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November 30, 2016 By Scott Simone

The Remote Worker’s Toolbelt

November 30, 2016

By Scott Simone

Read More from Scott Simone

November 30, 2016

The Remote Worker’s Toolbelt

By Scott Simone
Contributor

Workers are only as good as the tools they equip themselves with. No, we’re not talking about hammers and drills. We’re referring to the apps and platforms that allow a remote worker to seamlessly keep their work lives on track.

When working remotely — whether from your home office or a different hotel room each week–it can be tough keeping everything together and organized. That’s why you should be thankful we live in the technology age, because for every one of your pain points, there is some much-needed relief. Scheduling? There’s an app. Tracking hours? Yeah, technology has you covered. Finding a comfortable place to set up your office for the day? No longer a problem.

Think you’re already the best remote employee you can be? Well, think again, because these tried and true tools will bring you to a whole other level of productivity.

1. join.me

We’ll give you a second to recuperate from the surprise of this recommendation. But seriously, adding us to your toolbelt is a necessity.

Allow us to explain: Right now, you most likely use one platform for video conferencing, another for conference calls, and probably don’t utilize the power of screen-sharing nearly as often as you should. Well, we wrap all those capabilities into one free, easy-to-use platform. (There’s a reason our motto is “Show Work who’s Boss.”) Aside from screen sharing, unlimited audio, and ridiculously simple video conferencing, we’ve also integrated with loads of other platforms. So, you can schedule a join.me meeting straight from Outlook, adding in all your join.me details. Or start a join.me straight from a Slack discussion. You can even start a join.me with your contacts straight from Salesforce. How’s that for showing work who’s boss?

1. Wunderlist

Working from an office provides some much needed structure. When you have daily meetings, your boss a few doors down, and managers roaming about, it’s hard to forget the day’s tasks. But the freedom that comes with remote working is often a double-edged sword. You may not have your boss breathing down your neck, but a few due-dates and meeting times may slip your mind. That’s where Wunderlist comes in.

The desktop-, smartphone-, and tablet-based app brings order to your work-from-home life. It allows you to create daily lists of tasks, for which you can add due dates (even repeating due dates for, say, weekly client calls), reminders, sub-tasks, comments, files, and notes. There’s also a “Glance” feature that indicates how close you are to finishing the day’s tasks. You can also share lists with colleagues, making it a cinch to collaborate. So now you won’t need to find an excuse for missing that 3:30 conference call—your iPhone will no longer let you miss it.

2. iDoneThis

When you’re part of a sales team—or any work project that requires multiple minds to tackle—it’s hard and time consuming to try and figure out what progress each individual has made. That’s especially true when you’re working remotely. You could, say, call in to daily catch-up meetings to everyone’s annoyance. Or you could simply make use of iDoneThis, an email-based platform that tracks teams’ progress on various tasks.

How it works is each team member checks in daily—either through email or browser—with updates on their current status (e.g. “Finished sales deck, sent to Janice for review”). Then, the next morning, a robust report is sent out via email to each member, explaining what’s done, what’s getting done, and what can’t be completed (and why).

3. Workfrom

Maybe you need to get out of your home office for a day. Or maybe you’re traveling and in a brand new city. So you decide you want to set up your office in a cozy coffee shop, or maybe even a bar (you scandalous worker, you). You set out and wander looking for the perfect spot. Only now you’re stuck in a Goldilocks-like matrix where nothing is just right. This spot has no WiFi. This one is too loud. This one has no power outlets. Suddenly, half the day is gone and you’ve yet to even shoot off a few emails.

Remove that frustration from your life, and join Workfrom, a database coffee shops, cafes, bars, and co-working spaces where you can get work done. But it doesn’t simply list them. It offers their hours, WiFi speed, seating capacity, quietness levels, along helpful pro-tips, such as “The back tables have more outlets.” And all the information comes from other remote workers, so you know you can trust it.

4. Teleport Sundial

We don’t need to tell you how annoying it can be trying to figure out co-workers’ time zones. You work remotely. You know this. Setting up a conference call, or a product demo, or anything, really, is irritating when you have team members in New York, Los Angeles, and London. But using Teleport Sundial removes that headache.

All that’s required is an email to team members, clients, or leads. Once they sign into the platform, you’ll be able to use the “timezone” view. This shows everyone’s working hours, where they are in the day, and their preferred availability. So you can now set up team calls without the endlessly dreadful reply-all email chains. You’re welcome.

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