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9 Tools We Use for Remote Work

Is spending 20% of your life on the road not working out for you? Do you need to avoid some bug making its rounds in your workplace? Do you want to stay in your jammies while being uber-productive? We all have a job to do at work but wouldn't it be good to be as effective at home.

It should be easy to work outside the office. Most of the applications to make this happen are available for desktop and portable devices. Some of them work when the internet connection is spotty. And once online connectivity is back, your hard work is saved online and synced across devices.

Here are 9 tools that keep things moving forward even if the traffic doesn't:

Clockify - working mobile takes a bit of discipline. Tracking usage of time helps you be mindful of how you use your time. The app allows you to measure time use for each task.  A task can are then associated with a project and a project to a client. This attribution of time allows the app to give insights on how you use your time.

Gmail - my preferred receptacle for incoming stuff. Stuff is anything that comes into my world that is asking for attention. From here, I do a fair amount of processing to get my inbox to zero and to update my action lists, schedules, and projects.

Slack - messaging or voice for faster communication or exchanges. Messages are searchable

Zoom - your online alternative to face to face meetings, Zoom is the video conferencing app that we use. The 40-minute limit when we meet with 3 or more people is actually a good limit to end calls or cut-off for breaks. If you turn the option on, you get to download a video, audio and chat log at the end of the meeting.

Trello - track projects here. Place outcome details, KPIs, responsibility, links to support material on cards. Cards placed on lists show progress status. Lists with color-coded post-it like cards laid out on a board give an overview of what’s moving and what’s not.

Google Calendar - there are things that have deadlines (i.e. taxes, business registration). And then there soft-schedules that you need reminders about (plan team vacation). Add team members or external parties to the invite to keep everyone on the same schedule.

Google Docs, Sheets, Slide - a word processor, a spreadsheet, and a presentation editor come with your Google account. This is where we do a lot of our work. It facilitates real-time collaboration. It also works offline, syncing everything when your connection recovers. Make sure to turn this offline feature on.

Google Drive or Dropbox - use these to make sure your team is working off the same digital assets. WeTransfer or Firefox Send if the files are massive (i.e. more than 25MB). No syncing with the latter two but you get to send the latest iteration.

HubSpot CRM - Customer Relationship Management. Getting the job done involves engaging a customer, a vendor, or a partner. At the least, this CRM is where we collect data about contacts. On top of taking care of business, the information makes it possible for you to remain relevant, helpful, and human.

You may want to add hemingwayapp.com to this list depending on how well you want to communicate. Guided by best practices, the app coaches you how to write better. In our case, our job demands that we write better.

There are other more specific tools we can talk about but these would be more specialized. These are the ones applicable for most activities. And some of these don’t need the internet to be useful.

So there you have it. 9 tools to help you get the job done wherever you are. What tools do you use to keep productive (and safe) nowadays?