Review: Kafkai Writer – Can It Save You Time?

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Small businesses – or right now during the pandemic, most businesses – have to be careful of their budget and save money where possible. Sometimes it pays to pay out for better quality, and sometimes a solution comes along that can save business owners time, effort, and some green without sacrificing quality.

I saw an ad recently about Kafkai Writer, a website that creates AI-generated content for blogs, newsletters, and so forth, so I wanted to test this out. Were the articles grammatically correct and worthwhile – or at least close enough to be quickly adjusted and posted? Were they SEO-friendly? As a writer, did I need to explore other career paths?

Kafkai Writer Review | Jasmine Mastrolia

How does Kafkai Writer work?

AI technology is a little above my paygrade, so I can’t explain the technical process behind the scenes, but essentially, you give the website or app a general topic category (for instance, business, dogs, food) and the website will use that to create an article. If you have a more specific subject in mind, you can even enter in an opening paragraph – maybe one you wrote or one from another site covering the topic you are interested in. (Supposedly, the site won’t plagarize or use that paragraph exactly – it will just use it as inspiration).

Their website claims to have “a machine-learning algorithm that can write articles from scratch. Cutting-edge technology for marketers and SEOs”, and they continue on to say that most articles will be SEO-friendly and ready to post after only a few minutes of editing.

Are the claims true?

Ha. No. My job is safe. After having the site produce 25 articles in a variety of topics, some with a sample introduction paragraph and some without, I can confidently say – this is a service businesses should avoid. You just cannot get quality content from a machine.

Some of the articles – very few, but some – may have used keywords in a way that would help a site’s SEO, but this happened more out of luck than actual algorithm and the articles are, at best, poor-quality clickbait with no actual substance, so long term, your site would likely decline in search engine rankings. Most of the articles were incoherent, and while half of those could possibly be edited into something mediocre but usable (after a lot of time, in which case someone could just write the article from scratch), others were…trash. Not even fixable. For instance, an intro paragraph about Albania produced a travel article that placed Albania in East Asia and filled it with Sikh people.

Another article, from the business category, was titled “Five Little Words That Could Change Your Life” and not only never revealed those five words, but also consisted solely of staccato single-sentence paragraphs that made absolutely no sense. My favorite line in the steaming mess was “Our clients will live the Grapes of Joy as they benefit from the heart sent from the heart and gathered from the hearts of our employees.” What does that even mean?

My Conclusion

Please, please, hire an actual content writer. Quality content can do wonders to promote a business and increase rankings for a website, and the only way to get quality content is for an actual human to write it. Maybe you want to do that yourself, maybe that’s something you prefer to outsource, but it is one area that you simply can’t skimp on.

It’s important to find a writer that meshes with your brand and your company’s voice – and this isn’t always easy. You may have to try out several writers before you find the right one, but it is worth it in the long run. Well-written, quality content will not only boost your SEO but it will also draw people back in and help them connect with your business.

Anyway, I guess my job is safe.

Web Browsers And Workspaces: What Works And What Doesn’t

Last updated on: Published by: jasmine 6

At the beginning of the year, I was overwhelmed, frustrated, and going a bit crazy.

See, I run two blogs of my own, I write for various clients, including a few bigger accounts, and I’m trying to get back into writing fiction. It’s a lot, and all of it was taking place in one web browser. I would end up with four windows open, each with 47 tabs, and I couldn’t close one without losing whatever was there, so my computer was running slow. On top of that, a lot of apps crossed over among different uses, so I was constantly logging in and out and in and out, and it would freak out the different security measures on the websites, so then I’d get slowed down even more because they want to verify that I’m me. It was frustrating.

So I figured there has to be a better way. I started looking into digital workspaces, and while I imagine I’ll need one at some point, for right now, they were more high-powered than I need or, more to the point, high-powered in ways that didn’t help me and lacking in what I actually wanted. I’d probably be better off by working with some smart techie person to design a workspace that fits the needs of freelance content creators, but I simply don’t have the ability right now (although, if you know a smart techie person looking for an idea, let me know!), but for right now, I just needed something where I could leave tabs open but close the program, where I could stay logged into the different accounts, and where I could really streamline so that I don’t get distracted.

I decided different web browsers might be the answer. I knew about a couple, but not enough for the set-up I was envisioning, and since one of them was Microsoft Edge, which I hate, I knew it might take some experimentation to get this idea fine-tuned, so I took the opportunity to review all the ones I tried.

Web Browsers And Workspaces: What Works And What Doesn't


OK, Chrome is actually what I started in because I love it. It works well, lots of features, syncs across my devices – which is also why I left it as my core browser. If other browsers weren’t working, I could always bounce back to Chrome…or more commonly, I would sit and watch panda videos.

If you only need one browser, Chrome is the best choice, in my opinion – at least for now.


I’m actually writing in Firefox right now – that’s the browser I shifted this blog into. Before I fell in love with Chrome, I was loyal to Firefox for years, so it came as no surprise that it’s just as good as I remembered. Sure, there’s a few things I don’t love – the download manager and history being two things that I find a bit awkward – but for the things I do around this blog, it’s totally functional. I can leave open tabs about a future post I’m researching, I can keep my blog email up, my RSS feed, etc. Plus, there’s plenty of add-ons and extensions so it’s easy to pin something to Pinterest, add it to my Tailwind feed, or save something to Google Drive.

Firefox is open-source, which is great, and it’s a really excellent browser. The only reason, for me, it doesn’t top Chrome is because, while on small files it doesn’t matter, on big files where there might be issues during downloading, I find the download manager to be an issue.


This is the browser I’m currently using for my freelance work. It had excellent reviews, and it’s lived up to most of them. There’s nothing really wrong with Opera; I just, for some reason, don’t love it completely. It’s absolutely usable, although the layout isn’t completely comfortable to me. It’s fast, although not lightning speeds, especially if I have a lot of tabs open. It’s just…fine. For a browser-workspace system, it can definitely hold its own, though.


Vivaldi was one I hadn’t heard of that had excellent reviews. I have to say…they lied. I used this for my lifestyle blog, because it has built-in tab grouping, was supposed to be very fast (even with a lot of tabs), and was supposed to be extremely customizable, so I hoped I could streamline a lot.

The tab grouping was insanely sensitive, so I kept losing tabs. I found some again, but some were just released into the ether, and after about two weeks of getting frustrated, I turned off the feature. It just wasn’t worth the hassle.

More than that, though, was how after a few weeks, Vivaldi did something weird to the caching settings. I would open the browser and my site to add a post, promote a post, or respond to comments, and WordPress would look the exact same as it had 4 days ago. It would appear as if my last post hadn’t published, as if new comments hadn’t come in, as if I hadn’t managed previous comments. If I can’t see what’s going on in my site, every time, something has to change.

Skip Vivaldi. Even without the major, later problems, the browser simply was not worth the hassle.


Ok, I didn’t use Tor as a workspace. But, if I’m downloading browsers, I wanted a peek at the other side of the web.

I regret that now. I’m certainly not a rainbows-and-unicorns type of woman but…that was dark. And I didn’t even really see anything. When I opened the browser, the opening tab is a how-to guide for Tor, telling you how to navigate, providing popular links, and giving you a clue what you might find. I nearly turned around there. I did venture in a bit farther but I was so scared of clicking something I’d regret (a valid concern), and then having SWAT come banging on my door (a less valid concern), that I was very hesitant to do anything. Regardless, from the bits I did see…people are dark, far darker than I actually am, and there is just absolutely nothing I need from the deep web.

Plus, due to the very nature of the browser, there is no benefit to trying to work in it.

Flashpeak Slim Browser

They tout this browser as a “lightweight” option that won’t slow down your computer, which I guess is technically true. However, instead of slowing down my computer, it slowed down the browser completely. Plus, even after I adjusted the settings, new tabs would open at the end of the trail, and tabs would open for weird reasons, instead of just progressing to the next page. If I moved off of a tab to work in another window, that tab would freeze and not work or lose connection completely when I returned to it, and twice I gave up completely and closed out of tabs, opting to just work in a different browser. If you need a browser for the bare minimum – email, one or two tabs open at a time, average-not-fast speed – Flashpeak may fit for you, but there’s really just no benefit to it.


I will admit, it was very hard for me to give this one a fair shot. I don’t like to judge on appearances, but Seamonkey certainly harkens back to vintage internet – like 90s and early 2000s style. Sorry, but no. I like how sleek and minimalist and comfortable everything has become. I wouldn’t buy a boxy old sedan (I know, there are a lot of vintage car lovers out there, but hear me out) and I don’t want a web browser that makes me feel like I’m going back to dial-up. I get that the sedan might be better made, but I want the modern, sexy, smooth convertible that I can just hop in and go.

Seamonkey was a project from the creators of Firefox, and I guess I can see some of the similarities, but Seamonkey comes off as a developers’ playground, while Firefox is a bit more layperson-friendly.


Ur is a European-developed browser that considers itself to be Chrome but more secure. I have to say, I kind of agree! The layout is the same or very close to it, so the user experience is extremely comfortable, and you have access to all of the extensions and add-ons in the Chrome Web Store. Plus, the browser has a VPN built in that you can flip on with a single click if need be! The browser’s ad blocker is pretty good – almost too good, since even at medium, it blocked everything I wanted and a bit more.

It also has ninja mode, which doesn’t track your search history, and you can even arrange for websites to load only in ninja mode – a handy feature for writers worried about the search history containing questions about killing methods (we’ve all been there!).

Honestly, this may be my new favorite browser. It was fast, comfortable, and…yes, I felt more secure in that browser. I didn’t have creepily accurate ads pop up, I didn’t have pop-up windows at all…I really just have nothing bad to say here. Whether you need one browser or multiples, consider UR.


This browser is another focused on security, which is great, since as I research posts, I can often stumble upon sites trying to get my information. The browser is comfortable – it’s basically Chrome again. Plus, it has a crypto-wallet for those trading in bitcoin, and a Tor mode, where you can literally use Tor right in Brave. I don’t know how that affects the security – is Tor at all compromised being used that way? – but I also don’t particularly care, since I won’t be going down that rabbit hole again.

The browser is certainly fast. I worked on six articles for clients in the browser – each involving probably 25 tabs open, all at the same time. I couldn’t even see the end tabs. Everything loaded so fast, so easily, refreshed, saved, everything, that I was able to knock out the six articles in…roughly two hours. That’s mind-boggling! Now granted, some of that speed is a level of pre-planning and the nature of the topic matter, but still that’s some impressive speed, and a lot of it was not having to wait for sources to load and reload. Honestly, I might just transfer my main, fun browser over to Brave. I need to play in it more, because it doesn’t feel as comfortable as Ur yet, but I think it could. I strongly recommend this as a great option.


This is another browser I wasn’t a fan of. It has three rendering engines, which you’re supposed to be able to switch between seamlessly, and is supposed to improve security. I can’t really vouch for either of these claims. I don’t know how to tell if it switched engines, and it didn’t seem more secure than Brave or Ur, but further reading indicates it’s not that type of security (with ads and such).

Honestly, I can’t provide a solid review and it’s because of how I use internet browsers. For me or people like me, who are researching articles, doing basic searches, that sort of thing, Lunascape was uncomfortable, unimpressive, and felt a bit outdated.

That said, I think (but don’t know) that where the browser could shine is web developers. I think what web developers need to work more efficiently is what Lunascape is offering, and I think people who simply understand the mechanics better will get more out of it. If you’ve used it and want to weigh in, good or bad, drop a comment below – I’d love the input.


The last browser I tried, and one I really need to explore a bit more. Developed in China, it supports two simultaneous engines, which probably matters, but I didn’t notice (see Lunascape). Beyond that, it has a built-in email management system that’s designed to reduce spam, a notes extension so you can document information while you browse, an RSS feed so that you don’t have to go to a specific website to find out what’s going on on the internets, and other features that are designed to make it easy to use, particularly for work.

That said, they’ve had security issues in the past, and honestly, even more than that, the browser felt slow. I want to toy with it a bit more to see if it improves, but it’s kind of like they sacrificed speed for some flashy accessories – not a good choice.


Avant is another three-engine browser – I don’t know why I kept playing with these. Regardless, it allows you to open multiple windows in the browser, so if you need to look at Tab A while working in Tab B, this might be the program for you. There’s also a built-in RSS feed, so you can stay on top of industry news while you work.

For once, the browser actually was fast with the three engines. It’s a minimalist-looking program, but not ugly or outdated (although the skins certainly did bring me back a bit!). I could definitely see me using the tiling feature, but I’m not sure it’s a big enough selling point. Trying to add extensions for customization proved to be more trouble than it was worth, and overall…the experience was meh, at best (and yes, that’s a technical, professional judgement).

For users like me, Avant is…not designed for what we’re looking for. This another browser I could see web developers enjoying, although at first glance, it looked like Lunascape had more features in that vein. It’s kind of like the developers tried to satisfy both sides of the coin, and managed to satisfy neither.

Conclusions: The Best And Worst Of Web Browsers

By the time I tried Avant, I was web-browsered out. The final results are:

What I’m Using

  • Chrome
  • Ur
  • Opera
  • Firefox

These are the four I’m using day to day right now. They’re classic, they’re fast, they’re reliable, they’re comfortable. Those are the things I’m looking for in a browser, and these hit those marks.

What I’m Uninstalling

  • Tor
  • Seamonkey
  • Lunascape
  • Vivaldi
  • Flashpeak

I’m deleting Tor because it scares me and I don’t need it, not because it doesn’t live up to the hype. In fact, it lives up to the hype too well – I’ve seen things now. And it’s far worse than the time I googled “old turkey” (I did it for a Thanksgiving thing – don’t repeat my mistakes!). If you’re looking to dabble in bitcoin or whatever, Tor is still the browser for you.

As for the others in this group, Lunascape is the only one I would say deserves further investigation by someone who maybe wants what they offer. The issues I had with Lunascape are due to what I’m looking for from a browser, not necessarily due to the browser itself. If you’re more technologically-inclined (and I’m no slouch, I just don’t want to have to engineer a basic tool if I don’t have to), this may be a favorite of yours. The others – skip them.

What I’m Keeping As Backup

  • Maxthon
  • Avant
  • Brave

I might replace one of my go-to choices with Brave, because I actually really like the browser. Or I may use it for my writing, since it does have security benefits that will keep me from getting arrested when I perform weird google searches. It is a really nice browser, and if you prefer Chrome browsers, it could absolutely replace Firefox or Opera in your lineup.

I’m keeping Avant and Maxthon for now, because I feel like both of those warrant further investigation. I definitely see potential there, but I can’t decide if one attractive feature can make the browser worth it. Both were late trials for me, when I was already impressed by some, disappointed by others, and tired all-around, so these two I think may have gotten the short end of the stick.

Regardless, after trying 12 browsers, I’ve narrowed it down to some seriously viable options for you! Have you used browsers as workspaces before? Have you used any of these browsers? Any recommendations for me?

Take Advantage Of Your Lockdown Time With LinkedIn Learning

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EdX and Coursera may not have caught your interest, but if you have LinkedIn Premium, take advantage of their educational platform, LinkedIn Learning! There’s some excellent courses there, and I’m particularly fond of their series options. The series consist of multiple courses in one area, which means you get a more all-around education. Future or new entrepreneurs can really benefit from that, or if you need a new skill for work, you might find what you’re looking for here. These aren’t college classes, but instead lead by top people in their fields, so expect a more experience-driven lesson.

Become A Small Business Owner

This series covers the basics of entrepreneurship from writing a business plan, managing the financial side, and even balancing a new business with a personal life (something I’ve never mastered!). With seminars from Guy Kawasaki, Dave Crenshaw, and Dana Robinson, you’ll get advice from people who have already been there and done that.

Become A Marketing Specialist

If you’re struggling to market your business and bring in customers, take this crash course in marketing strategy. You’ll learn about branding, market analysis, designing campaigns, and writing copy. By the end, you should be able to create a comprehensive marketing plan that’s sure to be effective and help you grow your business.

Become A Content Strategist

If you’ve dreamed of becoming a freelance content creator, this course can help you get started. You’ll learn about content marketing, writing for blogs, newsletters, and other formats, and what makes pieces go viral. It’s not as easy as just slapping words on a page! If you take this, I strongly recommend taking the marketing course as well, because they share overlap in practice that will come in handy.

Improve Your Web Design Coding Skills

If you don’t yet have the budget to hire a professional web designer, you can do a lot with a template and some good old-fashioned know-how. This course will teach you basics on how to edit and modify templates, or even build a simple website. You won’t be the most high-tech person around, but even a baseline knowledge can come in extremely useful.

Become A Product Photographer

For those starting a business selling crafts or other physical products, this course is a must. You’ll learn how to take great photographs for advertising, use lighting to your advantage, and edit photos for the best results. Bloggers may also found this course to be useful, if you’re struggling with getting great photos of fashion or food for your posts.

Use your new free time wisely to get ahead or build a new career and take some courses to help you along the path. There’s so many great options out there that you’re sure to find something that fits your needs.

The Best Courses From EdX To Do While You’re Quarantined

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If Coursera wasn’t to your taste, try free courses from the top universities available through EdX! Use your time trapped alone in your house to learn new skills and it will pay off when normal life resumes!

Introduction to Internationalization and Localization

If you’re planning on releasing a digital (or tangible) product in various markets around the world, your marketing style and even the product itself may need to be tweaked. This course will help you fine-tune international product releases to best suit the situation.

Attending A Networking Event

As an introvert, networking is an ongoing battle for me. I’m actually pretty good at it now, but it’s taken a lot of work to get there. This course will help you improve at networking, from developing your elevator pitch to turning new contacts into professional leads.

Becoming An Entrepreneur

Whether there’s a business idea you’d like to move on or you just started your own company, this course can ensure that you have the basic and varied skillsets needed to get off to a strong start. You’ll learn how to research and create the various elements of a business plan, how to identify the validity and potential of an idea, and how to handle the initial launch of the business. It’s really useful for anyone who wants to be their own boss.

Academic And Business Writing

I have seen far too many people with college degrees who can barely write a coherent sentence. Don’t let that be you. Even if you have basic grammar under control, business writing is a bit different, and a course in it can make correspondence and reports come off as significantly more professional.

Enabling Entrepreneurs To Shape A Better World

A big trend in entrepreneurship is social entrepreneurship – starting a business designed to help a group of people, a community, the environment, or any of a dozen other causes that exist. There’s no reason business has to benefit the executives at the cost of everyone else, so I’m glad to see this trend. If you’d like to work for yourself even as you make a change, this course can help you identify a gap that you have the desire to fill and guide you through starting a socially responsible company.

Financial Accounting

Do not, do not, do not start a business if you haven’t taken a course in accounting. I’ve taken two – I absolutely hate accounting but I took two and worked hard to get the most I could out of them, and I’m better for it. They’ve helped me in jobs, they’ve helped me as a freelancer, and they helped me when I was running my business. This one is a basic introduction course that will give you the basics to understand keeping books and managing the financial side of your company.

Make the most of your time at home by expanding your professional knowledge!

Coursera Classes You Need To Take During Social Distancing

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Everyone’s trapped inside during the COVID-19 pandemic and starting to go stir-crazy. While some have the ability to work from home, a lot of companies have simply shut down operations, and entrepreneurs and small businesses in particular are struggling. Instead of rewatching The Office for the 18th time, take these free (or inexpensive) online courses from Coursera to build your skills so that you can come back stronger than ever.

Introduction to Software Product Management

If you dream of becoming a digital entrepreneur, designing software, this class will help you learn to efficiently manage product development and sales for maximum return. It can also help you gain knowledge to improve a career in product management for a well-established software company.

Introduction to Image Making

Bloggers, entrepreneurs, really anyone with a website or a need for marketing materials will benefit from this course. It teaches the art of making compelling images that will attract attention and draw people into your business. Graphic design isn’t something to just guess at, and your business relies on those images more than most comprehend.

Fundamentals of Graphic Design

This course certainly covers some areas of designing graphics, but focuses more on the overall result, including text, layout, and more. If you own a small business and need to design your marketing materials, this course can certainly help with that. There’s also a specialization course series if you want to go more in-depth.

Introduction to Typography

Fonts may seem like a simple and unimportant choice but when you’re branding yourself or your business, your choice of fonts can say plenty about you. Learn about how to best pair multiple fonts, choose a font that fits a certain emotion, and utilize them properly for maximum impact.

Build Your First Android App

People buy apps on a regular basis and it can be a great sideline for you. Some even blow up to became viral hits, offering an entirely new career path. This course guides you through the technical side of designing an app, and even how to release it.

Introduction to Web Development

This course will teach you the basics of designing and building a website, skills every entrepreneur should know. Even if you hire a professional designer for your business’ website, knowing the basics means that in a pinch, you can troubleshoot or edit to fit your needs.

How To Create A Website

This is another excellent course for learning the basics of web design. It’s a project based course, so by the end, you will have a functioning website – although you may still be fine-tuning. The skills you learn will be transferable to designing your own nice website. I strongly recommend this course over the other for freelancers and bloggers, who maybe don’t yet have the money for a professional, can’t justify the expense, and don’t have particularly strenuous needs for their blog or portfolio website.

Learn Spanish

This is actually a series of classes from UCDavis, and it’s well worth the cost. Spanish is increasingly spoken in the United States and having a basic, working knowledge of the language can be very useful, both in obtaining a new job or running a business.

TESOL Certification

If you’ve lost your job due to the pandemic, a TESOL certification can come in very handy. You can teach English around the world via your computer and bring in some extra money while you figure out your next steps.

Learn Mandarin

Chinese is used with increasing frequency in the business world, so take the opportunity to learn Mandarin. By the end of the course, you should have an introductory knowledge of the language and the ability to pass a level 1 HSK test.

Introduction to Negotiation

I got lucky that I have two very talented negotiators in my family who taught me at a young age, but I’ve met so many people who couldn’t negotiate to pay the asking price! My advice – silence is crucial. This course from Yale is a great way to learn one of the most useful skills you can have. If you feel you have ever been ripped off, definitely take this.

Excel Skills for Business

If you want to be really good in just one program of Microsoft Office, Excel is the one to pick for professionals. You might know the basics, but it’s well worth it to take a course and learn all of the other things you can do with Excel. By the end, you’ll be using the program more efficiently, wowing your boss (even if your boss is yourself).

Project Management Success

If you work in the corporate world, project management is a skill you need to rise. You need to be able to budget, accommodate time restraints, and solve issues. This course series will help you learn to do just that. It’s also useful for entrepreneurs who are considering branching out into another area or just expanding their product line.

Viral Marketing

I am a firm believer that any entrepreneur should have a working knowledge of marketing. Even if you hire a professional, there’s likely to be some point where you need to handle your own marketing. This class delves a bit into the psychology of marketing and how to make your business a hit in an overcrowded world.

Digital Marketing

This is a great option if your business is going to be primarily online, as it explores methods of marketing virtually, tracking analytics, and improving effectiveness of campaigns.

Social Media Marketing

While social media is important for a lot of businesses, I think this marketing course series is most important for bloggers. As someone who reads social media but generally doesn’t post, I’m still working on my online presence, even though I’ve done social media marketing for others. Take this to work on getting your name out there.

Business Foundations

If you have the business idea, but not the business know-how, this is the best all-around business course on Coursera. You’ll get basic knowledge on management, finance, marketing, and development, which you can then expand on as you build your venture.

Take this unexpected free time as a chance to grow and improve, and even chase your dreams. Don’t just sit back and lounge until it’s time to go back to your 9 to 5!

Make Yourself Portable With A Mobile Office

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In my post last week, I mentioned a mobile office, and while I’ve used one in some capacity for years, it occurred to me that others have not. As more companies allow people to work from home, I thought it might help to share what I keep in my mind so that everyone can work from wherever they want!

The Bag

The bag is one of the most important things.  If it’s not big or strong enough, it won’t carry your things.  If it’s not well-organized, you either can’t find anything or have to completely unpack it to work.  Neither is ideal.  I recommend a scrapbooking bag or a diaper bag, but if you’re willing to pay a bit more, you can use a bag designed for a mobile office.


Maybe you use a laptop for work, maybe you can get by with just a tablet, maybe you need both.  Computers and electronics are, of course, up to your personal preferences, but I’m a fan of Sony Vaio and Lenovo laptops.  If you’re looking for a tablet, right now I have Samsung, and it’s…fine, although I’ve had issues with the company.  My next tablet will likely be an IPad or a Windows Surface – I want much better handwriting recognition!


Get a portable battery so that you can work from wherever without worrying about running out of charge.  This one from Anker will keep you powered up for a long time on multiple devices.  Just remember to recharge it at night!

Portable Hotspot

You likely will want access to Wi-fi.  In the USA, it’s generally pretty easy to find free wi-fi somewhere, but if you’re traveling the world while you work, I strongly recommend a pocket hotspot – a lot of countries don’t have widespread internet.


You definitely want to have paper handy.  I know everything’s going digital these days, but sometimes you just need to scratch out a quick note.  Someone in sales might be able to get away with a simple legal pad folio, or a small spiral-bound notebook, whereas a writer may need a full binder.  Either way, make sure you keep it organized.

Pen Case

This goes hand-in-hand with the folio.  Pack a few of your preferred pens in various colors – black, red, blue to start – as well as a few highlighters.  You can also put a tablet stylus in here, if you use one.

Expanding File Folder

This is the best way to store your paperwork.  You can keep it organized, you can label it, and once a week, you can go through it so you only carry the essentials with you.  Use it for expense report receipts, notes, research, time trackers, and so on.

Charging Cords

Don’t forget the charging cords for your different devices, or you won’t be able to use the power bank!


Sometimes you need to drown out background noise.  Use earbuds to listen to a music playlist or find an ambient noise soundtrack online.  They also come in handy if you need to make a call in a public place, allowing you to use your phone hands-free, keep the call relatively private, and block out most noise.  These are worth investing a bit more money in a good pair.

Cloud Storage

Technically, this won’t go in your bag, but it’s good to have set up.  I have a cloud drive set up on my website, but you may want to use Google Drive or Dropbox, or another service.  Backing everything up to the cloud means you’ll never be without your files, so if you need to access something on a different device, you can!

Optional Extras

There’s other things to take into account, depending on your work.  Nowadays, there’s so many options, you can find a portable version of just about anything you need.  A scanning wand allows you to reduce the amount of papers you have to carry around, whereas a portable printer lets you print records or invoices wherever you are.  Think about your daily tasks and make sure you have the tools you need.

Studies have shown that people who work from home (or the coffee shop) are often more productive, so make yourself mobile!

Summer Productivity Tips When You Work From Home

Last updated on: Published by: jasmine 6

I’ve worked in offices, I’ve worked from home. I’ve worked in my car, I’ve worked in any coffee shop I could find. I even rented a co-working space a few times (mostly for meetings). And in the variety of settings, and variety of positions, I learned productivity techniques have to adjust accordingly. What works for getting a lot done in the office will not necessarily help you when you start working from home. And let’s be honest, at home, summer is a time when it’s really hard to stay focused on responsibilities.

When the sun is out and the weather’s beautiful (or too hot, whichever), no one wants to sit inside in their home office, cooped up and daydreaming! You want to enjoy the weather! You want to drink fancy cocktails by the pool and barbecue and relax! Unfortunately, somebody’s got to pay the bills. I’m going to share my techniques for finding that balance and keeping your productivity up, as well as your mood.

Summer Productivity Tips When You Work From Home | Midsummer Life Dream

Automate and Outsource

If you can automate tasks and projects, or outsource or delegate some or all portions of them, do so. You need to focus on doing what other people can’t. Sometimes automating is as simple as creating workflow processes so you don’t need to think about what to do next, and sometimes it’s using tools to finish tasks automatically – for instance, setting up IFTTT integrations to automatically promote blog posts or new products that were added to a website. If you have a blog on your website, it may be a good option to hire a content creator for it, rather than planning on writing everything for yourself. This won’t work for everyone and everything, but if you can simplify your life, why wouldn’t you want to?

Batch Your Tasks

Do all your emails at once. Make any phone calls back to back. Spend the morning doing creative tasks, and the afternoon dealing with accounting. Take whatever is on your “desk” and group them into similar categories – that keeps your brain on one track for things, rather than having to flip back and forth.

Take Breaks

If you don’t take breaks, you will burn out. Decide what length breaks work best for you – I normally prefer 10 minutes, but if I’m writing that day, I need at least 20 minutes between different pieces or I slow down significantly because I’m still thinking about the previous article. Some people advocate the Pomodoro method – work for twenty minutes, rest for 5 – but it doesn’t work for everyone, and you need to do what’s best for you. I do recommend breaks no more than an hour and a half apart, but you may benefit from every hour, or every 45 minutes. On your breaks, get a drink, have a snack, read a chapter in your book, or check social media. Get up and move a bit, too, even if it’s just a quick walk up and down the driveway, or a short yoga sequence.

Make Your Work Portable

Basically, work outside in the beautiful weather you don’t want to miss. You may have a gorgeous home office set up inside, but if you spend all day staring out the window, it doesn’t help you. Have a office-in-a-bag set up and you can work from anywhere – your front porch on beautiful days, the coffee shop when you start to feel like a shut-in, a hotel if you want to travel more, or at the airport while you’re waiting for a plane. And don’t think I’m saying just your laptop bag. You’re going to need something a bit…more. A diaper bag might work, or even a scrapbooking tote will work – both have lots of space and plenty of pockets to keep you organized. Pack a variety of colored pens, a couple of highlighters, a binder with paper, your planner, your laptop, and other things that keep you portable (a long list for what’s in the bag, but most of it can just stay there!), and you’ll be free to roam however far you want.

Dress Up Every Day

Even though you’re working from home, you should dress as if you’re headed into the office. You may not need a three piece suit, but don’t look like you’re about to start cleaning either. If you want to wear shorts, avoid denim and pick some nice linen shorts with a pretty shirt. The idea is, if you look like you’re going to the office, you’ll be in that mindset when you start working.

Make Use Of Tools

There are so many apps and programs and tools out there designed to make life and work easier, there’s no excuse for not using them. Figure out what is taking you the longest in your work, and then google it. See what can help you. Is there an app that will just automate it for you? Are there program hacks that simplify the task? If you spend a lot of time driving, get a voice to text program, so you can brainstorm ideas or “write” reports on the road. Don’t stick with a slower method just because it’s the way you’ve always done it – if you can simplify, you should.

Set Yourself Up For Comfort

I don’t know about you, but while I love working outside, when it gets too hot, my brain just starts to shut down. I slow down, the quality of my work drops off, and I get a bit, well, mean. I may love fresh air and sitting outside on a pretty day, but I am not good with heat.

To combat this, I have a big workshop fan that I keep aimed at my table. It’s really strong, so I stay cool, but it’s low enough that it doesn’t blow my papers away. That nod to comfort keeps me going. For you, it may be something else – maybe your furniture isn’t the most comfortable to sit on for long hours. Get a nice pillow, or invest in a new chair. Maybe the sun is too bright for part of the day – a patio umbrella or a small gazebo can solve that issue. Keep track of these small annoyances and fix them – quick (don’t let them get trapped on some to-do list! They matter and it’s best to just handle them).

Spend Time Planning

If you’re not planning your day, you are wasting time. It’s that simple. When you stop working at the end of the day, take a minute to put together a comprehensive to-do list for the next day. Before you start work in the morning, estimate how long different tasks will take you, prioritize them, and come up with a schedule to get everything done. When you get new tasks, meetings, or projects, put them in your planner. You may go analog or digital, calendar style or simple to-do list, but you have to plan.


If you miss out on the fun parts of summer, you’ll spend all your time thinking about them, rather than working. Want a frozen cocktail? Have a non-alcoholic version. I sip on virgin daiquiris or other fun drinks all day long. Craving the chance to barbecue? Pick a dish that doesn’t take a lot of effort to make – slow-roasted ribs or hoisin chicken – and start it in the morning. If you want to go to the pool, take your portable office kit with you – it also gives you the flexibility to go to the lake, the park, or wherever else.

I hope some of these tips work for you, and that you stay productive in this summer heat! It’s not always easy, but if you can up your productivity, you can essentially create more hours in your day, which means more time for fun – or for a side hustle!