The 20 Best Productivity Tools for Remote-First Companies & Distributed Workforces
Working remotely brings unique challenges that make staying productive more difficult. Here are 20 amazing tools remote companies can use to save time & maximize productivity.
For years, remote teams have found themselves at a distinct disadvantage when working, communicating, and collaborating.
The problem isn’t that remote teams are less capable than in-person teams. It’s that remote work presents unique challenges that can make managing tasks and staying productive more difficult.
But times have changed.
As remote work has become more popular and technologies have advanced, a rising tide of remote-friendly tools designed for remote-first and distributed companies are rapidly moving to eliminate these disadvantages.
There are now plenty of tools out there to help remote teams collaborate more effectively, save time, and maximize productivity. The question is, which ones are best?
We’ve put together a list of our favorites.
Loom is a video messaging tool that helps you communicate with your team through instantly shareable videos. With Loom, you can record your desktop session while simultaneously recording your camera and microphone.
Most people leverage Loom to make video introductions, introduce and onboard new employees, give feedback and project updates. But you can also use it for internal process reviews and bug reports, which your product or development team members can then watch when best suits them.
As you probably already know, Slack is a messaging software tool that can help you manage all of your remote team communications in one place. It’s a great choice if you’re looking for an alternative to email, instant messaging, or other tools.
With Slack, you can organize all of your company conversations into channels based on different projects, topics, etc. Each person can also direct message other team members and create their own dashboard with private channels.
Zoom is an enterprise video conferencing tool that burst onto the stage with the COVID19 pandemic. It’s quickly become a favorite among SMBs and large enterprises alike. You can video conference using Zoom and share your screen, draw on a whiteboard, and even have multiple people on screen at the same time.
Yeah, okay, this one is not that exciting, but it’s definitely useful! Google Meet is a collaboration and communication tool that’s a part of Google’s business productivity bundle, G Suite. Meet can accommodate multiple users video calling each other. iOS and Android users can download the Hangouts Meet mobile app for on-the-go video calling.
If you haven’t heard of Discord yet, it’s probably because it’s a relatively new addition to business communication technology. It was launched a while back as a spinoff of the popular chat and voice app Skype and was primarily designed for gamers.
However, as many have begun to find out, it can be used by any businesses that want to use a messaging program. It offers several features that make it stand apart from other services. For example, you can access the service on your phone, and you don’t have to worry about your messages being hacked.
Microsoft Teams is a chat-based workspace that allows teams to share files and communicate with text, voice, and video. The product was launched in 2016, and in the time since, it has grown impressively. I have been using it for over 6 months now. During this time, I have discovered many hidden benefits of using Microsoft Teams to run my meetings and collaborate with other people on projects.
Project management tools
Airtable is a powerful cloud service for building collaborative apps, customizing your workflows, tracking and reporting. It gives you all the control you need to run your business from one place or on the go. If you’re a business owner who is ready to move beyond spreadsheets, but you want a system that’s easy to use and takes care of the more complex processes, Airtable is for you!
Trello is a simple and straightforward collaborative project management tool that helps you organize your tasks, projects, and ideas in an easy-to-understand way.
There are lots of different features and benefits that you can get from Trello, such as the ability to create lists, drag and drop, and move cards around. The great thing about it is that you can create as many boards as you want, assign colors to them, and then add cards to each board.
Asana is a project management tool that allows you to track your team’s tasks, projects, and opportunities. It’s a great way to keep track of the things you need to work on, and it gives you an easy way to organize them. The most important thing about using Asana is that it keeps you organized and makes it easy to collaborate with your team.
Monday.com was created to help people understand what they need to do on a daily basis. The platform is designed to be easily navigated and well organized. Information in one place lets team members work together efficiently to create, manage, and communicate projects.
Monday is kind of like an online whiteboard that displays progress data in a visually appealing & logical format. One of Monday’s highlights is it gathers & displays progress data in an easy to understand manner, which empowers team members to keep track of common operations and projects.
If your business relies on graphic design, then InVision is well-worth considering. This web-based tool allows you to quickly turn your designs into animatics and prototypes with an easy to use interface. Clients can provide feedback in the form of comments on your designs, and you can keep them and other team members up to date with the project’s progress in real-time through actionable to-do lists.
Figma is a cloud-based design tool that helps teams communicate designs quickly and easily. It features a simple drag-and-drop interface, allowing you to change designs on the fly.
Figma stores all assets in one place so teams can find what they need instantly. It also reduces friction between teams by allowing users to share live prototypes with different departments. Your engineers can inspect, export, and copy code while your marketing team edits the copy.
File sharing & collaboration tools
It’s not flashy, but geez, is it handy. Google Docs is a word processor included as part of the free, web-based Google Docs Editors suite. This suite also includes other apps such as spreadsheet and drawing programs.
Google Docs allows you to create and edit text documents right in your browser. Multiple people can work at the same time, and editing is saved automatically. One little hidden gem with Google Docs that you may not know about is its voice typing feature, which can save you a lot of time.
Google Drive is a cloud storage tool that allows you to store documents, spreadsheets, presentations, photos, and other files online for easy access from any device. It provides a great way to keep your business docs secure while maintaining the ability to collaborate with other people in your team. It’s super easy to upload files and share them, and anyone in your team can access them from any computer, phone, or device, from anywhere in the world.
Dropbox is a simple and popular cloud-based storage service that allows you to access your files from any computer or mobile device. You can also share files with other people to work on the same project at the same time.
Adobe Document Sign
Adobe Document Sign is an online form that allows you to sign documents electronically. It’s definitely a tool you should consider using if you produce many documents online. It will enable you to sign, encrypt, and digitally watermark documents in an easy way without having to use a scanner.
Lastpass is a password manager that allows you to safely and securely store all your passwords in one place. Lastpass encrypts your credentials, so if you lose them or they fall into the wrong hands, they cannot be used for any nefarious purposes. You can use LastPass to log in to all your company’s different accounts with one password and share passwords and login details securely with your team.
Zapier is a web-based service that allows you to create workflows with other apps without any coding. With Zapier you can have an app that automatically updates a website with a new blog post or automatically sends an email whenever someone signs up to your mailing list. The great thing about Zapier is that set up is incredibly easy. Zapier walks you through setting up your automations step by step.
Automate is a tool that makes it easy for anyone to automate their workflows. With Automate, your team will be able to use pre-built automation templates and visualize automation workflows on a single screen to track and automate emails, webpages, social media posts, and much more. Automate integrates with several different tools, including MailChimp, ActiveCampaign, and GetResponse.
Workato is a platform that brings together all the tools you need to manage your team, projects, and clients. It’s accessible from any device, including iOS and Android smartphones, tablets, and PCs. Workato can help you automate your social media marketing and much more. For example, it can automatically schedule posts on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, LinkedIn, and Pinterest.
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Originally published at https://magazine.intrepid.technology on February 8, 2021.