the tests. By the time the final test was graded, everyone failed because the smart students quit trying because there was no incentive to succeed, and the underperforming students never did study.

    I read today on Twitter that the Congress is proposing to tax the rich to pay for health care. Socialism here we come!

  14. Benn/AgentGenius

    July 10, 2009 at 10:06 pm

    #agnow Sure, could have found the CD, but would they have read it with as much enthusiasm as I did?

    You should h… https://cli.gs/ZLSsb

  15. Benn/AgentGenius

    July 10, 2009 at 11:08 pm

    #agnow Missy – thanks for the reminder …. I read that book years ago, and think it’s worth revisiting. Thanks!! https://cli.gs/GTQDb

  16. Benn/AgentGenius

    July 11, 2009 at 1:07 am

    #agnow I received an email this week – it’s probably making the rounds – about a professor teaching students about … https://cli.gs/QTYa2

  17. Tim Norris

    July 11, 2009 at 1:12 am

    Atlas Shrugged…Who is John Galt | Real Estate Opinion MAG … https://bit.ly/vgfcC

  18. Missy Caulk

    July 11, 2009 at 11:04 am

    Elaine, that is true and they are also considering taxing the health care that your employees pay for you, which in now non taxable.

    Yep give a word picture to kids who don’t get it, grades was perfect for the kiddo’s in school to understand it.

  19. Burke Chester

    July 11, 2009 at 1:02 pm

    If you liked Atlas Shrugged, you should not stop there. You should read everything she wrote, including her non-fiction works. Atlas, for those who like to think, is an introduction to another world. It has changed the lives of many, including me.

    Browse the web site for the Ayn Rand Institute at:

    AynRand.com

  20. Benn/AgentGenius

    July 11, 2009 at 3:04 pm

    #agnow Elaine, that is true and they are also considering taxing the health care that your employees pay for you, w… https://cli.gs/NnT97

  21. Ken Montville - MD Suburbs of DC

    July 11, 2009 at 5:15 pm

    OK, time for the radical, left wing crazy to weigh in.

    Lest we forget, Alan (“I’m shocked”) Greenspan was a direct protege of Ayn Rand’s, basking in the glow of her wisdom from her personal inner circle. While it can be said his tenure as Fed Chair bought untold riches to a few, it also has bought about the worst economic downturn in decades and all he can say is “I’m shocked” and that he made a mistake thinking that the financial services industry would regulate itself in its own self-interest.

    Let’s take this down to a more relevant, micro level. How many real estate professionals (mortgage people, Realtors, title companies) act out of unfettered greed to the detriment of the home sellers and buyers and, by extension, the housing market. Let’s not forget the home sellers and buyers themselves who are hard at work squeezing every penny out of the transaction to the detriment of an amiable transaction and, possibly, the completion of the transaction itself.

    I am not a huge fan of the type of government intervention on the scale we see today. However, it seems clear to me that, left to act without restraint, large corporations and the few (mostly men) who run them will act without regard for the society at large. This will eventually lead to political and social unrest and upheaval. This is not something anyone wants (at least anyone on AG), I hope.

    But, hey, what do I know? Let’s just those AIG whiz kids (those geniuses that came up with Credit Default Swaps) another several million to stay on the job. How many schools could you help with that money? How many roads/bridges? Nah.

  22. Brian Block

    July 11, 2009 at 5:43 pm

    Ken,

    Alan Greenspan stopped being a disciple of Ayn Rand a long time ago.

  23. Elaine Reese

    July 11, 2009 at 6:21 pm

    I may be totally incorrect, but in response to Ken’s 3rd paragraph, the Democratic Congress implemented programs that encouraged those lending programs so EVERYONE could participate in the American Dream of home ownership. Homeownership is a priviledge not a right.

  24. Benn/AgentGenius

    July 11, 2009 at 9:15 pm

    #agnow OK, time for the radical, left wing crazy to weigh in.

    Lest we forget, Alan (“I’m shocked”) Greenspan w… https://cli.gs/P7JAp

  25. Benn/AgentGenius

    July 11, 2009 at 9:44 pm

    #agnow Ken,

    Alan Greenspan stopped being a disciple of Ayn Rand a long time ago. https://cli.gs/AQv0L

  26. Arlington condos Jay

    July 11, 2009 at 9:51 pm

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_MGT_cSi7Rs this is interesting to hear people in their own words who now want to assume leadership on fixing the economy. Crazy.

  27. Benn/AgentGenius

    July 11, 2009 at 10:06 pm

    #agnow If you liked Atlas Shrugged, you should not stop there. You should read everything she wrote, including her… https://cli.gs/8Zpp8

  28. Benn/AgentGenius

    July 11, 2009 at 10:21 pm

    #agnow I may be totally incorrect, but in response to Ken’s 3rd paragraph, the Democratic Congress implemented prog… https://cli.gs/AVPmq

  29. Erion Shehaj

    July 11, 2009 at 11:13 pm

    Joe

    Isn’ t that what British food tastes like, anyway? 🙂

  30. Erion Shehaj

    July 11, 2009 at 11:28 pm

    I don’t mean to agree or disagree with anyone in particular, but my experience has been that those who speak of socialism in this country really do not understand the term. How is the current proposed health care reform flicking the switch to socialism exactly? And don’t even start with “do you want some government bureaucrats making your decisions?”

  31. jacklewitz

    July 13, 2009 at 9:57 am

    Missy,

    I must confess I read the book and enjoyed it but reading that many pages gets to me. But what I did read I enjoyed. I thought the book was commenting about Government Control VS Capitalism. The US rail system today is still controlled by the Government. Too bad we could have used a modern train system in this country like Japan or Germany.

    I have some other books to suggest.

    “The Riches Man in Babylon” by George Clason

    “Creating a World without Poverty” by Muhammad Yunnas, banker to the poor and Winner of the Nobel Peace Prize on Micro-Economics.

    “Creative Capitalism” by Michael Kinsley

  32. Linsey

    July 13, 2009 at 1:47 pm

    I read A LOT but this is one of those books that stays with you and even changes you in ways. Rare.

    I’ve thought about that book a lot in the last several months. My personal views and political views certainly are influenced by it and it’s a book that sticks with you in a way that few do.

    Consider it required reading.

  33. Bill Rice

    July 13, 2009 at 7:20 pm

    Atlas Shrugged…Who is John Galt | Real Estate Opinion MAG – AgentGenius https://ow.ly/gYGf << Should I read this book? Why?

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Business Entrepreneur

Teach kids music and they’ll learn entrepreneurship

(ENTREPRENEUR) Sowing the seed of music education and appreciation in your child when they’re young is a great way to produce the fruit of entrepreneurship when they’re older.

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With all the focus sports gets as the petri dish for producing driven adults, I’d like to offer up a different extracurricular activity for your consideration: music. Supporting your child as they learn how to harmonize with others will help set them up for success later in life, as music cultivates many of the characteristics that entrepreneurs rely on every day.

Iteration

Anybody who’s played an instrument or been a part of a choir can tell you that the number one thing you’ll learn in a musical group is that you won’t make it unless you practice, practice, practice. Although in the moment it’s not that great to hear little Timmy or Ginny run through their C-scale a hundred times, a few years down the line when all those hours of iterating result in the lilt of Beethoven through your household, you can be sure that your kid has learned that repeating the little steps helps them achieve large goals.

Showmanship

A large part of being a successful entrepreneur is knowing your markets, or your audience, and able to keep their attention so that they come back to you when they need your business. Being a part of an ensemble not only teaches children to be comfortable in the spotlight but to crave putting on a show.

Teamwork

When young musicians come together to play in a band or raise their voices in a choir, they’re learning a lot about how to collaborate with others in order to achieve a goal. When a young alto sings alone, her notes may sound strange without the soprano tones filling out the melody. The duet that comes from them learning to work together and complement each other builds a strong foundation for any team venture your child will encounter later in their careers.

Competiveness

Although music provides a solid foundation in harmony, it also contains just as much grit and competition as the football field. Music groups compete in regional and national championships just as athletes do, and solos offer opportunities to self-select and advocate. Hell hath no fire like a second seat musician who dreams of being first chair.

Self Confidence

Unlike sports, music is accessible to those who might struggle with finding confidence. There are no “best” requirements to play—regardless of height, weight, and other characteristics that nobody has any control over—nearly anyone can pick up an instrument or find their voice. This perhaps may be the greatest gift that you can give your child, the confidence that no matter what they look like they can excel.

As your child begins to consider the different activities that will help them build toward their future, don’t discourage them from pursuing a musical path. When they have to stand in front of an audience of their peers and deliver a presentation with an unwavering voice, they’ll thank you for the years they spent getting comfortable in the spotlight. Especially if they pursue entrepreneurship!

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What’s the secret to startup productivity? Here are 5 quick tips

(PRODUCTIVITY) There’s no concrete formula for startup success. However, if you study what successful startups are doing, you’ll notice that they almost all emphasize productivity. The question is, do you?

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startup productivity

At the heart of any efficient business is a productive set of processes, people, and systems. For startups with limited resources, maximizing productivity isn’t optional – it’s mandatory.

Here are some specific ways you can nudge your startup forward and increase productivity on a day-by-day basis:

1. Organize your thoughts.

“The more thoughts and ideas floating around in your head, the harder it is to concentrate on what’s in front of you,” entrepreneur Kristina Proffitt believes. “Every thought or idea that you don’t write down works like a plug, stopping your creativity from flowing freely. That’s why it’s so important to write everything down?—?even the bad ideas.”

If you’re old school, you may want to keep a legal pad or notebook on you at all times. If you’d prefer to go digital, an app like Evernote or Trello will allow you to jot down notes on any device and access them at any time.

2. Try a coworking office layout.

Believe it or not, your startup’s office environment has a direct impact on productivity. In particular, you’ll discover that the layout of the office is critically significant. Try experimenting with different styles, but you may find that a coworking layout is ideal.

“Directly inspired by an open office layout, a coworking layout also eliminates walls or boundaries, but is much larger and often shared among multiple companies,” Novel Coworking explains. “The coworking space may feature couches, shared desks, private or dedicated desks, or high counters. Coworking has the added benefit of encouraging cross-company communication and networking.”

3. Permit flexible scheduling.

The 9-to-5 schedule is no longer efficient or cost-effective. Research shows that people function differently and reach their peak productivity at different times throughout the day. If you want to maximize productivity for each of your employees, you should allow for flexible scheduling.

With flexible scheduling, you give your employees the ability to choose their hours. While some may prefer the 9-to-5 time slot, others might prefer 6-to-2 or 12-to-8. Allow your employees to set their hours (within reason) for a few months and see if you notice a positive impact on productivity. Most of the time, there’s a pretty significant boost.

4. Cut back on email.

There’s a fine line between over-communicating and not communicating enough. In startups, there’s a tendency to lean towards the first one. And while it may seem like a sound practice to communicate as much information as possible, it actually bogs down your team and inhibits creativity and innovative thinking.

Try implementing smart email practices within your company. Encourage people to only CC relevant parties and to pick up the phone when there’s something important to discuss. You may also transition to an app like Slack to cut down on the distractions.

5. Encourage physical activity

In pursuit of productivity, many people try to put in as many hours as they possibly can. But there isn’t a direct correlation between time and productivity. In fact, sometimes there’s a negative relationship.

Too much time hunched in front of a computer doesn’t do anyone any good. Encourage your team to get physical activity in the middle of the day. They’ll come back refreshed and ready to work.

The goal is to optimize your business.

Running a successful business requires an intimate understanding of how your business functions at its core. But even more important than processes and technology are the people you have on your team. It’s people who make decisions, execute, and build relationships with people and partners in the industry.

And if you want to get the most out of your people, you must learn to maximize productivity and efficiency.

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Top 11 productivity tools for entrepreneurs that work from home

(BUSINESS) We asked remote professionals what some of their favorite (and most necessary) productivity tools were for the home office, and have 11 ideas that you might not have tried yet.

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work from home productivity

Working from home comes with its perks – comfortable pants (sweat pants*), working at your own pace, and not having your boss breathing down your neck are only a few. But staying productive and on-task can be a challenge when the only one watching is you (and your cat [who requires frequent cuddle breaks]).

We asked remote workers how they collaborate, stay on top of their work, and get shit done. Here’s what they said are their most reliable and necessary work-from-home tools:

First, let’s check out collaboration and team productivity tools:

Time Doctor

timedoctor780x433
Manage a remote team? When you need them focused on that time-sensitive report you needed yesterday, we’ve got a solution.

We use our own time tracking tool which we find essential for remote work and remote teams. It has everything you would need to give you an analytics of your workday and managing remote teams,” says Carlo Borja, Online Marketing Head of Time Doctor. This includes real time updates, gentle nudges to get you and your employees back on track, and a free trial run.

Azendoo

azendoo
Stop miscommunication in its tracks.

One of the best tools that we use to keep in contact and make sure everyone stays on task is Azendoo,” says John Andrew Williams, PCC, Founder and Lead Trainer at Academic Life Coaching, “It is an amazing tool that allows you to assign tasks to members of your team, leave comments and messages, and organize everything based on projects. It has truly been the best thing for us to improve our productivity and stay connected when we all work remotely.

RealtimeBoard

realtimeboard
What about brainstorming and collaborating with your team in real time? “RealtimeBoard is an online whiteboard and super simple collaboration service for marketers, developers, designers and creatives worldwide with user list exceeding 675k. It’s frequently used for project management, user experience planning, creative concepts visualization, story mapping, brainstorming, etc,” says Anna Boiarkina, Head of Marketing at RealtimeBoard.

Popular Favorite: Slack

slack780x433
Without question, it is Slack! With our marketing team spread from San
Antonio to San Francisco, Seattle and Madison, we couldn’t do our job
efficiently without this messaging communication tool,
” says Marcia Noyes, Director of Communications with Catalyze, Inc.

Noyes adds, “Before I took the job with Catalyze, I wondered how I could possibly stay on top of the very technical subjects of HIPAA compliance, digital healthcare and cloud computing, but with Slack, it’s easier than email or being there in person at corporate headquarters. I don’t think I could ever go back to being in an office. With this tool and others, I get so much more accomplished without the commute times and interruptions from water cooler talk and discussions about where to go for lunch.”

Now, let’s move on to tools and tips for your health:

A treadmill desk

treadmill desk
Slump no more.

Gretchen Roberts, CEO of Smoky Labs, a B2B digital and inbound marketing agency says that her treadmill desk helps her fight through the afternoon slump. “The endorphins that are released from the walking get me right into a feel-good mood again, same as a conversation and piece of chocolate would.

Not only is it great for you, but it keeps you awake and alert so you can fight the urge to take a “quick nap” right around 3pm. Good weather not required.

Lumbar support

lumbar-support
Then there’s always the issue of your health. We asked Dr. Barbara Bergin, M.D., Board Certified orthopedic surgeon her thoughts on how to best furnish your home office, and she had a few simple ideas that go a long way.

Invest in a good chair, a McKenzie lumbar pillow (because no work chair has the perfect lumbar support), and a drop down tray for your keyboard and mouse. If you have short legs which don’t quite reach the floor, either adjust your chair (which means adjusting everything else) or get some kind of a platform on which to rest your feet. I recommend those old bench step aerobics steps.

These are all suggestions that are easy to implement and positively impact your health (and wallet, when you consider chiropractic visits, massages or even surgery).

And some of our favorites – tools to manage time, data, and communications:

ClockingIT

clockingIT
In a similar fashion to Time Doctor, ClockingIT is a time-tracking application that logs everything you do. This allows you to keep track of how much time you’re really spending on a project (or time spent off-task on a project).

I work from home exclusively as a freelance communications and marketing manager. One of my clients, Simon Slade, CEO of SaleHoo, introduced me to ClockingIT. ClockingIT, a free project management system, is now a tool I can’t work from home without. It provides an easy way for me to log my time on different tasks and communicate project updates to colleagues without sending cumbersome mass emails. I like ClockingIT so much that I’ve created an account separate from SaleHoo’s, just for myself, and I use it to manage my work for other clients as well.

This would be a great tool for freelance designers and writers who need to keep track of time so they can appropriately charge their clients.

Zoho Vault

zoho vault
Throw away the Rolodex. With all of the social media information, websites, passwords, and logins a company might need to remember, there is a better way. Molly Wells, an SEO Analyst with Web301 believes in the power of Zoho.

The one tool that I can’t work at home without is the one that stores our many clients personal information. Links to live websites, production websites, their social media usernames and passwords. All of our own websites logins, social media logins along with all the tools we use. Rather than storing all of these on our server or on pen and paper, we use Zoho Vault. It’s a lifesaver for accessing information while at home or on the go. All of our passwords are all in one place.

Cloze

cloze
Winner for most comprehensive all-in-one freelancing app goes to Cloze, which does… pretty much everything.

As a freelancer, the tool I absolutely can’t live without is Cloze,” explains JC Hammond, “Cloze is a contact management app and website that is perfect for freelancers because it is highly customizable, links email, social, phone and notes in one place, lets you track interactions and statuses of projects, companies, and people and even delivers an informative “Morning Briefing” to help get your day off to a great start.

She thinks one of the most useful tools is the email read receipts and the ability to link with your cell phone provided to track calls. It also schedules and posts social updates to Twitter, Linkedin, Facebook and other platforms. Because it’s designed for individual or very small team use, it’s easy to use and a user can efficiently run their entire day from the app.

Uberconference

uberconference
When it comes to phone conferences, meetings and client phone calls, Jessica Oman, Planner-in-Chief at Renegade Planner loves Uberconference.

She says, “As a business plan writer who in 2014 made the transition from leasing an office to working from home, I can say that Skype and Uberconference are the tools I can’t live without! Uberconference is especially wonderful because it easily allows me to record calls, use hold music, and connect with people who either call in from computer or phone. It allows me to have a 1-800 number too. It’s like having a virtual assistant to manage my calls and I love the professional feel of the service.

My Tomatoes

mytomatoes
And finally, a quick and simple idea – a timer. Jessica Velasco, Senior Editor at Chargebacks911 works exclusively from home. She uses the Pomodoro technique of time management: work for 25 minutes, take a 5 minute break, work for 25 more minutes.

She says, “I use My Tomatoes. I like this particular timer because the countdown is shown in my browser tab. I can be working on other things and quickly glance over to see how much time is left. I like to race the clock; see how much I can get accomplished before the timer goes off. I also use it to limit my unproductive moments. Fun things like checking social media must end with the timer dings.”

Got a favorite?

All of these tools are yours for the taking, so why not give them all a shot? Then, even if you’re wearing your most comfortable pants (sweat pants*) – with all of the right tools, you can run your business from home like a boss, and give people the impression that you probably showered today.

*no pants

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