In the reality of the worldwide pandemic, many of us were forced to exchange our beautiful offices for remote work and home jobs. It is not an easy thing to do sometimes, but, thankfully, we have got a lot of extra tools and programs that can help us ease our remote working routine.
In today’s piece, we would like to show the most useful and interesting software we have found on the World Wide Web that will help you survive in the digital jungle of remote work and stay sane. Let’s go!
Tools for communication
We will begin with the most important thing you need help with while you are on remote: communication. Of course, we all are pretty much used to talking with our friends and extended family via text messages and social media posts, so speaking with coworkers through a mic is not that new for us.
The only problem is that communication on a professional level should be much clearer and more comfortable for all parties involved, without a chance of someone misinterpreting what was said. The conferencing software should be really easy and straightforward to use and be useful both for professional and personal conversations with your colleagues.
So, what are our suggestions? With the communication software, we are somewhat conservative and believe that tools like Zoom and Skype are more than enough for online calls, and Slack is amazing for conversations and groups. In our remote work, we use only these tools for professional communication because they are simply convenient, and everyone new can master them in a matter of minutes.
Software for organizing work processes
Delegating and performing tasks in a real office is much easier than at home. When you are on a remote job, your boss or employee can’t just get up and ask you questions. That’s why we need special programs and apps that will have an entire workflow, tasks’ statuses, and comments on the present condition of a particular task.
These work management tools can be really simple, like free Google Workspace, that have all kinds of tools for planning work schedules. You even can just plan all the tasks in Google Sheets and Calendar.
However, we really recommend you to bring your attention to professional task managers like Trello, Toggl Plan, or Jira and try them instead of simply writing down all the tasks. It is good enough for your personal planner but not for planning your team’s entire workflow.
These task managers are really customizable. In Trello, you can choose different colors for tasks, and in Jira, even your customers and clients can participate (as watchers, of course) in a working process. In any case, these apps help organize the working process, making your effort much more effective and visible in the end.
Software for writing and document preparing
Let’s move to the software that will help you prepare different documents and write texts.
Of course, here we would like to name Microsoft Office as our first pick since most office workers already use this program pack. You have everything here: your Word for writing, Excel for charts and numbers, PowerPoint for presentations, etc. You can use it on all your gadgets and even find a version for iPad if you need it.
If you don’t want to invest in Microsoft products but want something similar and functional, you can use Open Office, an open-source, free version of Microsoft Office with pretty decent functionality. And there’s always Google Sheets available: an excellent free online alternative for Office with really similar features.
And at last, in this part, we would love to mention Grammarly, the great old tool that helps keep all your documents grammatically correct and crisp. We love Grammarly and absolutely adore a free version, so if you don’t want to spend $120 a year for it, that’s ok! We assure you, the free version is more than enough for a regular office worker.
Apps for productivity
At the end of our piece, we would love to point out the importance of software for productivity. When you are alone at home where all your favorite things are right there, teasing you and forcing you to leave your job behind, it is crucial to have at least some tools to keep you productive and focused.
The first essential thing we use to stay focused is digital planners like Evernote and Todoist. You can use any convenient planner you want, and we find having a strict plan on what should be done and how much time should be spent on each task is an excellent way to bring a little bit more organizational clarity to everyday work chaos.
Also, we would like to recommend you to use Pomodoro timers like Pomzen to give you a strict schedule where you can have fun and when you need to stay productive. This method does not seem that effective, but millions of people who have trouble focusing on tasks say that the Pomodoro technique absolutely turned everything upside down for them.
Another way to keep you productive is to create a special routine that will help you get into a working mood. For example, we believe that you should start your day by browsing the industry news or watching some interesting materials related to your work. You can buy an online course and get an industry-related video downloaded to watch the course in a comfortable time for you.
And the last trick that helps us get in the mood: when we have meetings with our team, offer them to use a screenrecorder to record your meeting to rewatch later and better comprehend everything that was said. We love watching these clips and videos first thing in the morning to reflect on what should be done, and it really gives us that kick that helps us stay productive all day!
So, do you feel that now you have everything that you can possibly need for remote work?
Install all the apps we have mentioned today and observe how effortless and enjoyable your working process has become. Enjoy!