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Remote working? 5 Apps for your Toolkit

Essential tools for remote workers

For the last 8 months, I’ve been working remotely for several fast-paced startups.

During my day, I get the honour of using a handful of apps that makes that whole process a lot easier. Things from video calling technology to email services, all of these provide better ways to me to communicate with a team, whether I’m speaking to the team in India, the CEO in the US or a team in Birmingham, resources make everything work like clock-work.

Out of the many 100s of resources I’ve decided to pick five top apps that have been helping me recently towards working remotely.

Escape — for distractions

Famously a great way to keep track of my distractions. One of the most prolific thing is a remote worker is distractions. Seeing as you aren’t around a team, you are more prone to the temptations of distracting yourself.

I’ve managed to improve this hugely over the last few months and on my last remote working stint in 2014, but sometimes we are human. Escape for Mac aims to track the sites you visit, and embarrass you with the amount of time you got distracted. This data can prove very handy, whether it’s being distracted every 13 minutes or 34 minutes, this can help cut your unnecessary visits to Facebook or Twitter.

Check it out!

Bear — for beautiful notes

Note-taking has historically been a memorable experience. Ideas and inspiration comes from notes, that’s what makes it a beautiful experience. Bear Notes has introduced a new and distraction-free note-taking experience for Mac and iOS. It’s impressive, working natively on both devices, its perfect for those looking to get some distraction-free work done, ideal for those who write and great for those who simply like to dump ideas and thoughts.

For remote work, that’s important, making sure you get quality work done is the goal and Bear helps me craft my best pieces of writing, where I feel most rewarded. Bear Notes is a fantastic note-taking solution, well worth checking out.

Check it out!

Newton — for intelligent email

Being able to track the progress of an email is something I never even considered to be beneficial. But as a remote worker and freelancer, this concept has become even more valuable by the day. Tracking whether an email has been opened in real-time combined with “send later” where I can now send emails for a scheduled date in the future has been saving me hours of time, especially as I’m working for companies in both the UK and India.

These features have been residing in one of the best email experiences, Newton. It’s everything I’ve ever wanted in an email experience and one of my most used resources to helping me get my remote work done.

Check it out!

Timezone.io — for work/life balance

Working out what time it is around the world is sometimes pretty tough without a calculator, with all of your items you have to do its one of the last things you should have to worry about. I used to have to Google “Google, what’s the time in ______” every single time. Now it’s much easier.

Having all of my timezones on one dashboard is not only a time-saver but it’s a real life-saving when it comes to interacting with customers, colleagues and friends. Timezone.io is my go to app for setting this up, I actually discovered this from a recommendation by the fully remote Doist team. Kudos to them!

Check it out!

Slack — for real-time communication

You must have heard of Slack, an many of you have. If you haven’t I’d love to know in the comments where you have been. Slack is one of the most used tools for chatting with the team. It’s well-designed and easy to use, it’s like Facebook Messenger for your work friends. They’ve recently introduced a new feature called Threads which I’m yet to fully use, apparently it’s great to starting discussions without bombarding your “channels” (basically groups) on Slack. Slack is free to download an great for small and large teams to get connected. A remote workers must, even if it’s a team of 2, your private WhatsApp chat can get messy!

Check it out!

As I mention there are hundreds more of these, and they all play a part in helping me work from cafes and by living room, but connect with all the brilliant team members I get to work with across my week. Let me us know in the comments whether you remote work and what tools you use on a daily basis to get things done.

If you’d like to follow my work I’m on Twitter and I’m also on YouTube making videos about how to get stuff done.




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Francesco D'Alessio

Francesco D'Alessio

🎯 Host of Keep Productive — predicting the future of productivity apps and helping people find and learn the tools & software.

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