Whether you are an employee who occasionally works from home, a stay-at-home freelancer, or you just work on your train rides to your office, you probably have been confronted often to the challenge of remote work. Actually, with the tools available nowadays, remote working is not so much of a challenge as it used to be.
On the organisational side, you need to be disciplined and focused to be able to work remotely, but you also need the tools for it. Here is a quick overview of the tools that will help you to be productive away from the office.
You probably already use this messaging and video conference app, but it’s still worth a mention in this post as an unmissable communication tool. Lesser known great features are the ability to share your screen, which is pretty cool when working remotely, and the possibility to set a timer on calls for support-related work. You can download it from the official site if you didn’t install it yet.
Often described as an advanced group chat app, Slack is actually much more than this. It makes teamwork possible and improves your workflows tremendously. Download it here.
Workplace by Facebook has been pushed by the social media giant, the app is a kind of group version of Messenger, with some features specifically designed for work. It has the big advantage on using an interface and tools that most users will already be familiar with for file sharing or calling. Try it here.
Project management & Notes
Trello is an online project management tool that will simplify your life by keeping everything your team needs in one place, as well as giving you the big picture on your project, or allowing you to get into details on a specific point. It’s extremely user-friendly with a drag-and-drop interface, and the least you could say is that it’s feature-rich with the possibility to add checklists, tags, images, videos, limit dates, and so on… You should definitively give it a try.
Evernote is an online note taking app that gives you tremendous powers and allows you to focus better on your projects. Although this app is more known for its single user features, it has some cool business functionalities that allow for better group work. Check it out here.
Productivity & Collaboration
Everybody already knows Dropbox, this folder that syncs in the cloud and allows for very easy large files sharing. Dropbox is useful for remote work in two ways: for one, it gives you the possibility to share folders and files with your team, for two, it allows for syncing your files accross several computers. If you are not using it yet, you should try it.
Google Drive is a bit like Dropbox, but more oriented to collaboration on documents. Whether you need to work on text files, spreadsheets or presentations, you can do so by intervening directly into the document. Every change will be attributed to its author, so it’s very easy to see who changed what and approve it or not. It also includes useful commenting features. If you have a Google Account, you can start using it right away here.
This tool targets specifically developers and designers. Codepen is a social development app to share code and show off your work. You can also use the version of the app for team and enjoy cool features that will make your shared dev easier. Try it here.
i done this
This online app is a to-do list for teams that greatly improves productivity. It provides daily check-ins and powerful progress reports (probably the most useful feature). Check it out here.
I’ve mostly used ExpressVPN when I was working in China, but some company require that you use a VPN when connecting to the company server (and they are right to require that). If the VPN is not imposed by the company and you can choose the one you’d like to work with, I’d suggest ExpressVPN.
Passbolt is a free and open-source group password management tool. Free is if you choose to use the community edition, for a cloud version, you’ll have to pay a fee. It is well worth it if your company values security, as it is extensible and built on open security standards. Try it now for free.