Remote work is not always easy. Some people struggle with staying productive in their home office, others have difficulties with the communication between their clients or team members.
Luckily, there are plenty of remote work apps out there today, that help you keep track of your tasks and make your online job easier. After all, you don’t need to make your life more complicated than it has to.
Check out these amazing tools and improve your work-from-home performance immediately!
Remote Work Apps For Every Work-From-Home Professional
Since there are literally thousands of helpful remote work tools on the market, I have structured this list a bit into the following categories:
Communication is one of the most important but also the most challenging part of working remotely. Not being in the same office as your team members or clients can be a true issue. The following remote work tools help you stay connected efficiently.
Looking for an alternative to Skype? Google Hangouts is actually a great and well-performing option for audio and video meetings. In case you use Slack, it can easily be integrated and simplify your working life.
HipChat is another chatting tool that is gaining more and more popularity. It is especially handy when you use Jira or any other Atlassian products since it fits perfectly to the concept.
When you want to explain a task to a coworker who is not right next to you, it can get tricky. Jing is a lightweight solution that allows you to create screencasts of up to five minutes. You can then upload it and get a shareable link. Less time consuming and confusing than emails or screenshots.
Join.me doesn’t only give you the option of audio and video calls with your team, it also lets you share your screen with others. Perfect for quick meetings on the fly.
Slack is one of the most popular remote work apps out there. People who use it would probably refer to it as a religion rather than anything else. The real-time chat allows you to stay in touch with your team members. You will also find hilarious gifs, handy chatbots and countless integrations to cut down on your emails.
If you are working in very large teams and are looking for a meeting tool that allows you to host a big number of people, Zoom would be your default choice. You can also record and broadcast your meetings for future reference.
2. Team Feedback
When you manage a remote team, having great communication tools sometimes isn’t enough. In case you need quick feedback or want to check out the current team’s sentiment, here are the best tools for you.
Chimp or Champ
Although Chimp or Champ is not exactly an app, it can be super useful to manage remote teams. Imagine an online suggestion box. It allows your team to provide helpful feedback and quickly check on their level of happiness.
Want to find the perfect time for the next team meeting or the opinion about a new decision? Doodle is a perfect tool to send out short polls of any kind and get a quick response.
OfficeVibe is a great way to monitor everyone’s satisfaction and happiness. The team members get regular direct messages with questions to answer about their overall mood, feelings towards the team and so on. The answers are then sent anonymously to the team leader (or whoever you put in charge).
3. File Management
A very important factor when working remotely is file management. Especially when you work together with others you need to find a way to store your data so that others can see, edit and create it as well. Thankfully, there are several ways to take care of this issue.
Box is a great alternative to Google Drive and Dropbox that allows you to save and share important files securely. You can also easily connect it with tools like Office 365, Google Apps or Slack.
Dropbox is a very popular cloud storage provider that is free to use with limited space. Save your files and share them with others if needed and let them edit or add new stuff.
Google Drive. The classic. No need for much explanation. Store and collaborate on spreadsheets, documents and much more with your normal Google account.
Quip is a way of file sharing that addresses one of the weaknesses of Google Docs. It allows teams to collaborate, which means discuss documents, spreadsheets and task lists. You can leave comments, accepts and reject versions.
4. Time Tracking
When you work as freelancer, you need a way to track your time so you can invoice your clients properly. But even when you are employed your employer might want to see some kind of proof what you are doing and how long it takes you.
So one of the following tools should be in the starter kit of every remote worker.
Time Doctor is my favorite time tracking app so far. It lets you track the tasks you are doing and also reminds you to stay focused in case you get distracted by things like Facebook, YouTube or such. It automatically generates bills for your clients and integrates with many popular project management tools. A great way to stay productive!
Hours is a simple and clean tool to log all of your hours in one place. It gives you a visual timeline, reminders and reports. That’s it. No unnecessary features to distract you. Only focus on your hours.
With Harvest you can track your team’s progress and run reports for tasks, team members or clients. Moreover, you can log expenses, check payment capabilities, see your business’s profitability, and get timesheet approvals.
Need a bit of pressure to get your work done? Hubstaff takes periodic screenshots of what you are doing (too risky to hang around Facebook all day) and allows you to create accurate time reports.
Toggl is another one of the big players for time tracking. You get a handy dashboard to review and create reports. What’s more, you can even connect it with other apps like Todoist or Asana.
Teamweek lets you plan your time visually. The entire team can then view the activities in an open calendar. Nice design and intuitive to handle.
5. Project Management
A project management app is absolutely essential for distributed teams, but can also be handy for many freelancers or entrepreneurs, who work with clients or business partners.
There are hundreds of project management apps out there. You have to test and see what has all the functions your team needs and a user experience that you like the most.
Asana is very popular amongst bigger businesses. It is a professional and very powerful project management app with impressive layouts to organize projects between a large number of team members.
If you have heard of only one project management app in your entire life, then chances are pretty good it’s Trello. This powerful tool helps you organize to-dos and projects while using different boards. Perfect to share with team members, too.
If you are a freelancer and are looking for a smart project management app, Basecamp is the tool to go. What comes super handy is the feature that you can easily share your projects with guests or clients.
Float is a great option for smaller teams that lets you handle resources and track projects. You can easily customize and use it.
JIRA is another great alternative for project management and issue tracking. It is a fairly robust app which is perfect for managing work sprints.
MeisterTask uses colorful layouts to organize and structure tasks and projects. You can also monitor the activities inside of your team with your dashboard.
Pivotal Tracker is yet another remote work app to track agile sprints and manage projects with clients. It is very popular with developers around the world.
TaskWorld is similar to Trello or Asana. What makes it different is the added feature of the chat function. Stay in touch with the rest of the team while organizing your tasks.
10,000ft is a super handy app that is not only great for a distributed workforce, but for teams in general. The visual interface, which is very much like a prettier version of a Gantt chart, helps you keep an overview. In addition, it allows you to track your time and create reports with analysis of the profitability of projects and workers.
Staying productive might be one of the biggest struggles of remote workers. Too many potential distractions in your home office, too many things to keep track of as a freelancer or entrepreneur. But worry no more! Here are some brilliant applications that help you through the day.
You have probably heard of the Pomodoro Technique before. You split your work in 25-minute sprints and take a break of 3-5 minutes in between every working period. This helps your brain to relax and to get new energy. The TomatoTimer does exactly that: It stops your time and reminds you to take your necessary breaks.
Focuslist is another great option if you want to use a pomodoro timer. In addition to your time, this app also lets you monitor your tasks.
Forest is a perfect app for everyone who gets easily distracted by their phone. It removes the most significant phone distractions so you can finally focus on your work again.
Daily check-in meetings are hard when it comes to distributed teams and several time zones. The app iDoneThis lets you track your daily tasks without an actual meeting. At the end of the day, the team members report their daily results and the next morning everyone gets the info and the chance to comment on the tasks.
In case all of those project management tools and to-do lists are too complex for your needs and you are looking for a basic app, NowDoThis might be the right thing for you. List your tasks and tick them off when they are done. Easy.
Never heard of Nozbe? It’s about time! Nozbe is a powerful tool that is somewhere between a project management and productivity app. You can organize your incoming tasks, prioritize and manage them to get your work done quickly and effectively.
Ever wondered how much time a day you spend on Facebook, Tinder or just checking your emails? RescueTime tracks all of that and helps you analyze our productivity. If you want to reduce the time you spend on certain websites or tasks, the app lets you limit their usage, too.
Do you want to use the same system that Google, Uber or Intel are using? Perdoo is a remote work tool that lets you set, update and monitor your own goals, your team’s and companies’ goals. The aim is to achieve your key results, so that you can then reach your objective (OKR = Objectives and Key Results).
Todoist is a perfect remote work app that helps you keep track of all of your to-do lists and items. It is not only smart, but also responsive and works offline. On top of that you can use it for team collaborations, too.
When you work from home, you naturally don’t move around as much as if you would in an office. You don’t need to leave the house, go to the office, run between meeting rooms, or go to a cafeteria for lunch. Your body surely won’t be too excited about the lack of movement.
Another important factor is mental wellbeing. Trying to stay focused when you work from home with all the potential distractions, can be very hard sometimes. The following apps might help you with it.
Extra Tip: There are a few other tools and tips that you can use to stay fit as a digital nomad. Check out the linked post!
I won’t get tired of talking about the benefits of meditation. Only a few minutes a day are enough to refresh your brain, energize and be able to focus again. Mindfulness is a very easy app that provides you with tones and guided meditations.
Seven is a very handy exercise app, that challenges you to do a quick but very intense 7-minute workout. Exercises switch between cardio and strength and can easily be done in a quick break from work.
Take a Break Please
When you work from home and don’t have to pay attention to breaks or office closing hours, it can be very tempting to work all day. A painful hunchback, dry eyes and a stiff neck are often the result. Take a Break Please is an app that forces you to take breaks throughout the day. It’s only for your best.
Similar to Mindfulness, Tide is a meditation app, that gives you relaxing melodies, peaceful backgrounds and motivating quotes.
Of course, there are countless more helpful remote work apps out there that don’t fit into any of the mentioned categories. Find some of the best ones here.
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We all know that Evernote and OneNote are great solutions to keep your daily notes safe and organized. Bear is another fantastic alternative to them that allows you to take offline notes and thus, increase your productivity.
LastPass stores all of your passwords and usernames so you don’t have to remember any of them. If you want to, you can even share different accesses with your team members, without them seeing the actual password.
Human brains are fascinating. While some can only work when it’s super quiet in the room, others need a busy surrounding to get them going. Noisli generates artificial sounds, like the wind in the trees or a busy coffee shop. In case you want to cover unwanted sounds, you have a wide range of white noise to choose from.
You need to have a time zone app. Doesn’t matter which one. If your team, clients or business partners are spread across the world, you NEED to have one. Timezone.io is a great way to see what time everyone is in and helps you organize meetings and deadlines.
World Time Buddy
World Time Buddy is another alternative to Timezone.io. Type in the places where everyone is located and see exactly at what time you can schedule your meetings.
Don’t feel like working from home today? No problem. Workfrom shows you the best cafès, pubs, restaurants or coworking spaces near you with great WIFI, many power sockets and tasty food options.
Ready to Simplify Your Remote Job?
Oh dear, that was a list! Of course, you don’t need all of these remote work apps. But do yourself a favor and test a few. See how you like the features and feel of them. If you like the idea and need the functions but are not a big fan of the design, test an alternative! There are plenty of versions of anything on the market, waiting for you to give them a try.
I’m sure you will find one or even a few apps that work perfectly for your needs and that will simplify your work-from-home job.
What’s your favorite app for remote work or managing distributed teams? Share your experience and let us know in the comment section below!