The transition between normal and remote work can be quite tough, especially for those with less technological experience. Fortunately, this change is a lot less scarier with a few appropriate tools. Read on to discover how you can take advantage of them.
One of the most important aspects for successful remote work is good communication. Zoom is a video conferencing tool that has seen a huge popularity spike in the recent months due to its high quality audio and video services. The platform allows users to record meetings, schedule webinars, exchange content with a minimal amount of downtime. Zoom itself is very scalable due to its cloud-native infrastructure that houses all of the most demanding administrative elements.
Another main advantage is the user friendliness of Zoom’s interface and all of its functionalities. The tool combines all of the features in a self explanatory, graphical manner so that even the most novice of users can quickly get comfortable with it. Additionally, Zoom’s free version comes with almost all of the important features right out of the box so that you don’t have to pay a dime.
2. Google Drive
You’ll need a safe and reliable way to store/share your files once you start working remotely. While there are many options available, Google Drive has some of the most generous features for its free version. This includes 15GB from the get-go, a 128-bit encryption standard, offline mode, a document scanner and much more capabilities. You can choose which people have access and the capability to edit your files, with each and every change being shown in real-time.
Google Drive also gives users access to a word editor – Google Docs. It’s also interconnected with pretty much all other Google apps such as Gmail, Maps etc.
For those people who rely on recorded and filmed material, remote work can become quite tedious. Listening, rewinding and trying to write everything down word for word is something that journalists often face. Automating the process would skyrocket productivity, while also leaving room for tasks that have to be done manually. Audio to text converter Audext was created with this goal in mind. Through the use of AI technology and machine learning, Audext can convert audio to text through accurate speech recognition. Since journalists often rely on speaker labeling, the tool also has an automatic speaker identification feature. All you have to do is upload a file, type in the names of the people involved and that’s it.
After the conversion is done, Audext provides a built-in editor so you can make any wanted changes right on the spot. Even the editor has some quality-of-life features such as find & replace, playback speed modifier and others. Audext has a 30-minute free trial – after it expires, users can choose between hourly, monthly and yearly subscription plans.
Remote jobs often employ people from all around the world. This means that there’s a high chance of your working hours being someone else’s resting hours. To help you get a better idea of how to organize with your team, Timezone.io lets you set up a profile where you can add each individual team member as well as his/her location. After you’ve got it all arranged, simply placing your mouse over a coworker’s icon will show you his local time. This is especially useful when you’re working with someone who’s constantly on the move.
Timezone.io is completely free to use. All you have to do is register an account, create your team and you’re ready to go.
5. Time Doctor
If you can’t organize your time properly, you’re going to find it hard to stay productive. Time Doctor is built to monitor activity, prevent distractions and provide regular reports so that you can easily track your own and your team’s progress. If you have trouble with staying on track and being attentive, Time Doctor can observe your activities. Once you start procrastinating on social media or any other website, the app will warn you with a pop-up alert. Also, your team can create tasks and assign them correspondingly – each report will show the exact time spent on each separate task.
Time Doctor has a free 14-day trial, after which the prices start at $10/user each month.
Similarly to Zoom, Slack is a remote communication tool. However, Slack puts its main focus on instant chat messaging, file sharing and compatibility with many different platforms and apps. The tool allows interaction through different channels – each conversation is divided based on a specific project or a team. Even though its biggest strength is chatting, Slack also supports video and audio calls. File sharing is fully secured and in compliance with some of the highest industry standards. Also, the tool can connect with your phone so that you don’t ever miss a single notification.
If you want to integrate a third-party app, Slack is compatible with over 2200 apps right out of the box. If you don’t find the one to your liking, there’s open API access to help you build your own integration.
While it’s often overlooked and neglected, task organization and management can make your job a whole lot easier. One of the most effective, old-school methods are to-do lists. Even though TickTick looks fairly simple at first glance, it comes with many features to complement its main functionality. Add a task, set the due date and appropriate reminders. Each task can contain smaller subtasks and you can share any of them with other people. The tool has an integrated Pomodoro timer which can be used to set a timer for work and a timer for breaks, ultimately increasing your productivity.
TickTick is very easy to use and the free version has more than enough features. If you wish to upgrade to the premium plan, it’s quite cheap at only $27.99 per year.
At its core, GitHub is a project repository that works hand-in-hand with Git, a version control system. Although it’s mostly popular among developers, GitHub also works for documents, notes and any other files prone to regular change. GitHub can be slightly complicated for beginners due to multiple new terms – for example branches, repositories, forks, clones etc. Even so, extensive knowledge isn’t necessary for the main use of GitHub. By creating different “branches” of the same project/file for each specific user, people can submit their changes without worrying about overwriting the originals. This helps users work remotely on different projects, with the ability to ultimately connect them all.