October 5, 2020
April 6, 2020

8 Tools To Help You Work Remotely

COVID-19 has challenged and disrupted almost every aspect of our lives. In many ways It feels like getting thrown into the deep end of the pool right on your first day of swimming lessons. But while in these uncertain times working from home is challenging, we are here to help you flatten the curve - the learning curve in this case.   

Our daily lives and the favorite remote work tools we use haven't changed much, but for many, remote work is a completely new way of doing things.  You guys have been asking for remote work tips and tools, and this article includes our favorite tools as well as answers to questions like:

  • How do I stay organized and productive while working remotely? 
  • Which tools do I need to succeed in working remotely? 
  • What’s the best way to connect with my remote team? 

As a platform for finding Ukraine's best remote talent, we understand first-hand how important it is to have the right tools at your disposal when working remotely. We’ve also learned early on, that being a productive remote worker isn't intuitive. There’s a learning curve, especially if you're trying to work from a shared home, with roommates, or kids.  

At Make It In Ukraine we’re always on the lookout for productivity apps and tools and we’ve tried and tested plenty of them. Choosing the right remote apps will make a huge difference in the quality and timeliness of your work.  

In this post, we're going to share our favorite work from home apps for everything from smooth communication to seamless presentations, stable file management to clear documentation.  Whether you're a seasoned remote freelancer or working from home for the first time, you should make sure you and your team have the support you need to 10x your productivity while working remotely. Let’s go!

Worklight

Worklight is a new way to stay on top of your projects, connect with your team members and make sure everyone is on the same page. 

Worklight is essentially a minimalist task management and while similar to Trello, which is an amazing one size fits all tool, Worklight is specifically designed for remote work and collaboration for distributed teams. 

Worklight Main User Interface


The best features are the time zones and working hours visibility, so you can make sure you know when your teammates are working and able to respond to messages. This way you are never out of sync. Trello also doesn’t support project-level discussions, which is a very useful tool in  Worklight has.

Notion

Notion has been the tool that I've waited for all my life. It is an all-in-one workspace where you can write, plan, collaborate and get organized but it’s also so much more than that. 

For personal use, it has completely replaced Evernote for me. As for work, it replaces Trello, Google Docs, Notes app on my Macbook and has tremendously increased transparency within our company. I would recommend this product to everyone. The best things about Notion are its ease of use, great embed functionality (doc within a doc within a doc, without chunky folders cluttering the UI experience). It has great search and even Evernote migration options. 

Some of the things I wish Notion had are Optical Character Recognition which makes PDFs and images searchable, (by recognizing text in them like) and the ability to make note annotations - two features I loved about Evernote. I plan my copy, website content, design systems, editorial guidelines, documentation, and everything else really, all in notion. The most powerful feature for me has been the table construct which is by far the most amazing scalable feature in Notion.

Standups

Standups is the Instagram for your team status meetings. Standups аllows you to connect with your team in daily short video and voice clips styled to look like Instagram stories. The story format has taken over social media and the team behind Standups translated the idea to the workplace. Standups is a web and mobile (iOS and Android) app that lets remote workers share video and voice updates about their progress with the rest of the team. It has the familiar stories interface, but the features baked in (like multiple timezone support, timeboxing, and notetaking) make it an especially well-crafted solution for the remote work world. Now, groups that work closely together (but happen to be far apart geographically) can see team members faces’ as they articulate the headway they’ve made in their work. 


Essentially it could even replace the need to do live stand-ups and support them happening asynchronously which is likely the most important part of successfully working remotely. 

The biggest sell here is the familiar format we’ve come to love as a way of connecting with our friends, family, and followers on social media. Translating that into your weekly/daily standup meeting means standups can actually become something that happens on your own schedule, and you can even look forward to them. 


Loom

Free Screen and Video Recording. Seamlessly screen record anything with audio directly from your browser. Loom is your new best friend and here’s why : ever had to explain to someone how to do something that required them to watch and follow your steps?? Forget about taking dozens of screenshots and throwing them in your Slack, Loom lets you record your desktop, application window or browser to easier demo and voice over how-to videos, explainers, feedback comments and more! Whatever you need to communicate that needs a show and tell to be effective, Loom is your tool. I can’t speak enough about it, go get it, just trust me! 


Miro 

Miro is an easy-to-use whiteboard collaboration tool to organize your ideas and projects into visual boards. It is “the online collaborative whiteboarding platform to bring distributed teams together, anytime, anywhere.”


Miro was created to replicate the feeling of working on a wall in a creative studio—visual, tactile and sometimes a bit messy (in a good way!). If you've ever found Evernote/Trello/Notion a bit linear or restrictive, then this might be the tool for you!


Timezone.io  

Keep track of where & when your remote team is without googling “time in Kyiv” ever again. 

If you ever worked with a team that is located all over the globe, like we do, you know the headache of figuring out everyone’s timezone, and keeping track of that - total nightmare. 


Fortunately, Timezone does exactly that: you just set up as a team and send the link to everybody so they add their current location. After that, you can see what hour it is in their timezone at a glance. 


Rescuetime 

Rescuetime helps you understand the habits that make you more productive and master work-life balance. With so many distractions competing for our time, it's all too easy to lose priceless hours without even realizing it. 

In order to become your most productive self you need to be aware of how and where you spend your time, and here is where Rescuetime comes in. 


The app monitors which websites and applications you use, and how much time you spend on or in each of them. You can categorize each app and site you use on a Productive/Unproductive scale, and RescueTime generates a few basic reports showing how you spend your time, so you’ll never have to ask “where did my day went” ever again. 

Zoom

Zoom is a virtual meeting room for remote teams. Great video quality, easy to use, plus you can record your meetings to never miss a beat. 

 The “Meetings” service is designed for collaboration, training, and technical support. It features whiteboarding, screen sharing, HD video and audio, and remote screen control features, hence adapting to a multitude of different needs, from corporate presentations to remote schooling. 


For those who want to host a webinar online, the Zoom video webinar feature provides access for up to 100 interactive participants, with packages that allow for up to 100,000 view-only attendees. Sharing is simple with a single click, and there’s even dual-screen support.

Want more remote work tools? TimeDoctor's remote tools article has an extensive, well reviewed list of tools.

Those are our favorite tools to use at Make It in Ukraine to get things done, and get them done well. Do you know of a neat tool we missed? Let us know

Author
Max Uperiaka
About author
Co-founder of 'Make it in Ukraine', Growth, Talent Hunter @laconeat
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