These productivity tools will give the advantage you need in terms of getting more done, faster. This will enable you to develop healthy working habits because you can afford to, knowing that you’ve already done enough today. Maximize productivity and everything good about working remotely will fall into place.
Serene is a free app for Mac that helps you achieve maximum productivity every day. Serene encourages you to set a single daily goal and stay focused on achieving that throughout the day. This methodology is based on studies showing that multitasking drastically reduces productivity. Serene also blocks access to distracting websites and apps during work sessions while also silencing your phone.
- Block websites that distract you, such as social media and news websites.
- Block apps that take your attention away from work.
- Work in 20-60 minute sessions with regular breaks to maximize productivity.
- Shows you how much time you have left to complete tasks, giving you a motivation boost towards the end of each session.
- Manage tasks and make sure everything gets done.
- Define your goal for the day, set your tasks and get stuff done.
- Play background music to help you keep your focus.
- Automatically put your phone on silent mobile while working to avoid unnecessary distractions.
Chrome Remote Desktop (iOS, Android, Chrome extension)
Chrome Remote Desktop allows you to access your computer securely from your phone, tablet or another computer. Essentially, you can access your machine from anywhere, at any time without having to worry about any security risks. You can access your computer by typing in an access URL into a web browser or download the mobile app for iOS and Android.
There’s even a Chrome extension available that gives you faster access to your office/home computer from portable devices.
- Access your computer anywhere, anytime from your mobile, tablet or another computer.
- Allow team members to access your computer from their location to provide support/collaborate.
- You can also use the Remote Support feature to share your screen with team members for greater collaboration
- Connect your device with fellow teammates. This means you can provide access to your computer and receive remote support, allowing colleagues to see your screen and control your computer – perfect for getting technical issues resolved.
- Access your teammates’ computers and provide support or collaborate. You can simply use the feature to screen share, allowing everyone to see the same screen and collaborate more effectively.
Toggl (Windows, Mac, iOS, Android, Chrome, Firefox)
Plans start from $9/month per user
Toggl is a time tracking app that shows you how much time you’re really spending on tasks. The software was designed for remote workers from the very beginning with the idea of helping freelancers make sure they were billing accurately for projects and getting paid for the amount of time spent on projects.
- See how much time you (or others) are taking to get things done.
- Check you’re charging enough for the time it takes to complete projects.
- See how productive you’re being and how profitable your time with Toggl reports.
- Toggl’s apps work across just about every operating system and online so you can access it wherever you need, whenever you need it.
- If you’re a remote company worker then Toggl can still help you boost productivity by pinpointing tasks that are taking longer than they should. It will also improve project planning by tracking how long individual and collective tasks really take to complete. You can also use it to track the amount of time productivity issues are costing you.
Spark (Mac, iOS, Android)
Free version, $6.39/mo (per user) for Premium
Emails are one of the most notorious productivity killers. Luckily, there are ways to tame email interruptions and turn your inbox into an asset, not a hindrance.
Spark is an intelligent email client that automatically collects and categorizes your emails from every account. It also allows you to prioritise the emails that matter most and filter out the ones that don’t – or snooze them until later.
- Clean up your inbox, find any email with “Smart Search” and snooze emails that don’t need your attention right now.
- Only receive notifications for the emails that really matter.
- Assign emails to team members so the right person is always managing tasks.
- Private team comments, shared drafts, template replies and instant chat for collaborative teams.
- Schedule emails to send them when people are most likely to read them.
- Get reminders to follow up on important emails at the right time.
- Spark also packs a bunch of collaboration tools, allowing team members to work on the same email remotely, in real-time. This means everyone who needs to provide information in an email can do so themselves with 100% accuracy – no delays and no misunderstandings.
Google Drive (Windows, Mac, iOS, Android & web)
Google Drive is a far more useful cloud alternative. The file sharing and collaboration features in Google Drive work so easily and efficiently.
- Word documents, spreadsheets, presentations and all of the essential docs we take for granted these days – for free.
- The cloud element of Google Drive makes it so useful for remote teams, allowing them to create, upload, share and collaborate on files.
- Real-time collaboration on Google Docs files works without any lag getting in the way.
Calendar (iOS, Android, web app)
Free version available, paid versions from $10/month
Calendar connects all of your calendars into a single interface.
- Calendar integrates with all of your calendars (Google Calendar, Outlook, etc.) to keep everything in one place.
- Create events in Calendar or create them in your other calendar apps – they’ll always be synced.
- Schedule team meetings without the usual email back and forths.
- Calendar provides analytics reports to help you boost productivity.
- Automatic transcripts of your meetings.
- Instead of arranging video chats or other meetings with dizzying emails between multiple team members, Calendar allows anyone to choose and book meeting times during your availability hours while ensuring there are no conflicts with existing meetings or tasks.
These apps will allow you to maximize productivity. Once you do this, everything will fall into place and you’ll start to realize the full benefits of working remotely.