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Remote work is no joke. Today, around 43% of Americans say that they spend at least one day a week working from home as per the New York Times. The more advanced our technology becomes, the more ways we have to take our work on-the-go.
Having worked remote for almost two years and having experimented with, downloaded, and used many products that I believed would make my remote work life a little easier, I have compiled ten products that have not only worked for me, but also for others.
Shift is an all in one email management app for both Mac and Windows. This app may seem one to brush off but it is truly powerful. Think about having your Gmail, Google Calendar and Trello all opened up in one window. This is Shift. I use it constantly to check in on incoming emails from coworkers as well as staying on top of my meetings throughout the day. I am all for saving some Chrome browser memory—are you too?
Slack, oh Slack. It is one of the most popular messaging tools used by both in-house and remote teams. At one point in my career I was using Hipchat (owned by Atlassian), but guess what? Atlassian was acquired by Slack. Which means that Hipchat is no more. Slack is easy to hop on and to learn how to use. For remote teams, I have found that using specific Slack channels for teams works wonderfully. The most important thing with Slack is to communicate openly and to make all information visible, which is crucial when working remote as 1:1 DMs can leave people out of the loop.
Zoom is a heavy-hitter. There is tons of other competitors for video conferencing and I don’t necessarily swear by Zoom, but it is one that I have used thus far that provides the most stability. Video conferencing tools take experimenting so I suggest signing up for trials for one or two of them and giving them a go with your team to see what works.
Google Suite is perfect for spinning up quick docs, sheets for data or presentation slides for you and your team. Documentation is a must in every team and Google allows real-time editing and collaboration to happen seamlessly.
Trello works as a great base to help you track your projects or tasks. I use it with my CPO for them to enter any big upcoming projects. From there I will expand, research, plan and keep the ongoing status in Trello for visibility. Being remote, this process is a way to communicate without consistently messaging or emailing your coworkers with questions or updates.
Notion.so is also a great alternative to Google Docs where you can have a personal space to keep your notes or team documentation.
Figureitout is a Chrome extension. Being distributed means not really knowing what timezone your coworkers are on. This extension allows you to set up different time zones, and every time you open a new tab on Chrome you’ll see all the time zones you have set up. Never go a day without knowing what time it is in California!
CloudApp will have your back when you find a bug or when you are trying to demonstrate a layout or design to a coworker. You can quickly take a screenshot, and it will create a link to send to your coworker. You can even annotate the screenshot to make it more specific.
Spotify for music. I don’t know about you, but I love having background music as I work. Using the Spotify app or the Spotify web player gives me the joy of streaming and sharing music 24/7.
Marinara keeps my day structured by allowing me to work in hyper focused blocks that lead to a break allowing me to not get burnt out. The mind needs those small moments of getting up and taking a fifteen minute walk or reading a book before diving back into the real work. The Pomodoro technique is most helpful when learning or working to get a project complete.
Please note: some URLs are referral links belonging to the author of the article. If you would rather not use these, you can directly look up the name of the app.
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