The world is shrinking, making it more common for professionals to work from remote corners of the world. To do this, they need a great set of powerful remote working tools. Here’s our list.
We haven’t considered our picks based on any specific field you might be working in. So just keep that in mind when reading this post.
Okay, so let’s get started!
Cloud storage is a must-have for all professionals that tends to practice remote working. To easily access documents or find files that someone else has worked on is very hard without this solution.
The only qualified alternative in today’s society would be email, but sending an email every time you want to share something is just stupid. Cloud storage can help you with this process.
Our favorite cloud storage tool is Google Drive. It integrates so easily with almost every single tool on this list, and makes it easy to create new documents and automatically share them with far-away colleagues.
Since face-to-face communication isn’t an option for remote workers, a chat app is a very crucial remote working tools. Unless there’s something very important that needs to be addressed, chat apps can handle the general communication.
There’s plenty of options to select from, but our favorite is Slack. The reason is that Slack is a very flexible and easy-to-use tool. It can also be extremely powerful for the more experienced user.
In mid 2016, Slack allow you to connect with over 600 different apps and tools, a number that has most likely risen a lot since then. These connections has very different functionalities, but most of them gives notifications in Slack when something happens. You’ll get a notification when someone comments on one of your Google Docs stored on your Google Drive, for example.
Task and project management tool
Many remote workers take part in some larger project that the rest of the team also works on. Using a tool like Trello can be extremely valuable, as it’s easy to see the progress the team are making. This is very important for remote workers, as you can’t really ask the person sitting next to you if a task has been done (mostly because that person isn’t there).
Trello visualizes tasks in a beautiful way with multiple lists shown on what they call a Trello board. These lists can be used in whatever way you see fit, but a good idea is to set it up based on what stage the tasks are on (“on deck”, “doing”, “testing”, “done”, for example).
Video chat tool
This is a tight one between Microsoft’s Skype and Google’s Hangout. Both provide excellent video and audio quality, which is why other features needs to be considered. This is what brings Skype in the lead.
For us, the most important extra features are how easy it is to share files and notifications. While Skype doesn’t work perfect with cloud drives like Google Drive, it lets you send files with built in functionality. It’s kind of an old method more suited for the pre-cloud era, but it’s better than Hangouts which only allows you to send photos (unless you use links, which you can do with Skype too).
Moving over to the second point: notifications. As long as you are logged into Skype you’ll get notifications right in your face. Considering that remote workers need to be available to video chat when working, notifications can be very helpful. For Hangouts, you need to be logged in to your Google account somewhere to get a notification. This is usually the case when you use Chrome, but not if you prefer Firefox or some other browser.
To look at a more in-depth comparison between Hangouts and Skype, read this article from Chanty.
The Google Calendar can be an extremely powerful tool, for many different reasons.
First of all, it gives you a great overview of your teammates schedules as you can add someone else’s calendar to your own. This can help you as a remote worker by knowing when there’s a good time to call up a colleague to go over that document you just finished writing. You can also keep your team in the loop about where you are located at the moment.
Second, the tool works perfectly with Google Drive letting you add beautiful links to a related document or file. This could be a document that helps your colleagues prepare themselves for the meeting.
Third, you can create multiple calendars on your own Google account, so you can categorize your plans in whatever way you see fit. We at Correlate have added sub-calendars called “Monthly Company Reviews” looking at our goals and targets and “Startup and Tech Events” with a schedule for all relevant events we can attend all over the world.
Information organizing tool
Finally we would like to bring in Correlate and tell you how it can help remote workers collaborate better.
While there’s plenty of files and information that can be shared through Google Drive or any other cloud drive you might use, it’s still not a great tool to share websites and such. You could use Slack for this, but then you’ll have to look through a bunch of messages in a channel to find your way back to a link. This can be very tiresome and doesn’t give any good structure of your information.
Correlate can bring together information from every corner of the digital world. Whether it’s files from Google Drive, an email in Gmail, notes you take, or bookmarks of websites, Correlate collects it in spaces we like to call Correlate Maps. These can easily be shared with individual users or with your entire team. Click here to learn more about Correlate.
So that’s our list of favorite remote working tools out there. There’s plenty of other great options, like HipChat for chat or Dropbox as a cloud drive solution. This list is based on what we use as avid remote workers and why we think they are great solutions within their respective categories. We hope this helped you out when looking for the best combination of remote working tools.
If you have any thoughts on great remote working tools that we haven’t covered here, drop a line in the comment section below!