Due to the current crisis that has spread around the globe, many of us are trying to figure out the best way to work from home while maintaining productivity.
At Platformly, we've always worked remotely, so we have a few tips for our readers who may still be adjusting to this practice.
This article will focus on twelve apps that we use daily that allow us to work from home easily. For us, productivity while working from home is not a challenge and, if you use these apps, it won't be for you either.
We know it might be hard for some of you to adapt. However, we all know that, right now, this is the safest option for everyone; and if your job allows you to work from home, you might as well make the best out of this difficult situation.
So, if you're at home and getting ready to begin working remotely, these are the apps and websites you should definitely use:
- Google Drive
- Time Doctor
1. Google Drive
Google Drive is, out of all the apps in this list, the one we consider truly essential for anyone working remotely.
No matter what your business is about, Google Drive is the best option to save and share files with your team, including online apps that replace the most used features of the well-known Office suite.
Using Google Drive, you can store all your work in the cloud – up to 15 Gb storage in the free version.
Google Drive also has a desktop app that you can use to sync all the documents in your device.
It is available for Windows, Mac, iOS, and Android. Its Enterprise version allows you to pay only for the storage your company uses, and nothing more.
Jira is a task distribution tool that helps you assign tasks to team members and to yourself so you'll never forget anything.
Even though Jira's configuration mostly targets developers and their tasks, it also works for other types of jobs like marketing, support teams, and much more.
You can change your tasks' attribution to someone else at any time. You can also change the task status from Idea to To Do and then to Active.
If you integrate it with Time Doctor, you can have your task list available from the Time Doctor app at all times, helping you increase your productivity.
Jira also makes it easier to plan your days ahead using its boards. It allows you to see which tasks have you finished and which are still ongoing. You can search for your tasks by name and filter them using different criteria.
Slack is commonly used by teams even in office environments, but it becomes essential when working from home.
It is the perfect app to communicate with other team members seamlessly, send files and links, and it also provides video calls when messaging isn't enough.
You can split your team's subjects of conversation between channels, or use a channel for each team in your company.
Of course, for sensitive subjects, you can always use private chats with any team member or even across your company.
4. Time Doctor
Time Doctor is another very effective productivity tool for those who work from home. If you have to clock in and clock out, or if you have to report how many hours you spent on each task, Time Doctor makes it easier.
This tool tracks your time and helps you stay away from distractions that hinder your productivity like Facebook and Reddit.
It also has a great desktop app that works on every operative system. Other than that, Jira is easy to integrate so you can have all your assigned tasks in the app without having to recreate them manually.
Zoom is the ideal conference call tool for any business. It is completely free up to 100 participants and a call duration of 40 minutes. If you just want an alternative to Skype that is easier to use, Zoom gets the job done.
To get other users to join you in a session, all you have to do is create a link and share it. Anyone can participate if they have the link and the app installed. There is also the option to share your screen.
The Zoom app for desktop is available for all operative systems, so you should have no problems connecting to other team members, no matter if they use Windows or Mac. For calls on the go, the app also supports Android and iOS.
WeTransfer is the best tool out there for sharing large files. It's been online for quite a few years, but it keeps on innovating and it's always up to date with current requests.
This online service offers a free tier that should be enough for all your business and personal needs.
Using WeTransfer, you can set up alerts for when someone has downloaded a file you shared.
All you need is the file recipient's email to send files to anyone. You can even attach a message to the file you sent.
The recipient will receive an email that includes a link for downloading the file and the message you included.
The best thing about WeTransfer is you don't even need to create an account. You can just send your files directly from WeTransfer's homepage.
Loom is a video recording software that also records your screen. It can be quite useful for you to show other team members how to perform a specific task, or even to create tutorials.
SaaS companies are familiarized with Loom, but it can be of use for other businesses as well. If you need to teach someone how to use specific software, Loom is the right choice.
Loom can also be used if you need to send a video message since it can use your laptop's camera to record anything.
According to Loom's website, you can speak up to 6 times faster than you type, so if you need to explain something complicated, it's probably easier to send them a Loom video.
All you have to do is record whatever you need, then share the link. Simple as that.
CloudApp is similar to Loom, however, it is targeted towards helping you share screenshots and recording your screen rather than sending video messages.
It allows you to create videos in different formats – CloudApp even has a gif tool that helps you create a gif of what you're doing on your screen.
Other than that, you can make annotations on your screenshots, adding arrows and boxes wherever you need them to make some specific part of your screen stand out.
You can upload recordings and share them using a link and even save screenshots and videos in your favorites.
What's even better is that using CloudApp you don't need to save your screenshots on your laptop – everything you record is saved in the cloud.
Does your job require signing in on several different websites with different credentials? Do you want to keep your passwords safe? Then LastPass is the tool that will make your life a lot easier.
LastPass is a secure app that stores all your login details for as many websites as you need, helping you log in quickly.
Your passwords are saved in your “vault”, so you can access and copy your passwords if you need to share them or just for logging in on another laptop or mobile device.
LastPass also suggests secure passwords for your new accounts. Saving any password is just a click away if you get the Chrome extension (quite useful wherever you're working).
Using LastPass, all you need to remember is your vault password. Forget about saving passwords on Excel sheets – this is the safest and easiest option, and it's free.
This app is quite useful if you use Google Apps to manage your workflow, and it also includes hundreds of other integrations.
Actually, Shift is like a hub to which you can add several Google accounts, giving you easy access to your emails and all Google tools.
If you use Outlook email, don't worry: you can have your email account on Shift as well. Shift also integrates with messaging apps like Skype and WhatsApp, so you can keep most (or all!) of your daily tasks in one place.
Shift allows you to switch between different accounts and services with ease. You'll never need to log off or on again to view different accounts on Gmail or Google Drive. It's a great way to ensure all your work is connected.
Toby is an app that replaces your traditional browser bookmarks, allowing you to share links easily with your team.
You can get a free account if you're only going to use it yourself instead of collaborating with other team members.
Other than that, Toby has a Chrome Extension that is easy to download and install. It helps you focus and removes distractions from your browser by creating a workspace in which you can have all the resources you need.
Toby removes the need to have 30 tabs open to access all the links you use daily. Plus, it can also help you organize your personal bookmarks as well.
Trello is a simple way to organize your projects and tasks. On the surface, it looks just like a simple board in which different team members can post tasks. However, it is more than that.
You can attach files to tasks and change their status. If you use apps like Dropbox, Jira or Slack, you can also connect them to Trello using their “Power Ups”.
Trello allows you to automate your workflow using the Butler app. This makes it easier to create triggers for certain actions, and use commands to schedule due dates for your tasks and more.
In this list, we included all the public apps we use for our daily tasks. We've been working remotely for a long time now and we want to help you do the same in these challenging times.
This app collection will allow you to keep your performance up without having to leave your house. All you need is a laptop/desktop and an internet connection.
We also tried to include tools that are available in any operative system, including apps you can use directly from your browser.
In many cases, all you need to install is Google Chrome – which you most likely already use. This saves space in your hard drive by allowing you to work using cloud storage.
A few of the apps listed (like Zoom, Google Drive and Slack) can be used on the go as well, with iOS and Android versions available.
Let us know if there are any apps you would add to this list or any questions you might have regarding remote work in the comment section. Stay safe!
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