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Some say that the future of work is about working remotely. This trend is now accelerating at a rapid pace due to the spread of the COVID-19 pandemic.
Not all industries can transition to remote working, like health workers and supermarket clerks. But for those who can, the number of companies switching to remote work and learning is increasing by the day.
Many of these companies are new at remote working and aren’t sure how to be most productive or how to keep collaborating with team members.
That’s why we put together this collection of remote work tools, to help you get back on track with work. Here at Visme, we use most of these tools on a daily basis as 2/3 of our team has been remote since the beginning.
In fact, many of these tools are practical for in-office collaboration as well.
The list below includes tools for:
Some of these remote work tools are offering free or discounted months in order to get them in front of more people affected by the COVID-19 pandemic. They will help you streamline communication and task management during these trying times.
Just in case you’re wondering: Our remote workers span 12 countries in 4 continents. The main office is in the Washington DC area (Rockville, Maryland) and we transitioned to fully remote for the duration of the pandemic.
Check out the infographic below for a quick view of our recommended tools, or scroll down to learn more about how you can use each one.
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One of the biggest hurdles that team members need to overcome when they first go remote is how to communicate with each other if they can’t walk to each other’s offices or meet by the coffee maker.
The remote team at Visme uses a number of different remote work tools to communicate, from chat platforms to online meeting rooms.
Slack is a team communication platform and is perfect for remote teams. Members can access the Slack features from the desktop app, their internet browser or the mobile app.
Communicating on Slack is easy. You can create channels for specific teams, departments or projects where a group of members can conduct virtual meetings.
Additionally, you can start private or group chats to either talk about work tasks or even have a little watercooler moment.
Slack has a lot of integrated apps to make communication easier with your team. For example, you can add Google Drive to preview docs in messages, Zoom for conference call and Google Calendar to keep tabs on schedules.
To keep things fun, you can even use emoji in your messages or add GIFs through Slack's Giphy app integration.
Slack has a free for life plan with limited storage space for messages. You can upgrade to a paid plan for larger message storage and other handy features.
With remote workers all over the world, everyone is working at different times. We have employees in the US, Pakistan, Russia, Turkey, Ecuador and more, which means that we have people working in all sorts of different time zones.
A tool like Timezone.io can help everyone on the team know when co-workers are at their desks and accessible or not.
Timezone.io makes it much simpler to schedule meetings, collaborate on projects and go back and forth with feedback about something. It also helps visualize where everyone is at any given time. This is especially useful when your team members are nomads.
It’s free to set up a profile on Timezone.io and add your team members. You just have to ask them where they are and put in their name and email.
Set up your team profile on Timezone.io and never google “what time is it in -any city- right now” again.
Conducting meetings online is a huge part of remote working. The greatest asset to Whereby is that users don’t need to log in and can join a meeting with one click.
Meetings are conducted right on the browser inside meeting rooms. These are shared with a single URL and can be color customized to fit a brand or personalize your meeting space.
Whereby is free for one user and one meeting room, but medium to large teams can easily upgrade to paid plans for more users and more meeting rooms.
When working as a team, regardless of in-office or from the comfort of your home, it’s important to stay productive. Thankfully, there are lots of tools out there to help streamline tasks and to do lists for all departments.
Our team at Visme uses various tools for different aspects of our company. Keeping departments separate can help keep things organized and on task at all times. Many of the apps we use are also connected and integrated with each other.
Asana is a project management platform that allows your team to create projects, add collaborators, upload files and write comments on various projects and tasks. This app can be used as a Kanban board or as a schedule, depending on each user.
Our team uses Asana to keep track of tasks in a number of departments. For easy follow ups, tasks and subtasks can be assigned to different team members with deadlines as granular as time of day.
Anyone can have a free Asana subscription and teams can upgrade to in depth premium plans for lots more collaboration capabilities. Asana is offering a free one-year business subscription to nonprofits that qualify and are working to assist COVID-19 research.
Notion is another project management platform with lots of practical features. Each project can be set up in a number of different ways, from calendars, to do lists and Kanban boards.
We use Notion for all our content creation tasks. Since Notion is so versatile, we can create detailed publishing calendars and editorial strategies that are linked to unique tasks with clear to do lists for all people involved in them.
Our favorite thing about Notion is how it looks – it's a creative project management software with a clean interface with minimal distractions to get you off track. Plus, you can create notes that look like multimedia documents to give your team instructions on tasks.
Notion has a free starter plan which is a bit limited, but the paid plans are also affordable.
Hubstaff is a practical tool created specifically for remote teams. The applications on their platform range from time tracking to productivity monitoring and even GPS tracking for members that are always on the move.
It’s a great tool to keep teams in check at all times so you know that they're doing what they are expected to, even if they're not necessarily at their desk. Hubstaff also integrates with other productivity apps like Asana and Trello to help keep things organized even further.
Hubstaff offers a limited free forever plan, but you can check out their pricing plans to see what level of productivity features you need.
Zapier is one of those tools that does much more than you think it could do. It helps remote teams get work done in a lot of different ways. In fact, each team member can have their own zaps according to what they need to do. An action on Zapier is called a zap.
This tool is basically a multi-level integration app that creates connections between tools that wouldn’t otherwise be connected in any way.
Zapier helps you do things like create Asana tasks from Google calendar events or starred Slack messages, save Gmail attachments to Google Drive and much more.
You can get started on Zapier with a free account and create 5 zaps (automations) or you can check out their paid plans to create as many as you want.
Loom is a productivity tool that records your screen and yourself talking at the same time. This is perfect for teams that are building or designing things together.
Our team uses Loom to help each other solve bugs in the programming. By using screen recordings, it's easier to communicate what’s going on.
Loom is also a great tool for a team of UX/UI designers working on a project together because they can send each other quick videos with feedback and ideas.
Loom is cutting back prices as a coronavirus response. Through July 1, 2020, Loom has removed the recording limit on their free plan, cut the price of Loom Pro in half, and extended all trials of Loom Pro from 14 to 30 days.
Another aspect of work that can be tackled as a team even when working in different places is content creation and design. In this department, we use just a few tools to help us create amazing content together.
This section includes remote work tools for both visual and written content creation. All of them together make our remote team a well oiled content creation machine. Not to mention that we can collaborate with integrations to our productivity tools.
Visme of course is our tool of choice for creating any type of visual content creation. It’s an all-in-one content creation tool that also supports team collaboration, making graphic design easy for distributed teams.
Create dynamic reports, infographics, presentations, marketing collateral and more, all while being able to share with your team directly in the dashboard. Members can leave comments on elements of ongoing projects in real time.
There are several download and share formats to cover all possible scenarios for visual content creation so you and your distributed team can create any kind of content together.
Plans start free for life, and paid subscriptions are affordable in different capacities. The Visme team is offering a 20% discount on business plans if you create an account in the next 60 days. Join with code: remote20
Get Visme for your team and start creating and designing together all your visual assets.
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PicMonkey is a photo editing tool that helps improve the photography for your visual marketing and design. Editing and retouching a photo on PicMonkey is easier and more fun than other legacy tools that are difficult to learn.
Teams can collaborate to edit and retouch photos with PicMonkey Teams. Members can leave comments and create together in real time.
PicMonkey offers a free 7-day trial to give the software a try and the paid subscriptions are affordable, even for teams.
Sign up for a team account on PicMonkey and edit your photos together.
Remote teams have many tasks that involve writing. Companies of any size have both internal and external communication that should be free of grammar and spelling mistakes.
Thankfully, we all have Grammarly, a tool to spell-and-grammar-check just about everything you do on your computer.
Grammarly also has a team plan with a one-time pay subscription. The program works on email, Google Docs, Microsoft Word and other writing programs that your team uses all the time. Free plans are free for life and you can upgrade to individual and team plans easily.
Our content team uses Grammarly regularly to keep all our articles, emails and social media posts free of grammatical errors.
Start using Grammarly to spell and grammar check all internal and external written documents for your team.
Google Docs is a cloud based app to create written documents and is a part of the Google Suite of apps alongside Google Sheets, Google Slides and more.
Our team of writers and content managers use Google Docs to put together outlines, write articles, plan strategies and more. We collaborate in real time to get things done faster.
This remote work tool is free with a Gmail account but there is a storage limit. Gmail accounts are great for managing your work correspondence and recurring emails. A G Suite subscription will get your team more storage space for all the work you’re doing on Docs.
Sales and marketing teams can also work remotely thanks to the tools we mention below. The following tools range email marketing pipeline apps to social media management and webinar broadcasting.
The Visme team uses each of these tools for various purposes across our different marketing strategies and they're helpful for our distributed team.
Your team can even create your webinars and presentations for your team's sales and marketing right inside Visme and share using the below tools.
Pipedrive is a sales CRM (Customer Relationship Management) tool that allows you to automatically feed your leads into pipelines, nurture them, track communication, check conversion reports and more.
A tool like this one helps keep all the sales team members on the same page regardless of where they're working from. Pipedrive helps keep every team member on task while also ensuring everyone stays in the loop about all sales communications.
Teams can get started on Pipedrive with a free trial, and then upgrade to a paid plan that works for their company and team size.
Agorapulse is a social media management tool that allows users to schedule content, manage conversations, generate reports, collaborate with team members and handle social listening/monitoring all in one place.
Teams can collaborate on all aspects of their social media marketing by assigning each other tasks like reviewing social posts or replying to messages. Engagements and people can be labeled for further personalized marketing strategies.
Agorapulse has a free trial to test out the platform. Paid plans come in different sizes depending on how big the team is and how many social platforms need to be managed.
Get Agorapulse for your team and manage all the aspects of social media marketing together and remotely.
Zoom is a video conferencing software that helps remote team members have personable meetings with prospects, customers, clients and even other team members. Our remote team at Visme uses Zoom regularly to talk to both users and potential clients.
Our PR manager hosts VIP tours of our tool and our marketing manager conducts sales meetings with prospects and potential collaborations.
In addition, our customer experience team members conduct on-boarding meetings with new clients that need help getting accustomed to our dashboard, and our content manager interviews case study subjects.
Video calls on Zoom can be recorded if you need to keep the information from the call for later use. The replay can be sent as a link for other participants to watch at their leisure. You can also use Visme to create a custom branded background for your Zoom calls.
Zoom offers a free plan for life but if you are looking for more features and capabilities you can check out their paid plans.
Livestorm is a streaming video and webinar app that offers many video solutions for teams.
With Livestorm you can set up, promote and transmit a live or recurring webinar through a sign up widget on your site. The Visme marketing team offers a number of pre-recorded webinars that anyone can join and get to to know our platform better.
This is a great tool for lead generation through video marketing. Livestorm offers a free basic plan so you can try out the features before committing to a paid plan.
They're also offering special pricing during the COVID-19 pandemic. If you're in an impacted area, use their codes to get the offer.
Respona is an all-in-one PR and link building platform that was developed by the Visme team to help brands connect with relevant journalists and bloggers in their own space. This helps generate press mentions and quality backlinks.
Your team can use Respona to find press opportunities, niche podcasts and relevant blog posts, all 100% online. Tap into a database of over 400M contacts’ information, and automate sending highly personalized pitches to land brand mentions.
Respona offers a free trial and a subscription will save 80% of your team’s outreach costs.
Remote teams tend to have lots of working files at any given time. With members spread out around the country or across the world, a good file sharing app is essential.
Our team uses a number of file sharing and collaboration programs in the cloud, Google Drive and Dropbox. There are others, but these are our favorites.
Google Drive is the file cabinet of the 21st century. It keeps all the work you create on documents, spreadsheets, and presentation slides in a folder you and your team can easily access. Furthermore, you can upload nearly anything to your Drive folders.
Using Google Drive as a team is easy. You have complete control over who can access what and how much they can do at every level. Collaboration on all files created with the G Suite can be done in real time.
Simply invite a team member to your document and work on it together. All the files are stored in the cloud and all edits are recorded.
Google Drive comes with all free Gmail accounts and paid G Suite subscriptions. The amount of available storage on your Google Drive account is limited to 30GB with a free account but can be increased when you buy extra storage or a business plan.
Dropbox is another file sharing app where users can upload photos, documents and more. An extra feature that Dropbox offers is Paper, a document and spreadsheet creator. These are practical for using as a team.
Team members can share any type of file with a link which can then be downloaded or copied into their own Dropbox account. Dropbox has integrations with many remote productivity tools to help your team work as efficiently as possible.
The storage capacity in Dropbox is limited in the free plan but can be easily upgraded. Dropbox for business has several practical features to help keep things organized.
One remote work tool is never enough to keep all things on task and on track. The best solution is to have a number of tools which you can integrate with each other. Thankfully many of the tools we suggest can be connected, and if not, Zapier can help.
Now that many companies have transitioned to working remotely due to the coronavirus pandemic, it’s easy to feel overwhelmed if you’ve never done it before. Thankfully there’s lots of us out there that can help you navigate this way of working.
Remember that you can use Visme to create all the necessary visual assets for your company as a team. Take advantage of the discount code for 20% off all new business plans if you sign up in the next 60 days: remote20. The discount lasts for six months.
Stay safe, stay home, and wash your hands.