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Practical Techie: Working offline can be productive

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During the pandemic years of 2020-21, working remotely from home, virtual classrooms and ongoing livestream conferencing are still a constant.

Cybercitizens must stay connected to the web constantly as never before. Productivity is a must, but weak WiFi signals can reduce efficiency. Navigating with a weak web connection becomes a nuisance when there is a push to stay busy.   

OPTIONS – In most situations, there is not enough budget to pay for a high-priced, commercial quality, protected connection to the internet.

However, there are ways to do cyber work without being plugged to the internet all the time. Of course, these options are not for visual and data intensive content but do provide workable alternatives when the need comes up.

FREE VoxOx is a digital phone service, but on steroids. It even beats Skype voice services in options. Its greatest attribute is that it automatically and comprehensively helps manage all the typical communications of a 21st century cybernaut.

The platform will coordinate calls from mobile phones, a commercial switchboard, home, as well as the user’s emails and instant messages. Basically, you import all electronic messaging into one place through a set of contacts you provide. VoxOx offers two hours of free ad clean phone. From then on, you either pay for the service or continue free, but with ads included.

OFFLINEDocstar.com is another open source cloud filing program. It handles personal files and has templates for different types of business communications or personal messaging. The user downloads templates from the cloud and then works on them offline. The most useful are the legal contract forms, all in English but easily translatable to different languages.

Docstar is a similar service to docstoc.com, which has templates for sales plans, marketing studies or civil contracts, real estate, the arts, fashion, education, technology, finance, and personal legal issues. Its database has 20 million documents, instructional videos, and tutorials. Just as helpful is JaxWorks.com. It offers templates in Excel format for accounting, finance and for small business sales.

ONLINE – If you want to start a small store on the web, go to shoppingcart.com to shape your business online from the first step. It has several entrepreneurship tools such as website design, marketing, inventory management, and launch strategies. The basic site is free, but if the business grows, you have to subscribe to get more bandwidth. Elance.com is a free virtual service to locate web designers, translators, programmers, graphic artists and content producers, if you need such services.

This other one, brokenlinkcheck.com checks if your portal has broken links, something that greatly anger visitors to your pages.

RESEARCH – Also very useful is clicky.com, a service that analyzes web page online activity in real time. The basic service is free and tells the entrepreneur how many people visit a website, which articles or pages receive the most clicks, where visitors are on each page, actions taken by the visitor within the page, etc.

If you pay, clicky gives you information on how to contact the visitor who was interested in any information in your pages. Clicky even warns if your site goes offline, that is, if it disconnects from the web due to low signal or speed and a brownout. It works anywhere in the world.

ALTERNATIVE – Most of the above options offer useful ways to keep working on a digital project even when the internet connections falter.

You just have to know where to look for the tool that will help keep your digital life vibrant and productive during the coming new year.

Author Details
Author Rafael Matos is a veteran journalist, a professor of digital narratives and university mentor. He may be contacted at cccrafael@gmail.com.
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