When you first began working from home, you may have thought it would free up some of your time for family and household responsibilities. No more commuting should mean more time for your home and your family — and maybe you thought you would free time for yourself, too. One of the challenges with running a home business is that you’re never really “off.” However, there are free or affordable tools and apps for your iPad that will help you make the most of your time and streamline your business.

Maximize your brain’s “RAM” memory.

By delegating various tasks to apps for your iPad, you can free up the time that you would normally spend on tasks that can be automated. This will allow you to focus on more urgent things throughout the day, and that includes time for yourself and your family.

Evernote: FREE 

Evernote is an all-in-one tool for notes and more. Evernote syncs across all of your devices.

Calendar: built into iOS

Create tasks, calendar entries and notes via the web or your iPad and sync all of your devices automatically. There are also numerous calendar apps available for iPad.

Due: $4.99

Jot down tasks and set up reminder alerts more efficiently than with the iPad’s built-in reminder app.

Be prepared to work remotely when running a home business.

If you are working or selling from your own living room, outside for a garage sale or even meeting with clients at their offices, you can easily use your iPad to give yourself and your business mobility.

LogMeIn: FREE

Control your Mac or PC directly from your iPad. 

Dragon Dictation: FREE

Use Dragon Dictation to record voice memos, take notes, send texts and emails and more while you’re on the phone. Dragon transcribes your voice to text that can easily be copied and pasted.

Dropbox: FREE

Use Dropbox for cloud storage for your documents, photos and more. Easily sync all of your devices so that your documents, presentations, videos and photos are easily accessible from wherever you are. 

Stay focused.

The Pomodoro Technique is a great way to stay focused. Deceptively simple, you perform 25 minutes of intensely focused work called “work sprints” followed by a five minute break. There are numerous apps to help you implement the Pomodoro Technique.

Pomodoro is particularly effective for people who are running a home business. You can customize your tasks and breaks for 20/10 to work your household tasks into your day. The 10 minute “breaks” offer enough time to complete most short household tasks.

Accept  payments via credit or debit card directly on your iPad. 

Devices such as Square and PayPal are two ways that you can accept payments from your iPad.  And remember you can’t take payments if you’ve forgotten your Square or someone thought it’d be funny to remove it. That’s where the SecureBack Modular Payments Enclosure for iPad comes in.  It protects your iPad and your card reader from theft but preserves the mobility of the iPad, making it ideal for those starting out with one iPad from home and work and established businesses looking to issue iPads to their workforce or across multiple locations.  This presents a great way to get your business started and generating cash flow.

Remember why you started your business.

You made the decision to run a home business so that you could have flexibility. Taking advantage of the iPad and its many features and possibilities takes your business — and your life — to the next level.

Working from home has many rewardsRunning a home business is more challenging than many people realize. The perception held by many people is of you sitting in your pajamas and working when you want and at your leisure. While this is definitely possible to an extent, the truth is that running a home business is more challenging than running a brick and mortar business or working for someone else.