Once you make the transition to remote working, the entire world becomes your office. You can get your work done from anywhere, whether it is a cafe in Paris, a hammock in Brazil, a hotel terrace in Bangkok or your own living room. However, remote working brings with it a few different challenges and in order to be successful you will need to adapt your working style and be resourceful.
Luckily, there are many apps and tools that make remote working a lot easier. Here are some of the tools that I use on a regular basis to streamline my work processes, save valuable time and become more efficient and productive.
Trello – Acts as My Whiteboard
It can be extremely helpful to be able to look at an entire project all at a glance and see everything that has been completed and what needs to be done. Trello is an excellent free website that means the end of long and confusing email chains and missed messages between members of a team.
Trello allows you to set up a workroom for a project and organise assignments and information in a highly visual and easy to navigate way. It can be used for gathering requirements, brainstorming and much more. It can be shared with a client or a team and it can be used while in a call or in your own time. It is convenient, intuitive and easy to use.
Wunderlist – Acts as the Post It note I’d Always Lose
When you have a desk in a set location, Post It Notes can work because they will stay in the same place. However, when your desk is in a different spot every day you will need something a little more portable. Wunderlist is a tool that acts as the Post It Note that I would no doubt lose when moving from place to place. It is very simple to use and it allows you to organise your tasks into categories, so that you can see what you should prioritize next.
Wunderlist also allows you to set reminders for yourself and share your to-do list with others – such as clients or collaborators. You can access your Wunderlist from anywhere – computer, smart phone, tablet – so it’s easy to check what’s next on the schedule even when you are on the go. The system allows you to filter your tasks by today, tomorrow, next week, etc. so you know what to do first. I use it to organise my day and my week, so that I have a plan of action and can get more accomplished.
Idonethistoday – Acts as My Boss!
One of the challenges of working remotely on your own is that it is sometimes difficult to keep yourself motivated. When you are not being held accountable to a boss or other workers in an office, you might start to lose your momentum. Idonethistoday is designed to provide external motivation that will help you to stay on track. You can sign up with your team and at the end of the day the website will send you an email asking “What did you get done today?” You can list your accomplishments and the next morning you will start your day with a digest of what everyone on the team got done. Celebrating your achievements together is a great way to start the day and put yourself in a productive mood.
Thrive Solo – Acts as my PA (And my Accountant)
When you are a freelancer you are not only your own boss, but you are also your own personal assistant, accountant, secretary and much more. It can be tough to juggle all of these aspects of working, so Thrive Solo was designed to help you manage everything so you can spend more time focusing on what you do best – your creative work.
This tool for freelancers has won a lot of awards and it is a truly elegant way to make sure that all of your projects run smoothly. It has a number of great features, including tracking hours, generating invoices, tracking leads, keeping up with clients and so much more. It is an incredibly helpful tool for a one person team and it makes it much easier to keep up with leads and clients. Also, it shows you a visual review of which projects are the most valuable and where you are losing money, which will help you to refocus your efforts and achieve more.
Tweetdeck – Acts as my Sales Guy
Tweetdeck is a very efficient social media dashboard application that is designed to make it much easier and more efficient to manage your Twitter account. It allows you to set up a series of customisable columns, which can display your mentions, lists, trends, search results, direct messages, hashtags and more. You can schedule Tweets for later and you can also filter columns for certain keywords and hashtags.
You can use Tweetdeck in many different ways, but I use it to set up searches for hashtags that are related to startups and remote working opportunities. It does the hard work of sorting through all of the relevant tweets, so that I can discover leads and networking opportunities.
These are five of the most effective tools that I use to manage my workload when I am working remotely. With these tools I can work more efficiently, get more done and have a productive work day – no matter where in the world my office might be.