We’ve been all working from home for a while now. So it’s high time to compare our remote toolboxes and see if you’ve got all the essentials covered!
Check out what works for us and many others and you just might find that last missing puzzle that’ll make your remote working process run like a Swiss clock.
Slack, Microsoft Teams and Cisco Webex
No surprises here. Slack is the #1 communication tool for a reason. It’s an awesome way to stay in touch and communicate with everyone you need to.
We love it because it’s super easy to create different chat channels, separate projects and have a place to banter without getting in the way of any important conversation.
If needed Slack also has video calling, file sharing and integrations with other remote working tools like Google Calendar and Jira.
Microsoft Teams and Cisco Webex Teams have very similar features. The choice is yours, but you might prefer Teams if you’re already using Office 365 or Webex if you’re using Cisco VoIP.
Google Calendar, iCal, Office 365, Microsoft Exchange Calendar
It’s easy to use, integrates with many other tools and does its job well. You don’t need to get fancy while picking a calendar, but obviously you still need one even when working from home.
Make sure your day is structured and ensure your workday has a clear end. Unplugging after work is the #1 problem for remote workers and a calendar can help you draw the line.
Toggl is a simple time tracking tool. We’d recommend you use it to see how much time various tasks take you, which will improve your planning and show you how much actual work you can get done in a certain period of time.
It does what its name says. If you’re working in a bigger, international company it can be handy to see whether your co-workers are still sleeping or already enjoying their dinner.
Meetings and presentations
Google Hangouts and Zoom
Both tools are simple and a great option for video and conference calls. It’s tough to say, which one is better per se, it’s mostly the matter of your business’ preference.
Zoom’s free plan generally enables more people to join the call (up to a 100), but Hangouts also lifted their 25-person limit until 30th September 2020. However, Zoom does limit calls with more than 3 people up to 40 minutes if using the free plan.
We use Hangouts simply because Google Calendar links directly to a Hangouts call, which is very convenient.
JIRA is the most advanced task management tool on our list that was designed for agile development.
It’s not as simple as other tools, but it does offer plenty of features that make big and complex projects much more manageable and easier to grasp. That’s why we are using it.
The simplest task management tool that presents you with an intuitive, empty canvas you can fill with small boards in whatever way you like. It’s great for visualizing step-by-step work and excellent for smaller teams and projects.
Asana is a great middle-of-the-road solution that uses lists instead of boards, has more features than Trello, but it’s easier to grasp than JIRA. It introduces a nice structure for your projects and workflows and is a great pick for all but very big and complex projects.
Google Drive and Dropbox
When it comes to cloud storage and file sharing these are the two most popular options. Drive has a much better free offering (15 GB vs 2 GB), while Dropbox wins the best enterprise-level offer with their unlimited plan.
Both options do their job and it’s mostly a matter of preference and company size. We are using Google Drive simply because we like its integration with other Google services.
No software will help you if you keep getting distracted by your family and friends. Put Joan Home on your home office door, sync it with your calendar and it will let everyone know if you’re in a meeting, doing deep work or are free to play with your kids. Learn more about Joan Home here.
A To-Do List
A good old-fashioned to-do list helps you to keep going and motivates you to cross more tasks off the list. Believe us, it’s so satisfying. You can do it pen-and-paper style or use a tool like Todoist.
This is a very neat tool that cuts down on unnecessary meeting. It shows your availability status, what you’re working on at the moment, any blockers you’re facing, your task progress, current mood and plenty of other things.
It enables a succinct overview of things without the need to disturb people with a meeting.
Often you simply need to block out annoying noises in order to focus. Noisly lets you do it in a variety of customized ways – you can opt for different music genres or create your own background noise.
Voila, that’s it. Hopefully, you’ve discovered a tool or two that will help you with your remote work. Did we miss anything? Do you have a favorite tool that kicks ass and is not on the list? Let us know in the comments below!