There is no doubt that working from an office has its advantages. One of the greatest advantages is that the majority of the tools you will need are given to you. Although this varies from job to job, your company will likely supply you with some essential tools to get you started.
Not only that, they will probably help train you in how to use those tools within your first few weeks. Sure, not all companies go through a rigorous training program. Nevertheless, it benefits them to have employees that are knowledgeable in common tools.
On the other hand, a remote employee might not have the same benefits. Particularly if you are a part-time remote employee or a hired freelancer. Some employers might actually expect you to know how to use the tools they already use.
With such a wide pool of talent to choose from, employers find it easier to hire people that already know. Training takes time and, ultimately, money. This is why it’s better to get a general understanding of some key tools before applying for a new position. Even if you don’t have a deep understanding, just knowing the basics can go a long way.
Always be wary of the latest apps that can help you stay productive while working online. This is an all-around good habit to pick up. A little preparation can make the difference between getting the job you want and falling short of another candidate.
To help you with this, we have compiled a list of a few apps that may help you stay ahead of the curve and may even raise your own productivity in the process.
Being aware of the latest in work applications doesn’t necessarily correlate with your work quality. The reason for learning these is more about making the onboarding process simpler. Say, for example, that the entire company uses a software like Slack to communicate. Your work quality won’t change whether you know how to use it or not.
However, your ability to communicate with the company’s team and understand the way they organize their groups might. In-company communication is very important. Hiring someone that is already knowledgeable in the company’s default communication software just makes things easier.
Precisely. Still, more than just helping you stand out from a pool of applicants, it can also benefit you in other ways. Many of these apps can help develop your own workflow. Apps like Trello and Click Up can help you streamline your work processes. This way, your own workflow will become more efficient and you might be able to take on more clients.
The advantages are many, the disadvantages are really just the time you spend learning to use them. And even that is a plus on its own because those hours will be invested in learning to use tools that can boost your productivity.
Well, this is where it gets a little more complicated. There are countless apps to choose from. It’s not really a cookie-cutter, one-size-fits-all situation. The best app will always be the one that is best for you.
Nevertheless, we won’t leave you high-and-dry. Below we have compiled a list of some very useful apps. Some you may need, others might not be what you are looking for. Hopefully you find a few that peak your interest and add value to your current work processes. Let’s dive in.
Trello is a great tool for organizing cards or boards with your tasks and workflow. It uses a Kanban system by which you can organize pending, ongoing, and completed tasks. Or, however you choose to organize them. You can also attach images, documents, and other files and share it with your team members.
Asana helps teams manage their projects and tasks. Teams can create projects, assign work, specify deadlines, and communicate their progress about ongoing tasks (within the task so as to avoid confusion). Asana also offers more advanced visualization features as well as uploading and exporting of files to Google Drive, Dropbox, etc.
Monday is Work Operating System, or Work OS, that helps teams organize projects and workflows. It allows for a collaboration system that is simple, transparent, and connected. Like Asana, Monday offers features that help visualize projects more easily. These include timelines, Kanban boards, calendars, charts, etc. The company prides itself on its simple and easy-to-use interface.
Click Up allows you to place all of your tasks in one place and organize them into different folders and projects. Similar to Asana and Monday, you have numerous visualization tools at your disposal. You can also assign the tasks to individual team members, track times, etc. And you can share files and progress with clients through limited access functionality.
Airtable is another great option for project management. It can store information in a spreadsheet manner, as well as act like a database for customer-relationship management (CRM). It also shares the same capacities as the aforementioned platforms: a number of visual task and project management tools.
Slack is a messaging tool created to eliminate the need for in-company emails, text messaging, and instant messaging. It does so by combining these features into a single platform for your team. Here you can create groups for specific projects or tasks. By organizing tasks into groups and adding only essential members, you can minimize the noise and maximize collaboration.
Hangouts helps users connect via talk, text, or video. This messaging and conferencing platform has all the reliability you would expect of a Google-made product. It stores past chats and allows you to save Youtube videos for future reference. It also allows for integration with other Google products like Calendar. This is an overall well-rounded tool for communicating with colleagues and clients.
G Suite is a great alternative to Hangouts if you would rather get the full package. G Suite is comprised of Hangouts, Gmail, Calendar, Drive, Docs, Sheets, Slides, Forms, etc. It allows for a full immersion into the Google ecosystem while also permitting teams to collaborate. You will also receive an Admin panel and Vault to manage users. If you’re a fan of Google products, this offers a fantastic package.
Zoom is similar to Hangouts in that it’s also a web-based video conferencing tool. You can use it both as a desktop platform or mobile app. Zoom allows users to record sessions, annotate on presentations, and collaborate on projects. Use it for one-on-one meetings with colleagues or clients, or hold a live seminar with 1,000 participants.
Evernote is a multi-purpose note-taking app. Available as desktop and mobile app, Evernote allows the user to keep track of nearly everything. Its primary function is note taking, which allows for to-do lists, task management, reminders, etc. However, it can also serve as a digital file cabinet as you can import images, virtual receipts, boarding passes, articles, etc. Its multi-functionality is what makes it one of the best apps to keep track of your thoughts and reminders.
Todoist is simple: you add tasks and complete them. It’s exactly as the name implies, a virtual to-do list. The added benefits are that through the app you can also schedule weekly tasks, reminders, and overall allows for tailor-organizing of your pending tasks.
Mindmeister is a tool better suited for visual organizers. It’s an online mind-mapping application that allows you to visually organize, share, and present your thoughts to colleagues and clients. You can save and edit your mind maps as the project progresses.
RescueTime creates an ecosystem through its lightweight desktop app, browser extension, and mobile app. By integrating these three you can keep track of where you spend your time. Throughout the day it tracks how long you spend on productive and unproductive tasks. Then it compiles that data for you into a neat, well-designed chart.
Toggl is similar to RescueTime in that it helps track your time. Toggl has both desktop and mobile applications that can help track the time you spend on different tasks and projects. The timer can be interactive or the user can input the time through manual entry. The app helps users keep track of where they spend their time and identify areas that require improvement.
Calendly is an app for scheduling appointments, meetings, and events. What sets it apart from other calendar apps is simply that it eliminates the back-and-forth of finding the right time. With Calendly, the user can mark the times when they are available and share that with others. This way, the other person simply chooses a time that works for them and the meeting is automatically scheduled for both users.
1Password is a password manager app. In these modern times, cyber security is a top priority. Rather than risk having your password discovered, using an app like 1Password can help. The app creates unique strong passwords and helps you keep track of them. In the event of a hack, it also makes it much easier to change your password.
Timezone.io is a tool created by Buffer to help you keep track of the time for each of your teammates. One of the most interesting aspects of working remotely is that team members can be spread across the globe. Keeping track of where everyone is and what timezone their in can be a tedious task. Timezone.io helps you keep track of the time for every member of your team, so you don’t have to!
As mentioned previously, we couldn’t possibly list ALL the apps available for remote workers. Hopefully the apps we did mention can, at the very least, give you an idea of what you might need. Again, the specific apps you will need depend entirely on the nature of your work and your working habits.
Nevertheless, it’s always good to know what’s out there and practice using a few until you find the one (or many) that suit your workstyle.
It’s also worth mentioning that the majority of the apps mentioned here are for promoting work productivity. However, you might also want to consider installing some security apps. Especially because your computer is, quite frankly, your entire office. You want to make sure to keep your computer and devices safe.
Consider using a VPN, antivirus software, firewalls, password managers, and other such software. Similarly, you can learn some great habits like encrypting your own files and creating backups. This way, you will have productivity apps to improve your work and security practices to keep it safe!